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Waterbed mattress pads are used to protect the mattress from becoming dirty or stained. This means that your mattress pad will probably need to be cleaned on occasion. In fact, if you have dust mite allergies, you may plan to wash your mattress pad every few days. To be sure you don't end up with waterbed mattress pads that don't fit properly, read the care instructions before you wash them. Some pads may shrink when washed in hot water or when placed in the dryer.