The ABC’s of Choosing the Right Adult Diapers

For many of us, there comes a day when we find ourselves in the drugstore aisle or on the internet wondering which adult diaper to buy. We, or someone we care about, are facing incontinence issues and all of a sudden we are researching a topic we have never really thought about before: how to buy the right adult diaper.

Learning about which adult diaper to buy is not a topic most of us wanted to be exploring at all. But, here we are. Well, take heart. My 86-year-old father lives with me and he has taught me some great lessons when faced with the challenges of infirmities, disabilities and growing old.

One of the most important is his positive attitude and humor. He often says to me “Well, honey, at least it’s better than the alternative”…… if you know what I mean! Incontinence is a manageable situation. There are options that can meet everyone’s needs.

Here’s what you need to know to pick the best adult diaper for your circumstances:

1. Cloth or Disposable First, you must ask yourself if you want to use adult diapers made from cloth or the disposable diapers? Almost everyone goes with disposable but cloth is always an option. Disposable adult diapers are preferable to cloth in preventing diaper rash and other skin issues.

Contrary to some popular notions, cloth diapers can worsen skin deterioration. Disposable adult diapers are designed to wick moisture away from the patient’s skin which cloth is unable to do. Also, the plastic pants that cloth diapers require also produce a hot house effect on a wet diaper, increasing skin irritation and speeding bacteria development. Disposable diapers are by far the most convenient choice. And, since changing an adult diaper comes up many times each day and can be very messy at times, convenient is good! Yes, cloth is better for your budget and probably for the environment too, but if you think about the wearer’s skin health and how often the wearer will be wetting the adult diaper almost everyone goes with a disposable adult brief.

2. Adult Diaper or Pullup Next, you must decide which style of adult diaper you need, the “underwear” style, (called adult pull-ups) or the “diaper” style (which are sometimes called adult briefs). Adult Pullups are considered underwear style because they are designed to be stepped into and pulled up exactly like a pair of underwear.

Generally, if you buying the diapers for a more active adult who is up and about you will want to try the pull-ups first. Pullups are more convenient than adult briefs because the wearer does not need to lie down to put them on or take them off. Yes, pullups are a little more expensive than adult diapers, but the wearer retains more of his or her dignity with pullups. Also, if the incontinence problem is only intermittent then the pullup can easily be kept on after using the toilet if it has not been soiled.

The adult diaper, on the other hand, is generally for people who have lost much of their mobility and will be lying down while a caregiver changes the soiled diaper. These diapers are just an adult sized version of baby diapers which lay flat and then are put on and secured using tabs. Please be aware that the sticky tabs on some adult diapers are made to be able to be refastened while others are really only made to be fastened one time and won’t stay secure if you need to adjust the tabs.

3.Absorbency You also need to look at how absorbent does your adult diaper need to be? This varies person-by-person of course. Some variables you will want to consider are how large is the person, how much does he or she drink, and is the wearer diabetic? You will want to choose the least absorbent adult brief that you need because the more absorbent the adult brief the more expensive it will be. You will have to figure out what absorbency you need by trial and error. Keep in mind that many times you can get away with a premium adult diaper during the night when the diaper is being changed less often and use an adult brief with moderate absorbency during the day when the wearer is being changed every few hours.

Occasionally, you may need an adult diaper with a superior absorbency rating. These are considerably more expensive. Fortunately, most people don’t need that much absorbency. Here’s what you need to know while you are going through this process.

If you choose a product that isn’t absorbent enough you will run into leakage and/or diaper rash issues. One option to help you while you find the right adult diaper to meet your needs is to buy a bag rather than a case of the ones you are trying. This way if you don’t like the ones you’ve bought you don’t have an entire case of them sitting unused in the living room. Another option is to purchase underpads for putting under the wearer in case you have leakage issues. If you do run into diaper rash issues you will want to take care of them right away because they can lead to serious skin wounds. The best and cheapest treatment for diaper rash is to leave the adult diaper off and let the skin be exposed to the air. After that, there are many wonderful skin therapies and creams from plain diaper rash cream to high quality treatments like the “Remedy” line.

4) Price & Quality You will be happy to know that there is a wide range of adult briefs out there. With a little work you can find a great quality adult diaper at a bargain. There are many high quality and competitively priced adult briefs that are as good or better than the more well known brands. Do be careful though. There are a lot of inferior quality adult diapers and being sold so do some research and again, if you can, try buying a bag rather than a case when you try a new brand. Then, when you find an adult diaper that you really like you can buy it by the case for further savings.

5) Cloth vs. Plastic Backing Most diapers are now made with a breathable, cloth-like exterior layer because this is best for skin health. But, there are those who prefer the older, plastic-backed adult diapers. In most cases you will want to choose the cloth-like backing simply because it provides the best protection for the wearer’s skin. However, if you have past experience with plastic-backed diapers and have a preference for them you can still find them for sale on the internet.