Incontinence: Tips and Advice

Incontinence Tips

Adult Incontinence >>
Childhood Bedwetting >>
Protecting the Mattress >>
Choosing between Zippered and Fitted Mattress Covers >>
Vinyl vs. Premium Bedding >>
How do I decrease my laundry load? >>
Help! I already have stains! >>

Adult Incontinence

Adult Incontinence

If you or a loved one is experiencing nocturnal enuresis, or bedwetting, it can be extremely embarrassing and difficult to deal with. While some people use protective undergarments, such as disposable underwear or plastic pants, others choose not to do so. Regardless, if you or someone you know is experiencing nighttime incontinence, it is important that your mattress is protected.

To protect your mattress from adult bedwetting, shop for a waterproof mattress protector, such as a mattress cover, mattress pad, or mattress encasement. When selecting a product, keep in mind:

  • Ease of CleaningVinyl covers are wiped clean with soap and water, while urethane bed covers and mattress pads are machine washed and dried. Most mattress pads take several cycles to dry thoroughly.
  • Frequency of Changing – Fitted covers are put on the mattress like a fitted sheet while encasements zip around the entire mattress and may require assistance to get in place.
  • Comfort – Urethane covers are breathable, and thus the most comfortable. Vinyl is more economical, but it does not breathe and or allow heat transfer.

For frequent urination at night, you may want to invest in some mattress overlay pads (underpads). These small pads lie on top of the sheets and are easy to clean and replace. They protect not only the bed but the bottom sheet. Choose from washable underpads or disposable underpads.

For more information on adult bedwetting and adult enuresis, visit National Incontinence.

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Childhood Bedwetting

Childhood Bedwetting

An estimated 5 to 7 million children over five (school-age) suffer from enuresis or bedwetting. While the exact cause of bedwetting is unknown, there are treatments and solutions to help your child deal with this embarrassing and unpleasant issue. Some treatment options include bedwetting alarms or medication. While these treatments can be effective, some parents or children are apprehensive to begin treatment, yet still need solutions to deal with problems as they occur. We offer many bedwetting solutions for you and your child.

A common temporary method for dealing with bedwetting in children is using disposable pants such as pull-ups or diapers. Because they are disposable, the amount of laundry is decreased and the child, sheets, and clothes are kept dry. Absorbency can be a problem for older kids. The cost of more than $400 per year can be a burden for many families.

Another common solution is using vinyl mattress covers. These economical covers protect the mattress with a layer of vinyl that prevents urine absorption. Vinyl covers are easily wiped clean.

Another solution is a waterproof mattress pad. It fits over the mattress like a traditional mattress pad, but a layer of vinyl is sandwiched between layers of absorbent material. This helps prevent mattress penetration and urine overflow. Because of the absorbent material, waterproof mattress pads require a longer drying time.

Small mattress overlay pads are often the best solution for cutting down on laundry while still absorbing urine and protecting the mattress and bed linens. Overlay pads, or underpads, are great for frequent accidents because they go over the fitted sheet and are intended to absorb urine before it reaches the mattress. Mattress underpads are easy to change, and they often wash and dry in one cycle with other laundry. We also offer disposable overlay pads, which can get pricey when used for a long period.

While underpads are the ideal solution for dealing with nocturnal enuresis, be sure you have some kind of full mattress protection as well – such as a vinyl protector or waterproof mattress pad. Some kids move so much in their sleep that they can end up off the pad or the accident is so large that it goes outside the scope of the pad. Waterproof pillow covers are also recommended for children who fully empty their bladder in bed.

For more information on bedwetting, visit the Bedwetting Store.

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Protecting the Mattress

Protecting the Mattress

There are a lot of products on the market to protect your mattress. Here is a brief overview of the most popular types:

  • Vinyl fitted covers – Fit over the mattress like a sheet and provide a barrier between the mattress and moisture. They are the most economical solution and can be wiped clean with a mild soap or disinfectant.
  • Waterproof mattress pads - Look and feel like a mattress pad, but provide a waterproof barrier between the sheets and the mattress. Mattress pads come in different thicknesses and with different waterproof barriers. Our best waterproof mattress pad has 4 thick layers and a urethane waterproof layer, making it the most comfortable. These bed pads are machine washable and dryable on low heat.
  • Premium covers – Available in both fitted and zippered styles, these breathable covers are comfortable, easy to launder, and long lasting. For frequent changing, choose a fitted cover. The zippered mattress covers provide protection from bedbugs and dust mites as well as moisture. Our premium covers can be machine washed and typically dry in one cycle.
  • Zippered Vinyl Encasements – These mattress encasements are a great way to protect your bed from mold, mildew, dust mites, bedbugs, and moisture. They do not need to be removed to clean and are intended to be left on for an extended time.

Depending on your situation, different solutions may work better. It is important to protect the mattress whenever wetting accidents occurs because other methods (ie. adult diapers, pull-ups, overlays) can fail.

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Choosing between Fitted and Zippered Mattress Covers

Choosing between Zippered and Fitted Mattress Covers

If you or your loved one experience frequent urination at night, you might want to use a fitted mattress cover. Since zippered mattress covers require heavy lifting, they take more time and effort to remove – elderly adults may find this difficult. When adult bedwetting occurs and laundry day arrives, the fitted cover can be easily removed to be washed. Fitted mattress covers also provide easy and effective waterproof protection while traveling.

Zippered mattress covers are ideal for occasional wetting accidents. Keep in mind that the only way to prevent against allergens and bed bugs from getting into your mattress is to use a mattress encasement. Fitted mattress covers only protect the top and sides of the bed, making you more at risk for allergic reactions and bedbug infestations.

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Membrane versus Non-Membrane Covers

Vinyl vs. Premium Bedding

Both vinyl and membrane (premium) bedding offer waterproof protection and come in fitted and zippered styles. However, the main difference between the two is that vinyl is not breathable while membrane bedding is. This means that membrane bedding features a permeable-like layer, usually made from urethane or polyurethane, which allows for heat transfer. The breathable, lightweight material keeps the sleeper stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. For elderly adults or someone who produces a lot of heat at night, it may be more comfortable to sleep on premium bedding than vinyl.

The upside to these inexpensive vinyl covers is that they’re easy to clean. Instead of throwing vinyl into the washing machine and dryer, like you would with premium mattress covers, just wipe it clean with a damp cloth or use a disinfectant.

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How do I decrease my laundry load?

How do I decrease my laundry load?

Laundry is always a concern for families with bedwetting problems. From sheets to blankets to sleeping bags, laundry is often a daily activity. The easiest way to decrease the laundry load is by using overlay pads, also known as underpads. They go over the fitted sheet and absorb moisture before it has a chance to get to the sheets and mattress. We offer disposable or reusable pads to fit your needs. The disposable pads are removed and thrown away while the reusable pads can be thrown in with other laundry and do not require their own cycle. If your child is using a sleeping bag, we also offer sleeping bag liners which can fit in standard washing machines. Don’t forget these easy solutions to decrease your laundry load!

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Help! I already have stains!

Most people consider waterproof bedding after an incident has already occurred. From pets to kids to visitors, you never know when a wetting accident may occur. If you are now considering waterproof bedding because an accident already occurred, you may want to get a stain remover to help remove the stain. We offer three different urine removers. While the enzyme-based cleaners are intended to remove urine stains and odors, they work in different ways and are good for different situations.

If you have set in stains on a mattress, Urine-Erase is the best product. It is a two-step product which uses an enzyme process to effectively eliminate even 30-year-old stains! It works best on mattresses and floors because it penetrates deep into the product to remove the entire stain. In the first step, the enzyme packet gets mixed with water and is poured over the stain. The second step uses the enclosed solution to remove the stain. The process usually takes 8 hours. Using a fan can help a mattress to dry more quickly.

If you are looking for a laundry additive or simpler product, we also offer the one step, OdorZyme spray bottle. This is best for quick and incidental clean-up. Best for small, fresh stains, vinyl covers, and bathroom clean-up, this product is not intended for large mattress or carpet stains which require more product.

Our last stain removal product is DP (de-pee) Stain Remover. This is an environmentally-friendly cleaner that quickly removes urine stains and odors caused by bedwetting, pet accidents, diaper leakage, etc. DP comes in a convenient, ready-to-use spray bottle.

Keeping a container of each stain remover on hand is a good way to protect your bed, furniture, and floors from becoming ruined by human or pet urine. The faster you treat the stain, the better and quicker your results.

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