Best mattress pad and sheets for sweaty husband?
July 12, 2013 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Mr. Crunchy sweats a lot when he sleeps. Help us keep the mattress and sheets from getting permanently stained.

He is not uncomfortably hot-- he sleeps under the covers, and does not want lighter covers or more A/C.

We found waterproof pillow covers that work great, but every time we buy a waterproof mattress pad, it seems to be shredded underneath within 6 months. Is there a quality mattress pad we can use that will not do this? How do most people keep their new mattresses new? It seems like all the waterproof pads I find are very cheap quality and shred quickly, and don't hold up to washing at all, even on the cold setting. Are there non-waterproof pads that would do the trick?

As far as sheets, I just need a recommendation for cheap sheets that are not too scratchy. We have figured out that darker sheets are the way to go, but I don't want to spend $70 for every set of sheets we own.

So, sweaty mefites, what kind of bedding works for you?
posted by crunchysalty to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I have purchased sheets at Ikea and Target that feel great on the first wash out of the package.

Whatever you do, don't get a foam mattress topper, that's just too hot!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:32 AM on July 12, 2013

Has he ever had a sleep study done? Sweaty sleep is a symptom of sleep apnea. Might be worth looking into.
posted by colin_l at 7:38 AM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

I also have some mid-range Target sheets that I just love. I think they cost about 30 bucks for my full bed. They are a lovely dark purple shade and have stood up to puppy barf a few times now and many many washings without any ill effects.

Along the puppy I'm wondering if a strategically-placed pee pad under the sheets would be a reasonable solution for not staining the mattress. They're disposable, so just toss them when they're sweaty.
posted by phunniemee at 7:40 AM on July 12, 2013

I actually found that the waterproof mattress pad my wife put on the bed to deal with some doggy acting out made me sweat. To the point where I took it off in the middle of the night.

Light sheets that you can bleach the hell out of are better than dark sheet BTW.
posted by JPD at 7:41 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Instead of a mattress pad, have you looked at mattress protectors? I have one that came free with my mattress and it doesn't alter the feel or temperature of the mattress at all. It is very much like this one.
posted by bensherman at 7:42 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I found a passage in May We Be Forgiven strangely comforting. Our hero asks if the people delivering a mattress will take away the old one, hesitantly mentioning that it's stained (in fact bloodstains from a recent murder).

"They're all stained," says the mattress man.

I've stopped worrying about it.
posted by Segundus at 7:51 AM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]

I did spend around $70 for my black satin sheets, but they still look and feel brand new five years later. I also have a full allergy/bedbug/dust-mite mattress protector that cost somewhere around $100 and a $30 mattress topper but I'm actually selling my mattress so I took it all off for the first time in five years and the mattress looks pristine underneath. The mattress topper looks gross, and the allergy protector looks fine, so I'm guessing the allergy protector was the barrier that pushed anything spilled onto it back up into the mattress topper.
posted by vegartanipla at 7:54 AM on July 12, 2013

Have you considered real wool fleece mattress toppers? There is nothing better for ameliorating sweating. Makes the other sheet issues MUCH more manageable.
posted by readery at 7:55 AM on July 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yeah we've got the same issue (and sleep tests came back normal, he's just a damp sleeper).

We've got this mattress cover, which has held up well for over two years.

No suggestions for sheets, although I will say get 100% cotton and white, not dark. Don't use bleach; soak them in hot water and oxyclean. I know it sounds counterintuitive--I was always told that hot water sets stains and chlorine bleach whitens--but oxyclean wants hot water to work and bleach eventually yellows your whites.

And if you can hang your sheets in the sun to dry that will whiten them too.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:12 AM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

I sweat like crazy and we use these vinyl mattress protectors from Target on the mattress with a regular mattress pad on top and then sheets. Mattress looks like new, they only cost about 10 bucks, and bonus -- it's a bed bug protector!
posted by jabes at 8:15 AM on July 12, 2013

I have that problem.

When we wash the sheets, a little Dawn dish soap goes into the mix. (Not too much, it makes bubbles in the washer). That keeps the sheets and pillowcases clean.

We have a nice standard mattress pad (I think it was about $125) that blocks about 90% of from it going to the mattress.

When we picked up a new mattress years ago, we picked up a sleep number bed (the best beds in the world!) and with their mattresses, the top of the pillow top (and other parts) unzip and are machine washable.

So... the sheets, the mattress pad, and the top of the mattress all go in the washing machine. Sheets every time, the pad frequently and the mattress top every once in a while.

Notes: waterproof or plastic lined mattress covers are the worst. The lack of airflow would make me sweat even more. Any foam topper or memory foam best will cause me to sweat in any areas in the foam. I actually wake up wet - eewww!!!
posted by Leenie at 9:28 AM on July 12, 2013

Seconding what readery said: a 100% lambswool mattress cover is the way to go.

Mine cost a couple of hundred bucks but was worth every cent.

Also, white sheets, 100% cotton. I wash mine on cold with some Napisan and line-dry, they come out pure white.
posted by Salamander at 9:36 AM on July 12, 2013

What kind of mattress cover did you buy? We have a Luna Waterproof Mattress Cover to help protect against doggie accidents, and it is very durable. In fact I just washed and dried it on hot yesterday. We've had it about 2 years. I have not noticed that it makes me hot at night.
posted by radioamy at 9:37 AM on July 12, 2013

If you want darker sheets, I have picked up pretty comfortable ones for a good price at Target and at the local Meijers supermarket for $50 for a full set for a king bed.

I would go a sheepskin underlay over the plastic one if you want to go that way, as it will protect the cheap underlay but allow the air to circulate thus not making your husband sweating worse.
posted by wwax at 9:44 AM on July 12, 2013

Wool! Thirding wool.

You don't have to spend much -- thrift store wool blankets will do -- layer if you like but even just one should make a noticeable difference.

It seems inconceivable that the waterproof cover is not worsening the sweating, and I agree that light sheets you can wash to death will beat faded dark. Ikea's basic cotton linens (avoid the bottom-of-the-Ikea-barrel poly-cotton blends) are usually pretty good for the price.
posted by kmennie at 12:09 PM on July 12, 2013

This is the mattress cover I have on my kids' beds. I haven't slept on it myself, other than the occasional falling-asleep-while-reading-bedtime-stories, but from the time I've spent in their beds it seems fine. It doesn't crinkle, it doesn't feel like plastic, it's waterproof, and it's very durable.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:49 PM on July 12, 2013

I like the combination of a wool fleece pad, and on top of that a quilted pad of cotton and CoolMax. The CoolMax pad significantly reduces sweating, and it can be washed frequently so you don't have to deal with trying to clean (and dry!) the wool pad. If you want extra insurance against any stain ever reaching the mattress, you could put something waterproof under the wool fleece.
posted by Corvid at 5:27 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Night sweats are also a symptom of diabetes, so I would definitely make sure you know what his blood glucose status is.

I have had the same experience you have with waterproof mattress covers (my dad has dementia and frequently wets the bed). They just don't seem to hold up to a moving body over a long period of time.
posted by dhartung at 6:04 PM on July 12, 2013

My SO and I would rather have faded dark sheets than bleached light sheets. Seconding the Ikea suggestion.
posted by desuetude at 8:24 PM on July 12, 2013

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