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Is it Normal for Adult Diapers to Leak?

Man wearing gray absorbent underwear, looking in the mirror and pulling up his slacks.

Kara Miller |

Is it Normal for Adult Diapers to Leak?

If you or the person you care for use incontinence products, you might notice that they don’t always stay as dry as they should. This is especially true when you’re extra active or during the overnight hours. Although adult diaper leaks are fairly common, that doesn’t mean they’re normal. If your adult diapers or incontinence briefs are leaking, it’s usually a sign that they don’t fit correctly or aren’t absorbent enough for your needs.

Leaks can lead to skin irritation, wet clothes, odors, and embarrassment. But they don’t have to happen. Adult diapers and incontinence briefs are designed to keep you dry and secure as you live your life, and you shouldn’t settle for something that leaks.

A man stands wearing Because Market incontinence underwear with arrows demonstrating where fit matters to prevent leakage.

What Causes Adult Diapers to Leak?

The most common reasons for product leaks are poor fit and lack of absorbency. Here are some things to check, if your incontinence underwear is letting liquid through:

  • Is the underwear too loose or too tight? Half of leaks from incontinence products happen because of incorrect fit. Underwear that is too tight can cause compression leaks by squeezing liquid out, while underwear that is too loose might let liquid run out before it’s absorbed by the underwear. Your adult diaper or incontinence underwear should feel snug around the waist and leg openings,, but shouldn’t restrict your movement. Try out a few different styles and sizes before deciding which one is best for you.
  • Are my leg openings too loose? The leg openings on incontinence briefs and adult diapers are a common source of leaks. Look for briefs that have anti-leak stitching and make sure there aren’t any gaps around your legs where urine could leak out.
  • Does it work when I’m active? Many people find their briefs don’t leak while they’re sitting down, but do leak when they’re walking around or being more active. Order a starter pack and test out the underwear while doing all of your normal activities before you commit to buying one type or size.

Two women stand in Because Market incontinence underwear.

How to Prevent Urine Leakage from Adult Diapers

Preventing leaks doesn’t have to be a struggle. In addition to getting the right fit and absorbency, here are some tips and tricks to keep your underwear from leaking:

  • Get underwear that is extra absorbent: Overnight diapers and underwear aren’t just for nighttime. If you’re worried about leaks as you go about your day, you can always choose the most absorbent style for extra security. Because Market’s overnight protection underwear holds six cups of liquid, three times as much as the human bladder.
  • Add in booster pads: Booster pads are liners that go into your existing incontinence underwear. They can add up to four cups of extra absorbency to your underwear, and are especially helpful when you’re being active and worried about larger leaks. Make sure you buy booster pads, and not guards, if you’re planning to put them into your incontinence underwear, as the flow-through design of boosters allow them to work with the absorbent underwear to hold more liquid.
  • Change your underwear more frequently: If you’re dealing with frequent leaks, you might be trying to use your underwear for too long. Changing it more often can help keep you or the person you care for dry and comfortable.
  • Try pelvic floor exercises: Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help you hold in your urine and reduce the number of bladder leaks you have, which will mean you have to rely less on your adult diapers or incontinence briefs.
  • Limit liquids before bed: Many leaks happen at night, when it’s harder to get up and go to the bathroom and you might go many hours without changing your underwear. If you often experience nighttime leaks try stopping your liquid intake two hours before bed, so you have time to empty your bladder before you sleep.
  • Use a bed protector: Sometimes, accidents are inevitable. Prepare for them by using a bed protector in addition to your underwear so that when the occasional leak happens you and your mattress can stay dry.

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The Best Leak-Proof Incontinence Protection for Adults

The best adult diapers and incontinence underwear should not only prevent leaks and keep your skin dry, but should also feel soft to the touch rather than plastic-y so you’re comfortable when wearing them.

Because worked with materials scientists and designers at Stanford University’s urology department to design an underwear that feels like fabric and catches leaks before they happen, with outstanding results. In a comparison of four major underwear brands, Because underwear stood out not only for its high level of absorption, but also for how quickly it absorbs liquid. Faster absorption means your skin stays dry and that your underwear is less likely to leak if you do have a bladder spill while you’re being active.

Ultimately, the brand, style, or type of bladder protection products you use is a personal choice based on what is comfortable for you and fits your lifestyle. To avoid the frustration of searching box stores for the right brands and sizes, try out the introductory offers that many different brands offer via their websites and have the products shipped to you.

You can get a sample pack from Because by taking our bladder protection quiz. And because we’re dedicated to preventing leaks, if you don’t get the correct fit on your first try you can let us know and we’ll replace your order for free.


Sources: (n.d.). Clinical trial information: A study to determine the efficacy of an investigational product for treating urinary incontinence in women. Retrieved from

Incontinence Research Institute. (n.d.). The 5 best underwear for urinary incontinence. Retrieved from


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