6 Most Popular Types of Diaper for Adults With Pros & Cons

June 10, 2024

By Hayley Milne

stat image that says 46 million  Americans are incontinent

When it comes to selecting the right adult diaper, it’s essential to consider factors such as absorbency, comfort and size.

Adult diapers are made to handle both urinary and fecal incontinence.

Adult incontinence can be managed with the right products and help wearers regain a sense of normalcy in their daily lives.

While there are a variety of options available on the market, six types of adult diapers are the most popular, each with its own set of pros and cons.

In this article, we’ll explore these six types of diapers for adults and provide an overview of their features, benefits and drawbacks.

The 6 Types of Adult Diapers

1. Overnight Tape-Tab Style Diapers

Wondering what the best overnight adult diapers are that feature a tape-tab brief style?

We offer the the “ATN” brief (which stands for All-Through-The-Night), and the Smartcore Brief which can both absorb up to 34 oz of fluid. These are great for individuals who need a highly absorbent product.

These are designed to provide maximum absorbency and protection for individuals who experience heavy incontinence at night.

They have a super absorbent core and leg cuffs that help prevent leaks and keep the skin dry. Additionally, some of these diapers feature a wetness indicator that alerts the user or caregiver when it’s time for a change.


  • Overnight adult diapers provide max absorbency and protection, making them ideal for individuals with heavy incontinence.
  • They are also available in a range of sizes to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.


  • Some absorbent adult diapers may be bulky and uncomfortable for active adults.
  • They may not be suitable for individuals with light incontinence.

2. Pull Up Style Overnight Adult Diapers

Tranquility Premium OverNight Disposable Underwear: This underwear is another option for individuals who need maximum absorbency and protection.

These pull up style diapers are designed to look and feel like regular underwear, providing a discreet and comfortable option for nighttime use.

It’s one of the best on the market that provides premium protection you can count on to keep you dry.

Learn more about Tranquility Premium OverNight Disposable Absorbent Underwear here.


  • This underwear is easy to use and provides extreme absorbency and protection.
  • It’s also discreet and comfortable, making it an excellent option for individuals who are self-conscious about wearing adult diapers.


  • This underwear may not be suitable for adults who lack mobility due to the pull on and pull off nature.
  • It may offer more absorbent protection than someone with light incontinence needs.

For someone with very light incontinence, they could use a personal care pad within their regular underwear.

Read our guide to the best overnight adult diapers to learn more.

3. Cloth Diapers

They are reusable and environmentally friendly.

They are made from absorbent materials such as cotton or bamboo, and they are available in a range of sizes to provide a snug and comfortable fit.

They can also be washed and reused, making them a cost-effective option in the long run.

Wearers often prefer this style as it can feel more like “normal underwear.”


  • Reusable diapers are environmentally friendly and cost-effective in the long run.
  • They are also available in a range of sizes to provide a comfortable and secure fit.


  • They may not provide as much absorbency as disposable diapers, and they may require more frequent changes.
  • Additionally, some individuals may find them less convenient to use than disposable alternatives, because they do require cleaning in-between uses.
  • We also have not seen many options that have inner leg cuffs, which help with containment.

4. Disposable Diapers Pull on Style

This is a pull up style diaper that provides moderate to heavy protection against urinary and fecal incontinence.

They feature a core with rapid absorbency and leg gathers to prevent leaks and keep the skin dry.

Tranquility OverNight Disposable Absorbent Underwear is one of our most popular options in this category.


  • They are easy to use and provide moderate to heavy protection against incontinence.
  • It’s also discreet and comfortable, making it an excellent option for individuals who are self-conscious about wearing adult diapers.
  • On all Tranquility pull-on style underwear, there are tear-away side seams that make for easy removal.


  • They may be less environmentally friendly than reusable options.

5. Bariatric Briefs

These briefs are designed for individuals with larger waist sizes.

They feature a full rise waist panel and leg cuffs that provide a secure and comfortable fit.

They are available in a range of sizes to prevent leakage and guarantee comfort for larger individuals.

Some may refer to briefs as “diapers with tabs.”

This product promises odor control, discreet protection and breathability, while keeping the skin healthy.

The peach mat core reduces odors and quickly absorbs all fluid.


  • They are designed for larger individuals and provide maximum protection and comfort.
  • They are available in sizes 3XL to 5XL, with a waist/hip maximum circumference up to 108″, to ensure a comfortable, yet snug fit.


  • Bariatric briefs may not be suitable for individuals with light or moderate incontinence, and they may be less discreet than other options.

For those with lighter incontinence, we recommend a pad placed inside regular underwear.

6. Plastic Backed Adult Diapers

Plastic-backed adult diapers are a type of disposable diaper that features a plastic exterior to prevent leaks and provide extra protection.

They also have a super highly absorbent core and leg cuffs to keep the skin dry and prevent leaks.

These diapers are available in a range of sizes and absorbencies to meet the needs of different individuals.

While Tranquility offers many options in a “cotton like fabric” that guarantee just as much absorbency, some wearers prefer the feeling of plastic-backed options.


  • They provide excellent protection against leaks and can be a good option for individuals with heavy incontinence.
  • Leg gathers contain bowel incontinence and urinary incontinence episodes. They are also available in a range of sizes and absorbencies to ensure a comfortable fit.


  • Some individuals may find them uncomfortable or noisy to wear.
  • Additionally, they may not be the most environmentally friendly option, as they are designed for single-use and can take a long time to decompose.

Finding the Right Type of Adult Diapers For You

In conclusion, choosing the best adult diapers for your needs can be a daunting task, but considering factors such as absorbency, comfort and size can help narrow down your options.

The six types of diapers discussed in this article: Best Adult Diapers for Overnight – Tape-Tab Style, Overnight Adult Diapers – Pull Up Style, Cloth Diapers, Disposable Diapers Pull on Style, Bariatric Briefs, Plastic Backed Adult Diapers are all designed to provide different levels of protection and comfort.

Ultimately, the best adult diaper for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you require maximum protection, super absorbent adult diapers like OverNight Adult Diapers may be the best choice.

However, if you prefer a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective option, reusable options like cloth diapers may be a better fit.

You also need to consider style: whether you prefer pull up diapers or tabbed brief styles.

Whatever your needs may be, there is an adult diaper out there that will meet them.

Additional Adult Diaper Considerations

As a leading brand in adult incontinence products, Tranquility Incontinence Products understands the importance of finding the right diaper for yourself or a loved one dealing with urinary incontinence or fecal incontinence.

You want to ensure that you get the best adult diapers out of the many options available on the market.

There are a variety of considerations to take into account when selecting the best adult diaper for your needs.

Skin Irritation

One of the most critical concerns when shopping for adult diapers is preventing skin irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin.

The constant exposure to wetness can cause diaper rash, sores and discomfort.

It’s imperative to ensure the absorbent material inside of the diaper is meeting your needs.

Choosing the right product with breathable material can help alleviate skin issues and ensure that your skin remains healthy and comfortable.

Tranquility has a patented Peach Mat absorbent core to ensure performance while promoting healthy skin and helping to eliminate odor and leakage.

The superabsorbent polymers absorb and retain moisture in the core by utilizing a nonwoven layer for quick and effective absorption.


The term “Adult diaper” can refer to either a pull on style underwear (i.e.; “pull ups”) or a tabbed brief-style undergarment.

It is important to distinguish which style is preferable for the wearer.

Sometimes it comes down to personal choice, but as a rule of thumb we recommend briefs for an individual with limited mobility and a pull on style for someone who is more active.

For those dealing with moderate incontinence, pull ups may be the best option.

Our disposable underwear is designed to provide the perfect combination of comfort and absorbency, making them an excellent choice for those with an active lifestyle.

When searching for the best adult diaper, Tranquility Premium OverNight Briefs are an excellent choice.

They offer superior protection and absorbency, ensuring you can sleep soundly without worrying about leaks.

Our premium briefs come with a wetness indicator that changes color when it’s time for a change.

This helps wearers and caregivers know when it is time to change!

A prompt changing helps prevent diaper rash and other skin-health issues that arise when a soiled product is left on the skin too long.

Odor Control

Managing odor is another essential factor when choosing adult diapers.

Our latex-free briefs and underwear come equipped with urine pH neutralization technology that effectively eliminates unpleasant odors, keeping you feeling fresh and clean throughout the day.

Shopping with Tranquility

Curious how to find the best adult diapers?

When it comes to shopping for incontinence products, it can be overwhelming to navigate the many options available.

We want to make this process as easy and stress-free as possible.

That’s why we’re sharing some additional tips and considerations to help you find the right disposable briefs for your needs.

Whether you are shopping for older adults, a child or adult with special needs, we’re here to help you navigate the process.

Absorbency & Fit

First, let’s talk about the importance of absorbency.

Our patented Peach Mat Construction is the cornerstone of all Tranquility Products.

This unique peach mat core construction uses a blend of super absorbent polymers and high-quality fluff pulp to provide exceptional absorbency and retention capacity, meaning fewer changes and greater confidence.

Another consideration when shopping for disposable briefs is fit.

A proper fit ensures maximum comfort and protection, reducing the risk of leaks and accidents.

Tranquility offers a range of sizes to ensure you can find the perfect fit for your body type and needs.

Light, Moderate and Severe Incontinence

Another factor to consider is the level of incontinence you or your loved one is experiencing.

Our products are designed to provide exceptional protection for those dealing with light to severe incontinence.

We offer several levels of absorbency to ensure that you can find the right product to suit your needs.


In addition to absorbency, odor is another crucial factor to consider when shopping for disposable briefs.

Our products feature odor control technology that effectively neutralizes unpleasant odors, keeping you feeling fresh and confident throughout the day.


When it comes to overnight protection, Tranquility Premium OverNight Disposable Underwear are an excellent choice.

These briefs are designed to provide super absorbency and retention capacity, ensuring that you can sleep soundly without worrying about leaks or accidents.

The Peach Mat Construction and odor-neutralization technology work together to provide superior protection, so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.

Healthy Skin

We understand that skin health can be a concern for those wearing disposable briefs for extended periods.

That’s why we prioritize breathable materials in our products.

Several of our briefs are designed with air circulation panels to allow for proper ventilation, reducing the risk of skin rashes or sores, and promoting healthy skin.

It’s important to note that not all disposable briefs are created equal.

Tranquility is committed to providing latex-free options. Choosing latex-free products can be crucial for those with allergies or sensitive skin.

3XL-5XL Bariatric Options

For those with bariatric needs, our bariatric diaper offers the same superior absorbency and protection as our other products. These briefs are designed to fit comfortably and securely, ensuring reliable protection and confidence.

The absorbent peach mat core provides absorbency benefits while neutralizing odor.

We have briefs that fit up to size 5XL.

The tape tabs allow for easy removal, and inner leg cuffs help deter leaks.

Shopping for incontinence products doesn’t have to be a daunting task. The best adult diapers are the ones that fit your unique needs. By taking into account factors such as absorbency, fit and odor control, you can find the right disposable briefs to meet your needs.

With Tranquility Incontinence Products, you can trust that you’re getting superior protection and comfort thanks to our Real Life Protection Guarantee and commitment to offering a large range of sizes.

Find the right adult diaper size using our sizing guide (see image below).

We are proud to offer some of the most absorbent adult diapers that offer odor reduction and allow wearers to sleep all through the night.

Each brand has different sizing measurements, but as a rule of thumb, always measure the widest part of your body between the waist and hip.

Special Instances: Swimming

Incontinent individuals should not feel limited in the activities they want to participate in, and this includes swimming!

Tranquility offers disposable swim diapers for adults called Swimmates that protect wearers who experience bowel incontinence.

Elastic leg gathers maintain bowel voids so wearers can swim freely without distraction. These latex free adult briefs do not swell or break apart in the water.

What are the Different Types of Adult Diapers?

Generally speaking, diapers are divided into three groups: Pull-ons, Reusable diapers and Briefs.

How common is it for adults to wear diapers?

Adults wear diapers for several reasons. Some people have incontinence and other medical conditions, and others prefer adult diapering but don’t use it as needed for a specific reason.

What kind of diapers do hospitals use for adults?

Typically a lighter absorbency diaper.

The light absorbent adult diaper reduces the chance of urine leakage and infrequent light urination.

Similarly, moderately absorbent adult diapers are often used in larger children who urinate frequently.

Which Factors Should I Consider When Buying Diapers?

To find the best diapers that will match your needs, you should conduct some research.

Because online product lists are difficult to find, we strongly recommend focusing on the six above factors.

What is a bariatric diaper?

Our bariatric diapers can accommodate larger adults and have size options from 2XL to 5XL.

Which adult diaper is the most absorbent?

Normal adult diapers designed for overnight use have higher absorbency rates, due to longer usage.

The Tranquility SmartCore Brief, Tranquility ATN, or Tranquility Premium OverNight underwear have been our best choices to use daily.

Which types of diapers are the most comfortable?

Tape-tab style briefs are easy to remove by simply lifting the tapes on either side. These work well for individuals with limited mobility.

Tranquility pull ups feature tear-away side seams for easy removal. Which style a wearer prefers is based on personal preference. Individuals with more mobility often prefer pull-ups because they are most like “regular underwear”.

Which types of diapers are the easiest to change?

Briefs and pulls ups are both easy to change! Briefs can be removed either laying down or standing. Pull ups remove the easiest while standing, but can also be removed while lying down if the tear-away sides are utilized.

What sizes do adult diapers come in?

Sizes generally are between XS and XL for normal adult diapers or between 2XL and -5XL for bariatric diapers.

Each product has an approximate waist measurement in inches and knowing this is what you need can help ensure an ideal fit.

Hayley Milne

Hayley Milne

Hayley is a Brand Supervisor for Consumer Marketing at Principle Business Enterprises, parent company of Tranquility Brand Continence Care Products. She has 10+ years of experience leading tactical integration of business objectives and guiding creative execution. She is passionate about brand and customer experience.

For more information or questions about this article, please call 1-419-352-1551 or email CustomerService@pbenet.com

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