Pull-on disposable underwear styles, also known as pull-ups, look similar to adult briefs without the tape or Velcro fasteners. Reviewers say pull-on styles are easy to put on or remove, making them much more convenient to use and a good choice for those who sometimes, or usually, are able to use the bathroom instead of relying on a diaper. Some say pull-ups also offer more dignity and freedom than brief-style diapers, as they're closer to normal underwear. On the other hand, although manufacturers often rate their pull-on underwear to be as absorbent as full adult briefs, most reviewers disagree.
All the major adult brief manufacturers also make disposable pull-on underwear, and those that perform well in the brief category do well here too. XP Medical describes Abena's Abri-Flex Premium Protective Underwear ($20 for 14 diapers) as "perhaps the finest pull-up available anywhere," saying the high elastic thread count and elasticized crotch contribute to a good fit with less chance of leaking.
Unless pull-on underwear fits snugly enough to contain leaks, even the most absorbent core will be ineffective. While Abena uses an elasticized crotch to get around this issue with the Abri-Flex, some manufacturers choose to outfit their pull-ups with inner leg cuffs instead (basically the diaper extends an inch or so down the leg to prevent leaks). Attends Protective Underwear Super Plus Absorbency (Est. $20 for 20 diapers) , regarded by reviewers like NationalIncontinence.com to be a fairly reliable pull-up, feature these extra leakage barriers.
Tranquility is another brand that uses inner leg cuffs to increase absorbency in both versions of their pull-up underwear. Magic Medical puts Tranquility Premium Overnight Underwear (Est. $78 for 72 diapers) at the top of its disposable underwear chart, rating its protection level as "heavy."
We chose Tranquility Premium Overnight Underwear as our best pick for disposable pull-ups. The product holds over a quart of liquid, which is an extremely high capacity for a pull-up, and users say it neutralizes odors remarkably well. It also features tearaway sides for easy removal.
As our runner up in this category, we chose the Abena Abri-Flex, which also comes with convenient tearaway sides. Users and reviewers said the underwear offers dependable protection for mild to moderate incontinence, although patients with severe bladder or bowel loss may be better suited to a traditional brief.
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 Disposable Briefs: What brand of disposable brief offers superior absorbency and performance? Editors survey expert and user reviews to find the best product for adult incontinence.
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.