You know you need overnight, or full day, protection for yourself or your loved one. You know it needs to be wearable, high absorbency, and comfortable.
If this is you, you’re probably looking to buy an adult diaper or an adult pull-up. But which one do you need? How do you decide?
And even once you’ve figured that out, there’s more confusion ahead; as you shop, you see many options called “briefs.” Well, the standard definition of “briefs” is underwear, so does that mean adult briefs are pull-up underwear? How can you be sure?
Adult Diapers vs. Pull-up Underwear
The primary difference between adult diapers and adult pull ups is the side panels. While adult diapers have tab closures that can be opened and closed during diaper changes, pull-ups (similar to the youth version) are put on like underwear and have tearable side panels that can be quickly opened to make removal easy.
This difference in design means that:
- Pull-ups, once opened, cannot be closed again.
- While both diapers and pull-ups can be removed without removing the user’s pants, only diapers can be put on in this fashion.
- Pull-ups provide the dignity of being similar, in many ways, to regular underwear.
Possibly the best way to decide which product you need would be to consider the following question:
Who is going to be doing the changing – the user or a caregiver?
A. User: If the patient is mobile and entirely or even mostly independent, a pull-up underwear is usually the best choice, since it is the easier option for self-changes and also provides more dignity.
B. Caregiver: If a caregiver is going to change the user, an adult diaper with tabs is usually going to be a lot easier to manage at changing time.
What Are Briefs for Incontinence?
Yes, briefs usually refer to underwear. However, when it comes to incontinence products, briefs is actually a respectful way of referring to adult diapers.
So if you see a product that’s listed as a brief, you can usually assume the seller is referring to diapers with tabs, and look for products called underwear or pull-ups if you are looking for a diaper without tabs.