If you want your mattress to give you comfortable sleep for as long as possible, the most important but easiest thing you can do is add a cover. While few people would consider sleeping on their mattress without sheets, adding pads and bed protector cushions under the sheets can make the biggest difference.
A mattress’ greatest enemy is moisture, since they are nearly impossible to dry if major amounts of moisture are absorbed. This moisture can quickly become mold and mildew. This is why adding protective cover layers under the top sheets makes such a difference. Whether or not we are aware of it, we perspire during the night. Our skin also produces oils in combination with the creams or lotions applied during the day. Over time, these oils and moisture can permeate sheets and reach the mattress surface. Even if you have a specialty mattress, it’s still important to cover foam or latex, and even sleep support materials like body bolster cylinder cushions. The most basic cover for protecting your bed is a cotton mattress pad. Though the pad’s primary goal is to add a touch of softness to the mattress, it serves as an additional barrier between the sleep surface and the mattress, and one that is washable to boot. These are not waterproof but their absorption ability is enough that it can slow body moisture from getting to the mattress or provide a minor barrier should a glass of water spill onto the bed.
For greater protection, vinyl or plastic mattress covers provide a water resistant barrier for the mattress. These can be wrap-around covers or complete encasements that zip up around the mattress. In addition to their moisture resistance, vinyl mattress encasements can prevent dust mites from entering a mattress or reduce the impact in a mattress where they already reside. Simply put, mattress protection pads are integral to getting the longest life out of your bed.