The Best Washable Incontinence Pants And Other Incontinence Products Available

Active elderly couple
Centre For Ageing Better, photo by Peter Kindersley.

The topic of incontinence isn’t spoken about enough in our opinion. We recently wrote about the different types of incontinence and here we’re going to look at the products available to help, from washable incontinence pants and more heavy-duty underwear protection through to mattress protectors and more.

Although incontinence isn’t an inevitable part of ageing, it becomes more common as we get older and currently 5 million people in the UK live with it. There’s different types of urinary and bowel incontinence and this everyday issue can affect some people more than others, which is why here we’ve included a range of absorbent incontinence supplies which can help. They can help people have more control over their life.

Before we get into it, we just want to say that incontinence is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. It’s completely natural and your parent has no control over it. These products will however help them to feel more confident.

ElWell is here to help you on your caregiving journey. Whether you want to understand more about carers and paying for care, dementia or products to make life easier, we have in-depth information for you.

Washable Incontinence Pants For Men And Women

Reusable incontinence pants are best for light to medium incontinence. They offer protection with the added benefit of being reusable, saving money and the environment.

We’ve heard good things about the Super Absorbent Washable Full Brief Knickers from The Able Label. Available in black and white, these leak proof incontinence pants for women are made from high quality breathable cotton and features a built in absorbent pad that holds approximately 350ml (double the Age UK washable underwear capacity). Designed to be discreet for the thousands of women with a sensitive bladder, they are machine washable, just like regular underwear.

Some people choose to wear a pad with them for extra protection at night – they fit comfortably in (such as these from Tena). These washable incontinence knickers are now so popular that The Able Label has just started selling them in packs of three, saving you £5.

Washable incontinence underwear for men and women

They also stock washable incontinence underwear for men (we’re showing the black version above). These absorbable boxer briefs are made from cotton, machine washable and hold up to 250ml liquid.

We’re big fans of The Able Label and its range of stylish adaptive clothes which are easy to put on and do up. Perfect for people with arthritis, limited mobility or rely on carers to get dressed, it was started by a woman who wanted to help her grandmother with Parkinson’s disease to live life well.

Absorbent Y Front

If the man in your life prefers a Y Front then this is a good washable option. This discreet brief looks like a regular Y Front but has a built in absorbent pad (holding up to 300ml) and waterproof backing. So there’s an extra protective barrier for both urinary and faecal incontinence. They go to up size XL.

Net Pants

If your parent wants to wear an incontinence pad often, then net pants could be the answer. Also known as fixation pants or mesh pants, these unisex resuable pants securely fit a large pad inside and give the look and feel of wearing regular underwear (so don’t show through clothing).

They feature a wider crotch area and extra elasticity, so are easy to pull up and down, and hold the pad in place. This reusable incontinence underwear is washable at 60 degrees for up to 100 washes. Try these Tena fixation pants which come in all sizes and are inexpensive.

Reusable Incontinence Pads

Another environmentally sustainable option is washable incontinence pads. Choose ones with wings for added security (poppers keep them in place). Don’t let the fact these are called sanitary pads put you off – they double as well-tested and highly rated reusable incontinence pads.

This five star review option slots into the underwear gusset (they could be used with net pants) and have absorbent microfibre layers and embedded bamboo charcoal to minimise odours.

Wash them on 40 degrees before wearing for the first time, and then on-going this washing temperature can be used. How often you need to change a washable incontinence pad depends on the type and frequency of incontinence you have. For example for light urinary leaks you might want to change it every four hours during the day but that could increase for heavier incontinence.

Incontinence Pads For Men

As men urinate in a different position to women, it makes sense that they need pads that absorb the urine in a different place. Incontinence guards for men, such as this by trusted brand Depends fit discreetly into tight fitting underwear, held in place by adhesive strips. These incontinence shields are cup shaped, going up the front of the underwear and are wider at the front than the back for extra protection.

Adult Cloth Diaper

A washable adult cloth diaper is another good solution. They can be more effective than disposable briefs at containing leaks – they take the liquid much further throughout the fabric, so have a better absorbency.

If your parent is heavily incontinent at night then these could be an option, especially if they sleep on their side. That’s because the side position allows urine to flow where there is the least amount of absorbency, but a more robust washable incontinence pant will capture the liquid.  

They can of course be worn during the day, but are more noticeable (depending on clothing and if your parent is standing or sitting in a wheelchair). They are one size fits all – the poppers at the waist mean they fit snugly up to 39 inches.

There’s ample space in the gusset for a pad. Depending on how much absorbency your parent needs, they could also benefit from a plastic pant over the top – but they could also potentially increase the absorbency of the pad.

We know that night time incontinence can be a concern for you and your parents. So we’ve written about reliable incontinence products to stay dry at night, hope you find it useful.

Waterproof Incontinence Pants

There are adult plastic pants that are reusable! They’re great for providing added security against leaks from both urinary and fecal incontinence (you can wear them over other incontinence pants or pads).

The brand we’ve been recommended is Kylie Kanga waterproof pants. They are suitable for people with moderate to heavy incontinence and can be washed up to 60 degrees.

Made from polyurethane coated nylon (PUL), they are lightweight and breathable but heavy duty – they don’t rip compared to some other plastic pants on the market. You can find Kanga reusable adult incontinence pants on Amazon.

Incontinence Pull Up Pants

Whilst this article is looking at washable incontinence products, we thought it was important to include some disposable incontinence options – because sometimes, these are more convenient and satisfactory.

Also sometimes called adult nappies, this type of protective underwear is much better for urinary incontinence than bowel incontinence and as always, the fit is critical.

Most adult pull ups have matting with a thin, breathable layer of material that forms the actual pant of the pull up. It’s this that can make pull ups look frilly and some men may prefer some like these from Depend which look more like normal briefs.

The product we would recommend is the Abena Abriflex. Made in Denmark (but available on next day delivery with Amazon Prime!), these pull ups are very well made, have a wetness indicator and hold 2200ml. They are unisex, think and concealable. Your elderly parent may want to wear an Abena fixing pant over the top if they’re wearing them out (but it’s personal preference).

Before using a new adult pull up, open it up and shake it out – this will get rid of ridges, fluff up the absorbent mat and make it more comfortable to wear.

Looking for a commode but don’t know where to start? There’s so many options out there, so we’ve written an article on how to find the right commode which also outlines how to use and how to clean a commode.

Adult Incontinence At Night

If your parent is waking up wet every morning, then you might need something more heavy duty. The Abena Abri Flex Premium M3-Max Absorbency is a reliable brand to help keep them dry (no more washing sheets every day!). If they need more incontinence protection, an extra disposable pad inside could help (or they also offer an ‘M4’ which is more like a nappy but offers real protection).

Yes, they work hard but they’re also breathable and soft on the skin. Non-perfumed, these night time incontinence pants are smooth and comfortable whilst still giving a snug fit under pyjamas.

And also keep reading for our bedding for incontinence solutions below.

Bowel Incontinence Underwear

Incontinence briefs with tabs are the best for people living with bowel incontinence – pull ups will just leak. What you want is a disposable pant that is plastic backed to contain any odour, and fits your parent well (look for high internal leak guards, a high waist line and elastic leg gathers that are high and snug). A good brand to try is the Tena ProSkin.

Struggling to hear the TV? Volume cranked up to maximum? Find out about the best devices on the market to help your parents watch TV more easily.

Washable Incontinence Bed Pads

Now we’re going to talk about bed wetting solutions for adults. These incontinence pads for bed by Kylie Kanga are tried and tested by one of our clients, and work like a dream!

Held in place under the mattress with wings, it has a 4 litre capacity, waterproof backing and is incredibly soft to sleep on. Available in single, double and larger bed sizes, this waterproof bed cover can be washed up to 300 times and dried in the tumble dryer (wash it before using for maximum absorbency). It comes in blue or pink.

Oh and while we’re on the topic of beds, check out our article on adjustable beds and other bed aids to make life easier.

Waterproof Mattress Protector

If your parent wears incontinence pants or pads at night, then it’s a good idea to get a waterproof mattress protector. This waterproof version has a zip to fit snugly onto the mattress so that no liquid can get through.

Duvet And Pillow Protectors

One of our lovely readers who used to work in a care home also suggested washable duvet protectors and pillow protectors to keep the bedding fresh even when incontinence occurs.

Chair Pads For Incontinence

These discreet NRS washable chair pads can help your elderly parents retain their dignity in the living room, kitchen, car etc. Available in other colours, they are well sewn and padded, and large enough to tuck down the sides of most chairs. Your parent can even use them in the shower on a shower seat for extra padding.

Incontinence Wipes

Want incontinence wet wipes that are soft on your parent’s skin and good for the planet? Then go for Water Wipes. These natural wipes are made from biodegradable material – but please don’t flush them down the loo, throw them away!

Odour Removal

Be respectful about any odours from your parent’s incontinence. Make sure that washing is being done regularly (if your parent has a carer then this could be one of their roles). To eliminate bad smells, use the hottest washing setting that the fabric can take. Don’t use fabric softener as it can trap in bad odours. If you need to, use white vinegar to counteract the odor and will keep the machine clean.

Incontinence Rash Cream

Skin irritation from incontinence can be uncomfortable. A good barrier cream is Sudocrem (we also hear that Calmoseptine Ointment is very good if you’re in the USA). It works be forming a barrier on the skin to protect it from moisture. But please check the ingredients to make sure your parent isn’t allergic before using!

NHS Incontinence Products

Your parent may be able to get incontinence supplies on the NHS via their district nurse or local continence clinic. However, the products may not be what you would have chosen (they may be bulkier etc).

Incontinence products for personal use are VAT exempt. If you find a certain product which your parent likes, it’s worth buying in bulk so that it’s cheaper too.

How To Talk About Incontinence

Finding the right incontinence products is very personal at the end of the day. They might not know what they want either. Sit down with your parent and understand what they need, whether that’s washable incontinence pants, pads or something else. Ask them questions such as:

  • Are they singly or doubly incontinent?
  • How active are they during the day?
  • What clothing do they wear (to understand if the incontinence underwear will be noticeable).
  • What is their preference for incontinence pads and pants?
  • Do you need additional incontinence products?

Incontinence Tips

Some other things to consider to help with incontinence are:

  • If your parent needs to go to the toilet in the night, encourage them to go before sleeping. Emptying their bladder last thing in the day could help.
  • Encourage your parent (or help them) to keep a diary recording when they go to the toilet, and when they are incontinent. This could help you see if there’s a pattern.
  • Remind your parent to go to the bathroom during the day too. You could always set up Alexa alerts to remind them.
  • People who are less active can become incontinent. As we get older, even just a little exercise and activity is better than nothing. What would help your mum or dad to move a little more?


We promised you an extensive review of incontinence products, from washable incontinence pants and beyond, and we hope we have delivered!

Incontinence is nothing to be ashamed about, and with so many people becoming incontinent in later life, it’s important to understand what elderly hygiene products are available. Good luck, and let us know if you find any new elder care products which are helping your family.


What incontinence product do I need?

There’s a real range of incontinence products available, from washable incontinence pants to fixation pants which hold an incontinence pad in place, cloth diapers and more. It all depends on the type of incontinence you have (urinary and or bowel) and personal preference. We have written an extensive guide to incontinence products to help advise you.

Should I choose washable or disposable incontinence products?

It depends on personal preference. There’s some great washable incontinence pants available – usually for light to medium incontinence, you can increase absorbency with a pad. Disposable incontinence products are recommended for people who are bowel incontinent.

Will incontinence bedding protect the bed?

Yes! Incontinence bed pads and waterproof mattress protectors that zip all the way around will keep the mattress and bed dry. Wearing inco pads at night will also help.

6 thoughts on “The Best Washable Incontinence Pants And Other Incontinence Products Available”

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  3. I used to work in an elderly care nursing home and this is all great advice. The only think I would add is it is worth getting duvet and pillow protectors in case of accidents.

    1. Jessica Silver

      Thank you Anne – we didn’t think this information was spoken about readily enough so we wanted to provide it! That’s a great addition, we’ll add that in!

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