Do You Need An RV Mattress Cover? Exploring The Benefits

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By Kelly Beasley

If you want to make your camper mattress last longer and keep it clean, a mattress protector or cover is a wise choice.

A mattress cover is similar to a mattress pad but with a different purpose.

While a mattress pad adds comfort, a mattress protector or cover protects your mattress from allergens, bacteria, and stains that could void your warranty.

Let's explore how a mattress protector works and the many ways it can safeguard and prolong the life of your mattress.

What Happens If I Don't Use A Mattress Protector?

Without a mattress cover, your mattress is exposed to various threats.

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โ€œDust mites, pollen, dust and loose dirt can cause allergies and trigger asthma attacks,โ€ says Brian Sansoni, senior vice president of communications at American Cleaning Institute. โ€œSleeping on a clean mattress can prevent these triggers and help you to have a good nightโ€™s sleep." -Source

Even allergens, liquid spills, stains, sweat, and other contaminants can accumulate over time, potentially causing discomfort and health issues without using a cover.

Additionally, your mattress may be more susceptible to wear and tear, shortening its lifespan.

Can I Sleep On A Mattress Without A Cover?

Of course!

You can sleep on a mattress without a cover, but it's essential to consider the potential consequences.

Remember that buying the best RV mattress can be expensive. It's something you should protect as much as possible to make it last longer.

A mattress cover is a protective barrier, shielding your mattress from dust mites, allergens, spills, and stains.

It helps maintain cleanliness, hygiene, and the overall condition of your bed.

Additionally, if your mattress is under a sleep trial period, it needs to stay clean to return it, however that might look.

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What Are RV Mattress Covers For?

RV mattress covers are designed to safeguard your sleep space.

They act as a protective layer between you and your mattress, preventing the accumulation of allergens, moisture, and dirt.

Creating a barrier, they help maintain a cleaner, healthier sleeping environment.

They usually only cover the top of the mattress, like a fitted sheet.

What Mattress Covers Guard Against

Mattress covers provide defense against a range of concerns.

They protect against dust mites, allergens, and common allergens, which can trigger allergies and compromise sleep quality. (Improving sleep quality in RVs.)

They also guard against spills, stains, and moisture, preventing these from seeping into your mattress and causing damage or odors.

Mattress Protector Or Mattress Encasement? What's The Difference?

When considering mattress protection, you may come across the terms "mattress protector" and "mattress encasement."

The main difference lies in coverage.

Mattress Protector: A mattress protector or cover typically only covers the top and sides of the mattress, and it goes on like a fitted sheet. A waterproof mattress protector is highly recommended for the most protection.

Mattress encasement: This RV mattress accessory is often waterproof and zippered, covering all sides of the mattress. It provides an additional layer of protection against bed bugs and allergens. It might even help protect against mold, which is detrimental to your mattress and to your health.

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Do Mattress Covers Protect Against Bed Bugs?

If you're concerned about bed bugs, mattress encasements are specifically designed to offer protection against these pests.

By fully encasing your mattress, they create a barrier that prevents bed bugs from entering or escaping.

Regular mattress covers, however, usually do not provide the same level of protection against bed bugs.

But if you have them, your bed has them.

Time to do an extermination or even to throw that whole bed system in the trash and replace your RV mattress as these bugs are notoriously difficult to exterminate fully.

How Long Do Mattress Protectors Last?

The lifespan of a mattress protector depends on various factors, such as usage, care, and quality.

On average, a good-quality mattress protector will last 5 to 10 years.

In a recreation vehicle used only for vacations, it will last even longer since it's barely ever slept on.

It's essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions for care and maintenance to ensure its longevity.

RV mattress covers usually last decades when used only a few times per year and are kept in ideal climate conditions.

Help! Do I Need An RV Mattress Protector, Encasement, Or An RV Mattress Pad?

Choosing between a mattress protector, encasement, and mattress pad depends on your specific needs.

RV Mattress Protector:

If you're primarily concerned about protecting your mattress from spills, stains, and allergens, an RV mattress protector is the way to go.

RV Mattress Pad:

However, if you're looking for additional cushioning and comfort, an RV mattress pad provides that extra layer of softness, and it protects from accidental spills, fluids, and other staining by proxy.

RV Mattress Encasement:

If you have dust mite allergies or other dander allergies or want to make sure bed bugs never invade your mattress, get an RV mattress encasement.

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Keeping Things Clean

Lastly, it's essential to remember that mattress covers are machine washable, making it easy to clean and maintain a hygienic sleep environment.

Regularly washing your cover helps eliminate allergens and keep it fresh and ready for a good night's sleep.

RV mattress protectors and covers are your best defense in making your bed durable and hypoallergenic if you get a hypoallergenic protector that has RV mattress allergen protection.


RV mattress covers, and protectors are highly recommended to use in your camper.

They help protect your mattress from dust mites, allergens, spills, stains, pet dander, dead skin cells, and other contaminants and irritants, improving cleanliness, hygiene, and the overall condition of your sleep space.

Whether you opt for a mattress protector or a mattress encasement depends on your specific requirements.

Remember to consider factors like bed bug protection, waterproofing, and the level of coverage you desire.

Investing in a quality mattress cover, especially waterproof RV mattress protection, creates a cleaner, healthier, and more comfortable sleep environment for your camping adventures.

Kelly Headshot

I dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 6.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road.

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