7 Best Diapers for Adult Seniors: Disposable Briefs

Best Adult Diapers | Maintaining Dignity | Features | Types of Adult Diapers | Tips

Many people feel self-conscious when they have challenges with incontinence – the inability to always control the bladder or bowel.

However, it’s a surprisingly common condition. In fact, over half of adults 65 years and older experience some degree of incontinence, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control!

There are lots of reasons seniors can have challenges getting to the bathroom on time every time.

Some struggle with occasional leaks and dribbles, especially when they laugh, cough, or sneeze. Others have trouble getting to the bathroom on time during the night, or when traveling.

For some seniors, it’s the result of a medical condition.

Because there is such a wide range of needs, there’s also a wide range of products available. It can be confusing or overwhelming to sort through all the variations! We’ve examined what’s out there and we’re highlighting some of the best diapers for adult seniors in a range of situations. 

So, whether you’re looking for the best pull up diapers for adults or the most absorbent diapers for adults, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also go over some of the most important features to be aware of when shopping for incontinent briefs or medical diapers for adults. 

Let’s start with a look at our choice for Overall Best Adult Pull-Up Diaper, NorthShore GoSupreme Pull-On Incontinence Underwear. These disposable underwear are easy for seniors to manage on their own, yet absorbent enough for almost any need.

Best Adult Briefs and Diapers for Incontinence

1. NorthShore GoSupreme Pull-On Incontinence Underwear

Best Adult Pull-Up Diapers
NorthShore GoSupreme Pull-On Incontinence Underwear for Men and Women, Medium, Case/56 (4/14s)

NorthShore GoSupreme Pull-On Incontinence Underwear

Flexible, strong adult diapers that won’t leave you leaking

NorthShore GoSupreme Pull-On Incontinence Underwear has it all! It’s flexible enough to fit the most active seniors, strong enough to stand up to both bladder and bowel incontinence, and absorbent enough to last all night long for uninterrupted sleep. To find all of these features in a comfortable and convenient adult pull-on style is a rarity!

Core Features:

  • Use for bowel or bladder incontinence
  • Dual leak guards around the legs
  • Overnight absorbency
  • Comfort-fit waistband

The generous elastic waistband comfortably grips the midsection for a close and flexible fit for seniors with active lifestyles. The dual leak guards around the leg cuffs prevent leaks, even for seniors who like to sleep on their side. In fact, GoSupreme is one of the best leak proof diapers for adults we’ve found.

Northshore offers extra-wide coverage in both the front and rear, making it suitable for both bladder and bowel incontinence. The absorbent lining wicks wetness away from the surface, so it protects the skin from moisture for up to eight hours. The wetness indicator makes it easy to tell from the outside whether a change is needed.

Technical Specifications

  • Sizing: Small – 3X Large
  • Absorbency:  Maximum (38 oz / 8 hours)
  • Gender: Unisex 
  • Style: Pull-Up
  • Reusable: No

Pros

  • Overnight absorbency
  • Suitable for bladder or bowel incontinence
  • Close, comfortable, flexible fit 

Cons

  • European sizing runs small – pay attention to the sizing chart
  • Ships from Europe, so shipping cost and speed may be affected at times

2. Always Discreet Underwear

Best for Post-Menopausal Incontinence
Always Discreet Incontinence & Postpartum Incontinence Underwear for Women, Small/Medium, Maximum Protection, Disposable, 32 count (Pack of 2) (Packaging may vary)

Always Discreet Underwear

Discreet underwear that works great for post-menopausal women

Designed for a sleek and comfortable fit, and a fabric-like feel, Always Discreet Underwear can be a great choice for active older women who’d rather avoid bulky products that feel like diapers. 

Core Features:

  • Form-fitting slim design 
  • Overnight protection
  • Neutralizes odors

These Always Underwear feature specially designed leg cuffs that prevent leaks, and a super absorbent core that transforms liquid to gel, so there’s no worry about wetness or odors.

The pretty little bows and flowers clearly show which way faces front, so it’s easy to ensure a comfortable fit with optimal protection from leaks.

Technical Specifications

  • Sizing: Small – XX-Large
  • Absorbency: Maximum
  • Gender: Female 
  • Style: Pull-Up
  • Reusable: No

Pros

  • Slim fit
  • Highly absorbent

Cons

  • Not made for bowel incontinence
  • Not optimized for men

3. Tranquility Premium Overnight Disposable Underwear

Best Overnight Adult Diaper
Tranquility Prem Overnight Disp Absorb Underwear MED 72CT

Tranquility Premium Overnight Disposable Underwear

High-absorbency disposable underwear that’s ideal for wearing overnight

The Tranquility Premium Overnight Disposable Underwear provides an ultra-high absorbency product strong enough to handle both bladder and bowel incontinence. More than that, it’s designed to wick moisture away from sensitive skin, neutralize pH, and inhibit bacterial growth – all of which make a big difference in healthy, comfortable skin.

Core Features:

  • Neutralizes pH and inhibits bacterial growth
  • Soft and quiet for a discreet experience
  • Tearaway sides for easy removal
  • Inner leg cuffs prevent leaks
  • Odor reduction

These Tranquility underwear are designed to stay put comfortably, even for active daytime use – or a night of tossing and turning. Its flexible, breathable waistband and cuffed inner leg design provide a body-hugging fit that prevents leaks.

Tranquility’s outer layer is soft and quiet, for a discreet experience with no noisy crinkling. 

The Tranquility’s tearaway side feature means it’s really easy to remove. There’s no struggling with a mess, even if stool is present.

Technical Specifications

  • Sizing: X-Small – 2X Large
  • Absorbency:  Maximum (34 oz / Overnight)
  • Gender: Unisex 
  • Style: Pull-Up
  • Reusable: No

Pros

  • Promotes skin health by neutralizing pH and reducing bacterial growth
  • Flexible, comfortable fit for active adults or restless sleepers
  • Ultra-absorbent
  • Odor reduction

Cons

  • No wetness indicator on the outside

4. Depend Real Fit Incontinence Underwear for Men

Best Adult Diaper for Men
Depend Real Fit Incontinence Underwear for Men, Maximum Absorbency, Disposable, Large/Extra-Large, Grey, 52 Count (Packaging May Vary)

Depend Real Fit Incontinence Underwear for Men

Slim and discreet incontinence underwear for men, with masculine colors

The name Depend has been synonymous with incontinence protection for years, and these Depend Real Fit Incontinence Underwear for Men don’t disappoint! They look and feel a lot like regular men’s briefs, with a slim fit, a soft, cotton-like feel, and masculine color options. They’re comfortable, discreet, dignified, and effective.  

Core Features:

  • Breathable fabric-like feel
  • Masculine colors
  • Slim, discreet fit

These Depend Underwear for Men offer a comfortable slim fit without sacrificing absorbency. They can be worn discreetly under jeans, yet provide ample protection from wetness and leaks. This men’s disposable underwear is designed to fit a man’s body by providing optimal absorption right where it’s needed. 

The absorbent material effectively locks away wetness, providing a dry, comfortable experience throughout the day or night. The leg cuffs are specially tailored to prevent leaks for active men, and the adult pull-up design is convenient to take on and off.

Technical Specifications

  • Sizing: Small – X Large
  • Absorbency:  Maximum
  • Gender: Male 
  • Style: Pull up
  • Reusable: No

Pros

  • Look and feel similar to men’s underwear

Cons

  • Not designed for women
  • Not optimized for bowel incontinence

5. Depend Silhouette Incontinence Underwear for Women

Best Adult Diaper for Women
Depend Silhouette Incontinence Underwear for Women, Maximum Absorbency, Disposable, Medium, Lavender/Teal/Berry, 14 Count

Depend Silhouette Incontinence Underwear for Men

Slim, discreet disposable underwear for women with bright, fun colors

These Depend Silhouette Incontinence Underwear are perfect for senior women who need protection from wetness but don’t want to compromise on a comfortable product. Their selection of pretty colors is more than icing on the cake – it can make a big difference for women who don’t want to feel like they’re wearing a bulky diaper. 

Core Features:

  • Locks away odors without added perfumes 
  • Looks and feels a lot like undies
  • Available in pretty colors
  • Ultra-soft fabric-like feel

Active women appreciate the comfort and flexibility of the Silhouette. The soft, fabric-like feel is comfortable, quiet, and discreet. 

The absorbent product in the Silhouette locks away liquids and odors without added perfumes, which can increase the risk of irritation or infection in some women. 

Technical Specifications

  • Sizing: Small – X-Large
  • Absorbency:  Maximum
  • Gender: Female 
  • Style: Pull-Up
  • Reusable: No

Pros

  • Pretty feminine colors
  • Soft and comfortable 

Cons

  • Not designed for men
  • Not optimized for bowel incontinence

6. McKesson Ultra Adult Incontinence Tab Brief

Most Size Options
McKesson Ultra Briefs, Incontinence, Heavy Absorbency, Large, 18 Count, 1 Pack

McKesson Ultra Adult Incontinence Tab Brief

Incontinent briefs with tabs for easy changing

McKesson Ultra Adult Incontinence Tab Brief offers an array of sizes for a good fit, and because the tabs can be placed where needed, it’s easy to get a comfortable custom fit. They work well for both men and women. These incontinent briefs with tabs are especially useful for seniors who are confined to a bed or wheelchair, but they can also be worn by those who can walk around on their own.

Core Features:

  • Leg cuffs provide protection from leaks
  • Tab briefs are easier to change in bed
  • Neutralizes pH for skin health

These McKesson tab briefs are optimized for both bowel and bladder incontinence, and their leg cuffs provide added protection against leaks. They’re easy for a caregiver to change in bed. However, they’re not as easy as pull-ups for a senior to put on or take off on their own in the bathroom. 

McKesson’s absorbent material neutralizes pH, which helps protect vulnerable skin from the effects of incontinence. This is important for reducing the chance of rashes and skin breakdown!

Note that these McKesson Ultras are designed for “heavy” absorbency, which is a little less than “maximum”. McKesson’s Extended Wear Stretch Briefs might work better for overnight wear, or for seniors who need the highest absorbency in a tab-style brief. 

Technical Specifications

  • Sizing: Small – 2X Large
  • Absorbency:  Heavy
  • Gender: Unisex 
  • Style: Tab
  • Reusable: No

Pros

  • Tab briefs provide a more customizable fit
  • Neutralizes pH for healthy skin
  • Easier to change in bed

Cons

  • “Heavy” absorbency may not be enough for those who need “Maximum” protection  
  • May be bulkier and more difficult to put on independently than pull-ups

7. Speax by Thinx Reusable Incontinence Underwear for Women

Best Reusable Option
Speax by Thinx | Hi-Waist | Incontinence Underwear for Women | Leak Proof Underwear for Women | Washable Incontinence Underwear Women | Bladder Control Underwear for Women | Feminine Care

Speax by Thinx

Real panties that can be washed and re-used with built-in leak protection

These Speax Reusable Incontinence Underwear are real panties with built-in leak protection that provide a comfortable, dry, and fresh experience for older women with some mild incontinence. They’re a great alternative for women who want to do away with disposable pantyliners.  

Core Features:

  • Odor protection
  • Machine washable
  • Soft, breathable, and dry

These Speax panties are designed to wick moisture and trap odors away behind a breathable barrier, without feeling wet or bulky. Both skin and clothing stay dry.

Because there are no pads to change or dispose of, there’s less waste and less impact on the environment. While the initial investment is higher than a box of pantiliners, because they can be reused they should pay for themselves over time.

The Speax adult protective underwear are also easier to handle for many seniors, especially those with confusion or dexterity issues that make changing pantiliners problematic. Simply remove them at the end of the day, or when needed, and drop them in the laundry. Machine wash and hang dry.

Technical Specifications

  • Sizing: X-Small – 3X Large
  • Absorbency:  Light to moderate (1.3 oz)
  • Gender: Female 
  • Style: Pull-Up
  • Reusable: Yes

Pros

  • Reusable and machine washable
  • Comfortable, soft, and breathable

Cons

  • Higher initial investment
  • Limited absorption

8. Hippo Sak Incontinent Undergarment Disposal Bags

Best Adult Diaper Disposal Bags
Hippo Sak Incontinence Undergarment Disposal Bags (375 Count)

Hippo Sak Incontinent Undergarment Disposal Bags

On-the-go bags used for disposing of used incontinence underwear

The Hippo Sak Disposal Bags are perfect for discreetly disposing of soiled incontinence underwear, either at home or on the go. They are opaque for privacy, fragrance-free, and designed to hold in even tough odors. 

Core Features:

  • Discreet
  • Blocks odors
  • Reinforced bottom
  • Comes with a compact dispenser

These Hippo bags are made especially for this purpose, so they are sized right for the job. At 20 x 15 inches, they are large enough to hold one or two large adult diapers, although many seniors have also used them to transport wet clothing – or even empty the kitty litter box!

The Hippo Sak’s reinforced seams mean they’re strong enough to do the job without any messy mishaps. 

The included dispenser is handy, convenient, and practical.  

Maintaining an Elderly Senior’s Dignity

senior dignity with adult diapers

While incontinence is nothing to be ashamed of, many seniors are nonetheless embarrassed about the need to wear a diaper or adult disposable underwear. It’s important to protect your loved one’s dignity at all times, especially if they’re a little sensitive about the subject.

One way to protect their dignity is to avoid using the term “diaper”, which is often associated with babies.

Instead, many people find it more respectful to refer to adult diapers as “briefs”, or call them by their brand name, like “Depends”. Other alternative names for adult diapers include: 

  • Disposable underwear
  • Absorbent underwear
  • Incontinence underwear
  • Bladder leak protection

Features to Consider in an Adult Diaper

As you’re looking for an adult diaper that can meet your – or your senior loved one’s – needs, it will help to understand some of these basic features. 

Moisture Wicking

Wetness can be extremely hard on the skin, and acidic fluids like urine are especially damaging. Seniors who aren’t able to change their brief right away when it becomes wet should look for incontinence underwear designed to wick moisture away from the skin. 

Moisture-wicking adult diapers pull wetness away from the skin, which goes a long way towards reducing complications such as rashes or skin breakdown.

Moisture-wicking disposable underwear can be an excellent choice to allow a senior an uninterrupted night’s sleep or a worry-free trip in a car or airplane. However, these products can’t protect skin against stool – they must be changed right away in the case of bowel incontinence.

Absorbency Level

Absorbency

Different incontinence products are designed to absorb different amounts of fluid. Seniors who experience occasional small leaks or dribbles can get by with a lower absorbency disposable underwear, while those who put out large amounts of urine will do better with a higher absorbency.

Lower absorbency products are often – but not always – less costly and less bulky.

Bowel Incontinence

While some incontinence underwear products are made to stand up to stool, not all are. Briefs for bowel incontinence are designed with some key differences to contain the solids and prevent messes. If bowel incontinence is a concern, be sure to choose adult diapers made with stool in mind.

Flexibility

While sedentary seniors may not need a particularly flexible adult diaper, those who are active will want this feature. Flexibility translates to fewer leaks, more comfort, and better security for seniors who move around much.

Flexibility helps the disposable brief stay in place during activity – whether that activity is running errands, playing pickleball, or just tossing and turning throughout a restless night of sleep. 

Sizing

It’s probably not a surprise that wearing the wrong size adult diapers or briefs will be uncomfortable! But more than that, briefs that are too small can increase the likelihood of skin rashes or affect circulation in the legs. Incontinent briefs that are too big will feel bulkier and will be more likely to leak.

adult diaper sizing

Disposable briefs should fit snugly around the abdomen and legs – but not so tight that they cut off circulation!

The easiest way to find the correct fit is to measure the widest part of the abdomen, and the widest part of the hips. Use the larger measurement to determine the proper size from the particular brand you’ve selected.  

Types of Adult Diapers and Briefs

Tab Diapers

adult tab diaper

Tab briefs resemble traditional diapers. They wrap around the hips and have adhesive or velcro-like tabs to hold them in place. 

Tab diapers are usually easier for a caregiver to put on or take off a senior in bed. They’re usually designed to absorb larger amounts of fluid and to contain stool.

The downside of tab diapers is that they tend to feel bulkier and be harder for someone to put on or take off themselves. 

Pull-Ups

adult pull up diaper

Pullup briefs – sometimes called pull-on briefs, or disposable underwear – look and fit more like underwear than a diaper.

They tend to feel more comfortable and less bulky than tab briefs. They’re easier for most seniors to put on or take off when standing or sitting, but they can be a challenge to handle while laying down in bed.

Adult pull-ups come in a variety of absorbencies, and some feature moisture-wicking technology. Some are designed to handle stool, but many aren’t. Be sure to check carefully that the specific style you select matches your particular needs.

Reusable Cloth Diapers Versus Disposables 

cloth diapers

Most incontinence underwear these days are disposable, however, there’s a quickly growing market for reusable briefs as well.  

Seniors who choose reusable products like reducing their impact on the environment – and not having to constantly restock their supply. Reusable products tend to have a higher cost upfront, but over time many pay for themselves as compared to continually buying disposables. 

Disposable diapers have their strong points as well.

Seniors appreciate the convenience of tossing a mess in the trash, rather than having to launder it. In many cases, disposable diapers are less prone to leaking, although this isn’t always true.

Like disposables, reusable diapers are available in a variety of styles from underwear to tab (or snap) style briefs. 

Reusable diapers are available in a variety of fabrics, which have different pros and cons. For example, flannel is not as absorbent as gauze, but it’s tougher and lasts longer.

5 Tips for Using Diapers with Adult Seniors

Countless seniors have faced challenges with incontinence over the years – and they’ve learned some valuable lessons in that time about how to navigate the journey with grace and avoid unnecessary pitfalls. Here are some of their top tips!

1. Make Skin Care a Priority!

The importance of prioritizing skincare can’t be overstated! While some rashes and skin issues may seem like minor irritations, these problems can quickly spiral out of control. Skin issues can get bad quickly and can be hard to treat in seniors who wear incontinence underwear or diapers.

While taking good care of skin is important for all seniors, it’s incredibly vital for those who are at the greatest risk for developing hard-to-treat skin issues, such as those who:

  • Can’t (or won’t) move or change their position on their own
  • Are exposed to wetness frequently, or for prolonged periods
  • Are frail, diabetic, or have conditions that affect their ability to heal
  • Have a history of sensitive skin

To prevent adult diaper rash and other incontinence-related skin concerns:

  • Change briefs promptly when wet. (For most seniors, it’s fine to use overnight moisture-wicking briefs according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most moisture-wicking adult diapers are designed for about eight hours of wear before they need to be replaced, and they must be changed right away for bowel incontinence.)
  • Gently clean any skin exposed to urine or stool with a warm washcloth or wet wipe with each brief change.
  • Pat skin dry – don’t rub it.
  • Use over-the-counter barrier products to protect fragile skin from moisture. 
  • If possible, let the skin enjoy periods of fresh air from time to time.

2. Select Different Styles for Different Uses

Many seniors find that using a selection of different incontinence products in different situations gives them the best comfort, protection, and bang for their buck. 

For example, a senior may find that lightweight disposable underwear provides good flexibility and plenty of protection during the day, while a heavy-duty moisture-wicking brief will last better through the night. 

incontinence underwear

3. Use Other Incontinent Products as Needed

In addition to diapers and briefs, it can help to use other products for managing incontinence. For example, waterproof mattress pads, disposable bed pads, washable bed pads, or incontinence bed sheets can offer extra protection against leaks in the night. This can mean the difference between a major headache and a minor inconvenience when a little wetness leaks through!

4. Underwear Over Where?

One favorite tip from seniors in the know is that wearing regular underwear over the top of ill-fitting disposable briefs can improve their fit and reduce leaks. 

Obviously, it’s best to find disposable underwear that fits well on its own, but some body shapes just have more trouble than others with this.

Also, it’s not uncommon to end up with a package or two of briefs that aren’t quite right, so this little trick can be a big help under certain circumstances.  

diaper pile

5. Keep a Bag Handy

Most seniors don’t realize how helpful it can be to carry a small plastic bag along in their purse or pocket until they run into the situation on their own! Most public restrooms just don’t have a good place to dispose of briefs in the stall. A small plastic bag can mean the difference between a discreet or embarrassing experience when disposing of the used brief in the trash can.

Some seniors also like to keep a bag handy at the bedside, which lets them change a wet brief quickly, without having to get up to toss it out until a more convenient time. 

We like the Hippo Sak Incontinent Undergarment Disposal Bags for this purpose because they’re sized right for the job, contain odors, and even come with a handy dispenser. However, any plastic bag can work in a pinch.

Finding the Right Incontinence Products Makes a Difference

Incontinence is common and it’s nothing to be ashamed of! But it can be inconvenient or embarrassing when it’s not properly handled. The good news is that many others have faced this challenge, and many helpful products have been developed to help those who experience these troubles live an active and rewarding life, without the fear or burden of having an accident.

Which product works best for you? Leave us a note in the comments below.

Last update on 2022-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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