Reusable vs Disposable Incontinence Products? Why We Believe Both are Important

With a wide array of incontinence products available, it can be hard to know which one to pick. We examine the differences between reusable and disposable incontinence products.

Reusable vs Disposable Incontinence Products? Why We Believe Both are Important

With a wide array of incontinence products available, it can be hard to know which one to pick. We examine the differences between reusable and disposable incontinence products.

We’re seeing wonderful developments in the space of incontinence products, with better solutions that are more comfortable, more secure and more sustainable. With so many incontinence products to choose from, often identifying the best product for your needs can be a challenging task.

It’s even more daunting when you consider the fact that there are many reusable and disposable incontinence products available on the market. We created this guide to assist you in choosing the best products for your incontinence needs.

Understanding Styles of Incontinence Products

Before deciding whether to use disposable or reusable incontinence products, it is important to consider the different styles of products that are available. Incontinence products come in a wide range of styles, including pads, pull-ups or slips, and each of them has its own unique features and benefits. Taking a moment to understand these options first is very important.

The main styles of continence management products available are:

1. Incontinence Underwear / Pull-Up Pants
Incontinence underwear and incontinence pants are made with a waterproof backing and a built-in absorbent pad. Incontinence pull-ups are designed to manage various levels of urinary or bowel incontinence, including more severe cases that may not be adequately addressed by incontinence pads alone. These products come in a range of sizes from small to extra large and may be specialized for different life stages, absorbency levels, and gender considerations.

With ergonomic designs and figure-flattering options that look and feel like regular underwear, incontinence pants are favoured by many people who experience moderate to heavy incontinence and allow to lead an active lifestyle.

2. Incontinence Pads
Incontinence pads are designed to manage smaller amounts of urine loss, such as those that may occur due to coughing, sneezing, exercising, or leakage. These products are intended to absorb and contain small releases of urine, helping to prevent accidents and maintain dryness.Incontinence pads are also referred to as panty liners or pads (for women) or guards / shields (for men).

Incontinence pads will generally have a waterproof backing, a pad containing polymer that absorbs fluid, an adhesive strip to keep that pad in place, elasticised sides and contour to fit comfortably between the wearer’s legs. Incontinence pads come in various levels of absorbency ranging from minor to moderate.

3. All-in-one Slips
All-in-one slips provide simplicity to those experiencing incontinence with reduced mobility. With careful designs to suit every shape and body, all-in-one slips are easy to put on and remove, with wetness indicators and breathable fabric ensuring smooth everyday use.

Examples of Reusable & Disposable Incontinence Products

Disposable incontinence products are designed to be used once and then thrown away, while reusable incontinence products can be washed and used multiple times.

Examples of disposable incontinence products include:
- Disposable underwear (pull-up pants)
- Disposable adult diapers (slips)
- Disposable female pads and male guards

Examples of reusable incontinence products include:
- Washable underwear for men and women
- Washable adult diapers
- Washable pads
- Washable furniture protectors for bed and chair (underpads)

DISPOSABLE Incontinence Products: Pros and Cons

One advantage of disposable incontinence products is that they are convenient and easy to use, as they do not require washing or any other special care. They are also generally more widely available than reusable products.

Disposable incontinence products often offer higher absorbency levels, which can also lead to improved odour control. This is an extremely important factor for effectiveness and peace of mind, with a wide range of disposable incontinence products catering to all kinds of incontinence levels, body shapes, comfort preferences and more.

Disposable incontinence products can also save the wearer time, with no need to wash before they can be worn again. They’re generally viewed as more convenient thanks to their fully disposable nature.

However, disposable incontinence products can be more expensive in the long run and are not as environmentally friendly as reusable products, as they generate more waste.

REUSABLE Incontinence Products: Pros and Cons

Reusable incontinence products, on the other hand, can be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly in the long run, as they do not need to be constantly replaced. With a regular underwear look and feel, they can be hung on any drying rack without drawing attention.

However, they do require washing and other forms of care, which can be more time-consuming and may not be as convenient as disposable products.

They usually offer lower absorbency than disposable incontinence products, meaning they’re not the best for those with higher levels of needs. They require the wearer to be more organised to ensure a ready supply.

How To Choose Between Disposable and Reusable Incontinence Products

By considering a few key questions, it becomes much easier to decide whether or not disposable or reusable incontinence products are the right fit for you:

1. Your Budget 
While disposable incontinence products may be cheaper on the first purchase, regular purchases may make reusable products more cost-effective over time. Reviewing your incontinence product budget can help you to decide which product is right for you during each incontinence experience.

2. Protection Level You Need
Incontinence impacts everyone differently, with some people needing more protection than others. Disposable incontinence underwear can often hold larger volumes of liquid, meaning they’re well suited to certain contexts (such as overnight wears or long trips). By reviewing the incontinence volume output, you can check potential products to make sure they’ve got the protection level you need.

3. Comfort Preference
Reusable products can often win out over disposable products when it comes to comfort. As they look and feel like standard underwear, they’re often a preference for those looking to minimise the feeling of incontinence products against their body.

4. Your Time Capacity
While reusable incontinence products may suit some schedules, they may be impossible for others. If you’re relying on reusable incontinence products, you’ll need to remain up to date with washing cycles, making sure there’s always a fresh pair available when you need them. Disposable incontinence products are often preferred by individuals who are out and about throughout the day, reducing their reliance on regular access to the laundry.

5. Type of Incontinence
Urinary vs fecal incontinence is also a key consideration in the right product for your needs. Disposable incontinence products can make quick work of securing fecal leaks, while many washable incontinence products are better suited to urinary incontinence alone.

Once you’ve considered the above factors, there’s one more that’s important: personal preference!

If the incontinence products you or your loved one use feel secure, comfortable and easy to use, you can save yourself a huge amount of time, concern and effort in navigating incontinence. Personal preference is a crucial factor in finding the right fit for your needs.

It may also be a viable option, to use both. You may consider reusable during the day, when you can change more easily but use disposable at night when you require higher absorbency levels.

The Most Important Thing For You

Whether you opt for disposable or reusable incontinence products, it’s important that your confidence is the key priority. If you’re shopping for yourself or for a loved one, look at options that will support the highest quality of daily living, enabling everyday activities.

ConfidenceClub prioritises sustainable incontinence products that are comfortable and discreet. With exclusive European-made products utilising unique advanced technologies to deliver higher absorbencies, better odour control and a more comfortable fit, we prioritise the health and wellbeing of all of our Australian customers. Find the tools you need for simplified, effective incontinence management today.

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