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Yes, you need a mattress cover — and we found the absolute best ones at Amazon, starting at $18

New year, new fresh bed. (Linenspa)

You probably give your mattress next to zero thought on a regular basis, and that goes double for mattress covers. But while it’s easy to dismiss mattress covers as something you don’t need, the opposite is actually true. Not only can mattress covers extend the life of your mattress, they can help protect you from dust mites and bed bugs, Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist/immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

There are a few things to look for, according to Parikh. “Dust mites are microscopic, so the pores of the covers have to be small enough that dust mites cannot get through,” she says. Also, make sure you look for a cover that explicitly says it will protect against dust mites. “Often, bed bug covers are not enough if they are not meant for dust mites too,” Parikh says.

While everyone can benefit from a mattress cover, people who suffer from dust mite allergies, asthma and eczema will get the most out of having one, Parikh says. And, of course, the same is true for anyone who doesn’t want to have to deal with bed bugs.

Whether you need a new mattress cover or want to invest in one for the first time, here are the bestselling and top-rated options at Amazon.

SafeRest’s No. 1 bestselling mattress cover has over 216,000 reviews to back it up. (One person even shared that the cover shielded his mattress after his wife unexpectedly gave birth in their bed!) The cover protects against dust mites, fluids and bacteria to ensure you and your mattress stay in good shape.

$38 at Amazon

"My wife went into labor a year and a half ago and that labor went very quickly ... so quickly that she ended up giving birth on our bed in the presence of EMTs," shared the aforementioned reviewer. "Let's just say I was fully expecting to be purchasing a new mattress. To my amazement, once I'd bagged our sheets and this mattress pad, our mattress was perfectly fine. I bought another one immediately and will continue to use this brand as long as it exists. I challenge anyone to put it through a more rigorous test, and I'm positive it can stand up to some sweat or your child's pee in the middle of the night."

This wildly popular, super-soft cover has a smooth, brushed polyester surface, along with a waterproof backing for protection. It won't make noise if you toss and turn, and it also comes with a 10-year warranty just in case. 

$17 at Amazon

"Works as a force-field for your mattress," one reviewer wrote. “When they say 100% waterproof, they mean it. I have a two-year-old who frequently makes his way into my bed in the middle of the night. This same two-year-old happens to be in the middle of potty training. Unfortunately, he hasn't quite yet mastered the ability to hold it all night long. So, when I ordered a new mattress, I knew that a mattress protector was a necessity ... In the short time I've owned it, this protector has been 'tested' by the aforementioned two-year-old on several occasions. And, each time, it passed the test — not a single drop made its way to the mattress."

Utopia’s zippered cover gives you 360-degree protection for your mattress. It’s also made of knit polyester for a comfy feel, and, according to the manufacturer, it's bed bug- and dust mite-proof. 

$24 at Amazon

"I'm not sure why everybody and their mother aren't using these on EVERY mattress they own, but maybe it's just because I live in New York City where everybody is terrified of the 'B' word," wrote a fan. "But this mattress cover is EXACTLY what everybody needs. It's zippered (so no bugs in or out), waterproof (you know...) but best of all, soft and SILENT. Back in the olden days, these were plastic and sounded like sleeping on trash bags. No more. This is fantastic and I require everybody with a mattress to put one of these on as to keep it clean and safe."

Consider PlushDeluxe your mattress' suit of armor. This hypoallergenic protector fends off dust mites and is 100% waterproof, while still feeling ultra-soft and breathable. The bamboo fabric wicks away moisture and regulates heat, keeping you comfortable while you sleep.

$38 at Amazon

"Fantastic product," raved a reviewer. "Got this after the cat peed on my bed. Not only is the cover waterproof, but it is smell-proof. Cats will return to the scene of the crime if they smell even the faintest odor of pee, but this cover is so impermeable not even an animal can detect the scent of urine."

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.