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Absorbent Potty Training Fabrics for a Bed

by Renee Miller, studioD

While your toddler is potty training, nighttime accidents are going to happen, but no parent enjoys dealing with a wet mattress in the middle of the night. Absorbent mattress pads help reduce this cleanup and help to draw moisture away from your child’s body. There are several fabrics used to make these pads that are ideal to use on your toddler’s bed during potty training.


Most diapers are made with a microfiber insert, although some diapers do come with other options. Microfiber is a synthetic fiber that absorbs quickly, but holds less moisture than many natural materials. Microfiber pads under your toddler’s sheet can draw small amounts of wetness away from your child’s body, but if your toddler tends to soak the bed, you may have to use two pads instead of one to absorb all of the pee. One main benefit of microfiber inserts is that you can bleach them occasionally and they stand up well to washing.


Many cloth diapers are made of soft, natural cotton, which may not absorb as quickly as synthetic fibers, but it holds more liquid. Cotton pads or folded sheets under or on top of your toddler’s regular sheet are ideal for drawing moisture away from your toddler’s body. In addition, cotton is washable, breathable and doesn’t typically irritate your child’s skin.

Bamboo and Hemp

Bamboo is available as a viscose or rayon material and is made a couple of different ways. Bamboo wood can be soaked in a chemical solvent and then processed into a fabric or crushed mechanically and treated with enzymes before processing into a fabric. Bamboo makes a superabsorbent material, but it tends to remain wet on the surface, and it can take a while to dry when compared to other materials like cotton or microfiber. Hemp is made into a fabric using both chemical and mechanical processes, and is an absorbent and durable fabric that gets softer the more times you wash it. It absorbs more liquid than cotton, but like bamboo, hemp takes longer to dry.


Fleece and microfleece are made from the same materials as microfiber, but they have a soft, fluffy texture and are often used as the top layer in diapers. Fleece is quick drying, but it is not absorbent, so it’s better when used in combination with a more absorbent material like cotton or hemp. As a top layer, fleece effectively wicks moisture away from your toddler’s skin and dries quickly. However, microfleece and fleece mattress liners are non-biodegradable and must be disposed of in landfills.


Wool is a natural fiber used to make absorbent pads and diaper covers. It makes a breathable, soft mattress pad that prevents moisture from pooling beneath your toddler’s body. Wool fabrics are available in 100 percent flannel or other blends, but should be washed prior to use to make it thicker and more water-resistant. If the wool has been treated with lanolin, which neutralizes urine odor, you only need to wash your mattress pad every four to six weeks. Soak newly-washed wool in lanolin to renew its protective properties.

About the Author

Renee Miller began writing professionally in 2008, contributing to websites and the "Community Press" newspaper. She is co-founder of On Fiction Writing, a website for writers. Miller holds a diploma in social services from Clarke College in Belleville, Ontario.

Photo Credits

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