Best Cheap Mattress Protectors
Looking for an affordable mattress protector? A high-quality budget protector guards your mattress from spills and stains.
Jun 20th, 2023 •
Once you’ve found and purchased the right mattress, keeping that mattress clean—and clear from spills, stains, and smells—becomes your next big challenge. Adding a dependable mattress protector is an easy way to keep your mattress looking like new so you can continue to enjoy it year after year. But while preserving your mattress is a great way to save money over the long term, you don’t have to spend a lot of money up front to do it. There are lots of comfortable and durable mattress protectors made of high-quality materials for under $100—and far less, with sales deals.
Here are our favorite reasonably priced mattress protectors, plus some advice about shopping for one and maintaining it below.
The Best Cheap Mattress Protectors
Easy to Clean
Features: Breathable, machine-washable and dryable
Price: Starts at $104 (queen)
Warranty: 1 year
This liquid-proof protector puts an invisible forcefield between you and your mattress so sweat and spills can’t penetrate. It also keeps out dust mites and other allergens, without announcing its presence by making noise or making you feel like your mattress is covered in wrapping paper. The Essential is Layla’s most budget-friendly protector, and often retails for under $50 with seasonal deals—which is a solid bargain for the quality. The poly-spandex protector comes in six sizes and wraps around mattresses up to 14” thick; it’s designed to be easy to remove and machine-washable and -dryable, so you can keep your bed looking and smelling fresh. If you want a protector that blocks out bedbugs, the brand also offers a Full Encasement Mattress Protector that’s fully enclosed, with a six-sided zipper for maximum protection.
Best Universal Fit
Features: Fully waterproof, odorless, breathable
Price: Starts at $99 (queen)
Warranty: 5 years
This deep-pocketed mattress protector stretches to hug mattresses from 6” to 22” thick and comes in nine sizes to fit almost any bed. Beneath its soft surface, the protector is fully waterproof using a micro-thin polyurethane laminate, so it can stop spills and leaks from reaching your mattress. It’s made with breathable, hypoallergenic polyester that’s free from harsh chemicals and won’t fill your room with that off-gassing chemical smell. And keeping it clean is also easy—you can just machine-wash it on warm or cold, and machine-dry it on low.
Best Waterproof Protector
Features: Waterproof, soft top knit, machine-washable
Price: Starts at $95 (queen)
Warranty: 1 year
The Helix covers mattresses up to 15” thick like a fitted sheet and has a fully waterproof polyurethane layer that prevents any liquids from permeating. It’s designed to be thick and sturdy-feeling—but also soft against your skin, breathable, and so low-profile that you’ll forget it’s there to provide invisible protection against spills and allergens. The best mattress protectors are easy to care for, and this one fits the bill: The cover is machine-washable and safe to throw in your dryer, so you can keep your bed in great shape without too much effort. Get it in one of six sizes.
Features: Waterproof, cooling materials
Price: Starts at $95 (queen)
Warranty: 30-night sleep trial
The Nest Cooling Cotton Protector is designed to dissipate heat and keep you sleeping breezier. The protector uses a breathable membrane and blend of cooling materials layered over a fully waterproof backing that prevents liquids from finding your mattress. A five-sided protector, it also fights off dust mites and allergens—though not as effectively as the brand’s encasement option, which fully surrounds your mattress on six sides. Nest’s protector fits mattresses up to 18” thick in six sizes without feeling baggy or loose on smaller mattresses. It’s also designed to not feel crinkly—as with any good mattress protector, you’ll hardly notice it’s there until you need it.
Cheap Mattress Protector Buying Guide
How much should I spend on a mattress protector?
The cheapest mattress protectors you can find are priced around $25 or less; however, we find many of those don’t meet expectations for durability, waterproofing, safe materials, and comfort. Because a good mattress protector maintains the integrity of your most expensive investment in good sleep—your mattress—we think it’s worth spending a little more to get one that will hold its waterproofing and comfort level for longer. Most protectors are priced between $50 to $200 for a queen-size mattress; our picks here are all priced around or below $100, and ongoing reductions and sales deals bring them down to a far more affordable level. Most have generous warranties of over a year, too—which means the brand stands behind the protector’s quality.
What should I look for in an affordable mattress protector?
The most important thing a mattress protector needs to do is to prevent spills and stains from reaching your mattress. The best mattress protectors accomplish this via a thin waterproof membrane or backing within the fabric that doesn’t sacrifice the smooth feel and comfort of the top layer. Mattress protectors should also be easy to machine-wash and dry, so you can take them off and restore them to their original condition before putting them back on your mattress. We also look for protectors that are durable—both so that they don’t come apart quickly and don’t lose their level of waterproofing over time. Here’s our full list of priorities:
- Waterproof: All our picks are waterproof and won’t allow liquids to stain or even touch your mattress.
- Comfortable: Some cheap protectors have a plasticky vinyl feel that detracts from the comfort of your mattress. The protectors we’ve selected here often incorporate a cozy knit top layer that feels soft to the touch despite the waterproof layer beneath.
- Good fit: Mattress protectors are sized by bed size, so most come in options to fit a twin, full, queen,or king mattress, and more. Often they have a universal fit related to thickness, however, which means some can leave you with excess fabric. We looked for mattress protectors that provide a close, comfortable fit, even when they stretch to accommodate many mattress sizes.
- Free from dangerous chemicals: Cheap mattress protectors are sometimes made using PVC/vinyl, phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, chlorinated tris, and other toxic chemicals that can cause health problems. In this list, we prioritized polyurethane, which has been shown to be safe, as well as natural fibers like cotton.
- Easy to clean: All our protectors here can be machine-washed and machine-dried, so cleaning them regularly is easy and quick.
- Durable: A good mattress protector maintains its waterproofing and comfort through years of washings and daily use.
How do you wash a mattress protector?
Once you’ve found the right mattress protector, you’ll want to keep it in mint shape so it will continue to effectively guard your mattress. Mattress brands recommend routinely washing protectors at least every two months—and more often, if your protector has been exposed to spills or accidents, if you’ve been sick, or if you suffer from allergies that might be related to dust buildup. Most mattress protectors can be machine-washed with cold water and dried on a gentle cycle, but it’s important to check the instructions on the tag before you toss yours in the machine—some need to be hand-washed with mild detergent and air-dried in the sun.
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