Incontinence product buying guide: How to find the right incontinence product to meet your needs

Compare incontinence products including pads, liners and absorbent underwear.

More than five million Australians battle with incontinence each year, with many ignoring their symptoms. The right incontinence products can offer you the confidence to comfortably go about your daily life.

Our guide covers the range of incontinence products available, including liners, pads and absorbent underwear. We'll help you find the right product for your needs by breaking down absorbency, fit, reusability and cost.

Compare some of the best incontinence products

Data obtained December 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Average Price (AUD) Type Pack Size Odour Control Product Suitability Absorbency Level Claim Purchase Today
Carefree Plus Regular Liners For LBL
Carefree Plus Regular Liners For LBL
$4.00
Liner
28 pack
Yes
Light bladder leakage
3 out of 4
The Carefree Plus Regular Liners For LBL are thin, discrete and comfortable.
TENA Ultra Thin Mini Standard Length Pads
TENA Ultra Thin Mini Standard Length Pads
$4.89 (20 pack)
Pad
20 pack
Yes
Light to moderate stress incontinence
2.5 out of 8
The TENA Ultra Thin Mini Standard Length Pads are small and thin pads designed for frequent, daily drops.
Depend Fitted Briefs for Men & Women
Depend Fitted Briefs for Men & Women
$13.99 (8 pack)
Underwear
8 pack, 10 pack
Yes
Maximum absorbency
7 out of 8
Depend’s Fitted Briefs for Men & Women are highly absorbent and available in two sizes.
Poise Extra Long Liners
Poise Extra Long Liners
$4.29 (22 pack)
Liner
22 pack
Yes
Light bladder leakage
2 out of 8
Poise’s Extra Long Liners offer a 4-layer design for quick absorbency and soft breathable cover for odour prevention.
Carefree Plus Long Liners For LBL
Carefree Plus Long Liners For LBL
$8.65
Liner
24 pack
Yes
Light bladder leakage
4 out of 4
The Carefree Plus Long Liners For LBL are tailored for regular use, offering greater protection and absorbency.
Poise Super Pads
Poise Super Pads
$6.05 (14 pack)
Pad
14 pack
Yes
Light bladder leakage
3.5 out of 8
Poise’s Super Pads are discrete and absorbent with a quick dry, breathable cover.
TENA Pants Plus
TENA Pants Plus
$24.95 (8 pack)
Underwear
8 pack
Yes
Moderate incontinence
6 out of 8
The TENA Pants Plus are unisex, highly absorbent and have a close fit that feels like regular underwear.
Poise Light Liners
Poise Light Liners
$2.69 (18 pack)
Liner
18 pack
Yes
Light bladder leakage
1 out of 8
Poise’s Light Liners are thin and discreet and suitable for light droplets.
Depend Guards For Men
Depend Guards For Men
$11.04 (20 pack)
Pad
12 pack, 20 pack
Yes
Moderate absorbency
4 out of 8
Depend’s Guards For Men are discrete, moderately absorbent and include a contoured design for male fit.
TENA Extra Long Length Liners
TENA Extra Long Length Liners
$4.39 (24 pack)
Liner
24 pack
Yes
Frequent stress incontinence
2 out of 8
The TENA Extra Long Length Liners are tailored to manage a weak bladder.

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What are incontinence products?

Incontinence products can help you manage accidental or involuntary bladder or bowel problems. Incontinence products can protect your clothing, furniture or bedding and come in numerous forms, including liners, pads, underwear and diapers.

Costs

Individual incontinence products are relatively cheap at around ten cents to three dollars per product, but the cost adds up quickly if you wear multiple products per day for an extended period of time. However, discounted and subsidised products are available. Some incontinence products are covered by insurance, but check to make sure they don't fall under any health insurance exclusions. There is also a government Continence Aids Payment Scheme that subsidises continence-related products for those with permanent incontinence. If your incontinence is related to a disability, check if you are eligible for support from The National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Disabilities and health insurance

What types are available?

The right type of incontinence product will often depend on comfort and how heavy the leakage flow is. Some products are for short-term use to help people recovering from medical procedures, while others are for long-term use.

There are three main types of wearable incontinence products:

  • Pads. Pads are available in disposable and reusable styles, and come in a large range of sizes. Larger pads tend to be more absorbent, but need to fit snugly in order to avoid leakage. While disposable pads offer convenience, they can be expensive if used often over a long period of time.
  • Liners. Liners are best suited to those with a light flow or leakage. The main benefit of wearing liners is that they tend to be discreet and thin and are not visible under clothing. If you're not sure about your flow or leakage, pads or underwear are a safer option.
  • Undergarments. These can come in the form of adult diapers, underwear or underpants. Undergarments are geared towards heavy leakage and can be disposable or washable. They are also ideal for sleeping when bladder control is often reduced.

How to compare incontinence products

The right incontinence product will depend on how heavy your leakage flow is and your individual needs. When comparing incontinence products be sure to consider the following:

Size and fit

The fit is essential. If it's too small, your garment might ride up and leave cracks for leakage. If it's too big and baggy, it may not create a tight seal. Sizes like "small", "medium" or "large" are not consistent across different brands, so make sure to read the packaging for specific measurements. Keep in mind, you may have to try a few brands to find the perfect product for you.

Absorbency

Products with greater absorbency tend to cost more. If you know you need maximum absorption, look for a brand's most absorbent product. Brands typically have their own systems of defining leakage rates and flows, making it hard to compare products across brands. It may be a case of trial and error, but you can start by reading customer reviews and listening to the advice of medical practitioners.

Odour control

Typically, products with greater absorbency offer more odour control. Some manufacturers claim to negate smells by drying out leakages, balancing pH measurements or adding fragrance. Keep in mind, if you have sensitive skin, products with added fragrance could cause irritation.

Appearance

This often comes down to thickness. The thicker a product is, the less discreet you tend to feel. However, thicker products offer more absorbency. You may have to try a few brands before you find the right balance for you.

Additional factors to think about:

Non-wearable incontinence products to use at home

Incontinence can be an around-the-clock issue. There are several non-wearable products that can help combat incontinence during times of inactivity.

Non-wearable incontinence products include the following:

  • Bed pads. You can use pads just about anywhere, including on chairs, couches, beds or the floor. They are absorbent mats that come in a variety of sizes and you can place them in convenient locations around the home.
  • Mattress cover. Mattress covers wrap around your entire mattress and are typically waterproof, hypoallergenic and odour resistant.
  • Bedpans. Bedpans are typically for people who are immobile or bedridden and are often used in hospitals or care homes.

3 tips for using incontinence products

  • See a doctor. If you have continence issues, you should discuss it with a doctor. They are most likely to steer you in the right direction and provide you with advice regarding the suitability of different incontinence products. They may even be able to give you some free sample products to try out.
  • Try new products at home. It can be hard to tell if a product will work for you or if it's the right size until you try it. If you are concerned about leaking, try the product at home first to make sure it's right for you.
  • Combine wearable and non-wearable products. If you don't like wearing wearable products all the time, consider using a mix of protective pads on furniture at home and wearables when you leave the house.


 

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