Complete Guide for Selecting Incontinence Supplies
Types of Incontinence Products
If you’re a new caregiver or have just begun dealing with bladder leaks, you probably have many questions about the many products available and what’s right for you. Incontinence is a common problem for many people. It has several underlying causes ranging from a weakened pelvic floor (due to childbirth or prostate surgery) to serious medical conditions like muscular sclerosis (MS).
Whatever the cause, it’s important that you understand your needs and what products and features can deliver the best protection for your daily life.
This incontinence product is also referred to as “protective underwear” and pulls on like regular underwear. It provides fuller front-to-back coverage and has greater absorbency than most incontinence pads.
While anyone can choose to wear incontinence underwear, it is ideal for those who don’t require assistance for changes and are more active. You don’t have to be concerned with fastening the product, and they’re more discreet (less bulky) than incontinence briefs. But be sure that your protective underwear fits snugly to maximize protection. You can read more about that below.
Incontinence underwear also has a broad range of absorbencies available, often offering light to heavy overnight protection.
You might be more familiar with the term “adult diaper,” even though it’s not the favored industry term. Unlike incontinence underwear, this product fastens in the front using tabs to maintain a custom fit. Incontinence briefs also provide fuller front-to-back coverage and offer moderate to high absorbency.
Again, anyone can opt to wear briefs instead of underwear, but incontinence briefs are ideal for those who require help with changes or who have a caregiver. The front tab fasteners make putting on and removing much more manageable. Those who are less physically active find that the tab fasteners work perfectly for their needs, allowing for a custom fit.
TYE Medical Premium Briefs are specifically designed for use with our Two-Piece system. Rather than wearing our briefs alone, they’re made to be paired with a pad insert for convenience and savings. Although you can also use the briefs on their own, we highly recommend trying them out with one of our Shaped Pads for a cost-effective and time-saving approach.
TYE Medical’s insert pads don’t pass liquid through to your underwear, which means you soil the pad only. Insert pads are exactly what their name suggests—incontinence pads made to insert into your underwear. TYE Medical's insert pads are different from other products on the market. Where most pads allow liquid to pass through, meaning you soil the pad and underlying underwear, ours have a non-passthrough structure, which means liquid can't pass through to your underwear.
Our LivDry brand insert pads are called Shaped Pads and are made to insert into our Protective Underwear or Premium Briefs.
Because Shaped Pads were designed to work with Protective Underwear and Premium Briefs, we refer to the combination as our Two-Piece System. This approach benefits users because you only need to throw away the insert pad as the incontinence underwear or briefs stay dry. This makes it easier and quicker for caregivers and less expensive overall. Some customers even like to use the insert pads inside Net Pants or Plastic Pants.
Insert pads for lighter incontinence are made to insert into regular underwear and are an excellent option for those with leaks or dribbles. We offer our Ultra-Thin Pads for light incontinence. Just remember that these insert pads are made to wear inside your ordinary underwear, not for use with incontinence underwear/briefs and aren’t part of the Two-Piece System.
If you’re wondering if it’s time to upgrade from incontinence pads to incontinence underwear, check out our article, Upgrading to Protective Underwear? When to Make the Switch and Purchasing Tips.
These pads are meant to be worn with incontinence underwear or briefs and not with regular underwear. They’re often less expensive because they don’t have a waterproof or “hydrophobic” back layer, which means liquid can pass through to your underwear or brief.
Booster pads are meant to provide additional protection for a wearable product such as incontinence underwear or briefs instead of buying an incontinence product with a higher base absorbency. Also, you can wear booster pads only when you want extra security. Unlike Shaped Pads, the passthrough nature of booster pads means that your outer layer (protective underwear or briefs) will likely become soiled as well, and you will need to change both items.
These waterproof pads shield your furniture from accidental leaks during hygiene procedures. It’s convenient to keep bed pads on hand when your bed, furniture, or car seat requires protection from accidents. You never know when they’ll come in handy.
If you have incontinence, skincare is crucial. For additional tips and information about skincare, read our blog article, Incontinence Dermatitis: How to Maintain Healthy Skin While Managing Urine Leaks.
Barrier creams are a must-have product to keep your skin healthy while managing incontinence. Since you’re not always able to change your incontinence product as quickly as you’d like, it’s easy for your skin to become irritated and develop sores or rashes. Using a cream like our Formula 2 Skin Care Cream or Thera Calazinc Body Shield Skin Protectant Cream helps you soothe, moisturize, and maintain a protective layer between your skin and moisture.
Wipes and Washes
Barrier cream can keep your skin dry and protected, but you’ll also need gentle cleansing wipes and rinses to keep the area free from bacteria and skin irritants. We offer hypoallergenic products with soothing aloe vera.
Does the Brand Matter?
If you’ve found this resource page, then you’ve discovered you have many options outside of Depend and Always brand incontinence supplies. We refer to these lighter-incontinence solutions as mass-market brands, and while there’s nothing wrong with distributing to the masses, sometimes quality and innovation suffer.
If you’ve tried a few off-the-shelf brands and have been discouraged, consider the incontinence products available through TYE Medical. Our focus is high- quality and cost-effective incontinence supplies for our customers. We’re one of hundreds of incontinence product manufacturers, but we’re invested in delivering the best products we can for the best prices. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our products, and the innovation happens right here at our manufacturing facility in Wilson, NC, USA.
How Do You Find the Right Fit? And Do You Have Plus Sizes?
It’s all about measurement. To appropriately size incontinence products like underwear or briefs, you’ll need a body tape measure. Most incontinence product manufacturers rely on waist or hip measurements for sizing.
Our LivDry incontinence supplies rely on waist size, which you can determine by wrapping the tape measure around your midsection. Stretch the tape across the top of both hips and ensure it’s level with your belly button. Once you have your waist measurement, you can refer to the product-specific sizing chart.
Our size charts also include a diagram showing the best place to take your waist measurement for a perfect fit. Remember, with incontinence products it is particularly important to get a snug fit – even the best product can’t stop leaks if it is too big!
When choosing a product from our store, such as Protective Underwear for Overnight, you’ll see size options and a size chart button. The chart gives you measurements, waist sizes, and absorbencies for that specific product. For pads, you’ll even get see the overall dimensions.
Plus sizes are available in Protective Underwear, ranging from X-large to 3X-large (the largest available on the US market!). A 3XL fits up to a 92-inch waist. Premium Briefs fit up to a 56-inch waist if you choose size large.
Does Size Matter with Incontinence Pads?
Incontinence pads (insert pads and booster pads) get longer and wider as absorbency increases. When you select the proper absorbency, you’ll get an adequate length and width. For incontinence pads, fit isn’t a significant consideration because the focus is on the absorbency level.
However, it is important to check the dimensions of the pad you are interested in purchasing, as they vary greatly by pad type. This will help ensure you are getting the exact product you want. Whether you’re wearing regular underwear, incontinence underwear, or incontinence briefs, a snug fit will help secure your incontinence pad.
How Do You Decide What Absorbency You Need?
Terms like “maximum” or “ultimate” absorbency are commonly used to describe incontinence products. However, the definition of those terms varies widely between brands and product lines, making it hard to compare products. That’s why our incontinence supplies always indicate how many ounces they can safely hold without leaking through.
To help you understand how much liquid a product holds, keep these references in mind:
- 8 ounces equals 1 cup
- 64 ounces equals a half gallon
- 128 oz equals 1 gallon
The average adult bladder is considered full when it fills with 16 ounces (2 cups) of urine. But it can stretch to hold 16-24 ounces. For more about bladder capacity and holding urine, see our article, Everything You Need to Know About Holding Your Pee.
The average adult urinates 6-7 times per day, but anywhere between 4 and 10 times is considered normal. It all comes down to how often you can or will change your incontinence product. This is why our Two-Piece System is so beneficial. You can change the less expensive Shaped Pads more frequently than the Protective Underwear or Premium Brief.
Even if you plan to change frequently throughout the day, remember that you’ll need a more absorbent product at night.
Which Incontinence Product Is the Most Absorbent?
Our Protective Underwear is the most absorbent available on the US market, holding up to 90 oz. Our Premium Briefs holds up to 50 oz when used without booster or insert pads.
However, caregivers and users can purchase our Shaped Pads to wear with Premium Briefs. Our Shaped Pads start at just 20 oz but go up to 95 oz of fluid absorbency – the most absorbent incontinence pad in the world. By using the pads as part of the Two-Piece System, you can get the high-level absorbency you need with the convenience of tab fastening briefs.
If your urine leaks are on the lighter side, you might be more comfortable with our Ultra-Thin Pads (light incontinence pads) that can hold up to 1 ¼ cup of liquid (300 ccs).
How is Absorbency Measured?
You might be thinking, "But I've seen higher absorbency products out there!" This is a common industry trick. When competitors measure the absorbency of their incontinence products, they first weigh the product dry, then COMPLETELY submerge it in water and let it sit for a while before reweighing the soaked product. This lets them report extraordinarily high absorbencies that lack real-world accuracy.
Since you’re probably not interested in how much your underwear's waistband can absorb, there’s no need for them to measure that. Instead, you need to know the realistic, practical absorbency level so you can make informed choices and purchase the product you need.
TYE Medical holds ethics and professionalism in high regard, so we don’t resort to these types of tricks. We’re proud of our products and believe we offer the best incontinence supplies.
We use our own, specially designed absorbency tests. After weighing our product dry, we only apply liquid to the places that underwear is LIKELY to see liquid during use rather than submerging the whole product.
No tricks, no scam, just accurate results!
What does this mean for you? It should give you confidence. When you see our stated absorbency levels on our products, you can trust that they are accurate. The "other guys" can have their inflated numbers, but we prefer truth and transparency.
Incontinence Products Features
What should you consider when choosing incontinence supplies like protective underwear and incontinence briefs? Here are some critical features you won’t want to miss out on when you purchase incontinence supplies. You’ll find products with these benefits in our online store.
- Absorbs quickly (keeping skin dry)
- Liquid-repelling leak barrier cuffs (around the legs)
- Tearaway sides (protective underwear)
- Clothlike stretch panels (protective underwear)
- Optional non-passthrough insert pads
- Ultra-secure tab fasteners (incontinence briefs)
- Breathable material
- Discreet, fast, and affordable shipping options
For in-depth information about male incontinence and our unisex products, read our articles:
Incontinence Products Uses and Best Practices
Pads for Light Incontinence
If your bladder leaks are light and occasional, it can be tempting to put off finding an incontinence solution. But even light leaks require proper incontinence supplies, specifically, pads and protective underwear designed to absorb urine and lock it (and its strong odors) away.
Also, most quality incontinence pads have built-in leak barrier cuffs to protect you from side leaks. If you invest in the right incontinence products, you can save yourself from frustration and embarrassment.
Underwear and Briefs for Moderate to Heavy Incontinence and Overnight
You can get the highest levels of absorbency using either our Protective Underwear or Premium Briefs. Protective Underwear provides up to 90 oz of absorbency on its own and is ideal for independent users who are more active. The underwear fit snugly to your form without fasteners and are designed to move with you.
Premium briefs provide up to 50 oz of protection, but this can be upped with a Booster Pad (17 oz) and dramatically increases when adding a Shaped Pad (up to 95 oz). This is especially helpful for increased absorbency at night. If you need help with changes, have a caregiver, and aren’t as active, these are convenient options for heavier leaks.
Both products, either protective underwear or briefs, are a perfect choice for a nighttime incontinence product.
How Often Should You Change an Incontinence Pad, Underwear, or Brief?
When your incontinence product is noticeably wet, it’s time for a change. Otherwise, the urine lays against your skin and anatomy, which can cause irritation and even infection.
However, you can’t always change immediately, and there are some loose guidelines for the maximum time you can wear an incontinence product. But keep in mind that this depends on your urine output, frequency, absorbency level, and quality of the product you’re wearing. Premium products like ours feature incredibly fast absorbency that locks liquids in and leaves the top sheet dry to the touch, helping extend the life of the product.
The average person wearing an incontinence product with an appropriate absorbency level can wear it according to these flexible guidelines:
- Incontinence pad—4-6 hours
- Protective underwear—4-8 hours
- Premium brief—4-8 hours
How Do You Dispose of Incontinence Supplies?
Never discard pads in the toilet. At home and in a public restroom, you can wrap the pad in toilet tissue and drop it in the trash. This means you’ll need to empty your bathroom trash frequently, at least once or twice per day.
Alternately, you can purchase disposable bags to discard soiled products (pads, underwear, briefs) while reducing odors. Bags designed explicitly for incontinence supplies are available for purchase, or you can use any sealable, disposable bag. (Many bags designed for incontinence supplies are scented.)
It’s helpful to carry some disposable bags with your other incontinence products when you leave home. They’re handy when visiting someone else’s home or private office because you can place your soiled product in the bag and find an outdoor trash can at the right time. You can also use them to discard products discreetly in public restrooms.
When at home, some people prefer to use a disposal system. It’s a large container that can hold adult incontinence underwear and briefs. When closed, it seals in odors until emptied.
Some states and cities consider incontinence products as biohazards or medical waste and have special rules for their disposal. Before throwing your used product in the regular trash, please be sure to look up regulations for your place of residence.
How Do I Purchase Incontinence Products?
Purchasing incontinence supplies online is fast, convenient, and discreet. That’s why we’ve invested in a user-friendly website and online store, complete with:
Why limit yourself to products on store shelves, stand in line, and forgo privacy when you don’t have to?
Why Buy TYE Medical Products?
We’re a customer-centered company devoted to manufacturing quality, in-demand incontinence supplies. While our goal is to sell as many premium products as possible, we don’t compromise on quality or product value.
Think we’re overstating? Consider that our Hyper 2400 insert pad is the highest absorbing incontinence pad in the world.
We've specialized in our non-passthrough-structure Shaped Pads to save you time and money - since the liquid stops with the pad, and your underwear stays dry, you can count on them to reduce the number of changes. For those who prefer a flow-through style though, we also offer superior passthrough Booster Pads for custom absorbency.
And if that didn’t instill confidence, we also offer outstanding shipping features like:
- Free shipping on all orders.
- Same-day shipping on orders placed before 2 p.m. (no additional fee)
- Discreet packaging
- Autoship options (from weekly to quarterly)
Need more assistance? Have a question not answered here? Our friendly customer service representatives are available via online chat, email, and live phone calls. They’re informed, hands-on associates who work on-site in our North Carolina manufacturing center. Our reps have firsthand knowledge and the answers to all your questions (and even some answers you didn't know you needed!). You can always count on:
- NO endless loop of uninformed reps
- NO robots
- NO overseas call centers
You can also check out our FAQ pages and other resources: