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Diapers For Adults: What’s The Best Fit?

Adult incontinence is a medical condition where adults lose control over their urinary and bowel movements. The condition’s dominant cause is age, although physical factors like pregnancy, surgery, and underlying conditions may also cause incontinence. According to one research survey on adult incontinence prevalence, the condition affects more women (up to 17%) than men (up to 11%).
Besides treatment, post-diagnosis care also includes using adult incontinence garments to improve the quality of life for patients. However, deciding on the best fit for a patient takes trial and error. Fortunately, the guide below helps overcome the incontinence diaper fitting conundrum.

How Should An Incontinence Diaper Fit?

Incontinence garments or adult briefs are no different from other clothing items because comfort is king, and garment size is the most critical comfort determiner. However, the briefs come in different sizes, and worse still, each manufacturer has their in-house size chart, meaning standard sizes do not exist. Moreover, patients’ varying body shapes and sizes make standardizing incontinence diaper sizes practically impossible.
The garment’s key areas defining the proper fit are the waist, hips, and legs. Therefore, the incontinence diaper should be firm and snug, touching every inch of the waist evenly without any loose-handing segments.
However, snug and tight are not synonyms because a snug fit is comfortable and flexible, while a tight or close fit cuts off circulation and leaves red marks. The firm, snug, and comfortable principle applies to the thighs when fitting incontinence diapers to avoid chafing and leakages, leading to skin infections. Also, the fit around the waist, hips, and thighs should be flexible to allow for a wide range of motion, especially for patients maintaining an active lifestyle.

Continence Diaper
Continence Diaper

The Essential Benefits of A proper-fitting Adult Continence Diaper

Incontinence diapers’ primary purpose is to improve the quality of life for incontinent adults and restore their dignity. Below are some reasons why an adult incontinence garment should fit snugly.
Leak Prevention

Whether urinary or fecal, incontinence leaks are more likely to occur if the adult diaper does not fit snug. One common misconception among individuals shopping for incontinence garments is that oversized briefs have better efficacy in holding excretory matter. However, the contrary is true because sagging waistlines and a loose fit around the thighs allow excrement to flow outside the diaper, which is embarrassing.
Additionally, undersized garments are no better because they risk tearing along the seams or the fasting coming loose due to pressure from movement. Such incidents automatically cause leakages.




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A snug-fitting incontinence diaper has a lower profile than ill-fitting ones and fits discreetly under the patient’s garments. They are odor-proof and lock-in odors, preventing embarrassing situations and stigma, especially in public spaces.
However, oversized diapers protrude under an outfit, creating an unflattering spectacle. According to one patient survey conducted across the US, UK, and Sweden, adult incontinence goes hand-in-hand with anxiety and depressive emotions. Therefore, ill-fitting briefs add self-consciousness to the mix of negative emotions that incontinent patients experience.
Comfort and Confidence

An incontinence garment’s primary function is to make the patient as comfortable as possible. Snug-fitting garments ensure comfort by facilitating average blood circulation and natural movement. They allow patients to engage in various physical activities, including physical exercise, without worrying about accidents.
Accommodate Booster Pads

Besides incontinence diapers, patients may also opt to use incontinence pads, depending on their condition’s intensity. Moreover, combine both products to increase efficacy. Snug-fitting diapers secure incontinence pads in place better than oversize or undersize briefs.
Reduces Skin Irritation Incidences
According to one expert review, incontinent adults could experience incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) or skin irritation resulting from contact with urine and fecal matter. The study established that leaks keep the skin moist and trigger IAD. However, snug-fitting diapers remain in place to facilitate maximum absorption, preventing skin irritation from leakage.
Saves You Money

Incontinence garments do not qualify as cheap for most individuals. Unfortunately, you will have to spend more money to buy fitting briefs once the ill-fitting ones fail to meet your needs adequately.

Adult diaper
Adult diaper

Adult Incontinence Diapers Measuring Guide

Different adult incontinence care brands have various sizing charts. However, below is a general guide on the best way to take body measurements before purchasing incontinence diapers.
⦁ Measure Your Waist: The waist is a key area, so take a measuring tape and measure around the most prominent part of your abdomen, right under the belly button and record the figure.
⦁ Measure your hips: Measure the most prominent area across your hip bones and record the figure.
⦁ Measure your thighs: Use the measuring tape to measure your thighs’ circumference along the midpoint between your knee and your hip, and record the figure.
Most incontinence diaper size charts feature a size range (e.g., 38″-42″). Therefore, look at the size ranges and decide on the best size range. Also, take the measurements while relaxed because tense muscles can warp the final figure.

Additional Tips To Help Find The Best-fitting Incontinence Diapers

Consider gender-specific diapers because although unisex incontinence diapers are available, gender-specific briefs have maximum absorption features to accommodate gender-specific physiology.
⦁ Given the role that size plays in incontinence diaper efficiency, most brands issue free or low-cost samples to consumers on demand. Therefore, consider requesting brands for samples based on size charts to establish whether specific brands work for you.
⦁ Consider incontinence diaper brands with adjustable features for a custom fit.
⦁ Use other incontinence products like leg gathers and booster pads to prevent leakage along the leg.

Incontinence Diapers
Incontinence Diapers


Although identifying the best-fitting incontinence diaper is crucial, it requires trial and error, which takes time. However, it is worth the effort, and hopefully, the guide above should help reduce your trial-and-error phase substantially.

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