If you already have bed bugs, or if your home is at risk of getting them, a bed bug mattress cover is one of the best investments you can make. A zippered bed encasement as they are sometimes called, is the first step towards preventing or eradicating bed bugs.
If you are not sure if you have bed bugs, check out How do I tell if I have bed bugs?
How do bed bug mattress covers work?
Bed bug mattress covers are generally made of tough plastic such as vinyl or polyurethane. You slide your mattress into the plastic sleeve and then do up the zip. This fully encloses your mattress in a bed bug proof envelope. It will prevent any bed bugs already inside your mattress from escaping and biting you while you sleep. And it will ensure no bed bugs can get in to your mattress to hide.
What kind of bed bug mattress cover should I buy?
Not all mattress covers and encasements do the job well – you need to look for one that is proven and guaranteed to be escape proof and bed bug bite proof. When choosing the right mattress cover for your home there are two parts to consider: the material and the zipper.
Bed bug mattress cover material
A breathable material such as polyurethane will be much more comfortable than a cheaper material such as vinyl.
A silent material won’t make any noise when you move around in bed at night.
Machine washable and dry-able:
Machine washable and dry-able material will be much easier to clean than one that needs dry cleaning for instance. If you do have bed bugs in your mattress you will want to leave the cover on continuously for 18 months to ensure all bed bugs are dead.
Bed bug proof
The material should be tough enough to prevent bed bugs passing through it and also to prevent them biting you while you sleep. This means any bed bugs already in your mattress will not be able to feed and will eventually die. And no more bed bugs will be able to enter your mattress to hide.
Bed bug mattress cover zipper
Make sure the zipper teeth are small enough to prevent bed bugs passing right through the zipper. If they are too large then the mattress cover will be useless because the bed bugs will still be able to gain access to your mattress.
The zipper should go all the way to the seam and there should be no gap at the end of the zipper.
Finally, make sure your mattress cover comes with a warranty. Many of the better quality brands such as AllerZip, Luna, Protect-A-Bed and Sleep Tite come with a 10 or even 15 Year Warranty.