Premium Brands vs. Store Brands: What’s the Difference?

male with arm ups

When it comes to choosing the right absorbent products for you or a loved one, a quick trip to your local pharmacy seems like an easy first step. You know that the major name brands and best sellers will be available, and the familiarity of that option feels like a safe bet.

However, it’s important to realize that familiarity and mass availability are not the same things as quality and reliability. In fact, some of the most stocked drugstore incontinence product brands often lack where it matters most: leak protection, wearability, and comfort.

Quality Over Convenience

Online premium brands, like NorthShore, offer consistently better quality briefs, pull-ups and pads. NorthShore offers 3x greater absorbency than standard drugstore brands, which means you or your loved one will feel dryer for longer stretches of time. And for anyone who relies on adult diapers to get through the day (or night!), this is a game-changer.


GoSupreme pull-up incontinence underwear lasts up to 8 hours without leaking. And MegaMax tab-style briefs can last up to a whopping 12 hours without needing to be changed. Not only does this extended wearability mean significantly reduced daytime changes, but even better, it also means that those frustrating overnight changes can be eliminated.

Furthermore, NorthShore boasts a long list of premium product features that most store brands don’t include:

  • Heavy-duty refastenable tape tabs for tab-style briefs allow for repeated retightening, making sure the diaper remains snug and well-fitted throughout the day.

  • Extra-tall leak guards provide a secure barrier at leg openings to prevent side leaks.

  • A quick-wicking core keeps skin dry and healthy for hours, reducing the need for frequent changes.

  • Different colors provide more daily options and discretion under a variety of clothing.


In stark contrast to standard drugstore products, our premium incontinence products are designed to make the wearer feel comfortable and dry for hours, eliminating the need for additional accessories and extra changes – ultimately saving more money while using fewer products.

For Everyone and Every Body

The biggest differentiator between premium online brands and drugstore brands is the level of incontinence to which they cater. Most retail stores and pharmacies will only keep light pads and minimal absorbency pull-on styles in stock – products that are designed only for the lightest incontinence.

These design choices can easily make someone feel like their needs are “extreme” or “unmanageable,” when, in reality, these products are just the wrong solutions for many individuals. You wouldn’t expect a Band-Aid to heal a broken arm, and likewise, you shouldn’t use a light pad to manage heavy incontinence.

If you or a loved one experience moderate to heavy incontinence, drugstore brands are most likely not going to be the right management solution. A premium brand like NorthShore can provide a much stronger and more reliable degree of protection, designed to manage all types and severities of incontinence for all kinds of lifestyles and situations.

Where store brands often try to sell a “one size fits most” kind of solution, premium brands understand that different people require different absorbencies, sizes, and product features.

Find Your Perfect Fit

Ultimately, being able to find the right fitting product is one of the most important steps to preventing leaks. Online premium brands offer the widest range in sizes – including plus-size and bariatric sizing – ensuring all customers can find the right size for them.


If you’re still not sure what product or size will work best for you or your loved one’s unique needs and lifestyle, NorthShore offers free samples so you can find the right style or size and a convenient Product Finder Tool to help make the process a bit easier.

And as always, if you’d rather talk to someone directly, you can call (800) 563-0161 for personalized assistance and expert recommendations.

Discreet Shopping Experience

For many, incontinence can be a private, and sometimes even embarrassing condition to manage. Shopping online offers the ability to research brands and understand product features from the comfort of your own home. Online product descriptions are likely to include more information and allow you to compare features with more detail than store shelf packaging, and when you’re ready to check out there’s no line! If discretion is important to you, look for online brands like NorthShore that ship direct to your door with discreet, unmarked boxes.

Incontinence is extremely manageable with the right products. Don’t let the limited selection at your local pharmacy keep you from living your best life. Premium products may come with a higher price tag, but the improvements in quality and fit are worth it for many. You or your loved one deserve to live with freedom and dignity.


Regardless of capacity, an absorbent product must be changed immediately following a bowel movement.