The best mattresses (which we cover in a separate report) can be expensive, and it's a good idea to use a mattress pad to protect that investment from spills, stains and other accidents. However, these mattress covers are merely pads that will keep your mattress looking newer longer, they will not change the softness level of your mattress or prop up a sagging mattress. For that, you need either a memory foam mattress topper, latex mattress topper, or featherbed, all of which we cover elsewhere in this report.
Without a doubt, the top choice among waterproof mattress pads is the SafeRest Premium Waterproof Mattress Protector (Est. $25 and up). It gets raves for its inconspicuous presence -- unlike many waterproof mattress pads, it doesn't have that hard plastic feel or make crinkly noises when you roll over. Although the SafeRest is not a true mattress topper, plenty of owners say it has added some comfort to their mattress because it's nice and thick for a mattress pad. Parents, in particular, are thrilled to comfortably protect their children's mattress when the child first transitions to a "big-kid bed," but might not have big-kid bladder control. Although, while this type of damage probably won't be an issue with most adults, spills may be, so this waterproof mattress pad comes in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and California king. The queen size and larger pads will fit a mattress 18 inches deep; the smaller sizes are for mattress up to 14 inches deep. We saw a few reviews from people who accidentally spilled dark colored liquids while watching TV in bed, and they say the SafeRest kept the stain contained.
The SafeRest mattress pad is machine washable, but, because it's waterproof, water does tend to pool in its nooks and crannies. You may want to unfold it carefully from the washing machine to be sure you leave the extra water there -- some even run it through a second spin cycle. It also takes longer to dry than a non-waterproof mattress pad will, and, if you opt for one of the larger sizes, be sure you have a big enough washing machine and clothes dryer -- we cover both in separate reports.
Even after repeated washing, owners say, the SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector holds up extremely well, not only retaining its waterproof abilities, but also its appearance. SafeRest offers a long, 10-year full replacement warranty with this mattress pad, and customer service gets raves for their responsiveness to the very few durability complaints we spotted.
Another top-rated waterproof mattress pad that has one additional size option -- full XL -- is the Luna Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector (Est. $30 and up). Other than that, this waterproof mattress protector is virtually identical to the SafeRest, and gets similarly stellar reviews from both experts and thousands of owners. We highly recommend both, so get the one that happens to be in stock (and the best buy) on the day you go shopping.
While a waterproof mattress pad offers a higher level of protection from staining -- and is probably a must for children -- many people prefer a non-waterproof mattress pad. These types tend to be cushier and more breathable. One of the highest rated of these by experts and owners is the Luxurious Down Alternative Mattress Pad (Est. $30 and up) by Mastertex. It's the second-highest rated mattress pad at SleepLikeTheDead.com, with more than 1,065 owners weighing in to give it an overall satisfaction rating of 92 percent.
In that same survey, the highest rated non-waterproof mattress protector is the Hanna Kay Hypoallergenic Quilted Mattress Pad (Est. $20), with an overall owner satisfaction rating of 97 percent after more than 1,375 survey samples. However, the Hanna Kay comes in only one size -- queen -- whereas the Luxurious Down Alternative comes in a range of sizes, twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and California king. So, if you need a queen sized mattress protector, go with the Hanna Kay, otherwise, go with the Luxurious Down Alternative Mattress Pad.
Both of these are reported as well-fitting and comfortable, with stretchable sides that make it easy to pull over the mattress. The Luxurious Down Alternative Mattress Pad fits mattress up to 14-inches deep, the Hanna Kay fits mattresses up to 18 inches. Both are also hypoallergenic and machine washable.