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Adult incontinence is not the sexiest of topics, but it’s something many women will deal with at some point in their lives. The embarrassment of having an accident in public aside, wearing bulky, diaper-style panties is the opposite of what most of us want, so we’ve rounded up the best incontinence underwear for women that look and feel like regular undies.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, 25 million American adults deal with urinary incontinence. While it’s most common in women over the age of 50, pregnancy, and even UTIs can trigger the condition. Although there weren’t a lot of stylish options years ago, more undergarment companies are meeting the demand for leak-proof, moisture-wicking underwear. Keep reading to see our favorites available to shop now.
What are the best incontinence underwear for women?
- Best overall incontinence underwear for women : Knix Super Leakproof High Rise
- Best absorbent incontinence underwear for women : The High Waisted Period.
- best moisture-wicking incontinence underwear for women : Postpartum Support Set
- Best plus size incontinence underwear for women : Jockey Worry Free Microfiber Moderate Absorbency Brief
- Best pfas-free incontinence underwear for women : Saalt Leakproof Comfort Boyshort
- Best stylish incontinence underwear for women : Wearever Women’s Lovely Lace Incontinence Underwear
- Best affordable incontinence underwear for women : Support Plus Washable Incontinence Underwear
- Best leak resistant incontinence underwear for women : Proof Period & Leak Resistant High Waist Super Light Absorbency Smoothing Underwear
- Best incontinence underwear for women for sleep : Always Discreet Underwear
Are pads or briefs better for incontinence?
When it comes to deciding between pads or briefs for incontinence, it’s all about your incontinence level. Similar to periods, one can deal with mild to moderate to heavy urinary leakage.
Mild urinary incontinence can sometimes be brought on by physical stress like exercise or sneezing. In these cases, you’re not fully voiding your bladder, and a pad may be all you need until you make it to the bathroom. Here are a few brands to try:
- Rael Organic Cotton Reusable Incontinence Pads, $29.99
- Honey Pot Organic Cotton Non-Herbal Incontinence Pads with Wings, $12.45
- Attn: Grace Heavy Incontinence Pads for Women, $23.97
Those who have moderate to heavy incontinence do better with briefs, since they can hold a higher volume of liquid.
Ultimately, finding the best incontinence underwear will be about the type of incontinence you’re experiencing, and the type of leak protection you need. Fortunately, there’s a good chance you’ll find them in a style you like with many period panty companies designing looks that also work for the condition. Here are a few of our favorites:
What is the best incontinence underwear?
The best incontinence underwear all depends on your specific needs. For light bladder leakage, period panties may do the trick. Now, you may be thinking, “No, thanks” as a result of Thinx’s recent lawsuit settlement. However, the effects of PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances), which were found in the brand’s period underwear, aren’t clear. In an interview with Well + Good, Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, further explains.
“For PFAS, even some of the human studies have been inconclusive,” said the Medical Toxicologist. “Since almost 100 percent of people living in developed countries have detectable levels of PFAS in their bloodstreams, it is challenging to determine exactly what adverse health effects are attributable to PFAS and not another chemical or environmental exposure.”
Period panties are lighter than adult diapers, are made for leakage absorbency, odor control, and look and feel like regular underwear. If you’re curious about them but fear sketchy materials, check out the ones from Saalt. They work for light bladder leakage, as well menstruation, and spotting.
For heavier protection, something like these incontinence underwear from Amazon may do the trick. They’re made from 100 percent cotton, are fragrance-free, and can hold up to 150 milliliters of liquid.
What is the most absorbent incontinence product?
Along with underwear designed for bladder leakage, there are other incontinence products that provide proper protection. One of the most absorbent and highly-rated products is Poise Fresh Protection Overnight (Amazon, $39.90). The curve shaped pads have a wider front and back for coverage, and have an absorption rate one reviewer on Amazon called “superior.”
According to the company’s site, the incontinence product holds two cups of liquid, has four layers of absorbent material, plus a breathable cover to keep the wearer dry. It has more than 10,000 reviews on Amazon, half which give the product five-stars. If you’re not a hundred percent sold on period underwear or incontinence panties, these are worth consideration.
Best Incontinence Underwear for Women
Why we like it:
- Moisture-wicking gusset
- Flexible material
- Waterproof layer
- Available in 12 different colors
Highly-rated in effectiveness, the Knix Super Leakproof High Rise are so fashionable, no one would expect they were period panties. Made from a blend of spandex, nylon, and modal, the briefs feature four layers of protective material, one including a waterproof membrane to keep things dry. The top layer gusset is moisture-wicking as well, and Fresh Fix Technology does odor control. The panties fits close to skin, is silky smooth and remains discrete even underneath the snuggest pair of chinos. Best for mild urinary incontinence, you’ll love these so much you’ll want a pair in one of each of the 12 colors it comes in. Sizes start at XS and go to XXXXL.
Promising review: “Even though I’m past the age of needing period protection, this underwear makes me feel confident in case of occasional bladder leaks. It’s comfortable, thin, and doesn’t show even with tight pants. The colors and patterns make it a fun product. I would recommend it to any women regardless of age.”
Why we like it:
- Organic cotton gusset
- Super absorbent
- Designed to withstand lots of movement
We’ve all had those moments when we’ve got to go but we’re trapped in our car or the line to the bathroom. Rather than having to rush home to change, we recommend leaving the house with a pair of these. Made from The Period Company, The High Waisted Period. is great for busy days when you’re rushing around or working out. The ultra-stretchy material moves with you without allowing a drop of anything to slip out. The material is third-party tested and PFAS-free, plus the panties can be tossed in the washer or hand-cleaned.
Promising review: “I have been trying to find something for overnight that didn’t shift, didn’t spill over or feel like I was wearing a diaper. This was literally perfect for me! The fit was nice and secure without feeling like it was too snug. Had no problems with any overflow or shifting during the night, and I actually didn’t mind hand-washing them.”
Why we like:
- Sustainable material
Don’t let its name fool you. WUKA makes some of the best incontinence underwear for women around. The brand’s absorbent fabric can hold 200 times its own water weight, so you know it will have you covered when accidents occur. Our favorite pick? The Postpartum Support Heavy Flow underwear. It holds up to a quarter cup of liquid and features a thicker center to trap fluid. Fortunately, you can’t feel it like if you were wearing a pad, and the sustainable Tencel modal is breathable. A good option for moderate incontinence, the undies will keep you dry and comfortable up to 12 hours. The gusset is a bit higher, which helps to prevent overflow when you move, so even if you can’t get to the bathroom quickly, no one should be the wiser.
Why we like it:
- Absorbs 25 milliliters of fluid
- Available in a variety of colors
- Innovative 3-layer system
Who doesn’t love a fresh new pair of Jockey underpants? And these are designed to handle bladder leaks, as well as menstrual flow! The Worry Free Microfiber Moderate Absorbency Brief’s top layer is made of breathable cotton, while the second absorbs and seals in liquid. The final layer has a waterproof barrier that keeps spillage — or stains — a non-issue. The three layers are sewn together by waterproof threads too, so you’re covered by all angles. Our favorite thing, however, is that these best incontinence underwear for ladies is that it comes in five different colors. We deserve choices, right? One happy customer even dubbed them “perfect.”
Promising review: “These fit just right. I no longer have to worry about leaks! I bought additional pairs for the future, as I do not want to try the new microfiber style for environmental reasons. I was using disposable pads and tried several other companies before I found Jockey Worry Free. I would recommend them to everyone! They feel just like any other regular panties.”
Why we like it:
- Available in 4 different colors
- Soft, sustainable fabric
- Not treated with PFAS
Every lady needs at least one pair of comfy boyshort-style underwear to lounge in, and if they work for incontinence, all the better! We’re going with the ones from Saalt. The Leakproof Comfort Boyshort offers a full-coverage, mid-rise style, comes in several lovely colors, including rich ruby, and goes up to XXL. Made from Tencel Modal, the material is buttery soft against skin. More importantly, the briefs have four different layers to fight odor, and lock in moisture for a leak-free experience. We do with the gusset ran all the way up the front and back. However, many happy Saalt customers are still fans.
Promising review: “I love these! So comfortable, buttery soft, and really flattering when worn. I experimented with pouring water on the fabric to test the absorbency. It held a TON without soaking through or feeling damp, so I’m certain I could go all day without worrying about leakage with these on.”
Why we like it:
- Slimming high-waist style
- Waterproof outer-layer
- Holds up to 5 ounces of liquid
One generally wouldn’t think of the word “sexy” when incontinence underwear is involved, but that’s exactly what these Wearever Women’s Lovely Lace panties are! In fact, we think they would be just the thing to put a swing in your step when curating your ensemble for date night with the hubs. The flattering high-waist and lace floral pattern screams va-va-va-voom, and if something happens when you sneeze or laugh — no worries! The underwear’s absorbent center keeps everything dry and leak-free. Pair with you prettiest bra, and you’ll be set! Available in black, as well as white.
Promising review: “These are really soft and nice to wear. Padding is not too thick and reminds me of the days before the leaks. They fit just like regular underwear and absorb better than [adult diapers] do. Mama’s back in the saddle!”
Why we like it:
One of the thing that makes adult pull-ups unpleasant is that they’re big, bulky, and the opposite of discrete if you’re changing some place like the gym. What makes these incontinence underwear for women great is that they look like basic cotton panties, but absorbent center when mishaps occur. Three come in an order too, and you know how we feel about a bargain! Although the brand says it can hold up to 20 ounces of liquid, some customers say that it’s not the best for heavier outpours. However, some still love them, and if you’re dealing with small leaks, give them a try.
Promising review: “I suffer from nerve damage in my bladder due to radiation; by the time I get the urge to go, it is almost too late, and bulky pads are expensive, bad for the environment, and actually often cause me to have an accident because they don’t stay put. I decided to try these, and I absolutely love them. It would be wonderful, however, if they padded area was a little longer because the urine can go up higher than the padded area. I have been using them for about three weeks now and have only had one leak issue (caused by the above stated problem.). I will absolutely be buying more.”
Why we like it:
- Light compression
- Leak-resistant lining
For extra protection against minor accidents, try these undies on for size. Along with target compression — great for bloat, FYI — the Proof period panties also have an invisible leak-resistant lining to prevent unsightly spillage. Perfect for light protection, the gusset has 69 percent cotton to absorb the small blips that happen when you sneeze or laugh too hard. The material is buttery smooth and undetectable beneath clothing, so wear your skinnies, worry-free. According to one happy Nordstrom customer, they’re the underwear every woman needs!
Promising review: “These really do protect from leaking at night! My bed sheets are happy!”
Why we like it:
- More than 15,000 reviews on Amazon!
- Odor lock technology
- FSA/HSA eligible
If urination during nighttime is your major concern, Always Discreet Underwear should be your bedfellow. We’re not crazy that they’re slightly scented (fragrance and your nether regions shouldn’t mix), but thousands of happy customers on Amazon love them. Along with offering 12 hours of leak proof coverage, the disposable incontinence underwear have four-way stretch, and a super absorbent core. The fabric is light too, so you won’t have to try to fall to sleep with something bulky.
Promising review: “I have never used these until I was in a recovery home. They are fantastic. I used one for sleeping at night, and they are great.”