Did you know that as people age, the body generates fewer growth hormones leading to a loss of deep sleep? Insomnia is also more common in those over the age of 60. It’s quite unfortunate, given how much our loved ones deserve a good night’s sleep.
Is there anything you can do about that, though? — How about some quality bedding? While sheets and other bedding may appear trivial, research shows that there is a direct correlation between how well a person sleeps and how comfortable they feel while sleeping. It’s no secret that sleep is especially vital to an elderly’s health and well-being
Best Bedding for Seniors — Sheets, Toppers, Comforters, and More
Here are some of my recommended bedding options for older adults that are comfortable, easy to maintain, and look good too. After this section, I’ll show you what features to consider when shopping for bedding yourself.
A mattress topper is an additional layer that sits on top of a mattress. It is usually designed to make the surface seem softer or firmer than it is in reality. They can even be used to raise the bed height of a senior’s bed if is too low. Typically, the majority of toppers are made of cushioning and contouring materials like latex, foam, and feathers.
As such, toppers will be especially beneficial for seniors who have back pain or pressure buildup while sleeping. First, their layers assist in distributing weight evenly, and second, they relieve tension in sensitive parts of the spine.
Here is my top 4 favorite mattress toppers for older adults. You can see my full list in my guide to the Best Mattress Toppers for Seniors & the Elderly.
Cool-Jams Cool Gel Foam Mattress Topper
This 2.5-inch thick mattress topper provides exceptional cooling and much-needed pressure relief while also softening firmer mattresses. While memory foam can sometimes increase body heat while sleeping, this foam is specially ventilated using a pin-core design for increased airflow.
Plus, the washable cover is super-soft, all-natural bamboo which is recommended for hot sleepers including ladies with menopause. Available in most sizes!
MyMerino Mattress Topper
This contemporary topper is perfect for senior citizens who desire the highest level of comfort, relaxation, health, and restful sleep. This is because it takes care of all the 700 muscles that need to relax while sleeping.
Its smooth and elastic, spring-shaped Merino wool fibers also deliver the most desirable relaxation and relief from pressure points. What’s more, it is made of certified organic merino wool fibers.
This makes it an excellent body temperature stabilizer as well as a perfect fit for seniors with allergies.
The Nolah Mattress Topper
The Nolah mattress topper has been specifically designed to improve the comfort of any mattress. In fact, it can even be used with an old mattress to improve comfort and support. Alternatively, it can be used with a new mattress to provide additional cushioning and pressure relief.
This topper is assured to look and feel fantastic on any bed, as it is made with a cooling pressure relief air foam. More importantly, it is made from natural organic cotton, making it the perfect fit for seniors.
The LUCID 4 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper
If you are a senior on a budget, this mattress topper is a good mid-range option to explore. It is among the thickest toppers in the market and is a terrific pick for adding padding comfort to a firm mattress. The topper is a must-have for anyone who enjoys the feel of memory foam mattresses.
However, this foam topper option is probably not for you if you’re searching for a firm topper to add extra support to a softer mattress. Nevertheless, most seniors find that this topper is a fantastic choice if they want to add a layer of luxury comfort without spending a fortune.
Mattress Pads & Protectors
Stains, mildew, mold, and other particles from accidents, sweat, and dirt can shorten the life of a mattress. Fortunately, a mattress protector functions as an extra layer of protection between the senior and the bed.
Mattress protectors are often removable and washable, protecting the bed from allergies, filth, and damage. In addition, they make it easy to keep the sleep surface clean and fresh. Therefore, if you want your senior’s mattress to last long, a mattress protector is a must-have in their list of bedding.
If occasional incontinence is a concern, consider a waterproof mattress protector that can be easily washed when needed. For more significantly incontinent older adults, you might need to use bed pads instead that are absorbent and fluid-proof.
MyPad by Sleep and Beyond
This mattress pad made from Shropshire wool strands provides exquisite comfort and alleviation from pressure points. The wool’s amazing properties keep you from overheating or overcooling while you sleep. More importantly, the wool has been washed ensuring that the pad is chemical-free, resulting in better sleep.
Additionally, it gets rid of moisture away quickly without making you cold or clammy. As a result, there is less time spent tossing and turning in bed, ensuring that your elderly loved one sleeps soundly till morning.
Note this option adds comfort but has no fluid protection.
Cool-Jams Waterproof Cooling Mattress Pad
This cooling mattress pad from Cool-Jams also does double duty as a waterproof mattress protector too. So you might be able to eliminate a bedding layer on your bed. The pad provides cooling using a special phase-changing material that regulates your sleep temperature and also wicks away moisture.
It even contains a fluid-proof layer that prevents sweat and body fluids from penetrating and soaking into your mattress which can extend its life. This layer also provides a breathable barrier against dust mites and other allergens.
MyProtector from Sleep and Beyond
This unique two-in-one waterproof protector offers an amazing protection layer to the mattress, shielding it from stains, spills, and microorganisms. Plus, Its washable wool filling in allows for excellent ventilation, resulting in stable core body temperatures without overheating.
Moreover, the washable cotton quilting wicks all moisture away from the body, so you won’t feel cold or clammy. As such, it is ideal for seniors who suffer from dust mite, mold, or mildew allergies and wants to make a wise investment. Any mattress with an 18-inch pocket can be readily accommodated by the fitted skirt of the protector.
Saatva’s Waterproof Mattress Protector
With this mattress protector, you or your elderly loved ones will never have to worry about their mattresses getting damaged. As such, they can get the best night’s sleep they’ve ever had knowing that their mattress is protected. This protector is made of high-quality, breathable material with moisture being driven away by the organic cotton knit.
Interestingly, airflow is allowed but liquids are efficiently blocked by a non-rubbery waterproof barrier. It fits mattresses with a height of up to 16 inches, and it is suitable for a machine wash that is cold, and gentle with no bleach.
Nolah’s Bamboo Mattress Protector
At only 69 dollars, you can have your senior’s mattress protected using this versatile comfy protector. Since most seniors have very low immunity, this protector has been manufactured with antibacterial features.
More importantly, it is perfect for absorbing any form of moisture or leakage that may occur during bedtime. It is waterproof and keeps fluids from penetrating and getting on the mattress.
Lastly, this protector comes with an incredibly soft feel and a cooling effect. That way, your loved one can always enjoy a good night’s sleep and wake up energized.
Sheets, Sheet Sets, and Pillowcases
When it comes to purchasing items for your sleeping environment, sheets are often overlooked in favor of mattresses or pillows. However, the feel and performance of the bedding you select can have a significant impact on your senior’s comfort and sleep quality as mentioned before.
Think about it: the sheets and linens are what touches your skin. Not the actual mattress or pillow. (You can see my pillow recommendations for older adults here.)
That said, fabric, weave, ease of care, and affordability are all important variables to consider when purchasing new sheets and pillowcases. Additionally, it is crucial to check that the size of the sheet set and the pocket depth of the fitted sheet are suitable for your mattress. That way, you can get high-quality sheets that match the size of your mattress.
Now, let us look at the best bed sheets for the elderly:
Cool-Jams Cooling Bamboo Sheet Set
These soft, temperature-regulating sheets are made of all-natural, eco-friendly bamboo. So, in addition to cooling you off while you sleep, they are naturally bacteria and odor-resistant too!
Plus, you’ll love the feel of these cool and super soft sheets against your skin. Available in most sizes and 5 different colors. They are also easy to care for and can be machine washed at home.
Organic Sheet Set from Sleep and Beyond
This sheet set is made from organic cotton linen and is at par with five-star hotel standards in the world. It is made from pre-shrunk organic cotton that is so rare, lengthy, and unbelievably soft. I personally use these sheets on my own bed and am extremely happy with them.
Better yet, this bedding is created without pesticides or carcinogenic chemicals. This gives it the perfect balance of beauty, durability, and comfort. The bedsheets, which come with two pillowcases, are packaged in recyclable and compostable packaging and they can also be washed with a machine.
Bamboo Sheets From Layla
Bamboo is a surprisingly soft, pliable, and silky material. Therefore, these sheets, which are composed entirely of bamboo viscose, are extraordinarily soft, light, and luxurious. Plus, they contain twice the thread count of cotton compared to other brands.
So, you’ll never look at so-called high thread count cotton sheets the same way again once you’ve tried bamboo bedding. They are also highly breathable, and thermally regulating, and they absorb sweat better than other polyester materials.
Organic Sateen Sheet Set From Saatva
Buy your older loved one these sheets as a gift and let him/her wrap herself in five-star luxury with these signature organic cotton sheets! They come with a silky-soft sateen weave that becomes softer with each wash.
The package comes with a single flat sheet, one thick one, and two pillowcases making it perfect for married seniors. The sheets can fit on beds of up to 16 inches, and they come with deep pockets.
Lastly, they are easy to wash and maintain, provided it is a cold machine wash with no bleach and low tumble dry.
Bamboo Sheet Set from Nolah
Nothing boosts sleep quality like luxurious linens with bamboo’s natural properties of cooling and comfort. As seen before, bamboo sheets are breathable and satin-smooth on the skin. They also wick moisture, control temperature, and keep allergies at bay.
With that in mind, you’re bound to stay cool and calm while wrapped in such silky and elegant bamboo bedding. Granted, nobody wants sticky sheets that retain moisture and make you sweat all night. Fortunately, bamboo’s moisture-wicking properties take sweat away from your skin, which then dries and naturally cools you.
Bed Blankets, Comforters, and Duvets
To pick the ideal duvet or warm blanket for an older person, consider where they will use it, how warm they want it to be, and how easy it is to clean.
For example, warm blankets are made to keep your elder warm and comfortable on chilly winter nights. In the winter, you can layer these blankets under the comforter to keep your parent or grandparent warm.
Unfortunately, it’s not simple to find the perfect cozy blanket for your loved one. As such, you have to shop thoroughly to make sure you get the perfect fit for your loved one.
Here are my top recommended best blankets and duvets to buy for seniors:
The 365 Blanket by Muslin Comfort
This super-soft 100% cotton blanket is made of 8 layers of gauzy muslin. It is both warm and breathable to keep seniors toasty without getting hot and sweaty. Muslin Comfort sent me one to try and I still sleep with it every night.
It is soft against sensitive skin especially if you sleep “European Style” without a sheet between you and the blanket. Plus, it is oversized so you’ll never run out of blankets to wrap up in.
I also like that these blankets are easy to care for at home using your home washing machine. Just give them a little extra time to dry because of all that absorbent cotton!
Cool-Jams Luxury Cooling Bamboo Duvet Set
Bring a hot sleeper myself, it’s not a secret by now that I am a huge fan of the cooling bedding products from Cool-Jams. And, their cooling duvet cover set completes their bedding offering. This set is made of 100% rayon bamboo resulting in a super-soft fabric that is also hypoallergenic.
This duvet set comes with 2 matching shams also and is available in two print choices and 3 solid colors to match nearly any decor. This easy-care bedding can even be washed in your machine at home!
MyMerino Comforter from Sleep and Beyond
If you are interested in making a long-term investment in your sleep quality and general health, this comforter is made specifically for you. It is perfect for a senior with a wide range of chemical sensitivities or who has fiber allergies and is looking for a healthier alternative.
Plus, it is a year-round ecologically friendly comforter. This is because it is made from organic products and its packaging can be easily recycled.
Lastly, unlike many other comforters, this one does not have any corners or tie loops. This gives it a touch of class.
Organic Percale Duvet Cover Set From Saatva
This versatile duvet is both cozy and warm making it ideal for seniors during cold seasons. It is also very easy to clean which means that caregivers will have an easy time doing laundry. The package comes with a duvet cover and two pillow shams.
The Globon Winter White Goose Down Comforter
This queen-size comforter is light as a feather but warm as a cloud in all cold seasons, making it perfect for seniors. Its luxurious appearance and feel will not only provide a restful night’s sleep, but it will look good while at it.
The duvet comes with the nano-treated white goose-down filling which is moisture repellent and quick to dry. Besides this, it has a higher fill power and a lower odor.
Lastly, it is soft, glossy, and inviting which makes it a perfect fit for a senior’s delicate skin.
RELATED: Best Blankets for Seniors
What Features Should Seniors Look For When Buying Bedding?
Here are the important features that should matter most to seniors and the elderly when shopping for new bedding.
The bedding you choose should be soft, soothing, and non-irritating to the skin. This is because as seniors age, their skin becomes more sensitive and delicate. As such, when bedding is soft on their skin, they feel at ease and end up having better and longer sleep.
If you have ever cared for an elderly relative, you know that comfort is key. From shower chairs to bath seats, couches, seats, walking aids, and even what they wear, comfort is the priority number 1 for older adults. Brittle bones, weakened muscles, and even disease factors make comfort a prime concern.
Well, this rule applies to the bed as well. Since most seniors spend their time at home, especially in their beds, it is vital that their bedding be as comfortable as possible. That way, maybe even the more stubborn ones will volunteer to take an afternoon nap.
Nothing is more soothing than getting into a soothing, cool bed on a hot afternoon for a nap. As such, it is always worth it to invest in nice cooling bedding. Besides, some seniors feel uncomfortably hot when they sleep. With such an effect, they can have a cooler and more comfortable sleeping temperature.
Considering the period seniors spend in bed, it’s only natural that you want to skip dealing with dirty bedding frequently. This is especially the case for seniors who live alone and care for themselves. If they lack the energy or safe mobility to do their laundry, they will benefit from bedding that is easy to maintain.
Some seniors have a problem with maintaining stability. For example, they may have shaky hands which often makes them spill things on the bed. With that in mind, having stain-resistant bedding is key.
Medical reports suggest that incontinence does increase as people get older. This isn’t to say that every senior will be incontinent – far from it. But, for some, it is a reality of life. Therefore, caregivers must make sure that seniors have access to bedding that is waterproof and addresses this specific problem.
Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. This is especially true for the elderly. It is the basis for restful nights and active days, paving the way for a healthier lifestyle for our loved ones. Over and above health, rest is an important part of being happy and fulfilled.
Would you like to give your loved one happiness, comfort, better health, and more? A good night’s rest could be the very thing you need and alongside it, good bedding.
Bedding may appear trivial at first, but as you see how much your senior appreciates them, you’ll understand they’re far more than just upholstery.