How Many Waterproof Mattress Pads Do I Need

Home   /   How Many Waterproof Mattress Pads Do I Need

Mattress Protectors and Pads: Do You Need One?

I never thought much about mattresses until I had to buy one for the first time.Not only was the choice overwhelming – there are so many types – but the price tag was no joke.

Like any big investment, I wanted to dowhatever I could to keep my mattress is good condition.

What I discovered after researching ways to keep my mattress clean and comfortable is this:people need a mattress protector but mattress pads – and toppers – are (mostly) optional.

Why People Need A Mattress Protector

Covering a mattress with a protector isan easy and affordable way to protect the mattress and extend its lifespanfor as long as possible.

Mattress protectors arethin pieces of bedding material that fit around the mattress– some go on like a fitted sheet and others encase the mattress completely.

How a protector benefits people:

Waterproofing:Many mattress warranties will be voided if people stain their mattress. Encasing one’s mattress in a waterproof protector will help keep it free from water damage and potential stains.

People probably think that they are a neat and tidy person who won’t spill anything in bed. Let this be a gentle reminder that mistakes and accidents happen. Using a mattress protector could potentially save people some serious cash.

Preventing Allergens:Protectors provide a barrier that prevents dust mites and other allergens (molds, dead skin cells, etc.) from collecting in the mattress. This will increase the longevity of the mattress and make it a healthier place to sleep.

Protect Against Bed Bugs:Protectors also provide a barrier against the dreaded Bed Bug. Bed Bugs are tiny insects that feed on human blood (and other warm-blooded animals). Needless to say, you don’t want them setting up shop anywhere near you – let alone the mattress.

Temperature Control:Some mattress protectors come with specialized fabric and materials that help breathability and temperature regulation while people sleep.

Providing Additional Comfort:Protectors come in a wide variety. Some offer added quilting or fabric that adds a soft layer in between the mattress and the bedding.

Mattress protectorscome in a range of prices, some for less than $10and others that cost hundreds (depending on size and functionality).

Check out Mattress Clarity’s mattress protector reviews here.

But What About A Mattress Pad?

The main purpose of a mattress pad is toprovide additional comfort to the mattress top.

The pad typically covers the top surface of the mattress and lays in between a mattress (or mattress protector) and bedding.

Typically,new mattresses are super comfortable and will not require an additional mattress pad.

However, some mattress pads have waterproof and hypoallergenic properties along with extra cushioning which may make them worth the added purchase.

Here are some additionalreasons people may consider a mattress pad:

  • You need additional support and/or comfort or customization for medical reasons
  • Your mattress is too firm – you can add a mattress pad or topper to adjust the firmness
  • Your current mattress is older and no longer comfortable but you are not ready to replace it
  • You want to waterproof/protect your bed but you don’t want a mattress protector
  • Your mattress protector makes noise and you want to muffle it with a comfortable mattress pad

Mattress pads tend to be a little more expensive than mattress protectors – butsome can be found for less than $20.

…Or a Mattress Topper?

If people think of bedding as a giant family –mattress toppers and mattress pads would be sisters. Both are intended tobring an extra layer of comfort and support,enhancing the mattress and quality of sleep.

More and more often we see mattress pads that offer waterproof or hypoallergenic options in addition to comfort. While they can be heavily quilted and thick, they can also be made of thinner fabric and materials.

Mattress toppers, however, are pretty muchproduced solely for additional comfort and luxury.They almost always sit just on top of the mattress and tend to be on the thicker/ more plush side.

Toppers can range in price as well buttend to be closer in price to mattress pads than protectors.There are many options available for less than $100 but they can be fairly expensive.

Subscribe to Mattress Clarity!

Get special coupons, discounts, and giveaways!

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

The Best Waterproof Mattress Pads and Protectors – Reviews and Buying Guide

Our Research

Mattress Pads and Protectors Considered
Hours of Research
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

One of the biggest threats to the lifespan of a mattress is a nasty spill or accident. The introduction of moisture to a mattress can lead to stains, mold, and other degradation that erodes the longevity of your bed. Whether you’ve just purchased a new mattress or are trying to make an older one last as long as possible, a waterproof mattress pad or protector can help prevent this kind of damage.

Best Waterproof Mattress Pads and Protectors
  • Editor’s Pick – Nectar Mattress Protector
  • Best for Cooling – Bear Protector
  • Best for Added Comfort – Helix Mattress Protector
  • Best Organic Option – PlushBeds Organic Cotton Mattress Protector
  • Best Value – SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector
  • Best Luxury – Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector

There are numerous waterproof products on the market and considerable diversity in the quality and cost of these products. In this guide, we’ll give an overview of the benefits of a waterproof mattress pad or protector, discuss tips for how to choose one, and provide a list of the best waterproof mattress pads and protectors available to you right now.

The picks listed below are based on verified owner and customer experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

  • 100% waterproof material
  • 22" pocket depth
  • Padded cotton top for extra softness
  • 50-night sleep trial and 5-year warranty

  • HeiQ Adaptive Fabric keeps you cool and dry
  • 20" pocket depth
  • Compatible with mattresses that have Celliant technology
  • 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty

  • Stretchy polyester cover adds softness
  • 14" pocket depth
  • Breathable surface maintains airflow and keeps you dry
  • 100-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty

  • Certified organic cotton jersey with polyurethane laminate
  • 14" pocket depth
  • Available in 8 sizes
  • 5-year warranty


  • 100% waterproof material
  • 22" pocket depth
  • Padded cotton top for extra softness
  • 50-night sleep trial and 5-year warranty

Tuck readers can purchase a Nectar Mattress Protector at the lowest available price

Editor’s Pick Overview

The Nectar Mattress Protector is our standout pick for several reasons. The product effectively protects beds against dirt, dust, and allergens. In addition to being waterproof, the protector is also stain-resistant; owners do not need to worry about liquids seeping through and damaging the mattress. Thanks to a cotton cover and quilted surface, the protector also feels soft and provides noticeable padding.

The Nectar Mattress Protector can be washed and dried in conventional machines, making it fairly low-maintenance in terms of care. It also fits most beds sold today thanks to its 22? pocket depth, which is much deeper than the average protector.

Currently, the product is available for $99, which is cheaper than average. Nectar Sleep also offers free shipping in the contiguous U.S., and backs the protector with a 50-night trial and a five-year warranty.

Best for Cooling – Bear Protector


  • HeiQ Adaptive Fabric keeps you cool and dry
  • 20" pocket depth
  • Compatible with mattresses that have Celliant technology
  • 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty

Tuck readers get 20% off the Bear Protector with code: TUCK20

Best Cooling Overview

The Bear Protector is a good pick for anyone who wants a pad that can protect their mattress from spills and keep them cool and comfortable through the night. Using HeiQ Adaptive Fabric, the protector holds up well against all kind of spills.

The material is also breathable, helping to wick moisture and excess heat away from the sleeper’s body. For people who use mattresses with Celliant technology (such as the Bear Mattress), this pad is compatible and does not interrupt the infrared energy and heat transfer from that material.

With its soft surface and special non-polyurethane material, the Bear Protector stays extremely quiet even when you move on it. It also provides a defense against allergens and dust, and stretches to cover mattresses up to 20” tall. Bear offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. The protector is backed by a 100-night trial and 10-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.

Best for Added Comfort – Helix Mattress Protector


  • Stretchy polyester cover adds softness
  • 14" pocket depth
  • Breathable surface maintains airflow and keeps you dry
  • 100-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty

Tuck readers can purchase the Helix Mattress Protector at the lowest price

Best for Added Comfort Overview

The Helix Mattress Protector is made from a combination of polyester and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). The polyester in the top layer is extra soft; even though it is a thin layer of material, it provides added cushioning without changing the overall feel of the mattress.

The TPU is a strong waterproofing material that will keep your mattress safe from stains and moisture. Skirting goes around the sides to hold the pad in place, and the material is virtually noiseless, preventing the crinkly sound associated with some other mattress protectors.

It can be machine washed and dried, so any spills are easy to resolve. Helix offers free shipping to all 50 states; the protector is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty.

Best Organic Option – PlushBeds Organic Cotton Mattress Protector


  • Certified organic cotton jersey with polyurethane laminate
  • 14" pocket depth
  • Available in 8 sizes
  • 5-year warranty

Buy a PlushBeds Organic Cotton Mattress Protector at the lowest available price

Best Organic Option Overview

The PlushBeds Organic Cotton Mattress Protector offers a different feel from other waterproof covers. It is made of GOTS-certified organic cotton with a thin strip of polyurethane laminate to safeguard against water and other liquid spills.

As a result, the protector feels much softer and less slippery than those made entirely from polyurethane or similar synthetics. The organic cotton is also highly breathable, which can be beneficial for hot sleepers.

PlushBeds does not treat the protector with any chemicals or dyes, and the protector comes in eco-friendly biodegradable packaging made from corn and hemp. The pocket depth is 14?, meaning the protector will fit most high-profile mattresses. It can be washed and dried in a machine, as well. PlushBeds offers free shipping in the contiguous U.S. and backs the protector with a five-year warranty.

Best Value – SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector


  • Laminated polyurethane backing creates stable waterproof seal
  • 18" pocket depth
  • Soft cotton-terry and polyester cover
  • 10-year warranty

Tuck readers get the best price on their SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector

Best Value Overview

Our Best Value pick is the SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector. Its price is significantly lower than most competing waterproof pads and protectors, but it offers reliable protection and decent durability for its price-point.

Its construction is generally simpler than the other pads on our list: The cover, made of cotton and polyester, offers some padding, while the fortified backing made of laminated polyurethane keeps liquid and moisture away from the bed.

This pad won’t affect the feel of the mattress and produces minimal noise. The material in the pad also holds up well with washing, which can be done in the washing machine. SafeRest also backs the product with a 10-year replacement warranty.

Best Luxury – Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector


  • Breathable protection for hot sleepers
  • 14"pocket depth
  • Stain-resistant and easy to clean
  • 30-night sleep trial

Buy the Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector at the lowest available price

Best Luxury Overview

In addition to protecting mattresses from water and other liquid spills, the Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector from Brooklyn Bedding – our Best Luxury pick – also sleeps noticeably cooler than many competing protectors. The thin surface draws body heat away from sleepers, resulting in consistently comfortable sleep temperatures.

The protector also safeguards the bed from dust mites and other allergens, as well as bacteria and bed bug infestation. The protector has the same knit cover as the Brooklyn Aurora mattress. It can be washed and dried in conventional machines, making it fairly low-maintenance. The protector has a 14? pocket depth and can be used with the majority of mattresses sold today.

Prices range from $99 to $149, depending on the selected size. Brooklyn Bedding offers free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. and backs the protector with a 30-night sleep trial.

Buying Guide – How to Shop for Waterproof Mattress Pads and Protectors

Whether you’re currently in the marker for a waterproof mattress protector, or interested in learning why one may be a good investment, this guide will give an overview of the benefits and provide the information you need to help identify the best purchase option for your home.

Why Buy a Waterproof Mattress Pad or Protector?

Your mattress is a serious investment, and a mattress pad or protector can provide some insurance for your purchase. If you take a close look at your mattress warranty, odds are it doesn’t cover damage caused by moisture or spills. As a result, a pad or protector can be a cost-effective way to protect your mattress.

This added protection can help extend the life of your mattress by lowering the risk of mold and mildew buildup caused by moisture getting into the mattress. Of course, it’s great for keeping those unwanted stains out of your mattress as well. And for people who may have issues with incontinence or children who occasionally wet the bed, a mattress protector can help there, too.

Additionally, using a waterproof pad or protector reduces the build-up of allergens and other particles in your mattress. Keep an eye out for a hypoallergenic pads if this is an important feature for you.

And finally, a waterproof pad or protector makes cleanup so much simpler. When an accident occurs, just remove the protector and any bedding and throw them in the wash.

Key Considerations for Waterproof Pad/Protector Shoppers

As you compare and contrast your options, it can be useful to know about some of the factors that allow you to differentiate between the various mattress pads and protectors on the market.


There are four general styles of waterproof mattress pads and protectors available.

  • Fitted sheet:These go over the top and sides of the mattress and use a fitted corner to help secure the protector in place. This works the same way as a standard fitted sheet with the main difference being that a waterproof protector has a specialized backing to protect the bed.
  • Six-sided protector:This encases all six sides of the mattress and is normally sealed with a zipper. This is the most complete form of protection for the mattress and may be referred to as a mattress encasement. These tend to be especially useful for people who have concerns about bed bugs or allergens.
  • Fitted pad:This is similar to the fitted sheet except that there is a thicker material on top that generally provides a softer feel than the simple fitted-sheet style protector.
  • Pad:Pads are designed to offer protection to a specific area on the bed and are often placed above the bedsheet. Unlike other options, you aren’t able to secure pads in place.


Fabrics used in waterproof pads and protectors can be classified in two categories: The top cover and the waterproof backing. Materials that are often used in the top cover include:

  • Cotton:This material is generally soft and smooth and for that reason employed in a huge variety of textiles like clothes and bedding. But cotton is also absorbent, so it needs a strong waterproof backing to work well in a protector or pad.
  • Polyester:This synthetic material can be produced to have different feels, but the most common have some softness (though less than cotton) but with more breathability and less absorption.
  • Rayon:Rayon is a semi-synthetic material (made from natural materials but using various chemicals) that often has a smooth, cooling, and breathable feel.
  • Lyocell:This is a wood-pulp based textile often marketed as Tencel. It tends to have a soft feel; and though not fully waterproof, does hold up better against liquids.
  • Blends:It’s not uncommon to find blends of the materials listed above. Manufacturers may compose these blends to provide a specific feel or performance of the fabric.

Pads and protectors use an adhesive to apply a waterproof backing to the topmost fabric. Some of the waterproofing materials that may be used include:

  • Vinyl:Vinyl maintains a powerful waterproof seal and is highly effective as a backing in pads and protectors. However, many vinyl products contain phthalates, which raise some health concerns, especially for pregnant women and children. However, some vinyl products are sold as phthalate-free.
  • Polyurethane:This is a plastic polymer material often used for waterproofing. It can be laminated or thermally bonded to a fabric to hold it in place. Thermally-bonded polyurethane may also be referred to as TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane).

Cleaning and Care

It’s important to know about the cleaning process for any mattress pad or protector. Most can be washed and dried in the washing machine, but it’s important to use low temperatures. This is because high temperatures can degrade the adhesives that are necessary to maintain the waterproof backing. You can also hand wash and line dry the pads and protectors. W

hen necessary, such as in the case of spills, you can easily spot clean most pads and protectors with a mild soap.

The more you wash a pad or protector, the faster it will start to break down. That said, you still want to try to have a somewhat regular schedule for washing it. You don’t want or need to wash it as often as your normal sheets, but it can be good to clean it so that there is no buildup of dust or odor.

In addition, always remember to check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning because there can be some variation from product to product. Following these instructions carefully can help extend the life of your purchase.


Mattress pads and protectors eventually wear out as the top layer and/or the waterproof backing gives out. This usually happens from washing, which causes slow degradation of these materials. Depending on how frequently you wash your pad or protector, you can expect it to last anywhere from several months to years.

Expected lifespan can also depend on the materials and their quality since poorly produced adhesives will be more inclined to wear away rapidly. If you notice the material wearing thin or failing to protect against spills, it’s time to consider replacing your pad or protector.

Other Important Factors

Now that you know the key components of a waterproof pad or protector, it’s time to review some of other considerations when looking to purchase this product.

  • Noise:Some materials used for these products can make noise when you move on top of them. This tends to be more of an issue with pads that have a more plastic-like feel. Materials like cotton and blended synthetics tend to be quieter.
  • Breathability:For people who are worried about sleeping hot, look for materials that can promote breathability, such as rayon or synthetic blends. These can help avoid heat retention in a mattress pad. Some pads may also have specific materials intended to promote cooling.
  • Comfort:The amount of thickness of the top of the pad or protector can affect how your bed will feel. If it’s a thin protector, it probably won’t affect comfort as it fits underneath your sheets. But a pad with a thicker top may be able to protect your mattress and add softness and comfort at the same time.
  • Bed bug protection:If you are wanting a shield to protect your mattress from bed bugs, look for an encasement that protects all 6 sides of the mattress with a zippered closure.
  • Allergens:While most pads and protectors reduce allergen buildup, if you are highly sensitive to allergens, a full encasement is usually the most powerful product available to you.
  • Return policy:Some pads or protectors come with an in-home sleep trial, but many do not offer any kinds of returns. Check with the seller before making your purchase to find out what your rights are for making a return.
  • Warranty:Some protectors are sold with a warranty ranging from 1 to 10 years. Some warranties have so many exclusions as to make them of limited use, but it’s worth reading the fine print to see what is and is not covered.

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.

What do I need for my baby’s crib?

For your baby’s crib you’ll need:

  • 1 quilted mattress pad
  • At least 2 fitted crib sheets (smaller sizes are sold for cradles, bassinets, or port-a-cribs)
  • 2-4 waterproof mattress pads or waterproof sheets

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on October 26, 2018

FDA: “Should You Put Sunscreen on Infants? Not Usually.”

FDA: “Should You Put Sunscreen on Infants? Not Usually.”


What else do you need if you choose to use a waterproof sheet savers for your baby’s crib?



More Answers On Women’s Health

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Add a Comment: