The Most Reliable Incontinence Bed Pads To Stay Dry At Night
There are some great products to help with night time incontinence, but it can often be a case of trial and error (which can prove embarrassing for our elderly parents, lead to mounds of laundry and be expensive). We’ve spoken with people who are living through this currently to find the best incontinence bedding out there. From incontinence bed pads to pillow protectors, disposable to washable, we cover it all – so you know what to buy.
Depending on how incontinent your loved one is when sleeping, you might want to combine use of some of these products below – the layers of absorbent material help to contain the liquid.
We’ve given some pointers on what could work well together, and how to help them stay in place as best as possible for people living with urinary and or bowel incontinence (because of course people can move around in their sleep – so the incontinence supplies could too).
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Washable Incontinence Bed Pads
Bed pads are designed to cover part of the mattress (not the whole thing), and come in a variety of sizes depending on if it’s a single, double bed etc.
A reusable waterproof bed pad is more absorbent than a disposable option. It has multiple absorbent layers on top, and a waterproof side on the back so it can take in the moisture and dry quickly, mitigating bad odours.
As the liquid is drawn into the bed pad (and held there), it keeps it away from both your parent and the mattress. Our choices below all tick this box, and are breathable too (so prevent excess sweat).
Another reason we rate washable incontinence bed pads over disposable is because they tend to stay in place better. The waterproof backing stops it slipping and many also have wings to keep it in place too.
Sometimes also called incontinence sheets or bed liners, they’re a more sustainable option but obviously need to be laundered. It might seem counter-intuitive but don’t wash with bleach, as it breaks down the leak proof materials. And check if they can go in the tumble dryer first.
It’s an idea to buy three washable bed pads so you can wash one, have one on the bed and always have a spare dry pad.
Absorbent bed pads are also useful placed under a commode. We’ve written all about how to find the best commode for your parent, as well as tips on how to use a commode and clean one.
I actually bought this Kylie bed protector for someone I know – and they rave about it! From single up to king size, they come in a choice of absorbencies (so for example you would choose a higher absorbency if both your parents were using it in a double bed).
With a quilted five layer absorbency padding, it keeps the moisture away from the sleeper and tucks easily under the mattress (the wings measure 50cm each). It’s also washable up to 300 times and can be tumble dried.
Another option is the Vive Washable Incontinence Bed Pad. You can get multiple (two or four) two in a pack so it’s better value and the quilted design wicks the moisture away. It’s also larger than the above option but needs to be held in the place – see our suggestions for this below!
If the washable pad doesn’t have wings that tuck under the mattress, get some bed sheet clips (also called mattress suspenders) to hold it firmly in place.
Depending on the level and type of incontinence, then a disposable bed pad on its own or on top of the washable bed pad could really help keep the mattress dry, the laundry pile smaller and your parent feeling safe and happy.
If you want large bed pads, then go for these. Measuring 60cm x 90cm, the polymer layers absorb liquid and are hard wearing. A really good first layer against incontinence!
Bed pads (either reusable or disposable) also work well on chairs, in wheelchairs and in the car too – anywhere your parent may be sitting down.
A mattress is an investment, and everyone should have a protector to keep it clean and dry. And this becomes even more important when someone has nighttime incontinence.
This is a little tip we were told by someone who used to work in a care home, so she had plenty of experience in managing incontinence.
The best waterproof mattress protector (which is also zipped all around so no liquid can get in) is this from High Living. Good quality and great value, it comes in sizes from single to super king, and is soft, breathable and keeps the sleeper cool.
Depending on the level of incontinence, you may find that putting another bed pad before the sheet, to act as a mattress cover provides a good additional defensive layer.
If you’re keeping everything else dry, then it makes sense to use zip up pillow protectors too. Pillows can move around the bed, and rather than washing them (they take time to dry!) or replacing, a cover can make your life easier.
Washable Incontinence Sheets
Do you need special incontinence bed sheets? Our recommendation is no, a simple cotton sheet should work – and then you add layers of support with the bed pads, mattress protector etc.
That’s because a cotton sheet is breathable (so your parent won’t sweat so much and will have a comfortable night’s sleep), and it can be easily washed and dried.
Night Time Incontinence Pads
So we’ve got the bedding sorted – but what’s also important are the incontinence pads your parent is wearing. At night, people need more incontinence support as they’re in one position for longer, and often unaware of needing the toilet or unable to move quickly enough to get there in time.
Adult disposable underwear offers greater protection – they fit like underwear with a built in absorbent pad but can be thrown away.
These from Abri Flex fit snugly and don’t gape (so liquid doesn’t escape). If your parent is leaking, go up a size as that should help to contain it.
They’re not gender specific so work for men and women. Our advice would be to buy one pack, ensure it’s the right size and then order more in bulk. And get a larger size so it fits an incontinence pad too – an extra step in preventing leakage.
When looking for disposable incontinence pads, it’s not one size fits all. First of all, consider if it’s for a man or woman – as we have different bodies, we need pads with protection in the right places. And also look for how absorbent the incontinence pad is.
These incontinence guards for men offer higher protection than a normal flat pad, so there’s less likely to be overflow – you’re minimising the risk of leaking at the first hurdle.
Add a layer of protection with these disposable incontinence pads. Not just for pull-ups – if your parent doesn’t need or want that layer of support, but needs a little extra protection, they may want to wear them in their usual underwear, or in special incontinence pants (more on this below).
Looking for leak proof underwear? These ladies washable incontinence briefs from The Able Label are our recommendation. They hold up to 350mm liquid so when combined with the night pad, they can really protect your parent and the bed.
For men, these protective boxer trunks provide built-in protection – which you can double up with an extra pad too. Made from 100% cotton and washable at up to 50 degrees, they give that extra peace of mind (and can of course be worn during the day too).
Incontinence Pad Disposal System
So what do you do with these disposable incontinence pads when they’ve been used? Put them in a fragranced disposal bag and then into a nappy bin.
A nappy bin is designed to contain the smell more than a normal bin – so you can get one for your parent’s room or bathroom, and empty it when full.
Water intake plays a part in incontinence too. If your loved one experiences incontinence at night then you might want to try increasing your parent’s fluid intake earlier in the day so they’re hydrated, and then limiting it a few hours before bed.
We all want our loved ones to have a comfortable night’s sleep, but incontinence can prevent this happening. There’s lots of incontinence products out there, but it can be hard to know what to buy – so we hope that this article has helped you understand how you can keep your parent safe and dry at night.