January 11, 2023 7 min read

As you get older, it becomes more difficult to get deep, restful, and restorative sleep. As the body ages, fewer growth hormones are generated, and a myriad of other health issues start to arise, all of which can affect your ability to get a good night’s rest. People over the age of 60 also experience insomnia much more frequently than younger adults. If you or someone you love is reaching senior age, you may be concerned and wonder what you can do to fix the issue.

Starting with high-quality bedding including sheets and blankets is a great way to help seniors get better sleep. In fact, the type of bedding you use can be directly correlated with how comfortable you feel and how well you sleep throughout the night. Read on to discover how to find the best bedding for seniors, and why it’s an important part of a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle, no matter how old you are.

Bedding for Elderly Adults - Why does it matter?

Before you start shopping for the best bedding for elderly people in your life, it’s important to understand why this is so important. Here are a few reasons why choosing the best bedding possible can contribute to a healthier and better night’s rest.

Close up of white bedding on bed Close up Sateen dark grey bed sheets
  • Research shows that as people age, they begin to secrete fewer growth hormones, which may affect the overall quality of sleep, and the ability to get into a deep sleep. One Harvard University study found that these hormones decrease much earlier in life than previously thought. The study found that most men have lost almost the entire ability to produce these essential hormones by the age of 45, resulting in less restful sleep.
  • Urinary incontinence is more common among the elderly, particularly older women ages 60 and above. When a person deals with nighttime incontinence, it can wake them up and affect their ability to get a quality night of sleep.
  • Senior adults may experience a wide range of health issues from common aches and pains or arthritis to other, more serious chronic conditions. When you’re in pain, you’re much more likely to have a difficult time falling and staying asleep.
  • As people age, they may experience more general anxiety. An anxious mind can make it quite difficult to feel calm and relaxed. As a result, some seniors can find falling asleep and staying asleep, more difficult.
  • Certain medications may interfere with sleep. Many people within the aging population take a variety of prescription medications. These medications may interfere with sleep or interact with one another, causing insomnia or restlessness during the night.

Types of Sheets and Bedding for Seniors

Navy Blue linen sheets thread Blue linen sheets and light grey linen quilt

The best bedding for seniors isn’t a one-size-fits-all choice, but there are a few staple pieces that you should consider. Here are some of the most popular types of sheets and bedding for seniors that you should include.

  • Mattress covers: Not only can a mattress cover add another layer of softness to the bed but they’re also designed to protect the mattress from stains and other damage. If an elderly person is suffering from incontinence, adding a mattress cover will keep the actual mattress clean and dry. Look for a machine-washable mattress cover in the appropriate size for easy cleaning and a snug, secure fit.
  • Mattress pads: Also called mattress toppers, these special covers add another layer that sits directly on top of the mattress, and underneath the cover. Mattress pads can help to make a bed softer or firmer, depending on a senior’s specific preferences and needs. You can also use thick mattress pads to raise the height of a bed if it’s sitting too low. Most mattress pads are crafted of soft cushioning like latex, memory foam, or a feather-down fill. Using a mattress pad can be especially helpful for seniors who deal with back pain, or who face too much pressure put on the back, neck, and shoulders while they sleep. Look for a pad that distributes body weight evenly to relieve pressure and tension on the spine, neck, and legs.
  • Fitted sheets: Choose fitted sheets that will fit nicely on top of the mattress, and that have elastic around the corners for a snug fit. If you’re using a mattress cover and pad, you may need to get a fitted sheet with deeper pockets, so it reaches down and underneath the edges of the mattress. This is what seniors will sleep directly on, so it’s important to make sure that the material of the fitted sheet is soft, breathable, and easy to clean.
  • Flat sheets: Adding quality flat sheets to the bed will ensure that seniors have a comfortable material that goes underneath comforters, duvets, quilts, or blankets. These sheets will typically match the fitted sheet and usually come together as a set. However, flat sheets don’t have the elastic on each corner that fitted sheets do, since they’re made to be laid underneath (like a very thin blanket) rather than fit directly on top of the mattress. Make sure you choose flat sheets crafted of hypoallergenic materials to prevent skin irritation.
  • Blankets: Whether it’s a thick, plush comforter or a soft linen quilt, blankets are a crucial component of bedding for seniors. The best blanket for elderly people will be one that keeps them warm while regulating their body temperature to prevent overheating. You should also choose a blanket that can be washed at home to make cleaning it easier. Look for a blanket in a nice, neutral solid color so that it goes nicely with the rest of the bedroom. Busy patterns can also make the mind restless and cause sleeping problems.
  • Duvets: A duvet is similar to a blanket, except that you can change the cover. Basically, the duvet is the insert, and the duvet cover goes on top of it. You can use a duvet alone or with a cover, but the best duvet for elderly friends and family members is something warm yet not too thick so that they get hot during the night. Check out our soft organic duvet cover that’s light enough for warm sleepers and gentle for sensitive skin.
Charcoal linen sheets and Sand linen quilt

What bed linen material is best for an Elderly Person?

You may also be wondering which type of material is the best bedding for seniors. Here’s a breakdown of different material types and some features to look for to ensure that you’re getting the best blankets for seniors and more.

  • Cotton: Not only is cotton a natural material, but it’s extremely soft and easy to clean. Shop our selection of cotton sateen sheets featuring an ultra-soft feel and a beautiful selection of colors. And since cotton is naturally breathable, it will keep seniors comfortable throughout the night for better sleep.
  • Linen: Linen is another 100% natural material that allows the skin to breathe while it naturally wicks moisture away from the body, Check out our linen quilt that will keep seniors warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
  • Bamboo: Another excellent bed linen material for seniors is bamboo. It’s also completely natural and exceptionally soft, and bamboo has a very smooth feel to the touch and can be dyed in a range of colors.
  • Synthetic: Avoid using any bedding made of synthetic or a blend of synthetic materials. Most of this bedding has been treated with chemicals that could cause harm to your health and may also cause skin irritation.
  • Durable:  Look for bedding that’s soft yet durable so that it lasts for a long time. You want to use bedding for seniors that can hold up to frequent washings. Many elderly people are on a fixed income, so investing in high-quality bedding upfront is the best way to get more from everything you buy and use.
  • Water absorbent: Choose bed linens that don’t just absorb moisture, but will also wick it away from the body to keep sleepers cool and comfortable throughout the night. Many seniors experience night sweats, so it’s important to find bed linens that will absorb the excess while they sleep.
  • Easy to clean: This feature goes for everyone from young people to seniors. Bedding that’s labelled as machine washable and dryable is much easier to keep clean and you won’t have to make a special trip to the dry cleaner. Always read the care tags of bedding carefully to confirm that it’s safe in the washing machine and dryer. Use wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets to prevent buildup and static, and to help the bedding last longer.
  • Anti-slip: Silk or satin sheets might feel nice, but they’re also slippery. When it comes to choosing the best bedding for seniors, stick to something that’s made of anti-slip materials instead to help prevent accidents or injuries when they get in and out of bed.

Tips for Choosing Bed Sheets for Seniors

Now that you know more about why the right bedding for seniors is important, here are a few more tips to help you choose the best bed sheets for the senior adult in your life.

  • Always make sure that you select the appropriate sheet size based on the mattress. If you’re using a mattress cover and/or a mattress pad, choose a fitted sheet with deep pockets to ensure a snug fit.
  • Look for bed sheets made of natural materials like cotton, linen, or bamboo that are also easy to clean.
  • Pick out sheets that will absorb moisture and wick sweat away from the body so that you can stay comfortable, dry, and cool during the night.
  • Layer blankets, quilts, or duvets over the flat sheet so seniors can take them off if they get too hot, but they’ll have easy access to them if they get cold.
  • Choose bed sheets in a solid, neutral color so that you don’t need to worry about finding other bedding and décor to match. A simple rule of thumb to keep in mind is the more versatile the bed sheets are, the better.
  • Try bed sheets that are organic and made of safe, hypoallergenic materials that are free of harsh toxins. Oeko-Tex-certified bedding is recommended whenever possible.
Dark grey organic cotton sheet set

Final Thoughts on The Best Bedding for Seniors

Once you’ve learned how to choose the best bedding for seniors, you can make your next bedding purchase with confidence. Remember these tips and look for bedding made of the right materials so that your loved one will sleep soundly and comfortably throughout the night. With a good night’s rest, senior adults will experience better days and a better outlook as they age. Visit our website to find a wide variety of beautiful, soft sheets, quilts, and a whole lot more to make a senior’s bedding set complete.