Adult Pull Ups

Adult Pull Up Briefs are disposable protective underwear for men and women. Also referred to as pull ons, these incontinence products for adults most closely resemble ordinary underwear and provides discreet wear.1 They differ from traditional diapers in that they do not have side panels with tabs to provide closure. Some pull ups for elderly have tear-away sides to accommodate easy removal.

Patients that use pull-ups need to have some dexterity and flexibility to don and doff protective underwear; otherwise, they should consider Tab-style Diapers, which are much easier to get on and off. If caregivers assist with donning and doffing, employ tab style incontinence protection rather than the pull up diapers.

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Incontinence care is the "fastest-growing household product business".2 A report by CNBC found that "adult diaper growth outpaces baby diapers."3 The chart below displays a graph of the growth of the adult incontinence product sales.4

Adult Pull Ups Use

 

Most adult pull ups are disposable, but some are washable and reusable. The construction of disposable pull ups begins with an absorbent core, pass-through inner layer, an elastic waist for fitment, and elastic leg gathers for leak containment. Wear time for adult pull ups is up to 8 hours. Their design supports both day and night use.

There are many medical studies regarding the use of pull-up protective underwear as well as other incontinence products. One study found that "the majority of users… used 1 to 3 products each day…. Men and women did not significantly differ in the number of absorbent products used daily. Seventy-three percent of respondents with dual incontinence used the same type of product to absorb both stool and urine…. 75% of protective underwear users claim satisfaction with the incontinence product.5

Absorbent products are also useful in mitigating the potential clinical complications from incontinence, such as skin irritation, breakdown, and the development of wounds in the perineal area. High-performing products are also vital in supporting individuals in dealing with the very stressful psycho-social implications of incontinence, such as embarrassing visible leakage, unpleasant odors, and even social isolation.6

Another study found that "the experience of using a pull-up pant-style continence product (TENA pants) compared with that which was currently used (the majority used a wrap-around pad) in seven care homes…. The pull-up pant replicated the look and feel of ‘ordinary’ underwear, and was perceived to support people in the remaining continent.7

[T]he pull-up pant product was rated more highly on all of the key features required to give an individual the best experience of using continence products. The pant was also considered to promote dignity and independence….8

 

Anatomy of Adult Pull Up Diapers

Adult Pull Up Diaper Features

 

 

Types of Adult Pull Ups

 

Women's Pull-Up Diapers

Women’s Pull Up Diapers

Women’s pull-ups vary from thin, underwear-like briefs to thick overnight protection, offering maximum absorbency. Most offer air permeability for comfort and odor control for discreet wear. Many options are available to suit individual lifestyles.

 

Men's Protective Underwear

Men’s Pull Up Diapers

Protective underwear for men features absorbent protection designed for the male anatomy. Similar to regular underwear for male incontinence protection, these disposable underwear come with an elastic waistband to adjust to your body contours for a snug fit. However, the waistband is much wider to help provide containment against leaks. Elastic leg bands help protect against leaks.

 

Children's Protective Underwear

Children’s Pull Ups

When children start expressing their independence, it may be a good time to start using pull-up type protective underwear. The pull-ups more closely resemble underwear than diapers. Children become accustomed to putting on their own pull-ups and taking them off. This process helps to transition children from diapers to normal underwear.

 

Tear-Away Sides Protective Underwear

Tear-Away Pull Ups

Tear-Aways add a new dimension to pull-ups allowing you easier removal. Since pull-ups do not come with open sides that may close with tape or Velcro tabs, they are often much harder to remove. Adding the tear-away feature allows the user or caregiver a much simpler way to remove soiled protective underwear.

 

Overnight Protective Underwear

Overnight Pull Ups

Overnight protective underwear offers up to 8-hours of protection. They offer heavy protection and guard against nighttime leaks. The absorbency level is maximum to accommodate longer durations.

 

Plastic/Vinyl Protective Underwear

Plastic Backed Pull Ups

Plastic backing aids with managing heavy urinary or bowel incontinence. Plastic-backed pull up incontinence pants for adults offer better protection for bed linen and mattresses. They are more durable, less prone to sagging, and better able to retain its shape. Note that for side sleepers, pull-ups may leak more than tab-style briefs at night.

 

Potty Training Protective Underwear

Potty Training Pull Ups

These useful incontinence products help train children to start using the toilet instead of their briefs or underwear. They look and feel like regular underwear. There are generally three different ways that pull ups help train children. The first is that pull ups most closely resemble normal underwear. They help children make the transition from diapers to using underwear. Second, they offer absorbency for when accidents happen to protect clothing and furniture. Lastly, they feel different to the child when wet or soiled to help remind them to use the toilet.

Some parents note that using pull-ups at nighttime may hinder some children with potty training. They have found that some children have less incentive to get out of bed and toilet when they know that protection is there. These parents advocate for not using any briefs or pull ups when attempting to night train children.

 

Reusable Protective Underwear

Disposable or Reusable

Disposable Pull Ups are much more popular than the reusable pull ups. The reusuable are washable pull-ups that launder in your washing machine. Disposable ones are much more convenient, but washable pull-ups are more environmentally friendly.

 

Swim Protective Underwear

Swim Pull Ons

Swimwear offers disposable protection while enjoying water sports. The waterproof outer layer maintains containment and prevents the underwear from falling apart. Some swim pull-ons come with tear-away sides for easy removal.

 

 

 

Advantages of Pull-Up Briefs

  • Breathable panels
  • Elastic waistbands
  • Form-fitting
  • Anti-leak guards
  • Most closely resembles real underwear
  • Odor control
  • Overnight versions available
  • Disposable and washable versions
  • Cloth-like versions
  • Soft to touch
  • Multiple versions available for adults and children

 

 

Disadvantages of pull up adult incontinence pants

  • Less discreet than other options9
  • Difficult to put on or remove for many patients
  • Bulkier than other options
  • Some are not breathable
  • Susceptible to over-heating
  • Landfill concern
  • Expense

 

 

The Top Brands

 

Pull-up Brands

 

Rank Order of the Top Brands

  1. Depends
  2. Prevail
  3. TENA
  4. Poise
  5. Abena
  6. Medline
  7. McKesson
  8. Kimberly Clark
  9. Unique Wellness
  10. Tranquility

 

 

FREE Incontinence Products

 

FAQ’s

 

What are the best incontinence pull ups for adults?

The best overnight pull-ups for grown ups is the Abena Abri-Flex Protection 3. It offers the best absorbency of 81 ounces to handle heavy flows. They are breathable for comfort. Rapid absorption into the core keeps your skin dry. These pull-on briefs dermatologically keep your skin healthy.

The most comfortable pull-up is the Prevail Per-Fit Daily Underwear for Women and for Men. They have breathable waist sections, absorbent target zones, and ultra-soft fabric. Moisture is quickly wicked away from your skin. These disposable underwear are odor neutralizing.

The most discreet is the TENA Protective Underwear. The design of the TENA looks and feels like normal underwear. It has a soft cloth-like outer shell and a comfort waistband. It offers a snug, body-contouring fit with moderate absorbency. This product is simple to put on and take off.

 

Are pull ups considered diapers?

Yes, often called pull-up diapers, these incontinence products are most similar to normal underwear. To get them on, patients pull them up their legs and unto their waist. There are many different versions to select. They are different from tab-style diapers. The tab0style have open sides with tape or Velcro closure tabs while pull-ups have closed sides.

What are the best diapers for heavy wetters?

The best diapers for heavy wetters are from Abena and Unique Wellness. Both brands offer the most absorbency capacity. From Abena is the Abri-Flex Premium and from Unique Wellness is the Wellness Absorbent Underwear. These protective underwear are comfortable and last 8 to 12 hours.

Are pull ups as absorbent as diapers?

Diapers have slightly more absorbency than pull ups when comparing similar products. However, Abena which has the most absorbency for any incontinence product shows a marked difference between the Abri-Form Briefs and the Abri-Flex Protective Underwear. Below is a chart that compares the two:

 

Pull Ups

Absorbency Capacity10

Abri-Flex Premium 1

1400 mL

Abri-Flex Premium Special

1700 mL

Abri-Flex Premium 2

1900 mL

Abri-Flex Premium 3

2400 mL

 

 

Briefs

Absorbency Capacity11

Abri-Form Zero

2000 mL

Abri-Form L1

2500 mL

Abri-Form L2

3100 mL

Abri-Form L3

3400 mL

Abri-Form XL2

3400 mL

Abri-Form L4

4000 mL

Abri-Form XL4

4000 mL

 

 

Footnotes

 

 

 

 

Medical Studies

 

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