About 13 million Americans suffer from incontinence, of which 85% are women. It’s often an embarrassing and perceived taboo topic that many would rather not discuss. While the condition is more common in older adults, it can affect a person of any age or gender.
It’s a serious problem that may limit your lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you need to sit at home and dread the next time you have to go out. Instead of giving in to incontinence, you can find a solution that allows you to live your life the way you want. As such, finding the best incontinence products is the first step to having a normal, active lifestyle.
This guide will take you through how to find the right incontinence product for your specific needs. Note that incontinence is the inability to control the excretion of urine or bowel movements.
While many products are available on the market, it can be challenging to determine which one is right for you. It will depend on your lifestyle, the severity of your incontinence, and how much you’re willing to spend. With so many factors at play, it’s essential to know what you’re looking for when shopping for products like the best adult diapers.
What are Incontinence Products, and Why Do You Need Them?
Incontinence products are items that help you manage incontinence or the inability to hold your urine or fecal waste. While everyone experiences small instances of incontinence throughout their lives, such as when sneezing or coughing, severe incontinence goes beyond a few drops and is often unmanageable without help.
The right incontinence products will help prevent urine or feces from leaking, so you can do the activities you love without worrying about messes. Other functions include:
- Prevent odor from building up
- Ensure comfort for extended wear
- Prevent skin irritation
- Aid recovery after a medical procedure or injury
- Protect beddings
- Provide support for weakened muscles
Before choosing what product to get, understanding your needs is a top priority. Ask yourself, what category of incontinence are you dealing with?
There are two general categories of incontinence:
- Urinary incontinence
- Fecal incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the inability to control the urge to urinate. It is often a result of health conditions such as weak bladder muscles, damage to bladder control nerves, or an enlarged prostate in men. For this condition, you will need urinary products that can absorb and contain your urinal waste.
The four types of urinary incontinence include:
- Stress incontinence: loss of urine when coughing, laughing, sneezing, or exercising
- Urge incontinence: a sudden and overwhelming urge to urinate that can lead to leaking
- Overflow incontinence: constant leaking of small amounts of urine due to an overfilled bladder
- Mixed incontinence – a combination of stress and urge incontinence
Unlike urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence is the inability to control solid bowel movements. This condition is often due to damage to the anal sphincter, resulting from childbirth, surgery, or other health conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and hemorrhoids. Products that contain and absorb solid waste are essential to managing this type of incontinence.
Steps for Choosing the Right incontinence Product
Follow these steps to find the right incontinence product for your needs.
- Identify your needs: The first step in choosing the right incontinence product for you is to look at your specific needs. What type of leak do you want to solve? Are you looking for the right product to help manage light bladder leakage, or do you need heavy-duty protection? Consider what problem or problems you need to solve.
- Understand your frequency: Think about how often you’ll need to wear your incontinence product. Will you only need it during the day, or will you also need it for the night and maybe even at work? When determining your frequency of use, consider if you’ll be wearing the product regularly or just once in a while.
- Consider your style: Style is an important consideration when looking for the right incontinence product for you. When you shop for a product, it needs to match your lifestyle and your preferences. Consider your daily activities and how the product will look under your clothes. Does it work for your body type, and will you feel confident wearing the product?
- Review different types of incontinence products: You have several options when it comes to incontinence products, including pads, liners, briefs, and diapers. Knowing your choices will help you find the right fit for your needs.
- Review the absorbency level: You should review what level of absorbency you need, including how often to change your incontinence product. If you’re only looking for protection during certain activities or at night, there’s no reason to choose a higher level of absorbency than necessary just because it’s available.
- Select your product choice: After following the above steps, you should know what type of incontinence product will best suit your needs. Make sure to look at all the available product choices and compare which one will be the best for your needs.
Types of Incontinence Products for Women
Incontinence affects women more than any other gender, owing to a complex mix of social, physical, and biological circumstances. There are several types of incontinence products that can make women feel more comfortable during their day-to-day activities.
Intravaginal products go inside the vagina and aid in supporting the bladder neck. These products help keep the urethra closed to prevent leaks. Women suffering from stress incontinence often find these types of products helpful.
While some intravaginal devices aren’t directly designed to address incontinence, they can be helpful as an incontinence product. Examples of these products include; tampons and pessaries.
Purpose-made devices are those whose design and function are to aid women with their incontinence needs. Such products include; intravaginal bladder support, intravaginal rings, and surgical form tampons.
Choosing a suitable intravaginal device may require some trial-and-error. Some brands often have unique features that you will need to investigate before purchasing them, while others are less expensive but equally effective. Comfort is as important as effectiveness. If you find the product is uncomfortable inside your vagina, consider switching to a different brand or model.
Incontinence liners for women ensure a discreet and comfortable way to contain urine leakage even when you’re on the go. Liners are ideal for small to mild incontinence issues that occur during the day. They are made of absorbent materials that prevent wetness from seeping through the clothes you’re wearing.
The right incontinence liners for women are often the ones that feel elastic and lightweight. These properties allow the product to stay in place despite body movements, so you don’t have to worry about them falling out when you bend over or sit down.
Choosing the right incontinence liners for your needs is essential. Some brands have a higher capacity, which means you’ll need to change the product less frequently. Depending on the brand, it may be possible to choose the design that feels the most comfortable for you. Incontinence liners available in different sizes can also make finding the right fit, no matter your shape or size.
Some liners are washable, while others are disposable. You can choose the type of incontinence liners that work for your lifestyle. If you prefer not to buy multiple products at once, reusable pads are a good option.
The difference between incontinence pads and menstrual pads is that the former is more absorbent. The best bladder control pads are an effective solution for people with large or heavy amounts of urine leakage. They provide all-over protection and keep the skin dry, allowing you to feel protected throughout your day.
Notably, the more absorbent the incontinence pad you buy, the more protection it will offer. Some incontinence pads are designed to be thicker to provide extra absorbency for moderate or heavy levels of incontinence. If you’re looking for a high-absorbing product, consider how many times you’ll need to change the pad when you use it.
Some incontinence pads are disposable, which can be a convenient choice if you need to travel frequently. There are also reusable products that you can wash and reuse later. The latter is a cost-effective approach that allows you to save money in the long run.
The pads should be soft and comfortable. You can find pads with adhesive backs that allow you to place and remove them easily. You should also consider the fit of the pad and how well it fits on your body and clothes, so you don’t have to worry about it moving out of place throughout the day.
At the highest tier of incontinence protection are undergarments designed to keep the wearer dry and comfortable throughout the day. They are made to be durable, soft, and breathable to prevent skin irritation. Incontinence underwear for women is specifically designed to fit the shape of your body and provide maximum coverage where you need it most.
The right incontinence pants for women offer heavy absorbency without compromising the quality of the materials used or the product’s shape. They should also be comfortable and easily concealed underneath clothing. Many models come in varying sizes to accommodate different body types.
Measurements are typically listed on the outer covering of each incontinence underwear, allowing you to choose a product that matches your measurements exactly for optimal comfort. Some have tight elastic bands around the waist or leg openings that feel restrictive when worn for long periods.
Types of Incontinence Products for Men
Most men will shy away from the idea of wearing incontinence products. However, there are plenty of male incontinence products that give you just as much protection and comfort.
While most incontinence products are non-gender specific, some anatomical differences in the male anatomy affect what product will work best.
Below are some common male incontinence products:
Incontinence Guards/Pads for Men
Incontinence pads for men are similar to those for women, but they are typically thicker and explicitly designed for a man’s body. They absorb moisture well and save you the discomfort of having wet clothes or constant leaks throughout your day. You can wear these overnight or during other times when it’s necessary to stay dry.
Before choosing a pad, it’s important to know the amount of leakage you’re experiencing to guarantee that you’re buying a product that can handle your specific needs. For light or occasional leakage, a thin pad will do the job. If you’re experiencing more frequent or heavier leakage, consider purchasing a thicker incontinence pad that can absorb and hold more.
An ideal incontinence pad should be breathable, skin-friendly, and with odor control technology. Incontinence pads for men will allow you to feel confident and comfortable while preventing leakage. Most incontinence pads for men are disposable, but you can wash highly absorbent pads for reuse.
Penile sheaths are a popular alternative to male incontinence pads. They work like a condom, designed to fit snugly and stay in place as you go through your day. The sheath attaches to a tube that connects to a drainage bag to collect urine.
There are self-adhesive or non-adhesive penile sheath products that you can choose from according to your preference. There are also different sizes available that fit all men, regardless of their anatomy. A penile sheath is ideal for men who have moderate to heavy leakage.
The most important consideration is how the penile sheath fits and feels on your body. You can check incontinence product reviews to see what other people have to say about a particular model.
The penile clamp is another type of penile protection for urinary incontinence. It’s a device that exerts pressure on the urethra to close it off and prevent leakage. If you are suffering from stress incontinence, the penile clamp is the best option to help you keep urine in your bladder.
The ideal penile clamp should feature a lightweight silicone rubber that’s easy to use and wear. It should also be comfortable and work well with different types of clothing. The clamp will prevent urine leakage without you feeling any discomfort or pain at all.
When finding the best penile clamp, identify one that won’t trigger security screenings at airports or cause other problems. You should also check consumer reviews for a reliable product that works well with all types of the male anatomy.
Body-worn urinals are a unique type of incontinence product for men. Worn under your clothes, they’re strapped to your thighs or waist with a belt so you can have easy access when you need to urinate.
Body-worn urinals are best for men who experience high levels of leakage. The cover goes over the penis, creating a seal that stops urine from leaking out. Usually, the product is reusable and has a pouch to collect the urine.
When choosing a body-worn urinal, you should look for one that’s reusable and convenient to use. Check online reviews for models that fit different types of male anatomy and are easy enough to use even in tight spaces such as public restrooms. Most importantly, buy from a reputable store like Amazon.
Incontinence Briefs for Men
Urinary incontinence briefs are the most popular choice for men. They come in different styles and sizes, including pull-on briefs with a pad attached to them. If you have heavy leakage or experience bowel incontinence, briefs are the best solution because they can hold even more urine.
Incontinence briefs for men are ideal for those going through light and heavy incontinence. Usually, they’re made from high-quality pads that aid in comfort and odor control. The best briefs for men should fit well and be able to contain all types of leakage.
When choosing a brief, look for one that’s easy to pull on and easy to wash. It should be washable and free of latex, with 100% cotton and non-woven fabrics. Pick one that’s durable and comfortable to wear for a long time.
Factors to Consider When Looking for the Right Incontinence Products
Finding the best incontinence products for men is not an easy task. It requires a lot of knowledge and consideration to make sure that you get a high-quality product that fits your needs and budget.
Whether you are a man or woman suffering from incontinence, here are some important factors to consider when looking for the right incontinence products for men.
The Right Product Size
The right fit for your incontinence product is probably the most important consideration. You want something that fits well without being too tight or too loose. Even though the size of the product has nothing to do with absorbency, it can greatly affect comfort, leakage, and odor control.
You can determine the best size for your incontinence product by measuring your waist circumference. Other products may have sizing charts available on their websites. However, if you have no idea about the size to get, you can always contact the store’s customer support department to find out more.
Absorbency materials for incontinence products have come a long way over the years. They range from polymer-based materials to cellulose to even wood pulp. If you’re looking for a more absorbent incontinence product, make sure that it comes with a high-quality absorbency pad.
However, you should also consider how fast the pads absorb liquid. If it doesn’t do so quickly enough, it may increase the risk of leakage. Some highly absorbent incontinence products are designed with extra covers or layers to prevent any problems during use.
Ease of Use and Care
The product should be easy to put on and take off, with easy-to-read instructions so you can learn how to use it safely and correctly. If possible, choose a low-maintenance brand that doesn’t require any special care before washing or using. Make sure you buy one that’s durable and free of microorganisms and other harmful chemicals.
For the best comfort, choose an incontinence product that fits well without being too loose or tight. You should also consider how soft it is against your skin and whether it has any added features to keep you warm during the winter months. Most importantly, buy from a reputable store for peace of mind.
Price vs. Value
The price of a product varies from one brand to another. One of the most important factors to consider is whether it offers value for money. In other words, make sure you get something that’s worth what you’re paying for. Another thing to check is the warranty or return policy if you end up with a defective item or decide that it’s not the right fit for you.
Mobility and Lifestyle
Mobility and lifestyle are among the top factors to consider when looking for incontinence products. If you want to go outside and do regular activities, it’s best to get something that’s discreet and comfortable enough for all-day use.
The products should also fit your lifestyle needs. For example, if you often travel or don’t want to be burdened by frequent washing, choose an incontinence product with good absorbency and odor control. Ideally, a disposable product is more suitable than a reusable one.
Hygiene is as important as comfort when it comes to incontinence products. It’s important to choose a high-quality product that doesn’t cause any skin irritations or rashes. Some skins are sensitive to certain materials, so take your time to learn more about the product before buying.
For peace of mind, buy a brand that’s clinically tested and guaranteed to be safe for use. The National Association for Incontinence (NAFC) recommends SGS-IPS testing to determine the safety and quality of incontinence products.
Finally, it’s best to read some customer reviews before deciding on a product. This way, you can learn more about its performance and reliability before buying it online or in-store. Take note of the benefits and drawbacks based on actual user feedback so you’ll have a better idea about the product before buying it.
The type of material used in the design of the product is a good indicator of its quality. For example, if you’re looking for a reusable incontinence product with a long-lasting absorbency pad, choose one that comes with polyacrylate or cotton polymer materials.
You can also find some products that have super-absorbent gel crystals to provide extra moisture and odor control. Some materials may cause some allergic reactions in some users. Other brands use hypoallergenic materials and are free of latex, so they’re ideal for people with sensitive skin.
5 Best Incontinence Products: Our Top Picks
Below we look at five of the best incontinence products available today. We review their pros and cons, along with other important factors to consider before buying one for your needs.
Best Overall for Women: Poise Incontinence Pad
The poise ultimate incontinence pad for women is one of the best-selling products online. It features a three-in-one protection system that guarantees ten times dryness, ultimate comfort, and full-proof odor control. All these benefits are enhanced by the extra-soft, 100 percent cotton material.
Enjoy 12 hours of protection with each incontinence pad. It’s also dermatologically tested to be hypoallergenic, which is great if you have sensitive skin or are generally prone to allergies. The wings are flexible enough for maximum comfort while staying in place all day long.
The poise pads come in multiple absorbency levels, including light for lighter leakage and moderate for those with frequent bladder leaks. There’s also a heavy absorbency variety designed for night use if needed.
- The three-in-one protection offers ten times dryness, odor, and comfort
- The pads are individually wrapped
- Discreet packaging
- Lightweight and flexible wings for maximum comfort
- Hypoallergenic material for sensitive skin
- Comfortable to wear even during the day
- A little pricey
Best Overall for Men: Depend Real Fit Incontinence Underwear
Enjoy the super soft, breathable material of the Depend real-fit underwear for men. It also features a flexible waistband and leg tailored for maximum comfort while helping to ensure leak protection. These adult briefs are designed for maximum absorbency with a contoured fit that provides discreet protection.
They’re available in multiple sizes, from small, medium, large, and extra-large. If you’re concerned about skin irritation or rashes, Depend real fit incontinence underwear is a good pick. It features a breathable material that keeps your skin cool and dry throughout the day. Better yet, its soft material helps prevent chafing, abrasions, and itching.
- Discreet packaging
- Available in multiple sizes
- Super soft, breathable material for sensitive skin
- Maximum absorbency with a contoured fit
- Flexible waistband and leg cuffs for maximum comfort
- The anti-leak barrier provides confidence all day long
- Lock in odor
- Breathable material
- Only available in two colors
Best for Heavy Leakage: LivDry Super Absorbent Protective Underwear
Guaranteed maximum comfort with ultimate protection, the LivDry super-absorbent protective underwear is one of the best brands available today. It offers maximum absorbency with a leakage barrier cuff that locks leaks all day long. The extra leak protection means you can wear the underwear overnight without waking up to wet sheets.
The LivDry panties are available in multiple sizes ranging from small to large. With the extra soft material and elastic waistband that contours to fit your body naturally, the underwear is one of the most comfortable to wear.
It’s also anti-microbial and features a breathable material that keeps your skin cool and dry. The leg cuffs make sure there’s no breakdown in protection when you’re on the move, and there’s a discreet packaging option for added privacy.
- Disposable underwear
- Maximum protection with the leakage barrier cuff
- Available in multiple sizes
- Discreet packaging option
- Antimicrobial and breathable material for increased comfort
- It fits your body naturally with the elastic waistband for maximum comfort
- High to maximum absorbency
- It can be bulky in the crotch area
Best Pads for Exercise: Rael Organic Reusable Bladder Pads
No more worrying about embarrassing leaks or odors at the gym with Rael’s reusable bladder pads. It’s always better to be proactive about your incontinence, and these are perfect for active women.
They’re made from 100% organic cotton with a waterproof outer lining that ensures there’s no moisture seepage during your daily activities. The leak locker technology on the bladder pads offers superior protection from leaks and accidents.
It ensures a comfortable fit and secure fit with the two adhesive strips on each pad. Use them for light to medium bladder leakage or as part of your daily workout routine. The pad makes sure maximum airflow to keep your skin cool and dry.
- Easy to care and machine washable
- Soft material that contours to your natural curves
- Zero waste period
- Made from 100
Best for Seniors: Attends Premier Briefs for Adult Incontinence
The Attends Premier Briefs senior incontinence products offer total leakage protection. It’s an ideal selection for seniors providing maximum support and protection with a discrete fit. The briefs feature cloth-like material for maximum comfort and 100% breathability.
Attends Premier Briefs are ideal for fecal and urinary incontinence, making them great for multiple-purpose use. They feature an ultra-plush outer fabric that’s soft with a cloth-like top layer. The inner layer is an absorbent material that locks in liquid, odor, and other discharges for total protection.
The material is also soft and stretchable, with a moisture-proof lining to keep you dry and comfortable all through. There’s also superior anti-leak protection with durable leg cuffs that prevent leakage, even when you’re on the move.
- Maximum leakage protection
- 100% breathability
- Non-woven top sheet material
- High capacity with an absorbent core
- Soft and stretchable material for a secure fit
- Durable leg cuffs that prevent leakage on the move
- It only comes in one color (white)
Criteria Used to Find the Best Incontinence Products
The criteria used to find the above best incontinence products included:
- Reviews and feedback: Knowing what other customers think about a product is the best way to measure the quality and overall satisfaction. Reviewers mention what they like and dislike about the product while discussing how happy or disappointed their experience was.
- Price point: Price is an important consideration when buying anything. It’s even more important to weigh the cost of incontinence products for your specific needs. Determine your budget for the product and compare that to the value you’ll get from using it.
- Ease of use: A product may have a high price tag, but it’s no good for you if you can’t use it without frustration. Ease of use is an important consideration, as everyone wants to find the right incontinence product that’s simple, quick, and easy to use.
- Advantages: A product can be affordable and still not solve your problem or meet your needs. Identify what you want and need from your incontinence products and make sure it meets those goals: better protection, comfort, confidence.
- Comfort: Incontinence products should be comfortable to wear, whether you’re at home or on the go. There should be a close fit around your body while also being breathable and flexible.
How to Find the Right Incontinence Products (FAQs)
Answer: Pads and briefs tend to be the most popular incontinence products. They’re readily available and simple to use, making them a great choice for those struggling with light bladder leakage or more occasional incontinence needs. The right product may also depend on your body type and preferences.
Answer: You can get free incontinence products through social services, your caregiver, or even your local women’s shelter. Free incontinence products are available to those who qualify for them, so use these programs to get the right products for your needs. Diaper banks also offer free incontinence products.
Answer: Belted pads are popular among people with heavy and more frequent incontinence. The pads feature a heavy-duty outer shell and an absorbent inner lining, holding more weight than most other products. Pads also come in different sizes to fit your waistline.
Answer: To qualify for incontinence products, you must be able to prove that your need is legitimate. A physician’s letter verifying your diagnosis and the need for incontinence products is one way to do this. You can also opt for a Medicare insurance or medical records form.
Understanding how to find the right incontinence product is the first step in managing bladder leakage. When you know your specific needs and understand what type of product is best suited to solve or help manage your bladder leakage, you can find a product that won’t disappoint.
Factors such as frequency, style, type of incontinence product, and absorbency level are all important to consider when looking for the best solution to your incontinence needs. Whether you need a product for one-time or more frequent use, by following this guide, you will be on your way to finding the best product for you.