The Best Pillow Protectors for Clean Sleep

By Amanda Lasater

Jun 6th, 2022

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You may think that a pillowcase is enough to protect your pillow but we encourage you to think again. A pillow protector is a covering that goes on before a pillowcase and it works as a barrier against allergens and bacteria. 

Pillow protectors keep germs out and freshness in. There’s nothing better than laying down on a cold, cozy, and clean pillow after a long day. Here are our top picks on the best pillow protectors and how this protectant can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Our Picks for the Best Pillow Protectors


Best Overall

Allersoft 100% Cotton Bed Bug, Dust Mite & Allergy Control Pillow Protector

Unlike other pillow protectors, Allersoft is designed with full-zipper protection to ensure complete enclosure from external aggressors. This zippered pillow is made with 100 percent cotton, which offers additional comfort while remaining breathable. Although this pillow protector is not waterproof, it prides itself on its breathability.

When water can’t seep through, neither can air. If you enjoy resting on a cool, refreshing pillow, then this is the protector for you. You can receive up to four of these pillow protectors in one pack and they are machine-washable. The zipper is rust-proof and each pillow is standard in size.


  •     Dust mite and bed bug control
  •     Auto-locking zipper
  •     Lab tested to ensure allergens cannot get through


  •     Not waterproof
  •     Not available in special sizes like toddler pillow or body pillow sizes
niagara sleep

Best Luxury

Niagara Sleep Solution 2Pack Pillow Protectors

Why is it that the pillows in hotel bedrooms always seem to be the softest, breathable pillows? What’s the secret? Niagara Sleep Solution may have the answer. With hotel quality fabric, these pillowcase protectors will have all of your guests feeling as comfortable as they are in a five-star hotel.

Each pillow protector is made with cotton sateen and zipped off to ensure protection. The best part about the Niagara Sleep Solution collection is the pillow protectors come in every size imaginable. These pillow covers are machine-washable and suggested to be washed at a warm temperature. 


  •     Affordable
  •     Zippered
  •     Comes in solid or patterned, and in several sizes including toddler pillow and body pillow sizes


  •     Not waterproof
  •     Imported
pillow protector

Best for Kids

Home Fashion Designs 2 Pack Premium Pillow Protectors

You want the safest products for your child to rest their heads each night. Start with the Home Fashion Pillow Protector to fight against dust mites, allergens, bed bugs, and skin cells. Made with 100-percent cotton and tightly woven, this cover is safe, cozy, and durable.

Each pillow protector comes fully, anti-microbial zippered and is easy to care for since it’s washer-safe. Young children are constantly fighting colds and runny noses. Have peace of mind knowing that your child’s pillow is remaining free of allergies and germs each and every night. 


  •     Protects against dust mites, bed bugs
  •     Durable and easy to care for
  •     Zippered


  •     Not waterproof
everlasting comfort

Best Water-Proof

Everlasting Comfort 100% Waterproof Pillow Protector, Hypoallergenic Pillow Covers

With a dual-layer design, this waterproof pillow sleeps comfortably while protecting against all bodily fluids, bed bugs, dust mites, and other forms of bacteria.

The exterior of the pillow cover is made with 100-percent cotton terry cloth; whereas, the interior is made with polyester membrane that prevents mold, dust, pollen and other allergies. It’s hypoallergenic, machine-washable, and comes in standard, queen, and king sizes. 


  •     100% waterproof
  •     Protects against bodily fluids, bed bugs, dust mites
  •     Dual layer design also protects against mold, dust, pollen 


  •     Not available in specialty sizes like toddler and body pillows 
  •     More expensive 

What is a pillow protector?

A pillow protector serves as a barrier between your actual pillow and your pillowcase. The purpose of a pillow protector is to help maintain proper sleep hygiene by avoiding unwanted allergies and bacteria. A pillow protector also extends the life of your pillows by preventing external aggressors from reshaping or thinning out the make-up of your pillow. 

Pros and cons of pillow protectors


  • Protects against allergens like dust mites, pet dander, pollen
  • Can help prevent the spread of bed bugs
  • Extends the life of your pillow
  • Protects from stains


  • Added cost
  • Some pillow protectors may sleep hot
  • Protector may slide off pillow or pillow case may slide off protector

How does a pillow protector help you sleep better? 

Pillow protectors not only protect your pillow, they protect your health. Good quality, zippered pillow protectors made with tightly woven fabrics lock out allergens and bed bugs, and prevent mold, dust, and pollen from getting inside your pillow. An unprotected pillow can make you sick or trigger an allergy or asthma attack. This can disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling fatigued in the morning. 

Pillow protectors can also extend the life of your pillow, and help improve its breathability. It’s important to remain a certain temperature throughout the night so you stay comfortable and cool. With a breathable pillow, you will stay refreshed and cozy all night long. 

Pillow protectors can protect your pillow from a variety of unpleasant things:

  • Bed bugs
  • Dust mites
  • Body fluid
  • Sweat
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Dust

When you protect your pillow from allergens and bacteria, you will experience better sleep and less stuffiness throughout the night. When your pillow is trapping bed bugs, dust mites, pet dander, bacteria, and other allergens, you will experience an allergy flare-up. This will cause fatigue and discomfort.  

If you ever find yourself sneezing in the middle of the night or waking up with a stuffy nose, it may be time to get a new set of pillows and purchase zippered covers to ensure your pillow is protected. A pillow protector also helps improve the breathability of your pillow. It’s important to remain a certain temperature throughout the night so you stay comfortable and cool. With a breathable pillow, you will stay refreshed and cozy all night long. 

How to find the best pillow protector

There are a few factors to consider when shopping for the best pillow protector for your needs:  


Pillow protectors come in a variety of fabrics including cotton, polyester, terry cotton, bamboo, and even vinyl. If you want something cooling, opt for cotton or bamboo. If you prefer softness, a microfiber like polyester may be a better choice. 

Thread count

When it comes to cotton, thread count is key for comfort. The higher the thread count, the softer the fabric. Look for thread counts between 200 to 400 or higher. The softness of microfiber sheets is based on GSM, short for grams per square meter. The more GSM, the thicker the fabric and the hotter it may sleep. Microfiber pillow protectors typically fall between 55 and 120 GSM.


Waterproof pillow protectors are better equipped to protect against bodily fluids, like saliva, mucus, body oils, and sweat. Pillow protectors made of vinyl can sleep hot and be noisy. Some brands use a more breathable polyester membrane to keep fluids out while letting air pass through.

Allergen protection

You’ll also want to check the label of your pillow protector for a fabric pore size, which is the size of the openings in the weave. Woven fabrics with a fabric pore size of 6 micrometers, or microns, are better at keeping out dust mites. When in doubt, look for pillow protectors certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) or listed as AAFA friendly.


Why do I need a pillow protector?

Over time, pillows can become a hotbed for dust mites, allergens, and bodily fluids that can trigger allergy and asthma attacks and make you sick. A zippered and tightly woven pillow protector can protect your pillow from these allergens. 

What’s the difference between a pillow protector and a pillowcase?

Pillow cases are decorative fabric coverings for your pillows designed to be slept on. Pillow protectors are designed to fit over pillows to protect them from stains, bodily fluids, and allergens.  

Do you put pillowcases over pillow protectors? 

Pillow cases should go over pillow protectors. Pillow cases should be washed weekly while pillow protectors don’t need to be washed more than once a month.  

Can you sleep on a pillow protector? 

You can sleep directly on a pillow protector. But if you use a pillow case, you won’t have to wash your pillow protector as often. 

What are pillow protectors made of? 

Pillow protectors are made from a variety of fabrics including cotton, polyester, terry cotton, and even vinyl. For pillow protectors to truly protect against dust mites and other allergens, they must be tightly woven with a fabric pore size of 6 micrometers, or microns.

Do you wash pillow protectors? 

Yes. Wash your pillow protector monthly if you put a pillowcase over it. If you sleep directly on your pillow protector, you’ll want to wash it weekly. 

How long do pillow protectors last? 

A good pillow protector can last year. But it’s recommended that people replace their bed pillows every one to two years. Why not use that opportunity to purchase a new pillow protector as well?


Compare the best pillow protectors below:

Product Material Best for  Customer Rating
Allersoft 100% Cotton Pillow Protector 100% Cotton Allergies 4.6/5
Niagara Sleep Solution 2-Pack Pillow Protectors Cotton sateen Cooling 4.6/5
Home Fashion Designs 2-Pack Premium Pillow Protectors 100% Cotton Bed bugs 3.8/5
Everlasting Comfort 100% Waterproof Pillow Protector 100% Cotton terry cloth on the outside/polyester membrane on the inside Waterproof 4.5/5

A pillow protector serves to protect you from unwanted allergies and bacteria so you can get the best night’s sleep possible. Your pillow can trap dust mites, bed bugs, pet dander, and other forms of bacteria if there is no barrier preventing it.

With the help of a pillow protector, you can rest assured that your pillow is staying clear of unwanted external aggressors and remaining fresh and clean. If you experience late-night allergies, it may be time to invest in new pillows, along with pillow covers to prevent bacteria, enhance freshness, and promote longevity.