How Often To Replace a Mattress Protector & Tips to Maximize Mattress Protector Life
A mattress protector is an item of removable bedding that sits on top of or encases a mattress to protect it. Usually, they are waterproof to protect the mattress from spills and other liquids. Some mattress protectors also protect the person sleeping on the mattress from allergens and irritants such as dust mites, bed bugs, mold, and other allergens.
You should replace your mattress protector when you notice holes or worn and tattered areas because that compromises its protective qualities. To keep your mattress protector in shape, wash it along with your sheets and replace it every one to two years, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
You want to make sure you always have a mattress protector that is in good condition to help to prevent stains on your mattress from unwanted substances or liquids. Replacing it when it is no longer effective will extend the life of your bed — preventing materials from breaking down prematurely.
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What is a Mattress Protector?
Mattress protectors come in a variety of styles and are made of a variety of materials, but they all have one thing in common -- they are designed to protect the mattress.
A mattress protector is a removable cover that is designed to protect your mattress from liquids, moisture, and wear and tear that can harm your mattress or cause problems for you while you sleep. Mattress protectors are easy to take off the bed and clean in a washing machine.
As humans, we perspire at night, excrete oil from our skin, and shed dead skin cells. We also spill things or have other accidents.. All of these can leave wet spots on the bed. These can soak through your sheets and into the mattress. A mattress protector prevents any of that from getting into the mattress, and it can be taken off and washed more easily than the mattress can be. So, if you’re wondering if you need a mattress protector, the answer is YES.
A mattress protector will keep the mattress in a like-new condition for a longer period of time. Perspiration (or any moisture, like a spilt drink) will cause the foam or other materials in the mattress to deteriorate, shortening its comfortable life. Even if only a little moisture gets through, after years of every night use, it can add up. You will need to replace your mattress more quickly without the protector. You should especially consider using a mattress protector for expensive bedding like magnetic mattress pads.
Mattress protectors can also help keep dust mite allergies from acting up by keeping dust mites from accumulating in the mattress. Dust mite allergies are very common and can lead to issues such as sneezing, runny nose, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Dust mites eat dead skin cells, and there will be dead skin cells (and the dust mites who eat them) in your mattress if you don’t use a protector. One person will shed enough dead skin cells every day to feed up to 1.5 million dust mites. That’s a lot of allergy triggering mites that you want to keep out of your mattress. And don’t underestimate how much of a difference that can make for sufferers of asthma. A study in the October 2004 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology points to the effectiveness of using mattress protectors to improve asthma that is sensitive to dust mites.
|Coop Home Goods Waterproof Protector||Breathable |
Bed bug proof
No vinyl or PVC
|SafeRest Waterproof Terry||Cotton terry |
|Grt Quilted Waterproof Protector||Quilted cotton alternative |
Bed bug proof
How Often Should You Replace a Mattress Protector
Generally, you should replace a mattress protector once a year or when it shows signs of excessive wear and tear. To maximize the longevity of a mattress protector, wash it twice a week or monthly, depending on how soiled it is.
Some manufacturers offer warranties similar in length to those offered on mattresses. In fact, some mattress protector manufacturers will also provide some warranty protections for the mattress itself, under certain terms and conditions.
For example, the Protect-A-Bed brand offers a 10-year warranty. For their product they will replace the mattress protector if it fails as a result of a defect in manufacturing in the course of normal usage during the Warranty Period. For commercial use the warranty period is 2 years. One Protect-A-Bed mattress protector is the Cotton Terry Cloth Premium Waterproof Mattress Protector which keeps your bed clean and comfortable, and protects you from dust mites and other allergens. Another is the BugLock Bed Bug Proof Mattress Cover 6-Sided Encasement which offers total coverage for your mattress with 6-sides of protection.
Saferest is another manufacturer that provides a 10-year warranty on some of their mattress protectors. There are also 3-year and even 15-year warranties, depending on the type of mattress protector. The Classic one is 3 years, the Premium and Perlux are both 10 years, and Renewal Bamboo is 15 years. The SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector is waterproof; its hypoallergenic cotton terry surface naturally absorbs moisture. The SafeRest Classic Plus Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector is breathable and allows air to circulate but repels liquid. It also protects against allergens, dust mites, bacteria, perspiration, urine and fluids.
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Signs That a Mattress Protector Needs to be Replaced
Many recommend replacing your mattress protector once a year. However, if your mattress protector starts to show signs of damage and you are not sleeping comfortably, you may need to replace your mattress protector sooner.
Warning signs that it’s time to replace your mattress protector include: tears, holes, or open seams. These indicate that the protective qualities of the mattress protector are compromised. Stains will also cause it to wear out faster or attract bacteria and bugs. If you start to notice that allergies are bothering you more at night, it might be that the mattress protector is no longer providing good protection against allergens.
1. Replace Your Mattress Protector When It Has Tears and Open Seams
Since mattress protectors should usually be washed at least once a month, the material can gradually wear out and start tearing or developing holes. Seams can open up. Any filling might begin to fall out. The protective and waterproof shell is compromised. And the protector can start to become uncomfortable. All these are signs that it is time to replace the mattress protector.
2. When Stains Build Up, Replace Your Mattress Protector
Sometimes children and pets might wet the bed. You might have a habit of eating and drinking in your bed. Luckily, the mattress protector prevents those liquids from going onto the mattress. A mattress protector does its job of protecting the mattress by becoming the target for the stains.
Over time, even small, seemingly inconsequential spills, like those from juice or sugary drinks, can build up and become good places for bacteria to grow if you do not wash the protector soon after. Even when you treat accidental spills and bedwetting problems right away, over time, the mattress protector can start to become stained and begin to deteriorate. Protectors will also attract the dirt, dead skin cells, dust mites, and odors that can build up. It’s time to look for a new mattress protector when you notice odors or dirt and stains accumulate that don't wash out.
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3. If Your Allergies Start Acting Up, Replace Your Mattress Protector
Although protectors are designed to protect you against allergens, with frequent washing in the machine, the material can lose its integrity and become less resistant to allergens and other bacteria. When that happens, you might start waking up with a runny nose and sore eyes. If you start to notice that you are waking up tired and with allergy symptoms, it’s time to look at your mattress protector to see if it is time to change it.
Do you know someone going off to college soon? Make sure to also take a look at our article on how to choose a mattress topper vs a mattress pad for college for more valuable information too.
How to Maximize Mattress Protector Durability and Lifespan
Over time, a mattress protector can take a lot of abuse, as it was designed to do, but that will eventually take its toll. To get the most benefit from it, you need to take care of your mattress protector and maintain it.
To maximize a mattress protector’s durability and lifespan, you should clean it regularly according to the manufacturer's directions. How often you should wash it will depend on who is using the bed and how often, the way it is used, and the environmental conditions it is used in.
If the bed is rarely used because it is a guest bed, it won't need to be cleaned often. On the other hand, most beds are used every day, and the mattress protector needs to be washed accordingly. For example, the protector on the mattress of a potty-training child is going to take more of a beating and will need to be cleaned after every accident – even if it is just a wipe down – and thoroughly deep cleaned every month or even weekly in the case of heavy soiling. We’ve got a guide about how to choose crib and cot-bed bedding in case you’re interested.
People with pets who allow them into beds will also need to clean the protector more often, as the animals simply bring more dust, hair and dirt into the bedding. People who live in hotter areas may also consider cleaning the protector a little more regularly, because they are likely to sweat more. While you are cleaning your protector, make sure you also clean and sanitize your pillow covers.
Tip 1. Follow Manufacturer’s Directions to Make Your Mattress Protector Last Longer
Mattress protectors usually have one side that is soft fabric while the other has a waterproof membrane that acts as a barrier to protect the mattress.
Make sure to check if there are special care instructions for your specific protector. Even though some brands recommend dry cleaning, you should avoid dry cleaning most mattress protectors because the harsh chemicals will destroy the waterproof lining and materials. Most mattress protectors can be safely washed and dried in your own home appliances.
We recommend that you wash the protector before placing it on your mattress. This will remove any odors or germs. It will also help with the flexibility and softness of the protector.
Tip 2. Adjusting the Laundry Temperature May Increase the Lifespan of Your Mattress Protector
Unless your manufacturer’s directions say otherwise, you can usually wash your mattress protector with other items such as sheets, towels, and clothing. You can use cold or medium water temperature with your regular detergent. However, make sure that no bleach or bleach alternative is added to your regular detergent. Bleach will destroy the waterproof membrane and weaken other materials in the protector.
Tip 3. Dry on Low Heat to Help Your Mattress Protector Last Longer
When you wash your mattress protector, use low heat to dry it. The higher heat settings will cause the protector's lining to blister and you will have to discontinue using it. The blisters will eventually split and cause leakage in those spots. Also, the blisters will be uncomfortable bumps. You'll need to replace the mattress protector sooner because it will not only be uncomfortable but will also stop protecting your mattress effectively. We've discussed how to replace a mattress protector that's uncomfortable or hot in our guide.
You should not use fabric softeners or dryer sheets on mattresses protectors. The fabric softener or dryer sheet can damage the waterproof membrane. Also, you need to be careful not to over dry the protector. You should never use an iron on the mattress protectors. The heat from the iron could cause the blisters. Heat from the dryer and iron can not only damage your mattress protector but can destroy it.
If you’re in the market for a mattress protector, take a look at our favorite waterproof mattress protectors here.