Washable vs Disposable Incontinence Pants: Our Guide

Washable vs Disposable Incontinence Pants: Our Guide

  • On November 13, 2019

Incontinence pants have transformed the incontinence market to one which caters for everyone. Available in both washable and disposable options, there are options suitable for everyone.

To help you decide which product to go for, here are the pros and cons of both options:


Disposable Incontinence Pants


The Pros

They have higher absorbency than washables. Disposable incontinence pants have a much higher absorbency than washable pants.

They have excellent odour control systems. Disposable pants are often highly absorbent, meaning they have improved odour control systems. You can read more about odour control systems here.

You don’t have to spend time washing the products. Disposable incontinence pants can simply be thrown away and replaced.

They can be worn for longer. As disposable pants are far more absorbent, they can also be worn for longer. This means you don’t have to worry about changing the product as frequently.


The Cons

They are less cost effective in the long-term. Disposable pants need to be bought more frequently, therefore costing you more in the long-term.

The options are less varied. There are less design options of disposable pants compared to washable.

You should be extra careful about skin health. As disposable products can be worn for longer, it is extra important to take care of your skin. Infections such as incontinence associated dermatitis can occur when products are left on too long or you do not use the correct skin products.

They are less environmentally friendly. Disposable products are worse for the environment, so it is important to remember to dispose categories.

Popular Disposable Pull Up Pants

TENA Pants

  • New anti-leakage barrier
  • Thin and pliable material
  • Unobtrusive and invisible under clothing
  • Breathable material
  • Elastic leg opening
  • Higher and softer anti-leakage barriers
  • Dual absorption zone
  • Odour neutralizer

Shop now from £9.95

Lille SupremPants

  • 100% breathable and hypoallergenic
  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • Soft elasticated sides
  • Soft cotton feel
  • Narrow and contoured crotch area

Shop now from £7.09

iD Pants

  • Includes an elasticated waist and Cotton Feel back sheet
  • Anatomical adaption
  • Plastic Polyethylene Back Sheet
  • Advanced odour control technology
  • Anti leakage protection cuffs
  • Synthetic Material
  • Fast absorption layer

Shop now from £7.38

Attends Pull Ons

Attends Pull Ons

  • Side tears for easy removal
  • Large selection of levels
  • Anatomically shaped product for bladder and bowel weakness
  • Flexible fit and breathable back sheet for healthy skin
  • Wetness indicator acts as a guide to when the pad requires changing
  • Coloured elastics help to indicate the back of the product
  • Added odour protection quickly locks away any unpleasant smells

Shop now from £10.49


Washable Incontinence Pants


The Pros

They have a more “normal underwear” feel. Washable pants are perfect for people who are scared of trying an incontinence product that is out of their comfort zone. Washable pants provide maximum discretion, and can feel much more like normal underwear as they can be washed.

They are better for the environment. We know washable products are better for the environment, creating less waste. If caring for the environment is a top priority for you, wearing a washable pant might be the best option for you.

Washables are cheaper in the long-run. Although they can initially be more expensive than disposables, you need to buy washables less frequently, making them a cheaper long-term option.

They can provide more discretion. You might feel more comfortable hanging your washable pants on a drying wrack than having a pack of pull up pants out in the open. They look so much like normal underwear that you don’t have to be worried about anyone finding your incontinence products.

The Cons

They are only available in lower absorbencies. Unfortunately, washables are not suitable for people with heavy incontinence, making them restrictive for many users.

You need to be organised with washing. If you are choosing washables, you always need to ensure some products are clean. This means staying on top of washing, and can sometimes be time consuming.

They can only be washed at a high temperature. Washable pants need to be washed at a high temperature, and it is vital to read the instructions of each product.

They are not suitable for faecal incontinence. Whilst some disposable pants with a high absorbency can be used for faecal leaks, washable pants are not designed to absorb faecal incontinence.

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Popular Washable Incontinence Pants

Men's Traditional Y Front Pant

  • Traditional fly front opening
  • Designed specially for men with light incontinence
  • Built in pad for security
  • 100% Cotton
  • Look and feel like normal underwear
  • Available in black and white
  • 280mls

Buy for £8.95 

Men's Washable Boxer Shorts in Black

  • Modern Boxer short style.
  • Built in pad for security.
  • Look and feel like normal underwear.
  • 100% Cotton.
  • Machine washable.
  • High quality, full fitting brief.

Buy for £10.75

Ladies Cotton Comfy Black

  • Absorbent incontinence brief for women
  • 100% cotton brief with built-in absorbent pad with waterproof back
  • 100mls
  • Cost Effective Over the Lifetime of the Brief

Shop for £7.95 on Allanda 

Ladies Full Cotton Incontinence Brief White

  • Ladies Full Cotton Brief
  • Large built in pad extending both front and back for extra security
  • Close fit
  • Significantly higher absorbency than the ladies cotton brief range
  • 100% Cotton
  • Machine washable.
  • High quality, full fitting brief

Shop from £8.45

Which Option is Suitable for You?

Pull up pants are suitable for individuals with light to heavy incontinence. They are, however, harder to put on than all in ones or pads, making them ideal for people with good mobility.

If you have very light incontinence and are looking for a cost-effective pant, go for a washable pant option.


Our Tips for Buying Incontinence Pants

Consider your Budget. If you are watching your budget closely, look for a more economical brand such as iD Expert or Lille Healthcare.

Compare the Absorbency Levels of Different Pants. To ensure you are getting your money’s worth when buying a pant, ensure you compare different brands and absorbencies.

Always Measure your Waist or Hips Before Buying. If you can, measure your waist or hips before buying. Some products display a waist size whereas others require a hip size. Wearing a product that is too loose can reduce it’s effective, so size is vital.

Buy a Higher Absorbency Pant than Normal for Night Time Use. If you are buying a pant for night time, ensure it is a lot more absorbent than your day time pant.

Consider a Booster Pad for More Absorbency. Do you want slightly more protection and back up for peace of mind? Consider using a booster pad inside your pant.


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