Infestations of bed bugs can cause significant frustration, anxiety, and lost sleep. A key part of preventing and treating bed bugs is encasing your mattress in a protective cover. The right mattress cover seals out bugs and allergens so you can sleep soundly and pest-free. This comprehensive guide explains what to look for when shopping for the best bed bug mattress cover and recommends the top-rated options for getting lasting relief.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on human blood, usually at night. During the day, they hide in dark crevices in furniture, especially mattresses and bed frames. Their bites can cause red, itchy welts on the skin. And they can be extremely difficult to get rid of once established.
Encasing your mattress in a protective cover offers these important benefits:
- Creates a barrier to prevent bed bugs from infesting your mattress
- Traps any bed bugs inside to starve them *Prevents bugs from spreading to other areas of your home *Allows use of chemical and heat treatments more safely on your mattress *Provides relief from biting and reinfestation *Extends the life of your mattress
Mattress covers combined with professional pest control provide the most effective solution to get rid of bed bugs and keep them out long-term.
What To Look For in a Bed Bug Mattress Cover
With many mattress covers on the market claiming bed bug protection, it’s important to know what features provide true defense against these stubborn pests:
Tight Zippered Closure
A zippered closure seals the entire cover and prevents any openings for bugs to get inside. Make sure it zips smoothly and completely. Some covers also have a Velcro flap over the zipper for extra security.
No Holes or Gaps
Holes from stitches or gaps along seams give bed bugs entry points into the cover’s interior and your mattress. The best covers are seamless or have double or triple stitching for maximum protection.
The cover should fit your mattress tightly with no loose areas around the edges or ends for bugs to crawl under. Elasticized edges and fitted style help prevent gaps.
Bed Bug Proof Materials
Materials like micro-fine polyester, vinyl or polyethylene resist bed bugs’ biting and do not tear easily from their claws. Softer cotton lets them potentially penetrate the surface.
A waterproof membrane layer keeps any bed bugs trapped inside and prevents spills or accidents from penetrating into your mattress itself.
Bed Bug Certified
Look for covers that have been tested and certified effective against bed bugs by organizations like Entomology Labs or Protect-A-Bed. This validates their performance.
High quality materials and construction allows a bed bug mattress cover to protect your investment for years to come.
The 5 Best Bed Bug Mattress Covers – 2023 Reviews
1. SafeRest Premium Zippered Mattress Encasement
- Materials: Polyurethane vinyl, polyester backing
- Sizes available: Crib–Cal King
- Depth: 14”
- Zipper type: Hidden zipper with Velcro flap
The SafeRest Premium encasement earns the top spot for its superior materials, construction and bed bug protection. This cover is made from polyurethane vinyl laminated onto a polyester backing, creating a membrane that keeps out allergens and 100% of bed bugs.
The zipper runs along the side and end to completely seal the mattress. A Velcro flap adds extra protection over the zipper. With no holes or weak points in the vinyl, bed bugs cannot penetrate it with their sharp claws or mouthparts.
The surface repels liquids while the vinyl backing prevents irritants in your mattress from escaping. SafeRest encasements are tested to be bed bug and allergen proof and carry a 10 year warranty. Over 75,000 satisfied customers recommend them for blocking bed bugs and providing a healthier sleep environment. Made in the USA, they cost less than $100 for all sizes.
- Tear-resistant polyurethane vinyl
- Completely bed bug and allergen proof
- 10 year warranty
- Very affordable pricing
- Vinyl can have slight plastic odor initially
2. Hospitology Sleep Defense System
- Materials: Polyester and polyethylene
- Sizes available: Twin–Cal King
- Depth: 9”, 12” or 15”
- Zipper type: Hidden zipper
For a thinner encasement option, we recommend Hospitology Sleep Defense mattress covers. These protectors are made with laminated polyester fabric and polyethylene film that form a hypoallergenic barrier blocking microbes, gases and allergens.
The fabric is tightly woven and sealed with ultrasonic welding to prevent bed bugs from infesting your mattress. The thin profile allows fitting existing sheets over it comfortably.
While breathable, the fabric may retain a little heat. Hospitology encasements are tested to resist bed bugs and allergens and they back them with a 5 year warranty. As a medical brand, they are specially designed to help allergy sufferers and asthma patients breathe easier. This encasement costs just under $50 for all sizes.
- Bed bug and allergen resistant fabric
- Thinner profile
- Medical grade construction
- Can retain some heat
- Not recommended for severe infestations
3. Linenspa Premium Mattress Protector
- Materials: Polyester and PVC
- Sizes available: Twin–Cal King
- Depth: 12”
- Zipper type: Hidden zipper closure
For budget-friendly bed bug protection, Linenspa’s premium encasement is our top value pick. The outer layer is made of smooth woven polyester fabric lined with PVC vinyl to block bed bugs. The seams are ultrasonically sealed without gaps and the zipper fully encircles the protector.
While not as thick or durable as pricier covers, reviewers shared it effectively stopped bed bug bites and infestations in their homes. It can handle machine washing and regular use. Linenspa protectors run under $35 for a queen making them highly affordable. For the price, these basic encasements get the job done against bed bugs.
- Budget-friendly price point
- Vinyl lining to block bed bugs
- Fits thin mattresses well
- Durability not as high for severe infestations
- Can tear along seams
4. Utopia Bedding Zippered Encasement
- Materials: Polyester, polyethylene backing
- Sizes available: Twin-Cal King
- Depth: 15”
- Zipper type: Hidden zipper
Utopia Bedding makes a quality zippered mattress protector that works both as an encasement against bed bugs and a waterproof mattress pad. The knitted polyester fabric with polyethylene backing seals out bed bugs, dust mites and allergens from your mattress.
The zipper is completely hidden providing a flat, discreet look. The backing prevents moisture from being absorbed into the mattress. And the terry cotton lining keeps you comfortable and dry overnight.
For under $50 even for larger sizes, this encasement protects against bed bugs on a budget. It fits mattresses up to 15” deep which covers thicker pillowtop and memory foam mattress designs. Reviewers confirm it stops bed bug infestations and they appreciate the quiet zippered closure. A good option for value and versatility.
- Bed bug and allergen protection
- Terry cloth surface for comfort
- Fits deeper mattresses
- Affordable for all sizes
- Can retain some heat
5. AllerEase Maximum Allergy & Bed Bug Protection Mattress Protector
- Materials: Polyester, PVC backing
- Sizes available: Twin–Cal King
- Depth: 16″
- Zipper type: Zipper with Velcro flap
AllerEase mattress protectors provide an effective bed bug barrier along with blocking dust mites and pet dander. The finely woven polyester fabric resists bites and claws while the PVC backing seals out allergens.
The cover is independently lab tested and certified to block allergens and bed bugs. The zipper is on the side of the cover and opens fully around the end. A Velcro flap provides an additional seal over the zipper.
With a quilted surface and 16” depth, it accommodates thicker mattresses. While more expensive than basic options at around $160, you get enhanced protection. For allergy sufferers and bed bug prevention, AllerEase covers deliver robust and reliable protection.
- Blocks bed bugs and allergens
- 16” depth option
- Zipper with Velcro flap
- Quilted surface
- More expensive
Any of these top-rated bed bug encasements represent the best options to protect your mattress from infestations and build a protective barrier so you can rest easy.
Types of Bed Bug Mattress Covers
There are three main categories of mattress covers for bed bugs:
Encasements fully surround and seal the entire mattress. This is the most protective option since it completely blocks access, traps bed bugs, and allows chemical treatments. Look for durable, bed bug proof materials.
Protectors just cover the surface sleeping area of the mattress. Less expensive, but can allow bugs to enter from untreated sides and ends. Good for prevention. May not handle infestations.
Active covers contain pesticides or antipathogenic treatments to kill bed bugs on contact. Can help eliminate early stage infestations. Not standalone solutions.
Fully encasing styles offer the most complete protection and are recommended by pest management pros for handling existing infestations. Active and protector styles have benefits for prevention.
What Type of Mattress is Being Encased?
Bed bug mattress covers come in models specially designed for each mattress type:
Innerspring – Traditional springs are less hospitable to bed bugs than foam mattresses. Look for covers with box spring encasements.
Memory foam – Dense foam retains heat which can kill some bed bugs over time. Ensure the cover completely seals the mattress.
Latex – Natural latex deters bed bugs but has seams they can enter. Fully encase for protection.
Hybrid – Cross between springs and foam. Foam comfort layer offers bed bugs harborage so fully seal.
Adjustable air – Vinyl external layer is optimal. Need to fully encase to seal out bugs.
No matter your mattress type, properly fitting and sealing the entire surface is essential to starve bed bugs and contain infestations. Protect all mattresses and foundations in the bedroom for thorough protection.
Will Mattress Covers Prevent All Bed Bugs?
Quality bed bug mattress encasements are extremely effective at blocking and eliminating infestations when combined with professional pest management treatment methods. But they may not prevent 100% of bed bugs in extreme, severe long-term infestations.
Bed bugs can potentially chew through thinner fabric covers over time or take advantage of tiny flaws in zippers or seams. Mattress covers should never be used alone but as part of an integrated treatment approach.
For prevention and managing smaller infestations, mattress encasements containing and starving bed bugs are an essential tool recommended by pest control experts. They create an immediate barrier between you and bed bugs to allow sleeping comfortably while also tackling an infestation.
Other Mattress Cover Benefits
Along with defending against bed bugs, high-quality mattress covers offer these additional benefits:
Allergen barrier – Blocks dust mites, pet dander and other allergy triggers from mattress fibers and materials.
Spill/accident protection – Waterproof backing shields mattress interior from spills, bodily fluids, incontinence, etc.
Hypoallergenic – Seals out mold, mildew and bacteria from growing inside your mattress.
Extend mattress lifespan – Protects from wear and stains over time.
Peace of mind – Allows use of mattress until bed bugs fully treated.
Fits well with sheets – Thin profile under 15” enables sheets to fit well.
Mattress protectors are an affordable investment in protecting your mattress from bed bugs, accidents, and allergens so you can sleep soundly.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mattress Covers For Bed Bugs
Can bed bugs get through a mattress cover?
High-quality bed bug mattress covers made of tightly woven fabrics or vinyl with full zipper encasements can effectively block bed bugs and contain infestations. Lower quality covers may potentially allow bed bugs to chew through over time in severe infestations. Covers should be used with professional pest management treatment.
Do mattress covers really stop bed bugs?
Yes, bed bug proof mattress covers will stop bed bugs from infesting your mattress if the encasement completely seals the mattress with no gaps or tears. The cover also traps any bugs inside and deprives them of a food source. Covers should be used along with treatment like steam, heat or pesticides for full elimination.
How long does it take for mattress covers to kill bed bugs?
Mattress encasements themselves do not kill bed bugs but contain them inside where they eventually die off after 12-18 months with no food source. Covers cutting off their food supply combined with professional pest control speeds up killing them. Heat or steam treatments inside the cover can also kill bed bugs faster.
Can bed bugs bite through a mattress cover?
High-density, bed bug proof mattress covers prevent bed bugs from biting sleepers. Vinyl, polyurethane and finely woven fabrics that fully seal the mattress prevent them from accessing sleepers in the bed. Low-quality covers may potentially allow biting.
How long do bed bug mattress covers last?
With proper care, high-quality bed bug mattress covers can last 3-5 years or more. Look for covers with 10 year warranties for longevity. Washable covers last longer. Inspect periodically for any tears or openings along zippers that could compromise protection.
The Bottom Line
Infestations of stubborn, biting bed bugs can disrupt sleep and create chaos. Protecting your mattress using encasements along with comprehensive treatment eliminates these pests. A bed bug mattress cover creates an immediate barrier surrounding your mattress to trap bugs inside and provide relief, letting you sleep soundly and wake up bite-free. Combined with professional pest control, an effective cover helps kill bed bugs and safeguard your investment.
Follow the tips above to choose a quality cover that shields your mattress from bed bugs. Stop bed bugs from disrupting your comfort, health and home using the best mattress covers as part of an integrated pest elimination strategy. Sweet dreams without the bites!