Everything Incontinence

Adult Pull-Ups vs. Diapers - Is It Time to Switch?

By Parentgiving Admin

Adult Pull Ups vs Diapers - What’s the difference?

Adult pull ups and diapers are both capable of absorbing accidents involving urine or feces. The differences come from how much they can absorb, and how long you can wear them. Some folks who are deciding between the two might also have a comfort preference. We will also learn when you should transition from adult pull ups to adult diapers, and when you should start wearing either one.

Putting on adult pulls ups vs diapers

One of the biggest differences between adult diapers - or what can also be called tab style brief, and pull ups is how they are put on. Many adults have been wearing regular underwear for decades, which are pulled up from the feet just like pants. An adult pull up feels more natural to those people as they are worn the same way - by sliding them over your feet, up your leg, and into position. Adults who have been resistant to wearing incontinence products might find adult pull ups to be a better transition because it feels like underwear, only it’s more capable of absorbing leaks.

Adult diapers with tabs are put on a little differently and are often changed by someone else. An adult diaper has tabs that attach from the back of the diaper to the front. The best part of tabbed diapers comes from the ability to create just the right fit. Even if the diaper is too loose or too tight, simply adjusting the tab is enough to relieve discomfort.

Diapers are also easier to put on people who are physically disabled or cannot reach their feet. Being unable to reach your feet makes it difficult to undress fully, so diapers have a big advantage here. While you could come up with creative ways to kick an adult pull up on, it might be easier to put a diaper on while laying down. In short, diapers are easier to put on for people who cannot stand up or reach down with ease.

Movement with adult pull ups vs diapers

Are you or your parent still getting around good, and even play light sports from time to time? The only reason why some people wear adult pull ups is that they want the confidence that if their bladder does leak a little, there is something right there to absorb anything coming out.

Pull ups are better for movement and noise. You could readily move around, walk - or even jog while wearing adult pull ups and they are going to make less noise than diapers. A pull up is also softer on the skin and won’t chafe as much, if at all, if you must move frequently or quickly. Consider an adult pull up to be more like absorbent adult underwear that you throw away - you might not even need it!

Diapers offer more restrictive movement can be a bit louder, especially while walking or moving quickly. Diapers have the potential to make a rustling noise, which you might not like if you are trying to be discreet.

The right fit with adult diapers vs adult pull ups

Adult pull ups offer a variety of sizes, but not much in terms of actual flexibility. For people with heavier bowel issues, or just want a particular fit, you might want to consider adult diapers.

Why? Adult diapers with tabs on the hips can be custom fit - and are readily adjusted whenever you need. An adult diaper can be more readily adjusted on the fly to give the right amount of room, and the right seal.

The tightness between adult diapers on the legs is important to prevent potential leaks. You’ll want the diaper to hug against the skin in case you do have an accident - you don’t want leaks!

For people who are used to underwear, the fit of an adult pull up might be sufficient. Adult pulls ups have a nice combination between acting like normal underwear while offering a little extra padding and plenty of room for women and men.

Absorption with adult diapers vs adult pull ups

Adult pull ups are meant to be worn for a longer period of time but aren’t as absorptive. They also are not meant to stop full bowel movements - or at least comfortably. Adult pull ups are more designed to handle minor accidents that could happen for people who could otherwise wear normal underwear.

Adult diapers are much more absorbent and can be found in varieties that catch bladder and bowel leaks. Given the difference between a bowel movement and a leak of urine, you’ll probably find yourself needing to change adult diapers more often just to get the contents off your skin.

When Is it Time to Switch (to More Absorbent Products Like Adult Diapers or Pull-on Underwear)?

It’s time to switch to adult diapers with tabs when you or your parent are either physically unable to put on or remove an adult pull up, or when adult pull ups don’t adequately absorb the size and frequency of bowel movements.

An adult who used to only have bladder leaks and was comfortable with wearing an adult pull up should consider transitioning to adult diapers if they find that their bowel movements are leaking out too.

When that time comes, many people discover that an adult pull up isn’t as absorbent as they need, and they can quickly become uncomfortable.

For adults whose body is changing, and they cannot undress fully, or as frequently as needed to change pull up, it might be time to switch to adult diapers regardless of the actual size and frequency of accidents. Diapers are much easier to put on when you can’t get your pants all the way off.

While we are discussing why one would switch from a pull up into a diaper, there are plenty of people thinking about trying an adult pull up.

We’ll put this very simply: If holding your bladder throughout the day or even the nighttime becomes a challenge for you, it’s a good thing to start wearing something more absorptive while you also work on bladder exercises.

Overnight adult diapers for adults are becoming increasingly common. Adult nighttime diapers are easy to use and far better than cleaning your clothes and mattress when you do have an accident. Adult pulls ups are great for people who are out and about more frequently and want a discreet, comfortable way of ensuring they stay dry. One recommendation we can make is to work on your bladder muscles with exercises and watch when you drink to avoid poorly timed bladder related needs.

If you can dress and undress - or don’t have accidents very frequently, pull ups are a great place to start.

Now that we’ve received why one would want to begin wearing adult diapers or pull ups, we’ll tell you more about what is available and where.

Top Sellers

When considering what overnight adult diapers you need, our product selection here can easily tell you what works the best for you. Our customers review our products on a regular basis which gives us valuable feedback about what really works and what doesn’t.

Dry Direct are some of the best adult nighttime diapers with solid ratings of 4.7 or higher out of 5 across the board. How much confidence do we have in Dry Direct? They are right at the top of the page! We are pretty sure that no matter which stage of diaper or adult pull up you might need, you’ll be happy with Dry Direct.

Tranquility offers the peace of mind and confidence you need, though honestly all of our adult overnight diaper brands are top notch.

TENA also makes terrific, comfortable briefs and adult diapers for overnights and all day.

You can find a general selection of adult diapers here too. While we have mentioned specific brands, just know that we offer and sell all our brands with great confidence that you’ll like them.

New Products

We frequently receive pitches from suppliers to stock new products. That is why you will often find the most innovative products here, first. We’re especially proud of our bestselling line of Dry Direct products, available exclusively at Parentgiving.com.


We hope you found our information about diapers and adult pull ups useful when deciding what to do either for yourself, a friend, or your parent. The biggest needs for transitions largely are about what your body and you can do, and what you are most comfortable with.