What To Look for With Adult Diapers
Tab Closure vs. Pull-Ups
When looking for the best adult incontinence product, you'll have to choose between pull-ups and diapers with tabs. Pull-ups are worn like underwear, and most have side seams that allow the pull-up to be quickly removed without causing a mess.
On the other hand, adult briefs with tabs are similar to standard diapers and are frequently used by caretakers who change the diapers of bedridden or mostly immobile patients. A diaper with tabs eliminates the need for a caregiver to remove a patient's pants to change their diaper. Tab closure diapers are also easier for caregivers to manage because they can be opened and closed again if the diaper is not soiled when opened, while pull-ups cannot be re-closed once the side seams have been torn.
In most circumstances, tab-closure diapers are more absorbent than pull-ups and have a thicker back sheet for better odor control, especially for bowel incontinence. They can also be tightened and loosened more than a pull-up. In contrast, pull-ups are ordinarily used by seniors who are more mobile/active and are frequently considered more dignifying because they are most similar to conventional underwear.
Size and Fit
Adult diapers must be the correct size and fit to avoid problems such as leaks, rashes, and infections. While diapers with tabs have more room for adjustment, you'll need to follow sizing charts for pull-ups. Most often, these focus on waist circumference measurements. It will likely still require some trial and error to fit the diaper that fits best, as each has leg holes that are sized differently.
Fit matters, too. Some adult diapers sit at the hip, more like underwear, while others vary from mid to high rise. So again, you'll need to consider which height is most comfortable for you or your loved one and whether that preferred height works for the user without any leakage.
Finally, there are different diaper products for men and women. For example, diapers designed for females usually have additional layers of absorbent material near the bottom of their diapers while men's products tend to add extra material in the front crotch area. Diapers meant to be unisex often have extra material in both areas, which is effective but also makes the diaper bulkier and less comfortable.
A person with moderate urine leakage requires two to four disposable diapers per day. At this rate, adult diapers can quickly become a pricey necessity. As such, you’ll want to look for diapers that cost about $1 per diaper. This price is about average.
Absorbency is a top and arguably, the number one quality you should consider when selecting adult diapers. It’s critical you select a diaper with an absorbency level that reflects the typical severity of your incontinence. In addition, effective absorbency is important to skin health and the prevention of odor and leakage.
There are four standard levels of adult diaper absorbency.
- Light: Light absorbency is ideal for older adults who experience only mild incontinence.
- Moderate: This absorbency level is best for individuals who experience lots of urine leakage throughout the day. Light bowel incontinence may sometimes be categorized under moderate as well.
- Heavy: This status is recommended for people who have heavy urine or fecal incontinence.
- Maximum/Overnight: These diapers provide the strongest absorption available, and they can frequently be used overnight with success.
While you may be able to get by with a lower absorption capacity product, it will not last as long as one that matches your incontinence level. This would necessitate changing the diapers much more frequently, most likely at inconvenient times. If you're not sure which absorption level diapers you need, consult the websites of the diaper brands you’re interested in or speak with your primary care nurse or doctor.
There’s no way around it. Incontinence stinks –– literally and figuratively. It's urinary and fecal waste from the human body after all, and neither is a preferred aroma. In fact, they can emit harmful vapors. Fortunately, in addition to steps you can take personally to reduce incontinence odor, one of the easiest methods to minimize the foul scent is to purposefully purchase diapers with odor-reducing components. Most adult diapers that include these agents usually label their packaging with phrases such as “odor guard, ”moisture-wicking,” or “locks away odor.”
While each odor reducer may function slightly differently, many include elements responsible for neutralizing pH or urine. Be careful never to purchase an adult diaper with perfume or fragrance included. These can irritate the skin and may introduce you to chemicals that are harmful to your body in other ways.
Another important step you can take to prevent incontinence is to select cloth-like diapers These are designed from fabric-like materials and ensure plenty of airflow. As a result, the risk of your body or adult diaper emitting unpleasant odors due to incontinence is much lower, preventing issues like skin rashes and urinary tract infections.
Day vs. Night Use
Before you start searching for adult diapers, you need to consider when you or your loved one may need adult diapers. If you need adult diapers full time, you may need a diaper you can use during the day as well as an overnight one. Since you have less control at night (and often nighttime incontinence is heavier), diapers explicitly labeled for overnight use are more absorbent.
Of course, the more absorption power a diaper has, the more it tends to cost. That said, some people find that the adult incontinence products they use during the day work just as well overnight. If you use a pull-up diaper during the daytime, but multiple brands of overnight pull-ups have let you down, you may want to consider a diaper with tabs solely for overnight use, as they have a more custom fit and are more absorbent.