How Many Mattress Protectors Do You Need For Baby

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Do I need to buy waterproof sheets for my crib?

Hi, 32 wks here and busy getting through my baby shopping list:-) I’m sure I read somewhere that waterproof sheets aren’t really needed for newborns as that’s what their nappy is for but my mum made a valid point about vomit. do you need them incase the baby vomits? I bought a waterproof mattress protector for my cot as it was a good deal on Amazon but haven’t for my bedside crib or pram/carrycot and not sure if I need to?

Message withdrawn at poster’s request.

My dd never needed waterproof bedding. If she threw up (rarely) the sheet did the work, and the mattress was virtually untouched.

Ds puked regularly (wish I got the waterproof sheets)

Dd has puked once in 15 months (wish I hadn’t bothered buying waterproof sheets)

Sorry that’s not very helpful is it

I really couldn’t have coped with out them. Nappies can leak, and both of mine were quite sicky. Waterproof sheets were invaluable.

The advantage of a waterproof sheet under a proper cotton one is that if you have a major nappy explosion / vomit when they are in bed, the clean up is much quicker and easier than trying to deal with a wet / dirty mattress too. Just whip dirty sheet off, wipe waterproof sheet if necessary and whack on clean sheet. Then put baby back to bed.

Hippychick do nice ones with a cotton breathable cover so they aren’t sweaty and rustley.

Oh and while you’re thinking of it, buy one for your bed too! Perfect in case your waters go in bed (as they’ll ruin your mattress forever otherwise) and also v useful for post natal night sweats / bleeding / leaking breasts / baby sick / poo.

I never needed one for the cot – two layers of breathable blanket underneath the top sheet meant nothing ever got as far as the mattress. But as Shergar says, I’m planning on getting one for our bed this time round. Leaky boobs ruined our mattress!

We don’t have them and haven’t had one leak or vomit in 21 months with two babies.

I had them and found them really useful

Well you can never tell. Nappies can overflow quite suddenly! My ds nappy was always fine overnight until one morning there had been a poo explosion. I didn’t have a waterproof sheet so had to take the mattress cover off and get the poo out of it! One of mine puked a lot, the other don’t.

(Bare with me on this one. ) I was worried about my waters breaking whilst in bed with our expensive mattress and my Mum said she would keep an eye out for what she could find (plastic bed cover etc) and got me some pad type things that are meant for toddlers beds etc. They were from one of the poundshops and came with 3 in a pack. They look like the cloth/pad thing that you see people sitting on in maternity wards. Pretty decent size too as our cot is 120×60 and it covers most of the mattress. I have popped one under my bedsheet, one in the moses with the bedsheet over and the same in the cot.

I just lay a towel under them and changed it if they threw up/there was a poopocolypse

How many mattress protectors?

Maybe a silly question, but what do I need mattress protectors for? Obviously the co sleeping cot baby will use overnight and eventually the cot bed. Do I need mattress protectors for places where baby will sleep during the day (the Moses basket and pram)? How likely is baby to experience leaks during naps?!

Thanks ladies. FTM(first time mum)trying to pick up these last few bits and pieces!

Comments (14)

I’ve only got one for moses basket and one for pram but it’s just incase his nappy leaks or he’s sick. Can then whip it/sheet off and replace quickly so he’s not lying on a smelly/wet matress so maybe 2 per sleeping place.

Will often happen in middle of night so you don’t want something too complicated.

Mine came with the cotbed mattress and Noah pod mattress I bought but I’m getting one for the pram as well.

Thanks ladies. It only just occurred to me that I’ll need two – one for in the wash and one for on the cot! 🙈 This could get expensive! A cot bed mattress protector from the little green sheep is £30!

For my first born we had two protectors for bedside cot, cot and carrycot (which is what she slept in during day). We didn’t spend on branded protectors but got them fairly cheaply on Amazon. Reusing the same ones this time around.

One tip would be to have a couple of large flat sheets too; we would fold these and wrap them tightly around the mattress where my daughter’s head lay. She had reflux and was often sick, so instead of changing all of the sheets multiple times a day we could just change the folded sheet. Definitely saved my sanity.

Are Mattress Protectors Really Necessary?

If you’ve recently purchased a mattress, you might already be thinking about how to protect your investment. How can you still enjoy its breathability and comfort while still protecting it from bed bugs, allergens and liquids? What happens if you spill something on your mattress? Can you simply remove a stain by cleaning your mattress? At the end of the day,do you really need a mattress protector?

You can absolutely clean your mattress after one spill, or even every few months, but there’s no better way to protect your investment and your health than investing in mattress protection. Most quality mattress protectors fit just like a fitted sheet, and can easily be thrown in the wash along with your sheets and pillowcases. Their hypoallergenic design protects against bacteria, bed bugs, dust mites and all kinds of liquids. Plus, they keep your mattress looking and feeling new for longer.

Investing early in mattress protection can save you thousands down the line. So what’s the deal with mattress protectors and encasements, how do you find one that works for you, and are they really worth it? Check out our overview on mattress protection, along with tips for finding one that’s worth the money.

Should I get a mattress protector or a mattress encasement? What’s the difference?

Mattress protection generally comes in two categories and is typically a waterproof mattress cover that safeguards either the top layer (mattress protector) or encases the entire mattress (mattress encasement) for full protection. Either type works, but each tends to have significant differences in how they feel and function.

Mattress Protectors

Most mattress protectors cover your mattress like a fitted sheet on your bed. They don’t cover the entire mattress, but do protect it against most accidental spills, bacteria and some allergens. They’re made of water-resistant materials that still allow for considerable airflow and breathability. If you have a mattress that has cooling technology in its upper-most layers (something like the Brooklyn Aurora, for example), a mattress protector retains the benefits of this cooling technology while simultaneously protecting your investment.

Choose a mattress protector if you:

  • Want protection against most spills and allergens, but want something that’s nearly undetectable through the sheets
  • Are on a tighter budget and want to save money
  • Still plan to regularly clean your mattress to remove allergens
  • Want the ease and convenience of laundry care for something that is easily removed
Mattress Encasements

Mattress encasements are similar to protectors in that they safeguard your investment, but they’re designed for maximum protection of your health and the life of your mattress. Because mattress encasements are usually zippered and cover the entire mattress from top to bottom, they deliver 360° coverage. They’re often more durable and tend to keep out even things like bed bugs. Their full coverage can usually be felt more noticeably through the sheets. Removing them for laundering will require more effort than removing a traditional mattress protector.

Choose a mattress encasement if you:

  • Want more complete protection against both accidental spills as well as allergens and bed bugs
  • Are willing to spend a bit more for more comprehensive protection
  • Consider the mattress a “high risk” area for accidents that include bodily fluids
  • Have very sensitive skin or allergies that require extensive protection

Tips for Find a Quality Mattress Protector or Mattress Encasement

There are a variety of mattress protectors and encasements on the market today: some offer simple stain protection while others also deliver protection against allergens and irritants such as bed bugs, mold, dust mites, and dead skin. Most will be breathable and will not significantly hinder the cooling benefits of the mattress, but be cautious and read reviews to ensure your top pick does not change the overall feel on the mattress. To find a quality protector or encasement that’s worth the money, consider these tips:

Check Out Reviews

You never really know how a mattress protector or encasement will feel on your bed until you try it. For a good indicator before trial, though, take a close look at reviews. Search for words like “cooling” and “softness” to find reviews that cover the feel of the protector.

Look at Materials

Most protectors use fabrics and materials that are moisture-resistant but still allow for some breathability. Terry cloth, polyester/lycra and even vinyl are popular materials that still allow for breathability while repelling water.

Consider Length of Protection

Mattress protectors of any quality should repel liquid immediately after contact, but only some can withstand extended exposure to liquids in large amounts. Check out any reviews that talk about how long a mattress protector can keep liquid out, as well as how much. You might not need something that can repel a quart of liquid for 24 hours, though, so weigh your particular needs against those reviews. Long-lasting repelling could impact breathability.

Why use mattress protection?

Although there are many cleaning agents and tips on how to clean a mattress, it can be difficult to completely remove stains or clean the mattress entirely. Mattress protectors or encasements solve this problem by simply repelling the stains to begin. Mattress protection products absorb or repel liquids and allergens and are easily washable in the washer and dryer. Protecting the integrity of your mattress and having a fresh surface to sleep on ensures you are healthier and happier in the long run.

Using a mattress protection product is often recommended to individuals who have significantly sensitive skin or chronic allergies. A quality mattress protector or encasement can provide that extra layer of protection that you need to avoid flare-ups triggered by common allergens and irritants like dust mites and bed bugs. Mattress protection is commonly used in nurseries and health care facilities, primarily because both protectors and encasements easily cleaned and sanitized.

Need mattress protection that’s both breathable and durable?Check out the Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector or the Brooklyn Bedding Mattress Encasement.

Do I Need a Mattress Protector?

A mattress protector might be the most important accessory to have for your mattress. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what a mattress protector does. Often, when I bring up a mattress protector when selling a mattress, I get an immediate “no” as soon as I start talking, the customer fearing being “upsold.” Other times, the customer laughs and proclaims proudly that they don’t “pee the bed,” not realizing all of the other fluids that the human body produces. It baffles me that so many people sleep on mattress without a mattress protector. So what does a mattress protector do?

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What does a mattress protector do?

A mattress protector accomplishes four things:

  • Keeps the mattress clean.Human bodies are pretty gross. We all perspire at night. We all produce oil from our skins. Some of us wear makeup. We all also shed dead skin cells. There are other activities that can produce a “wet spot” on the bed. All of this can soak through your sheets and into the mattress. Once a little gets into your mattress, it’s almost impossible to get it out of your mattress. A mattress protector prevents any of that from getting into the mattress and can be taken off and washed.
  • Keeps the mattress feeling in “like new” condition for longer.Perspiration (or any moisture, like spilling a drink) will wear down the foams in the mattress, shortening the comfort life. It’s a similar effect to a kitchen sponge after too many uses. Even if only a little moisture gets through, after years of every night use that adds up. You will need to replace your mattress more quickly without the protector.
  • Helps prevent dust mite allergies from acting up.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 in your mattress if you don’t use a protector.
  • Helps protect the warranty.As I mentioned in my warranty post, a stain will void the warranty. Even if the stain has nothing to do with the warranty issue, it still voids the warranty.

For all those reasons, everybody needs a mattress protector.

A mattress protector is different than a mattress pad. Mattress pads generally add some level of padding to the mattress (hence the name,) and is not generally waterproof. Mattress protectors are thin, won’t change the feel of the mattress, and are waterproof. If you buy the correct mattress, you won’t need any extra padding on the mattress, and you get to use the thin, waterproof mattress protector instead.

There are also mattress toppers, which are even thicker than mattress pads. If you use a foam topper, I’d recommend using the mattress protector over the topper, such that it covers both the topper and the mattress.

Types of mattress protectors

There are a few types of mattress protectors. The best protectors will have some sort of performance fabric on the top to wick away heat and moisture from the body. These tend to be the most expensive, but are great for people who sweat a lot at night. These are both waterproof and breathable. An example of this is the Bedgear Dri-Tec protector. This is the one I use.

If you’re concerned about your bedding being all organic, Naturepedic sells organic mattress protectors here.

Another type of protector will also be waterproof and breathable, but won’t have the performance fabric on the top. This tends to be more moderately priced, but has most of the function of the most expensive ones. An example of this is the Protect-A-Bed Premium.

The cheapest type of protector are the ones that feel more like plastic. These tends to be less breathable, and some are less durable but these are less expensive. At the bare minimum, everybody needs at least something like the SafeRest protector, which gets very high reviews on Amazon.


Everybody needs some type of mattress protector on their mattress. Having a mattress without a protector is like having an expensive smartphone without a case. If you don’t have one, get one, even if it’s the cheap one for $30. It’s more sanitary and it could protect your investment, which may have been $1000 or more.

Crib Mattress Pad Safety

A mattress pad helps protect your baby’s crib mattress from damage. When you use a crib mattress pad correctly, it doesn’t pose a danger to your baby. If the pad isn’t used properly, however, it can increase your baby’s risk of injury and even death. Learning exactly how to use crib mattress pads can protect your little one’s mattress and also ensure that he’s safe while sleeping in his crib.


A crib mattress pad is a waterproof cover that helps protect your baby’s crib mattress. The pad creates a barrier that protects the mattress from accidents, such as diaper leaks and spit-up, which can leach into a fabric mattress and lead to odors and unsightly stains. The mattress pad also adds a layer of padding to the crib, which can make your baby more comfortable while he’s sleeping.

Potential Dangers

When a mattress pad isn’t used correctly, it can pose a suffocation hazard. If the pad isn’t fitted tightly around the mattress, it can come loose. If your baby’s face gets caught in the loose pad, it could cause suffocation. The same applies if you use a mattress pad that is just placed on top of the mattress but doesn’t have a fitted crib sheet placed over it. These types of mattress pads don’t fit around the mattress, which means they can move around and get caught over your baby’s mouth and nose. For the same reason, smaller mattress pads, often called burp pads or lap pads, shouldn’t be used without a crib sheet fitted over them.

Proper Installation

Choose a mattress pad that is designed for a crib 2. The mattress pad should fit tightly around the mattress by wrapping around the sides and corners so that the edges of the mattress pad fit snugly underneath the crib mattress. If you use a mattress pad without sides, lay it over the crib mattress and then place a tight-fitting crib sheet over the mattress pad so that it doesn’t shift. If you use a smaller burp or lap pad, place it where your baby usually sleeps and then put a tight-fitting crib sheet over the mattress and the pad.

Tips and Considerations

Mattress pads aren’t always tested for safety and, according to its website, "Consumer Reports" hasn’t tested any crib mattress pads. Keep in mind that crib mattress pads aren’t absolutely necessary either. For example, if you use a plastic-lined crib mattress, you probably don’t need the pad to protect the mattress. If you decide to use mattress pads, consider purchasing two. That way, you’ll have a clean spare on hand if you need to change and wash the first one.

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