Are All Adult Diapers the Same?
A pull-up/pull-on/disposable underwear example. A brief/adult diaper example.
When purchasing adult diapers there are several questions you should ask before making a purchase. Are you looking for a diaper or a pull-up? Are you (or the person you are buying for) bed-bound or able to move around? Can you dress yourself? Are you allergic to latex or quick to have skin reactions?
It could be overwhelming for sure! Most medical supply companies worth their salt will have descriptions available of the products that answer questions about the diaper’s texture, fluid capacity, etc but you will definitely want to know what you are looking for. There are many options of each for all price ranges.
First off, a diaper is exactly that. An adult diaper is shaped just like a child’s diaper but larger. There are sticky tabs on the sides that hold the diaper closed. Sometimes these tabs are one time use tabs, and some tabs can be re-stuck repeatedly for the perfect fit. Diapers are usually best for bed-bound patients or those who can lie flat to be changed. They should have a ruching in the legs to hold in any fecal incontinence. Many are made out of a “cloth-like” material that is a smoothed paper pulp for absorbency. The level of absorbency should be stated in the description. If the diaper says “breathable” it is not plastic coated. This allows air to flow to prevent bed sores.
A pull-up, pull-on, or disposable underwear are for adults who can stand, dress themselves with or without aid. These texturally are like many of the diaper options. They come with leg ruching and are made of paper pulp. More and more companies are making their pullups to be discreet so that they are not bulky when worn under regular clothing. Some are even made to feel almost like silk or smooth cloth and have coloring more like real underwear. Pull-ups are generally not offered with plastic wrapping and while offering several layers of incontinence protection, pull-ups are not usually the most absorbent of the two.
Both diapers and pull-ups come in all sizes generally determined by waist/hip measurements and are usually latex free. But it is important to check as many people have latex allergies and don’t know it until they need incontinence supplies. Some people find that they may not need as much incontinence protection during the day as they do at night, and will wear both products at different times.