Choosing the Best Incontinence Pads and Liners

Choosing the Best Incontinence Pads and Liners

25 million Americans have urinary incontinence. Of those, 75% are women and 25% are men. With so many with this condition, there are a variety of pads and liners to help people have comfortable and active lifestyles. How do you choose the one that’s best for you?

Things to Consider When Choosing Incontinence Pads and Liners 

Nearly all incontinence pads and liners on the market are made of special absorbent and waterproof materials to keep you, your clothes, and bedding clean, fresh, and dry in order to give you confidence throughout the day and peace of mind at night. It’s best to choose a product that addresses your specific needs.

Here are a few things to consider: 


The absorbency of the product you choose should be able to hold your volume of waste. For example, for occasional or small leaks, light or moderate absorbency is good. Women who experience very frequent light leakage should use ultimate absorbency pads to feel fresh and dry all day long. If your leaks are heavy, a better option is a pull-up or brief.


The last thing anyone with incontinence wants is a product that is uncomfortable to wear for a few hours or all day. It’s best to have the right size for your body type to ensure a proper fit. Many bladder control pads have a unique curved pad designed for comfort and leakage protection, with an inner core that quickly wicks wetness away from the skin for better skin health.


Like with comfort, most people would not want it to be obvious they are wearing a pad or liner. Having a product that is discreet under clothing is important. Cloth-like backing prevents noise, so you never have to worry that people know you're wearing a pad. Similar to the shape and fit of a menstrual pad, incontinence pads are more absorbent and capture quicker liquids, so you wont have embarrassing leaks.

In general, the more absorbent a pad is, the bulkier it is. The thinner, more discreet pads tend to be less absorbent. However, because pads don't have sides or waistbands, they're generally the most discreet incontinence products - even the bulkier pads.

Odor Control  

Most incontinence pads and liners are treated with a natural odor-absorbing compound such as baking soda. Some have pleasant fragrances to aid in odor control. Take caution if you have sensitive skin as the added fragrance can cause skin irritation. 

Which One Do You Need? 

To know which product is right for you, it’s best to understand what they are and what they do. 


Most pads have a core filled with super-absorbent polymers (SAP), which are tiny beads that attract moisture and lock it away, so the wearer stays dry and comfortable. Pads may also provide odor control. They are used for managing light to moderate bladder or bowel leaks. They can trap 8 ounces or more of liquid and keep it away from the skin. They are usually curved for comfort and leak protection. Pads are worn inside regular underwear and are not to be worn inside another adult incontinence product.  


Liners are for light to moderate bladder or bowel leaks, absorb 8 ounces or more of liquid, and are worn inside regular underwear. Liners are also generally longer than pads to offer better front-to-back protection. Many contain elastic on the side to cradle the body shape and help keep leaks from flowing over the edge. 


Since women's pads are not a good fit for men, Guards for men have all the benefits of women's pads except they are specifically designed for the male anatomy.

Proper Use and Care 

No matter how well your incontinence products work, when urine continually touches your skin, you can get rashes or even infections. Be sure to change your pad, liner, and/or underwear whenever you feel wet.  Rinse the genital area with warm water, adult wipes/washcloths or perineal wash, and dry it thoroughly each time you change pads. Some find products that feature a moisture barrier are helpful in reducing skin irritation.

We Can Help! 

If you have questions about which incontinence products are right for you, please call the knowledgeable Product Experts at Rely Medical Supply  toll-free at 1-888-529-2308. Our phones are answered Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Standard Time by our helpful and compassionate Product Experts. They are specially trained to help you select the right products for your personal needs, so you can stay comfortable, clean, and dry.