Do Mattress Protectors Prevent Bed Bugs? Yes & No, Here's What to Look Out For

Magnifying glass finding bed bugs in bed mattress

When you hear the term "bed bugs" it's probably followed by an exaggerated "eughhh."

These nettlesome, blood sucking pests have been infiltrating people's inner sanctums for centuries, and if you've ever experienced the misfortune of a bed bug infestation, you know how annoying and downright unpleasant they can be.

Far from a pest confined to disgusting hostels and unkept places, bed bugs can infest even the cleanest of homes, which brings us to the question - can a waterproof mattress protector prevent them from appearing and ruining your beauty sleep?

Read on to get the low down.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bug mattress covers

Bed bugs are a parasite hailing from the cimicid family, with the most common species being the Cimex lectularius.

They're nasty little critters that take their sustenance from human blood and know the best time to feed is night time when people sleep unsuspectingly.

Typically the size of a lentil, you can see bed bugs with the naked eye and their bodies are round and usually red or brown in colour.

With humans their source of food, they keep close to us by taking up residence in our beds! In fact, upwards of 90 percent of bed bugs in an infested home will be found near bed mattresses and box springs.

Although these blood sucking pests are free of disease (phew!) they have to bite us to feed, resulting in blisters, itching and other skin contusions.

Essentially, you don't want bed bugs anywhere near you, your bed, or anywhere else in your home.


Do mattress protectors prevent bed bug infestation?

Bed bug mattress protectors

No, a mattress protector will not prevent bed bug infestations.

If you're currently dealing with bed bugs we strongly recommend contacting some pest control professionals that have a demonstrated history of dealing with them.

But at the end of the day, if you're purchasing a mattress protector hoping to stop bed bugs in their tracks, it won't work.


Well, although bed bugs prefer to nestle in your mattress they can just as easily infest other areas of your home.

Bed bugs hide in all kinds of places so a mattress protector won't stop a bed bug outbreak.

In saying that, in the overall fight against bed bugs, a mattress protector is still a good idea.

Let us explain.

The benefits of mattress protectors

Bed bug mattress encasement

Standard mattress protectors such as our bamboo mattress protector act as a layer of protection for the top of your mattress, they wrap around the top and sides much like a normal top sheet.

Will a mattress protector stop the infestation of bed bugs? No, unfortunately they're not bed bug proof.


They don't encase the bottom of the mattress which leaves the door ajar for bed bugs to creep in.

Bed bug mattress encasements, on the other hand, will prevent bed bugs from sneaking into your mattress when you're not looking, as long as they're not already in the mattress. If that was the case, over time they would eventually starve to death.

Exactly how long that would take is a matter of some debate, as studies documenting bed bug lifespans with no food varying from 4-6 months, to as long as 18 months!

So, in essence, a mattress encasement is a great idea for keeping bed bugs out of a new mattress, as well as slowly starving ones that have already taken up residence. Just don't take the encasement off!

Moving away from encasements, here's five reasons why you need a mattress protector:

  1. They keep your mattress clean from body oils and excess moisture
  2. They keep your mattress in peak condition for longer
  3. They help to keep your mattress free from bacteria, mould, and other bugs such as dust mites
  4. They help to keep your allergies in check
  5. They help to preserve your warranty


So although a mattress protector won't keep bed bugs out of your bed, they still provide a range of benefits that can help both your health, and your wallet!


Not a bed bug mattress protector

So there you have it, we hope you found this journal as informative as it was for us to write!

And although a mattress won't necessarily rid you of a bed bug problem if you already have one, there's still a range of benefits to be realised from adding one to your bedroom.

And for those of you that do decide to purchase a mattress protector (or already have one), check out our easy guide to cleaning them!