Guide 101: How to Choose the Right Size and Style of Adult Briefs

Choosing the right adult diaper size is the first step to the benefits of these incontinence products.ย ย 

Like regular clothing, adult diapers come in diverse sizes. The sizes range from small to 4X large. The briefs are also available in different styles, which vary depending on factors like ease of use, comfort levels, and discretion.ย ย 

If youโ€™re planning to order your first supply of adult diapers but are unsure which size and style to buy, this article is for you.ย ย 

Read below for a beginnerโ€™s guide to choosing the perfect incontinence briefs for your needs.ย 

More About Adult Diaper Sizeย 

The Impact of Wearing Large Adult Diapersย 

Thereโ€™s a popular notion among new adult diaper users that the larger the size, the better the efficiency. However, thatโ€™s not always the case.ย ย 

Itโ€™s undeniably true that large incontinence briefs come with equally thick absorbency layers, enabling them to soak up urine fluids for longer. However, oversized diapers are prone to leakages, especially when full.ย ย 

Oversized adult diapers are also less discrete. That makes them unsuitable for incontinence sufferers who pursue active lifestyles.ย ย 

You can tell that an adult diaper is too large if it leaves gaps around your thighs. An incontinence brief above your navel is also larger than your waist size.ย ย 

Considering the adverse impacts of wearing large incontinence briefs, it makes sense that youโ€™d want to pick properly fitted adult briefs. But before you do, it would also be prudent to understand the downsides of undersized adult diapers.ย 

The Impact of Wearing Small Adult Diapersย 

The first signs that an adult diaper is too small include if it fits too tightly around your waist, doesnโ€™t fully cover your bottom, and causes significant discomfort. Some incontinence briefs may be so uncomfortable that they restrict your movement.ย ย 

Pulling the waistband and stretching the leg cuffs are other signs that your adult diaper is undersized.ย ย 

But perhaps your bigger concern should be the consequences of wearing an undersized incontinence brief.ย ย 

Tightly fitting adult diapers are synonymous with skin irritation. Thatโ€™s due to their tendency to press the absorbed fluids firmly against the wearerโ€™s body, exposing the skin to the toxins in urinary and bowel excretions.ย ย 

Irritation may begin with red marks on your thighs or tummy. Depending on how infrequently you change the diapers, these red markings can quickly degenerate into full-blown skin infections.ย ย 

But even if you do not develop skin problems, the sheer discomfort caused by wearing adult diapers that are too tight is annoying enough.ย ย 

You have to constantly keep adjusting your diaper, even when in public. This can deflect your attention from meaningful tasks while also giving you away.ย ย 

Picking the Right Adult Diaper Sizeย 

Now that you understand the agony of wearing too small or too large adult diapers, you have a compelling reason to pick a properly fitted incontinence product.ย ย 

The first tip to choosing the right adult diaper size is determining your average waist and body weight. Note that these are the two primary factors adult diaper manufacturers use to size their products.ย ย 

Your waist size is essentially your waist circumference. To calculate the circumference, youโ€™ll need a tape measure and an extra pair of hands, preferably your significant other.ย ย 

Start by measuring the circumference of the smallest part of your waist. This is the section right above your belly button.ย ย 

Then, measure the circumference around the widest part of your buttocks.ย ย 

Add the two sets of measurements and work out the mean. The answer should ideally be your waist size.ย ย 

However, note that some adult diaper brands size their products based on the second measurement. So, take some time reading diaper size charts before ordering the products.ย ย 

As for your body weight, a digital scale would suffice. Be sure to remove your shoes and heavy clothing before mounting the scale for better accuracy.ย ย 

Another way to choose the right adult diaper size is to start with smaller orders. Itโ€™s better to lose money in a few ill-fitted diapers than a whole stockpile.ย ย 

Remember that a properly fitting adult diaper should fit snugly around your bottom, coming up just beneath your below button. Besides, the brief shouldnโ€™t restrict your movement or gape around your thighs and waist.ย ย 

More About Adult Diaper Stylesย 

The two most popular adult diaper styles are taped diapers and pull-ups. Each design provides certain benefits and drawbacks.ย ย 

Pull-up diapers feature an elastic waistband and leg bands, similar to those found in regular underwear. You put them on by, well, pulling them up.ย ย 

Pull-ups are best suited for seniors who do not require much help putting on and taking off their adult diapers.ย ย 

On the other hand, taped diapers come with adjustable tapes for personalized fitting. The tapes provide a little wiggle room in terms of securing the diaper around your waist. You can adjust it slightly to achieve your ideal fit, a feature thatโ€™s lacking in pull-up diapers.ย 

Tape diapers are also preferable for wearers with severe lower mobility problems. Thatโ€™s because the briefs donโ€™t require pulling up or down the wearerโ€™s legs.ย ย 

Adult diapers may also come in different styles depending on the target gender.ย ย 

Incontinence briefs for men typically have the absorbency layer set on the front section. In comparison, diapers intended for female users have padding in the undersides.ย ย 

The type of incontinence youโ€™re suffering from could also determine which adult diaper style to choose. Note that there are two types of incontinence – urinary incontinence and bowel incontinence.ย ย 

Briefs meant for urinary incontinence typically have the core absorbency material on the front (for men) or undersides (for women). On the other hand, diapers intended for soaking up bowel fluids usually feature a heavier absorbency material that spans the productโ€™s entire section, from the front to the backside.ย ย 

Lastly, adult diapers may be categorized into two styles based on their reusability. These include disposable/single-use briefs and reusable/recyclable briefs.ย ย 

Disposable adult diapers are discarded after the first usage. Such briefs are suitable for occasional diaper users. They differ from reusable diapers, which you can wash and wear several times before discarding them.ย ย 

Choosing between disposable and reusable adult diapers depends on the wearerโ€™s lifestyle and long-term cost considerations.ย 


Adult diapers are not only effective at managing incontinence problems. The products are also available in diverse sizes and styles to suit different incontinence sufferers.ย ย 

Choosing the right adult diaper size comes down to your waist size and body weight. As for the style, that would depend primarily on your lifestyle, gender, and the incontinence problems youโ€™re suffering from.ย ย 

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