Incontinence Pads for Beds: Layers Keep Things Dry

incontinence pads for beds

Preparation makes incontinence cleanup easier

If your older adult is incontinent, you probably spend a good amount of time cleaning up after accidents even if they wear adult diapers. Plus, you’re forced to deal with unpleasant lingering odors.

Save time and money and prevent a smelly house by prepping the bed with expert layering tips and highly-rated protective products that really work. After all, replacing a soiled mattress is expensive!


Protect the bed

Multiple layers are the key! One waterproof mattress protector and a leak-proof pad can’t always do the job by themselves. Plus, once urine gets into the mattress or pillows, it’s difficult to get out and will smell. That’s why it’s best to prevent them from getting wet in the first place.

If your mattress is already a little bit soiled, clean and deodorize it with a diluted vinegar spray or a urine neutralizing product before wrapping it up.

You’ll need to wrap the mattress in multiple layers to keep it from getting soiled. Of course, some of the outer layers will get wet, but at least those will be easily washable.


Layers for mattress, in this order

  1. Start with a zippered, vinyl, waterproof cover on the mattress like this one.
  2. Use a waterproof mattress cover like this one on top of the zippered cover.
  3. Optional: Put on two layers of the waterproof mattress cover in step 2.
  4. Next, put on a regular fitted sheet.
  5. Put one or two layers of a waterproof absorbent pad like this one on top of the fitted sheet. Your older adult will sleep on top of this pad.
  6. Blankets Option 1: Try a waterproof flat sheet like this one to protect blankets from getting wet. This sheet goes on top of your senior and the blankets go on top of the sheet.
  7. Blankets Option 2: Instead of a thick comforter, try layers of thinner blankets and large, heavy towels. These are easier to wash than a thick comforter and the goal is to fit all the soiled bedding and pads into one load of laundry.


Layers for pillows

  1. Put a waterproof cover like this one on the pillow. Use two layers of covers if your older adult is likely to get their pillow wet.
  2. Last, put on a regular pillowcase.


Bottom line

With incontinence, there will always be leaks and accidents. But if you prepare your older adult’s bed with good protection products and this layering technique, you’ll make cleanup easier and protect the mattress.


Coming Soon > How to clean a mattress that’s already soiled


You might also like:
9 Ways to Make Incontinence Care Easier on Caregivers
Top 20 Worst Foods & Drinks for Incontinence
Incontinence in Seniors Is Treatable


By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: The Wheelchair Pro


  • Reply March 27, 2019

    Joan blankenship

    My mom has Medicare and medical I can’t get anyone to deliver any items to my house they say her insurance is out of area I love in Lancaster she needs a recycling wheel chair and a hospital bed she has been out of hospital since the 8 of the month she had a fight broken hip and a right broken arm she has dementia I need

  • Reply September 5, 2018

    Darin Mason

    This is very helpful for our elders to keep their dry and their bed clean.

  • Reply February 17, 2015

    Simply Medical

    Staying dry while sleeping or sitting is so important for both your comfort and skin. This article does a great job of illustrating the need to layering with underpads and waterproof mattress covers. When it comes to underpads, be sure to research what the best option for you or a loved one because there are several factors to consider such as absorbency, style and type/usage. To learn more about underpads, check out

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