Adult diapers, pull-ups, and liners buying guide

This image relates to stroke-associated pee problems.

Daily, stroke caregivers help stroke survivors wear adult diapers, pull-ups, and liners. They struggle daily if the products do not fit the survivor. We can find a variety of types and brands in the market; you need to spend your precious time and money to search for the most suitable size and then the brand. Most of the time, it becomes a trial-and-error business.

This post introduces a buying guide for you. I request you to send your suggestions to improve this guide.

The buying guide

A simple buying guide to choosing a body-worn absorbent product (

Guide steps

Step 1: Measure the urine leakage day and night separately

Our estimates of urine leaks become inaccurate and difficult most of the time. Therefore, the best method is to measure the daytime and nighttime separately. Another post describes the method.

Step 2: Choose the product depending on the leakage amount

If the leak for the duration you measured is less than 100ml, choose a product designed for a light degree of urinary incontinence. If the leak is more than 100ml, choose either a pull-up or a diaper with tabs or both. A description of the product range appears in another post.

Step 3: Measure the waist size

The product manufacturers recommend obtaining the measurement at the belly button level. The waist sizes range from 17” to 80”. You need to consult the websites of different manufacturers because there are no uniform standards at the moment.

Step 4: Check the maximum absorption of the capacity of the product and the price range you can afford

The maximum absorption capacity also varies among different manufacturers from 600ml to 1300ml.

Step 5: Check the price range

The price also varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some do not mention the exact prize on their websites. You need to check the prize from your vendor.

For your easy reference, this post includes the following summary table.

Product TypeLeaked amountWaist size rangeMaximum absorption capacityProduct size Prize range
Pull up100-600ml17-28”600ml X-small, small $0.58 – 1.08
Pull up600-1000ml20-80”1000mlmedium, large, XL, 2XL$0.58 – 1.08
diaper with tabs 300-1300ml18-64”1300ml X-small, small, large, X-large$0.61 -1.68

Step 6: Buy one pack first and try

The users recommend buying only one pack and trying it because several other factors such as its colour, texture, and personal preferences also matter.

Although adult body-worn absorbent product use has become widespread in the world, surprisingly, according to the experts, very little research exists. This became evident when an expert group carried out an extensive review of the published research in 2018. You can read this through this link. This is a very comprehensive report that also includes expert consensus statements. More recently, based on the above report, in March 2020, The same group – The WOCN (Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society) – published a very useful decision support algorithm for body-worn absorbent products.

In addition to the factors considered in the above guide, experts suggest considering the following also in your decision-making process. These include,

  • Gender
  • bed-ridden, wheelchair-bound or walking
  • Presence of skin damage, changes
  • Need for assistance
  • The level of cognitive ability
  • Personal preference
  • Cost

Additional resources

Further reading

Author: Ed Jerard

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