How Effective Are Adult Diapers for Urinary Incontinence?

Incontinence can involve eliminating fecal matter from the bowel or involuntary urine leakage from the bladder, and at least 50% of older adults live with this issue. Menopause, childbirth, and pregnancy are life stages that make urinary incontinence especially prevalent in women. Many people turn to incontinence diapers or briefs to manage this widespread issue.

These products are not a treatment but highly effective tools for managing urinary incontinence and preventing it from interfering with your daily life. Today’s improved absorbency technology and underwear-like fit deliver users more freedom and protection than ever from accidents, leaks, and odors.


smiling woman securing bike helmet chinstrap

A smiling woman securing a bike helmet chinstrap. Though women are more affected by bladder leakage than men, adult diapers are effective at managing urinary incontinence for men as well.

A Diaper Effectiveness Study Involving People With Chronic Incontinence

In 2015, a Thai study was published which assessed the effectiveness of diapers on the independent living and health-related quality of life of people with fecal or urinary incontinence.

For most of the 90 patients who took part in the study and received adult diapers, their quality of life and independent living had improved significantly by the 10th week.

Additionally, their pressure ulcer risk had dropped 67% by week 10. Researchers concluded that the quality of life and independence of participants living with chronic incontinence were helped enormously by using adult diapers.

Finding the Right Urinary Incontinence Product for You

There are several factors to think about when selecting a urinary incontinence product for yourself or a loved one, including:

  • The fit and flexibility that matches your level of activity
  • The size
  • The style (i.e., pull-up or tab)
  • A preference for reusable or disposable products
  • Absorbency level

You may need trial and error to determine how comfortable and how well a specific urinary incontinence product works for you.

You may discover that one adult diaper has less cellulose fluff pulp giving it a slimmer profile for daytime outings. Or that another is more flexible to provide you with protection during light exercise. And a third option has a thicker diaper core with more superabsorbent polymers for preventing overnight leaks.

Choose Your Diaper Based on Effectiveness Rather Than Cost

Incontinence products can be pricey when you’re shopping around and trying out styles and brands that work best for your situation. Make your product choice based on your needs rather than cost.

Often, higher-priced products are more effective and durable and cost less in the long run than low-quality diapers. For example, bargain brand briefs need changing five or more times a day rather than three or four. That’s because they are made with cheap tape and a backsheet that rips easily. Plus, they typically hold less than premium brands.

Quality-made disposable absorbent underwears are made with a cushiony cloth-like backsheet and the right design and use of elasticized materials to provide a secure yet comfortable fit. They’re made to hold up and offer more value and protection for your money.

You should also bear in mind that urinary incontinence product manufacturers typically offer introductory discounts and samples to help you defray your start-up costs while you’re discovering what works for you.

For example, Made for Living offers its new subscription customers a welcome package with multiple size alternatives so that you can find the perfect fit for ultimate security.

Choosing Diapers That Effectively Protect Your Skin

Caring for your skin is a crucial part of incontinence care that shouldn’t be overlooked when choosing and using adult diapers. That’s because repeated urine exposure can damage sensitive skin.

In addition to changing liners and briefs promptly, your private areas need to be thoroughly yet gently cleaned and dried. Improper care can lead to sores, rashes, and severe infections. You may also consider applying a skin barrier ointment to safeguard the area from irritation and excess moisture.

When shopping for adult diapers, look for brands that feature a soft, breathable lining and use quality materials to trap and wick moisture away from your skin.

Do Adult Diapers Work Better Than Pads for Incontinence?

Pads are a comfortable, economical, discreet solution for customers with stress incontinence or less intense bladder control issues.

However, if you are looking for extra absorbency or want the reliability that complete protection can give you, disposable absorbent underwear may be the option for you.

Both products are good at the jobs they perform; however, you may want to consider the following factors when choosing the product that works for you:


Incontinence pads may shift around in your underwear despite the adhesive backing meant for securing them in place. This might lead to your pad being affixed in the wrong place and causing leakage. Because of this, you need to use extra caution when using an incontinence pad.

However, this isn't the case for disposable underwear with fabric gathers called leak guards and wraparound elastics at the legs and waist to ensure a snug fit.

Incontinence Intensity

If you live with a severe case of urge incontinence, you should use absorbent underwear, especially overnight.

Pads aren’t as effective at protecting you while you sleep because they may shift as you move or may not support as much liquid. Overnight diapers also have a thicker core and more absorbency.

Made for Living Makes the Most Effective Incontinence Diapers

Urinary incontinence is a common condition many adults of all ages deal with daily. Finding an incontinence product that is effective and discreet can be challenging but Made for Living makes it easy.

Sign up for our subscription membership and enjoy free shipping, discounts, and a welcome package. And once you’ve locked in your quantity, make, and size, sit back, and your order will arrive when you want it. Plus, there's no risk. You can cancel anytime. To get started, contact us today.

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