The Basics of Incontinence Pads & Where To Buy Them

Incontinence Pad 101: How to Find & Buy the Perfect Pads

Incontinence is a common problem among individuals of all ages. It can cause embarrassment, discomfort, and even skin and health issues if not addressed properly. Incontinence pads are a great solution to help manage this condition and provide discreet comfort and relief.

What are Incontinence Pads?

Incontinence pads are disposable garments worn inside your underwear that are designed to absorb and contain urine, feces, or both. Because they are worn inside your underwear, incontinence pads have a waterproof backing and a soft, absorbent interior to help protect your skin from irritating moisture. These pads are generally recommended for men and women with light to moderate incontinence, however, there are heavy absorption options available. For those new to experiencing incontinence symptoms and or with light incontinence, pads are the first line of defense - both for cost purposes and for discretion purposes.

Incontinence Pads vs. Booster Pads

Incontinence pads and booster pads both offer absorbency for incontinence protection, but there are some key differences. Most notably, incontinence pads are designed to be worn with regular underwear, so they have a waterproof backing that blocks moisture from flowing through. This prevents your underwear from getting wet. Booster pads, on the other hand, are designed to be worn inside an adult diaper, so they allow moisture to flow through, increasing the overall absorption. Booster Pads are a relatively new entrant into the world of incontinence products.  Now, both consumers and home health practitioners are recognizing the value of booster pads for troubleshooting and overnight use.

Incontinence Pads vs. Menstrual Pads

Incontinence pads and menstrual pads are different. Incontinence pads are designed to absorb and contain urine. Menstruation pads, also known as sanitary pads or sanitary napkins, are designed to contain menstrual blood. You should only use each pad for its intended purpose. They also simply do not work for cross-use. The viscosity and volume of menses are very different from the flow and volume of urinary incontinence.

Types of Incontinence Pads

Depending on your specific personal care needs and the fit of the incontinence pad, there are various incontinence styles to choose from:

  • Regular Length: These pads are most commonly used for light to moderate incontinence. They provide basic protection and can be used with protective underwear or briefs.
  • Long Length: Long-length pads are designed for maximum coverage and protection and are often used overnight. These pads feature a larger amount of absorbent material, keeping you drier for a longer period of time. 
  • Contoured: Contoured pads are shaped to fit snugly against the body, providing better coverage and less leakage. They can be worn with regular underwear or with special incontinence briefs.
  • Sensitive Skin: Sensitive skin pads are designed to be extra gentle and protect delicate skin from irritation caused by moisture. These pads are often made of hypoallergenic materials like cotton, wool, or bamboo.
  • Light Absorbency: Light absorbency pads are ideal for occasional light incontinence and provide just enough absorption to keep your skin dry.
  • Heavy Absorbency: Heavy absorbency pads are designed for high levels of incontinence and provide supreme protection against leaks.
  • Maximum Absorbency: Maximum absorbency pads are the most absorbent type of incontinence pad and are designed for people with severe incontinence issues. They can help to manage large amounts of fluids in a discreet manner.
  • Ultimate Absorbency: Ultimate absorbency pads are designed for extended use and provide extreme protection against heavy leaks.
  • Overnight Pads: Overnight pads are designed specifically for extended overnight use and provide an extra layer of protection against leakage.
  • Postpartum Incontinence Pads: Postpartum incontinence pads are designed to provide protection during and after childbirth. They typically have a higher absorbency rate than other types of pads and can help to manage postpartum bladder leaks.

Who are Incontinence Pads Designed For?

Incontinence pads are designed for those who experience different types of urinary incontinence, including urge, overflow, and more. Overwhelmingly, these products are bought and used primarily by and for women. Although some pads can be used for unisex purposes, unless a product is clearly specified for men, it would be safe to assume that its intended use is for women.

Incontinence Pads for Men

Male incontinence pads, also known as incontinence guards, are specifically designed to fit the male anatomy. The pads feature a contoured shape and special materials that allow air to circulate. They also come in larger sizes to provide maximum protection.

Incontinence Pads for Women

Women's incontinence pads are designed with a curved shape that fits a woman’s body better and offers different levels of absorbency. Many modern pads also come with a built-in odor neutralizer to help reduce unpleasant smells caused by urine or feces.

Unisex Incontinence Pads

Some modern incontinence pads are designed to be unisex, meaning they can be used by both men and women. These pads come in a variety of sizes and absorbency levels to suit different needs. 

When Should You Use Incontinence Pads?

Incontinence pads should be worn anytime there is a concern about light to moderate leakage. This includes when sleeping, exercising, traveling, or participating in any activities where bladder control may be an issue. Early in the user's incontinence journey, we would always recommend trying some type of incontinence pad first. You will save a lot of money and you can always step up to more advanced incontinence products if need be.

If you experience heavier incontinence, an adult diaper, brief, or other types of incontinence underwear may be a better solution for you.

How to Choose the Right Incontinence Pad

When choosing an incontinence pad, it's important to consider your needs in terms of absorbency, odor control, and fit. Some brands, like Parentgiving, offer samples or trial packs to help you find the right product for your needs. 

Our Highest-Rated Incontinence Pads

Below are Parentgiving’s six best incontinence pads in terms of customer ratings.

  • Dignity Extra Incontinence Pads (Unisex)
  • 5/5 stars

    Customer review: “Use these every day to help with incontinence with my Mom saves on full underwear.”

    These pads are designed for moderate incontinence and feature an extremely absorbent gel core. They also feature moisture-proof fabric and full-length adhesive tape to keep them in place and reduce skin irritation.

  • TENA Intimates Bladder Control Pads - Moderate Absorbency (Women)
  • 4.8/5 stars

    Customer review: “Same as you buy in stores but at a much lower price. Also very quick shipping. I ordered the product and it arrived 2 days later.”

    These disposable pads are contoured to the body for a more comfortable fit and feature high-side shields for additional leak protection. They also include odor-controlling technology, a super absorbent core to pull liquid away from your skin, and adhesive strips for a more secure fit.

  • Prevail Maximum Daily Pads (Women)
  • 4.6/5 stars

    Customer review: “Have been using this product for about 6 years now. I like the longer pad. Better absorbency than other pads. The price is a lot less than other brands. Will keep using it in the future.”

    Prevail Bladder Control Pads are contoured and feature side shields to provide maximum protection against bladder leakage. They also consist of a cotton-enhanced surface to wick moisture and a full-length adhesive strip for a comfortable and discrete fit.

  • Dry Direct Overnight Bladder Control Pads (Unisex)
  • 4.3/5 stars

    Customer review: “Best on the market, by far!”

    One of Parentgiving's highest-rated pads for overnight use is the Dry Direct Overnight Bladder Control Pad. This pad is a logical step up from similar pads found at retail big box chains because it offers up to twice the absorbency and provides ample coverage within its contoured shape.

  • Capri Bladder Control Pads (Unisex)
  • 4.3/5 stars

    Customer review: “These incontinence pads are exactly what I wanted and needed. Incontinence pads are more difficult to find in the stores and I happily found them [at Parentgiving] for less than half the price.”

    These pads are appropriate for light amounts of urine and handle stress, mixed, and temporary types of incontinence. The stay-dry liner of these unique bladder control pads is designed to keep your skin dry and comfortable, while the absorbent polymer core seals in moisture and odor.

  • Tranquility Personal Care Pads (Unisex)
  • 4.3/5 stars

    Customer review: “Great absorption and soft padding on the tranquility pads. Very happy with the product.”

    Tranquility Personal Care Pads are latex-free and offer the Peach Mat Guarantee for exceptional performance in skin dryness, odor reduction, urine pH neutralization, and bacterial growth suppression. To help with skin dryness, the cups of the pads feature special channels that direct liquid away from your skin and toward the soft, absorbent pad in the center.

    Where to Buy Incontinence Pads?

    Parentgiving provides various types of incontinence pads to suit various levels of bladder and fecal control. All items are available at competitive prices with fast shipping on all orders. We also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee so you can shop with confidence.

    Find the Right Incontinence Pad for You at Parentgiving

    We understand the importance of incontinence protection, and we’re here to help you find the right solution. Our wide selection of incontinence products and our helpful customer service team make it easy to find the right product for your needs.