Clean living begins with a sleep environment free of dust mites, allergens & other unpleasant elements
What’s lurking beneath your sheets? Hopefully, the answer is no dust mites, no stains, no spills. What should be there is a mattress protector – an essential purchase to safeguard the significant investment you made in a quality mattress.
While a mattress protector might not be as glamorous as designer shams, a cuddly blanket or cute-as-a-button pillows adorning your bed, it’s an accessory that will serve you well for many years and ensure your mattress stays in tip-top condition.
Do I need a mattress protector?
Even if you’ve made it to this point in your life without having a mattress protector covering or encasing your mattress, we’ve got a few key reasons why you need a mattress protector right now.
- Keep it clean. You don’t really want to know what unsavory things might be on your mattress – sweat, dead skin cells, assorted body fluids and dust mites or bed bugs. Ick. By protecting your mattress from unpleasant stains and dirt, you’ll help extend the life of your mattress.
- Shore up your defenses. When your clothes get dirty, you toss them in the washing machine. With a mattress, it’s not that easy. Cleaning up stains doesn’t always work, often leaving residue stains and odor behind. Vacuuming a mattress is recommended, but who remembers to do that? A mattress protector is a better strategy.
- Protect your warranty. A soiled or stained mattress will mean that your warranty is null and void. If it’s defective, you can’t return it for servicing or replacement because of strict hygiene and safety regulations. Protect your mattress and your investment.
- Bug off. Dust mites thrive in dirty environments. They hang out on mattresses in search of their favorite meal – flakes of dead skin. A clean sterile mattress really wrecks their dining plans. No debris, no bugs.
- Avoid the sneezy wheezies. Sleepers with allergies or asthma will benefit from an environment free of triggers, whether it’s dust or pet dander. Breathe a bit easier with a pristine mattress.
But what kind of mattress protector should you buy?
“Gone are the days of selecting a mattress protector based on size alone,” said Caitlin Hoff, a health and safety investigator for ConsumerSafety.org. “Today, mattress protectors come in a range of different materials and offer different functions depending on what you’re looking for.”
A basic mattress protector may only protect the mattress from wear and ensure longevity, while a higher end protector will protect your mattress from bed bugs, stains, dust mites and allergens, she added. Depending on your needs, you can select the brand or product that provides you with the best solution.
Hoff gives the example that if someone suffers from incontinence, he or she would want to look at waterproof mattress protectors while a student in a college dorm should consider a mattress protector that protects against bed bugs that might lurk in crowded dorms or apartment buildings. If you aren’t sure of your needs, you can always buy a mattress protector that addresses a wider range of challenges.
How to buy a mattress protector
Before you begin shopping, ask yourself what purpose your mattress protector will serve.
Do you need…
- Light protection against daily wear and tear? Opt for a basic cotton cover.
- A strong defense against bed bugs? Buy one that completely encases your mattress.
- Seeking a bit of extra comfort? Go with a thin, padded, quilted sheet or a thicker mattress topper.
- Dealing with a sleeper with incontinence issues? Find a mattress protector that incorporates waterproof fabric.
ConsumerSafety.org also offers some other key factors to consider before you buy
- Warranty. Your mattress has a long lifespan and so should the product protecting it. Look for a mattress protector with a multiple-year warranty to ensure that any manufacturer defects are taken care of without you having to replace the protector at your expense.
- Comfort. Though not to be confused with a mattress topper (a product that offers more cushion or support to your mattress), some mattress protectors do offer comfort features. It might be made of a material that promotes warmth for cold winter nights or is breathable and cool for hot summer nights.
- Easy to Wash. The best case scenario is a mattress protector that fits into your washer at home. If it requires dry cleaning, consider another easier option. While you can’t wash your mattress, laundering your mattress protector regularly helps you remove dead skin, hair, sweat, and grime that builds up over time. Your mattress protector should be washed a minimum of every 3 months – more frequently if conditions warrant.
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- 7 mattress myths debunked
- The art of the multi-functional bedroom
- Time for a new mattress? Learn how to dispose of your old one