Can Bed Bugs Go Through a Plastic Mattress Cover? How to Prevent Them?

Bed bugs cannot go through plastic mattress covers as it has no holes to walk through. Plastic mattress covers keep the mattress safe from liquid and other contaminants. If the mattress cover is fitted well on the mattress and the bed, the bugs get no spots to escape through.

With the air and blood supply cut out to the bed bugs, they don’t survive for long and die. This method is ideal for getting the lid off the bed bugs fast, and you can return to un-interfered sleep. However, do a thorough cleaning in case a few pests get to the bedding and the bedframe.

The article discusses the use of plastic mattresses against bed bugs. Read to get your answer to the question, can bed bugs go through a plastic mattress cover?

What Are Plastic Mattress Covers and What Are Their Purposes?

What Are Plastic Mattress Covers and What Are Their Purposes

A plastic mattress cover is just like other covers for mattresses but made with plastic instead of the usual comfortable fabric. Polyurethane material is usually used to make them and gives the plastic its waterproof abilities.

Like other bed covers, plastic covers wrap around the mattress. They are available in most mattress stores at prices starting at $15.

Plastic mattress covers are non-porous, and their main job is to protect the mattress against liquid spillages and other accidents. However, they can be used for other activities, like in storage to keep the mattress dry through the period.

Also, these covers share some qualities with vinyl covers, one of them being their protection against bed bugs. They deny bugs access from the mattress or the frame to the mattress. These covers help contain an infestation preventing the bugs from spreading through a home.

Plastic mattress covers are not built for comfort but rather for protection. Polyurethane plastic is uncomfortable to sleep on, especially if you are a sweaty sleeper. They also produce lots of noise when the user turns about on the bed.

Can Bed Bugs Go Through A Plastic Mattress Cover?

As mentioned earlier, bed bugs don’t stand a chance against a plastic mattress cover as they are non-porous. A non-porous material has no pores, where bed bugs slip through to and from the mattress. With no teeth to chew through the cover, these pests are trapped.

However, for the mattress cover to work, it must not have tears or weak sections where bugs can crawl through. Once bugs are trapped, they actively search for a way to get out and even the smallest torn part is enough to let them through.

These blood-thirsty, oval-shaped pests can be less than 4 mm, enough to fit through tiny torn parts in the cover. Bed bugs feed on humans’ blood and their bites are painful and can result in skin rashes and allergic symptoms.

Though rarely, bed bugs can cause anaphylaxis reaction in some people. Bed bug infestation can also cause psychological effects since they interfere with a person’s sleep.

The plastic covers must also be well-fitted on the mattress with no gaps. Most mattress covers use a zipper to provide a complete seal at the opening where the mattress slips in during installations.

Any gap in the zipper can allow the pests to crawl through, multiply, and infest your home and give you sleepless nights.

Do Bed Bug Mattress Covers Work? How to Prevent Bed Bugs From Getting Through Plastic Mattress Covers

Besides the plastic mattress cover, people also use other bed bug mattress covers to keep pests off. These covers are made from materials like polyester and vinyl, which are waterproofed to increase security. They also contain strong zippers that close tightly, keeping the bugs off.

Mattress covers work and is effective in eradicating a bed bug infestation. However, users can contribute to their success in various ways. Following are ways to prevent bed bugs from getting through mattress covers.

  • Secure Tightly

Ensure you secure the zippers to minimize the chances of the pests getting through. Also, ensure the cover has a strong zipper that won’t break or unzip as you turn during your sleep. You can also add a layer of tape for more security.

  • Avoid Scratching the Cover

Avoid scratching and tearing the edges, which can give the bugs a way to crawl through. Avoid sharp objects on or near the plastic cover and use gorilla tape if you accidentally puncture it.

  • Avoid Opening It Regularly

Don’t keep opening and closing the plastic mattress cover, which can give bugs a chance to crawl out. Give it at least five days before checking to confirm whether the bugs are dead.

Do Plastic Mattress Covers Work Against Bed Bugs?

Plastic mattress covers are proven to work and provide protection against bugs. Some of the facts proving their success include

  1. The cover provides a complete seal that suffocates the bugs reducing the population. However, bugs can take up to five days before they die from suffocation.
  2. The complete seal not only suffocates the bugs but also keeps them from the blood supply. The bugs can also survive a few days without feeding but eventually die.
  3. Plastic covers are effective as they help prevent bed bugs from spreading to other parts of the house.

While plastic mattress covers work against bed bugs, they can’t do much if bugs have already spread in the room. Bugs tend to lay their eggs on crevices and cracks in the bed frame. If you install a bed cover when the female has already laid eggs, you’ll have more bugs to deal with soon.

Also, if bugs are already on the bed frame or other bedding, using a plastic cover may not work. However, the bottom line is that mattress covers help to control bug spreading, but it’s not a permanent solution. You may have to find a pest control service soon.

Video source: Health·WHYS


Using a plastic mattress is among the cheaper solutions for dealing with a bed bug infestation at its early stages. The cover works by restricting the bugs from getting to or from the mattress. However, to work, it must be well-zipped and have no torn parts.

Secure the ends tightly with a zipper to ensure your plastic mattress cover will work properly. You should also avoid opening the zippers regularly, which can give the bugs a chance to escape. However, remember using the plastic mattress cover is not a permanent solution, and you should seek help from pest control.

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Rene C. Evans

Hi, I'm Rene C. Evans author and owner of this website. Though this website is not related to manufacturing company of mattresses but I extensively studying, and analyzing mattresses and inform you solutions regarding mattress problem that will help you to take rest properly.

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