How Often Should You Wash Mattress Protectors?

October 09, 2023 3 min read

Mattress covers prevent dust mites, liquids, dead skin, and many other nasties from getting onto your mattress. This is accomplished by its skin absorbing the contaminants themselves. The fabric surface wicks and collects fluids because its membrane is waterproof and resists allergens holding off threats.

Sleeping on the cover makes it dirty, so it needs to be regularly cleaned. Otherwise, it could start getting yellow sweat stains (or worse) or emitting a foul odor due to the growth of bacteria. Generally, people believe that washing protectors can damage them – which is why they read this to find out if they can wash their protectors.

Thanks to this guide, you will learn how to clean your mattress protectors and also learn how to ensure that the old one doesn’t get spoilt in the wash, so you don’t have to purchase a new one.

Can You Wash A Mattress Protector?

In a nutshell, a protector can be cleaned in a standard washer/dryer combination because it has a fabric surface and a plastic backing. However, if you use a harsh detergent or bleach on the plastic, it may deform/break apart from the top fabric.

The precise temperature threshold varies depending on the cover, but it is generally advised never to exceed a lukewarm setting. Moreover, some products make the recommendation in the direction of never going above cold.

The cover might seem like it would be cleaner if you washed it at high heat because it would remove the odor and absorb fluid more effectively, but all this would do is weaken the waterproofing, so the next time you use it, a liquid will soak through!

How Often Should You Wash Them?

Rather than washing the cover itself very often, you should wash the top sheet more often (it gets stained and accumulates dust and debris). Whether you have a spill or not, you still need to clean the cover every two months.

If you have pets or suffer from allergies, you will need to do this more often to ensure that your cover remains hygienic enough to be used daily. Trial and error will help you to determine the perfect timeframe.

Washing for the First Time

Several manufacturers recommend washing the protector before the first use since it removes chemical odors and softens the top fabric for a more comfortable fit. Just be sure to carefully read the cleaning instructions (and follow the general guidelines in the following sections) before you do so.

Is It Possible to Dry Clean?

You will damage the waterproof membrane of your protector if you dry clean or iron it.

What You Will Need to Clean Your Protector

After we’ve sorted out the preliminary issues, let’s get started. To get your protector clean safely, you’ll need:

  • Washing Machine
  • Tumble dryer
  • An anti-bleach laundry detergent

The Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Take off your bed protector

The detachable encasement-style protectors will require you to unzip them, which takes a bit longer. This is why fitted sheet covers are recommended for frequent laundering. The process is simple – pull the elastic sides of the cover and start from the corners.

Step 2: Put it in the washing machine.

It would help to wash covers constructed from rigid materials such as wool or terry cloth on a regular cycle on low or mild heat. You should wash thin materials such as bamboo rayon or polyester on a delicate cycle on a low or gentle heat. To protect the membrane or the fabric binding it to the membrane, only use a non-bleach, mild detergent.

Step 3: Dry in a tumble dryer

Tumble dry the protector with your other laundry on a low heat setting, and remove from the dryer as soon as the cycle is complete to prevent any wrinkling.


The wrinkle guard feature in some dryers prevents wrinkles by periodically spinning up the laundry after the main cycle has finished until it is removed. Turn this off when you’re drying the protector, as another spinning will only contribute to wear further and tear.