Best Way to Choose Women's
Protective Underwear

Posted by Brianna Maguire on Nov 13th 2020

Many women experience incontinence, especially as they age. Stay in charge of your own body with women’s pull-up diapers for adults, designed for discretion, dryness, and odorlessness. Finding the right incontinence products means no more worrying about leaks, whether you need light daytime protection or more absorbent nighttime coverage. Some of our pull-ups are even strong enough to handle bowel incontinence.

At Carewell, we offer everything from thin, underwear-like briefs to ultra-absorbent overnight pull-ups, so no matter your needs, we’re there for you.

Learn about:

What are women's protective underwear?

Women’s protective underwear are incontinence products that looks a little like a bulkier version of real underwear. They’re also called disposable underwear or women’s pull-ups. With a thick core and a stretchy waistband, these slide up the legs and over the belly, just like underwear. Women’s pull-ups sometimes feature a more feminine design, like a different color or a pattern.

What's the difference between women's protective
underwear and unisex protective underwear?

There are three main differences between women's pull-ups and unisex pull-ups. In general, it's better to go with a gender-specific option, even though unisex products tend to be a little cheaper.


Unisex protective underwear carries polymers (the tiny absorbent beads) in the core. Gender-specific underwear, however, will carry polymer wherever that specific gender needs it most. For women, this means that there's extra absorbency in the bottom.


Women's pull-ups feature more feminine styles, like pretty lavender colors.


Women's protective underwear are specially shaped to fit a woman's body, so the fit is more comfortable and snug. Better fitting underwear means less accidents and more comfort!

Who should use women's protective underwear?

Women’s incontinence underwear are ideal for:

  • Women caring for themselves
  • Women who are mobile, active, and have relative balance
  • Women who prefer the look and feel of regular underwear
  • Women who don’t like bladder pads, or find they aren’t absorbent enough for their needs

Who shouldn't use these products?

Women’s incontinence underwear are not a good choice for:

  • Men
  • Caregivers looking for a product to put on someone else
  • Those with low mobility and balance
  • Those who need an incontinence product larger than a 2XL size
  • Those with heavy incontinence, such as bowel incontinence

How do they work?

Pull-ups work because the core is filled with polymers, tiny beads that soak up moisture and turn it into gel. For women’s pull-ups, in particular, polymer is kept in the middle of the core, where most women tend to void.

How to put pull-up diapers on:

  • Step into the pull-up, one leg at a time
  • Slide the underwear up your legs, just like regular underwear

How to take pull-up diapers off:

  • Tear away one of the side seams, then the other
  • Lift the protective underwear off your body and throw in the trash
  • If there’s any bowel incontinence, be sure to cleanse the body before putting on another product

What features exist?

Tear-away sides

  1. Tear-away sides are a pull-up feature that allows you to tear the underwear off one side at a time with an easy-tear seam, so you don’t have to take off your pants.

Wetness indicators

If a protective underwear includes a “wetness indicator,” that means there’s a color-changing feature on the back that tells you when the pull-up has reached capacity and needs to be changed

Feminine colors and designs

Women’s pull up diapers can come in attractive designs and colors like nude, purple, and black, so you feel more confident

Leg gathers

Leg gathers, also called “leg guards” or “leg cuffs,” are strips of fabric that line the leg holes of some absorbent underwear, providing an extra line of defense against potential leaks

Cloth-like backing material

Absorbent underwear with cloth-like backing material have a cloth-like exterior. These are typically more comfortable and more breathable, leading to better skin health. Plus, the cloth is quiet and discreet.

How do I choose?

  1. Decide which features from the list above you’d prefer
  2. Figure out what absorbency you need. Our women’s pull-ups range from light, which is great for occasional daytime leaks, to overnight, ideal for nighttime or very heavy incontinence. Consider how long you’ll need to go between changes, and whether you’ll need something for all-night protection
  3. Determine your pull-up diaper size by measuring your waist and hip size in inches, then choosing the larger of the two numbers when reading our sizing guides
  4. Still can’t decide? Call our friendly Care Team at 855-855-1666. We’re product experts and we love to help!

Carewell's recommendations

When it comes to Women’s Pull-Ups, our customers love brands like PrevailAttendsTranquilityand TENA.

Our favorite women's protective underwear are:

Super stretchy and breathable, these pull-ups are as comfortable as they are absorbent!

Shop now

Prevail Daily Pull-Up Underwear For Women, Maximum

Super absorbent and affordable, these are a great all-around choice for women looking for the right pull-up

Shop now

Brittany's pro-tips

Having trouble figuring out which side is which? Pull-ups feature markings on the backside, so you can always tell which side is the back. Look for colored strings, the sizing stamp, or any other abnormal markings to figure out which side goes in the back.

Shop Women's Protective Underwear