We have reviewed the best absorbent underwear for adults. If you are in a hurry, the table below gives a quick snapshot. Or you can scroll down for detailed product reviews.
The problem of urinary incontinence is extremely widespread globally. It is more prevalent among women and leads to associated feelings of loss of control, shame, isolation, and depression and obviously, a huge inconvenience in your social life. In this article, we will discuss the nature of the incontinence problem and review some of the best absorbent underwear for adults.
The problem of incontinence is more common in women than in men. According to the Global Forum on Incontinence (GFI), about 450 million people or 9 percent of the global population suffers from incontinence worldwide. About 12.4 percent of all women globally suffer from it, compared to 5 percent of all the men1.
The problem of incontinence increases as we age. For the population above 50 years globally, 1 in 5 (20 percent) have incontinence problems (women outnumber men almost 3 to 1). The ratio of incontinent women to men is even more lopsided in the US. Of the 13 million incontinent people in the US, 85 percent are women2.
What is Urinary Incontinence?
Incontinence is a problem of the urinary system in humans when we lose bladder control due to other health related conditions. Sub-optimal functioning of bladder muscles and damage to the bladder controlling nerves due to conditions like diabetes or Parkinson’s disease are the most common causes of incontinence. There are a few types of incontinence issues that people may face:
- Incontinence Due to Stress: Any sudden body movement which exerts pressure on the urinary bladder may lead to a stress event and if your pelvic muscles are not strong, it may lead to bladder leaks. Stress events may be coughing, sneezing or jumping
- Incontinence Due to Urge: Incontinence leads to a strong and sudden urge to urinate and you may not have enough time to reach the toilet. This may happen when the nervous system that carries messages from bladder to the brain is not functioning properly
- Incontinence Due to Overflowing Bladder: Over the period of your life, your bladder may shrink in size which will lead to you suffering from incontinence problems when urine produced will very frequently exceed bladder volume
- Surgery led Incontinence: Some surgeries may lead to incontinence problems, either temporarily or permanently
Some of us can also suffer simultaneously from stress as well as urge incontinence. Also, some drugs can at times cause incontinence as a side effect.
Can Urinary Incontinence Be Treated?
There are different ways to treat and reduce incontinence problems – behavioral, medicinal, and surgical.
- Behavioral and physiotherapy: These techniques include more frequent and scheduled trips to the toilet to urinate and gradually increasing the time between two consecutive visits. Physiotherapy and pelvic muscle exercises can also strengthen the bladder strength, so can vaginal weight training in women
- Medicines: Some medicines can help contain incontinence or your physician may take out a drug from your medicine routine which may have caused incontinence as a side effect. You must consult your physician, if you would want to take any steps related to medicines, to control incontinence.
- Surgery: Surgery may be considered as the last step and the type and complexity of the surgical process will depend on the cause behind your incontinence
What Should You Look for in an Absorbent Underwear?
- Absorbing capacity: Incontinence underwear or absorbent underwear come with different levels of absorbing powers and you should choose one, depending on your incontinence levels. The more the absorbing power, generally the thicker is the padding of the underwear.
- Comfort: The underwear should be comfortable to wear and be breathable, as you are likely to have to wear it for prolonged periods of time
- Discreetness: The underwear should be thin enough for discreet wearing under your clothes, as you may have to wear it throughout the day at work and social gatherings
- Neutralizing Odors: The underwear should do its best to keep foul odors from incontinence at bay
Below we have reviewed a few of the best absorbent underwear for adults and we hope that they will help you arrive at the best buying decision for yourself.
#1 Prevail Absorbent Underwear for Women
The absorbent underwear from popular protective hygiene authority company, Prevail, comes with MaxSorb Gel Technology which maximizes absorbing power, and always presents a drier and fresher interface to the skin for a cleaner and drier experience.
The underwear comes in 5 sizes across small, medium, large, XL and XXL and gives you the choice of the most comfortable fit. The sizes correspond to sizes of real underwear and you should order the same size as your underwear size. The elastics are gentle and will not cause irritation to your skin even when you wear them for prolonged time periods.
The material is breathable, and the outer fabric is soft to the skin. The product is a good fit for women for moderate to heavy leakage protection and is equipped with Odor Guard to prevent unwanted odors from surfacing. It is important to get the right size for yourself as a larger size will have a larger leg hole and may lead to leakage through the loose leg hole. If you are anticipating continuous use for some time, it is best to buy larger packs to get a lower price per underwear.
- Maximum absorbing power: 2 – 3 pieces should be sufficient for an entire day, assuming no trips to the bathroom
- Comfortable to wear and soft to the skin
- Prevents unwanted odors from surfacing
- Good value for money at less than 75 cents for each
- Comparatively large leg holes may lead to leakage through them
#2 Depend Fit-Flex Absorbent Underwear for Women
The absorbent underwear from popular incontinence product manufacturer, Depend, comes in 4 different sizes to fit hip sizes ranging from 24 – 64 inches. Meant for women, this is one of the best absorbent underwear for adults and suitable for incontinence problems, with very high absorption capability.
The pad soaks leakages quickly and keep the outer layer of the underwear (which is in direct contact with skin) dry, so that you can wear it for longer duration without having to contend with a wet feeling or skin problems due to continuous contact with wet surface.
The product is latex-free and fragrance free but does nice work in suppressing or neutralizing unwanted odors from long use. The underwear is soft to the skin and thin enough to be worn discreetly under clothes while being outdoors. The product is also equally effective in case of bowel accidents.
- Comfortable to wear on the waist and crotch – does not cause skin irritation
- Fits a range of waist sizes
- High absorbing capacity
- Easy to discard – becomes small on folding
- Good value for money at about 60 cents per piece
- Smaller body types may find the fit a bit loose resulting in possible leakages
#3 Tena Incontinence Underwear for Women
The product comes from the popular brand Tena, which markets incontinence and feminine hygiene solutions. The product is made of 3 layers of laminated material and a body hug fit – which makes it look and feel like real underwear and makes you forget that you are wearing anything other than normal underwear.
The dual protection at targeted areas, topmost inner layer being always dry, odor neutral feature and leg gathers to prevent any leakage make this product one of the most comfortable and safest options for women with incontinence problems.
While the elastic is soft and comfortable around the waist, however, you may require more frequent changes as, over time, it will absorb leakage and become heavier which may make the elastic unable to hold it in position. The underwear has the option of tearing at the side which makes it more comfortable and cleaner experience to remove.
- High Absorption capacity
- Comfortable to wear for long use
- Minimal or no leakage even after long duration of use
- Convenient to remove by tearing on the sides
- Elastic not as strong as competing products
- Dual protection padding may make it a bit inconvenient to pull up while wearing
#4 Always Absorbent Underwear for Women
The absorbent underwear from Always works with the RapidDry Cool technology and traps wetness effectively so that always a dry surface is in contact with your skin.
The cotton like fabric offers a comfortable wearing experience and it is equipped with double leak protection around the crotch region and leg openings which reduces the chances of leakage.
It also employs the OdorLock technology which prevents unwanted odors from surfacing, though the disposable underwear does not have any fragrance of its own. The product is quite thin and can be worn discreetly beneath your clothing. At about 50 c / piece these underwears are one of the most cost-effective options for women with incontinence problems.
- Good Absorbing capacity and the inner top layer remains dry to offer a dry and fresh feeling
- Comfortable fit on the waist and crotch with no skin irritation
- Odor neutralizing capability
- Can be worn discreetly with any form of clothing for outdoor use
- Good value for money
- The design of the product has been changing frequently for some time and may lead to change in fit and comfort over you last buy
#5 Solimo Incontinence Underwear
The absorbent underwear from Solimo is a unisex product that comes in 3 sizes of small/medium to large and extra large and will fit waist sizes ranging from 28 – 64 inches and approximate weights between 115 – 300 lbs. The cotton enhanced outer layer of the underwear helps to lock away the moisture and wetness quickly to offer a dry and clean experience for a longer duration.
The product has effective dual odor control to stop unpleasant odors even when the underwear padding has absorbed quite a bit of leakage. This is an Amazon brand which may lead you to buy with a little more confidence.
Available in packs of 16, the underwear has lower absorbing capacity than some heavy absorbing products available in the market and may not allow it to wear it across more than a couple of instances of leaks.
- Controls and stops unpleasant odors effectively
- Fits a wide range of waist sizes
- Unisex – can be used by both men and women
- Absorbing power may not be comparable to some competing heavy absorbing products
Incontinence issues tend to be extremely inconvenient socially and may be a reason for anxiety and shame. While there is no overnight cure for the issue and it is quite commonplace among the elderly, absorbent underwear is a very convenient solution for incontinence, giving you the peace of mind that you may require for going about your daily activities without constant apprehension.