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You use bed sheets and maybe even a pad or cover to help maintain your mattress and prevent dust accumulation—but what about your pillow? Pillow protectors are similar to pillowcases and shams, except they almost always have zipper closures and serve a specific purpose.
The idea is to prevent premature wear and tear of your pillow while creating a barrier against moisture, stains, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens. There are lots of cooling options, too, and some even go so far as to keep bed bugs away. Our top pick is the Avocado Organic Quilted Pillow Protector, which is a soft, breathable, and hypoallergenic option.
To help you narrow down your options, we rounded up the best pillow protectors for every budget below.
Our number one pick is the Avocado Quilted Pillow Protector (view at Avocado). This organic cotton encasement features a smooth sateen finish and offers naturally breathable, hypoallergenic protection. For something more wallet-friendly, we recommend The Company Store Cotton Pillow Protector (view at The Company Store), which is soft, comfortable, breathable, and effective.
When buying a pillow protector, you’ll want to pay attention to the material. Many options are 100 percent cotton, a naturally airy and moisture-wicking textile. Some are woven from bamboo lyocell, which is also breathable and moisture-resistant but generally more sustainable.
However, water-resistant and waterproof protectors typically feature some sort of polyethylene membrane or outer shell. The thermoplastic polymer offers excellent protection from spills, sweat, oil, makeup, and other substances that may stain a pillow.
Many protectors come in standard, queen, and king sizes to accommodate different sizes of bed pillows. However, some only offer standard and king. While queen pillows are a few inches longer than standards, the idea is that they’re close enough to fit the same cases. You might also see additional sizes, such as Euro (for square throw pillows) and body (for body pillows).
Some encasements are designed to help regulate your body temperature while you sleep by way of cooling, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics. Cotton and bamboo tend to be best for this, and lower thread counts will allow more air to pass through. While there are some exceptions, pillow protectors with polyethylene layers generally won’t be as breathable.
We also suggest looking out for various certifications, which can verify the quality of the textile and ensure it’s produced ethically or sustainably. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certifies organic bedding, and the Standard 100 certification by Oeko-Tex confirms a material is free of harmful substances.
Similarly, the Made Safe seal tells you a product was created only with safe ingredients and is free of chemicals that could harm your health. Certified Fair Trade bedding is made by farmers, artisans, or production workers who are treated ethically and paid a fair wage.
Products certified as Asthma & Allergy Friendly by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA) should do a sufficient job of keeping allergens out. Then there’s Greenguard Gold, which ensures a fabric won’t pollute indoor air, though it’s not as common for textiles.
What is a pillow protector?
A pillow protector is similar to a mattress protector or mattress pad in that it safeguards the insert from various substances while extending its lifespan. They’re typically made of cotton or bamboo and may feature a polyurethane layer for extra moisture resistance.
People often use them as allergen barriers because they can help keep dust mites, pet dander, and pollen out of your pillow. This type of encasement usually has a zipper closure and might feature specially sealed seams to keep liquids and bed bugs out.
Do pillow protectors help with allergies?
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA), certain pillow protectors can help keep symptoms at bay. The organization says the fabric should be breathable but also densely woven to keep dust mites, pollen, and various other allergens from passing through. Having said that, one of the reasons an encasement can be helpful is that you can wash it often to remove irritants from the surface.
Are pillow protectors hot to sleep on?
Some pillow protectors aren’t as breathable as others, and breathability is key to preventing night sweats and overheating while you sleep. If you tend to run hot, look for a 100 percent cotton or bamboo lyocell pillow protector.
Encasements with water-resistant membranes are more prone to trapping heat. However, many brands have managed to make them plenty breathable while keeping moisture out.
Theresa Holland is a freelance commerce writer specializing in textiles, home design, and lifestyle. For this piece, she researched all aspects of pillow protectors, including the various types, materials, features, and certifications. She considered dozens of encasements from myriad brands and retailers, ultimately selecting products that held multiple critical qualities (breathability, organically grown fabric, water resistance, allergy protection, etc.). Theresa has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019, where she writes full reviews of home-tested products and “Best of” roundups.
Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.