When it comes to hide-a-beds, they’re generally used by a whole string of people over the years. You can keep your mattress looking as good as new, though, by making a zippered cover that can be removed for laundering.
Purchase plastic to make the cover at most places that sell fabrics. The plastic doesn’t have to be too thick but should be easy to sew. Ask for assistance if you’re not sure of the type of plastic you need. You’ll also need seam binding tape in half-inch widths and nylon thread.
You may have trouble finding a zipper large enough for the mattress cover at a regular sewing supplies shop. It’ll need to be the measurement of the end of the mattress, plus four inches. Check with an upholstery supply shop or a shop where upholstery work is done. They can usually cut a zipper to the proper length.
Check the width of the hide-a-bed mattress before purchasing plastic. Try to find plastic that comes in a size large enough to cut each width without piecing them together. If you do have to piece them together, because your mattress is wider than the width of the plastic, plan on making a seam down the center of the mattress cover.
Measure and cut two pieces of plastic the width of the mattress plus an inch, and the length of the mattress, plus an inch. (Cut four pieces if you’ll have to seam together. Each piece should be half the width, plus one inch, and each piece should also be the length measurement plus one inch).
You’ll also need to cut a band for the mattress cover. Measure the four sides of the mattress and add them together. Add four inches and cut this measurement in length. You can cut the plastic strip in one, two or three pieces, but don’t use four or more, if possible. For the width, measure the depth of the mattress and add an inch and a half. Cut the band to this measurement, in width.
If you’re piecing the cover, sew a piece of seam binding to one side of one piece of plastic. Now connect one side of a second piece to the opposite side of the seam binding so that both plastic pieces are connected to the seam binding, down the center. Do the same to the other two pieces. After you have two large pieces of plastic, one for the top and one for the bottom, you’ll apply the band.
At one end of the plastic, begin cutting down the length, at the center. Cut to the size of the zipper, minus an inch. If the zipper is 43″, for example, cut down the center of the strip for 42″. Align the zipper in the center of the cut strip, with the zipper pull at the beginning of the plastic strip.
Cut a piece of seam binding and open it flat. Iron if needed. Place the binding under the zipper and plastic edges. As you sew the zipper into the plastic, the thread should also catch the seam binding.
Stitch down one edge of the plastic, connecting zipper and binding, until you reach the end of where the plastic is cut. Back stitch. Sew across the width of the zipper, being careful not to break the needle on the zipper teeth. Sew back up the opposite of the plastic strip, catching the zipper and the binding as you sew. When you get back to the end of the plastic back stitch. Stitch the opposite end to the zippered end of the plastic, across the width.
Align the band on one piece of the large plastic, to where the zipper is at one of the sides. Start at the end of the zipper without the pull and fold a couple of inches of plastic band over the end of the zipper. This will keep the zipper from coming completely unfastened as you unzip it. Continue sewing around the perimeter, attaching the band to the plastic, using the seam binding to hide the raw edges.
When you get almost to where you began you’ll notice the plastic band is still somewhat larger than the large plastic piece. Fold the excess over the zipper pull. This will keep the zipper pull from coming off of the zipper when zipped.
Align the opposite large plastic piece inside the perimeter of the zipper and band. Stitch around, making sure to keep the folds in place, and using the seam binding to hide the raw edges. Unzip the mattress cover to place it on the mattress. Unzip, remove and launder, when needed.