Have Allergies? Don’t Want Dust Mites? Solution: Mattress Protector Encasements!


A mattress protector encasement is a necessary bedding component regardless of the type of bed you sleep on. Using a mattress protector encasement serves many purposes including air circulation, personal comfort, protects your mattress for stains, and reduces dust mites as the mattress encasement can be laundered.  We want to insure that our customers get exactly what they need to protect their round bed mattresses or standard bed mattresses from unwanted allergens and bugs! Not sure what type of mattress protector best fits your needs? Here’s a few helpful tips and facts to make this a better shopping experience for you!

Q: What is the difference between a membrane and non-membrane cover and how do they protect us?

A: Allergy relief covers with membranes are defined as fabrics with a vinyl or urethane based coating on the inside. It would be similar to one taking their favorite sheet and covering the underside with Saran-Wrap. Of course this would not be comfortable or practical but the concept is the same. The benefit of urethane over vinyl is that there is no noise and or odor (off gas). The membrane has no color or feel but it is there doing the work. These coatings have no “pores” or holes for the dust mites to escape. Thus, nothing can get in or out of your mattress.

Allergy relief covers without membranes are defined as fabrics without any coating. Without some kind of coating, the woven fabric would act like a sieve. When we are talking about non membrane fabrics we have to discuss pore size. Pore size is the diameter of the space or hole between the threads. If the average waste particle of bed bugs is approximately 9 microns then the pore size must be less than 9. Typically, any non membrane fabric with a pore size less than 6 or 7 will block all allergens including pet dander. Remember that thread count has nothing to do with pore size. 1000 count sheets for example have more threads per square inch but the pore size is not maintained. Thus, these fabrics will do nothing to encase the allergens.

Q: What do I need to know when choosing an allergy relief protective cover?

A: Which fabric is really the best? Of course the quality of the fabric and the efficacy of the barrier are important. Remember, you are sleeping on this cover every night! You also need to think about how comfortable each fabric is to sleep on. The characteristics of each fabric and the cost will help you determine which is best for you.

A quick checklist:

  • Always remember to buy a zippered cover only. Fitted versions DO NOT protect you from the mite allergens since the mattress is not totally encased. If it doesn’t say then it is usually fitted.
  • Are you a hot sleeper? If yes, look at membrane free cover like our 100% Cotton Allersoft Round Mattress Encasement.
  • Is waterproof an advantage for you? Maybe there is an incontinent issue or your mattress is very expensive and you don’t want to risk spilling anything on it. If so, consider a membrane fabric since it is also stain proof and waterproof in addition to allergy proof!
  • Do you plan to wash the covers as often as your basic linens? If so you may want to consider a fabric with all polyester or more polyester than cotton.
  • Do you want a softer cover for something like a duvet? Consider the Stretch Knit with Membrane or Membrane Free Pristine or Cotton.

Q: What are the difference between fabric types?

A: A membrane is defined in Webster’s as “A thin sheet of natural or synthetic material that is permeable to substances in solution.” Permeable means moisture can escape. The breathablilty, however, will not be like the nice sheets on your bed. These types of covers tend to hold in heat. If you are a sleeper who tends to sweat at night then this fabric may not be for you. One key component of the membrane is that it is waterproof. This is an advantage for bed wetters or incontinence. We have the Poly Cotton, Polyester Stretch Knit and Tricot Knit all with membranes. All these fabrics use the exact same membrane and only the top fabric is what differentiates them. The cost of these fabrics varies as well as the individual characteristics of each.

  • Tricot – All Polyester: A more lightweight fabric. Good for Colleges and budget minded consumers. A bit more “scratchy feeling”.
  • Poly Cotton-Blend of cotton and polyester. Softer and heavier weight fabric then a Tricot. More body and good for cold sleepers. Also washes well very well. Much better for absorbency.
  • Stretch Knit – All Polyester but unlike the Tricot it is a circular knit which means the weave has a soft and silky quality too it. Major difference from the Poly Cotton is the knit which is more elastic like a jersey sheet which can make it easier to put on the mattress.
  • Vinyl-Not a membrane cover per se though the vinyl acts like a membrane. It is totally waterproof. The vinyl tends to be very noisy and rough which is not ideal when sleeping directly on it. Vinyl covers are ideal for your box spring since they are the most economical. SMS Covers are also a great cover for your box spring.

Non Membrane fabrics are a more advanced technology in allergy relief bedding. Since there is no membrane separating you from the allergens, the weave of the fabric must be woven in such a way that the pore size or space between the threads is less than 6 microns. This is due to the fact that the smallest allergens have been tested at 10-15 microns. Our Allersoft TM Cotton and Pristine TM both have a pore size of less than <5! Because there is no membrane, these fabrics tend to have longer life spans since there is no membrane to deteriorate over time in the wash. Non membrane fabrics are also much cooler to sleep with and are much less noisy. It is more like putting a thick sheet on your mattress.

  • 100% Cotton Allersoft – Not to be confused with the older poly cotton (60/40 blend) offered at many retailers. The Cotton offers the same level of protection yet is the softest possible.
  • Many retailers offer different styles of Pristine and confuse the issue by giving the product a unique name. There are basically three levels of Pristine fabric and they can be identified by pore size. If you know the pore size you can easily know which fabric you are buying. All our Pristine mattress and pillow covers are 2.8 microns.

Q: What is the difference between Allersoft and Pristine?

A: The cotton Allersoft is the softest and coolest product you can purchase. Remember that the Pristine is a synthetic so it feels very slick like an umbrella.These products are designed to be washed just a few times per year as they lay underneath your sheets. Some people, however, desire to wash the product as often as a few times per month. If this sounds appealing to you, we recommend purchasing the Pristine since a synthetic fiber will be durable in the laundering. If you plan on following the guidelines and washing 3-4 times per year maximum, then the Allersoft will be the preferred fabric since it has the best feel and is the cooler one to sleep on. The difference in the pore sizes which is about 2 microns is negligible so both are comparable in terms of protection. Anything under 5 microns is viewed as premium.

We offer a full line of custom made round mattress encasement’s, duvet encasement’s, and pillow protectors online HERE! Our manufacturer will add an additional inch for tucking underneath your mattress to ensure a proper fit. Call us to speak with our friendly linen consultants if you still need some extra assistance!

Happy Shopping!


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