Choosing the Right Underwear for Heavy Incontinence

Man with urge to urinate

More than 50% of older Americans, as well as over 200 million people worldwide struggle with incontinence, a medical term used to describe the loss of control of bowel movements that may result in embarrassing involuntary leakage. Incontinence can refer to both loss of control of the release of fecal or urinary material.

There are many solutions available to support those dealing with incontinence issues, including products such as absorbent pads, briefs, diapers and underwear.

What is Incontinence Underwear?

Instead of fastening an absorbent pad onto your underwear, incontinence underwear is designed to be worn much like regular underwear underneath the clothes. You pull them on and then, when ready, take them off and either dispose of them or rewash them for another use. There is a range of incontinence underwear that varies according to incontinence levels, from light to heavy, with different absorption power.

What Features Should You Look for?

There are many types of incontinence underwear being sold online, but when choosing the best fit for you there are several critical features you should look out for. You want your incontinence underwear to include tear-away sides, high absorbency power, leak barriers around the legs, odor control, an elastic waistband and soft breathable materials. Essentially the function of the underwear, which is to absorb and prevent leakage of unwanted bowel movements, should also be offered with a practical and comfortable application process.

Incontinence Underwear Functional Features to Look For

Absorbency Power: The most straightforward feature that many already know to look for is the absorbency power of the incontinence underwear depending on your leakage levels. The best underwear for heavy incontinence should be made of multi-layered materials that quickly and effectively absorb liquids before they seep into your skin, keeping you clean and dry.

Leg Leakage Barriers: Besides looking for underwear featuring proper materials that keep your skin dry, the best underwear for heavy incontinence should come with barriers around the legs where the underwear is fastened to prevent any leakage of unwanted material out of the leg openings. Given that you will be moving your body around in different positions other than standing (sitting, leaning, bending over etc.), the leg openings of the underwear are a particularly vulnerable spot that gives way to leaks, so finding underwear that includes leak barrier cuffs is key.

Large Range of Sizing: Finally, in order for your incontinence underwear to fulfill its function perfectly, you need to find the product available in a wide range of sizes, from Xsmall all the way to a 3X large. Most incontinence underwear is sold with this measurement system (small, medium, etc.), which may make it difficult to find your right size. A medium in one brand could be a large in another, and that it is important to find the product in a wide range of sizes, to give space for trial and error processes until you find the right fit. You also want to find options for more discreet wear of the underwear (less bulky appearance), if that is something you want.

Styles of Incontinence Underwear

Incontinence Underwear Practical/Comfortable Features to Look For

Elastic Waistband/Tear-away Sides: The best incontinence underwear for heavy leaks should be one that is practical to take on and off. An elastic waistband makes for a comfortable fit around the waist, and also allows the underwear to pull off easily without any awkwardness. The underwear including tear-away sides adds another layer of comfort when dressing and undressing, as unfastening the sides makes it faster to take off soiled underwear that you cannot wait to get off.

Breathable and Soft Material: The underwear will be in contact with areas with sensitive skin for a long time during your day, so you want to choose one that is soft and moisture-wicking. Rough materials can cause friction and irritate your skin, especially with the mix of material of the underwear plus the leakage in the layers. In addition, given that this will be worn under clothing for long durations, you want your incontinence underwear to be made of breathable materials, to reduce the heat and humidity created by the layers of dressing around those sensitive areas.

Should You Consider Washable Underwear for Heavy Incontinence?

Many who suffer from incontinence and leakage prefer using washable underwear over disposable ones. This is due to many reasons, including the fact that they are the more dignified choice for those who suffer from embarrassment from their incontinence. Washable incontinence underwear looks even more like underwear and has a less bulky and exposing appearance compared to disposable incontinence underwear. This makes them more discreet and undetectable in public, keeping their wearer confident and comfortable.

Washable underwear can also be cost-effective, given that you do not need to always restock on your disposable underwear; you can just throw them in the laundry and reuse them once they are clean. Their reusability is also more environmentally friendly, reducing your waste and carbon footprint.

Finally, they are more comfortable, seeing as their material resembles that of normal underwear, which would feel softer and more breathable on the skin compared to the heavier products.

The only con, however, is if you are looking for the best incontinence underwear for heavy leakage, cloth washable underwear may not be for you. They are often less absorbent than disposable underwear, designed for those who are dealing with lighter leakage, and are usually not suitable for fecal incontinence.

The Best Rated Incontinence Underwear for Heavy Leakage

Forbes Health listed the top ten best rated incontinence underwear for heavy leakage, and the top three were: in first place, the Abena Abri-Form Premium Incontinence Briefs, in second place the Mckesson Ultra Underwear, and finally in third place were the McKesson Ultra Briefs.

The Forbes Health editorial team curated this list of rankings based on data they collected on more than 50 products, which factor in “price, sizes available, absorbency, adjustability and more.” The Abrena adult diapers ranked in first place due to their offering of three absorbency levels and tab closures that are fitting for both men and women. They also have a cloth-like backsheet and breathable side panel. The Mckesson Ultra Underwear, as well as McKesson Ultra Briefs were chosen for their tab closures that keep the underwear fitted to prevent heavy leakage, and odor control alongside material that absorbs wetness and reduces the pH of urine.

All the incontinence products mentioned indeed align with the best features we mentioned above, including soft breathable material, rapid absorption, inner leg barriers, tear-away seams and a comfortable stretch waistband.

Shop with WellBefore

There are many reasons to shop online for your incontinence products! You can both browse discreetly and also order your products discreetly. In fact, WellBefore offers discreet shipping so you can avoid any embarrassment when receiving your products. It is also simply more convenient to shop online instead of having to pick these products up at a store.

WellBefore offers a range of underwear for heavy incontinence on our website, that are great for mobile adults and are unisex as well as for styles specifically made for men and women. We also sell the top 3 best rated incontinence underwear for heavy leakage, the Abena Abri-Form Premium Incontinence Briefs, the Mckesson Ultra Underwear, as well as the McKesson Ultra Briefs. All of them come in sizes small all the way to 2X-large. They are also available in bulk packages up to 88 pieces!

The National Association for Continence has reported that up to 80% of those suffering from incontinence are using the wrong products for their condition, but we at WellBefore strive to prevent that from happening to you. Shop all the available options online, or contact our 24/7 customer service for more specific information about your needs.