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10 Best Adult Diapers. Detailed Review.

Verified by Kiera Powell, R.N. and written by Chad Birt on Wed Feb 17 2021.
Medically Verified

There are dozens of incontinence products on the market, but what are the best adult diapers? This is an important question, especially if you care for someone with bladder or bowel control issues. 

Before we discuss which diapers are best, it’s important to have a basic understanding of incontinence products. The more you know about the different types, their respective capabilities, and sizing, the easier it is to make an informed decision.

This article answers the following questions:

  • What are the different types of adult diapers?

  • Which factors should I consider when buying diapers?

  • Is there anything else I should know about adult diapers?

  • What are the top 10 best adult diapers for 2021?

  • Best adult diapers comparison table

What are the different types of adult diapers?

Adult diapers fall into three main categories: Pull ups, Reusable Diapers, and Adult briefs.

Pull-ups

Pull-ups mimic traditional underwear. They’re typically thin, made of cloth-like materials, and fit discreetly under pants or a dress. However, these products are particularly beneficial for people with only mild incontinence who are still relatively independent

Consider pull-up diapers for your loved one if:

  1. They’re only mildly or moderately incontinent.

  2. They’re able to make it to the bathroom sometimes.

  3. They’re coordinated enough to pull underwear up and down.

Reusable Diapers

Reusable diapers are made from cloths of various absorbencies. They can be safely washed and dried with other clothing and then worn again. 

Consider reusable diapers for your loved one if:

  1. They have sensitive skin.

  2. They have light or very mild urinary incontinence.

  3. They’re still relatively mobile and independent.

Adult briefs 

Adult briefs fit snugly around the abdomen, crotch, and rear. They have flexible tabs on either side, allowing for a comfortable fit. These incontinence products are incredibly absorbent and contain a thick core that wicks away moisture and odors. 

Consider adult briefs for your loved one if:

  1. They need your help when changing.

  2. They experience heavy incontinence, including bowel incontinence.

  3. They’re disabled or bedridden.

Learn MoreAdult Pull-Ups vs Diapers

Which factors should I consider when buying diapers?

In order to get the best possible diaper for your senior’s needs, it’s important to do a little bit of research. Because online product listings can get confusing, we recommend focusing on four specific factors –– size, backing material, absorbency, and odor elimination.

Size

It’s critical that the diapers you use fit your loved one’s body. A diaper that’s too small or too large increases the risk of leaks, overflow accidents, rashes, and infection. 

This video explains how to determine the right fit for an adult diaper:

Pro tip: Every diaper manufacturer has different sizing guidelines. Make sure to compare your measurements with the sizing information provided on the product packaging.

Backing material

There are two types of adult incontinence products –– cloth-backed and plastic-backed. 

Cloth-backed diapers are made from fabric-like materials and allow for plenty of airflow. These features lower the risk of odors and ensure a comfortable wearing experience.

Plastic-backed diapers are more absorbent, but they aren’t as breathable. These diapers are more likely to cause a rash or an infection.

Absorbency

The average adult bladder holds approximately 16 fluid ounces. When considering the absorbency of a product, ask the following questions:

  • When will the diapers be worn? People tend to urinate more heavily at night.

  • What type of incontinence is being treated? Urinary, fecal, or both? Make sure the product you choose offers the right protection.

  • Does your loved one have any allergies? Certain materials can cause the skin to develop a rash.

The more absorbent the incontinence product, the better. When urine or fecal matter are able to pool, it’s not only uncomfortable but dangerous.

Odor elimination

The bacteria in urine and fecal matter emits odors and harmful vapors. Together, these factors increase the risk of urinary tract infections and skin problems. Try to find a diaper that offers bacteria-neutralizing features. Keywords to look for include “breathable,” “moisture-wicking,” or “odor locked-in.”

Is there anything else I should know about adult diapers?

Shopping for adult diapers can be overwhelming. There are so many brands, styles, and key features to choose from that making the right decision can seem like an impossible task. If this is your first time buying adult diapers, prepare for some trial and error. Until your loved one tries several products on, you won’t know what fits best, is most comfortable, or meets their needs.

If you want to save time, consider asking friends or family members for recommendations. You can also browse our incontinence product listings to read the associated FAQs, reviews, and customer comments.

What are the 10 Best Adult Diapers of 2021?

We carry a wide variety of incontinence products on the Carewell website. Below, we’ve listed our top 10 of our most popular offerings:

  1. Tranquility Premium OverNight Pull-Up Underwear

  2. Prevail Pull-Up Underwear, Maximum

  3. McKesson Ultra Pull-Up Underwear, Heavy

  4. TENA Overnight Super Protective Incontinence Underwear, Overnight Absorbency

  5. McKesson Ultra Briefs with Tabs, Heavy

  6. Prevail Daily Pull-Up Underwear For Women, Maximum

  7. Prevail Bariatric Briefs with Tabs, Ultimate

  8. Tranquility ATN All-Through-The-Night Disposable Briefs with Tabs, Maximum

  9. Tranquility Air-Plus Bariatric Disposable Briefs with Tabs, Maximum

  10. Cardinal Sure Care Protective Pull-Up Underwear, Plus

01 Tranquility® Premium Overnight Pull-Up Underwear

This premium overnight pull-up underwear from Tranquility is one of our top sellers. The product comes in various sizes, from small to extra-large, and features odor-eliminating technology. Each pull-up has an absorbent peach mat core, capable of holding high-volume urine and bowel voids. 

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Key Benefits & Features:

  • Tear-away sides for easy removal

  • A cloth-back that’s breathable, comfortable, and silent

  • Odor control technology that neutralizes urine

  • Soft, full-rise waist panel for a comfortable fit

02 Prevail® Pull-Up Underwear, Maximum

These pull-ups from Prevail look and feel like normal underwear. The only real difference is that they offer heavy absorbency, allowing for protection against mild or moderate urinary incontinence. Each pair contains proprietary QUICK WICK with MaxSoft technology that pulls moisture away from the skin, keeping your loved one comfortable and dry.

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Key Benefits & Features:

  • Pull-ups contain MaxSorb technology that quickly turns liquid into a gel

  • Offers a tight but comfortable fit around the waist and legs

  • Soft 

  • Easy to size

03 McKesson Ultra Pull-Up Underwear, Heavy

McKesson ultra pull-ups are incredibly comfortable and look just like regular underwear. The material is breathable and stretchy, allowing for a full range of motion. These pull-ups fit discreetly under clothing and make no noise. Their dual-layer core draws moisture away from the skin and locks it away, keeping your senior clean and dry.

Add to Cart

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Built-in odor guards that reduce the pH of urine

  • Comfort stretch waist for a perfect fit

  • Capable of holding large voids

  • No risk of overflow

04 TENA Overnight™ Super Protective Incontinence Underwear, Overnight Absorbency

This disposable underwear from TENA offers complete overnight protection for both bowel and urinary incontinence. The material is thin and comfortable and features ConfioAir® technology which helps balance and maintain the skin’s natural moisture. Each pair of underwear has a wide back for complete protection, no matter your favorite sleep position.

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Key Benefits & Features:

  • Unique design that allows for an ergonomic fit

  • Each diaper has a pad at the back for increased absorbency and protection

  • Secure barrier system that prevents leaks and overflow

  • Free of allergens like rubber and latex 

05 McKesson Ultra Briefs with Tabs, Heavy

McKesson Ultra Briefs with Tabs, Heavy

If your loved one experiences heavy incontinence, consider McKesson ultra briefs. These adult diapers are made from premium materials that prevent moisture from pooling and neutralize the pH in urine. Each diaper has a number of adjustable tabs, allowing for the perfect fit.

Add to Cart

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Breathable cloth-like backing

  • Leg gathers to prevent leaks

  • Refastenable tabs for easy adjustments

  • Each diaper has a color guard that appears when wet

06 Prevail® Daily Pull-Up Underwear for Women

Prevail® Daily Pull-Up Underwear for Women

These adult diapers are specifically designed for women. They look and feel like regular underwear but contain QUICK WICK Maxsoft technology that immediately lifts away moisture. Because women need specialized incontinence protection, these diapers hold absorbent beads in specific areas, lowering the risk of a leak.

Add to Cart

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Great for women with mild or moderate urinary incontinence

  • Each diaper has an AirMax layer designed to trap moisture

  • Each diaper has a back indicator, making application easy

  • Made from cotton-enhanced dri-fit fabric

07 Prevail® Bariatric Briefs with Tabs, Ultimate

Prevail® Bariatric Briefs with Tabs, Ultimate

Bariatric briefs are designed for larger individuals. Prevail’s are unisex style and offer protection from both urinary and bowel incontinence. Each diaper is made from a comfortable, cloth-like material that absorbs moisture and reduces heat. They have reusable tabs, allowing you to easily adjust the fit to your loved one’s needs.

Add to Cart

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Heavy absorbency

  • Free of allergens, including latex and rubber

  • Omni-odor guard stops smells in their tracks

  • Ventilated fabric around the entire waist

08 Tranquility® All-Through-The-Night Disposable Briefs with Tabs, Maximum

Tranquility® All-Through-The-Night Disposable Briefs with Tabs, Maximum

Here at Carewell, we’re big fans of Tranquility and highly recommend their products. These All-Through-The-Night (ATN) briefs offer a full eight hours of incontinence protection, so your senior can get a restful, rejuvenating sleep. What’s more, the built-in wetness indicator makes it easy to determine if it’s time for a new diaper.

Add to Cart

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Leak-proof fit that provides peace-of-mind

  • Refastenable tabs for easy adjustments

  • Peach mat core that keeps moisture away from the skin

  • Leg guards to prevent leaks or an overflow

09 Tranquility Air-Plus Bariatric Disposable Briefs with Tabs, Maximum

Tranquility Air-Plus Bariatric Disposable Briefs with Tabs, Maximum

These disposable adult diapers are designed for plus-sized individuals (4X-Large). They’re heavy-duty, have a breathable cloth-backing, and can hold urine or stool. In addition, their unique high-rise fit allows for extra protection whether you’re sitting or lying down. 

Add to Cart

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Each diaper has a wetness indicator that changes color when it’s full

  • Looks and feels like normal underwear

  • Peach mat core locks in moisture, preventing irritation

  • Refastenable tabs for an ideal fit

10 Cardinal Sure Care Protective Pull-Up Underwear, Plus

Cardinal Sure Care Protective Pull-Up Underwear, Plus

Cardinal Sure Care adult diapers come in four different levels of absorbency –– extra, plus, ultra, and super. They feature a cloth-like top sheet that feels like real underwear but are capable of protecting your loved one from heavy urine or bowel incontinence. Thanks to their super-absorbent core, it’s easy to quickly lock away fluids.

Add to Cart

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Leg gathers to prevent leaks or an overflow

  • Tear-away side panels for easy removal

  • Odor protection 

  • Back indicators for easy application

Adult Diaper Comparison Table

[missing table: https://www.carewell.com/resources/blog/best-adult-diapers-2021/]

*Peach Mat Guarantee® The Peach Mat construction uses a proprietary composite structure of tissues, superabsorbent polymers, cellulose, and liquid dispersing materials. The peach-colored core assures the product is the Tranquility brand.

Shop Adult Diapers or see our Adult Diaper Guide

What if I still have questions about adult diapers?

Choosing the right adult diaper for urinary or bowel incontinence isn’t easy. If you’re still unsure what type of adult diaper will most benefit you or your loved one, reach out to our friendly Care Team. You can contact them via phone at (855) 855-1666 or you can send an email to support@carewell.com

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Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance B2B and B2C medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.