Bed bugs are among the most troublesome pests that homeowners have to deal with. Aside from waking up to strange bites, a bed bug infestation can lead to psychological problems.
Getting rid of bed bugs is an extensive process that could take up to several weeks to fully resolve even with professional treatment. Meanwhile, you need your beauty sleep.
A bed bug mattress encasement is an essential early step in preventing bed bug bites. It’s great for both prevention and treatment of bed bugs. Let’s dive into why that is.
What is a Bed Bug Mattress Encasement?
A bed bug mattress encasement is a type of large mattress cover with a zipper that completely encloses your mattress. The encasement has two key attributes –
- It traps any current bed bugs between the mattress and the cover long enough for the pests to die of starvation.
- It prevents external bed bugs from making nests in your mattress.
Many people wonder, “can I use a regular mattress protector for bed bugs?“
The answer is no, not if you want to prevent beg bugs.
Mattress encasements, unlike regular mattress protectors, cover the entire mattress so that trapped bed bugs cannot crawl out to bite you. You could think of a mattress encasement like a giant Ziploc bag while a mattress cover is more like a bedsheet.
A bed bug can fit through any gap where you can slip a credit card so it is necessary to completely cover the mattress to keep the insect securely locked in. You can only achieve this with a proper bed bug mattress encasement.
Encasements also have a special, thin bug-proof lining so the bugs can’t chew a hole to bust through like they can with sheets and typical mattress covers.
Top 6 Bed Bug Mattress Encasements Reviews
We reviewed the 6 best mattress encasements for bed bugs on the market so you don’t have to go through the trouble of trudging through the numerous options in search of the best choice.
We used the same criteria that we laid out in our ‘What to look for in a bed bug mattress encasement’ section further down this article.
CleanRest Mattress Encasement
When it comes to a mattress encasement for the purpose of fighting a bed bug infestation, Clean Rest is the only brand I recommend. Their encasements take into consideration features that other encasements don’t.
Their “Zip-N-Click” zipper docking station lets you securely lock the zipper in the closed position, which means there’s no chance of accidently opening the encasement which could let bed bugs in and out.
Some encasements have velcro flaps or extra fabric that covers the zipper which really only gives bed bugs another spot to hide and lay eggs.
Clear Rest encasements also have air-permeable side walls which let your mattress stay cool at night. Encasements that go for a 100% waterproof approach are overkill and can make your mattress uncomfortably hot.
SleepGuard Mattress Encasement
SleepGuard Mattress Encasement fits a mattress up to 10 inches thick and is 100% waterproof. This encasement has a cotton terry surface and a polyurethane backing for waterproofing.
The choice of polyurethane for this product is a far better option than vinyl or PVC which are reported to off-gas (releasing toxins in the air) and therefore safe to use for children and people with compromised immunity.
The cotton terry top is soft and you won’t be able to feel its texture under your sheets. Cotton is also a breathable material so your bed doesn’t get too hot especially in summer. Some mattress protectors can be uncomfortable on both accounts so the SureGuard ticks all the right boxes in terms of comfort.
People who are skeptical about a fabric encasement will be happy to know that bed bugs cannot bite through this one. The superfine zipper makes sure that no trapped bed bugs can crawl out to terrorize you as you sleep.
HOSPITOGY Products Mattress Encasement
HOSPITOLOGY The Original Sleep Defense System lives up to its promise to defend you from bed bugs while you sleep. This mattress encasement comes in a variety of sizes including for mattresses 6-8 inches deep, 9-11 inches deep, and 12-18 inches deep.
The encasement is made from durable 100% polyester knit fabric and is waterproof. The high thread-count polyester is also comfortable to sleep on and makes minimal noise as you move around in bed.
This HOSPITOLOGY mattress encasement sports tough seam construction to make sure that no bed bugs will be getting out at night to feast. The product also includes zip ties to completely secure the zipper and a Velcro flap over the zipper for maximum protection from bed bugs.
People who are prone to allergies will appreciate the allergy blocking power of the Sleep Defense system which protects against dust mites and other allergens. Finally, this product is machine washable. Just be sure to follow the care instructions that are included in your package.
Utopia Bedding Mattress Encasement
Utopia Bedding Mattress Encasement is one of the best value-for-money options on the market and fits mattresses up to 15 inches deep. The encasement is made from stretchable knitted fabric and covers your mattress snugly just like a fitted sheet.
This encasement is waterproof and good for children who may have accidents from time to time. It is also machine washable so you don’t have to worry about the build-up of dead skin or spilling food or drink on this mattress.
The zipper and Velcro strap that goes over it ensure that bed bugs cannot crawl out from the mattress to attack. Utopia Bedding Mattress Encasement is also made from hypoallergenic material which allergy-prone people will appreciate.
The product is reasonably breathable and doesn’t overheat, and you can barely feel it underneath your bedsheets. This encasement is a good option for budget shoppers who need some relief from bed bugs as they get the pest problem addressed.
SafeRest Premium Mattress Encasement
SafeRest is a notable name among mattress encasement manufacturers and does a good job of protecting you from bed bugs while you sleep. The mattress encasement is waterproof and holds up better to spills and night sweats than many other options on the market.
The cotton terry surface is breathable which is good for hot climates. Cheaper mattress protectors have a plastic odor but the SafeRest Premium is odorless and quite comfortable to sleep on.
A Velcro flap on top of the zipper ensures that the area is fully protected and that there is no chance of bed bugs crawling out. The encasement isn’t noisy while you move around in bed and you can clean it in your washing machine and throw it in the dryer as long as the dryer is not on a high heat setting.
LINENSPA Zippered Encasement
LINENSPA is yet another notable name in the sleep industry and the LINENSPA Zippered Encasement is a best seller and a great choice if you are dealing with bed bugs.
The mattress encasement is thin and low profile which means that you barely feel it under your sheets. You can enjoy more natural sleep despite having a mattress encasement, which can’t be said for many other brands.
The breathable material doesn’t retain body heat, something that heavy sweaters will appreciate especially during the summer. The encasement fits a queen size mattress and is machine-washable so you don’t have to worry about any unsightly stains and dead skin on your mattress cover.
LINENSPA Zippered Encasement is waterproof, which is not always a guarantee at this price range. Budget shoppers will appreciate its specifications that compare favorably to higher-priced mattress encasements.
The mattress encasement is easy to install and the 100% polyester construction is durable and sufficiently stretchy. This option is also less noisy than plastic mattress covers and overall is a great option for budget shoppers.
What to Look for in an Encasement
You are spoiled for choice when shopping for a bed bug mattress encasement which can make it difficult to narrow the choices down to one option.
There are some characteristics that the best mattress encasements for bed bugs share and that you can use to determine the best option for you.
Even the best bed bug mattress encasement would be a waste of money if it doesn’t fit your mattress. Figure out the size of your mattress and its thickness and use the numbers to find the appropriate fit.
A mattress encasement that is too tight could rip or wear faster than the manufacturer intended while one that is too loose may have folds and wrinkles on the surface which may feel uncomfortable under your sheets.
Most of these encasements are stretchy so you can get away with being slightly off on the numbers but there is a limit to how far they can stretch.
Bed bugs don’t have teeth so they typically do not bite through fabrics. Many mattress encasements on the market are good for protecting you from bed bug bites but not all are comfortable to sleep on.
Stretch-knit polyester and cotton are great materials for comfortable sleep. These materials are breathable meaning that your bed doesn’t overheat especially during the summer. These materials do not also make too much noise as you move around in bed which is typical of plastic mattress covers.
Consider also a mattress encasement with a urethane membrane liner that lets through moisture while keeping away bed bugs.
It is worth repeating that what you want for protection against bed bugs is a mattress encasement rather than a mattress cover. The encasement needs to enclose the entire mattress for it to be effective against bed bug bites.
The zipper is a crucial feature with these encasements since this is where bed bugs can crawl in and out of the encasement. Unfed bed bugs are especially nimble and only need a tiny space to slip through.
With that said, look for a product with an additional protective feature over the zipper such as a Velcro flap, zip-tie, tape, or extra material to completely seal in the bugs.
Some manufacturers can be generous with their claims about their products so you need independent verification that the mattress encasement works as promised.
Look for lab testing and certification when choosing your mattress encasement for additional peace of mind. All the products reviewed here have been lab-tested and confirmed to work effectively against bed bug bites.
Bed Bug Encasement FAQ’s
Do mattress encasements kill bed bugs?
Bed bug mattress encasements passively kill the pests by trapping them inside the cover so they can’t feed.
Bed bugs, so aptly named, love to live near their host and hide inside mattress crevices and folds. A bed bug encasement traps the insect and denies it a much-needed blood meal until the pest eventually starves to death.
Bed bug encasements typically do not contain pesticides or other chemicals and do not exterminate bed bugs on contact.
Can I wash a mattress encasement?
Not all mattress encasements are machine-washable so read the care instructions for your specific product before you proceed. For machine-washable encasements, simply wash on warm or cool and do not tumble dry higher than 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Include a few towels or fabrics in your dryer along with the mattress encasement to cushion the tumbling.
Do not dry-clean or use bleach which could compromise the integrity of the waterproofing layer.
Your mattress encasement should come with detailed care instructions.
Should I wash the mattress encasement before installation?
You don’t need to wash your mattress encasement before installation but it might make a slight difference in terms of comfort.
Washing the encasement before use removes the starching used to make packaging the product easier. The encasement may feel more comfortable under the sheets especially with thicker fabrics.
Will a mattress encasement get rid of bed bugs?
A mattress encasement is a supplementary pest control method that has to go with a more comprehensive bed bug treatment.
The encasement will protect you from the bed bugs already living in your mattress but will not prevent more bed bugs from crawling onto the bed. The encasement also doesn’t do much for bed bugs inside furniture, behind wall papers, inside books and picture frames and other typical hiding places in your room or in other rooms.
Mattress encasements do however make it easier to see new bed bugs on your bed so a daily bed bug inspection might help you to judge the progress of your infestation.
What else can I do to prevent bed bug bites?
Sometimes a mattress encasement may not be enough to deter bed bug bites although it can drastically reduce the chances of getting bitten. Bed bug traps under your bed’s legs are great for attracting, capturing, and trapping bed bugs before they can crawl into bed with you.
Also, think about getting a box spring encasement to complement your mattress encasement. The box spring encasement goes over your box spring and works much like a mattress encasement.
Pillow encasements can also provide additional protection in case of a major infestation.
How do hypoallergenic bed bug mattress encasements work?
Dust mites living in the mattress can trigger allergies. A hypoallergenic mattress encasement traps the dust mites and keeps them from their food (usually dead skin cells), causing them to starve to death.
Hypoallergenic mattress covers have minute fabric pores under 1.3 microns which effectively block out dust mite allergens, bacteria, and mold.
What else does a bed bug mattress encasement do?
Besides protecting you from bed bug bites and allergens, a mattress encasement will also protect your mattress from leaks, stains, and spills.
It is also a good idea to use a bed bug mattress encasement if you do not actively have bed bugs. This is especially the case if there has been a bed bug infestation in your building or around your area, or you travel and/or host guests overnight regularly.