The Best Pillow Protectors to Help You Breathe Easier

Our top pick is the Avocado Organic Quilted Pillow Protector

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Best Pillow Protectors

The Spruce / Amelia Manley

You use bed sheets and maybe even a pad or cover to help maintain your mattress and prevent dust accumulation—but what about your pillow? Pillow protectors are similar to pillowcases and shams, except they almost always have zipper closures and serve a specific purpose.

The idea is to prevent premature wear and tear of your pillow while creating a barrier against moisture, stains, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens. There are lots of cooling options, too, and some even go so far as to keep bed bugs away.

To help you narrow down your options, we rounded up the best pillow protectors for every budget below.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Avocado Organic Quilted Pillow Protector

Organic Quilted Pillow Protector
Courtesy of Avocado.
What We Like
  • Organic

  • Breathable

  • Hypoallergenic

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

While there are many excellent options out there, Avocado takes the cake. The brand's 400-thread-count Quilted Pillow Protector is woven from 100 percent certified organic cotton. It boasts a velvety-smooth sateen finish with a hand-stitched diamond quilting pattern.

This discrete encasement is designed to go over your pillow and under your pillowcase. Thanks to the hidden zipper and white fabric, it won't show through.

We also like that it comes in three sizes and holds various certifications, including GOTS, Made Safe, Greenguard Gold, and Oeko-Tex. This product is soft, breathable, hypoallergenic, durable, and even machine-washable—what's not to love?

Price at time of publish: $54

Material: Organic cotton | Sizes: Standard, Queen, King | Certifications: GOTS, Made Safe, Greenguard Gold, Oeko-Tex Standard 100

Best Budget

The Company Store Standard Cotton Pillow Protector

Cotton Pillow Protector
Courtesy of The Company Store.
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Machine-washable

  • Four sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Zipper isn't very durable

For folks on a budget, we highly recommend the 100 percent cotton pillow protector from The Company Store. This well-crafted bedding essential is exceptionally soft and comfortable.

It has a zipper closure on one side and is conveniently machine-washable. We also appreciate that the Cotton Pillow Protector comes in four sizes, including Euro to fit square decorative pillows.

Price at time of publish: $16

Material: Cotton | Sizes: Standard, Queen, King, Euro | Certifications: Oeko-Tex Standard 100

Best for Allergies

Mission: Allergy Dust Mite and Allergen Proof Pillow Encasing

Dust Mite and Allergen Proof Pillow Encasing


What We Like
  • Breathable

  • Protects from multiple allergens

  • Silky and soft texture

What We Don't Like
  • Limited sizes

  • Some reviews mention crinkliness

Designed by a board-certified allergist, the Mission: Allergy Dust Mite and Allergen Proof Pillow Encasing is a great defense against allergens while you doze. Whether it's dust mites, pet dander, or other allergens, this moderately-priced encasement can help you breathe easier.

Tightly woven with 100 percent microfiber polyester, it flaunts a silky smooth texture, bound seams, interior and exterior zipper flaps, and easy-to-use zippers. The pillow protector has an air-permeable construction making it extremely breathable while still being water-repellant. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Material: Polyester | Sizes: Standard | Certifications: None listed

Best Waterproof

Coop Home Goods Ultra-Tech Pillow Protector

Ultra-Tech Pillow Protector
Courtesy of Coop Home Goods.
What We Like
  • Breathable

  • Guaranteed quiet

  • Several sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Stripe shows through white pillowcases

Woven from a bamboo-polyester blend with a special polyurethane membrane, the Ultra-Tech Pillow Protector from Coop Home Goods is waterproof and stain-resistant. Sweat, spills, and other liquids can't penetrate the material, but it's still machine-washable on a cold cycle.

Unlike other waterproof designs, this pillow protector is guaranteed quiet—no crinkly, rustling noises when you move around. It's also hypoallergenic, breathable, and supremely soft.

Price at time of publish: $40

Material: Bamboo, polyester, polyurethane membrane | Sizes: Travel/toddler, Standard, Queen, King, Body | Certifications: Oeko-Tex Standard 100

Best Organic

Coyuchi Organic Cotton Pillow Protector

Organic Cotton Pillow Protector
Courtesy of Coyuchi.
What We Like
  • Densely woven

  • Sateen finish

  • Dust mite protection

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Not waterproof

If you're on the organic bedding bandwagon, you can't go wrong with Coyuchi's Organic Cotton Pillow protector. This protector is made of 100 percent certified organic cotton and densely woven with a 530 thread count. It isn't waterproof, but the fabric is designed to offer a layer of defense against common woes like stains. Customers love how soft the cotton feels to the touch, and it's clear that the sateen weave makes this protector feel like a little slice of luxury. It's particularly great at protecting down pillows, too.

Available in three sizes, this white encasement features a luxurious sateen finish and a side zipper closure. You can count on protection from stains as well as dust mites, and general wear and tear.

Price at time of publish: $34

Material: Organic cotton | Sizes: Standard, Queen, King | Certifications: GOTS, Made Safe

Best Cooling

Ettitude Bamboo Pillow Protector

Bamboo Pillow Protector
Courtesy of Ettitude.
What We Like
  • Sustainable CleanBamboo fabric

  • Hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin

  • Water-resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Calling all hot sleepers! Ettitude's Pillow Protector is woven from sustainable and naturally hypoallergenic bamboo. The fill within the box-stitch quilting is bamboo as well, which makes for an all-around breathable and inherently cooling encasement. It's also a nice choice for those with sensitive skin, as the added breathability and hypoallergenic (and sustainable!) bamboo fabric is gentle to the touch and won't aggravate any existing concerns. Plus, the thickness of this pillow protector helps breathe new life into old pillows, with many customers noting that it can re-fluff and reinvigorate tired, flat ones.

In addition to helping regulate your body temperature, a thermoplastic lining keeps sweat stains and spills off your pillow. However, this pillow protector is definitely an investment with a higher-than-typical price.

Price at time of publish: $54

Material: Bamboo, thermoplastic polyurethane | Sizes: Standard, King | Certifications: Oeko-Tex Standard 100

Best for Bed Bugs

All-in-One Pillow Protectors with Bed Bug Blockers

Pillow Protectors with Bed Bug Blockers
Courtesy of Walmart.
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Ultrasonically sealed seams

  • Waterproof

What We Don't Like
  • Not very breathable

If you're dealing with bed bugs, go with All-in-One Pillow Protectors. The unique fabric is designed to prevent an infestation from reaching your pillow.

Thanks to a multi-layer microporous barrier, triple-seal closure, and ultrasonically sealed seams, it also blocks dust mites, pollen, and pet dander while keeping moisture out. We appreciate that this waterproof pillow protector is machine-washable and non-crinkly.

Price at time of publish: $12

Material: Cotton, polyester, polyurethane | Sizes: Standard, King | Certifications: Oeko-Tex Standard 100

Best for Night Sweats

Brooklinen Pillow Protectors

Pillow Protectors
Courtesy of Brooklinen.
What We Like
  • Densely woven

  • Sateen finish

  • Prevents stains

What We Don't Like
  • Zipper isn't very durable

While Brooklinen is well-known for its luxury bedding, the brand makes some great utilitarian products. These pillow protectors are loomed from 100 percent long-staple cotton with a 500-thread-count sateen weave.

The dense fabric is designed to safeguard your pillow from sweat, oil, makeup, and spills. Available in packs of two, the encasements also provide natural protection from dust mites while extending the life of your pillow.

Price at time of publish: $29

Material: Long-staple cotton | Sizes: Standard, King | Certifications: Oeko-Tex Standard 100

Best Thick

White Noise 100% Cotton Pillow Sham

White Noise 100% Cotton Pillow Sham


What We Like
  • High-quality construction

  • Asthma and allergy friendly

  • Moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

If you prefer a protector that adds a bit of loft to your pillow, you’ll want to check out the White Noise 100% Cotton Pillow Sham. While it comes at a steep price point compared to other options on this list, it’s suitable for a wide range of people including those with night sweats and people with asthma or allergies. 

Additionally, it’s made primarily with cotton and features an all-natural silk liner—a high-end feature that’s pretty rare in pillow protectors. It will add a bit of thickness to your pillow, which is good if you need some added support. The product is asthma and allergy friendly, certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The material is both breathable and moisture-wicking, so if you tend to overheat while sleeping, this pillow protector might just be for you. 

Price at time of publish: $79

Material: Cotton and silk | Sizes: Standard, Queen, King | Certifications: Certified asthma and allergy friendly

Best Silk

SMARTSILK Pillow Protector

SMARTSILK Pillow Protector


What We Like
  • High-quality construction

  • Cooling properties

  • Hypoallergenic

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

For those who enjoy the benefits of silk bedding, the SMARTSILK Pillow Protector is a top-notch pick. Made with a cotton shell and silk fill, the product boasts a breathable construction and temperature-regulating properties to keep you cool throughout the night.

Additionally, it’s hypoallergenic, protecting against dander, pollen, and other allergens for a better night’s sleep. And while it might be a bit on the pricey side, we think it’s worth it considering the high-quality materials and thoughtful construction.

Price at time of publish: $53

Material: Cotton and silk | Sizes: Queen | Certifications: None listed

Final Verdict

Our number one pick is the Avocado Quilted Pillow Protector (view at Avocado). This organic cotton encasement features a smooth sateen finish and offers naturally breathable, hypoallergenic protection. For something more wallet-friendly, we recommend The Company Store Cotton Pillow Protector (view at The Company Store), which is soft, comfortable, breathable, and effective.

What to Look for When Buying a Pillow Protector


When buying a pillow protector, you'll want to pay attention to the material. Many options are 100 percent cotton, a naturally airy and moisture-wicking textile. Some are woven from bamboo lyocell, which is also breathable and moisture-resistant but generally more sustainable.

However, water-resistant and waterproof protectors typically feature some sort of polyethylene membrane or outer shell. The thermoplastic polymer offers excellent protection from spills, sweat, oil, makeup, and other substances that may stain a pillow.


Many protectors come in standard, queen, and king sizes to accommodate different sizes of bed pillows. However, some only offer standard and king. While queen pillows are a few inches longer than standards, the idea is that they're close enough to fit the same cases. You might also see additional sizes, such as Euro (for square throw pillows) and body (for body pillows).

Temperature Regulation

Some encasements are designed to help regulate your body temperature while you sleep by way of cooling, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics. Cotton and bamboo tend to be best for this, and lower thread counts will allow more air to pass through. While there are some exceptions, pillow protectors with polyethylene layers generally won't be as breathable.


We also suggest looking out for various certifications, which can verify the quality of the textile and ensure it's produced ethically or sustainably. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certifies organic bedding, and the Standard 100 certification by Oeko-Tex confirms a material is free of harmful substances.

Similarly, the Made Safe seal tells you a product was created only with safe ingredients and is free of chemicals that could harm your health. Certified Fair Trade bedding is made by farmers, artisans, or production workers who are treated ethically and paid a fair wage.

Products certified as Asthma & Allergy Friendly by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA) should do a sufficient job of keeping allergens out. Then there's Greenguard Gold, which ensures a fabric won't pollute indoor air, though it's not as common for textiles.

  • What is a pillow protector?

    A pillow protector is similar to a mattress protector or mattress pad in that it safeguards the insert from various substances while extending its lifespan. They're typically made of cotton or bamboo and may feature a polyurethane layer for extra moisture resistance. 

    People often use them as allergen barriers because they can help keep dust mites, pet dander, and pollen out of your pillow. This type of encasement usually has a zipper closure and might feature specially sealed seams to keep liquids and bed bugs out.

  • What is the best fabric for a pillow protector?

    Different fabrics will have different strengths when it comes to pillow protectors, so you’ll want to consider what will benefit your sleep the most. Do you have night sweats or tend to overheat while sleeping? Then you may want to look for a fabric that’s moisture-wicking or temperature-regulating, such as polyester or bamboo. Is your quality of sleep suffering because of allergies or asthma? Cotton or silk might just be your best bet. You’ll also want to consider your preferred texture and thickness of the pillow protector when picking one out.

  • How often should pillow protectors be washed?

    Pillow protectors should be washed around once a month in order to make the most of the product. This will ensure you’re washing away any dirt or oils that may have accumulated over time. And while you can throw most pillow protectors into the washer and dryer with ease, you’ll want to check the care instructions before purchasing one. Some materials may require you to dry on low heat or air dry, which you’ll want to consider beforehand.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland is a freelance commerce writer specializing in textiles, home design, and lifestyle. For this piece, she researched all aspects of pillow protectors, including the various types, materials, features, and certifications. She considered dozens of encasements from myriad brands and retailers, ultimately selecting products that held multiple critical qualities (breathability, organically grown fabric, water resistance, allergy protection, etc.). Holland has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019, where she writes full reviews of home-tested products and "Best of" roundups.

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