Adult Diapers

Everything You Need to Know About Adult Diapers

Adult diapers are designed to aid people who are unable to control their bladder or bowel movement, as they experience urinary or fecal incontinence due to a medical condition. 

They can easily absorb all wastes and liquids that come out of the body, and they have a considerable resemblance to the sanitary pads used by women. 

If someone has functional bowel and bladder control, but they are in a wheelchair or bedridden, this product may benefit them since they cannot go to the bathroom by themselves.

Another reason to use them is a set of cognitive disorders (e.g. dementia, Alzheimer’s disease) that interferes with the executive functions in the brain.


In the past few years, the incontinence product industry has seen substantial growth. These are the briefs that are cloth-backed, and they aid airflow and protection from leakage.

They were not introduced until the 1940s when everything before them was just a simple cloth. According to some shreds of evidence, they were used by the Army, Air force, and Marines of the US when troops were going to war and/or on long-term missions.

Kimberly Clark initiated the line of baby diapers in the year 1978, followed by the line of manufacturing adult diapers in the year 1984. 

Since then, the market demand for these products skyrocketed, thus many companies started creating them. 

P&G also began making theirs in the 1970s, which was associated with massive marketing campaigns that targeted hospitals and nursing homes.

In 1990, adult incontinence products of the best quality by Prevail were introduced.

Over time, new competitors joined the market and designed their own versions of these products.

The need for these products has also gradually increased due to the augmentation in the prevalence of debilitating diseases. 

Indications to use

The primary goal of adult diapers is to handle fecal and urinary material in individuals who cannot consciously control their sphincters or for patients unable to go to the bathroom by themselves.

A critical differentiation here is the difference in how individuals classify incontinence. It is not a condition itself, but rather a symptom of an existing condition in the patient.

Here is a list of common conditions that require wearing products that manage incontinence:


Dementia is a medical condition that is mostly seen in elderly individuals. Unfortunately, patients with dementia “unlearn” basic skills, such as using a spoon, going to the bathroom, and controlling their sphincters.

Note that not all patients with dementia will need this type of help since some of them might still have control over their genitourinary tract.

Bladder Incontinence 

As people age, the prevalence of urinary incontinence increases, which is mostly the result of bladder dysfunction.

The bladder of these patients cannot contract physiologically, leading to uncontrolled micturition.

Adult diapers are the best possible solution for those who are suffering from bladder incontinence to discharge urine safely and hygienically. Moreover, some companies started developing reusable versions that are convenient and economic.


During pregnancy, women face a lot of problems, including urinary incontinence.

Most notably, these problems are prevalent during the third term, where the uterus is large enough to apply pressure on the surrounding organs, including the bladder.

Add this issue to the natural stress that comes with a pregnancy, and these women would be on their toes all the time.

Fortunately, adult diapers can solve this problem because they allow women to safely discharge urine until they regain bladder control postpartum. They also prevent embarrassing situations for pregnant women by allowing them to go shopping and attend social gatherings confidently and comfortably.

Complications of Use 

Similar to conventional diapers, the adult versions are associated with some complications due to prolonged contact with the skin.

The most common adverse effect is skin irritation characterized by reddish rashes, itching, and burning sensation.

Additionally, wearing them all day creates a favorable environment to develop a rash caused by a fungus known as Candida albicans.

Fortunately, this yeast infection can easily be treated with topical antifungal drugs and good hygiene standards.

General Specifications 

The general specifications are as follows:

  • Absorption capacity: 1200ML
  • Absorption capabilities of large: 1400ML
  • Speed of absorption: Dependent on the concentration of HCG in urine 
  • Average time for absorption: 30 seconds 
  • Accuracy of absorption: 99.8% 

How do they work?

Adult diapers are worn under external garments, where they act as an undergarment for individuals who are on wheelchairs or have issues going to the toilet. 

Some of the products are pull-ups, which means they are worn during the night in case the person has bladder issues. 

The diaper will absorb the liquid and contain it to prevent any leaking problems. After that, patients can replace or wash the diaper in the morning for upcoming reuse.

There are three main sizes:

Small: Used by teens who cannot control their bladder due to traumatic and/or neurological conditions

Large:  Mostly work for mature individuals who have trouble controlling their bladder or anal sphincters

Extra-Large: Designed for people with extraordinarily large physical characteristics

Market Leaders 

Although there are several competitors in the industry of adult diapers, the market-leading company is Tranquility. They offer merchandise with excellent absorption properties due to the peach mat core. The liquid capacity of them is also substantial and fulfills the needs of most patients.

The number two spot in the market goes to Prevail that offers high-quality products with superior absorption capacities. The core function of Prevail products helps with and protects the patient from waste leakage.

Attends is also a leading brand in the industry, and they have an outstanding reputation in the market, as well as among its customers. The specialty of Attends is to reduce the foul smells that come out of fecal and/or urinary material.

Tena is another competitive company in the market. Their products also offer a reduction of odors as well as a variety of sizes to fit customers’ needs. 

Tena’s products tend to fit the best, so they are more comfortable and less prominent undergarments.


The growing demand for adult diapers in the market is associated with competitiveness between companies, which is beneficial for quality and customer satisfaction.

There are several positive effects including the improvement in the quality of life for patients and aid in restoring their normal daily routine. A few types are people that benefit from these products the most are elderly patients (especially those with dementia), pregnant individuals, and those who experience bladder incontinence. Some of the biggest players in this space of medicine include Tranquility, Prevail, Attends, Tena, and others.

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