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Bedwetting, also known as sleep enuresis, is characterized by involuntary urination during the night. Though it is most common in children 10 and younger, many adults also experience bedwetting; it is particularly common in the elderly and people who have recently undergone medical procedures. Infants and toddlers are not considered bedwetters because they are too young for their bladders to function normally.
Bedwetting can be a major sleep disruptor. Thankfully, many children respond well to bedwetting alarms. These devices feature sensors that are placed inside the sleeper’s undergarments or beneath their bodies; when moisture is detected, the alarm will produce loud sounds or vibrations, which prompts sleepers to visit the bathroom before bedwetting occurs. The alarm may be wearable or remote, but the sensor is always positioned near the sleeper in order to detect urine effectively. Bedwetting alarms may also come equipped with clips to stabilize them.
Read on to learn more about styles and functions of bedwetting alarms, as well as considerations for first-time buyers. Below you’ll find our choices for the best bedwetting alarms sold today. Our picks are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Our Editor’s Pick is the Nytone Bedwetting Alarm for Kids, a device that is effective, customizable, and low-cost. Introduced in the 1970s, this alarm was one of the first bedwetting alarms sold and has gained a strong following from customers and owners. The alarm, which is worn on the child’s arm, is also exceptionally lightweight at 1.7 ounces; this will minimize discomfort for the child during the night. The sensor, which is placed in the child’s undergarments, has been treated with a coating to prevent skin irritation. Built-in clips also allow the sensor to be attached to the undergarments for added stability, which can be beneficial for children who toss and turn.
The Nytone Bedwetting Alarm for Kids is fully customizable, as well. Parents can choose from three different sounds, including louder noises for deep sleepers, as well as vibrations and light effects. A low battery alert is included. Nytone backs the Bedwetting Alarm for Kids with a one-year warranty. The alarm has a below-average price-point, as well.
Price-point is a common complaint among bedwetting alarm buyers, as many devices are priced at $100 or higher. Our Best Value pick, the DryBuddyEZ, is a notable exception; it is widely available for $35 or less. However, the device is as effective as many of its higher-cost competitors. Application is a major strength of the DryBuddyEZ; the alarm can be attached to any article of clothing, while the durable 2-oz. sensor clips attach to the wearer’s undergarments without coming loose. If the clip is closed without clothing, an alarm will sound – making it a good pick for children who toss and turn.
The DryBuddyEZ is also fairly advanced in terms of technology. It emits music up to 90 decibels, which should wake even the deepest sleepers, and also produces vibrations for children who respond better to physical sensations. A low battery alarm is also included. The DryBuddyEZ is backed by a one-year warranty.
The TheraPee from Dr. Sagie’s Bedwetting Clinics is one of the most advanced bedwetting alarms on the market. It is a bell-and-pad alarm, and includes a pad that is placed beneath the sleeper; if moisture is detected, the alarm will sound. The pad is thin and won’t disrupt sleep for most. Additionally, the TheraPee is fully customizable; purchasing the alarm grants full licensing for the online TheraPee software program, which enables parents and children to program the alarm based on the user’s unique conditions and preferences.
A total of 10 sounds are included with the alarm, ranging from quiet to exceptionally loud, which makes it suitable for light and deep sleepers. The interactive, customizable design also makes TheraPee a good option for adult bedwetters. It is currently sold for about $300, which is above-average in terms of pricing, but most users report effective results. The TheraPee is backed by a one-year warranty.
As we’ve discussed, some alarms are too quiet for child and adult bedwetters who sleep deeply and require loud sounds or intense vibrations to wake up. The Chummie Premium comes stocked with different alarms to ensure most users will respond, whether they are light or deep sleepers. The built-in options include eight tones and volume control, as well as two bright light alerts and a vibration option. A two-step shut-off mechanism also makes the alarm more difficult to turn off – an ideal feature for deep sleepers.
The Chummie Premium is also comfortable, thanks to its non-chafing silicone sensor and a 1-oz. alarm that can be clipped to clothing or worn on a (separately sold) Chummie armband. The sensor is also easy to clean; a 10-second rinse in warm water should be sufficient. Those who purchase the Chummie Premium gain free access to a support app with troubleshooting tips and how-to videos. This alarm is backed by a one-year warranty.
The Malem Ultimate Bedwetting Alarm uses state-of-the-art technology to help prevent bedwetting in children and adults. The device offers eight sound tones, including options for deep sleepers, as well as lights and vibrations. It also requires two-step turn-off for those who tend to hit alarm buttons while half-awake and then fall back asleep. The wearable alarm weighs roughly one ounce and measures two square inches, making it one of the lightest and most compact bedwetting alarms available.
The sensor is another advanced feature; it has a durable clip for stable attachment, as well as ‘Quick Detect’ technology that will trigger the alarm at even the slightest trace of moisture. The Malem Ultimate Bedwetting Alarm also comes with a free help and troubleshooting app, which can be accessed with any smartphone or tablet device. It is backed by a one-year warranty, as well.
The term ‘bedwetting’ — also known as sleep enuresis — refers to involuntary nighttime urination after the age of normal bladder control. Bedwetting is fairly common in young children and also affects many adults, but in some cases it can signal a more serious condition. There are many strategies for treating children and adults who wet the bed.
Bedwetting alarms are considered one of the most effective intervention methods due to their relatively high success rate. These alarms emit noises or vibrations whenever traces of moisture are detected, which wakes the sleeper and prompts them to visit the bathroom. A wide range of bedwetting alarms are available today; prices range from less than $50 to more than $250.
This guide will analyze the causes and effects of bedwetting, explore the common functions and characteristics of bedwetting alarms, provide some tips for first-time buyers, and list our picks for the best bedwetting alarms sold today.
Enuresis is a type of parasomnia, which is a catch-all term for unusual or abnormal behaviors that occur during sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the most common causes of enuresis/bedwetting include:
Additionally, the following warning signs for bedwetting have been identified:
Most bedwetting cases for children do not warrant medical attention. However, the Mayo Clinic urges parents to take their child to a physician if the following occurs:
Because bedwetting is much less common in adults, they are urged to seek medical attention whenever these episodes occur. Treatment for adult bedwetting may include the following:
Bedwetting alarms are designed to alert sleepers when urination is imminent. These devices are programmed to beep and/or vibrate whenever traces of moisture are detected, which awakens the sleeper to indicate they should go to the bathroom. While bedwetting alarms may not completely eliminate nighttime urination at first, they can effectively retrain the sleeper to wake up at critical times and have a favorable long-term success rate.
Bedwetting alarms generally come in three types:
The table below contains detailed information about these three alarm types.
|Alarm Type||Application||Pros||Cons||Average Price Range|
|Wearable||Alarm and moisture sensor are placed in the sleeper's bed clothes or undergarments||Fast reaction time Compact and lightweight Wide availability||Uncomfortable and too cumbersome for some Ineffective if sensor comes loose||$|
|Bell-and-Pad||Alarm and sensor are built into a sleeping pad that goes underneath the sleeper||Helps prevent stains and wet sheets||Slower reaction time Ineffective if sleeper leaves pad Limited availability||$$|
|Wireless||Moisture sensor is placed in the sleeper's clothing, but the alarm can be placed anywhere in the room||Convenient positioning Faster reaction time||Ineffective if sensor comes loose Limited availability||$$|
Although models vary, bedwetting alarms commonly have the following features:
Bedwetting alarms often come with product warranties that last anywhere from one to five years. However, due to the nature of these devices, they do not include sleep trials.
To ensure bedwetting alarms remain hygienic and safe for sleepers, here are a few care instructions to follow:
If you are shopping for a new bedwetting alarm and comparing different brands and models, here are a few variables to keep in mind:
In terms of pricing, wearable bedwetting alarms tend to be the cheapest ($100 or less) compared to bell-and-pad and wireless alarms, both of which may cost up to $300.
Wearable and wireless bedwetting alarms are generally the most effective because they have the fastest reaction times, but they may be uncomfortable for some sleepers. Bell-and-pad alarms tend to be more comfortable, but they are not as effective as the other two types due to their slower reaction time.
An alarm with a single alert option may be effective, but most sleepers respond to a wide range of sounds. Vibration and light alerts can also be beneficial for self-conscious bedwetters.
The majority of bedwetting alarms have sensors with clips that attach to the sleeper’s clothes. These are considered much more effective than alarms with no sensor clips. Alerts for loose clips may also be useful.
In order to reduce sleeper discomfort, lighter alarms are best. Some alarms sold today weigh two ounces or less.
Bedwetting alarms may be less effective for sleepers who frequently toss and turn because their sensor, when jostled or loosened, may not detect moisture. An alarm with sturdy clips will usually work best for these individuals. Additionally, some models come with alerts for accidental sensor removal.
Some bedwetting alarms come with warranties that cover the product up to five years, while some do not come with any sort of warranty. Please note the terms of filing a warranty claim; in some cases, only the alarm (and not the sensor) are covered under the warranty.
Bedwetting alarms have a high success rate, but some sleepers may require additional interventions. Here are a few more strategies for children who wet the bed:
|MEDICATION||Two types of medication may be prescribed for children who wet the bed. Desmopressin (or DDAVP) specifically slows urine production at night. However, it’s important to note that taking the pill with too much liquid can counteract its effects. Parents should also be mindful of side effects, such as diarrhea or nausea. The other medication, oxybutynin (or Ditropan XL) is an anticholinergic drug that reduces urinary contractions and expands the bladder’s capacity. As a result, it can be effective at minimizing daytime wetting episodes as well. However, this drug is normally used as a last resort.|
|LIMITING FLUIDS AT NIGHT||Children need to consume enough fluid during the day in order to remain hydrated and stave off thirst. To make sure they consume enough fluids, make sure they drink more in the mornings and afternoons, and less in the evenings.|
|PREVENT CAFFEINE INTAKE||Children should consume little if any caffeine, particularly at night. This includes chocolates and candies with caffeine, as well as coffee and caffeinated soft drinks.|
|SET UP AN EVENING BATHROOM ROUTINE||Children who urinate every one to two hours in the late afternoon and evening are less likely to wet the bed. Help them develop a routine based on the time of day or night.|
|INVEST IN ABSORBENT PAJAMAS AND UNDERGARMENTS||Most infants and toddlers wear absorbent clothing because bedwetting is so common, but these garments are also sold for older children who wet the bed. Keep in mind that the child is most likely self-conscious about wetting the bed, so non-bulky undergarments and pajamas that conceal their absorbent qualities may be the best option.|
Adults who wet the bed may be able to remedy the situation by consuming less fluid in the evenings and avoiding caffeine. Additionally, the following measures may be effective for adult bedwetters.
|MEDICATION||Both Desmopressin and anticholinergic drugs like Ditropan XL may be prescribed to curb adult bedwetting. They may also be prescribed other medications that address certain medical conditions, such as antibiotics for a UTI or DHT-blocking medications for swollen prostates in adult men.|
|MINIMIZE CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL INTAKE||When taken in moderation, both caffeine and alcohol will not cause adverse effects for most adults. However, both substances can trigger nighttime incontinence. To help prevent this, reduce the amount of caffeine and alcohol consumed at night; many adults find that completely abstaining from both will lead to the best results.|
|PROTECT YOUR MATTRESS||A waterproof mattress protector will not prevent episodes of adult bedwetting, but it will help ensure the mattress and bedding aren’t excessively soiled or stained. Many children’s mattresses come with built-in mattress protectors for this very reason, but adults may need to invest in a separate protector.|
|WEAR ADULT WATERPROOF UNDERGARMENTS||Absorbent undergarments can be highly beneficial for adults who wet the bed, as well as those who experience daytime incontinence. These undergarments will not only contain the urine but also prevent stains and seeping onto the wearer’s exterior clothing.|
Lastly, both children and adults can benefit from maintaining a bedwetting journal that documents certain activities and trends. Physicians may also be able to use this journal to determine treatment methods in severe enuresis cases. A bedwetting journal may include the following: