Adult pullups have come a long way since the early days of trying to address adult incontinence, a serious challenge. Sometimes you reach the conclusion as an older adult or as a caregiver, that it’s time to start wearing something other than traditional underwear. There’s been one too many embarrassing and messy accidents, and you want to prevent that from happening again.
Should this time come, you’ll likely find yourself searching for some form of adult diaper. The problem is that there are so many options out there on the market, it can quickly become overwhelming.
Do you choose unisex models or gender specific? How do you know which size to pick? Are some options more comfortable than others? And what about effectiveness? There’s no point choosing an adult pullup that’s not going to do its job, is there?
To help shed some light on the situation and to guide you along the way, we’ll look at each variable in depth below. Then we’ll present some of the best recommended adult pullups on the market.
Briefs vs Pullups
The first variable that needs to be considered is what type of incontinence protection you’re looking for. Adult diapers can generally be narrowed down into two different types of makes: briefs or pullups.
Briefs are more akin to a regular diaper and are applied in a similar manner. A tape tab closure is utilized on each side, and sticks the diaper into place. When removal is necessary, just pull the two tape tabs back and remove.
If you’re working with an older parent that spends much of their time in a bed, in a seated position, or you’re working with somebody who is heavier with a regular level of incontinence, briefs are going to be the option you are going to want to pick.
The reasons are twofold: ease of removal/application, and greater absorbency.
If you’re assisting somebody who needs a walker and needs to be changed while they’re lying in a bed, it is easier to remove and apply a pair of briefs than it is a pullup style adult underwear. With the diaper version, just get the individual to roll onto their side, the diaper is laid out flat, the person moves back flat on top of the diaper, and the diaper is fastened. Easy!
Briefs are also more absorbent than pullup style diapers, though that does come at a cost: comfort. Briefs are notoriously bulky and can profile depending on the clothing one is wearing. In addition, briefs can occasionally be somewhat noisy. While nobody is going to hear somebody’s briefs crinkling from across the room, there very well may be an audible crinkle as the individual moves about.
Also known as disposable absorbent underwear (DAUs), pullup style underwear are for those with lighter levels of incontinence. Pullups are going to look much more like regular underwear than brief style diapers ever will. They’re also quieter and less bulky. There’s less risk of embarrassment for the individual who needs some extra protection yet doesn’t want the world to recognize that such a need exists.
These are the best option for those who are more mobile and independent. Virtually all pullups on the market now have a tear-away side seam as well. When it comes time to dispose of the underwear, just tear off each side and toss the underwear into the trash.
Unisex vs Gender Specific
The next question to consider is whether you want unisex versions or gender specific versions. Both options are readily available, but gender specific versions are likely to be a bit more comfortable.
Men and women have quite different anatomy from one another and clothing designed around this is bound to be better appreciated by the wearer.
Degree of Incontinence
A very important factor to consider is what degree of protection you need your pullup for. Are we talking about the occasional bout of urinary incontinence when laughing throughout the day, or are we talking about more regular situations?
While the briefs vs pullups debate deals with this question, be aware that there are differing levels of protection even within each of those different styles. If you want to opt for a pullup option, just make sure that it can accommodate what you need it to.
The average bladder holds roughly 16 ounces of fluid. If total, uncontrollable bladder elimination is a common problem, you’re going to want something that can at least handle 16 ounces worth of fluid (and probably more just as an extra layer of insurance).
Likewise, there’s no sense in regularly wearing the most bulletproof version of underwear available when all you need is something for occasional, slight urinary incontinence. For comfort’s sake, it may be worth thinking about going with the minimum level of protection you think is needed.
One of the difficulties in shopping for the correct adult pullup is sizing. As you’ve probably already experienced with clothes and shoes, every manufacturer seems to use a different sizing method from one another, meaning that while you may wear a size 12 Nike, you may need a size 14 in Adidas.
The same principle applies to the sizing of adult pullups. As such, it’s probably a wise decision to make small purchases of product first to find the size that works for you before you invest heavily in one size.
It should also be noted here that you can also consider “sizing the toilet for seniors.” Many seniors encounter difficulty getting up from a seated position. While grab bars can help, having a higher toilet can also make transfers easier.
9 Recommended Adult Pullups
To help your search for the best adult pullups on the market, we have combed through the market to collect what we think are the best of the best.
1 – Abena Abri Flex Pull on Absorbent Underwear Level 3
- Classification-ultra heavy incontinence, absorption-81 ounce/ 2400 ml, waist size-X-Large 40 inch x 56 inch
- Double absorbent core-ultra absorbent core transfers wetness and moisture quickly away from the skin ensuring the feeling of dryness. Odor protection-two premium super absorbing polymers lock odor away
These are a good option for the active family member in your life who regularly goes on walks or attends physical therapy. They’re worn like normal underwear and have more elastic threads installed within them than a lot of other pullups, helping to make these have a firmer and more comfortable fit.
An odor system is installed to contain smells, and they’re dermatologically tested as well for sensitive skin.
2 – Caroli Incontinence Pull Up Underwear Unisex
- Comes with 10 medium-sized adult pullup incontinence pants, for both men and women needing the strongest absorption out there (34-ounce capacity), shipped in a discreet box like all Caroli products for your privacy
- Designed with your comfort in mind: Caroli's pullup hygiene pants are made with a soft, cotton-like material that feels like nothing at all
Caroli Incontinence adult pullups are very fast absorbers with the ability to absorb up to 34 total ounces of fluid. This type of pull up is made of a cloth-like material, meaning the Caroli Incontinence pullup is not only good for protecting sensitive skin from allergic reactions and high-moisture environments, but it also helps eliminate that “crunchy” sound you might hear with some pullups as you move about.
3 – MoliCare Premium Mobile 6D Pull Up Underwear
- Keeps skin dry with a 3-layer absorbent core and advanced dry technology
- pH 5.5 helps restore the natural acid protection mantle
The MoliCare Premium is another style of pullup that’s specifically designed with moderate to heavy incontinence in mind. To assist with such, it includes a 3-layer absorbent core to help keep your skin as dry as possible, and the inside also helps to keep your skin at the optimum pH of 5.5 to keep rashes and infections at bay.
For those with heavy incontinence, that’s most certainly a factor to consider, as they’re going to be at increased risk of such.
4 – Presto Supreme Pull Up Underwear
Note: At the time of this writing, these underwear are priced less at CVS Pharmacy when you use the Rakuten Extension coupon offering.
This is a unisex style of pull up that serves very well for prolonged use, such as for overnight purposes. Given that nighttime is when the heaviest levels of incontinence are usually experienced, a heavier duty of pullup is going to be preferred.
The innovative lock secure barriers help to prevent leakage, and the contoured fit further helps to retain messes. All this combined makes the Presto Supreme a great source for those with severe incontinence.
5 – Prevail Per-Fit Pull Up Underwear for Women
- PerFit Extra Absorbency Unisex Underwear are designed with the look and feel of everyday underwear
- PerFit features QuickWick with MaxSoft which quickly wicks wetness away from the skin
If you’re looking for a pullup option particularly made with women in mind, then consider the Prevail Per-Fit pullup for women. This pullup is made specifically for those with sensitive skin in mind, being made of a cloth-like material to assist with comfort.
An “AirMax” technology layer here also helps to efficiently wick away moisture, keeping skin safe from infections and rashes, and permitting proper ventilation as well.
6 – Prevail Pull Up Underwear Maximum
- MENS INCONTINENCE BRIEFS: These disposable pull-up style briefs were designed specifically for men for use during the day or overnight, with Comfort Shape Plus elastics that flex for a masculine fit
- MAXIMUM ABSORBENCY: MaxSorb Gel core provides maximum absorbency for moderate to heavy leaks and Omni-Odor Guard neutralizes odors instantly. Dri-Fit cotton enhanced provides a soft, comfortable fit
For those with mild to moderate urinary incontinence who are looking for a form of protection from such that looks and feels as close to normal underwear as possible, the Prevail Pull Up Maximum may be worth checking out.
This underwear features a heavy absorbency rate and utilize a Quick Wick technology to pull moisture away from the skin – better protecting it – as quickly as possible.
7 – Swimmates Disposable Swimwear
- SWIMMATES DISPOSABLE SWIM DIAPERS offer an easy and discreet solution. Wear under any bathing suit to help contain bowel incontinence. Perfect to feel comfortable in all swimming environments such as the beach, pool, aqua therapy or any water activity
- UNISEX, DISPOSABLE UNDERWEAR features Kufguards (inner leg cuffs) and a moisture-proof barrier to contain bowel incontinence. SwimMates are designed with a unique absorbent material that won't swell in water or break apart when wet like regular diapers
If you enjoy regularly swimming in your local pool yet need a way to ensure you’re not contaminating the water, you’re in need of a swim-proof pullup, and the Swimmates Disposable is a great example fo such.
These are worn within any traditional bathing suit and contain a blue waistband to indicate the back of the pullup, tear-away seams for easy removal, and a full-rise waist panel for further protection.
8 – TENA ProSkin Protective Pullup Underwear for Men
- Please confirm the size before purchasing. Inapproriate size may lead to leakage issue or can cause rashes"
- DESIGNED To LOOK & FEEL LIKE UNDERWEAR: Modern design to look and feel like regular underwear
The TENA ProSkin for Men is specifically made with men’s anatomy in mind. There’s extra room where a man would want extra room, significantly aiding with comfort and breathability. A targeted absorption zone within this pullup also helps to keep both odor and leakage to an absolute minimum, while the Airflow technology offers protection that’s three times that of other adult diaper style products that are out on the market.
9 – Tranquility Premium Overnight Pull Up Underwear
- Premium OverNight Disposable Absorbent Underwear (sometimes called pull-on or pull-up diapers) are designed for maximum levels of incontinence (20 oz to 34 oz capacity varying by size) allowing wearer uninterrupted sleep or confidence during long airplane flights
- Pull-on style product with tear-away side seams for easy removal; Available in six convenient sizes: Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large (XL), and 2X-Large (XXL)
Should the Presto Supreme not be a brand that agrees well with you, the Tranquility Premium may be worth considering. This is one of the top sellers of underwear over at the senior care goods store CareWell, and it sells well for a reason: people like it and it works.
One more, you have a very absorbent core here for high-volume accidents of either nature, or the Tranquility Premium effectively helps to trap odors produced by such as well. A cloth backing helps to assist with comfort here, and when it comes time for removal, tear-away sides help to make the process as straightforward and clean as possible.
“Brief” Notes on Adult Pullups
Both urinary and fecal incontinence are embarrassing and inconvenient. In situations where such is a regular occurrence, proper underwear can mean a world of difference for both you and your family members.
As such, ensuring that you have the right tool for the job is essential. Hopefully, you’ve found the above information to help clarify a few things, giving you the details, you need to choose the brands that are best for you.
What are your thoughts on the situation? Are there other factors to consider you believe we’ve left out? Do you agree with our take? Let us know in the comments below!
Lots of pull up disposable underwear made to look more like real underwear. They wont be as absorbent as some of the others mentioned here. It all depends on how much protection she needs. Most the disposable under wear are for smaller leaks. Look at tena, and always for women. I sometimes use a lighter protection for men and they will work I just have to change a lot more often. A good tip I learned though is that almost all of them have tear away sides. So I can put on 2 pair and then when one becomes soiled I tear it away and pull the other back up. Super fast super easy change. Most the time I use diapers over pull ups because of the amount I leak. But I like a break from a big diaper sometimes.
Great feedback, thank you.
My mother is a very small woman 110 lbs 5′-2″ tall. Wears size 5 or 6. She is somewhat incontinent. Although she has dementia, she still demands pretty underwear that feels good on her skin. Pads no longer work. I’d like to get her nice pull-ups. Most of what you describe seems to be for larger persons. Help
Unfortunately I’m not sure of any “pretty” pull-ups that look nice or feel good. I’m guessing wearing larger ones over pretty underwear isn’t going to fly – ?