What's The Best Mattress Protector For Memory Foam

Memory foam, or viscoelastic foam, has been one of the biggest innovations in sleep technology ever since the introduction of innerspring mattresses. Originally intended to be a cushioning material for astronauts doing space flights, it has evolved into a comfortable, accessible, and pain relieving bedding material.

One major downside to viscoelastic is that it can trap a lot of your body heat; in recent years, manufacturers have had only partial success in improving its thermal conductivity using various other additives.

High end memory foam mattresses such as these can cost a fortune, so having a protector on them is a must. Except a protector, with its plastic membrane, causes heating issues of its own. So you’ve got the added burden of finding a protector that doesn’t added to viscoelastic foam’s inherent heat retention.

This can be a challenge for the uninitiated, so here’s my guide on finding the best mattress protector for memory foam, bolstered with reviews of actual market products to give you a good idea of what to look for.

Table of Contents

Best Memory Foam Mattress Protector Comparisons

Brand

Material (surface / membrane)

Waterproof

Allergen Barrier

Bedbug Proof

Warranty

Extra Features

Our Ratings

Terry Cotton / Plastic

Yes

Yes

No

10 years

PVC, vinyl, phthalate free; FDA Class 1 Medical Device

Bamboo/polyester top; plastic membrane

Yes

Yes

No


15 year warranty / 30 day money

OEKO-Tex Certified; does not use PVC, vinyl or phthalates; hypoallergenic; anti-bacterial

Bamboo top; plastic membrane

Yes

Yes

No


Lifetime / 30 day money back guarantee

OEKO-Tex Certified; hypoallergenic; anti-bacterial;
Does not use PVC, phthalates and vinyl

Tencel / Plastic

Yes

Yes

No


10 years


Organic top surface; hypoallergenic; anti-bacterial

Tencel / Plastic

Yes

Yes

Yes

15 years

Organic top surface; hypoallergenic; anti-bacterial; phase-changing membrane

Why Do I Need A Special Mattress Cover For Memory Foam?

Most of us don’t want to pay a lot of attention to something as seemingly trivial as a mattress cover, but in the case of a viscoelastic mattress, it is actually quite smart to do a little homework: 

To Avoid A Spike In Bed Temperature

You’ve invested in a product to enjoy customized, plush comfort. For it to be ruined by a sharp hike in temperature would be a disappointment, but that is exactly what a cheap, plastic protector would do.

This would be especially painful if you purchased one of the high-end memory foam products with cooling gel in its surface layer – it won’t do you much good if the heat doesn’t transfer over from the mattress cover to the surface of the bed!

To Ensure A Fast Enough Response Time

Furthermore, memory foam adapts its profile to your body based on the heat your body emits – if that heat is blocked by a protector in between, you will have to deal with a pretty slow response time (memory foam being a slow reacting material by itself!).

This can be a major nuisance if you change positions during sleep – the foam would not contour to the shape fast enough, leaving you with an uncomfortable sleep experience.

Essential Features To Look For

Protection

  • Waterproofing
  • Allergen Proofing

The dead skin cells and moisture (e.g. from sweating) create the ideal breeding ground for dust mites – the chief allergen that can infest your mattress. Itches, rashes, coughing, and even asthmatic attacks – these insects can trigger serious hazards thanks to a nasty allergen present inside their poop (disgusting, but true).

Comfort

A memory foam mattress is usually purchased to enjoy the specific contouring comfort it provides – an ordinary protector will dull this sensation because of its wrinkly, plastic feel.

In order to secure your bed without compromising its comfort, you must seek a cover that has an ultra-thin profile which does not dilute / alter the original feel of your bed. Breathability and surface materials are closely tied to this point, and shall be discussed individually in the subsequent sections.

Sleeping Like A Baby

Breathability

This refers to the ability of the cover to let air pass through it: every waterproof protector will block the flow of air to some degree – this is largely dependent on the size of the microscopic holes in its plastic membrane.

Referred to as micron size, this property determines the waterproofing and allergen-blocking capabilities of the product, as well. In other words, you need to strike a compromise between protection and breathability to ensure adequate thermal ventilation.

Those dealing with an acute dust mite infestation may have to go with a super-tight, minimally breathable 1 micron size protector, but most of us, who just want security from dead skin and the occasional spill, will do fine with a 5 micron size protector with considerably improved breathability.

The increase in air flow will ensure adequate transportation of heat to the surface of the mattress itself, which will in turn result in better response to (changes in) your sleep posture. Besides this, you will obviously sleep cooler, which is a concern in itself as far as memory foam beds go.

Moisture Wicking

Using a memory foam mattress with a protector in a warm, tropical climate is bound to cause some sweating during the night. Unless you’re OK with waking up in the middle of the night feeling hot and sticky, I would advise seeking a product whose surface is good at absorbing excessive moisture.

Surface Material

  • Cotton
  • Bamboo
  • Tencel
  • Phase Change Materials

Viscose rayon fabric derived from bamboos is known for its silkiness, breathability, absorbency, and anti-bacterial properties. It is an excellent choice when you’re looking for minimal alteration to the comfort level of your bed, but it does lack in durability somewhat, so manufacturers often blend it with polyester to ensure that it can survive laundering.

Fitted Sheet vs Encasement Style Protectors

5-sided (fitted sheet) protector does not cover the base of the mattress, so it gives some room for breathability. But this comes at the expense of exposing it to a bed bug infestation. A 6-sided protector will safeguard the bed against bedbugs as well, but because it completely envelopes the mattress, it will lead to more heating.

Personally, I’d recommend sticking with a fitted sheet style protector unless you’ve got a definite bedbug infestation. There’s also the fact that a fitted sheet cover can be removed and installed easily for laundering purposes.

User Feedback

No matter what the manufacturer says, the surest way to become educated about the qualities and limitations of a product is too check what the consumers are saying about it: if a cover is good at staying cool (or conversely, if it causes people to sweat / feel uncomfortable) you’re bound to find people discussing it in the reviews section.

Top Rated Memory Foam Mattress Protector Reviews

SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector

Key Points

    • Material: Terry Cotton / Plastic
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Allergen Proof: Yes
    • Bed Bug Proof: No
    • Extra Features: ​PVC, vinyl, phthalate free; FDA Class 1 Medical Device​​​​
    • Warranty: 10 years

The top surface is made out of cotton terry, which dulls out the plastic feel of the underlying membrane. The cotton is soft, breathable and silent, so you won’t be experiencing the crinkling that is typical of a cheap cover. Since it has a fitted sheet style construction, it won’t move under the mattress as you sleep.

It comes with an FDA Class 1 Medical Device certification, and the membrane is guaranteed to be free of harmful chemicals e.g. vinyl, PVC, phthalates and fire retardants. Parents concerned about protecting their kids (particularly eczema / asthma sufferers) from exposure to hazardous materials will appreciate this.

In spite of its affordable cost, the protector comes with a hefty 10 year warranty – I only found minimal complaints about its performance though, so it is likely you may never need it! The protector is machine washable with mild detergents, and can be dried on low heat. Ironing / dry cleaning is not permitted.

Pros

    • Affordable pricing.
    • Solid protection against fluids and allergens.
    • Soft cotton terry muffles plastic sensation without altering core feel.
    • Free from harmful chemicals.
    • 10 year warranty.

Cons

    • Doesn't provide cooling for excessively hot environments.

Recommended For

With a cotton terry top surface, this cover yields soft, discreet and breathable protection that is sufficient for the average memory foam mattress sleeper without excessive cooling needs.

Lulltra Bamboo Mattress Protector by Coop Home Goods

Key Points

    • Material: Bamboo/polyester top; plastic membrane
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Allergen Proof: Yes
    • Bed Bug Proof: No
    • Extra Features: OEKO-Tex Certified; does not use PVC, vinyl or phthalates; hypoallergenic; anti-bacterial
    • Warranty: 15 year warranty / 30 day money

This is a relatively affordable product intended for users looking for a comfortable, cool, eco-friendly protector for their memory foam mattress.

The surface is a blend of polyester and bamboo rayon – with the bamboo providing the silky, breathable comfort, and the polyester adding some strength to the fiber so that it doesn’t rip apart in the wash. The rayon also happens to possess anti-bacterial and allergen repelling properties.

The waterproof membrane has been designed to block fluids and allergens, without hampering the flow of air. Since the cover is OEKO-Tex certified, you don’t have to be concerned about exposure to harmful chemicals such as PVC, phthalates and vinyl.

While most consumers have been thoroughly pleased with the performance of this protector, it needs to be washed and dried at a low heat setting if you want it to last. That said, a 30 day money back guarantee, as well as a 15 year warranty, are ample insurance against ending up with a bad unit.

Pros

    • Reasonably priced.
    • Comfortable and breathable surface.
    • Bamboo rayon adds allergen and microbe repelling capability.
    • OEKO-Tex Certification.
    • 15 year warranty and 30 day money back guarantee.

Cons

    • Requires careful laundering to extend lifetime.

This is a relatively affordable product intended for users looking for a comfortable, cool, eco-friendly protector for their memory foam mattress.

Zen Bamboo Mattress Protector

Key Points

    • Material: Bamboo top; plastic membrane
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Allergen Proof: Yes
    • Bed Bug Proof: No
    • Extra Features: OEKO-Tex Certified; hypoallergenic; anti-bacterial;
      Does not use PVC, phthalates and vinyl
    • Warranty: Lifetime / 30 day money back guarantee

Here’s another bamboo-derived rayon cover that should work great for people who want to keep their viscoelastic mattress cool on a budget, sans the polyester blend as present in the product above.

The bamboo fiber excels at providing understated comfort that doesn’t alter the feel of your bed, and it can regulate the temperature of the bed thanks to its decent breathability. Thanks to its natural propensity to repel allergens and bacteria, it also makes the cover a good catch for allergy patients.

Surprising for a product this cheap, the protector’s waterproofing functions with a high degree of reliability, something that is abundantly clear from the glowing consumer feedback. Its ability to keep the temperature down has garnered considerable praise as well.

Like the Lulltra cover, it also carries an OEKO-Tex certification which ensures that it is free from hazardous substances. What’s most impressive is that it does all this, and packs a lifetime warranty and 30 day money back guarantee, while costing less than the competitor from Lulltra!

Pros

    • Cheap.
    • Bamboo rayon surface is cool, soft, hypoallergenic, and anti-bacterial.
    • Reliable waterproofing.
    • Surprisingly generous lifetime warranty / 30 day refund policy.
    • OEKO-Tex certification.

Cons

    • Very limited complaints about faulty waterproofing.

Recommended For

Another bamboo-derived rayon cover that should work great for people who want to keep their viscoelastic mattress cool on a budget, sans the polyester blend as present in the product above.

Protect-A-Bed Luxury Waterproof Mattress Protector

Key Points

    • Material: Tencel / plastic
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Allergen Proof: Yes
    • Bed Bug Proof: No
    • Extra Features: Organic top surface; hypoallergenic; anti-bacterial
    • Warranty: 10 years

Those who intend to use their viscoelastic mattress in an environment that causes lots of sweating should consider this cover.

The top layer, made out of eucalyptus-derived Tencel, ensures luxuriously soft, absorbent and breathable cooling. The material also incorporates intrinsic anti-microbial and hypoallergenic properties that should deter the onset of fungi / bacteria / dust mite infestations.

The manufacturer’s signature ‘Miracle Membrane’ is responsible for blocking fluids and allergens from reaching your mattress – the miracle, purportedly, is that it does so without impeding the flow of air, a frequent problem with these membranes.

While the protector is generally good at its job, going by user reviews, there have been some reports of manufacturing defects where the waterproofing failed – I’d suggest testing it out before installing it on your pricey mattress; if there’s an issue, take advantage of the included 10 year warranty.

One other thing, Tencel, as mentioned before, is a high-end material, so the protector costs a little above the market average.

Pros

    • Organic top surface that is sleek, cool and absorbent.
    • Tencel possesses natural anti-bacterial and allergen repelling properties.
    • Plastic membrane is waterproof / allergen proof, but still breathable.
    • 10 year warranty.

Cons

    • Pricey
    • A few reports of waterproofing failure.

Those who intend to use their viscoelastic mattress in an environment that causes lots of sweating should consider this cover.

Malouf Sleep Tite Encase® Omniphase™ Mattress Protector

Key Points

    • Material: Tencel / plastic
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Allergen Proof: Yes
    • Bed Bug Proof: Yes
    • Extra Features: Organic top surface; hypoallergenic; anti-bacterial; phase-changing membrane
    • Warranty: 15 years

With a Tencel surface, dedicated Omniphase™ PCM technology, and an encasement style design, this protector is intended for consumers in need of all-round protection and strong temperature regulation in a single package.

As mentioned above, the Tencel creates a soft, airy and absorbent surface (not to mention anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic) that only serves to enhance the feeling of luxury generated by a high-end viscoelastic mattress.

The waterproof membrane ensures strong protection against fluids and allergens, and thanks to the Omniphase™ phase change material that it is combined with, you get a pleasant sleep regardless of the temperature of the environment.

The six-sided design with its Micro-Tite zipper completely seals your mattress off against all major threats, including bed bugs. Users have found the protection and temperature regulation of the product to be quite satisfactory, but there have been a few complaints of plastic noise – which is surprising given the Tencel surface.

This cover is considerably expensive because of all the high-end materials it uses, so only get it if you’re expecting serious heating problems. A 15 year warranty is included with it, which is significantly greater than the 10 year industry standard.

Pros

    • Reliable protection against fluids, allergens and bed bugs.
    • Organic Tencel surface ensures comfort, heat dissipation, and moisture wicking.
    • PCM and Tencel combined offer excellent thermal regulation all year around.
    • Tencel has innate ability to stopper bacterial growth and deter allergens.
    • 15 year warranty.

Cons

    • Considerably expensive.
    • Scattered complaints of plastic noise.

With a Tencel surface, dedicated Omniphase™ PCM technology, and an encasement style design, this protector is intended for consumers in need of all-round protection and strong temperature regulation in a single package.

Conclusion

You must have realized by now that getting a mattress protector for a memory foam bed means prioritizing certain considerations over others: breathability, discreetness, and comfort.

The first is necessary because of how memory foam tends to get hot on its own, while the next two ensure that you get to enjoy the feel and comfort of your bed as intended, without any alteration from a protector.

You will also have seen that options are available in a range of budgets, based on the degree to which they match the above described criteria. Naturally, the more advanced covers with PCM technology will offer the best temperature regulation, but their cost makes them overkill for the average consumer.

In fact, an inexpensive protector with a surface made from cotton terry, such as SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector, with a waterproof membrane underneath it, will do just fine unless you’re in an especially extreme environment.

Cotton is a reasonably breathable, absorbent material, so it will be able to transport heat away from your body quite well. Add to this the fact that this particular product comes with an FDA Medical Class 1 rating and a 10 year warranty, and I feel justified in picking it as best mattress cover for memory foam.

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