The importance of mattress covers

This is my first post here but I’ve been reading posts for a bit now and learning lots, so now I have a fun story to share.

About me - I have three units, one I have had for almost two years now, the other is coming up on a year now and I just opened a third this past week. The units are all within a few hundred feet of my home, so hosting is easy. I’m in a tourist neighborhood so guests come for a few days to see the sights and have a fun little get away.

The first time I realized the importance of mattress covers is when a guest set a cup of hot chocolate on the bed and it spilled. Looked like someone had shat the bed. Luckily a spot cleaner took care of it, but since that incident I have put mattress covers on all my beds.

Welp, it finally happened…guest arrives and messages me in a panic “we can’t figure out the door lock and need to get in” I rush down to the door and start showing them how to punch in their code, etc when the lady interrupts me and says “we have a bathroom emergency” so I open the door with my code and let them in. I notice the one guest has a brown stain on their shorts. I didn’t say anything and left them alone, pretending not to notice.

They seemed to have a great stay, easy going. Checked out and went on their way.

Fast forward to the turnover and I’m tearing down the beds to get laundry going only to find a very brown mark on the sheets. Get down to the mattress cover to find a brown mark there too. Pull that off and the mattress is spotless!

Mattress cover saved the day!

Everything went through the laundry and came out good as new.

Hope this story helps some other hosts!


If you are in an area with bed bugs a zippered encasement type cover is a good investment.


Our health department inspection included checking to see we had bed-bug-proof covers. Fortunately, thanks to this forum, I had purchased and installed them about a year earlier.


I have a sheet, then a thick mattress pad, then a rubberized mattress pad and then the bed bug encasement. I always thought it was overkill until I got a person who bled spots all over the sheets and it went through until it hit the rubberized mattress pad.

(In case you are wondering why I have a top mattress pad, it’s because the rubberized pad isn’t really comfortable.)

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is when I was a 15yo girl and had my period…

women learn this stuff MUCH earlier. just sayin’.
I also provide plastic-backed “bed pads” in my 3 listings (works better than sleeping on a towel). Those have been lifesavers in our household of 3 teenage girls… Aldi sells them every now and then and I always pick up a few more.


Is there an area without bed bugs? I mean, they travel with people…

I have a friend in the hotel business, and according to him it is inevitable, a matter of when not if.

Thankfully I have never experienced them anywhere I have stayed or at my rentals. I do have zippered mattress encasements for when it happens.



I stayed in a budget rural motel last month and I checked their mattress (professional curiosity!) and they didn’t have the silk zippered case, which means they’ve never had bed bugs? I took that as a good sign actually. If I ever get them in my place I’ll most likely burn the mattress, haha. we’ve had bed bugs once in our home, hubby brought them home from a trip. that was 4 years ago, we still have the special silk mattress protector on our mattress, even though it has a few holes now. i’ve never even been brave to take it off to wash in case the little b/stards went walkabout.

but this isn’t foolproof cos they can live in the bed timbers, or the fabric headboard, or the curtains, carpet or anywhere. I know the mattress is the most likely place but it’s not the only place they’ll take up residence. **

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Some areas are much worse than others but you’re right, probably everyone should take precautions.


I remember having inspections where the mattress covers were checked but not in the last couple of years. I imagine that was Covid related though, rather than the little buggers dying out.

They certainly can. We have metal bed frames and metal luggage racks as an added precaution.

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Mattress, pillow and duvet protectors are a must…

Women always mess the sheets with period blood, makeup etc so having things like hydrogen peroxide is a must.

“always”??? i’ve been hosting for over a year, 3 properties and over 400 stays… ZERO period stains.
I’ve not had much make up stains either. We host a lot of guests who come for weddings (we are in a wine region) and even recently I had a bride/groom couple stay with us and there was no make up stains, but a lot of glitter in the rugs :person_shrugging:t3: Anyone who has ever had experience with glitter knows it’s impossible to remove, it’s not offensive, and over time i’m sure i’ll get it all out, but for now there’s a mild sparkle in the rugs. I remember on my own wedding night i woke up with many bobby pins in the bed. Bronzer and glitter were not invented yet.

We stayed in an abb last year and my daughter (16) had a period accident, and I washed the sheets immediately, and went and bought a towel for her to sleep on. (she’s particularly bad though: heavy and a heavy sleeper so she won’t wake up, and no tampons yet). If you catch the stain straight away it will come out, but of course, all the females on this forum don’t need to be told this!


Never had period blood or make-up on sheets or towels. Hosted plenty of females.
No demographic of guests “always” does something.


I can’t remember having either. Spots of mascara on pillowcases but that’s easily sorted. And as @gillian says, we’ve been dealing with blood accidents ever since we were girls.

It’s such a man thing to say though - women always do this, women always do that… don’t get me started on what men always do…



Never had period blood stains or makeup stains in my AirBnBs. Did have one set of sheets ruined by wrinkle cream that must have included benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. The wrinkle cream wearer/culprit was a male attorney in his fifties. :rofl:


Hey we had that guest too!! Although when they came thru the door for check-in, (we are a B&B) she went right over and sat down in one of our chairs in our common area. :open_mouth:
Shampoo cleaned the chair after they went to dinner and then both chairs in their room after they left. The bedding was soiled similar to your photo.

Being a B&B we probably have seen more guests than most but we get makeup stains on bedding, mostly pillow cases quite a bit. We added small black towels with “Makeup Remover” embroidered on them to our bathrooms. It has cut down on our bedding loss.


Some people have to pay extra for glittery rugs!


Well, ALL our guests ALWAYS leave happy. :wink:

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“We added small black towels with “Makeup Remover” embroidered on them to our bathrooms. It has cut down on our bedding loss.”

I did the same thing about a year ago after having white hand towels destroyed and pillow cases destroyed, since getting the makeup remover towels I haven’t had an issue.

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Thank you for posting. Because of your post I did some research on the best mattress covers. Ordered mine today.

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Yup! Such a great investment. It’s funny–I just stayed in someone’s airbnb last week, and we were asked to strip the beds before check out. I was SHOCKED that they did not have waterproof covers on the beds. Just a miserable accident waiting to happen. I wondered if I should give them that advice, host-to-host???