Best Way to Choose Bariatric
Pull-Up Diapers

Posted by Brianna Maguire on Nov 13th 2020

Need a roomier fit? Bariatric protective underwear, or "plus-size protective underwear," are the ideal pull-up solution for people with larger bodies. With larger waistbands and a wider core, you can stay dry and forget about pinching from products that are too small. Plus, a more contoured fit means less leaks.

Learn about:

What are adult bariatric pull up diapers?

Plus size protective underwear, sometimes called "bariatric pull-ups," are an incontinence product shaped similarly to regular underwear. With an absorbent core and a stretchy waistband, these adult pullups are pulled up over the legs and around the belly. They're used to absorb urine and occasional bowel incontinence.

Note that plus-size adult protective underwear can only accommodate up to a 2XL waist size, or around an 80-inch waist. If you need a product larger than this, consider a bariatric diaper with tabs.

Who should use bariatric protective underwear?

Plus-sized adult pull-ups are ideal for those that are:

  • Waist sizes between 62-80 inches
  • Larger than a traditional pull-up can comfortably accommodate
  • Still relatively active and mobile
  • In need of more protection than an incontinence pad can provide
  • Experiencing mild to moderate incontinence
  • Caring for themselves
  • More comfortable with the look and feel of traditional underwear

Who shouldn't use them?

Plus-sized pull-ups are probably not a great choice for those that are:

  • Caring for someone else
  • Low mobility, or those who have low balance
  • Waist sizes larger than 80 inches - try a bariatric diaper with tabs instead
  • Bedridden

How do they work?

Adult pull-ups work by trapping incontinence inside, so you don't have to worry about leaks. Tiny absorbent beads called polymers soak up liquid and turn it into a gel, so skin feels dry. Plus-sized pull-ups also have a little extra wiggle room in the waistband and a wider core.

To put on a plus-sized pull-up, you just slide the product up your legs and over your belly, like traditional underwear

To remove a plus-sized pull-up, you can either slide it back down, or if the product has tear-away sides, you can rip each side open, then lift the pull-up off your body.

What features exist?

Wetness indicators

Some of our pull-ups come with a piece of fabric that changes color when the pull-up is full. That way, you know when it's time for a change. These are especially useful for caregivers and anyone who is using the pull-up on someone else.

Tear-away sides

Most of our pull-ups feature tear-away sides, meaning that they have seams on either side of the diaper that are easy to rip away. This is useful if you're caring for someone else, or if you don't like to completely remove your pants when taking off a pull-up.

Leg gathers

Leg guards are extra fabric that hugs the leg holes on pull-ups. Sometimes called “leg guards” or “leg cuffs,” these catch potential leaks.

Cloth-like backing material

Pull-ups with a cloth-like backing are breathable, soft, and typically have the most comfortable fit. Since the clothlike backing doesn't crinkle, they're also quiet and discreet.

Gender-specific designs

There are also some gender-specific options that provide extra support where you need it most.

Odor control

Many disposable pull-ups feature odor guarding technology, which uses pH neutralization to eliminate unpleasant odors.

How do I choose?

  1. Start by figuring out which features are the most important to you. If you’re worried about leaks, for example, you may want to look for a pull-up with leg cuffs.
  2. Next, decide which absorbency you need. For occasional leaks, a light pull-up is probably fine, but for overnight protection, you’ll want to go with something that’s super absorbent.
  3. Determine your size. Measure your waist and hips in inches, then use that number to reference our sizing charts.
  4. Still have questions? Our friendly Care Team are product experts, and always happy to help. Call us at 855-855-1666 for more guidance.

Carewell's recommendations

Our customers love plus-sized pull-ups from brands like PrevailAttendsTranquility, and McKesson.

For heavy or overnight protection, we recommend:

Affordable, absorbent, and comfortable, these diapers have a contoured fit and a wider core, so you don't have to worry about leaks.

Shop now

For lighter absorbency, we recommend:

These pull-ups are soft, comfortable, and made of a cloth-like material that lets your skin breathe.

Shop now

Brittany's pro-tips

Just because you wear a 2XL size in clothing, that doesn't mean you need a 2XL adult pull-up. Be sure to take your waist and hip measurements before choosing a size! When in doubt, you can always call us at 855-855-1666 or email us at

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