Get your priorities straight with washable incontinence pants


Washable incontinence pants such as the Unisex Tena Pants – which can be washed and reused up to 50+ times – offer an unequivocal economical advantage. On the other hand, they also add extra laundry costs. How do you know whether they are appropriate for you – or your patient if you’re a caregiver/nurse? It’s all about priorities.

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Does user own a washing machine and dryer?



·         Reusable pants are not advised unless the user/caregiver is willing to hand wash or use a laundromat.

·         Washable products may take a long time to air dry.

·         Washable pants are not recommended for people who soil regularly.



·         Leakage/absorbency.

·         Discretion.

·         Comfort.

·         Fit.

·         Leakage/absorbency.

-        Disposable all-in-one products typically perform better for daily use if changing is an issue.

-        If changing is not a problem, a washable or disposable product may be considered.

-        A good washable product for night use should achieve a tight fit, but if safety pins are required to do that, then it is not appropriate for users with reduced sensation below the waist.

-        Plastic pants without binding at the legs and waist are less prone to leakage.

·         Discretion

-        Insert pads and pants and pull-up pants with integral pads are the most discreet reusable products, though they may leak (incontinence pants with an integral pad and pouch pad and pants are designed for mild urinary incontinence and not for moderate to heavy incontinence).

-        All-in-one products made from terrycloth tend to be bulky.

-        Velcro is a very noisy material to undo in public, and some plastic pants rustle.

-        Poppers can also snap noisily.

·         Comfort

-        The majority of reusable products are comfortable as long as they are dry.

-        Most are generally uncomfortable when they are wet.

-        Terrycloth is a malleable, soft, and comfortable material.

·         Fit

-        All-in-one products are the most difficult to fit.

-        A proper fit may be more easily achievable with made-to-measure products.

-        Soft and conformable, shaped terrycloth may provide a better fit.

-        Standard sizes are more likely to fit more slender people.

-        Larger individuals may have trouble with standard-sized products with the exception of insert pads.

There is always the possibility of combining washable incontinence pants and disposable products. For instance, a disposable product may provide improved discretion and leakage protection during the day, while a washable item can be worn at home or during the night when discretion is not essential.

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Which are the best disposable adult briefs?