No one likes to think about bed bugs, but sadly, many residential buildings around the world are infested with them. Bed bugs are considered a parasitic insect that lives indoors and feeds mainly on human blood. Depending on the management company’s quick response will depend on whether you suffer from them only once, or whether they’re something you must regularly spray for in your home.
These bugs have a creepy looking appearance. They start out as a beige or translucent oval with legs and pincer, but turn red after they’ve fed on blood. To figure out if you might have them in your bedroom, turn on the lights after 2 am and see if there are any on your pillow or sheets. If you squeeze them, blood will burst out.
Chances are, they’re bed bugs, but you can always consult an expert for sure, as there are many other bugs in the home that don’t bite, such as spiders, carpet beetles, or cockroaches. Bed bugs also leave behind feces that looks like coffee grounds, which is another health issue in itself.
If you have bed bugs, you want to begin treatment immediately. One of your best defences from being bitten at night is to treat your mattress and then cover it with a mattress cover. Many people with bed bug infestations will also keep their old mattress until they’re sure the pesticides have worked, and then discard their mattress, but until that time, a mattress cover or encasement can ensure that you don’t get bitten at nighttime.
Do Mattress Encasements Work?
Mattress encasements for bed bugs are made from a flexible vinyl, and they’re designed to fully cover the mattress, from top to bottom, and sides. Unfortunately, bed bugs can crawl quite a distance, and using a regular mattress pad that only covers top and sides won’t go far in protecting your sleep. That’s why you need a full mattress encasement.
Another way mattress encasements work is that over time, when the bed bugs have not been able to feed, they will die. If that means they’re trapped inside your mattress, as you have an encasement over it, then that’s good. This is also another reason why you may wish to eventually discard your mattress because dead bugs are creepy.
They’re Just Bugs, Do I Need to Do Anything?
Many people may shrug off bed bugs as being in the same class as mosquitoes, ticks, or chiggers, as they’ll all biting insects. But the problem with bed bugs is that they live solely indoors and their population rapidly grows. Bed bugs can rapidly increase to thousands of bugs in your bedroom. That’s a whole lot of bites on your skin.
Some people can get bitten and suffer no reaction on their skin, while other people can suffer bad reactions, such as hives, or even open sores. The open sores are the worst as they can leave scars, and they can also become infected with a more serious staph or MRSA infection.
Most people object to bugs running over their pets or babies at night. It’s best to never shrug off a strange bug you see on your bed. The sooner you treat your room and cover your mattress, the better.
Bonus Tips to Consider When Using Mattress Covers
There are many different types of mattress covers to choose. Many often have additional comfort built in, with extra padding on top. If you’re going to buy a mattress cover, check it’s comfort level first.
Be sure to note the correct size when placing your order: single, twin, double, queen, and king. There may even be other sizes for certain brands. If in doubt, grab the measuring tape and measure width, length, and depth of your current mattress.
Choose a mattress cover that can be washed in hot water. If you do have bed bugs, you’ll want to pull off the mattress cover on a regular basis and toss it into the washing machine. Bed bugs cannot survive hot water and laundry soap.
It’s a tough decision to toss out newer mattresses and boxsprings when you have a bedbug infestation. It’s better if your top mattress rests simply on top of a metal mattress frame that can easily be sprayed and wiped down.
You may wish to discard your mattress’s box spring, as the bugs can easily craw underneath into the wood. The top mattress can be sprayed and dried. Do a thorough vacuum on top, bottom and sides, then wrap your mattress encasement around it. There are also encasements you can buy for the box spring.
Remember that bed bugs can also hide in electrical outlets, baseboards, and carpet, so you’ll need to thoroughly spray and vacuum all portions of your bedroom. It’s also a good idea to do your entire home, though bed bugs are mostly known to frequent the bedroom.
5 of the Best Mattress Covers to Help Avoid Bed Bugs
The best way to keep from being bitten by bed bugs at night is to use a mattress cover. Here are five of the best mattress covers to choose from.
1. Utopia Bedding Waterproof Zippered Mattress Encasement—Bed Bug Proof Mattress Cover
- Six different mattress sizes to choose from.
- Also suitable for people who suffer dust mite allergies.
- Protects mattress against fluids and spills too.
The Utopia Bedding mattress cover keeps you comfortable during sleep, so you’re not hot or sweaty. It’s also durable, and can stand up to multiple washings each month. This cover is pure white, so if you do have bed bugs, you’ll be able to easily spot them. You can buy one for the mattress, and one for the box springs. The cover provides a solid barrier, so the bugs won’t be able to hide inside anymore. This is a mattress cover that is also recommended by exterminators. This mattress cover is available in six different sizes, so measure carefully in advance. It’s meant for wider mattresses with fifteen inches thick deep pockets. The cover is white and is zippered. It has a velcro zip guard so that bugs cannot enter or escape.
The cover is made from a stretchable knitted polyester fabric that makes it comfortable to sleep on. The inner side has PVC or a vinyl-free waterproof backing that keeps bugs out, as well as resists stains, spills and sweating. The thickness of the fabric will also keep bugs from biting your through the mattress. You’ll also not hear that plastic noise that can also interfere with your sleep at night. It’s also suitable for people who suffer from dust mite allergies, with its hypoallergenic barrier. This mattress cover is not made with toxic chemicals, PVC, vinyl, phtalates, or fire retardants.
2. Linenspa Zippered Encasement—Waterproof, Dust Mite Proof, Bed Bug Proof Breathable Mattress Protector
- Seven different mattress sizes.
- Choose from three sizes of matching pillow protectors.
- Quiet, waterproof barrier against bugs and mites.
You’ll appreciate how the Linenspa zippered encasement does not crinkle or make noise when you lie on top of it. It’s made with a soft plastic material. You can easily wipe it clean after every bedding change. You don’t need to have bugs to use it for other purposes: a young child’s bed, or a senior’s bed. This mattress protector is made in a pure white colour, much like a linen sheet. You won’t lose any quality of sleep from placing mattress covers on your mattresses and boxspring, and you’ll also sleep better knowing that you won’t be bitten by bed bugs at night anymore.
This mattress cover is made from a thin lightweight material that is also waterproof and made from safe materials for pets or kids. You can toss it in the washing machine and dryer. It has a zippered closure, and will fit all mattress thicknesses up to twelve inches. You also can use it if you’re allergic to dust mites or other allergens. This mattress protector is also covered by a ten year warranty so you can buy it with confidence.
3. Beckham Hotel Collection Premium Mattress Encasement
- Six different mattress sizes to choose from.
- Inexpensive cover for people on a budget.
- Protects from bed bugs, dust mites, and keeps your mattress clean.
This mattress cover will fit most mattresses from widths of twelve to eighteen inches. It stretches to fit, so you won’t have excess material to tuck under. it also provides comfort so that you don’t feel hot or sweaty at night, as it doesn’t trap heat while you sleep. You’ll need to purchase one for your mattress, and a second one if you have a boxspring. If you want a mattress solution that lasts for years, you’ll find that the Beckham Hotel mattress encasement will last for two years and beyond. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a mattress cover that does a good job.
Like most mattress protectors, this one not only protects against bugs but dust mites, bacteria, and spills too. This is a great mattress cover for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. It has a secure zip closure with secure technology to keep the bugs from slipping between the zipper’s teeth. It’s made from 100% knitted polyester fabric.
4. The Original Sleep Defense System—Waterproof / Bed Bug / Dust Mite Proof Premium Zippered Mattress Encasement
- Mattress covers for all sizes of beds: 13 different sizes available.
- Fits mattress depths of 9” or 12” to 18”
- Extra-soft polyester knit cool fabric.
If you need a mattress protector that keeps you cool at night, the Original Sleep Defense may be right for you. It has a good tight zipper to keep bugs from crawling in or out. You’ll find that it’s simple to put on all by yourself. Bugs can’t get past the material to get inside your bed, and they can’t get out. With proper treatment and the use of a mattress cover, you’ll soon be getting a good night’s sleep.
The Original Sleep Defense mattress cover fits a wide range of mattresses, and like most premium covers, it’s for more than a barrier against bedbugs, it’s also a barrier against dust mites and allergens. Asthmatics will be able to rest easier with a special mattress cover that blocks these allergens and more. This cover also has a five year limited manufacturer’s warranty. This mattress cover is made with the same quality as the ones used in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
5. SureGuard Mattress Encasement—100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic Premium Zippered Six-Sided Cover
- 100% waterproof to block fluids and stains.
- Bedbug proof.
- Hypoallergenic, good for allergy sufferers.
The SureGuard Mattress Encasement is simple to get on your mattress. Some people may wish to wash the cover first before placing on the bed. It’s suitable for people who suffer from dust mite allergies, and has some waterproof ability, but probably not the best solution for a bedwetting child. The materials are made from a terry-like soft fabric topper, with a plastic underside. This is a durable product that will last for many years and also can be repeatedly washed in the machine.
The SureGuard Mattress protector will keep bedbugs out of your mattress, while making it easier to breath at night. It’s also made from a 100% cotton terry cloth top that wicks away moisture. It’s soft and noiseless and works with your mattress so you don’t feel uncomfortable. It’s free from toxic chemicals and materials, and is available in a wide range of sizes.
When shopping for protective mattress covers or casements, be sure to measure and note the correct size when ordering. If you also have a boxspring, purchase a second cover for that. Many mattress covers for bed bugs offer the same features: waterproof, good barrier, etc., so check for unique features, such as a protective velcro barrier for the zipper, or a soft cotton topper.
A mattress cover isn’t going to kill all your bed bugs, but it certainly is going to help you get a good night’s sleep in-between cleaning and spraying your room.