A Practical Guide to Adult Diapers

They Are What They Are

Yes, that is what they are called. There is no way around it. If you can't bear the thought of needing or wearing them then find some other euphemism that you can live with. "Protection" might be a good one.

Purchasing the correct size, absorbency, and style can save you no end of embarrassment, lower your laundry bill and reduce cash out of pocket. Medicare doesn't cover adult diapers. My secondary insurance doesn't either. Yours might. Check.

Absorbency

I'm not going to talk about all the forms of incontinence that are out there. You know if you need an adult diaper. The first consideration is absorbency. How much do you go over a given period of time? Some folks wear them for "just in case" situations like club meetings or having dinner out. Others require them constantly for light but constant leaking. There are also the heavy duty continuous users.

If you purchase the wrong type of absorbency then you'll be wasting your money because you will be changing too often or not utilizing the full capacity of the diaper before changing. Often many women try to get by using a sanitary napkin. If it works for you then, by all means, go in that direction.

Read My Book on Adult Diapers

The Complete Guide to Adult Diapers
The Complete Guide to Adult Diapers

This electronic book can be downloaded and read on most computers and electronic reading devices using the free apps from Amazon.

 

Frequency

Next, you want to think about how often you want to change the diaper. Most folks don't want to be up every two hours at night dealing with this problem. That goes for caregivers as well. However, a diaper left on too long will soil the bed and cause skin breakdowns that can lead to bed sores.

Whichever diaper is chosen must be appropriate for the volume of urine to be expelled over a given period of time and still be pulling moisture away from the skin when it is changed. Leaks are inevitable and accidents happen. The idea is to minimize these problems.

Absorbency will have a profound effect on the thickness of the diaper. They expand as they absorb. It's important to understand how much larger the diaper is going to get when fully wet. This will affect your comfort and appearance.

Styles

There are a variety of styles and accessories available. Briefs can mean an open diaper with Velcro tabs on either side. This works for fine-tuning the fit and for checking the overall wetness of the diaper. There are "pull-up" type diapers that work like underwear. These are generally for light users.

Many commercial brands sell one type of diaper for men with the padding in one area and a different type for women. Others will make no distinction in design. Some come with wings, like sanitary napkins. Most diapers have a plastic backing that will make your backside very warm. There are more expensive types that have a "fabric like" backing that allows more air inside the diaper to cool things off a bit.

Sizing

Each brand of diaper uses a different method for sizing. You need to know your stomach/hip measurement and the distance from your waist in front to your waist in back. Even so, it may take a few tries to get the right type for you.

If you are a light user, then many of the brand-name diapers available from Wal-Mart to home healthcare specialty stores will probably do the trick for you. Order over the Internet if you are shy about buying them in public.

Accessories

You can also purchase booster pads that may or may not have a plastic backing. Booster pads fit inside a diaper to increase the absorbency. Be aware that they will also increase the thickness of the diaper when wet. Finally, you can buy a plastic covering for the diaper that fits like underwear. Once again, this will trap heat as well as moisture.

Leaking

Finally, you need to be aware of "press out." That is the amount of liquid that the diaper will expel with weight pressing on it. In other words, how much is going to leak out as liquid when you sit on it and the diaper is at full capacity. Some diapers will give you this information and some won't. Unfortunately, experience is the best teacher.

3 Sizes

Small, Medium, Large
Small, Medium, Large

Recommendation

On a personal note, if you are a heavy or continuous user of adult diapers, I would recommend a diaper made in Europe called Abri-form. They are not cheap and I have never seen them in any store. They are the most absorbent and longest lasting of any I've tried. I found them two places on the Internet; XP medical.com and eBay.com.

Unfortunately, changes in my medical condition have forced me to become an expert in this area over the last few months. Although my need is intermittent, finding these diapers have given me a peace of mind I thought was gone. When I first began searching for an adult diaper to meet my needs, I found good advice from an article at Slate by Justin Peters called "What is the Best Adult Diaper?" and I recommend it to you.

Comments 13 comments

Stanley_19802 profile image

Stanley_19802 7 years ago

Hello,

I am 28 years old. I have been bed wetting since I was 13 and started having day time accidents when I was about 20 or 21 and started wearing diapers 24 hours a day when the day time accidents started. I have tested MANY diapers over the years. In that time I have found 3 brands which are the best disposables. Those would be:

Abri-form:

http://www.xpmedical.com/abriform.html

Uniquebreifs/Eurobriefs:

http://www.uniquebrief.com/index.htm

Dry24/7:

http://www.dry247.com/

My insurance "medi-cal" supplies my diapers, but they only pay for the cheap no name brands such as white stone. They are extreamly thin and are lucky if they hold one wetting without using a booster pad. When I have money, I buy the Uniquebriefs. They are rated for 10-12 hours of wear and unlike most cheap disposable diaper the fluff doesn't break down and clump up until you get around the 10th hour of wear or unless you are really active at the time. I have had some of the Uniquebriefs last 14 hours before the fluff begins to break down. They are also rated to hold up to 2 liters of urine, and that's without a booster pad. And because medi-cal won't pay for the booster pads most times, I went to walmart and got a few packs of the toddler cloth diapers and use a few (3-4) together as a booster pad for overnight use. It's extreamly rare that the diaper leaks on me with the system. Another trick for boosting absorbancy is to get a pack of baby diapers such as pampers or huggies. Take the diaper and using a razor blade make several 1/2 inch long slits all over the plastic backing of the baby diaper and it will give your adult diaper a decent boost in absorbancy. Hope this was helpful. Take care.

-Stanley


Georzetta profile image

Georzetta 6 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

I just quickly checked out the link for Adult Diapers and Briefs. I saw no information about absorbency rates or push-out.

They seem to have a variety of sizes but again, no indication of how many diapers would be required in a 24-hour period.

It looks like it would be a case of trial and error. I think any seller of these products could do better.

I would love to hear from them if they update their website to provide more comprehensive information.


oscillationatend profile image

oscillationatend 6 years ago from a recovering narcissist.

Georzetta,

I find this a great, sound article on a touchy subject. Great links and Amazon products, too. Good job!

I myself prefer either attends or wings choice. I hear great things about the abriform, but have yet to try.

I personally need protection 24/7, so like to purchase diapers on a cost/effective ratio. But, if I see some samples going on I'll take a look.

Great article on a touchy subject--well done all and all!

~osci


catfishjr241 profile image

catfishjr241 6 years ago from usa

kck medical is the best place to get the abri-form xplus that i have found here is the linki also think they have a comparason of all the adult briefs (diapers)http://kckmedical.com/ hope this helps i use kck for my needs


dfbartender 5 years ago

does pampers not make a adult diaper because if you can make baby diapers you could mqke adult diapers withe high absorbouncey so they could go places without worrying about leakage if you have not you need to market your product for adult diapers where adults can have their dignity in the last years pof their life we owe them that much


Jill 5 years ago

Thank you for the information on your favorite kinds of adult diapers.


sdradius 5 years ago

Thanks for your great article. You can also find a listing of different adult diaper sizes at the http://diaper-sizes.org/adult-diapers


Red_Barchetta 5 years ago

Well, after about 43 years (Problems since birth) I think I have SOME knowledge on this subject as well...This is good general information, but it can get much deeper, especially if you are running things through an insurance company. I really don't know much about the practices of private insurance Co., but no straight Medicare dose not pay for adult diapers, but I am pretty sure some of the HMOs and supplements will (not 100% positive on that one though), I know definitely Medicaid and the Medicaid HMOs will (that's how I get them). The thing is this creates other problems, because they will only pay up to a certain amount per diaper - Not sure what that amount is, but it dose basically exclude all the really good highly absorbent ones. Make no mistake however, even so, you can still get a diaper through them, that is comfortable, and will do what it needs to do, you just have to change it more often (regardless of if it has been used or not, piticuraly in the summer!). I personally use "First Quality", and they do work out fine, and in the summer (if unused) seem to be good for about 2.5 to 3 hours, longer durring cool weather months. For over-night, I just use a large re-usable under pad under the diaper.) .

Quote from dfbartender

"does pampers not make an adult diaper because if you can make baby diapers you could mqke adult diapers with high absorbouncey so they could go places without worrying about leakage if you have not you need to market your product for adult diapers where adults can have their dignity in the last years pof their life we owe them that much"

Pampers dose not make an adult diaper, although the main company (Procter and Gamble) use to they were not doing enough business with them to entice them to keep making them so they sold the rights to the adult version of Pampers - and you can still get them (just from a different company) I haven't seen any in a while so not sure if they changed anything yet, but basically what you are asking for is Attends, they are based on the 70s/80s version of Pampers. Although I still think myself that if Pampers themselves made one they could make something off it - if for no other reason, everyone knows Pampers makes a good baby diaper, and it would stand to reason if they did make a adult size diaper - it would be the same thing, just bigger and minus the nursery prints.


laketip 4 years ago

Georzetta,

Nice article. I agree that Abena is the best performing diaper on the market. I also use Tranquility's Overnight Underwear during daytime, which I also like a lot. Some others have posted where they get their Abena products and I have found a site that offers Abena products at great prices. www.emedicanow.com. Just another option, hope this helps.


Wellnessbriefs profile image

Wellnessbriefs 4 years ago from BROOKLYN, NY, USA

Nice one. Thanks for great articles.


tony 3 years ago

how can i get my mom adult pull-ups for free her ins. don't pay for them my mom is 72 years old.


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Georzetta profile image

Georzetta 2 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Every area will be a bit different Start with the Agency on Aging.

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