Everything Incontinence

6 Pro Tips to Avoid Overnight Adult Diaper Leaks

Jump to:  Tip #1: Choose the Correct Adult Diaper Size   Tip #2: Choose the Right Absorbency   Tip #3: Choose an Adult Diaper with Leak Protection   Tip #4: Try Not to Exceed 10 Hours of Use   Tip #5: Use a Booster Pad (Don’t Use an Incontinence Pad)   Tip #6: Don’t Diaper Double  

A leaking adult diaper is a common and frustrating problem for many people. It can be frustrating due to:

  1. Excessive time, money, and effort. It can be difficult to have to strip and redress the bed multiple times a week.
  2. Unwanted odors. Having constant leaks can get into the bed (mattress, sheets, comforters, etc.) and cause your whole room to smell.
  3. Damage your mattress. When leakage happens frequently, it can ruin a mattress with discoloration and an odor that is almost impossible to remove. It can get even worse if you have a foam mattress, as it retains odors for longer periods of time.

Fortunately, the main causes of leaking adult diapers are often simple to fix. Understanding the product features and following these tips from our caregiving experts is guaranteed to minimize the number of leaks you’re experiencing.

Tip #1: Choose the Correct Adult Diaper Size

If your adult diaper is too small it will almost always tear when you move. As the product tears, it creates openings that may begin to leak over time. Most of the time, adult diapers will tear along the side seams. This can make it hard to pinpoint the tear as the reason for leakage. Tears loosen the fit of the diaper and cause leakages when you lie on your back or side.

If your adult diaper is too large, it may begin to sag when full. This is the most common mistake since most people want it to feel loose when in reality, good diapers are designed to be comfortable in a snug fit. The extra room will move your diaper away from your body when weight is added, creating several gaps that allow liquid to leak.

When sizing an adult diaper, consider:

  1. Your waist size. Most diaper manufacturers align the sizing of their products with your typical pants size. It’s important to consider that wearing an adult diaper may cause you to increase your pant size by an inch or two due to the added bulk the diaper creates.
  2. Your weight. Manufacturers have often matched their diaper sizes with a person's weight. This allows larger individuals who may not have traditional waist ranges to find the perfect fit for them.

Tip #2: Choose the Right Absorbency


Incontinence can vary drastically from person to person. The type of incontinence, mobility of the wearer, and the amount of urine released will directly affect the level of absorbency needed from an adult diaper. Choosing the right level of absorbency is crucial for preventing leaks.

Individuals with stress, urge, mixed, or overflow incontinence can use daytime adult pull-up underwear or daytime adult tabbed briefs and be less likely to experience leaks. These individuals tend to be more independent, meaning they’re capable of getting to the bathroom if they’re experiencing a heavier-than-usual episode of incontinence. Additionally light to moderate incontinence is also the purview of incontinence pads and gender-specific products for men and women.

Individuals with functional or reflex incontinence are often less mobile, making them more susceptible to full bladder voids. A heavier adult tabbed brief, or adult pull-up underwear will have the necessary absorbency to prevent leakage.

Tip #3: Choose an Adult Diaper with Leak Protection

Adult diaper leak protection

Adult diapers have several features that work as added protection against leaks.

For example, leg cuffs, also known as leak guards, are built into the edges of adult diapers and create a reservoir that catches any extra fluid before it has a chance to leak out. The barrier helps adult diapers function better, for longer periods. This unique feature separates premium products from mass-market and healthcare products.

When purchasing an adult diaper, ask our caregiving experts to explain the extra leak protection features of the product. While leak protection is a common feature, it’s still an important consideration when selecting the right product.

Tip #4: Try Not to Exceed 10 Hours of Use

For extended wear, no matter what the claims of absorbency, no one should wear an adult diaper for more than ten hours. Replacing the adult diaper after a good night’s sleep should be a part of your wake-up routine. Changing the diaper within the recommended time frame (often between 6-10 hours) will prevent leakage due to oversaturating. It will also prevent skin infections due to bacteria buildup. Sensitive perineal skin can break down if exposed to urine for extended periods, and repeated exposure to urine can lead to changes in skin pH from the normal acidic. Once the skin pH is raised into the alkaline range, the skin lipids are altered, leaving the skin vulnerable to damage. To avoid this, be sure to choose an overnight adult pull-up or tabbed brief with enough absorbency to last you through the night.

But again, this varies from person to person. Someone who experiences very frequent incontinence episodes will require changes sooner (every 2-4 hours). Consider your specific level of incontinence when deciding how often to change your diaper.

Tip #5: Use a Booster Pad (Don’t Use an Incontinence Pad)

Booster pads are an invaluable tool for extending the absorption capacity of adult diapers and preventing overnight leaks. A booster pad, or diaper insert, is a permeable absorbency sheet that is placed in the middle of an adult diaper. The pad increases the capacity of the diaper by absorbing the first few incontinence episodes. Once the pad has been saturated, it will begin to allow urine to pass through it to be absorbed by the diaper underneath. A booster pad can be wrapped around the genitals for male leakers with slender legs that produce gaps in fit to guarantee that urine is deflected into the outer adult diaper.

Incontinence pads, on the other hand, have plastic bottoms that do not allow urine to pass through. This results in your diaper not absorbing urine evenly, leading to leaks.

Adult diaper dont double-up

Always use boosters pads instead of incontinence pads when adding absorption to an adult diaper.

Tip #6: Don’t Diaper Double

A secondary diaper placed over the first one will not absorb liquid. It causes you to assume you have extra protection with the second diaper when, in fact, you do not. The false assumption causes you to stay in your first diaper longer than you should and inevitably leads to leakage.

Pick the Right Product to Prevent Leaks

Our caregiving experts have helped countless customers find the right product that keeps them dry and leak-free. Give us a call to receive a personalized product consultation today. 1-888-746-2107