A guide to mattress protectors

Mattress with A Fitted Sheet and Duvet Cover | scooms

A good quality mattress protector can play an essential role in keeping your mattress in optimal condition. Here we explain why investing in a protector is so important and the key ingredients that determine a mattress protector’s quality.

Keep reading or jump straight to:

  1. What is a mattress protector?
  2. What is the difference between a mattress protector and a mattress cover?
  3. Is it worth getting a mattress protector?
  4. Can you machine wash a mattress protector?
  5. Synthetic or natural - which is the best mattress protector?
  6. What size mattress protector should I buy?
  7. What about pillow protectors?



Put simply, a mattress protector is a piece of bedding that sits on top of your mattress, like a second skin, but beneath your fitted sheet.

Fully removable and washable, a mattress protector is intended to keep your mattress clean by minimising contamination from fluids, skin and hair, all of which can stain your mattress and degrade its quality.

Mattress protectors can also help you to achieve a better night’s sleep if you’re someone who suffers from asthma, eczema or dust mite allergies, by providing an extra layer of protection between your mattress and your bedding.



There is no difference. A mattress cover is simply another way of referring to a mattress protector. Both 'mattress protector' and 'mattress cover' serve the same purpose: to provide a protective layer that helps to keep your mattress fresh, clean and unsoiled.

You may also come across the term 'mattress pad' in your search for mattress protectors. This is a different product from a protector or a cover. A mattress pad (as the name implies) is a padded layer that sits atop your mattress in order to add additional comfort.



If you’re wondering; should I get a mattress protector, the answer is yes. A quality mattress is an investment and how long it will last depends entirely on the aftercare you give it.

A fitted sheet or bottom sheet simply isn’t enough to protect your mattress from the many contaminants it comes into contact with each night. Many people aren’t aware but the average adult releases around 100 litres of sweat per year whilst asleep, all of which can seep into your mattress if not protected.

As damp and moist conditions attract dust mites, not protecting your mattress also increases the risk of an infestation of these microscopic sized bugs, the faeces of which can cause nasal congestion, coughing and itchy skin. These can make it problematic to achieve a good night’s sleep, something which is essential for our health.



Yes. Investing in a mattress protector would be pointless if you were unable to wash it and keep it clean. For this reason, you’ll find mattress protectors and pillow protectors are suitable for machine washing at home. Just be sure to always carefully follow the washing instructions when doing so and likewise with tumble drying too.



You’ll find mattress protectors and pillow protectors available in a choice of synthetic or natural fabrics. If you’re looking for quality - and we’d argue this is vitally important when protecting a mattress - we’d always advocate spending a little more and going the natural route.

Opt for a 100% pure cotton mattress protector which is naturally breathable and sweat wicking. A breathable mattress protector will help to keep your body temperature perfectly regulated at night so you don’t sweat excessively and experience issues with wakefulness as a consequence of being too hot or too cold.

A natural cotton mattress protector will also help to limit moisture from making your mattress damp, thereby reducing the risk of a dust mite infestation, which can lead to far greater health complications and difficulties sleeping.



You’ll find mattress protectors in each of the standard mattress sizes on sale: single, double, king, and super king. You should be purchasing the size that aligns with your mattress size, so it fits comfortably and isn’t in danger of dislodging.



Similar to a mattress protector, a pillow protector is a removable fabric casing that fits around your pillow to provide an additional layer that sits between your pillowcases and your pillows.

Like a mattress protector, a pillow protector can play a key role in preventing oils and other moisture from sources such as skin and hair from penetrating your pillows and causing unsightly stains and odours that can permanently damage your pillows.

However, be aware that pillow protectors can often be too tight for a good quality natural pillow like the scooms Hungarian goose down and feather pillow. You want your pillow to be able to breathe and for the filling to have the ability to evenly redistribute when plumped and shaken. A pillow protector that’s too snug will inhibit the pillow's natural loft and can also trap in moisture by limiting the pillow’s breathability. Avoid forcing your pillows into a protector and make sure you don’t struggle to get them zipped up when they are fitted.

If you do choose to use a pillow protector, also make sure it is made from a breathable material like 100% cotton. If you don't choose to use a pillow protector, make sure you wash your pillowcases once a week to keep your pillows fresh and wash your pillows carefully once every six months.



If you’ve found the advice on this page beneficial and insightful, take at look at some of our other bedding buying guides, including How to choose a new mattress and our Hungarian goose down duvet guide.

Or, if you’re looking for the perfect restful and restorative night’s sleep, why not put our 60-night duvet trial to the test. Filled with 100% ethical down and feather and featuring anti-allergen certification (among many other accreditations) the scooms duvet contains all the essential ingredients you need to sleep soundly each night.

Try yours today with a no-quibble money back guarantee if you’re not convinced of its quality after 60 nights!

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Bedding size guide


These are standard UK bedding measurements so if you know your mattress size, you can easily work out which duvet size you need. (Width x length.)

UK sizes Duvet size Mattress size
Single 135 x 200cm (53 x 79") 90 x 190cm
Double 200 x 200cm (79 x 79") 135 x 190cm
King 225 x 220cm (89 x 87") 150 x 200cm
Super king 260 x 220cm (102 x 87") 180 x 200cm 

US/CANADA BEDDING SIZES: Approximate matches to UK sizes are US King/UK Super king, US Queen/UK King,  US Full/UK Double and US Twin/UK Single.

EUROPEAN BEDDING SIZES: Each size - Single, Double, King and Grand king - is a little larger than the UK equivalent.

Measure your mattress to see which size bedding you need: our UK v European v US mattress comparison guide.



Young children can overheat so if they are old enough to use a full size bed, we recommend using a single size 4.5 tog duvet.

 Tog rating Season / heat Feel
2.5 tog High summer / hot sleepers Light thermal insulation
4.5 tog Summer Lower thermal insulation
9 tog Spring & Autumn Cosy medium heat
All season 13.5 tog 4.5 tog + 9 tog Very warm
All season 11.5 tog 2.5 tog + 9 tog Warm
All season 7 tog 2.5 tog + 4.5 tog Lower warmth



Our goose down duvets have high 700 fill power. Fill weight is measured in GSM (grams per square metre). For example view our 9 tog king size goose down duvet for more duvet details.

Fill weight (not total duvet weight)
Single All seasons - 788gsm
9 tog - 486gsm 
4.5 tog - 302gsm 
2.5 tog - 220gsm
Double All seasons - 1168gsm
9 tog - 720gsm
4.5 tog - 448gsm
2.5 tog - 320gsm
King All seasons - 1478gsm
9 tog - 911gsm
4.5 tog - 567gsm
2.5 tog - 400gsm
Super king All seasons - 1671gsm
9 tog - 1030gsm
4.5 tog - 641gsm
2.5 tog - 480gsm



Our pillows come in two sizes and provide medium support. (Width x length.)

Standard  50 x 75cm
King 50 x 90cm



Our fitted sheets are deep fit, up to 40cm / 15.7" mattress depth. And our duvet covers fasten with large, easy to use buttons. (Width x length.)

Duvet cover Fitted sheet Flat sheet Pillowcase (pair)
Single 140 x 200cm 90 x 190cm 180 x 275cm
Double 200 x 200cm 135 x 190cm 230 x 275cm 50 x 75cm (Standard)
King 230 x 220cm 150 x 200cm 275 x 275cm 50 x 90cm (King)
Super king 260 x 220cm 180 x 200cm 305 x 275cm

£10 off your 1st order over £200

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