We love how the fit and cut are similar to regular underwear. Will not irritate episiotomy sites. Pull-up design with no adhesive tabs. Cloth-like material with odor guard.
Pad can separate from outer lining. Leakage may occur along leg seams.
Absorbs up to 32 ounces. Strong adhesive on tabs for a very secure fit. Fits 28" to 43" waists. Stand-up leak guard and wetness indicator. Good wicking action.
Tabs cannot be re-adjusted. Fit is challenging for users with larger thighs. Some pinhole leaks reported.
Very absorbent, especially for postpartum bleeding and late-term incontinence. Wicks away moisture well with minimal skin irritation. Four-way stretch waist band. Suitable for both day and night wear.
Bulky fit, not as discreet as others on this shortlist. Waist band can roll down. Some leakage issues.
Will not droop or sag over time. Smaller sizes for smaller users. Protects from diarrhea, not just urine. Unisex pull-up design, form fits to body.
Lining is thin, not very absorbent. Can bunch up uncomfortably. Very high-waisted, visible under clothing.
Very similar in performance and design to disposable briefs used in nursing homes and hospitals. Raised fluted edges contain urinary and fecal leaks. Easy to use on bedridden patients. Unisex design. Tabs are extremely secure. Users praise absorbency.
Proper sizing can be an issue, as they tend to run small. Described as a brief, but fits more like an adult diaper.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
If you’re looking for a discreet, reliable way to manage bladder and bowel control issues, adult diapers are worth exploring. These disposable undergarments are made of soft, flexible materials that have superabsorbent qualities to keep leaks at bay. They’re also designed to hide well under clothing, so you can maintain your dignity while managing incontinence issues.
Adult diapers are also used by individuals who are recovering from pregnancy and postoperative procedures. As they’re disposable, they take away the stress of ruining clothing or bedding by holding onto liquids between changes. Young women who are experiencing their first menstrual cycles may use adult diapers, too, as it’s a modest, mess-free way to manage a new bodily change. They’re also used by adults with special needs as they learn to become more independent with personal hygiene.
We created this buying guide on adult diapers to help you choose the best pair for you to wear. Learn the differences between styles and how to select a pair with the right level of absorbance for your needs.
Adult diapers are known for being absorbent, which is a coordinated effort by different parts of the diaper. For one, adult diapers feature a highly absorbent, multi-layered pad in the crotch and buttocks areas, as this is where leaks originate. Anything that isn’t caught or absorbed by the pad is cut off from escaping the diaper by well-fitting elastic leg holes. These are often lined with absorbent layers to prevent leaks as well.
The rest of the diaper plays a role in absorbance, too. While other areas don’t feature the layering of the middle section, their material is still absorbent, and in some cases, it is also moisture-wicking and odor-fighting. If someone is in bed and the leak travels up the body, the waist and sides of adult diapers still have enough absorbent layers to at least minimize the spread of liquids.
Adult diapers come in two styles: pull-on and adjustable. Pull-on styles look and wear like regular underwear, as they have elastic waistbands and leg holes. This is by far the most popular style, as they’re convenient and quick to put on and take off. Adjustable styles are closer to the design of baby diapers and rely on closures in the form of sticky or Velcro tabs to put them on. The fit isn’t always the best with these, but they do stay put if you tighten them properly.
Adult diapers come in men’s, women’s, and unisex sizing. As far as unisex sizing goes, these are based on height, weight, and measurements. Therefore, you’d need to do some measuring to find the right size. Men’s sizing follows that of normal clothing sizes, from small through XXL.
Women’s sizing is a bit more complicated, especially if you’re petite or plus size. Consumers of these sizes note a limited availability in product and often feel pigeonholed into wearing certain brands. For the most part, women’s sizing comes in small through XXL, and there are certain styles that have a size table that corresponds with pants sizes. With these diapers, there’s a greater number of sizes to choose from and therefore a better chance of finding a good fit.
The majority of adult diapers come in white, though there are some on the market that are blush, purple, blue, or nude shades. While there isn’t a big color wheel for diapers, there are a number of brands that come in different patterns and prints. There are some diapers that feature skull and crossbones, princesses, flowers, or sea creatures. These are relatively new to the market, so you can expect to pay a premium for these highly fashionable pairs.
Adult diapers are made with soft, flexible materials with a high degree of absorbency. For the most part, they’re made from a combination of cellulose, polymers, bamboo, cotton, or microfiber. Not only do these textiles have superabsorbent properties, they also offer breathability, which reduces sweat and odors.
In addition to the diaper’s main materials, they also utilize elastic materials in waistbands and leg holes similar to those seen in regular underwear. For the most part, they consist of rubber, Lycra, nylon, or latex. Some adult diapers also have thin elastic bands throughout the diaper to provide a flexible yet secure fit.
Adult diapers cost between $20 and $60 per package, depending on construction quality and how many diapers are in the package.
Inexpensive: Between $20 and $30, expect between 25 and 60 diapers. High-quality, medical-grade brands have fewer diapers in a package, while name-brand packages have far more.
Mid-range: Mid-range packages cost between $30 and $40. These contain around 40 diapers, and they have better leak protection and absorbency at a fair price. This is where you get the most for your money.
Expensive: Between $40 and $60, expect to get only 20 to 40 diapers per package. The quality in these is superior, and they’re as comfortable as it gets when it comes to diapers. Since they’re expensive, they’re intended for isolated use as opposed to long-term use.
Q. Can I wear adult diapers to exercise?
A. Certain adult diapers are better than others for exercise, but it also depends on your level of activity. For the most part, any adult diaper is comfortable and flexible enough for low-impact activities. If you plan on engaging in more intense exercise, you should purchase active adult diapers. They’re shaped to fit better under fitness apparel and are more breathable to avoid unnecessary sweat accumulation.
Q. Which are more discreet: high-waisted or low-waisted adult diapers?A. It depends on what you’re wearing, though high-waisted adult diapers tend to be easier to hide, as it’s easy to wear a loose top over them with pants. Because waistbands of bottoms tend to fit over them, you can achieve a smoother silhouette under clothing. Low-waisted diapers, on the other hand, tend to be more noticeable, as they add bulk beneath the waistband of pants and skirts. More often than not, it’s easy to see both waistbands when wearing low-waisted diapers.
Q. How much liquid can adult diapers absorb?
A. It depends on the diaper and its level of absorbency. For the most part, adult diapers absorb between 90 and 130 ounces of liquid. With that said, the absorbency level is subjective and usually refers to blood and urine amounts, so expect the diapers to hold less than that amount for semi-solid bowel movements.