Incontinence products review

CHOICE is considering a test on incontinence products.

A majority of 4.8m incontinence sufferers experience urinary incontinence, according to the Continence Foundation of Australia, so we’ll be focusing on this aspect.

We do plan on testing the claim capacity of products where possible, and plan to test across a range of sizes and types.

We’ve also considered irritation tests.

What do you consider of importance when it comes to incontinence products?


The fit (including wearability for periods of time), allergy/irritation risks, the absorbancy (and how quickly it adsorbs), odour reduction, ease of application and if not a full panty/pants type adhesion, no. of units in a packet, cost per unit, appearance when wearing them (preferably discrete), ease of disposal, and when will they produce biodegradable easy to obtain ones.


[wrote this a couple of hours ago, but forgot to hit the send button]

I suggest that one really important thing would be comfort, as they have to be worn for significant periods, if not 24/7.

The things that come to mind that are encompassed by this broad comfort heading are; the dimensions, thickness, stick-ability (stays in place where stuck using the adhesive strip), how it fits to the leg, and the composition of the layer closest to the body. Another issue is available sizing in the different products.

There is also a significant difference between male and female products. I am not sure that they are ergonomically designed to fit the respective anatomies.


Incontinence Pads need to be firstly comfortable, completely absorbent, odour free and cost effective.

Living with an aged relative who uses these products, we have not yet been able to source anything entirely satisfactory.

I am really looking forward to the Results of Choice’s Tests.

Movement of the pad or underpants is also of high importance, as is being able to find a suitable size.

My relative is a large lady and it is often near impossible to source an incontinence product that actually fits her!

Great idea, can not wait to learn of the results!

Cheers Natale :slight_smile:


Cost is a big factor especially when this is often a forever thing. Absorbency, anti leak, comfort are all things to consider. The wearer in our house actually cuts toddler nappies to size and adds adhesive patches for hold. He finds these more comfortable, more absorbent and a fraction of the cost! Why should adult pads cost more than a child’s nappy?!


You could look at Peri Coach an internal muscle strengthener and exerciser

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As a regular user of these products, I applaud you for these tests.

Cost v absorbency is a very significant issue.

The other is leakage. Some products are better at preventing leakage than others.


I worry about what goes into making these pads, as sometimes at the end of the day, I get a bit itchy,I tried the organic one’s but there is an odour after wearing them after a few hours, price is important, and absorbancy, degradable would be good as well.


odour, soreness and comparing the amount of fluid that is on the packaging to the amount of fluid that the product really holds.

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I assume you are testing absorbent pads as I think these would be the product most used, rather than things like absorbent pants or intermittent catheters. These are the key issues related to absorbent pads that I consider to be important and use when purchasing for my husband who is paraplegic. Reusable washable products are becoming more widely available and are far preferable in relation to cost and environmental impact.

  1. Do they absorb the amount of moisture they claim?
  2. How well do they keep the moisture away from the skin?
  3. Do they keep moisture away from clothing?
  4. Do they cause irritation to the skin?
  5. What are they made from; what chemicals do they contain?
  6. During use, do they remain intact or begin to breakdown?
  7. Do they help mask odour?
  8. If reusable with washing, how long do they last?
  9. Biodegradable - How eco-friendly are they in relation to pad disposal and packaging?
  10. Eco-impact regarding transport miles – are they made in Australia or elsewhere?
  11. Cost comparison?
  12. Design – contoured to body? adhesive? male or female?
  13. Variety of sizes, especially length and thickness?
  14. Comfort?

I think there is another user type (possibly a separate test) which could be considered: the bladder leakage people (I am one of them - as are many.). Probably mostly woman, past child bearing age, who suffer the ignominious effects of involuntary urination due to coughing, sneezing etc.
The necessity to use a pad/protection of some sort is required: it would be great to discover which brands live up to the “drops” shown on the packaging.


volume capacity, hip capacity, as natural material as possible, ease of putting on and off, soft feel, volume discounts, capacity to have them delivered to the home and not taken away to a storage depot.

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Please consider dignity of use for people who need assistance eg people in nursing homes. How do carers tell when someone needs changing. Eg electronic monitoring

What design is better for an assintant’s back eg pull ups vs side tabs


Here are the test results for incontinence products direct from our labs:


Just had a message requesting a bucket with a lid for the bathroom from my 89 year old mother. Embarressment, cost and disposal are big issues. Testing more than disposables would be great. As for babies’ nappies, weighing up the pros and cons across this broader range of products would be helpful. Disposable continence products can be bulky and price varies hugely across suppliers (chemists, supermarkets and continence companies that deliver). Embarrassment at the counter and physically managing huge packets can be a concern for the disabled and elderly. Information about home delivery would be valuable.


24/7 adult diaper user that looks for maximum absorbency products. Prefer plastic backed


We’ve updated our incontinence products review for 2019.