Protecting pillows isn't just about prolonging their best years, it's also about creating a fresh and clean sleeping environment where dust mites and bed bugs dare not venture. Pillow protectors work best when they're hypoallergenic, waterproof and pleasantly breathable to keep you comfortable, calm and collected during the night.
Brands like Aller-Ease produce organic cotton covers ideal for hot sleepers, while Comfier Sleep and K&A have some plush bamboo options that are naturally cooling while preventing feather pillows from irritating those with allergies. We've ranked the 10 best of them to buy from Amazon, John Lewis, Argos and eBay, ready to zip on and elevate your sleeping experience to the next level.
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To make sure you land on the perfect pillow protectors for you and your family, it'll help to understand a few specific things first. By looking into the common fabrics and their defining features, you'll have a clearer idea of the type of product that'll aim to serve and protect for many years yet.
A pillow protector's effectiveness – and its suitability to your specific needs – is very much influenced by its material. Below, we will delve into the properties, both good and bad, of the main fabric types.
Similarly to mattress protectors and other bedding items, the three common threads chosen for making protectors of a certain standard are cotton, polyester and the slightly more modern bamboo.
These fabrics are chosen for different reasons but each of them have durability, breathability and comfort at their core. Cotton is an attractive material for protectors as it is lusciously comfortable but remains breathable, making it a solid option for cooling pillows.
Microfibre polyester is a cheaper alternative that offers a similar level of durability but lacks the breathability of natural fibres. A compromise is a poly-cotton blend, as it reduces costs but keeps the best elements of cotton. Bamboo is a premium fabric due to its breathable, hypoallergenic nature, though with a higher price tag to match.
With their plush, all-natural feeling and unrivalled sense of comfort, organic protectors are truly heaven sent. They're also more durable due to the guaranteed exclusion of chemicals, which can otherwise damage a fabric.
Relating only to natural fabrics like bamboo and cotton, buying organic assures you that your protector has been more sustainably produced. Organic cotton has a lot less of an impact on the environment as it reduces soil damage, has a lower impact on air quality and uses 88% less water and 62% less energy than regular cotton.
However, while we can glean that organic fabrics are beneficial not just to us but to our planet too, they do normally have a much higher price tag.
Reaping the rewards of a good night's rest requires your pillow and its protector to work for you, not against you. One of the ways a protector can ensure a healthy sleeping environment for you is through a hypoallergenic barrier of defence.
Products that boast about their hypoallergenic ways do so because their fabrics feature an increased weave count to block out unwanted particles like dust mites, pollen and bed bugs from entering your pillow and forming their own ecosystem.
These are great for people who suffer from asthma and allergies as they help reduce the effects a dirty pillow might have on their health. A weekly wash of your pillow covers and protectors at a high heat will also minimise bacteria growth and keep you sleeping soundly.
Although most protectors come with a standard level of water resistance due to their tightly woven fabric construction, some rise above the norm to become waterproof in their own right. These protectors are ideal for young children as they reduce the chances of any midnight mishaps ruining a good pillow.
They offer increased resistance to the wetter aspects of life via a devoted waterproof membrane that allows air to travel freely while stopping liquid in its tracks. However, it must be known that no pillow protector is considered to be 100% effective at repelling water, rather, it will minimise water damage much more than a regular one.
For the most part, any and every pillow protector worth its weight will come with a zipping closure point. These zips, as simple as they may be, are purposefully included for a couple of good reasons.
Firstly, they increase the hypoallergenic nature of a protector by zipping shut any chance of wayward dust and such making its way in and onto your pillow.
The second reason is their ability to keep the protector exactly where it should be – securely over your pillow. This helps to give restless sleepers a solid platform to lay their head upon and, hopefully, get a better night's kip. So be sure to look into how your protector closes for a good idea of its effectiveness in more ways than one.
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Organic Cotton Pillow Protector
An Allergist-Approved Set in 100% Organic Cotton
Quilted Pillow Protector
High-End Appeal for Hot Sleepers and Night Sweats
John Lewis & Partners
Specialist Anti-Allergen Pillow Protector
Specially Formulated Protector With Micro-Fresh Technology
2 Waterproof Pillow Protectors
Blending Polyester and Bamboo for the Best of Both
2 Waterproof Pillow Protectors
Get the Perfect Fit With Three Size Options
4 Pillow Protectors
A Set of Zippered Protectors for the Whole Family
2 Pillow Protectors
A Quilted Protecting Duo for Increased Comfort
The 100% organic cotton used to create these premium covers has excluded harsh dyes, bleach and chemicals from its construction for an all-natural and extremely breathable feel with allergen barrier protection. They are even allergist recommended and come with an impressive 10-year warranty.
Choose from a standard, queen size or king to create the kind of pillow-protecting feeling that you simply cannot get from lesser products. Whether you need something cooling, hypoallergenic or just more comfortable, this is a remarkable protector set for the price and one you'll wonder how you ever lived without!
Velfont's quilted pillow protector is a protector with a difference – it's made from a unique style of cotton that was originally developed for NASA to balance temperature change in space. It does this through the inclusion of tiny micro-capsules that absorb and distribute heat when needed.
This is a high-tech product that is priced accordingly, but if you suffer from overheating, night sweats or you really feel the chills in winter, then this protector could be your NASA-approved calling.
John Lewis have a desirable range of pillow protectors that aren't in the business of trying to hide their premium price and nature. This is their specialist anti-allergy offering that boasts a 100% cotton jersey outer for comfort and a polyurethane inner for waterproofing.
The added micro-fresh technology also prevents the growth of odour, which in turn will keep your pillow fresher for longer. This double act of protection and breathability instructs the intelligent, high-end design – and price – of this product, but its quality is worth every penny.
Martian Made has got the bedding world talking with their super thick polyester and bamboo protectors offering a luxurious feel for a good price. The fusion of these two fibres allows the covers to offer the appealing elements of natural fabrics while remaining well-priced.
The included bamboo fibres will help wick moisture away to keep your pillow dry and mite-free, plus, a waterproof membrane has also been stitched into the design. A popular, mid-range pair of protectors that won't let you down.
Next up, a two-pack of protectors that are not just anti-allergy but truly hypoallergenic. You'll need not worry about any spills or perspiration getting onto your pillow either, thanks to the included waterproof membrane.
Another appealing feature is that they come in three sizes of standard, queen and king so you can get the right fit no matter your bedding. The only hitch is, just like the lower numbers on this list, they are made of 100% polyester, meaning they are feature-filled but not constructed of the best quality fabrics.
This four-pack of protectors are pleasantly priced to protect your family's pillows for less. Coming in at less than £15 for the set, these polyester covers are a bargain that will surely have many questioning whether they are up to scratch.
Luckily, they also come extremely well rated on Amazon with many happy users noting the effectiveness of these zippered protectors. Sure, they aren't packing the premium features of some others, but if you just want a basic protector to get the job done, you could do much worse.
Branded as being soft and huggable, this two-pack of pillow protectors from Slumberdown are both cheap and effective. Quilted to bring a padded layer of comfort, this polyester duo will give your head a good place to rest.
They are also machine washable and tumble dryer approved, so they're ready to handle the wear and tear of family life. The unfortunate downside is that their closure is of the folding envelope type with no zip in sight.
Looking to upgrade the rest of your family's bedding too? We've ranked the 10 best kids', memory foam and pillows for neck pain found online to bring about the kind of night that feels like you're sleeping on clouds.
With your pillows soon to be covered by the best protectors in the business, you can now peel yourself away from this part of your bedtime story and spend some quality time actually sleeping. We hope this article has helped you find a protector to keep your favourite pillow looking and feeling its best.
Author: Connor Macanally
No. 1: Aller-Ease｜Organic Cotton Pillow Protector
No. 2: Velfont｜Quilted Pillow Protector
No. 3: John Lewis & Partners｜Specialist Anti-Allergen Pillow Protector
No. 4: Martian Made｜2 Waterproof Pillow Protectors
No. 5: UltraBlock｜2 Waterproof Pillow Protectors
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