Home Bed Bugs How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on Mattress- Best Covers, Protectors...

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on Mattress- Best Covers, Protectors & Encasement Reviews

The favorite place for bed bugs to hide is usually next to your bed and especially in your mattress. This is so that they can easily bite you when you sleep.

This piece discusses how bed bugs get into your mattress and how you can detect them. It also offers guidance on ways of getting rid of bed bugs from your mattress.

Can bed bugs hide in or live on mattresses?

Among the most common places where bed bugs hide is in your bed and as such your mattress. Bed bugs will hide at the edges of your mattress during the day and they will wait until you fall asleep in the night so that they bite you.

The bed bugs can live on your mattress for as long as they cannot be seen. It is the nearest place to your body at night and so bed bugs will always give it a preference when choosing where to hide.

However, during the day, the bed bugs may move to the bed or closet and later come in the mattress when its dark. This is a hiding strategy so that you do not see them.

Pictures-What do bed bugs look like on mattresses?

Mature bed bugs appear as flat bodied tiny insects with a rusty brown color when on your mattress. For the young bed bugs, they appear as small insects, the size of a pin head and translucent.

You will identify them by the small movements they may be making on your mattress.  It may be quite difficult to see a live bed bug on your mattress but you can also find signs that give you a hint that bed bugs are hiding somewhere in your bed.


Bed bug on mattress picture
single bed bug on mattress
Severe bed bug infestation mattress
Infestation Photo
Bed bug crawling on mattress photo
Bed bug crawling on mattress

 Signs-Stains & Eggs

Bed bug stains on mattress

It is easy to know if your mattress is infested with bed bugs. The first thing to look for is bed bug stains. There are two things that can stain your mattress; the bed bug blood or its droppings. When you accidentally crush the bed bug, it leaves red spots on your mattress since the blood it carries in its body is squeezed out.

The droppings on the other hand constitute the already digested blood and they appear to be dark spots rather than the red color of blood.

The two stains give you a hint that there may be bed bugs hiding on your mattress and you need to find them as soon as possible to avoid further infestations.

Bed bug eggs on mattress

Another sign of bed bug infestation is bed bug eggs ion your mattress. The eggs are tiny and milky white in color. Usually, a female bed bug lays between 1 to 5 eggs a day.

When searching for bed bug eggs on your mattress, you are advised to use a flashlight or a magnifying glass since there small size may make it hard for you to see them.

There are several other ways on how can you tell or know if your mattress has bed bugs and they include the following;

Live bed bugs

As you make you make your bed or at the time of changing sheets, you may come across a live bed bug.

Some people squeeze that bed bug dead and they move on with their life assuming that it was the only bed bug in the house.

bed bugs
Live bed bugs

Be warned however, since one live bed bug is an indicator of many more bed bugs hiding on your bed and in your mattress.

Baby bed bugs or nymphs are almost colorless and are way smaller than adult bed bugs. When they have had a blood meal, the nymphs appear red.

The adult bed bugs on the other hand, are very flat and rusty brown in color. This knowledge is very important when you are looking for live bed bugs in your mattress.

Bed bug skin

Throughout the life cycle, a bed bug sheds its skin about five times. For each new stage in its life cycle, the bed bug sheds its skin. The skin is in the actual shape of the bed bug and looks like its full body suit.

In fact, there are people who confuse bed bug shells for the real bed bug. Anytime you come across bed bug skin on your mattress, you should search further for bed bugs since this may be a sign of an old infestation.

Empty egg shells

Another sign that there is a growing generation of bed bugs in your bed and mattress is egg shells. When the eggs hatch, an egg shell is left behind.

The egg shell are just as small as the eggs but if you are keen enough you can see them with your naked eye or with the aid of a flash light and a magnifying glass.

Sweet musty smell

Bed bugs have a distinctive odor that is referred to by many people as a sweet musty smell. Others prefer to describe the smell as that of coriander or almost ripe grapes. If you have a strong sense of smell, you may feel this smell coming from your mattress. It is no doubt that there are bed bugs in your mattress.

How to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress

Killing-How and what kills them?

There are many ways to kill bed bugs that have made a home in your mattress. One of the ways that is rated among the most effective is heating the bed bugs in your mattress to death.

When heated for 90 minutes at 113 degrees Fahrenheit, bed bugs die. They cannot stand temperatures as high as 113 degrees.

The heat you set up, however, depends on the material that your mattress is made up of. Some materials can stand higher temperatures than others.

If your mattress cover can stand heat that is higher than 113 degrees, you will be lucky enough to heat the mattress for as short as thirty minutes and kill all the bed bugs.

Additionally, you can kill bed bugs in your mattress by steaming them.  Based on reviews, the most preferred steamer is the Vapamore Primo Steam Cleaning System.

The system produces 214 degrees and this temperature is high enough to kill not only the bed bugs but also their eggs. Although steaming may be quite expensive, it offers you a long-term solution.

Other ways to remove bed bugs on mattress

There are many other ways of getting rid of bed bugs as listed below;

  • Use mattress covers. Details on this coming up shortly. The cover traps the already existing bed bugs and prevents entry of other bed bugs. How the mattress covers aid in bed bug extermination will be discussed further in the article.
  • Use bed bug spray. You can also kill bed bugs in your mattress by using an aerosol spray which is labeled for bed bugs.
  • Use baking soda. This is one of the home remedies which effectively kill bed bugs by drying them. Sprinkle the baking soda on your mattress paying more attention to the seams. Leave the baking powder for about a week on the mattress then use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of it.
  • Use tea tree oil. This oil has anti-parasitic properties which enable it to suppress the growth of bed bugs. This oil destroys bed bugs but it may only be applicable where the mattress is facing a minor infestation.

How to clean a mattress from bed bugs

A vacuum cleaner will offer the best results in the case where you wish to free your mattress from bed bugs. Steps followed when cleaning your mattress from bed bugs are as follows;

  1. Remove the sheets from the mattress and the pillowcases as well. If there are other removable covers on your mattress, remove them as well. Take them to the washing machine while keeping them in a sealed plastic bag.
  2. Before vacuuming your mattress, you are advised to use a stiff brush to scrub the mattress seems so as to get rid of bed bug eggs.
  3. Carefully vacuum your mattress while paying more attention to the seams of your mattress where bed bugs like to hide.
  4. Empty the vacuum cleaner to the vacuum bag then seal it ensuring no bed bugs remain in the cleaner.
  5. To protect your mattress from more bed bugs, put it in a bed bug proof encasement. This will be discussed later in the article.
  6. Ensure you clean the bed as well while isolating your mattress from it before you can place the mattress back to the bed.

Bed bug mattress disposal

When bed bugs heavily infest your mattress, they become almost uncontrollable and the best you can do is dispose the mattress. Nevertheless, you need to be extremely careful when deciding on how exactly you will dispose your mattress.

Careless disposal of the mattress is likely to cause unnecessary spread of the bed bugs throughout your home.

To avoid such spread of bed bugs, you are advised to wrap the mattress and bedding in a plastic wrap while still in the infected room.

It does not necessarily have to be a plastic wrap but ensure that whichever wrap you use, it covers your mattress completely as not to let any bed bugs fall off.

Before disposing the bed bug, it is good to label it ‘BED BUGS’ so that no one brings it back to your home. Do not just drop your mattress anywhere expecting it will be carried together with the rest of the trash.

It is a bulky item and you may need to get a professional to dispose it. Search in google and you will find planet of people offering such disposal services.

Bed Bug Mattress Cover, Protector, Encasement & Bags

What are they?

Mattress covers are items that come inform of removable bedding which is placed on top of your mattress or covers which encase your mattress in order to protect it.

These covers in most cases protect you from any irritants that may have come into contact with the mattress.

Covers vs Protectors vs Encasements

There are some differences between protectors and encasements. They are both be classified as mattress covers since they serve the same purpose. Below is a description of each of them to bring about their differences;

Mattress protectors

A mattress protector is structured like a fitted bed sheet. It is placed on top of the mattress but under the sheets. It protects your mattress from stains and any liquids but it doesn’t cover the entire mattress.

Mattress-Protector for bed bugs

Mattress encasements

A mattress encasement offers more benefits as compared to mattress covers and mattress protectors. The encasement is constructed in such a way that it covers all the sides of your mattress.

Usually, the mattress encasement will have a zipper. You are required to slide the mattress into the encasement then zip it. This ensures total and complete protection.[1]

bed bug mattress encasement

How effective are bed bug mattress covers-how do they work?

Mattress covers are very helpful in keeping your mattress free from bed bug infestation. They have been rated among the easy to use and effective bed bug control methods.

When you place your mattress into a mattress cover, it acts as a trap for the bed bugs that are already in the mattress ensuring they do not escape.

That way, the bed bugs already in the mattress do not bite you and the bed bugs outside cannot make way into your mattress.

Pros of bed bug mattress covers

  • There are several benefits that come with use of bed bug mattress cover as discussed below;
  • They keep your mattress stain free. Bed bugs stain your mattress when they excrete. They also stain your mattress when they get crushed accidentally. This is possible because the covers deny mosquitoes access to your mattress.
  • The bed bug mattress covers, especially the encasements, bring a bed bug infestation to an end while it is still in its early stages by starving the bed bugs to death.
  • When your mattress is covered, you sleep comfortably since the bed bugs in the mattress cannot reach your skin.
  • The cover ensures that the bed bugs do not get into your bed or the box spring most especially if you have a newly purchased bed.
  • They are less costly. Compared to other bed bug elimination methods, use of mattress covers is very cheap and you can purchase them for as little as $20.

Cons of using bed bug mattress covers

  • The covers only prevent the bed bugs in the mattress from biting you but any other bed bugs in your surrounding can still reach out for you and bite you.
  • Some mattress covers do not have zippers and such covers will not prevent entry of bed bugs to the mattress entirely.

Anti bed bug mattress cover types & sizes


Bed bug mattress covers come in different sizes. This is so as to cater for the various mattress sizes that you may have. One of the factors you, must consider when buying a mattress cover is the size of your mattress.

The mattress covers you use must be big enough to cover the mattress fully so that no bed bug has a chance to slip in. The common sizes are briefly discussed below;

Full size

This size of mattress cover is made for way large mattresses and it is thicker than the other mattress sizes. Due to the size, the cover may also be relatively more expensive.

King & Queen size

Compared to the full-size mattress covers, King and queen size mattress covers are meant for mattresses smaller than the full-size mattress.

Types of mattress covers

Plastic mattress cover for bed bugs

Plastic mattress covers need to be made of heavy fabric to ensure that the bed bugs do not manage eating into the plastic. Bed bugs can eat through plastic and this is likely to reduce the effectiveness of the mattress covers made of plastic.

Waterproof bed bug proof mattress cover

A mattress cover which is both water proof and bed bug proof is a combination of great benefits in protecting your mattress.  Bed bugs are totally kept off when you guard your mattress using this kind of cover.


Vinyl mattress cover is considered one of the best ways to control bed bugs. It slips over the mattress and makes it impossible for bed bugs to navigate. It makes survival of bed bugs difficult and such kills them very fast.

Twin Covers

People who have used twin mattress covers praise it for its ability to fully cover the mattress without use of any force. This type of cover offers additional and assured protection of your mattress from bed since the covers do not shift.

Can bed bugs bite through mattress cover?

Bed bugs cannot bite through mattress covers since their sucking part of the mouth is not long enough as to penetrate through.  This gives you an assurance that, once your mattress has the cover on it, no bed bug from the mattress can bite you.

Can you wash bed bug mattress covers?

Bed bug mattress covers can be washed to get rid of any odor. However, you do not have to wash the cover when you have just bought it. For the covers that are water proof, you can wash them using your washing machine.

Buying the Best Bed Bug Mattress Cover-What to Consider

There are a number of things you must consider if you are to buy the best mattress cover. Below are some of the considerations;

  • Always go for the zipped mattress covers to ensure the mattress is fully covered so that no bed bugs find their way in. A cover that is open on one side may be less effective as bed bugs can still slip into the mattress.
  • Ensure that the cover you buy is made of the right material, that is, a material which is easily washable as bed bugs will stain it. The cover should not budge easily.
  • In the case of using the cover for bed bugs prevention, do not buy a lightly colored cover as the fecal and blood stains that will be left on it after the bed bugs die may be way hard to remove.
  • The mattress cover you buy should have an elastic band if not zipped so that it stretches well enough for your mattress to fit in it.[2]

Reviews & Where to Buy

Bed bug box spring cover/encasement

Customers who bought bed bug box spring give as positive response regarding their effectiveness.

box spring encasement reviews
Box Spring

some of the reviews are as below;


She explains that her child brought bed bugs home and she ordered for a box spring encasement instead of mattress encasement but she does not regret that. This is because, the box spring worked perfectly in preventing bed bugs from building a bigger infestation in her bed.


Kevin feels that premium bed bug proof box spring encasement is affordable yet excellent. He rates it five stars.


Lora states that the premium bed bug proof box spring encasement she got from Amazon was good quality. Lora says that it fit two box springs without a single tear and worked perfectly.[3]

Original bed bug blocker zippered mattress protector

There were customers who reviewed the use of these zippered mattress protectors as explained below;

ForereelOne , August 12, 2015

This customer explains that these mattress cover is not only offered at an affordable price but also works excellently.

It is a soft thin material that makes your mattress comfortable while keeping bed bugs away. The cover, even when new does not have plastic odors.

EastCoaster28, September 18, 2017

The reviewer expresses the joy of having ended the discomfort the mother was experiencing when bed bugs kept biting her from the mattress. Among the methods they tried out, the customer reports that the mattress cover worked very well.[4]

Orkin bed bug mattress cover

Below are some of the reviews from customers who used Orkin bed bug mattress cover;

Chris T, August 12, 2014

Chris reports that this mattress cover is great. He found it softer and less plastic compared to other covers.

Jane T.C, September 10, 2015

Jane says that the cover works well as per the advertised features. [5]

Where to buy

There are plenty of places from where you can buy bed bug mattress covers the best places are discussed below;

Home depot

This is a home improvement supplies retailing Company in America. It sells good quality mattress covers that will enable you build a comfortable home by keeping away bed bugs.


It is an American multinational retail corporation which runs so many stores from where you can access mattress covers that will aid you get rid of bed bugs.


You can buy bed bug mattress covers from Target online. You can choose your preferred cover online and it will be delivered to you.


Amazon sells goods online. It gives you an opportunity to compare the available mattress covers  so that you can choose the most appropriate one.

Further Reading


[1] https://cleanbrands.com/uncategorized/whats-the-difference-between-mattress-pads-protectors-and-encasements/

[2] http://www.bestairmattressguide.com/definitive-guides/definitive-guide-mattress-cover-mattress-protector/

[3] https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B01E5AA8BG

[4] https://www.walmart.com/ip/Original-Bed-Bug-Blocker-Zippered-Mattress-Protector/21387684

[5] https://www.amazon.com/Orkin-Blocking-Spring-Encasement-Queen/dp/B000UU2LEI