Do I need a mattress and pillow protector?

22 March 2023 | 5 Minute Read - Words By Joanne
Maintain the quality of your mattress and pillow with a mattress and pillow protector from Belledorm. Find out why you should get one and how to pick the ideal one for your bedding.

Table of Contents

  1. Mattress Protectors
  2. Pillow Protectors
  3. FAQs
  4. Final Thoughts

Many people disregard mattress and pillow protectors as unnecessary bedding accessories. If you've got a bed sheet and pillowcases, why invest in mattress and pillow protectors? Obviously, these accessories are designed to protect your pillows and mattress. They prevent dirt from building up and keep your mattress and pillows looking as good as new.

Plus, there are many other benefits of investing in mattress and pillow protectors. These accessories can improve your sleep quality massively, from reducing allergies to creating a cooler environment.

In this guide, we'll take a look at the many benefits of pillow and mattress protectors and why you shouldn't sleep without them.

Mattress Protectors

Besides the bed frame itself, your mattress is the most valuable component of your bed. It's also the second most expensive. While pillows can easily be rearranged to meet your comfort requirements, there's little you can do with an uncomfortable mattress. Sheets can only take you so far - you need a mattress protector if you really want to be comfortable.

What is a mattress protector and how does it work?

A mattress protector is a layer of padding covering your mattress's surface. Premium protectors cover the entire top and sides of your mattress, much like a standard bedsheet. Cheaper mattress protectors will only cover the top layer. When making your bed, you should put your bedsheet on top of your mattress protector.

A mattress protector should not be confused with a mattress pad. The latter doesn't provide the same amount of mattress protection and is designed specifically to make your bed more comfortable.

Mattress protectors must be washed once every two months. They are machine washable, meaning you can wash them alongside the rest of your bedding.

Do I need a mattress protector?

Mattress protectors may not be as essential as a bedsheet, but they provide many similarly important benefits. They ensure bed hygiene is maintained, increase the longevity of your mattress, and add an additional layer of comfort.

So, while you may not need a mattress protector, it's highly recommended if you want to improve your sleep quality.

The different types of mattress protectors

The main types of protectors are:

  • Cotton/breathable - Cotton protectors provide a cooling effect and add an additional layer of comfort. If you overheat at night, this mattress protector can wick the sweat off your body and keep you cool. These breathable and naturally soft protectors help you reach a cool and comfortable sleeping position.

  • Waterproof - A waterproof mattress protector helps prevent stains and moisture from soaking into your mattress. Most mattresses tend to be water resistant - which is very different from being 100% waterproof. This style of protector features a waterproof TPU backing to prevent liquid from reaching your mattress.

  • Anti-allergy - These mattress protectors feature antibacterial protection, which keeps allergens and irritants away from you while you sleep. This protector type is recommended for those who suffer from asthma and allergies.

It's important to note that some protectors fit into more than one of the above categories. For example, you can get mattress protectors that are both cotton and waterproof.

The benefits of a mattress protector

If you're about to buy a new mattress, consider getting a protector for the following reasons:

Keeps your mattress clean

The most important benefit of having a mattress protector is that it keeps your mattress as good as new. Even if you don't eat and drink in bed, there are many ways dirt can build up and ruin your mattress. Sweat, natural body oils and makeup can stain and even ruin mattresses for good. Over time, you'll see stain spots appear on your mattress even if you're careful.

Once your mattress has been stained it can be difficult to restore it. Not only are stains unsightly, but they also deteriorate your mattress over time. A mattress protector will prevent these stains from forming.


With a mattress protector in place, your mattress will stay in top condition for longer. As aforementioned, sweat and other fluids can ruin the quality of your mattress foam over time. Eventually, your mattress will grow lumpy and uncomfortable.

A mattress protector can increase the lifespan of your mattress, sometimes to well over a decade.


By keeping your mattress clean, a protector also keeps the bed bugs away. Bugs and dust mites don't thrive in a clean environment - quite the opposite. They are less likely to settle on a protected mattress.

Transform an old mattress

If your mattress is already damaged, a protector could be the extra layer you're looking for to restore your bed to maximum comfort. Besides keeping dust mites at bay and ensuring your mattress stays clean, protectors are also very comfy. Overall, this allows for a healthier sleep.

Pillow Protectors

Like protectors for your mattress, pillow protectors help you keep your sleeping area germ, dirt, and dust free. Your pillow is more susceptible to staining and debris than your mattress is, as your face touches it all night. Pillow protectors act as an effective barrier between dirt particles and your pillow. They also give your head an extra layer of comfort.

What are pillow protectors and how do they work?

A pillow protector is like a jacket into which you can slip your pillow. This should be the first layer of protection around your pillow (your pillowcase should go on top of the protector). These bedding accessories can be found in a range of materials.

Pillow protectors are machine washable and can be washed with the rest of your bedding. We'd recommend washing them at least once a month.

Do I need pillow protectors?

If you've invested in expensive pillows and you want to get your money's worth, we'd definitely recommend buying pillow protectors. Pillows have a much shorter life expectancy than mattresses.

Even the most premium pillows will lose their softness and comfiness after about two years. If you want to extend this lifespan, get pillow protectors as soon as possible!

Different types of pillow protectors

There are various pillow protector styles available, including the following:

  • Cotton/cooling - This type of protector keeps your body temperature regulated, with the fabric being both breathable and comfortable. If you get particularly hot and sweaty during the night, a cotton protector will ensure your bedding stays drier and more comfortable. It also shields pillows from sweat and saliva stains.

  • Hypoallergenic - These are particularly good for those who suffer from allergies. It also provides extra resistance against dust mites and bed bugs. With this on, your pillow will feel fresh and clean for longer.

  • Waterproof - All pillow protectors provide some degree of water resistance. However, it's possible to go a step further by buying a 100% waterproof protector. If you like to drink water in bed, this protector should ensure that no spillages reach the pillow.

The benefits of pillow protectors

A pillowcase only provides so much protection to your pillow. You need a separate protector to enjoy the following benefits:

Stain protection

Pillow protectors act as an effective barrier between your sweat, saliva, and debris and your pillow. When you remove the protector, your pillow will look and feel just as it did when you bought it.


A standard pillow lasts around two years. If you eat and drink in bed, your pillow will likely lose its form and comfiness in under two years. With a protector in place, however, your pillow will still feel fresh after two years.

Protection from wear and tear

Your pillow gets moved around a lot more than your mattress during the night, which will eventually cause wear and tear, even if you're careful to keep it clean. With a protector on, your pillow is less likely to split and break apart.

Add comfort

Adding extra padding to your pillows sometimes reduces their breathability. With a pillow protector, you can add extra layers to your pillow that maintain and regulate your body temperature.


Do you need a mattress protector and a mattress topper?

If you want to keep your sleeping area hygienic, you should get a mattress protector. If you want to get the best quality sleep possible, you should get a mattress topper.

Do pillow protectors change the feel of your pillow?

A pillow protector may change the feel of your pillow, but only in a good way. If your pillow is already comfortable, a protector is only going to enhance this. Pillow protectors will never make your pillow feel worse - if they do, they're evidently poor quality.

Final Thoughts

Don't just invest in a mattress pad. Your pillows and mattress need an extra layer of protection to keep them stain-free and comfortable. When it comes to common stains, a mattress pad or a bed sheet won't provide the right level of protection you require. You need a mattress and pillow protector to shield your bedding and keep it grime-free.

At Belledorm, we offer a range of different mattress and pillow protectors, which you can buy separately or as part of a set. From waterproof protectors for your pillows to 100% cotton protectors for your mattress, you'll find all you need at Belledorm!

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