Many parents have to deal with bedwetting with their older child or teenager. Additionally, many adults experience bedwetting every night. In situations such as these, waterproof sheets are essential for making cleanup easier as well as making the child, teenager, or adult more comfortable and secure. I have an idea for a homemade waterproof bedwetting sheet. I actually found out about this over 25 years ago. A friend of mine had a daughter that wet the bed and she used a regular piece of plastic to cover her bed. My idea is similar except I think it’s better to use thicker plastic because it’s more durable thereby making it last longer.

Speaking personally, I use this type of plastic on my bed (I still have nighttime accidents) and so far it has worked well. The type of plastic I use is 6 mil clear plastic from Home Depot. I have a roll of 20 feet by 100 feet plastic and cut off a sheet from the roll to cover my mattress to protect it from the bedwetting. I have a California queen size bed and I took the roll of plastic and cut off a piece. I made sure the plastic touched the floor on each side (I wanted a bit of overlap so I could make some flaps to tuck in the bed in order to avoid the plastic sliding and coming loose)

The only caveat to using this type of plastic as a bedwetting cover is that it makes a crinkling sound when you move around in bed which some people might find off-putting. There are ways to minimize this however. This is how I personally deal with the crackling sound the plastic makes. First, I put the plastic on top of the mattress, then I covered it with two mattress pads I bought from Walmart, then I put the fitted sheet over top of the mattress pads. You can even put a third mattress pad down if you like. Keep in mind this doesn’t eliminate the rustling sound completely but it does make it easier to live with. Personally, the crunchy sound the plastic makes doesn’t bother me, but everyone is different. I would use this type of cover on a trial basis and if the child, teenager, or adult doesn’t mind sleeping on the plastic I would continue to use it as long as they wet the bed. If they can’t get used to it, I wouldn’t force the issue, and you can always buy another waterproof sheet to use on the bed. I’d like to round this tip out with some more suggestions:

First, I would purchase some sheet suspenders just in case you have problems with the fitted sheet sliding off the plastic. Since adding the fitted mattress pads I haven’t had this issue, but it’s nice to have them just in case. I use the Sheet Suspenders brand which I purchased from Amazon.

Second, in addition to using the plastic sheeting to protect the bed from bedwetting, you can use it for many purposes around the house such as covering outside materials, as a drop cloth, as a vapor barrier, as a slip-and-slide, as well as other jobs. It’s always good to have a roll of plastic around the house to use for various household projects and tasks.

Third, I’d occasionally check the plastic for tears and holes. 6 mil plastic is pretty tough and this shouldn’t be an issue, but it’s always good to be on the safe side. If by chance you do notice any tears or holes you can either cut off a new sheet from the roll of plastic or get some waterproof tape from a hardware store and tape the hole or tear.

Fourth, it’s a good idea to wear some form of protection to bed – it’s much more comfortable wearing protection than waking up in soaking wet pj’s and bedding. The purpose of using the plastic sheet in the first place is as a fail-safe in case the diapers leak. I use adult size pin-on style prefold cloth diapers covered with a pair of adult size pull-on style plastic pants (or “rubber pants” as they’re sometimes called) and adult size disposable tape on style diapers.

Fifth, I’d take the plastic off the bed if the child or teenager has visitors over. Otherwise, if their friends sit on the bed they’ll notice the crinkling sound of the plastic which can be quite embarrassing for the youngster.

Finally, there’s the delicate issue of what to do if you have a significant other. If you’re sharing the bed with someone else, they may not be able to get to sleep with the plastic on the bed. The crinkling sound the plastic makes may put them off. I would have a discussion with your partner and if it turns out that the noise doesn’t bother them, I’d leave it on the bed. If on the other hand they are having a difficult time sleeping, I’d remove the plastic and look into purchasing some other type of waterproof sheet to protect the bed.

I hope this idea helps those parents who may be having a difficult time finding suitable protection to manage their older child or teenager’s bedwetting as well as those adults who deal with this issue on a nightly basis.


I am a psychology major who writes about various products to manage nocturnal enuresis, the clinical term for bedwetting.