Subscribe
Fresh Weekly Insights In Your Inbox?

10 Best Bed Pads for Incontinence: Disposable vs Washable Options

10 Best Bed Pads for Incontinence: Disposable vs Washable Options

To keep bedding dry, prevent leaks, and sleep undisturbed, choose a bed pad for incontinence that is appropriately sized, highly absorbent, stays in place, and has a breathable top layer and waterproof backing. Highly effective reusable and disposable options are below.
Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®
By:
Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®
Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

With over 20 years of experience and certifications as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® and Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®, Scott Grant provides reliable recommendations to help seniors maintain independence through informed product and service choices for safe, comfortable living.

Learn More Email
Last Updated:
Best Bed Pads For Incontinence
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Income Disclosure.

Top 3 Incontinence Bed Pad Recommendations

Extra Large & Tuckable
Dry Defender Incontinence Bed Pads Washable, 36" x 70" Tuck Washable Underpads, Absorbent Waterproof Mattress Pads for Bed, Reusable Incontinence Pads for Kids & Adult Underpads, Bedwetting, Pack of 2

Dry Defender Tuckable Washable Incontinence Bed Pads

$41.99
as of 02/22/2024 10:40 pm
Reliable & Disposable
Prevail Super Absorbent Disposable Underpads - 30" x 36" Peach - Case of 100

Prevail Super Absorbent Disposable Underpads

$46.89
as of 02/22/2024 10:40 pm
Reliable Workhorse
Chair Incontinence Pads

Vive Health Reusable Incontinence Pad

$17.99

Nighttime incontinence and accidents can be frustrating, but the right waterproof bed pad will keep you dry and comfortable all night long.

You’ll sleep better knowing your dignity is preserved and bed changes minimized.

Incontinence Bed Pad Quick Facts:

  • The best bed pads use soft, quiet materials that don’t crinkle or bunch up.
  • Breathable cotton layers draw moisture away from your skin while inner absorbent layers handle large volumes of liquid.
  • Some pads have grippy backing to prevent shifting as you sleep.
  • Reusable pads create a leakproof, absorbent barrier to protect bedding long-term when laundered properly.
  • Disposable pads allow one-time use convenience but may cost more over time.

In this guide, you’ll discover my recommended washable and disposable bed pads for both heavy and light incontinence. Sizing, absorbency, and ease of use are covered to help you choose the perfect solution.

With the right pad, you can wake up dry and rested!

Best Washable Bed Pads for Incontinence

If you prefer a reusable and washable bed pad because of their cost effectiveness, absorbency, and better visual appeal, here are my recommended products:

BEST RATED

Dry Defender Incontinence Bed Pads Washable, 36" x 70" Tuck Washable Underpads, Absorbent Waterproof Mattress Pads for Bed, Reusable Incontinence Pads for Kids & Adult Underpads, Bedwetting, Pack of 2

Dry Defender Tuckable Washable Incontinence Bed Pads

$41.99
as of 02/22/2024 10:40 pm

Absorbs up to 6 cups

Available in multiple sizes including 36” x 70”

Tuckable wings keep pad securely in place

4-layer construction for comfort and absorbency

The Dry Defender Incontinence Bed Pad can provide you with maximum absorbency for heavy nighttime incontinence. In testing, this pad absorbed an impressive 6 cups of liquid while keeping the bedding completely dry.

The pad uses a 4-layer construction including a soft quilted cotton surface that you can sleep directly on, a plush fiberfill layer for your comfort, a high-density absorbent core to pull moisture down, and a whisper-quiet vinyl backing to prevent leaks.

For your convenience, the pad has extra long “wings” that you can tuck securely under the mattress to keep it neatly in place all night. This feature prevents annoying bunching or shifting as you sleep.

With its very high absorbency rating and stay-put design, the Dry Defender pad is an excellent choice for you to manage heavy nighttime incontinence or medical conditions.

The soft surface provides you comfort while the layers below handle large volumes of liquid. This can help preserve your dignity and ensure you get uninterrupted sleep.


PeaPod Mats - Waterproof Bed Mat

Peapod Waterproof Bed Mat

from $42.00

Absorbs up to 1 liter

Two sizes: 3’ X 3’ and 3’ X 5’

300-500 washes

Non-slip, grippy bottom

The PeapodMats Waterproof Bed Mat can provide you with maximum protection against accidents and leaks. This reusable pad can hold an impressive 6 cups of liquid, keeping your bedding and mattress completely dry.

The soft, breathable cotton top layer ensures your comfort all night long. There’s no annoying plastic crinkling sound or vinyl feel. The pad stays securely in place without any flaps, straps or Velcro. No more bunching or shifting as you sleep!

Since there are no special wash instructions, taking care of this mat is hassle-free for you. Just throw it in the wash and dryer like normal. You can tumble dry it!

The PeapodMats bed mat is made with a TPU waterproof coating that has been lab tested and certified free of harmful chemicals. It’s an eco-friendly choice you can feel good about.

With its extreme absorbency, breathability, and easy care, this reusable incontinence pad simplifies your life. No more changing sheets every morning! The PeapodMats Waterproof Bed Mat lets you sleep undisturbed.


Chair Incontinence Pads

Vive Health Reusable Incontinence Pad

$17.99

Absorbs over 1 liter

Soft, breathable cotton terry top layer

Unique grippy bottom prevents shifting

Available in 34” x 36” and 34” x 52”

The softness and breathability of the Vive Health washable incontinence pad make it a top choice for your comfort. The top layer is cotton terry fabric that will wick moisture away from your skin, allowing airflow to reduce irritation.

Underneath is a highly absorbent polyester layer that can hold over 1 liter of liquid, quickly pulling any moisture down and away from your body. You’ll appreciate the unique grippy bottom that uses a brushed texture to prevent the pad from shifting around as you sleep.

Since the pad is made of flexible materials, there will be no bothersome plastic noise or crinkling to disturb your rest. The Vive Health pad comes in a 34” x 36” chair size and a larger 34” x 52” bed size. It can be washed hundreds of times before needing replacement.

With its ultra-soft feel, noiseless construction, and ability to stay put all night, the Vive Health incontinence pad can help manage nighttime accidents and leaks while providing you with undisturbed, peaceful sleep.


Gorilla Grip Washable and Reusable Waterproof Underpads, Absorbent Leak Proof Bed Incontinence Pads, 36x32 4 Pack Slip Resistant Bedwetting Pad Protector Absorbs 5 Cups for Bedwetting, Adults, Kids

Gorilla Grip Leak Proof Incontinence Bed Pad Protector

$41.94
as of 02/22/2024 10:40 pm

Absorbs up to 11 cups

6 sizes: from 21” X 21” to 74” X 34”

4 layer cotton/poly construction

Grippy non-slip waterproof backing

3 color choices: white, pink, blue

Comes in a pack of 4

You might be familiar with the Gorilla Grip brand of adhesive products which are known to provide strong bonds that last.

These underpads share the Gorilla Grip brand name and are specifically designed to stay in place and not move while they are being used – without using their glue of course!

Don’t let the toddler information in the description fool you. I chose these pads for my list because of their super absorbency. The standard bed size holds up to 8 cups of liquid while the largest size can hold up to 11 cups.

Honestly, the human bladder doesn’t hold that much liquid, but the more absorbency there is the better it will spread through the pad. This prevents liquid and bleed through onto the bedding below. 

These pads use a 4 layer design. The facing material is a soft quilted cotton blend that is soft to the touch without being thick and bulky.

The absorbent layer is multiple layers of polyester. These pads last up to 300 washes with testing to back them up.

Also, these pads offer the widest range of sizes of any of my recommendations. You can get a pad as small as 21”x21” for chairs and furniture up to 76”x34” for a large bed. There are even three color choices too: white, blue, and pink. 


Medline Washable Bed Pads for Incontinence, Large 34 x 36 inch Reusable Underpads, 4 Pack, Pee Pads for Dogs, Adults, Kids and Baby, Pink Sofnit 300

Medline Sofnit 300 Washable Underpads

from $29.99

Multiple sizes: 18″ x 24″ to 34″ X 38″

4 layer cotton/poly blend

Knitted waterproof vinyl backing

One color: pink

Packs of 1, 4, and 12

I used to work for Medline back in my early working days and sold a ton of these to nursing homes for use with their residents. And I can tell you: if they didn’t work, my customers would not have used them!

These pads typically come in the 34” x 36” size only which is large enough for full-width coverage of a home hospital bed or twin.

They are large enough too for use by one person in a co-sleeping arrangement but they will not cover the full width of any bed larger than a twin.

The backing is a waterproof vinyl barrier with textured knitting that keeps it from scooting around when the user is lying on it. The facing material is a 55% cotton/45% poly blend twill with several absorbent layers between them. 

When it comes to washing and durability, remember that these bed pads were designed for processing in commercial laundries of healthcare facilities. They are designed to last at least 300 washes even in that harsh environment.

They only come in pink which might be a turn-off for some folks though.


Epica Premium Ultra Plus Waterproof Sheet Protector Bed Pad, Under-pad, Quilted, Waterproof, and Washable, 34" x 52" for Children or Adults with Incontinence (1-Pack)

Epica Premium Quilted Waterproof Bed Pad

$21.99
as of 02/22/2024 10:40 pm

One size: 34” x 52”

3 layer cotton/poly blend

Polyester backed vinyl prevents shifting and bunching

One color: green

Single or 2 packs

Here is one more option if you want an oversized bed pad for incontinence that is well-rated and has a great reputation.

The Epica pads are 34” X 52” to cross the width of most beds and protect the mattress and linen underneath. The facing fabric is a soft 50/50 blend and will wick moisture away from the skin quickly. 

These pads are only 3 layers though vs the 4 layers of many of my other recommendations. However, the reviews for this product are outstanding and many users comment on how soft the facing material is. 

They are available in a single or 2 pack.

Best Disposable Bed Pads for Incontinence

Maybe you prefer the convenience and ease of use of a disposable bed pad. Here are my recommended disposable underpads for protecting your bed:

Prevail Super Absorbent Disposable Underpads - 30" x 36" Peach - Case of 100

Prevail Super Absorbent Disposable Underpads

$46.89
as of 02/22/2024 10:40 pm

Size: 30” X 36”

Super absorbent

Color: Peach

Case pack: 100/case

When I sold these types of products to nursing homes, it was often that they were referred to as peach pads – here you see why. Prevail is a common brand used in long term care settings across the country.

Earlier, I mentioned that disposable pads are noisy and can bunch up under the users. Prevail has a patented “Integra Mat” that keeps the top layer of the pad from separating from the bottom and shifting and wrinkling.

Plus, because of the way they seal their pads, there are no plastic edges to make contact with the skin.


Medline Incontinence Bed Pads 36 x 36 in (50 Count), Large Disposable Underpads with Heavy Absorbency, Quilted Chucks Pads for Adults, Kids and Babies,Green

Medline Protection Plus Polymer Underpads

from $38.24

Sizes: 20” x 36” to 27” X 72”

Multiple absorbency levels

Multiple color choices

Case pack depends on size chosen

Medline is another brand that is well-known for providing quality products to the nursing home and long term care industry. Their Protection Plus line of incontinence products is one of their best sellers too – because they work.

I am recommending them here because they come in lots of options in both size and absorbency. If the user is a heavy wetter, go for the ultra for the best protection. If not, the standard ones are fine (and less expensive!).

Plus, the range of sizes is sufficient for covering a small chair to a full sized bed.


McKesson Super Underpads, Incontinence Bed Pads, Moderate Absorbency, 30 in x 36 in, 100 Count

McKesson Super Disposable Underpads

$44.68
as of 02/22/2024 10:40 pm

Sizes: 30” x 36” 

Super absorbency level

Color: Green

Case pack: 100 ea.

My final recommended disposable bed pad for incontinence is the McKesson Super Underpads which are a great choice for moderate wetters.

These McKesson pads use a polymer that not only absorbs the liquid, but it also neutralizes the pH and reduces the acidity of the urine.

It also helps control odors if you can’t change it right away. Also, the edges ae heat sealed and covered with soft polypropylene so that they are gentle on skin too.


Important Features to Look for in Waterproof Bed Pads for Seniors

Here are the options you should consider when shopping for a bed pad for yourself or an incontinent loved one.

Size

The size of the bed pad is an important consideration – you want to make sure you have the area that needs protection completely covered. Sizes range as small as 18”x18″ and as large as 34”x72”.

For example, if you need protection for a queen-sized bed you may want the 34″x52″ size. If you just need to cover a chair cushion, the 18″x24″ size is probably sufficient.

Absorbency

You want your incontinence pad to absorb quickly and completely. Heavy wetters need the most absorbency you can get.

The package and description of any quality bed pad will tell you in ounces or milliliters how much liquid they absorb in tests. Disposable pads have multiple layers of protection.

waterproof bed pads important features
Living with incontinence can mean waking up to a wet bed and nighttime bed changes.

Facing Materials

Choose a pad with a soft-facing material because, in most cases, the pad will be next to the user’s skin. Look for cotton or cotton blend in washable pads and non-woven polypropylene materials in disposable pads.

This layer is designed to wick away moisture from the surface quickly and move it down to the absorbent layer keeping the patient dry.

Backing Material

The main function of the backing is to serve as a waterproof barrier and prevent fluids from penetrating the pad. Choose a pad that has a backing material that holds it in place. You don’t want the pad shift, wrinkling, or bunching up while it is being used.

Often, these are textured vinyl or have stitching on them that helps. A reusable underpad tends to stay in place better than a disposable underpad. 

Odor Control 

The best bed pads for incontinence also address the odor by using odor-controlling polymers and other treatments. This prevents embarrassment for the user and caregiver both.

Cost

Most bed pads are sold in multipacks, so make sure you know how many are in a pack when comparing prices. In general, reusable bed pads that are washable are more cost effective (per use) than disposable options over the long term.

Waterproof Bed Pads or Mattress Protectors?

You might be wondering if you should use bed pads or a full mattress protector. Well, bed pads are designed to lay between you and your bottom sheet and come in disposable and reusable options. They are smaller in size and are removed and replaced when soiled. Bed pads are probably the best option for frequent wetters.

Mattress protectors slip over and cover the entire mattress. They are removed and washed (like a fitted sheet) when soiled and are used for people with night sweats in addition to incontinence. They are generally thicker than a bed pad and can add some comfort and softness too. Waterproof mattress protectors are probably best for occasional protection. Learn more about waterproof mattress protectors here .

Disposable and Reusable Bed Pads

Bed pads are designed to protect the mattress from any mishaps due to night sweats, bedwetting, or incontinence problems.

The pad is designed to absorb liquids such as sweat and urine that leak overnight. It helps protect your mattress or other surfaces and guarantees a comfortable sleep at night.

Some seniors use bed pads on car seats and wheelchairs as well. Bed pads come in different sizes and can be either washable or disposable.

If you’d prefer to use a bed pad instead of covering up your mattress, here are the best bed pads for incontinence based on experience and research.

Disposable vs. Washable Bed Pads: Which Is Best for You?

If you are new to using underpads for bed and mattress protection, the first decision to make is whether you want to use washable incontinence pads or disposable ones. Here is a quick comparison of the two:

Appearance

Most people think that washable bed pads look better because they come in a wide range of colors and designs. The top layer is almost always off-white but they do have a quilted design in them.

Disposables are generally blue, green, or pink plastic-backed and have a more “medical” appearance. 

Absorbency

Generally, a reusable pad is more absorbent and will hold more liquid than a disposable pad. Most washable pads use cotton/poly blends as the absorbent layer compared to disposables which use chemical polymers.

Comfort

Because reusable underpads stay in place better, they are also more comfortable because they don’t wrinkle and bunch up under a senior’s sensitive skin. Disposable pads can be noisy and make a crinkling noise when the user moves in bed. 

best bed pads for incontinence
The best bed pads for incontinence quickly absorb liquid to keep the user dry while also keeping it off the sheets and bedding.

Disposal

Disposable underpads are simply thrown away once soiled. Reusable options however are machine washable and can be cleaned – simply shake off any “physical matter” on the pad into the toilet and wash the pad.

Some caregivers, however, aren’t going to want to deal with this. 

Cost

Disposable pads are more expensive on a per-use basis because they are single-use. Washable pads can be used multiple times before needing to be thrown away and are cheaper per use.

Travel

Disposable pads are easier to travel with because they don’t require access to a washing machine. But you will have to carry a larger quantity of them than reusable pads. 

Disposable vs. Washable Bed Pads: The Bottom Line

Washable pads are generally more absorbent, have a nicer appearance, cost less per use, and better for the environment. Disposable incontinence bed pads are more convenient and easier to use but can be noisy and have to be thrown away after each use. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Waterproof Bed Pads

How do bed pads work?

Bed pads work by using multiple layers of materials to move and absorb liquid.

The outer facing layer is a quilted material that is designed to wick moisture away from the skin quickly and move it deeper into the pad where it can be absorbed by the absorbent layers.

The bottom layer is waterproof and stops the fluid from penetrating through the pad onto the bed mattress or bedding.

Where should you put a bed pad on a bed?

Pads can be placed in several areas and still remain effective. For people who are self-conscious or want to be more discreet, put the pad between the fitted sheet and the mattress pad.

The drawback here is that the fitted sheet will get wet which could make the person uncomfortable.

Another most common place to put bed pads is to put it on top of the fitted sheet so that the bed linens stay (mostly) dry and there is no moisture against the person’s skin or bed clothes.

Of course, make sure they are right side up and the absorbent layer is towards the user and the waterproof backing is against the bed. The longer side of the bed pad should go across the bed, not head to toe. 

What size incontinence pad do you need for your bed?

For a home hospital bed, you are going to want a bed pad that is at least 24” X 30” with 30” x 36” being optimal.

For regular or adjustable beds, you could get away with a 36” wide pad if you are only placing it under one person but I recommend the 52” wide pads for regular beds to prevent runoff or leak around.

How is a bed pad supposed to feel?

The top of the bed pad should be soft and dry next to the skin. Between the top and bottom layers you should feel some puffy absorbent layers of material. 

How long do washable bed pads last?

Many washable bed pads last 300 to 500 uses unless they get stained or damaged.

How do you clean reusable incontinence pads?

First, shake off any solid matter into a toilet. Then carefully fold the pad and place it in a sealed compartment until you are able to clean it fully.

When you are ready to launder it, place it in the washing machine and use cold water with standard laundry detergent.

Do not use fabric softener because it will make the pad repel liquid instead of absorbing it. Do not use bleach because it can damage the absorbent fibers in the pad.

Dry the pad in your dryer on low. Note that you will probably have an extended dry time because the spin cycle won’t be able to get all the water out of the absorbent fabric.

You should always wash reusable underpads before using them the first time.

How often should I change washable incontinence pads?

Usually, you only need to change a washable incontinence pad when it has been used or soiled. If used overnight, you should always change it first thing in the morning. 

How do you protect furniture from incontinence?

To protect furniture many of the recommended bed pads above can be used on furniture and chairs including recliners, lift chairs, dining chairs, etc.

You’ll probably want a smaller size like 18” X 24” or 24” x 24” for most chairs. I have a guide to the best waterproof chair pads for elderly people if you’d like more info.

Which incontinence pads are the best for fecal incontinence?

NO bed pads by themselves are a great option for fecal incontinence. But if you must use them, change them as soon as they are soiled. Disposable pads tend to be a better choice because they can be balled up and thrown away.

Washable pads may need extra cleaning care (scrubbing, stain treatment) if used with fecal incontinence. The best choice for fecal incontinence is briefs or pads that are made to be inserted into underwear.

Don't Miss a Beat!

Stay up-to-date with helpful, uplifting insights for living your best years with practical tips and resources to maintain your health, independence, and quality of life as you age gracefully.

Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

With over 20 years of experience and certifications as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® and Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®, Scott Grant provides reliable recommendations to help seniors maintain independence through informed product and service choices for safe, comfortable living.

Learn More Email

Leave a Comment