How to Choose an Incontinence Product
Helpful Guide
Helping Your Parent
National Incontinence Awareness Month

How to Choose an Incontinence Product

With an enormous selection of incontinence products on the market, choosing the right product for you can be overwhelming. Different products suit different needs, and it is important that you find an incontinence product that can meet your unique situation. With this in mind, we have created a list of 5 questions to consider before and when you are selecting incontinence products.

1) What are the different product options available?

When it comes to products designed to manage incontinence, there are a few different options. The most common product solutions are

Catheters, for both men and women, are also a viable option for managing urinary incontinence. If you're interested in catheters, please talk to your healthcare professional. 

2) What type of incontinence product will suit my lifestyle?

Understanding your daily lifestyle needs will help you in selecting the best incontinence product for you. Below is a chart indicating which products are generally suitable for specific lifestyles.

Pads and Male Guards Absorbent Underwear Adult Diapers/Briefs
Lifestyle Active or athletic lifestyle Active to sedentary lifestyle Sedentary lifestyle or mobility-impaired individuals


*Please note that this information can differ depending on individual circumstances and preferences.

3) Which products will provide my required absorbency?

The level of absorbency is essential in selecting an incontinence product. If you choose a product that doesn’t match the level of absorbency you need, you will most likely experience leaks and discomfort.

Adult diapers, absorbent underwear, and pads & male guards are available in different absorbency levels, ranging from very light to maximum. However, some product types are generally more absorbent than others. Below is a chart indicating the products that are typically suitable for different absorbency levels and requirements.

Pads and Male Guards Absorbent Underwear Adult Diapers/Briefs
Absorbency Very light to Moderate Moderate to Heavy Moderate to Maximum


*Please note that this information can differ depending on individual circumstances and preferences.

4) How do I know what size I need?

Particularly when it comes to adult diapers and absorbent underwear, selecting the correct size is very important. If you select a product that is too small, you may experience skin irritation, and a product that is too large can result in leaks.

To find the correct size, measure both hip and the waist and use whichever measurement is larger. At Healthwick, all products are clearly labelled with size ranges (in inches) in the product description.


1. Measure the hips of the individual.

measure hips

2. Measure the waist of the individual.

measure waist
Select Size

3. Select whichever measurement is larger to find the correct size.

select the larger measurement


Incontinence underwear and adult diapers typically are available in sizes XS to XXXL, with some being offered in bariatric, child, youth, and junior sizes. Sizing availability varies by each product. Not every product is going to be available in every possible size. If you need help finding a product in your size, please contact us.

5) What else should I consider?

Hopefully by this point, you have selected a few products that you think might work for you. Remember that Healthwick offers a wide selection of products as free samples, this is a great way to try out a product before you commit to buying a package or a case.

After you have selected a product, there are still a few other things to keep in mind as you continue to manage incontinence. Here are some other matters you may want to consider:

Hygiene and Skin Care

Proper hygiene and skin care is imperative when managing incontinence. The perineal area is delicate, and frequent contact with urine and feces can cause rashes and skin breakdown. Fortunately, there are an abundance of incontinence products available to assist with hygiene and skin care.

  • Creams can help to soothe and moisturize delicate skin. Barrier creams are designed to block contact between your skin and any urine or feces in a soiled incontinence product. 
  • Wipes and washcloths aid in properly cleaning the perineal area. Incontinence washcloths and wipes are available in adult size to cover more surface area, and are useful for on the go cleaning.

Read more about incontinence skin care on our blog.

Adding Extra Protection

Unexpected leaks are inconvenient, and can also be embarrassing and uncomfortable. If you’re looking for some extra protection against leaks, there are a few products you can try.

  • Underpads, available in both washable and disposable options, can help to protect your sheets and mattress against any nighttime leaks.
  • Waterproof pants are another way of adding additional protection, as they can assist in containing any product leaks you make experience. Search for waterproof pants on our website here
  • If you’re already in a well-fitting and high absorbency product and still experiencing leaks, you may want to give booster pads a try. Booster pads amp up product absorbency, making them a good solution to overflow leakage.

If you’re new to incontinence, you may want to check out our Guide to Incontinence. Don’t forget that our customer care team is available to answer any questions you may have and assist in your product selection process. Please contact us toll free at 1-877-775-6656 or by email at 

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