How to Buy Adult Diapers: 4 Things to Consider

July 13, 2024

By Robert Recker

Daughter and Mother2

Millions of Americans experience incontinence. If you know someone that is starting to have decreased bladder or bowel control, you will want to locate adult diapers that will work and fit properly for their needs.

When buying adult diapers for urinary incontinence or fecal incontinence, there are four key things to consider: size, material, absorbency, and odor elimination. Firstly, size is important, as an ill-fitting diaper can lead to discomfort and leakage. Secondly, the material of the best adult diapers should be comfortable, breathable and skin-friendly. Thirdly, the right level of absorbency is essential to prevent accidents and skin irritation, and finally, odor elimination can help keep the wearer feeling confident and fresh throughout the day. In this article, we will discuss each of these key considerations more in depth.

Here are the top four things to consider when purchasing adult diapers.

1. Size

Size is the number one priority for incontinence products. Many people believe that a larger diaper will hold more but this is a myth. An adult diaper that is too large or too small will not manage leaks effectively. They will either overflow or leak. Follow the manufacturer’s sizing guide and carefully measure to ensure the adult diaper will fit. Keep in mind that a medium in one brand may be equal to a small in another brand. The sizing charts differ.

For individuals with larger waist sizes who are looking to buy diapers, search for “bariatric” products, if needed. Typically, the best performing bariatric products are not just larger versions of large (L) or extra large (XL) products. Instead, consumers will likely have a a better experience using products that are designed specifically to fit those of a larger stature. Bariatric products from Tranquility®, including the newest additions to the product line, Tranquility Premium OverNight™ Underwear and Tranquility Essential® Underwear – Heavy, are designed with a larger fitted waist and a high rise waistband for more complete coverage and comfort.

2. Material

The two types of common materials for manufacturing different diapers are plastic-backed (or poly-backed) and breathable.

Some wearers appreciate the security of a poly-backed, waterproof material, knowing that they are leak-free and protected.

Others prefer breathable materials because they allow for air flow. They also tend to be thinner so they are less apparent for greater wearer discretion and an active lifestyle.

Certain Tranquility brand incontinence products like Tranquility Premium OverNight Underwear feature Air-Plus™ Technology, These overnight diapers are made with materials engineered for a more refreshing and restful sleep. Air-Plus™ Technology combines new 100% breathable material with Tranquility’s superabsorbent core to create an improved environment for healthy skin. Wearing 100% breathable incontinence products permits air to flow throughout for cooler comfort, allows skin-damaging heat and humidity to escape, retains fluid and keeps damaging fluids away from the skin. Additionally, the core traps in odor for greater confidence and security.

3. Absorbency

The severity of the incontinence dictates the amount of absorbency required. The range in capability can be from several ounces to several cups of fluid. It may be necessary to use an adult diaper with a different level of absorbency for nighttime than during the day since it is common to lose a large quantity of urine overnight. Liquid absorption is important because it will prevent the skin from being moist, which can cause irritation or sores. Buying top quality products will help you achieve the goal of having dry, healthy skin.

Across the Tranquility product catalog, there is a wide range of adult diaper absorbency levels to meet many incontinence product needs. Typically the lowest absorption products are personal care pads, which may hold just a few ounces or may absorb up to 15 oz or more.

The highest absorption adult diaper products that Tranquility offers each hold a maximum of 34 oz and are as follows:

All Tranquility adult diapers offer a Real Life Protection™ guarantee, Tranquility products are guaranteed to absorb and contain their stated fluid capacity no matter how much pressure is applied to the product.

Booster pads are also available to be added into an incontinence host garment for additional absorbency.

4. Odor elimination

When looking for adult briefs that help deter odor, search for high-performance products that help control the bacteria that causes odor. In addition to odor control, the neutralization of bacteria will also help reduce the likelihood of urinary tract infections and skin issues.

Other features

Other features of some Tranquility products are:

  • Wetness indicator
  • Breathable outer layer or breathable sides
  • Quick and easy removal with tear-away side seams (protective underwear)
  • Superabsorbent core that locks in moisture and odor
  • Markings on the product that help identify its back from its front (protective underwear)
  • Easy-to-read packaging to quickly select the right product with the right size and features

Other factors to consider

When you go to buy adult diapers, the quality of the product can go a long way in helping to make the wearer feel more comfortable, secure and confident.

However, keep in mind that individuals who manage incontinence and need to buy incontinence supplies are not only dealing with physical issues, but emotional challenges as well. They may feel embarrassed, anxious, depressed and frustrated.

Dealing with the physical incontinence issues by providing and equipping the best adult diapers that meet an individual’s absorbency needs is a great start. In addition, remember to seek emotional support and try to connect with those who are facing the challenges of incontinence.

Robert Recker

Robert is a Senior Manager of Content Marketing for Principle Business Enterprises, parent company of Tranquility Incontinence Products. He has 15 years of experience creating online educational content in the healthcare industry, specializing in medical supplies.

For more information or questions about this article, please call 1-419-352-1551 or email