Everything Incontinence

How to Buy Adult Diapers and Briefs

By Parentgiving Admin

Many people have incontinence issues, whether due to aging or health problems and need to use incontinence products. But, choosing the right undergarments can be confusing since there are so many things to consider when choosing an adult diaper. There are different absorbency levels, sizes, and even styles, such as diapers, pull-ups, reusable, or swim diapers. So, here is all the information you need to help you choose the right adult diapers for you.

Causes of Bladder Incontinence

Urinary and fecal incontinence are common problems that occur in many age groups for many reasons. However, no matter the reason, incontinence might require you to use diapers or similar products. So, if you need to purchase adult diapers, bariatric incontinence suppliesincontinence diapers for elderly, reusable diapers, adult swim diapers, or overnight diapers, you want a product that suits your needs. You'll also want to consider the cost of these products and whether or not you can get help paying for them. So, we will provide you with some information to help you make these decisions.

  • Stress Incontinence: This type of incontinence occurs when your urethra is not strong enough to stay closed as your bladder fills and the pressure increases. There are several causes of this, including damage during childbirth, obesity, and some medications, among others.
  • Overflow Incontinence: Overflow incontinence is typically the result of an obstruction or blockage that affects the bladder. Some common obstructions are constipation or an enlarged prostate. This could also be caused by your detrusor muscles not contracting fully due to nerve damage of some medications. If this happens, the bladder does not empty and can become stretched.
  • Urge Incontinence: This type of incontinence causes the urge to pass urine frequently and urgently. It is caused by issues with the detrusor muscles. For those with urge incontinence, the debris or muscle contracts too often, causing an urgent need to use the bathroom. It's not always clear why this occurs, but it could be due to lack of fluids, too much alcohol or caffeine, or certain neurological conditions, among other causes.
  • Total Incontinence: A person with total incontinence has a bladder that cannot hold any urine. Total incontinence may be due to a condition that was present at birth, or it could be due to a spinal cord injury or a bladder fistula. A bladder fistula is a hole that exists between the bladder and another organ, such as the vagina.

Causes of Bowel Incontinence

Bowel incontinence occurs as the result of an illness, disease, or injury and is not considered a disease itself. There are several possible causes of this chronic condition, some of which are listed below.

  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea can cause fecal incontinence, but it can also be a symptom of fecal incontinence.
  • Damage to Muscles or Nerves: Damage may occur during childbirth or during surgery on the anus or rectum.
  • Medications: Certain medications can cause diarrhea or loose stools increasing the likelihood of bowel incontinence.
  • Constipation: Like diarrhea, constipation can cause or be a symptom of this issue.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Diseases such as Crohn's disease or Ulcerative Colitis may cause an urgent need to defecate or diarrhea, which can increase the likelihood of incontinence.

Absorbency Level

To choose the most effective brief for your needs, decide how absorbent you need the product to be. You'll probably want the most absorbent brief or pad you can get while still obtaining a comfortable fit. However, if your needs are very light, a simple pad may do. Otherwise, be sure to check out our best underwear for diarrhea.

There are so many different brands and sizes available for you to choose from that you should have no problem finding a product that suits your needs. Some women use sanitary napkins instead of incontinence products, but sanitary napkins are not really designed for this purpose. When you do choose a product, keep in mind that absorbency levels can vary a lot from brand to brand. Some websites can give you more detailed comparisons of these diaper and brief brands.

How Diaper Sizes Work

It's essential you buy the correct size of briefs to avoid potential accidents or leaks. Unfortunately, unlike clothing, sizes are not standardized for adult diapers. So you need to measure yourself to ensure you get the best fit. In fact, you'll want to measure any time you switch brands as well. You will need to measure both your waist and your thighs, and then use waist measurement as the base, and the hip measurement will be needed if you have a particularly large or small measurement and potentially in some other cases when purchasing your product.

Never use your pant size instead of measuring. Your pants are rarely actually worn around your waist, and this will give you an inaccurate size. First, measure yourself at the belly button to find your waist measurement and then at the widest part to find your hip measurement.

Generally, diaper sizes will be measured using one measurement, and you will use the waist measurement and then adjust up or down one size if the hip measurement is about ten inches greater or lesser than the waist measurement. However, for some diapers, such as briefs, these are different. In this case, they are sized using the larger of the two figures. Write this measurement down and have it ready when you shop.

Bariatric Adult Diapers and Briefs

Bariatric briefs are a good choice for plus-size adults. They come in many waist sizes, as large as 106 inches. In addition, these briefs are very stretchy, which makes them quite comfortable while providing a good fit. Some of these briefs also have anti-leak cuffs, which can help you avoid leaks. Also, carefully measure yourself before choosing any adult undergarments to obtain the best fit.

Choose the Adult Diaper and Briefs for Your Gender

Another important way you ensure a good fit for your adult diapers is to buy briefs meant for your gender. Although you could purchase less costly unisex options, they likely will not work as well. Manufacturers make gender-specific adult diapers with the different genders' needs in mind, such as body shape and urinary flow. So, they should work and fit better.

Adult Diapers or Pull-Ups

These two products may seem the same, but they have a crucial difference. Some diapers are refastenable, unlike pull-ups. These products contain tabs on both sides that can be opened and closed, so you can check the diaper. This is great for people who need help with changes or have limited mobility, or are generally confined to a bed. Adult diapers also allow for changes while lying down without totally undressing. Some of these diapers even have wetness indicators, which can save the trouble of unnecessarily fastening and refastening the diaper to check for wetness. Pull-ups are a better choice for more mobile people. This product works more like standard underwear as it can be raised or lowered during bathroom trips. This also gives them a more comfortable feel.

Overnight Diapers

Overnight needs are generally greater, so consider leakproof diapers for adults, a product specifically designed to protect against leaks during heavy use. Also, you'll want to buy overnight diapers made of a breathable material to avoid skin irritation. Because of the different needs for overnight adult diapers, adults that use incontinence products during the day might want different diapers at night when they go to bed.

Washable or Disposable

There are two primary kinds of adult diapers and briefs, washable and disposable. Both of these have advantages, some of which we will list below. Disposable briefs are good for people who are traveling or do not want to wash their underwear. These products are more breathable and less likely to irritate the skin. Disposable diapers are easier for caretakers to use. But washable adult diapers cost less, which is a big advantage. They are also better for the environment and are more absorbent than disposable diapers.

Cost of Adult Briefs

Adult diapers can be quite costly. They can run your hundreds of dollars every year so keep an eye out for ways to save when buying them. You can save on your incontinence supplies in a couple of ways listed below.

Discounts and Savings

Manufacturer's coupons, as well as store coupons, help customers save money on incontinence. Another way you can save on adult diapers if you are having trouble affording them is by looking for diaper banks in your area. Some communities will set up these establishments for people who need help getting incontinence products. You can also save by looking for your incontinence supplies online. Check prices online, compare these to stores in your area, and see which option is cheaper. You can also use your coupons and insurance on many websites.


Some insurances may cover the cost of adult diapers. Although coverage can vary considerably, you may need your doctor to write a prescription for your incontinence products. Check with your insurance carrier to see if this an option for you. Medicaid will cover the costs of these diapers in some circumstances, such as for people in nursing homes, but the rules vary from state to state. Check the regulations for your state to find out.

Free Samples

You can also save on adult undergarments by looking for free samples. Many brands will give out free samples to customers in the hope that you will like their product and choose it again. This is great for finding adult underwear that you like, but it can also save you some money. Sometimes participating in a store or brand loyalty program will allow you to receive discounts or, in some cases, free samples as well. So, pay attention in case of opportunities such as brand testing or special store events in order to take advantage of them.

Final Thoughts

Adult diapers and briefs don't need to break the bank or be challenging to purchase. By using the information, we have given you, it is easier than you may think to choose adult diapers that are comfortable and suit your needs. Once you have chosen a variety that suits you, it can typically be bought online or potentially even gotten for free. Buying the correct adult diaper is a simple way to make dealing with incontinence easier.

For more adult care products, be sure to check out our options for a wheelchair for obese person.