There are numerous products on the market designed to help people with incontinence feel confident and avoid uncomfortable situations that may result from it. We've collected the most popular solutions and identified the ideal user and absorbency for each product.
Here are five of the best products available to help incontinence become a manageable symptom:
Table of Contents
Adult Pull-Up Underwear
- Ideal Users: Mobile or active individuals who experience light to moderate leakage.
- Absorbency: 700ml (24oz) to 4000ml+ (135oz)
- Incontinence Types: Functional Incontinence, Mixed Incontinence, Urge Incontinence (overactive bladder)
What are adult pull-ups and who are they for?
Adult pull up underwear is a good option for people who are mobile and want a product that feels more like underwear than a brief or a type of pad. It’s intended to move with the body and feel like regular underwear.
Different manufacturers make adult pull-up diapers for both men and women. Women typically experience better protection using adult pull-up diapers. Standing is also easier to do in adult pull up underwear.
How do adult pull-ups fit?
Since adults pull up underwear is thinner than most other incontinence products, they usually do not rustle or make noise while being worn. It is more absorbent than regular underwear and does not have the same bulk that a diaper does.
A pull up typically has an elastic waistband and breathable panels making it comfortable to wear. People who have incontinence and need protection in between bathroom trips prefer a pull up as an alternative to other thick pads or diapers. Pull-up underwear has a hydrophobic layer in it meaning this layer absorbs and wicks away moisture leaving the wearer’s skin dry.
How much do adult pull-ups absorb? What are the styles and sizes?
There are different styles, patterns, and colors on the market to make adult pull up underwear look like normal underwear in addition to feeling like it. Adult pull up underwear is available in both disposable and washable styles. This type of product also tends to be more effective compared to pads that need to be pulled out and changed at regular intervals.
They typically come in a wide variety of sizes from small to xxl with different levels of absorption.When choosing adult pull-up diapers, make sure to consider sizing and absorption needs carefully. The underwear should fit snugly and be able to hold the moisture expected.
Adult Tabbed Briefs
- Ideal Users: Less mobile or inactive individuals who are bed-bound or unable to change clothes with regular frequency. Caregivers with immobile patients.
- Absorbency: 700ml (24oz) to 4000ml+ (135oz)
- Incontinence Types: Functional Incontinence, Mixed Incontinence, Urge Incontinence (overactive bladder).
What are adult tabbed briefs and who are they for?
People who are not able to move around well or are confined to a bed and need a caregiver to help them will find absorbent briefs beneficial. Adult diapers with tabs have several benefits that make them easy to use. Not only are they adjustable to fit, the tabs are also reusable so caregivers can make sure the fit remains snug. Plus the tabs are less likely to rip.
How do adult tabbed briefs fit?
The main benefit of adult diapers with tabs is that they have adjustable fitting tabs for a custom fit. They are also supportive in the rear, belly, and crotch area. They are breathable and are available in different absorbency styles. Those who are larger in size will also appreciate the wide variety of sizes available for adult disposable briefs. They exist in bariatric sizes as well.
Cloth variations are also on the market and are more discreet since they don’t make noise. Additionally, they are better for the skin because the vapors caused by moisture are allowed to escape.
How much do adult tabbed briefs absorb? What are the styles and sizes?
Some are made for regular day-time use with less absorbency while other absorbent briefs are made for overnight use and have maximum absorbency. Adult disposable briefs are commonly plastic-backed with wider areas of coverage and are designed to absorb heavy amounts of moisture. Each pair of adult briefs usually contains tiny beads made of polymers in its core. These polymers absorb moisture and turn it into gel to help keep skin dry.
Depending on the type of brief purchased, some have PH-balanced beads that also help to control odor.
Adult diapers with tabs have two or four tabs. The four tab variation is sturdier while the two tab variation is easier to put on and take off. Some disposable briefs also have wetness indicator fabric which changes color and lets a caregiver know when an adult brief needs to be changed.
Booster Pads or Diaper Inserts
- Ideal Users: Individuals needing extra protection or absorbency in their adult diaper.
- Absorbency: 700ml (24oz) to 1000ml+ (32oz+)
- Incontinence Types: Functional Incontinence
What are booster pads and diaper liners and who are they for?
Booster pads are also commonly called diaper doublers or diaper inserts. They are meant to go inside of a diaper or other garment to increase absorbency. However, it is not the same as a panty liner. A panty liner has a waterproof backing.
Diaper doublers are a good solution for people who are traveling or looking for extra leak proof solutions overnight. They are also a great way for wheelchair users and those confined to bed to avoid more frequent diaper changes.
These diaper inserts are also more versatile and will help with urinary incontinence and bowel incontinence. People who have more than one type of incontinence find these diaper doublers helpful because keep bed sheets clean and the body cleaner in general. The diaper liners are easier to swap out. In addition people who sleep on their side receive more targeted protection from leaks with these diaper inserts.
How do booster pads and diaper liners fit?
The liner on a diaper liner has a flow through backing made specifically to sit inside of another product. When the wearer has heavy incontinence, the moisture flows down to the second absorbent product, preventing leaks and increasing comfort.
The diaper inserts themselves are absorbent and have wider fronts and backs to better conform with the wearer’s body. They are a good way to help a diaper or adult pull up underwear last longer and make them more economical. Simply remove the diaper liner and put in a new one. Some doublers have an adhesive strip to help ensure that it attaches to the other product.
Note that using diaper doublers do create bulk and they cannot be used without another product like an adult brief or adult pull up underwear. The backing will let the moisture flow through to the other product and create a leak if not used correctly.
Pads for Women & Guards for Men
- Ideal Users: Individuals needing light protection from occasional incontinece. Men and women seeking a more custom fitting product that's thin and considers their anatomy.
- Absorbency: 300ml (9oz) to 700ml+ (24oz+)
- Incontinence Types: Urge Incontinence, Stress Incontinence, Light Incontinence
Image: Female pad (left) and Male guard (right).
What are pads and guards and who are they for?
Incontinence pads for women and incontinence pads for men, also known as guards, are another option to use individually. Unlike other products, these are meant to be used with your own underwear.
Feminine pads are usually best for women while incontinence pads for men or guards are made to fit men better. They are created specifically for the anatomy of each sex
How do pads and guards fit and what are the styles?
Male urinary incontinence pads and female incontinence pads vary in their thickness. The thicker they are, the more difficult they are to remove and the bulkier they are. Some feminine pads and incontinence pads for men also have adhesive tabs to help them stay in place.
The majority of pads and guards on the market are disposable. However, cloth ones are available as well. These types of pads for men and women are meant to work in conjunction with waterproof underwear.
How much do pads and guards absorb?
Like adult briefs, pads and guards have a polymer layer in them. These beads absorb moisture and wick it away to keep wearer. These products can accommodate more moisture compared to something like a pantyliner which is only meant for light use.
Pads with wings and incontinence pads for men have a waterproof back on them to prevent moisture from leaking onto the underwear. Sanitary napkins and pads with wings meant for menstrual use cannot prevent leakage in the same way for incontinence. It is better to use a female incontinence pad for both issues if that is a concern or postpartum pads.
Male urinary incontinence pads are similar to thick pads for incontinence. But they differ in that they are tapered at one end to better fit men. And they handle the same amount of moisture as a regular bladder leak pad.
Incontinence Bed Pads
- Ideal Users: Individuals experiencing overnight or severe daytime incontinence who would like an extra layer of protection over bedding or furniture.
- Absorbency: 170ml (6oz) to 4000ml+ (140oz)
- Incontinence Types: Functional Incontinence, Overnight Incontinence
What are incontinence bed pads and who are they for?
Like the name suggests, underpads go on the bed and are meant to function as a final layer of protection that helps keep bedding dry. Disposable bed pads can also be used on other surfaces like sofas, large chairs, and floors to help protect them.
If incontinence is more severe or happens more frequently at night, disposable bed pads are a good product to use alongside other bed products. Use them together with waterproof sheets and/ or a bed pad protector to protect the mattress. Using disposable bed pads in bed are generally better for people who do not move as much during sleep.
Underpads are available in both disposable cloth and reusable variations. Cloth ones are machine washable and can be washed with other items while doing laundry. Disposable bed pads are available in different sizes. The most popular size is 23x36 inches. They are also available in 36x36 inches and 30x36 among other sizes.
How are incontinence bed pads used?
One of the main features of a disposable underpad is that it is meant to stay in place and not slip. It has a durable diamond pattern on the top layer that will not tear easily, giving it the ability to be used longer. Another feature of disposable bed pads is that they have three layers.
The first layer allows moisture to pass through it down to a second layer that absorbs it. The final layer keeps moisture from getting onto the surface underneath. While they have anti-slip measures, bed pads may not stay in place with increased movement.
How well do incontinence bed pads absorb liquid?
Disposable underpads absorb moisture if positioned correctly. If they are used in conjunction with other bed products, an incontinence pad or guard, adult pull up underwear or tabbed briefs, the bed pad will last longer. It will not have to be disposed of or washed as often depending on the type you purchase.