Did you know that approximately 13 million Americans experience urinary incontinence? It’s a common issue and, thankfully, there are plenty of urinary incontinence products for men and women on the market — including washable incontinence underwear. With so many solutions available, it can be difficult to decide which brand will suit your individual needs and protect you from leaks throughout the day. There are lots of questions that come to mind when choosing washable incontinence underwear: How do they work? What are the advantages and disadvantages? We answer these questions and more to help you decide if washable incontinence underwear is right for you.
What Is Washable Incontinence Underwear?
Washable incontinence underwear is just like ordinary cloth underwear but with a built-in panel of absorbent and leakproof textile. It is a comfortable and discreet solution for men and women who need protection from light-to-moderate incontinence. As the name suggests, washable incontinence underwear can be washed and worn time and time again.
How Does Washable Incontinence Underwear Work?
You can wear washable incontinence underwear just like you would ordinary underwear, day or night. For many people, reusable underwear is the key to a good night’s sleep as they have peace of mind knowing they won’t leak. It also helps prevent falls and accidents as a result of rushing to the bathroom in the middle of the night. What’s more, the built-in leakproof textile means there’s no need for additional pads or liners. After use, they can be added to your normal laundry load and machine-washed like any other briefs or panties.
Why Haven’t I Heard of Washable Incontinence Underwear Before?
It’s natural to be a little sceptical about new reusable incontinence products on the market. The truth is that — up until recently — the technology used to make high-performing, absorbent and leakproof incontinence underwear didn’t exist. Advances in technology and increased demand for more eco-friendly products have driven innovation in this area and led to the creation of some excellent incontinence products. Despite of how common it is amongst men and women, there’s also a stigma surrounding the topic of urinary incontinence. It’s important to spread awareness about urinary incontinence so people know what life-changing solutions are available to them.
Is Reusable Incontinence Underwear Right for me?
If you experience light-to-moderate bladder leakage, washable incontinence underwear could be the perfect solution for you. Men and women who currently wear liners, pads, shields or guards will likely find reusable incontinence underwear to be a comfortable and discreet alternative to single-use products. If you have heavy bladder leakage and currently wear adult diapers or pull-ups, washable incontinence products will probably not suit your needs. We recommend buying one pair of reusable underwear first to check if the size and absorbency level is right for you, then going back to stock up on more pairs.
Is Washable Incontinence Underwear Right for the Person I Care for?
Again, this depends on the individual needs of the person you care for. Many carers find that washable incontinence underwear is a great option for those with light-to-moderate bladder leakage. Not only will they help the person you care for feel comfortable and protected, but they will stop you from having to change the sheets every morning. Reusable underwear can also be helpful when caring for someone with dementia-related incontinence, who may feel more comfortable with reusable cloth underwear as opposed to the unfamiliarity of pads and liners.
Advantages of Washable Incontinence Underwear
Let’s unpack the key benefits of washable incontinence underwear when compared to disposable incontinence products to see if they align with your needs.
Comfort and Discretion
Washable incontinence underwear is a comfortable and discreet alternative to bulky incontinence pads. People who use disposable incontinence products often experience feelings of anxiety and embarrassment — especially when in situations such as the gym changing room. Washable incontinence underwear helps relieve this anxiety as it looks and feels just like normal underwear. You can also say goodbye to disposal dilemmas when there’s no trash receptacle in a public toilet.
On top of this, reusable incontinence underwear can be ordered online with discreet delivery to your door. This means no more uncomfortable supermarket shopping trips!
Better for the Environment
Did you know that single-use absorbent hygiene products make up 10% of the earth’s landfill? What’s more, they contain chemicals and plastics that take hundreds of years to break down. In comparison, reusable incontinence underwear is much kinder to the planet. By making the switch to washable incontinence underwear, you could prevent thousands of single-use pads and liners from ending up in landfill.
Save Money and Time
Unlike disposable incontinence products, washable incontinence underwear can be used again and again. This saves money over time and means you can skip those awkward last-minute trips to the supermarket to buy liners and pads.
Disadvantages of Washable Incontinence Underwear
Some people prefer disposable incontinence underwear over washable incontinence underwear —particularly due to the convenience of being able to throw them away after use. Here are some of the other disadvantages of reusable incontinence underwear that you should consider before making a purchase.
Suitable for Light-to-Moderate Incontinence
It’s important to remember that washable incontinence underwear is usually only suitable for light-to-moderate urinary incontinence. If you experience heavy incontinence or full bladder voids, reusable incontinence underwear won’t provide an appropriate level of protection.
Higher Initial Investment
Washable incontinence products require a higher initial outlay than disposable incontinence products. Although it is more expensive to buy those first few pairs of washable incontinence underwear, they will pay for themselves over time as you reuse them again and again.
Longer Drying Time
Because washable incontinence underwear is designed to be absorbent, it can take longer to dry than most laundry. Not all reusable underwear brands can be tumble-dried, so choose a brand that specifically says it is dryer safe, or you may need to factor in extra time to dry your underwear before wearing it.
Caring for Washable Incontinence Underwear
Each brand will have its own care instructions, but most reusable incontinence underwear can be machine-washed at a low temperature. It’s important to note that many brands must be line-dried rather than tumble-dried. This is usually because they are waterproofed with a layer of plastic, which would shrink and distort in the heat of the dryer. For convenience, look for a brand that can be safely tumble-dried without impacting the leakproof performance.
How Long Does Washable Incontinence Underwear Last?
This will of course depend on the brand, but washable incontinence underwear should last about as long as ordinary cloth underwear. Ensure you follow the care instructions on the label to get the maximum wear out of your underwear.
How to Find the Best Washable Incontinence Underwear Brand
Not all washable incontinence products are created equal — there are certainly some brands that perform better than others. We’ve put together a checklist of qualities to look for in an incontinence underwear brand so you can find a reliable, high-performing product:
- Investment in superior absorbent and leakproof technology
- Independent lab testing and verification of their performance claims
- Positive customer reviews
- Ethical and sustainable production processes
- Products with a slimline gusset
- Machine-washable and safe to tumble-dry
We recommend Confitex washable incontinence underwear. As the technology leader in reusable absorbent underwear, Confitex creates high-performing reusable bladder leakage underwear for men and women under its consumer brands Confitex for Men and Just’nCase by Confitex for women. Visit the NAFC Featured Product Partner page to learn more.
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To give you the chance to try Confitex for Men or Just’nCase by Confitex washable incontinence underwear for yourself, we’re offering NAFC readers an exclusive 15% discount for NAFC readers.
To redeem your discount, visit confitex.com and enter the code NAFC2315 at checkout.