Best Adult Arm Cast Covers

Updated December 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
22 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
91 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best adult arm cast covers

Ouch! Breaking your hand, wrist, arm, or elbow is painful. You need to wear a cast for weeks while the bones heal, which comes with its own set of challenges. While many casts allow range of motion, they can’t be exposed to moisture. That means showering can be tricky. Rather than taping a plastic bag or some plastic wrap over your cast, invest in an adult arm cast cover. You’ll be glad you did once you learn how easy it is to use, not to mention how effective it is at keeping your cast dry.

Adult arm cast covers essentially seal off an area of your arm to prevent liquid and moisture from seeping inside the cast, which can cause a buildup of mold, mildew, and bacteria. At best, it results in a smelly cast; at worst, it causes an infection that inhibits the healing process.

There’s more than one design of adult arm cast cover to consider, so you’re probably curious which one is the best choice for you. To help simplify your decision, we’ve put together this buying guide introducing you to various designs and features, and we’ve included some of our favorites, too.

arm cast cover1
If you live with other people, ask someone to help you put on the arm cast cover, especially when you first use it. While it’s easy enough to put on by yourself, a pair of helping hands makes the process go more smoothly.

Key considerations

Uses

As the name implies, any adult wearing a cast can use a cast cover, but they’re not the only ones. Cast covers are also used to cover the arms of individuals with PICC lines, bandages, wounds, stitches, adhesive glucose monitors, or ports.

Protection

Adult arm cast covers are most often used to protect the cast during showers or baths. Many wearers invest in two covers at a time. It’s cost-effective, and they have a spare one in case their primary one punctures or breaks, which isn’t uncommon.  

Only some adult arm cast covers are capable of protecting a cast while fully submerged in water. These are typically used for swimming or water sports. These fully waterproof covers tend to be the most expensive since their materials and openings are specially engineered to be impenetrable. 

Size

Finding the right adult arm cast cover relies heavily on taking accurate measurements, including the circumference of your bicep and wrist, as well as the length of your arm. Based on the manufacturer’s size chart, you’ll be able to narrow down the choices to the best size for you.

Unfortunately, sizing isn’t standard in adult arm cast covers. While many manufacturers offer four to eight sizes, some stick to two: child and adult. The fit is extremely hit or miss with these cast covers, especially when it comes to the size of the opening. 

The average lifespan of an adult arm cast cover is approximately two months of daily use. Some well-made covers can last as long as five years.

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Features

Materials

Arm cast covers are made of high-quality polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), both of which are waterproof. This means they’re not porous at all, so it’s common for your arm to feel warm and clammy while wearing the sleeve. 

The openings of high-quality adult arm cast covers are usually made of medical-grade rubber or silicone. Lower-quality openings are made of flimsy rubber or latex, which isn’t ideal for individuals with sensitive skin or a latex allergy.

Diaphragm

The opening of an adult arm cast cover is referred to as the diaphragm, which stretches to fit the circumference of your arm. This provides a near-perfect seal that prevents moisture from seeping inside. 

With that said, it’s best to find an adult arm cast cover with a well-fitting diaphragm. Those that are too narrow or tight end up cutting off circulation or are incredibly uncomfortable. A cover that feels too loose won’t be effective at keeping the cast dry.

Another consideration of the diaphragm is its flexibility. The injured arm is usually weaker or even immobile, making it difficult to push it through a stiff diaphragm. For that reason, it’s recommended that you choose an adult arm cast cover with a diaphragm that’s flexible enough to get your arm inside without shifting the cast or causing pain. 

Shape

Generally speaking, there are three sleeve shapes in adult arm cast covers: nondescript, mitten, and open hand.

Nondescript sleeve: These sleeves consist of a diaphragm at the bicep and a plain, shapeless sock that covers the rest of the arm. These are most often used by individuals whose arm is immobile. While these covers are often the most affordable, they make it difficult to use your hands or fingers.

Mitten sleeve: Mitten sleeves use the same design as nondescript sleeves, but they have mitten or “potholder” hands. This allows your fingers and thumb to move freely, making it easier to hold a bath pouf or washcloth. Unfortunately, these sleeves tend to be fairly long, so you’ll need to shift the hand area to utilize it.

Open-hand sleeve: These sleeves look like leg warmers for the arm and are used by individuals whose hand isn’t enclosed in the cast. Rather than a single diaphragm located at the bicep, these sleeves have an additional diaphragm at the wrist. It’s somewhat challenging to find one of this type that fits well, especially since the wrist hole might be too large for some individuals. 

arm cast cover2
DID YOU KNOW?
While your arm cast cover may not be covered by insurance, you might be able to use your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to buy it. More often than not, you’ll have to buy the cover first and submit the receipt for reimbursement.
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Adult arm cast cover prices

Adult arm cast covers range in price from $12 to $40. Quality and design affect price the most, and it’s common to pay a premium for those made by reputable manufacturers.

Inexpensive: These adult arm cast covers cost $12 to $20. They are decent quality, but it’s not uncommon to wear them out after a few weeks of daily use.

Mid-range: Better-quality adult arm cast covers cost between $20 and $30. Not only are these constructed better, they are also far more effective at keeping your cast dry. You’ll also find quite a few two-packs of covers in this bracket.

Expensive: There are a few adult arm cast covers that cost between $30 and $40, which are generally well made and puncture-resistant. Given their high quality, these are recommended for individuals who intend to wear them while engaged in water sports. 

When the adult arm cast cover isn’t in use, store it away from kids, pets, and heat to avoid unnecessary damage or wear and tear.

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Tips

  • Take cooler showers. Warm or hot showers can cause the interior of the cover to feel hot and clammy. To keep sweating to a minimum, consider taking cooler showers.
  • Read the product description carefully. While most adult arm cast covers are made of medical-grade materials, some of them use latex and other materials that can irritate sensitive skin. To confirm that the cover is latex-free, it’s recommended that you contact the manufacturer directly.
  • Remove the cover slowly. To prevent your cast from shifting, remove the adult arm cast cover slowly. If necessary, ask someone to hold the top of the cast in place while you remove the cover.
  • Follow the care instructions. While all adult arm cast covers essentially have the same materials and construction, each manufacturer stipulates different cleaning and care instructions. With some, spot cleaning is recommended, while others can be washed in the dishwasher or washing machine.
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Even if you aren’t wearing a cast now, it’s a good idea to keep an adult arm cast cover in your medicine cabinet so it’s on hand if the need arises.

FAQ

Q. Should I tape up the diaphragm of an adult arm cast cover for additional protection?

A. Provided you purchased a well-fitting cover, it’s not necessary. In fact, if you’re taping it up because it feels loose, you should stop using it immediately and order a smaller one right away. Even if it’s taped up well, there’s no guarantee that your cast won’t end up wet if the diaphragm is already loose.

Q. I’m petite, so should I use a child’s arm cast cover instead?

A. According to some consumers, it’s the best option to ensure a snug-fitting diaphragm. On the other hand, it’s worth exploring adult arm cast covers that are available in several sizes. Many manufacturers have expanded their size range to include sizes for petite wearers. 

Q. The adult arm cast cover has a minor puncture. Can I repair it instead of buying a new one?

A. It’s not recommended since there aren’t any effective patch kits available. It’s safer to just purchase another one, or better yet, purchase two. Some manufacturers have a  guarantee of satisfaction, so it’s worth contacting it to see whether it will offer a replacement or refund as well.

 

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