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Best Way to Choose Bariatric Diapers

Posted by Brianna Maguire on Feb 12th 2020

Adult bariatric diapers with tabs, also called plus-size briefs, are a great choice for anyone that needs a larger fit than traditional pull-ups or diapers can provide. Fitting users all the way up to 106-inch waist or hip, these products keep you or your loved ones comfortable, happy, and healthy.

Our products are highly rated and dependable, so you know your bariatric diapers with tabs don't just fit well - they work well.

Learn about:


What are bariatric diapers?

Plus sized diapers with tabs are an absorbent diaper with a thick core and two side-tabs that fasten across the hips and over the belly. Bariatric, or plus-sized, diapers are larger than other diapers with tabs and can accommodate any waist size between 62 and 106 inches. All are ideal for urinary incontinence, and some work for bowel.


Who should use bariatric diapers?

Remember that bariatric diapers with tabs are first and foremost a plus-sized product, so even if you fit the qualifications below, if you need a smaller size, you should try a different tab-style diaper. If you are plus-sized, bariatric diapers with tabs are probably a good fit if:

  • You have a caregiver that can help you with changes (if you don’t have a caregiver, it is tricky to put these on alone, but not completely impossible)
  • You or the one you’re caring for has low mobility or is bed-bound
  • You or your loved one has heavy voids or needs protection from bowel incontinence
  • You or a loved one experiences pinching from too-tight diapers

Who shouldn't use these products?

Bariatric diapers with tabs are probably not a good fit for you if:

  • You wear a large or smaller. This is by far the biggest factor - bariatric tabs will not be a comfortable fit for smaller users
  • You are seeking light or moderate incontinence protection
  • You are very active
  • You are looking for something discreet and thin - try protective underwear instead

How do bariatric diapers work?

Bariatric diapers wrap around your belly, hips, and crotch area sort of like large underwear. When you or your loved one releases waste, the diaper traps it inside the absorbent core. Polymers (tiny absorbent beads) soak up any moisture and turn it into a gel, so that skin stays dry.

How to put bariatric diapers on yourself

  • Start by loosely attaching the tabs to the brief, creating the shape of underwear
  • Step into the diaper, and pull it over your body, like regular underwear
  • Adjust the straps, one at a time, until the fit is just right.

How to put bariatric diapers on someone else

The easiest way to put a bariatric diaper on someone else is to start with them in a lying down position.

  • Fold the brief lengthwise with the back sheet turned outwards
  • Roll the person you’re caring for onto their side, then pull the brief between the legs
  • Open the backside of the brief so that it fully covers the buttocks
  • Roll the wearer onto their back, then fan out the front panel (like you did with the back panel)
  • If there’s one tab
    • Start with one of the side tabs. Stretch it over the hips and across the belly, snugly fastening it to the front of the diaper
    • Repeat the above step with the other tab
  • If there are two tabs
    • Start with the bottom tab on one side of the diaper. Pull across the hips and fasten against the diaper, then repeat the same step on the other side
    • On one side, form a small fold in the band of the diaper, then attach the top tape over the fold, angling downward
    • Repeat the above step with the other side
  • Make sure the backsheet is turned away from the skin, and the core of the diaper is completely unfolded

What features exist?

Refastenable Tabs

Bariatric diapers with tabs can either have tabs that stick once or refastenable tabs. Refastenable tabs can be pulled off the diaper and refastened as many times as you need without losing stickiness. That way, you can make sure you get the perfect fit.

Sturdiness of tabs

“Strong tabs” or “study tabs” mean that they’re less likely to rip, so you can feel more confident. They’re also typically a little more comfortable.

Stretchy sides

“Stretchy sides” or “stretchy tabs” are easier to stretch across the hips, and tend to be more comfortable.

Amount of tabs

Some bariatric diapers have two tabs (one on each side) and some have four (two on each side). Which style works best for you is typically just a matter of personal preference, but in general, two-tab styles are easier to put on, and four-tab styles are a little sturdier.

Leg gathers

Some bariatric diapers will have “leg gathers,” also called “leg guards.” These are pieces of fabric that run along the leg holes in diapers and catch leaks before they can spill out.

High-rise fits

Some bariatric diapers have a “high-rise fit.” This means that they have a longer front and back panel, so they can more thoroughly cover the back and belly.

Backing material

All of our bariatric diapers with tabs have cloth-like outer backing, meaning they’re quiet, breathable, and better for your skin

Look out for diapers that have plastic backing, as these can trap harmful vapors from incontinence and damaged skin

Wetness indicators

All of our bariatric diapers come with wetness indicators. While each diaper looks slightly different, the diaper will always have a color-changing marker to indicate when it’s full. That way, you know when it’s time for a change.

Odor control

Bariatric adult diapers can feature odor control technology, so you feel fresh and clean.


How do I choose a bariatric diaper?

  1. Think about which features are the most important to you. If these diapers are for someone else, talk to them about what they’ve used in the past and what they did or didn’t like about it
  2. Figure out which absorbency you need. If the wearer has bowel incontinence or heavier accidents, you’ll want to go for a higher absorbency
  3. Measure the waist and hips of whoever will be wearing the diaper, whether it's you or a loved one. Use whichever of those two numbers are larger to reference our sizing guides.

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 bariatric diapers are Prevail, Tranquility, McKesson, and TENA.

Our customers love:

Super absorbent and comfortable, this is the only diaper we carry that goes up to 4X - that means it can comfortably accommodate waist sizes of up to 106”.

Absorbent, comfortable, and affordable, this is a common choice for many of our users and caregivers


Brittany's Pro-Tip

Having a plus-sized pants size does not mean you need plus-sized diapers! To make sure you get the right size, you'll want to measure both your waist and hip sizes in inches, then use the larger of the two numbers to reference the sizing guides we provide with each product.

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