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Best Way to Choose Adult Diapers with Tabs

Posted by Brianna Maguire on Feb 12th 2020

Enjoy peace of mind and reclaim your days with adult diapers with tabs. Whether you need heavy-duty nighttime support or lighter daytime protection, our diapers with tabs will keep you comfortable, dry, and leak-free.

Those with long-term adult incontinence will love our reliable diapers, and those with shorter-term incontinence, like those who are post-surgery, will find exactly what they need for a healthy and happy recovery. Plus, our incontinence products are designed to keep moisture away from skin, promoting dryness and health.

Learn about:


What are adult briefs?

Adult diapers with tabs, also called adult briefs or tab-style briefs, are fully supportive diapers that wrap around the belly, rear and crotch and protect against incontinence. Fully absorbent products, they feature a thick core and side panels that are pulled across the hip and fasten to the front panel.


Who should use adult diapers?

Adult diapers with tabs are great for those:

  • With a caregiver to change them
  • With heavy incontinence, or bowel incontinence
  • With low mobility, or those that are bedridden
  • That need a bariatric size (an 80-inch waist or above)

Who shouldn't use these products?

Adult diapers with tabs are likely not a good fit for those that are:

  • Using the product on themselves
  • Looking for light incontinence protection
  • Very active and mobile
  • Looking for a slim, discreet style

How do they work?

Adult diapers with tabs absorb incontinence because of polymers (tiny absorbent beads) stored in the core of the diaper. Polymers soak up moisture and turn it into a gel, leaving your skin dry. Some polymers are even pH balanced to counteract the ammonia in urine - that way, they guard against odor.

How to put an adult diaper on yourself

  • Create the shape of regular underwear by fastening the sides tabs to the diaper
  • Step into the diaper like you would regular underwear, pulling it up your legs
  • Refasten the tabs until they're snug

How to put disposable briefs on someone else

  • Rest your loved one on their side
  • Slide the brief from front to back, between the legs (it can help to rest a towel between their knees)
  • Spread out the rear of the diaper so that it covers the buttocks
  • Gently roll them onto their back
  • Lift the front panel over the belly
  • Fasten the tabs across the hips and onto the front panel, one at a time, ensuring the fit is snug but not too tight
  • Make any adjustments so that the diaper is centered and comfortable

What features exist?

Refastenable Tabs

If an adult diaper has “refastenable tabs” that means the tabs that fasten to the front panel can be unstuck and restuck to ensure a snug fit. This is especially useful for caregivers

Sturdiness of tabs

If the description says the diaper has “strong tabs” or “sturdy tabs,” that means they’re less likely to rip.

Stretchy sides

If a description says the diaper has “stretchy tabs,” that means the tabs will likely be more comfortable and secure

Amount of tabs

Some diapers with tabs have two tabs on each side, and some have one. In general, four tab diapers are sturdier, while two tab diapers are easier to put on.

Leg gathers

Leg gathers are strips of fabric that attach to the diaper's leg holes and provide an extra layer of protection when wearing adult diapers.

High-rise fits

If a diaper features a “high-rise fit” or “full-rise fit,” it goes up higher on the back and belly than other diapers - these are great for bariatric users or anyone that wants a little extra security

Backing material

  • Cloth-backed adult diapers are soft, breathable, and don’t make noise, so they’re more discreet. Since harmful vapors from incontinence can escape, these tend to be better for your skin.
  • Plastic-backed adult diapers are sometimes assumed to be more absorbent, but they can actually be harmful to the skin. Harmful vapors are trapped against the skin, leading to damage and breakdown.

Wetness indicators

Wetness indicators are color-changing strips of fabric that help caregivers know when the diaper has reached capacity, so they know it’s time for a change


What kind of adult diapers are there?

For loved ones that experience incontinence throughout the night, overnight diapers with tabs boast an ultra-absorbency that can help keep them dry and comfortable. Overnight diapers are also ideal for anyone that experiences very heavy incontinence throughout the day.

Also called “bariatric diapers with tabs,” these are ideal for anyone that needs a larger fit than traditional diapers can provide. Great for waist sizes between 62 and 106 inches, these have high absorbency, meaning fewer changes and more comfort.


How do I choose?

  1. Decide if you need a specialized product, like a bariatric diaper with tabs
  2. Think about which features are the most important to you. Busy caregivers will want to look for features like wetness indicators, two-tab styles, and leg gathers
  3. Determine what absorbency you’re looking for. For occasional voids, a lighter absorbency should do the trick, but for large voids or overnight protection, look for something heavier
  4. Still need help? Call our friendly, expert Care Team at 855-855-1666 for more guidance.

If you’re still confused, just give us a call at 855-855-1666 or email us at support@carewell.com


Carewell Recommendations

The most popular brands for adult briefs are Prevail, Tranquility, McKesson, Abena, and TENA.

For overnight incontinence, we recommend:

Made of premium and highly absorbent, these diapers come with all the features caregivers love. An advanced odor guard, ultra-plush design for maximum comfort, full breathability, and super absorbent core are just some of the things that make this disposable brief an exceptional product.


Some of the most absorbent tab-style diapers on the market, these keep you or your loved ones dry and comfortable throughout your longest nights. To choose which Abri-Form is right for you, keep in mind that the letter represents the size, and the number the absorbency (1 being the lowest, and 4 being the highest).


For heavy incontinence, we recommend:

These diapers are comfortable, absorbent, and a fan-favorite amongst our caregivers. They have skin-healthy features, odor guards, and QUICK WICK technology that locks away moisture.


For moderate incontinence, we recommend:

Absorbent, breathable, and affordable, this brief has all the features our caregivers love. Odor guards keep things fresh, while the extra tab on each side helps ensure the fit is just right.


For bariatric incontinence, we recommend:

Providing a comfortable fit for waist sizes up to 100 inches, these bariatric diapers protect against heavy incontinence. Featuring reusable tabs, odor guards, and breathable side panels, these are another favorite amongst our customers.


Brittany's Pro-Tip

If you're experiencing leaks, it's probably an issue with fit. Be sure to use exact waist and hip measurements when choosing your size, and don't be afraid to give us a call for help!

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