So which is the best waterproof mattress Protector? To establish this we need to decide what the best waterproof mattress protector needs to do to to achieve the accolade.
A mattress protector by it’s very name and nature, of course, needs to protect the mattress. The problem is that the human body leaks, and when we leak at night this moisture will go straight through to the mattress if it isn’t being protected by a waterproof mattress protector. We perspire, we dribble and in some cases we suffer from night time incontinence, this has to go somewhere and a mattress is just one big sponge ready to soak all this up, especially if it’s a memory foam mattress. But even traditional sprung mattresses have at least a couple of centimetres of padding above the springs. Once moisture gets into a mattress it will start to rot and decay. Bacteria, mould and fungus build up as each night a little more moisture passes through to the mattress. So a mattress protector that isn’t waterproof isn’t protecting at all.
At one time a waterproof mattress protector was seen as something just for the ‘bed wetters’ amongst us but now most people realise that every bed in every home needs one. The problem is that some waterproof mattress protectors are hot and noisy in use. This did use to be the case but technology has moved on a lot since then and if you choose carefully you can find a waterproof mattress protector that is quiet and comfortable in use. So lets take a closer look at what features makes the most comfortable waterproof mattress protector.
The Upper Surface
This is the part of the mattress protector closest to you, so what features should you be looking out for? You want a fabric that is as soft as possible whilst being absorbent as possible. The reason that absorbency is important is that any moisture or liquids that are produced need to be soaked up as quickly as possible. For this reason look for the most absorbent fabrics available. Polyester is a man made fibre that is produced from oil, so it doesn’t have any inherent absorbency qualities. Cotton, on the other hand is a natural fibre that is naturally absorbent. If you mix polyester and cotton together, the end result isn’t going to be as absorbent as 100% cotton. So the higher the cotton content the more absorbent it will be. Also look at the structure of the fabric. You will see that many waterproof mattress protectors are made from a terry towelling. This is because terry has a surface made from hundreds of thousand of tiny loops. This massively increases the surface area allowing it to absorb more moisture than a flat woven surface. It isn’t just about soaking up the liquid it is also about its wicking capabilities. Wicking means the action of a liquid spreading out over surface. This wicking means the moisture spreads out further causing it to evaporate and to dry out more quickly which means that it is more comfortable to lie in.
There is a new natural fibre available called Tencel. This is many times more absorbent than cotton, so much so that a Tencel waterproof mattress protector can be produced as a flat woven product that is more absorbent than a cotton terry fabric. So when choosing the best waterproof mattress protector you either want a deep pile cotton rich terry towelling or a Tencel flat weave fabric.
The Waterproof Underside
Waterproof mattress protectors are made waterproof by having a waterproof layer on the underside of the upper surface. So far so good, but what this is made out of and how it is applied affects its performance and comfort. Some waterproof mattress protectors use a layer of PVC on the underside, the problem with this is that PVC is quite thick and it isn’t breathable, this means that not only can you feel it underneath you, but is also noisy to lie on. The other problem with PVC is that it isn’t breathable so you soon become hot and sweaty lying on it, so in most cases we would say to avoid a mattress protector with a PVC backing.
A vastly superior material is polyurethane, often abbreviated to PU. This is breathable yet waterproof, in the same way that our skin is waterproof and breathable. This breathability means that it is comfortable to sleep on. PU is also much thinner than PVC this means that you can’t feel it underneath you and it quiet in use.
The one thing to look out for with PU is how it is applied to the underside of the mattress protector? The cheapest way to apply it is in a liquid form. It is poured on to the back of the fabric, then spread out using paddles. Once it is spread out it sets and can be made into a mattress protector. The problem with this method is that it is impossible to get a level even backing. Some parts will be thicker than others and some will be thinner. The thin spots can wear through and the thick spots can be felt underneath you.
A far better method is available, a method where the PU is manufactured separately as a thin membrane, this membrane is then bonded to the underside of the upper fabric. This method ensures that the membrane is the same thickness everywhere ensuring comfort and longevity.
So there we have it. The best waterproof mattress protector has an upper surface of cotton rich terry towelling or flat woven Tencel. On the underside of this is a seperate membrane of microfine polyurethane.
So which is the best waterproof mattress protector for 2019? These two below meet the requirements specified above and are justified in being called the best waterproof mattress protectors currently available. Click on the link in the image to find out more.