Urinary incontinence is an uncomfortable situation, an awkward topic, and can create lots of extra laundry. But water proof mattress pads — or waterproof mattress pads, if you prefer — reduce the labor of changing beds, and some of the awkwardness associated with that. Using a water proof mattress pad will keep your mattress clean, dry and fresh.
Virtually every child has had problems with bed-wetting. A growing number of older adults have difficulties with incontinence, too. For millions of households, night time wetting is a threat to expensive mattresses. These homes need water proof mattress pads.
A water proof mattress pad typically has three lines of defense. The top layer wicks moisture away from the skin, drawing it into the deeper layers. The middle layer is an extra absorbent material that may absorb up to two liters of water. Heavy-duty water proof mattress pads may have two or three layers of absorbent material. Finally, the bottom layer is an impermeable material such as polyester or vinyl, to keep moisture away from the mattress. Vinyl tends to be noisy when it crumples, so many people prefer the polyester backing.
The absorbent material layer may be cotton. It may also be hemp fiber (containing none of marijuana’s active ingredients), which is softer than cotton and can absorb twice as much water. Fillers made from bamboo fiber, also more absorbent than cotton, have recently appeared on the market. These fillers are made from the fibers of bamboo, which have excellent wicking ability. Various high-absorbency polyurethane foams are also used as fillers in water proof mattress pads. Certain gels found in disposable diapers and feminine hygiene products have high water absorbing capacity, and are used in some water proof mattress pads. Typically, these take the form of disposable inserts used in hospital settings.
For all their essential simplicity, water proof mattress pads come in a variety of styles and price ranges. Some water proof mattress pads have a terry cloth top, while others may be quilted cotton or some other soft fiber. Water proof mattress pads may have one to four layers of absorbent material depending on how severe the wetting problem is. Some water proof mattress pads fasten to the four corners of a mattress with elastic bands, while others have all-around elastic aprons.
Still other water proof mattress pads don’t even cover the whole mattress but just the middle; these typically tuck in at the sides of the mattress. These water proof mattress pads are often called overlay pads. Their edges may be coated with a mild adhesive to help them stay in place.
The most inexpensive water proof mattress pads are disposable pads. They are typically just a sheet of polypropylene plastic covered with fiber “fluff” than can absorb about a cupful of water. They are intended for light wetters and one-time use.
At the other end of the spectrum are water proof mattress pads that cover the mattress completely. They enclose the mattress and zipper shut, keeping out all moisture. These water proof mattress pads are also recommended for people with allergies to dust mites, which live inside of mattresses.
Cleaning water proof mattress pads is as simple was washing them along with other bedding. Warm water and moderate drying heat will do the trick. Many people like to hand their water proof mattress pads in the sun, which helps bleach out stains.
Bedwetting is an unpleasant subject, and it can be expensive if it ruins a mattress. But water proof mattress pads can save the day.