If you are recovering from an injury, broken bone or surgery where you now have to wear a plaster cast, splint or even a carefully wrapped bandage you’re probably looking for a convenient way to keep it dry. The plaster will get wet and soggy and even if you have a newer fiberglass cast, you still have to be careful.
Water can seep inside the cast get between the cast and your skin- which can lead to skin irritation or infections due to the moist environment. Because of this, a waterproof cast protector is an easy and affordable way to keep your cast dry.
One of the major hassles is trying to take a bath or shower. I remember breaking an arm when I was a teenager…this was we use: an old bread bag and rubber bands. While it did kind of work it was a hassle-the rubber band (or tape) never really made a complete seal, water always ended up seeping in and eventually the top part of the cast would get wet.
At the time it was really all we had, although there probably was some professional medical devices sold for hospitals and clinics, your average consumer couldn’t walk into the local shop or pharmacy and pick up a special sleeve to protect your cast.
Luckily now we have lots of convenient consumer items, including cast protectors for arms & legs. Such a simple but genius idea! Also, because they are so simple they are relatively affordable. While the bread bag + rubber band is still an option, I think these cast protectors really for the price are worth it.
As with most things and online shopping, we’ve gone from no options to too many options! Now there are dozens of these for sale…it’s almost kind of annoying. The pictures almost all look the same and it’s really hard to tell them apart, so we spent the time to compare these and come up with a short list of what we think are the top shower cast protectors for adults.
Our final verdict was that Duro-Med Cast Cover is the one that we liked the best for a simple plastic shower cast. They also have separate arm and leg versions available. We also looked at a couple of other decent cast protectors and have included those reviews below so you can see how they measure up.
If you are really serious about keeping your cast dry, especially if you plan to go to the beach or swimming pool you may want to consider a more professional medical device like the Dry-Pro line of cast protectors.
These are surgical quality rubber sleeves that use a patented vacuum seal to remove the air from inside the protector and allowing you to submerge your whole arm or leg in the water. While these may be overkill for just a quick shower, if you plan to go on a beach holiday, are doing something like water rehab or physical therapy where you need to be in a swimming pool then this is a much better solution.
*Please note some of the recommended products use Latex.
Best Shower Cast Protectors for Adults:
Top Pick: Duro-Med Leg Cast Cover
Our top pick is the Duro-Med Leg Cast Cover. This cast cover is not only waterproof, and has a great seal at the top, but it is also made to last. You can use it over and over, so gone are the days of using a plastic bag tied around your cast. It is also ideal to protect burns, rashes, and other injuries on the leg or foot.
- It is made up of vinyl, and it gives it a less slippery feel when standing.
- Gives more grip in the shower and less prone to slipping.
- It measures in at 42 inches, which means it is good for just about any adult.
- It is flexible and can be used if your legs are shorter, but also is great for people with longer legs.
- It can be put on with just one hand. This gives you more versatility and flexibility when getting ready for the shower.
- If you don’t keep it clean and dry after, then it may start to harbor bacteria or other germs.
- It is not secure enough to be used while submerged in water.
- N0t ideal for swimming or taking a regular bath. It is just really good for showers.
Runner-Up: Limbo Waterproof Cast And Dressing Protector
Another top choice for a leg cast would be this “LimbO” brand cast protector that’s manufactured by Patterson Medical. It’s made of thick plastic with a Neoprene seal at the top. It’s designed for a half cast and on most people would come to just above knee height (it’s designed for average users between 5’5″ – 6’0.
The cast cover measures 30″ from the bottom of the protector to the top of the seal if you want to measure first to see if it would fit you. Another positive aspect is that it’s 100% Latex-free and the seal is designed to not cut off your circulation, so buyers looking for a would protector (diabetic wounds, etc) have commented that this is a well-designed product.
Unfortunately, it’s not wide enough if you’re wearing a large brace or boot over your cast (see recommendation below), but for most conventional plaster or fiberglass casts and average size adults, it works fine.
Best Cast Protector for Walking Boot:
One special, and often overlooked, consideration is for people that are wearing a large walking boot. While many of the cast covers sold are great for leg casts and do a good job of keeping the cast dry, a lot of these are not even an option for someone using a bulky walking boot. These boots are often used post-surgery for foot operations. The plastic boot is normally secured with Velcro straps. The problem is that they are bulky and cannot fit into many cast protectors.
So for boots and larger orthopedic braces you need something much wider with a large opening and bigger sleeve. There are a few options out there for this purpose, they look more like a plastic bag. While they are not as sleek of a design, they get the job done and are designed specifically for this purpose.
Of the ones we’ve researched, we like this Vive Leg Cast Cover. The patent-pending design uses a lightweight composite material that is also very durable and tear-resistant. The unique looking seam also keeps it tight on your thigh. The cast cover is also competitively priced, especially considering it’s larger and can accommodate boots and braces that other smaller covers cannot.
Best Cast Protector For Swimming:
If you are planning to be active while you have your cast, splint or bandage on and will be swimming or submerging it in water (or if you just want to be extra safe in the bath or shower) we recommend you take a look at these more durable rubber sleeves by Dry-Pro. The real feature that sets these apart is their patented vacuum seal that makes them completely waterproof and allows to to submerge it in water. They come in a wide variety of sizes and uses (leg, full arm, half arm, etc).
Because they come in many sizes from 3 years to adult, it’s very important to take the time to measure and select the correct one for your boy size. If you look at any of the Dry-Pro listings on Amazon, they’ve included the sizing chart there for convenience.
Getting the correct size minimizes the chance of water getting in (if you select sizes that are too large it may not create a total seal, too tight may be uncomfortable.
Each sleeve comes with a small bulb attached (reminds me of a bulb syringe you use to clear a baby’s nose or a bulb you pump blood pressure sleeve) that pumps in reverse (sucks the air out of the sleeve).
By pumping out the air it creates suction and the sleeve cinches down on you almost like a second skin-it’s the same concept as vacuum packing so basically looks like your arm or leg has been vacuum-packed.
You can use it in the ocean (sea-water) but make sure you completely rinse off the salt water after each use.
- Vacuum sealed
- Patented Design
- The company guarantees a dry cast or bandage (if properly sealed)
- Variety of sizes including “half” sizes when you don’t need to cover an entire limb
- 90 Day Guarantee
- Made in The USA
Waterproof Arm Cast Cover for Shower & Bath
This waterproof cast cover by Doact is our top pick if you’re wearing an arm cast and need it for showering. It is even shaped like your arm, complete with a place for your thumb, allowing you to have more freedom to move. It also has a really good seal, but it isn’t so tight that it will keep your blood from being able to circulate properly. Check out some other added perks.
- It has a safe, FDA approved design. The material is free of latex, so if you have a latex allergy you can still use it. It is also sturdy.
- It has an adjustable range fitting bicep sizes between 6 and 15 inches, so it is really versatile and will be ideal for people that have large biceps.
- If you wear it for longer than 20 minutes, it may restrict the blood flow to your arm. Limit how long you use to it to be safe.
- It is not so easy to put it on by yourself, so you may need someone to help you out with it.
Adult Arm Cast Cover with Waterproof Seal Protection
This cast cover is another one of our top picks. It comes in a one size fits all size, and is ideal for both right arms and left arms. It also has a lot of other great features.
- The waterproof design makes it ideal to use for swimming or taking a bath or shower.
- It can be easily put on your arm with one hand, so you don’t have to have someone else around to help you with it.
- It will start to wear over time and may need to be replaced after about a month or two of using it.
- One size fits all doesn’t necessarily mean all.
- It has been noted to have a small opening and may be too tight if you have larger biceps.
One to Avoid: Xerosox
While we hate to talk negatively about any specific brand or company, we also think it’s important to inform our readers and point you in the right direction so that you can make an informed buying decision. A few years ago we were told about Xerosox, a reader pointed us to recommendations online in forums like this one for competitive swimmers.
While Xerosox has several cast covers for sale through online retailers (Amazon and others) including arm and leg casts a majority of the comments are negative and there seems to be a lack of customer service from the company. We tried to reach out to them to learn more about their products but were unable to contact them. They also don’t seem to have a working website and the domain name is for sale.
If you are looking for a quality cast cover with a seal that is good enough for swimming we would take a look at the Dry Pro product line.
What to Consider When Buying a Cast Protector:
Not all cast protectors are made equally. Some of them are made with higher quality standards in mind, while others may seem to be cheaply made. Here are a few things that you will want to look for when shopping around.
First, the most important of course is that the protector is totally waterproof to keep your cast dry so you’ll want to find a protector that has a seal. This really helps to keep the moisture out. Using a plastic bag or another type of protective cover for your cast may still let water seep in from the top. This is where the sealing protectors really prove beneficial.
Next, take a look at the different materials that are used to make cast protectors. Some of them are actually made of cheap plastic that is easy to rip or tear. Others are made with more durable materials, such as PVC.
Finally, consider the design. For instance, a cast protector designed for your arm would be beneficial if it had the design of an arm, making it more flexible and easier to maneuver. The same goes for a leg cast protector. Sure, there are some universal cast protectors out there, but they may not be as functional.
As we commented above, another consideration is whether or not you plan to submerge your arm or leg completely under water, if so we recommend you skip the thinner plastic cast sleeves and go with a more durable rubber sleeve with a vacuum seal. Attempting to swim or put your limbs underwater with the plastic ones could end up with a wet cast and another visit back to the doctor’s office to get refitted.
Professional Tips on Keeping Your Cast Dry:
If you decide you don’t want to invest in the convenience of a cast protector, there are DIY ways to keep it dry, but here is a much better explained by the medical professionals at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Their do-it-yourself method is much more secure than the old bread bag and rubber band solution (no offense mom!) or shopping bags and duct tape like others recommend.
As they mention here if you really want to keep your cast dry you may want to consider a more durable and complete cast cover like the “Dry-Pro” that we’ve reviewed above.
The Bottom Line
You already know the importance of keeping a cast dry, and now you know that there are ways to make it easier on you. The Duro-Med Leg Cast Cover is a great solution to those who have their foot or leg in a cast. It is not only made of durable PVC material, but it is also designed with a sealing ring around the top. It is also one of the safer covers, as it helps to prevent against slips.
If you are serious about really keeping your cast or wound dry and plan to go to a swimming pool or beach where your arm or leg will be completely submerged, then you may want to consider a professional solution like the Dry-Pro that creates a vacuum to keep the extremity totally dry.
If you have found yourself in the unfortunate situation of wearing a cast, then one of these cast protectors may be a great solution to help you with cast care.