How do I choose the right incontinence absorption product for me?  

To manage accidental urine or fecal loss, called incontinence, there are several products available. The type of product you choose depends on your specific needs. Here are a few of the most important considerations when choosing an absorption product.


Absorbency level

Incontinence products offer a range of absorbency levels, most often categorized as light, moderate, heavy and maximum. For light leakage, guards (for men) and panty liners or pads (for women) can help manage leaks. For moderate to heavy leakage, protective underwear (adult pull-on diapers), briefs (adults diapers) and belted undergarments are all options. For maximum absorbency, adult briefs and belted undergarments offer protection from leaks due to heavy incontinence.


Mobility level

Your activity level and mobility can also help you narrow down which incontinence product meets your needs. If you have full mobility and can put on and remove your underwear on your own, then products that function like regular underwear may be a good option. But if you have difficultly removing underwear on your own, briefs and belted undergarments that can be removed easily with limited movement may be a better fit.


Look and feel

Personal preference can also guide your incontinence product selection. You may find that you need to try out several different brands before you find the one that’s most comfortable for you. For example, belted undergarments are less bulky than adult briefs (diapers) but are not available with maximum absorbency. Protective underwear is available in printed designs to appear like regular underwear.



Incontinence products come in a variety of different materials depending on the absorbency level and other factors. For example, many are made with a soft, breathable fabric that includes an absorbent core. Others may feature waterproof linings or odor control additives.



Adult incontinence products are sized according to waist size, not weight. But these sizes ranges are not the same between one manufacturer and another. Small/Medium in one brand may be Youth/Small in another. Measure your waist and then match that figure to the sizing listed on the incontinence product.



While some incontinence products can be used for either men or women, others are designed specifically for a certain gender. They may include features that are more like men’s briefs or women’s underwear. Or, they may have colors more suitable for a certain gender. 



How much you pay for your incontinence products is another consideration. While one brand may be less expensive than another, if it doesn’t hold leaks as well as a pricier brand you may not end up saving money.


Related articles:

Leak protection while at work & play

Common questions – and answers – about incontinence

What types of incontinence products are available to absorb urine?