What is a pillow protector — and are they worth it?

A woman sleeping on a pillow

We spend a good chunk of our lives in bed, and yet most of us don’t give it the care and attention it deserves. We might splurge for the best mattress, or even take the time to get the best pillows — comfort is essential after all. But, it seems maintaining the bed is a lower priority, particularly when it comes to the pillows. 

Pillow protectors have been around for a long time, but they’re nowhere near as popular as the best mattress protectors. Their purpose or impact may not be as obvious, but pillow protectors are still an essential investment. Here, we will explain exactly what a pillow protector is, and why every bed should have them. 

What are pillow protectors? 

As the name suggests, pillow protectors are designed to protect your pillows from spills, stains and wear and tear. It’s essentially an extra layer of material which sits between the pillow filling and the outer case. You can fit them on exactly as you would a regular pillow case, with some folding over to close and some zipping up to create a complete seal. 

A pillow protector being fitted on an orthopedic pillow

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Most pillow protectors are machine-washable, which means you can slip them off and wash them before replacing. Some can also go in the tumble dryer, although you must be careful not to shrink them beyond the size of the pillow.

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