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Best Disposable Underwear

By: Damon McClure on August 03, 2017

Ease of use, comfort and absorbency mark the best adult diapers

Most reviewers agree that traditional adult diapers, also known as disposable briefs or disposable underwear, 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.

The key criteria to a good adult diaper is a satisfactory blend of absorbency and comfort. Top products are also easy to put on and take off. Among adult diapers, the Molicare Slip Maxi (Est. $80 for a case of 56) does a good job of covering all those considerations.

The Maxi Slip may seem like a new product, but it's not, at least not where it matters. Reviewers report that it's the replacement for our former Best Reviewed selection, Molicare Super Plus, and is essentially identical to it except for its outer covering. Lutz Albrecht, blogging at Mylenium's Health Stuff, says that the covering appears to be a little more robust. "While this probably still remains one of my favorite diapers (it just fits like a glove on my bum), the hyper-sensitive foil prone to tearing has always been one of my peeves." He allows, however, that the improvement might be perceived rather than real, and just the result of his getting used to it in terms of "putting it on as well as the product's behavior." The editors at IncontinenceSupport.info don't care for the new "robin's egg blue" color, but say that "If the color of your diaper doesn't bother you, then I wouldn't worry about it," and otherwise give it pretty good marks.

We don't have current testing results for this diaper, but XPMedical.com had tested the Molicare Super Plus, and all feedback indicates it should be similar, if not identical. Based on that, expect a usable capacity of 46 ounces, which is less than that of some other adult diapers, but an excellent wicking distance of 18 inches, allowing fluid to spread throughout the entirety of the padding.

That capability is all thanks to the diaper's unique paper and gel construction. IncontinenceSupport.info rates its comfort while either dry or wet as Very Good, the top grade there. That reviewer does have an issue with fit, however, noting that they are snugger than their sizing indicates, which could be an issue for larger wearers -- but given Albrecht's feedback, that certainly may vary. In addition, the average ratings for ease on putting on and taking off these diapers may be due for an upgrade if Albrecht's impressions of the improved toughness hold true. User reviews, while limited as this is new branding, are thus far very solid across all sites we consulted.

For those with severe incontinence, the Dry Care ConfiDry 24/7 (Est. $40 for a pack of 18) outperforms most other models in absorbency tests -- a whopping 95 ounces of usable capacity in the tests at XPMedical.com, which adds that this is "unmatched by any product we have ever tested (and we test a lot)."

However, other feedback reveals some issues worth mentioning. While the hands-on review at IncontinenceSupport.info says that these adult briefs has "the best tapes of any diaper I have EVER used," a handful of users reporting in at Amazon.com disagree, finding the tape's adhesive to be inadequate. Another complaint is that the briefs are quite bulky. That's not an issue for dealing with problems overnight; user reviewers say that these adult diapers are ideal for extended wear of 8 to 10 hours, while IncontinenceSupport.info says that they can "go a full 12 hours without a problem," though that's not recommended. But that bulk can be an issue for day use by those who are self-conscious. This reviewer also cites an issue with consistency. "Sometimes, super absorbent polymer is evenly distributed throughout the padding, as it should be, and other times, it is clumped all in one area or unevenly distributed," the editors say.

We also saw some good feedback for NorthShore Supreme Briefs (Est. $30 for a pack of 15). These are the house brand of adult diapers from NorthShore Care Supply, an online distributor of incontinence products. We saw hundreds of reviews at NorthShore's website and another 130 or so at Amazon.com, and most are very complimentary. It's also the top-rated adult diaper at IncontinenceSupport.info, and the first product to earn top scores across the board. If there's an issue, it's that there's a little bit of a process to get the most effective leak prevention -- something that annoyed some users. Still, IncontinenceSupport.info calls that minor, saying, "This is not at all a complicated process and pretty much involves just stretching the diaper out to make them stand up."

All three products are premium diapers, and all are a little on the costly side. They can also be tougher to find in local stores -- though they're available online through Amazon.com, Northshore Care Supply and elsewhere.

Among brands that you might find in your local store, Attends seems to get fairly positive feedback, though it's not without some drawbacks as well -- especially when compared to more premium products. "Out of all the adult diapers and briefs out there, this is one that really works well," say the editors at the CareGiverPartnership.com." Attends Briefs Waistband Style (Est. $50 for a pack of 72) seem to be an especially good choice if discretion is a top concern, as expert reviewers say that Attends makes the best briefs for wearing discreetly under close-fitting pants.

It's important to note, however, that this isn't a top absorbency diaper. XPMedical.com's tests of this diaper are no longer on line, but in the past it had rated absorbency below that of premium diapers, at just 18 ounces. Still, that makes it a mid-range product, capable of holding "up to three full bladder loses." NationalIncontinence.com also rates it as a mid-range "better" product, while Magic Medical puts it in its second absorbency tier.

However, the briefs do have some drawbacks. Attends don't possess inner leak side guards, which can be a problem for side-sleepers or active users -- an omission that leaves Albrecht "flabbergasted." Value is good, however. "I guess this could be one of those 'budget secrets' that everyone is just fine with as long as the price is right," he says. User reviews are a bit limited. The rating is mixed at Amazon.com, with poor absorbency being the source of some negative reviews, though satisfaction is higher at some other sites, such as Walgreens.com.

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