Mattress protectors, pads and encasements prolong the life of your mattress while protecting the mattress from dust, dirt, stains and more. Such covers for your mattress and box spring can be flame resistant, hypoallergenic, anti-microbial and allergen resistant to deter dust mites, pet dander and the like. Encasements are even impermeable to help stop the penetration of bedbugs through fabric.
Much like mattresses, mattress protectors, pads and encasements are available in sizes ranging from twin and twin XL to full, queen, king and California king. They also are available for cribs: A waterproof mattress protector for the crib is a practical investment that will pay for itself. Most mattress protectors, pads and encasements are machine washable so you can keep them clean and fresh. For students heading off to college, a mattress protector is an important part of any bedding ensemble but more so when the mattress is previously owned.
So, what’s the difference between a mattress encasement and a mattress pad or protector?
Generally, an encasement has six sides and fully encloses either the mattress or box spring, usually with a zipper. Pads and protectors typically have five sides and fit over the mattress like a fitted sheet. Mattress pads tend to be thicker than protectors and can provide an extra comfort layer to the mattress.
You can also purchase toppers, which are typically a few inches thick and rest atop the mattress. Toppers can be made of memory foam, latex, quilted down or cotton, or other materials and provide additional comfort.
Many types of mattress protectors, pads, encasements and toppers are available.
Types of mattress encasements:
Mattress encasements for allergy protection
For chronic allergy sufferers, there is no better solution than a full mattress encasement and box spring encasement. There are many options that offer protection from allergens such as dust, dust mites, dead skin, pet dander and pollen. A typical mattress cover cannot prevent allergens from your mattress from coming in contact with you.
Mattress encasements for bed-bug protection
People all over the world are concerned over the growing outbreak of bedbugs. While a mattress encasement will not protect your home from a bedbug infestation, it will effectively lock bedbugs out of your sleep system. Only total encasement mattress protectors with a locking zipper provide protection against bed-bugs.
Types of mattress pads and toppers
- Fitted: A fitted pad/toppers is like a thick, fitted sheet, with a bit of quilting on the top and fitted, elastic sides to make sure that the pad does not move around.
- Anchor: Anchor pads/topper are a cheaper version, covering the top of the mattress and anchored by elastic bands in the corners. One type is called Guaranteed-to-Fit that has sidewalls that expand to accommodate variations in mattress size.
- Memory foam: One type of mattress pad/topper that provides extra cushioning is the memory foam pad; this looks like a thin mattress.
- Egg crate: A foam egg-crate style of mattress pad/topper is a less expensive option for more cushioning.
- Down: Extra softness can be achieved with a down or feather type of mattress pad/topper.
- Materials: Mattress pads/toppers are available in many types of material, such as cotton, wool, polyester, organic fabric, silk, foam, down, feathers and synthetic down.