What the best adult diaper does
- Absorbs and retains liquid. Absorbency and leakage protection
are the most important things to consider when buying a new brand of adult
diaper; XPMedical.com tests some of the most popular products extensively for
capacity, press-out (leakage when subjected to force) and wicking capabilities.
- Proves easy to use and comfortable to wear. If the underwear
or disposable brief doesn't fit snugly, it could lead to leaks or discomfort.
- Neutralizes odor. Most styles and models of
adult diapers contain an absorbent core that has been designed to suppress
odors, although the effectiveness of this feature varies widely.
Know before you go
- Consider your
personal needs. A light pad may provide enough protection for mild stress
incontinence, and a standard diaper may work well enough if it's changed after
each use. For those with severe incontinence or those who want to use a single
diaper for multiple wettings, a premium diaper is the most reliable choice.
- Choose a diaper
that's compatible with your clothing. Although premium diapers are
the most effective, they can also be bulkier. While the increased bulk
shouldn't be an issue for those who wear fairly loose clothing, a less
absorbent style or a highly absorbent pad worn inside close-fitting underwear
will be more discreet under tighter clothing.
- Pull-on underwear
allows for easy removal. Users say pull-on underwear or pads are far easier
to pull up and down than adult briefs, which need to be refastened on each side
after a trip to the bathroom. Another option is to place a booster inside a
brief and change the booster as needed while leaving the brief in place.
- Start with a sample
pack. Because of the variation in people's body shapes and
lifestyles, experts say there's no incontinence product that works for
everyone. A reputable retailer should be willing to send a small sample pack --
usually two or three diapers -- at a reduced price, before you commit to a
- Buy the smallest size
that fits well, unless you need extra protection. Adult
diapers and disposable pull-on underwear come in a range of sizes from extra
small to extra large and beyond. For those whose body measurements fall between
sizes, the smaller size is usually the less expensive option, while the larger
size may have a higher containment capacity.
- Try new products out
at home first. An incontinence product that works well for one person's
body shape may be uncomfortable or leaky for someone else. Experts caution that
even a top-rated brief, pull-up or pad should be tested in a private setting
before being worn out in public.
Value expectations: The dollars and cents of
The cost of
adult diapers varies widely based on retailer, quantity and size, so it's
difficult to pin down exact numbers; however, the comparison charts on NationalIncontinence.com helpfully rank a number of brands by cost per diaper. In general, you can
expect to spend between 60 cents and $2 per diaper, but buying in bulk can
sometimes reduce the price. Another great way to save is to buy booster pads,
which are much more affordable, to extend the absorbency of your primary
What's to come
On the whole,
adult diapers are trending toward a slimmer, more discreet fit. According to an
article by the online retailer DiaperBuys.com, "More diapers are beginning to look
like underwear and lack the significant padding of previous products. These diapers
and briefs still provide the same absorbency and protection but allow for a
more discreet appearance." As brands develop increasingly effective
chemicals and crystals for liquid absorption, the need for bulky diapers is
Knixwear, a start-up fashion
company that sells high-end, absorbent lingerie for women who experience stress
incontinence, could be a sign of things to come. Its products feature a
high-tech, slim, super-absorbent gusset designed to wick away and absorb
moisture without detracting from the overall appearance of the underwear.
Although each pair of Knix underwear can only absorb three teaspoons of liquid
at one time, perhaps we'll see similar types of elegant, boutique-style diapers
emerge as absorbency technology continues to advance.