Most reviewers agree that traditional adult diapers, also known as disposable briefs, are the best choice for extended use or severe urinary or fecal incontinence. Users say that while they can be awkward to put on and take off (and difficult to change in a public washroom), adult briefs offer the most secure protection and the most customizable fit.
While our previous pick for best brief-style diaper, the Abena Abri-Form X-Plus ($68 for 42 briefs) , outperformed most other models in absorbency tests, we found that many users criticized the product's bulky fit and difficult-to-use refastenable tape tabs. The Abri-Form X-Plus is still a great choice -- especially for overnight use or severe incontinence -- but the Molicare Super Plus (Est. $65 for 90 briefs) appears to be a little more versatile.
Even though its capacity of 46 ounces is a far cry from the Abri-Form's 75 ounces, the Molicare Super Plus has an excellent wicking distance of 18 inches, allowing fluid to spread throughout the entirety of the padding, according to laboratory testing by retailer XPMedical.com. This capability is all thanks to the diaper's unique paper and gel construction. A reviewer at IncontinenceSupport.info also pointed out that Molicare Super Plus offers better odor protection than the Abri-Form X-Plus.
Both products are premium imported diapers, and both are a little on the costly side, although the Molicare Super Plus seems to be a slightly more affordable option.
The Attends Extended Wear Brief ($27 for 28 diapers) is made in the U.S. and may be easier to find in domestic stores. It boasts a capacity of 59 ounces, according to XP Medical, making it one of the most absorbent American-made products on the market. Users concerned about discretion will enjoy the product's cloth-like covering, which allows for quiet, comfortable movement. However, discretion comes at the cost of performance; the briefs don't possess standing leak guards, which can be a problem for side-sleepers or active users.
We chose the Molicare Super Plus Adult Diaper as our best reviewed pick for its overall versatility, reliable protection and high success rate among users. The Attends Extended Wear Brief and the Abri-Form X-Plus tied as our runners up in the disposable briefs category, as the Abri-Form X-Plus have excellent absorbency for nighttime use, but the Attends Extended Wear are more comfortable under clothing and make less noise when rubbing against your garments.
Although Molicare and Abena offer slimmer versions of their briefs, most reviewers seem to agree that Attends makes the best briefs for wearing discreetly under close-fitting pants. The flexible elasticized waistband gets the Attends Briefs Waistband Style (Est. $14 for 18 briefs) top ratings for comfort and fit. According to XP Medical, "Attends have a unique square leg cut that looks odd but is very comfortable for most people." The close fit comes with reduced capacity, though: XP Medical says testing revealed the diapers to have an 18-ounce capacity, which is decidedly below the absorbency levels of some of the product's main competitors.
Elsewhere in this report:
Best Adult Diapers: After analyzing professional tests, several expert reviews and hundreds of owner opinions, we identify the best disposable adult diapers for different levels of incontinence and in various price ranges.
Best Pull-On Underwear: What's the best pull-on disposable diaper? Editors analyze expert and user reviews to find out. Abena and Tranquility come out on top.
Incontinence Pads and Boosters: What's the best incontinence pad or booster? Editors scour expert advice and user reviews to determine the superior make and model.
Buying Guide: Need some guidance in choosing the best adult diaper for you? Editors lay out your options.
Our Sources: Links to the expert and user reviews we used to select the top adult diapers, along with our assessment of each reviewer's expertise, credibility and helpfulness.