Mattress Protector Recommendations


Thanks in large part to the wonderful information on this website (along with my own in-person preference testing), I just purchased an all-laytex bed from Brooklyn Bedding (10" total laytex Talalay). Now I am looking to purchase a quality mattress protector to protect my mattress investment.

The four key things I am looking for in the mattress protector are:

-Breathable, since I tend to sleep “hot” and sweat a bit
-Organic, or at least-all natural (I was originally looking into the Sleep Tite product offered by BB but the polyurethane membrane backing in it had me concerned. Isn’t polyurethane known to cause cancer, so sleeping on it increases risk of absorbing it?)
-Has little-to-no impact on the feel of the mattress
-Somewhat water resistant would be nice, but is not a must-have

I would greatly appreciate the experience of others and recommendations of specific products that fit this bill.


Hi andrew,

You can read more about the pros and cons of different types of mattress protectors in post #89 here.

There are thousands of types of polyurethane products and it’s one of the most common materials in modern society (from flexible foam to rigid molded plastics to some of the membranes used in mattress protectors). There is more about the different types of membranes used in mattress protectors in post #2 here but none of the MSDS (material safety data sheets) for polyurethane I have seen have indicated any type of cancer risk and they are usually completely inert so I think you may be getting some misinformation somewhere. Some of them are even GOTS certified organic or Oeko-Tex certified (which is the same testing protocol for VC’s and harmful substances used to test most of the latex that is available in the market).


Thanks Phoenix. I’ll look into this post.

Do you mind sharing with me what mattress protector you use?

Hi andrew,

Not at all … see post #2 here.



After reviewing your post #89, I’ve narrowed it down to either a wool or cotton mattress protector. To help me decide between these two types, I have a few more questions that I’d like to run by you:

  1. Given that I tend to sleep hot and sweat (i.e., moisture coming out of my body), should that steer me more towards the cotton protector since cotton absorbs water better, or the wool protector because wool is water-resistant?

  2. Would a wool protector have a significant impact on the feel of my underlying laytex mattress?

  3. And is it important to have the protector that covers the bottom of the mattress rather than just the top and sides? I plan to set the mattress on a slatted frame that’s elevated a couple of inches from the ground.

Thank you!

Hi andrew,

Both are highly breathable so it’s unlikely that either would contribute to sleeping hot but wool would be more temperature regulating (in both directions) than just the cotton (the Dormeir has both wool and a cotton terry fabric). Wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture inside the fiber itself without feeling damp.

It would have some effect yes. I don’t know how to quantify “significant” so it would probably be more accurate to say “noticeable for most people”. The cotton protector is thinner and more stretchy so it would have less effect on the “feel” of the mattress.

No … a protector is designed to protect the top of a mattress from normal moisture, body secretions, and skin flakes (and accidents of course). For those that have more severe allergy issues and want more complete protection against dust mites then a mattress encasement that completely surrounds the mattress can be a good choice but if it doesn’t have a membrane then it would also need a mattress protector in addition to the encasement to protect the mattress (see post #2 here).


Hi Phoenix

You are a wealth of information, thank you!

I’m still on the fence between the wool vs. cotton protector. I was initially leaning towards the cotton to help maintain the original feel of the underlying latex mattress, but my concern is that if I sweat a lot (despite the breathability of the cotton) that the sweat moisture will be absorbed into the cotton from where it will then be in direct contact with the mattress without any sort of water-resistant barrier in between. Is this a realistic scenario, or am I not fully understanding water passage/retention issues with these protectors. Or is it that it would just require so much more water than even a heavy-sweater like me could produce to have the moisture go that deep to get to the interface between the protector and mattress? Confused :S

I only want my protector to be water-resistant to the point where my sweating will not reach or otherwise damage the mattress. I don’t plan to have any liquids, pets, or “accidents” in my bed so I’m not concerned about “big” liquid spills and water resistance.

If I can’t figure this out and end up just picking one or the other to try, do you know where I could purchase either the St. Dormeir (wool) or CozyPure (cotton) with a good return policy (i.e., just pay shipping) in case I don’t like it after a short period? I think I read that a lot of suppliers consider these “personal comfort” items and thus will not accept a return once it has been used at all. I hope not … do you know of a work-around to this?

Thanks as always.

My concern

Hi andrew,

I don’t think there’s any way to realistically answer your questions on an individual level because every answer would have an “it depends” in it and each person is unique in terms of their sleeping temperature and how much moisture and body fluids they release during sleep. It would also depend on all the other factors that can influence sleeping temperature besides just the protector itself.

Cotton doesn’t absorb as much moisture as wool before it feels damp and can allow perspiration to go through it into the mattress underneath it more easily (which probably won’t damage the mattress but can stain it and void a warranty or be an aesthetic issue) so it would depend on how much you perspire during the night. You can think of a stretch cotton protector like a thick cotton jersey sheet which tends to sleep warmer than woven cotton sheets because it can allow the mattress to contour a little better to your body shape and more contouring of the foam materials around your body will be more insulating and allow less airflow than a fiber like wool. Softer foam layers would be more contouring and insulating than firmer comfort layers so they can sleep warmer. It would also depend on the specifics of the mattress cover and the quilting of the mattress because these would also play a role in sleeping temperature and your mattress already has some wool in the quilting which means that there would already be some wool in between you and the foam layers which would help with temperature regulation.

Overall though … if I tended to perspire more or sleep warmer than most people I would personally lean towards the water resistant and moisture/temperature regulating properties of a cotton/wool protector like the Dormeir and if I was more in an average range and the only thing I needed a mattress protector to do was absorb “normal” body oils and moisture and there was already some wool in the cover and I didn’t have issues with sleeping temperature I would probably go with the cotton because it would allow more of the “feel” of the mattress to come through. I would also keep in mind that the Dormier is also somewhat “stretchy” and only has 4.5 oz/sq yd of wool so while it would probably have more of an effect on the mattress than a stretch knit cotton protector … it would have much less effect than a cotton/wool protector that was less stretchy or used more wool.

As you mentioned … mattress protectors are a personal item and I don’t know of any that can be returned once they’ve been used so the only way I really know to make this kind of choice would be “best judgement” based on your own knowledge of how you sleep.


Hi Phoenix. Thank you so much for all your help through this site!
Do you think the cozy pure cotton cover with a separate wool layer such as a puddle pad would change the feel of the mattress more or less than the st. Domeir. I am in the process of buying a latex mattress from Mattress Maker here in San Diego who I found through your site and they have been awesome! It’ll be 2" 3" 6" all talalay with ild’s of 19 24 38 approximately. With their wool and cotten cover. I’m now trying to decide on the protector and I’m in the same boat as Andrew. I like the idea of two separate pieces but I would choose the dormeir over the cotton with wool layer if it had a significant difference in the amount it changed the feel. The wool layer would be roughly an 1/8" thick. Thanks for any help you can give!

Hi Rosellie,

In “theory” thicker and stiffer or less “stretchy” or flexible mattress protectors (or combinations of protectors) will have a bigger effect on the “feel” of the mattress than thinner and more stretchy and flexible protectors (or combinations) so it would depend on the specifics of the puddle pad and the mattress you were using them on and you may also find that different people may have different perceptions on the same combinations because these types of comparisons can also be somewhat subjective. The only way I could give you a meaningful and more specific answer for this type of question would be to actually try the specific combination you are considering on a specific mattress and compare it with the St Dormier on the same mattress and unfortunately I haven’t tested these to compare them.

When you can’t test different products or combinations in person then the most reliable source for this type of guidance would be a knowledgeable and experienced online retailer or manufacturer (such as Cozy Pure) that has your best interests at heart who is familiar with their specific products and how they compare to the other products (or product combinations) that you are considering.

Congratulations on your new mattress as well :slight_smile:

As you know I think you are making a great choice and I’m looking forward to your comments and feedback when you’ve had the chance to sleep on it for a bit.


Thanks Phoenix! I’ll defiantly will let you know what I decide. Have you had any feedback on the smartsilk protector?

Hi Rosellie,

I made a few comments in my reply in your other topic here.