Mattress protectors and pads can be a great way to safeguard your new organic mattress, make a mattress more comfortable, or extend its useful life. Here is everything you need to know about buying a safe, non-toxic mattress pad or protector you can trust.
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It takes time and effort to find a mattress you truly love. And once you’ve found it, you’ll want to protect it. On the flip side, you might find your mattress (new or old) doesn’t quite feel as plush as you’d like. In this part of the Leaf Score Guide to Non-Toxic Bedding, we look at non-toxic, organic mattress protectors and pads – when and why you might want one, and what to look for to keep your mattress clean and comfortable for years to come.
All about organic mattress protectors and pads
Mattress protectors and pads can be a great way to safeguard your new organic mattress, make a mattress more comfortable, or extend its useful life.
Although they can look quite similar, mattress protectors and pads have different purposes.
- A mattress pad adds a layer of cushioning or otherwise changes the feel of a mattress’s surface.
- A mattress protector acts as a barrier against spills, stains, allergens, and bed bugs, depending on its construction.
In other words, as well as being useful for keeping things out of a mattress, mattress protectors can also help to keep things in mattresses (to prevent off-gassing or the spread of infestation, for instance).
Mattress pads also offer a little extra protection to your mattress but are most useful for:
- Improving mattress breathability
- Relieving pressure points
- Helping you stay cool and dry for a more restful sleep
- Extending the life of your mattress.
Types of mattress pads and protectors
To make sure you’re getting the right kind of protection or padding, we explore different types of mattress protectors and pads, including:
- Cotton mattress protectors
- Wool mattress protectors
- Waterproof mattress protectors
- Bed bug and dust mite proof mattress encasements
- Wool mattress pads
- Cotton mattress pads.
Each type of protection and pad has its pros and cons. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision to keep your mattress in good shape and feeling great for longer.
A good mattress protector can cost a few hundred dollars, which might make you wonder: Is it worth the money?
For most of us, the answer is a resounding YES!
My reasoning is threefold:
- Mattresses are expensive – a protector can help prevent you having to buy a new one prematurely
- Mattresses eat up a lot of resources – replacing one after avoidable damage is wasteful and unsustainable
- Mattresses without a protector can become unhygienic, and unhealthy – mold, mildew, bed bugs, and other nasty surprises can lurk in unprotected mattresses.
A non-toxic, organic mattress is often one of the most expensive things we ever buy. Spending a little extra now to protect it can save you thousands of dollars in the future.
As for mattress pads, these are certainly worth the investment if you’re struggling to get good sleep on your current mattress, want on-the-go comfort when traveling, or like to offer guests adaptable comfort and greater pressure relief.
Find out more about why I think mattress protectors and pads are worth the cost here.
Now we know the what and the why, here’s how to choose an organic mattress pad or protector that is non-toxic and eco-friendly.
Choosing an organic mattress protector and pad
At Leaf Score, we always advocate for non-toxic, safe, and sustainable products. That means we strongly recommend organic mattress protectors and pads. While organic cotton and organic wool pads are readily available, it’s much harder to find a fully natural, organic mattress protector.
The trouble is that very few natural materials afford the kind of protection a mattress sometimes needs. The compromise is to find products that incorporate effective synthetic materials that are less harmful to people and planet. Ideally, these products only use the minimum amount of these synthetic materials necessary to make the protector useful.
In this part of our Guide to Non-Toxic Bedding, we look at a variety of important considerations when choosing a mattress protector or pad, including:
- Size, shape, and fit
- Care and maintenance.
Check out factors to consider when choosing a mattress pad here. For mattress protectors, here are the most important questions to think through before taking the plunge.
While most of our focus is on mattress protectors and pads for full-size mattresses, we also take a moment to ask: Are waterproof mattress protectors safe for babies?
Green certifications for mattress protectors and pads
As with every other section in our Guide to Non-Toxic Bedding, we take a look at the green certifications that matter when choosing a mattress pad or protector.
Unsurprisingly, some less scrupulous bedding companies try to greenwash their products with meaningless ‘eco’ certifications. Some even use invalid or expired certification IDs to make it look like a mattress pad is more green than it actually is.
So you can be sure that our top picks for mattress protectors and pads are genuinely organic and non-toxic, we:
- Ask companies the awkward questions
- Check every ID against the relevant database
- Only recommend products that pass our rigorous screening process.
That way, you can spend less time scrolling the Internet and more time sleeping comfortably.
Recommendations and reviews
Finally, we weave together hundreds of hours of research with personal experience to compile our recommendations for the best:
- Waterproof mattress protectors
- Dust mite and bed bug mattress protectors
- Non-toxic mattress pads.
We also offers in-depth reviews of the best organic mattress protectors and pads, many of which are tried and tested by the Leaf Score team. (I love to drink tea in bed, have an old and sometime incontinent dog, and I co-sleep part of the night with my toddler, so a good mattress protector is essential for me.)
Final thoughts on organic mattress protectors and pads
No matter how generous the company, most mattresses, organic or otherwise, don’t come with a warranty that covers accidental spills or bed bug infestations. In fact, some mattress companies only honor their warranty if you can show that you used an effective mattress protector with the mattress!
All of this means you’ll want to take reasonable steps to protect your mattress from damage that can render it unusable and non-returnable.
A good quality mattress protector is worth the cost, while a mattress pad can help protect your investment and make a mattress more comfortable. Use this part of our Guide to Non-Toxic Bedding to find a mattress pad or protector that meets your needs, so you can rest easy, even if you do like to drink tea in bed at night, like me.