How To Make Waterproof Mattress Protector

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Which is the Best Waterproof Mattress Protector

Most people appreciate that a mattress protector is an essential, not an option, but what is the best waterproof mattress protector currently available? and yes the best mattress protector has to be waterproof.

To answer this we have to consider the features that combined together will lead us to the best waterproof mattress protector.

Or click here if you just want to go straight to the Allergon – The best waterproof mattress protector


Well yes of course the best waterproof mattress protector is going to be waterproof but you have to think about what it is that makes it waterproof and how that affects its performance and comfort. A bin liner is waterproof but you wouldn’t want to sleep on one.
Some mattress protectors use PVC or vinyl to make it waterproof but these are not particularly comfortable to sleep on. The problem is that they make you hot and sweaty and can be noisy to sleep on. If the mattress protector that you are thinking about buying doesn’t tell you what it is that makes it waterproof then you have to assume that its not going to be comfortable.You would be better of choosing a different one.

The best waterproof mattress protectors use polyurethane to make them waterproof. Polyurethane is soft to the touch and quiet in use. Polyurethane is also breathable which means that it doesn’t make you hot and sweaty. People sometimes ask how something can be breathable and waterproof at the same time. The answer is that it is like our own skin, liquids cannot pass through but molecules can. So always make sure that any mattress protector that you buy uses polyurethane.

However some polyurethane protectors are better than others. This is because polyurethane can be applied in two different ways. In some production lines the polyurethane is applied to the fabric in a liquid form. This is then spread out using paddles, it then dries and sets. The problem with this method is that it allows low spots and high spots to form. High spots where the liquid has been quite deep and low spots where it was spread too thinly. These low spots wear more quickly and soon you get unprotected spots and patches.
The better method involves the polyurethane being manufactured separately as a thin uniform film which is bonded to the underside of the protector with no difference in thickness anywhere, this makes the protector last longer. The problem is that most manufacturers don’t tell you which method they use.


Absorbency is a very important issue when choosing the best waterproof mattress protector. The waterproof membrane on the underside means that any perspiration or moisture remains on the side that you are sleeping on. The more absorbent the upper surface is the more that perspiration spreads out and the wider it spreads the quicker it evaporates.

Cotton is very absorbent but polyester isn’t so the higher the cotton content the more absorbent it will be. Flat woven surfaces are generally less absorbent than terry towelling so the best waterproof mattress protector will have a cotton rich terry towelling upper surface.


A good waterproof mattress protector has to be able to deal with all sorts of liquids. This might be anything from a spilt cup of tea to a baby’s nappy leaking and countless other bodily fluid issues. You still have to be able to wash it to get it hygienically clean. If a protector can only be washed at 30c or 40c that isn’t high enough to do this thoroughly enough. 60c is the minimum wash temperature to clean it properly for a heavily soiled protector washing it at 90c is preferable. So, check the washing temperature before you buy

Dust Mite Proof

Dust mites live in all of our homes regardless of cleanliness. Dust mites require food to survive. They live off the tiny particles of skin that we shed and a mattress provides the ideal climate and food source. Dust mites reproduce very quickly and within a matter of months hundreds of thousands can infest one mattress. Not only is this an unpleasant thought but for some people who are allergic to the dust mites waste products this can lead to uncomfortable wheezy restless nights. If you can stop the supply of skin particles and moisture from passing through to the mattress then you won’t have a dust mite problem. A polyurethane waterproof membrane does just that.

So the best waterproof mattress protector needs to have a waterproof polyurethane membrane that has been applied to the underside as a separate bonded film, for comfort and performance, it needs to have a cotton rich terry towelling upper surface for maximum absorbency and it needs to be washable at up to 90c. Therefore the best mattress protectors currently available are Allergon by Snugnights

The Best Waterproof Mattress Pads and Protectors – Reviews and Buying Guide

Our Research

Mattress Pads and Protectors Considered
Hours of Research
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

One of the biggest threats to the lifespan of a mattress is a nasty spill or accident. The introduction of moisture to a mattress can lead to stains, mold, and other degradation that erodes the longevity of your bed. Whether you’ve just purchased a new mattress or are trying to make an older one last as long as possible, a waterproof mattress pad or protector can help prevent this kind of damage.

Best Waterproof Mattress Pads and Protectors
  • Editor’s Pick – Nectar Mattress Protector
  • Best for Cooling – Bear Protector
  • Best for Added Comfort – Helix Mattress Protector
  • Best Organic Option – PlushBeds Organic Cotton Mattress Protector
  • Best Value – SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector
  • Best Luxury – Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector

There are numerous waterproof products on the market and considerable diversity in the quality and cost of these products. In this guide, we’ll give an overview of the benefits of a waterproof mattress pad or protector, discuss tips for how to choose one, and provide a list of the best waterproof mattress pads and protectors available to you right now.

The picks listed below are based on verified owner and customer experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

  • 100% waterproof material
  • 22" pocket depth
  • Padded cotton top for extra softness
  • 50-night sleep trial and 5-year warranty

  • HeiQ Adaptive Fabric keeps you cool and dry
  • 20" pocket depth
  • Compatible with mattresses that have Celliant technology
  • 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty

  • Stretchy polyester cover adds softness
  • 14" pocket depth
  • Breathable surface maintains airflow and keeps you dry
  • 100-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty

  • Certified organic cotton jersey with polyurethane laminate
  • 14" pocket depth
  • Available in 8 sizes
  • 5-year warranty


  • 100% waterproof material
  • 22" pocket depth
  • Padded cotton top for extra softness
  • 50-night sleep trial and 5-year warranty

Tuck readers can purchase a Nectar Mattress Protector at the lowest available price

Editor’s Pick Overview

The Nectar Mattress Protector is our standout pick for several reasons. The product effectively protects beds against dirt, dust, and allergens. In addition to being waterproof, the protector is also stain-resistant; owners do not need to worry about liquids seeping through and damaging the mattress. Thanks to a cotton cover and quilted surface, the protector also feels soft and provides noticeable padding.

The Nectar Mattress Protector can be washed and dried in conventional machines, making it fairly low-maintenance in terms of care. It also fits most beds sold today thanks to its 22? pocket depth, which is much deeper than the average protector.

Currently, the product is available for $99, which is cheaper than average. Nectar Sleep also offers free shipping in the contiguous U.S., and backs the protector with a 50-night trial and a five-year warranty.

Best for Cooling – Bear Protector


  • HeiQ Adaptive Fabric keeps you cool and dry
  • 20" pocket depth
  • Compatible with mattresses that have Celliant technology
  • 100-night sleep trial and 10-year warranty

Tuck readers get 20% off the Bear Protector with code: TUCK20

Best Cooling Overview

The Bear Protector is a good pick for anyone who wants a pad that can protect their mattress from spills and keep them cool and comfortable through the night. Using HeiQ Adaptive Fabric, the protector holds up well against all kind of spills.

The material is also breathable, helping to wick moisture and excess heat away from the sleeper’s body. For people who use mattresses with Celliant technology (such as the Bear Mattress), this pad is compatible and does not interrupt the infrared energy and heat transfer from that material.

With its soft surface and special non-polyurethane material, the Bear Protector stays extremely quiet even when you move on it. It also provides a defense against allergens and dust, and stretches to cover mattresses up to 20” tall. Bear offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. The protector is backed by a 100-night trial and 10-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.

Best for Added Comfort – Helix Mattress Protector


  • Stretchy polyester cover adds softness
  • 14" pocket depth
  • Breathable surface maintains airflow and keeps you dry
  • 100-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty

Tuck readers can purchase the Helix Mattress Protector at the lowest price

Best for Added Comfort Overview

The Helix Mattress Protector is made from a combination of polyester and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). The polyester in the top layer is extra soft; even though it is a thin layer of material, it provides added cushioning without changing the overall feel of the mattress.

The TPU is a strong waterproofing material that will keep your mattress safe from stains and moisture. Skirting goes around the sides to hold the pad in place, and the material is virtually noiseless, preventing the crinkly sound associated with some other mattress protectors.

It can be machine washed and dried, so any spills are easy to resolve. Helix offers free shipping to all 50 states; the protector is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty.

Best Organic Option – PlushBeds Organic Cotton Mattress Protector


  • Certified organic cotton jersey with polyurethane laminate
  • 14" pocket depth
  • Available in 8 sizes
  • 5-year warranty

Buy a PlushBeds Organic Cotton Mattress Protector at the lowest available price

Best Organic Option Overview

The PlushBeds Organic Cotton Mattress Protector offers a different feel from other waterproof covers. It is made of GOTS-certified organic cotton with a thin strip of polyurethane laminate to safeguard against water and other liquid spills.

As a result, the protector feels much softer and less slippery than those made entirely from polyurethane or similar synthetics. The organic cotton is also highly breathable, which can be beneficial for hot sleepers.

PlushBeds does not treat the protector with any chemicals or dyes, and the protector comes in eco-friendly biodegradable packaging made from corn and hemp. The pocket depth is 14?, meaning the protector will fit most high-profile mattresses. It can be washed and dried in a machine, as well. PlushBeds offers free shipping in the contiguous U.S. and backs the protector with a five-year warranty.

Best Value – SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector


  • Laminated polyurethane backing creates stable waterproof seal
  • 18" pocket depth
  • Soft cotton-terry and polyester cover
  • 10-year warranty

Tuck readers get the best price on their SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector

Best Value Overview

Our Best Value pick is the SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector. Its price is significantly lower than most competing waterproof pads and protectors, but it offers reliable protection and decent durability for its price-point.

Its construction is generally simpler than the other pads on our list: The cover, made of cotton and polyester, offers some padding, while the fortified backing made of laminated polyurethane keeps liquid and moisture away from the bed.

This pad won’t affect the feel of the mattress and produces minimal noise. The material in the pad also holds up well with washing, which can be done in the washing machine. SafeRest also backs the product with a 10-year replacement warranty.

Best Luxury – Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector


  • Breathable protection for hot sleepers
  • 14"pocket depth
  • Stain-resistant and easy to clean
  • 30-night sleep trial

Buy the Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector at the lowest available price

Best Luxury Overview

In addition to protecting mattresses from water and other liquid spills, the Luxury Cooling Mattress Protector from Brooklyn Bedding – our Best Luxury pick – also sleeps noticeably cooler than many competing protectors. The thin surface draws body heat away from sleepers, resulting in consistently comfortable sleep temperatures.

The protector also safeguards the bed from dust mites and other allergens, as well as bacteria and bed bug infestation. The protector has the same knit cover as the Brooklyn Aurora mattress. It can be washed and dried in conventional machines, making it fairly low-maintenance. The protector has a 14? pocket depth and can be used with the majority of mattresses sold today.

Prices range from $99 to $149, depending on the selected size. Brooklyn Bedding offers free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. and backs the protector with a 30-night sleep trial.

Buying Guide – How to Shop for Waterproof Mattress Pads and Protectors

Whether you’re currently in the marker for a waterproof mattress protector, or interested in learning why one may be a good investment, this guide will give an overview of the benefits and provide the information you need to help identify the best purchase option for your home.

Why Buy a Waterproof Mattress Pad or Protector?

Your mattress is a serious investment, and a mattress pad or protector can provide some insurance for your purchase. If you take a close look at your mattress warranty, odds are it doesn’t cover damage caused by moisture or spills. As a result, a pad or protector can be a cost-effective way to protect your mattress.

This added protection can help extend the life of your mattress by lowering the risk of mold and mildew buildup caused by moisture getting into the mattress. Of course, it’s great for keeping those unwanted stains out of your mattress as well. And for people who may have issues with incontinence or children who occasionally wet the bed, a mattress protector can help there, too.

Additionally, using a waterproof pad or protector reduces the build-up of allergens and other particles in your mattress. Keep an eye out for a hypoallergenic pads if this is an important feature for you.

And finally, a waterproof pad or protector makes cleanup so much simpler. When an accident occurs, just remove the protector and any bedding and throw them in the wash.

Key Considerations for Waterproof Pad/Protector Shoppers

As you compare and contrast your options, it can be useful to know about some of the factors that allow you to differentiate between the various mattress pads and protectors on the market.


There are four general styles of waterproof mattress pads and protectors available.

  • Fitted sheet:These go over the top and sides of the mattress and use a fitted corner to help secure the protector in place. This works the same way as a standard fitted sheet with the main difference being that a waterproof protector has a specialized backing to protect the bed.
  • Six-sided protector:This encases all six sides of the mattress and is normally sealed with a zipper. This is the most complete form of protection for the mattress and may be referred to as a mattress encasement. These tend to be especially useful for people who have concerns about bed bugs or allergens.
  • Fitted pad:This is similar to the fitted sheet except that there is a thicker material on top that generally provides a softer feel than the simple fitted-sheet style protector.
  • Pad:Pads are designed to offer protection to a specific area on the bed and are often placed above the bedsheet. Unlike other options, you aren’t able to secure pads in place.


Fabrics used in waterproof pads and protectors can be classified in two categories: The top cover and the waterproof backing. Materials that are often used in the top cover include:

  • Cotton:This material is generally soft and smooth and for that reason employed in a huge variety of textiles like clothes and bedding. But cotton is also absorbent, so it needs a strong waterproof backing to work well in a protector or pad.
  • Polyester:This synthetic material can be produced to have different feels, but the most common have some softness (though less than cotton) but with more breathability and less absorption.
  • Rayon:Rayon is a semi-synthetic material (made from natural materials but using various chemicals) that often has a smooth, cooling, and breathable feel.
  • Lyocell:This is a wood-pulp based textile often marketed as Tencel. It tends to have a soft feel; and though not fully waterproof, does hold up better against liquids.
  • Blends:It’s not uncommon to find blends of the materials listed above. Manufacturers may compose these blends to provide a specific feel or performance of the fabric.

Pads and protectors use an adhesive to apply a waterproof backing to the topmost fabric. Some of the waterproofing materials that may be used include:

  • Vinyl:Vinyl maintains a powerful waterproof seal and is highly effective as a backing in pads and protectors. However, many vinyl products contain phthalates, which raise some health concerns, especially for pregnant women and children. However, some vinyl products are sold as phthalate-free.
  • Polyurethane:This is a plastic polymer material often used for waterproofing. It can be laminated or thermally bonded to a fabric to hold it in place. Thermally-bonded polyurethane may also be referred to as TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane).

Cleaning and Care

It’s important to know about the cleaning process for any mattress pad or protector. Most can be washed and dried in the washing machine, but it’s important to use low temperatures. This is because high temperatures can degrade the adhesives that are necessary to maintain the waterproof backing. You can also hand wash and line dry the pads and protectors. W

hen necessary, such as in the case of spills, you can easily spot clean most pads and protectors with a mild soap.

The more you wash a pad or protector, the faster it will start to break down. That said, you still want to try to have a somewhat regular schedule for washing it. You don’t want or need to wash it as often as your normal sheets, but it can be good to clean it so that there is no buildup of dust or odor.

In addition, always remember to check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning because there can be some variation from product to product. Following these instructions carefully can help extend the life of your purchase.


Mattress pads and protectors eventually wear out as the top layer and/or the waterproof backing gives out. This usually happens from washing, which causes slow degradation of these materials. Depending on how frequently you wash your pad or protector, you can expect it to last anywhere from several months to years.

Expected lifespan can also depend on the materials and their quality since poorly produced adhesives will be more inclined to wear away rapidly. If you notice the material wearing thin or failing to protect against spills, it’s time to consider replacing your pad or protector.

Other Important Factors

Now that you know the key components of a waterproof pad or protector, it’s time to review some of other considerations when looking to purchase this product.

  • Noise:Some materials used for these products can make noise when you move on top of them. This tends to be more of an issue with pads that have a more plastic-like feel. Materials like cotton and blended synthetics tend to be quieter.
  • Breathability:For people who are worried about sleeping hot, look for materials that can promote breathability, such as rayon or synthetic blends. These can help avoid heat retention in a mattress pad. Some pads may also have specific materials intended to promote cooling.
  • Comfort:The amount of thickness of the top of the pad or protector can affect how your bed will feel. If it’s a thin protector, it probably won’t affect comfort as it fits underneath your sheets. But a pad with a thicker top may be able to protect your mattress and add softness and comfort at the same time.
  • Bed bug protection:If you are wanting a shield to protect your mattress from bed bugs, look for an encasement that protects all 6 sides of the mattress with a zippered closure.
  • Allergens:While most pads and protectors reduce allergen buildup, if you are highly sensitive to allergens, a full encasement is usually the most powerful product available to you.
  • Return policy:Some pads or protectors come with an in-home sleep trial, but many do not offer any kinds of returns. Check with the seller before making your purchase to find out what your rights are for making a return.
  • Warranty:Some protectors are sold with a warranty ranging from 1 to 10 years. Some warranties have so many exclusions as to make them of limited use, but it’s worth reading the fine print to see what is and is not covered.

Waterproof Mattress Protector

Product Description

Fabric Content:
80% Towelling 20% Polycotton

Wash Care:
Gentle cycle cold wash

Delivery Costs

When you order furniture & homeware, your delivery is split in two BUT you only pay for one delivery. That’s right, the homeware delivery is FREE if you purchase homeware AND furniture in one transaction.

Delivery optionHow long will it take?How much will it cost?
Click + Collect Economy5-7 working daysR15Click + Collect Express2-3 working days**R35Economy(Door to door)3-5 working daysR50Express(Door to door)1-3 working days**R70

**Orders placed to outlying areas may potentially be delayed.

Delivery will take between 5-7 working days. Zones are calculated by distance from regional depots.

Best Mattress Protectors

Our recommended choice for solid features at a super-affordable price.

Packed with great features: high-quality breathable fabric, solid protection against dust mites and pet dander; available in lots of sizes.

Not fully waterproof, so have to be careful of spills and leaks. Sizing is not great for deep-pocket mattresses.

An all-rounder in our books; recommended for its low price and all-purpose utility.

Great quality: breathable and hypoallergenic terrycloth, waterproof material, very affordable.

We dock points for its crinkling sound when shifting or moving around. Spills may pool on the cover.

Go for this one if you don’t mind your bed being a little extra snug.

Solid combination of versatile size and hypoallergenic and waterproof material.

May trap heat, especially in warmer climates.

This cost-effective TPU-certified protector is our pick for deep mattresses.

We love its hypoallergenic terrycloth top and that it is free of chemicals like phthalates and fire retardants, which can be irritating or carry odors.

Thin build and elastic weakens over time. May not be fully waterproof.

A good-quality piece with ample basic features.

Light, durable material keeps the feel of the mattress and blocks allergens. Good-quality elastic keeps it in place.

Washing may weaken waterproofing capabilities.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best mattress protectors

You wouldn’t go to bed without sheets and a pillow, but what about a mattress protector? It might not seem like a bedding essential, but a mattress protector is useful in a wide range of situations, from keeping your child’s mattress clean when accidents happen to avoiding day-to-day wear and tear.

The tough part is finding the right mattress protector to fit your needs and your bed. You’ll find a variety of different types on the market, and not all of them are suitable for all uses, nor are they all created equal.

If you want to find out more about mattress protectors, you’ve come to the right place. We at BestReviews have created this thorough shopping guide to help you make your purchase. Read on to learn more.

Why use a mattress protector?

Before shelling out for a mattress protector, you might be wondering if you really need one. Here are some of the most common reasons why people use mattress protectors.

Stains:Mattress protectors help you avoid getting stains on yourmattress.

Liquids:If you choose a waterproof mattress protector, it will stave off liquid spills, sweat, or nighttime incontinence.

Comfort:Padded mattress protectors provide some added comfort and can rejuvenate an old, uncomfortable mattress.

Damage:Even basic mattress protectors will protect against general wear and tear from day to day use.

  • Warranty:If your mattress is torn or stained, the warranty may be void, so using a mattress protector could help you get your money back if anything goes wrong with your mattress.
  • You can find mattress protectors that are designed to keep bed bugs at bay.

    Types of mattress protectors


    Basic mattress protectors are essentially like fittedbed sheetswith an extra layer or two of material stitched onto the top to help prevent stains and wear.

    Pros:These tend to be lightweight, so they won’t add bulk to your mattress or make it feel warmer to sleep on. These are also more affordable options.

    Cons:Basic mattress protectors aren’t waterproof, so one won’t keep your mattress dry in the event of spilled drinks or bed-wetting.


    As the name suggests, waterproof mattress protectors guard against liquids. These products have a waterproof layer underneath a soft fabric layer to keep your mattress dry.

    Pros:These are ideal for children who wet the bed or anyone who suffers from nighttime incontinence, protecting against liquids and general stains.

    Cons:The waterproof layer can make these mattress protectors feel and sound crinkly when you move.


    If you want mattress protection and some extra comfort,paddedmattress protectors are the way to go. These are made of polyester hollow fiber, down, or memory foam.

    Pros:These act as bothmattress toppersand mattress protectors and can help you get a more comfortable night’s sleep if your mattress isn’t quite up to par.

    Cons:Padded mattress protectors can make you feel warmer at night, which isn’t ideal for summer use. Down-filled padded mattress protectors can exacerbate allergies and asthma.


    Anti-allergy mattress protectors usually fully encase the mattress and are designed to keep dust, pet dander, and other allergens out of your mattress.

    Pros:These are ideal for people who suffer from hay fever, pet allergies, or dust allergies. Since they keep these allergens getting into your mattress, you won’t be sleeping on a hotbed of allergens.

  • Cons:The fully encased design can be awkward to put on your mattress.
  • You can find mattress protectors with cooling properties, which could help you get a good night’s sleep if you prefer a colder sleeping environment.

    Mattress protector features to consider


    It might seem obvious, but you need to make sure you buy the right size mattress protector to fit your mattress. If you’re not 100% sure what size your mattress is, you’ll need to measure it.


    You can find mattress protectors made of a variety of materials. Here are some of the most common.

    Cotton:Naturally hypoallergenic, breathable, and soft, cotton is an excellent option for mattress protectors, but it can be expensive.

    Polyester:A choice that won’t hurt your wallet, polyester might not be the most cool or luxurious material, but it’s durable and easy to care for.

    Cotton/polyester blend:You’ll often find mattress protectors made from a blend of cotton and polyester. These are more affordable than pure cotton and retain some of cotton’s good features.

    Bamboo:Another natural and breathable option, bamboo is an ideal material for mattress protectors because it wicks away moisture and helps stop odor-causing bacteria from growing. Bamboo grows quickly, so It’s also a very sustainable material. The only drawback is its high cost.


    The majority of mattress protectors fit much like fitted bottom sheets, slipping over the top of your mattress, with elastic corners to hold them in place. However, some mattress protectors fully enclose all six sides of your mattress – top, bottom, and all four vertical sides. Fully enclosed mattress protectors usually have a zipper so you can completely seal the mattress inside. While These mattress protectors are more difficult to fit, they do keep allergens and/or bed bugs from getting into your mattress.


    Some mattress protectors are more comfortable than others. Most are simply designed to protect your mattress, and you wouldn’t notice they were there if you hadn’t made the bed yourself. Others are padded and made with comfort in mind. Memory foam mattress protectors are arguably the most comfortable, but these can be warm to sleep on. Those filled with down or polyester hollow fiber offer some extra comfort – a bit like sleeping on top of a thickcomforter– but don’t make a huge amount of difference.

    How to make waterproof mattress protector

    I made up a couple of these for Hazel when we took her out of night nappies just over a year ago and they’ve been brilliant. Instead of having to change the whole bed you can usually just take off the wet sheet and put on another. So much faster than pulling apart the whole bed at 2am!

    I gave away one of them not long ago because she just wasn’t having any accidents, and wouldn’t you know it she went through a ‘phase’ so I made up another one (and now the phase seems to be over!). I thought it might be useful to document the process because they’re really very simple to make and doing it yourself is not only cheaper but you have your choice of fabulous fabrics! Essentially what you have is a cotton top and a waterproof PUL bottom (which rolls around the edges to the top and stops moisture leaking off the edges), with a slightly absorbant inner layer. It’s held onto the bed by long flaps which tuck well under the mattress and hold it firm.

    What you’ll need:

    1 x top fabric in 100% cotton
    1 x inner absorbent fabric
    1 x PUL fabric
    2 x fabric for side flaps

    A note on the fabrics: Choose good quality 100% cotton for the top, if the fabric has a synthetic component it won’t absorb the liquid as quickly, if at all, meaning it’s more likely to run off the top and onto the bed. I’ve used quilting cotton for my sheets. You could use a variety of absorbent fabrics for the inner, in this case I used an old piece of flannel. It doesn’t need to hold the moisture for long, just enough time for you to get the sheet off the bed. Finally, the PUL – this is the polyurethane laminated woven fabric that is used in modern nappies/diapers, it’s waterproof, thin and flexible and easily washed. It’s readily available online from nappy making supply stores and it comes in a rainbow of colours and patterns. I’ve gone for boring old white because I like the clean edges it gives on the finished sheet. It might be a functional item but they can be aesthetically pleasing! My flaps are made from old polycotton sheets I had hanging around – whatever you’ve got that is big enough will suit!

    A note on sewing with PUL: PUL can sometimes be tricky to sew as it is slippery on one side and has a tendency to stretch. Making sure the shiny side is down when sewing makes a huge difference, the presser foot just doesn’t seem to move over it well. If you need to pin, make sure you pin within the seam allowance as any holes outside that will compromise the waterproofness. Use a nice sharp needle too. It’s not too bad on this project as it’s all straight lines. Overlockers/sergers are handle it brilliantly, although again, make sure it’s shiny side down.

    *All photos can be viewed in a larger size by clicking through to Flickr and selecting the original size from the ‘all sizes’ option.

    1. First off measure your bed to determine fabric amounts. The cotton, inner and PUL need to be as wide as the bed top plus 2cm (1") for seam allowances. The depth (top-to-bottom measurement) is up to you, the one I made is 70 cm (28") largely because that’s the size of the piece of PUL I had left over. Slightly narrower is fine, although you begin to run the risk of the child being off the sheet when the accident occurs. The PUL needs to be 5-6cm (approx. 2-2 1/2") deeper than the cotton and inner fabrics in order to be able to roll up and over the edge. In order to figure out the flap size, measure from the top edge of the bed, down the side and to about half way across the bottom of the mattress. Then add 3cm (1 1/4") for seam allowance and a hem on the far edge. This is your width. For the depth you need to figure out what the finished measurement of the cotton/inner plus the PUL edging will be and add 4cm (1 1/2") for hems. The seam allowances are up to you – I’ve allowed 1cm (1/2"), and for hemming 2cm (3/4").

    The measurements for my single bed sheet are as follows:
    Cotton and flannel: 99cm wide and 71 cm deep
    PUL: 99cm wide and 76 cm deep
    Flaps (x2): 72 cm wide and 73 cm deep

    2. Putting it together. Layer the cotton, inner and PUL in this order: PUL shiny side (waterproof) down, then cotton right side down, then inner (in this case right side down because I had to sew two bits together and wanted the seam away from the top). Align the fabrics down one edge – there will be excess PUL sticking out the opposite side. Pin, taking care that they stay within the seam allowance. Shift top fabrics over and align edges with other PUL edge. You will have loose PUL in the middle (see photo below). Sew both edges with a 1cm (1/2") seam to form a tube.

    3. Turn right side out so that the fabric side of the PUL is facing down and the cotton is right side up. Edge stitch with the seam allowance on the PUL side. This is one time when you shouldn’t iron as you go – it’s not good for the PUL! Just pull the seam flat from either side as you stitch.

    4. Get the tube sitting nice and flat and then square off the edges. You can see in the photo below how the PUL is wrapped around the edges.

    5. Hem up the side flaps making sure they match the finished depth of the tube. I fold the edge and then fold again to give a neat appearance.

    6. Pin the flaps to either end of the tube, right sides together, and sew with a 1cm (1/2”) seam. If the PUL is shifting around too much you may want to tack the tube closed within the seam allowance first. Finish the seam by zigzagging if you haven’t used an overlocker.

    7. Edge stitch with the seam allowance on the flap side.

    8. And you’re done! This sheet had been on Hazel’s bed for 2 days and hasn’t shifted at all.

    As the sheet is used and laundered you may notice the top fabrics shrinking a bit, making the PUL slightly looser. I find that just tugging them back into shape takes care of that to a large extent. Ironing PUL isn’t recommended (it can melt), but you can safely put them through a dryer as long as it doesn’t get too hot.

    ETA: I forget that people don’t know what PUL is because I lived and breathed PUL nappies for a couple years while Hazel was wearing them, it seems second nature! I found this good link to a more comprehensive explanation of what PUL is than mine, and the lady sells it by yard too. I’m afraid I’m pretty out of the loop with the best places to buy it these days, so if anyone has some good links pop ’em in the comments! In New Zealand Greenbeans is probably your best bet, although heck, that might have changed in the last couple years too!

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