Washable Vs Disposable: Which Incontinence Products Are Right for Me?

Washable Vs Disposable incontinence products

One of the first things someone managing incontinence must decide is what type of product they should consider to stay dry. Another may include making a choice between washable vs disposable supplies. Which one is right for their needs? Are there certain situations where one is better than the other? Why would someone choose one over the other?

Whether you’re considering washable or disposable incontinence products, we’ll provide the information needed to make an informed choice. You can also find solutions at NorthShore.com.

What’s the Difference Between Washable and Disposable Products?

First, you’ll need to understand the differences between washable and disposable incontinence supplies. The most obvious difference is that washable supplies can be used multiple times while disposable products need to be thrown away after use.

That means disposable supplies can be very convenient. There’s no need to do laundry every time there’s an accident; it’s as simple as grabbing another. However, because you or someone you care for will be going through disposable products quicker, more need to be bought. You may end up spending more money on disposables in the long run although the benefits may outweigh the costs.

Reusable underwear can be softer and more comfortable than disposable undergarments. The biggest concerns with washable products, however, include hygiene and leak protection. Washing soiled items may risk exposure to bodily fluids as well as pungent odors, and not all stains may come out. Also, washable incontinence products may be better for managing lighter incontinence as they tend to offer less absorbency than disposable alternatives and may not be ideal for individuals managing moderate to heavy incontinence.

 washing machine

Washable Incontinence Products

When it comes to different reusable incontinence products, here are a couple of options:

Reusable Incontinence Pads
Pads are used in regular underwear to absorb liquids and prevent leaks. Reusable incontinence pads can be an environmentally friendly option compared to disposable ones but are less developed and less widely used, according to Nursing Times. Since they’re typically made of cloth, they may be more comfortable as well.

Washable Sheets and Underpads
Overnight incontinence, known as enuresis, is more common than many people think. That’s why it’s important to have bedding protection if you or someone you care for experiences nighttime leakage. Washable sheets and underpads are the perfect product for keeping beds clean. Since they’re washable, you’ll be able to wash them and put them back on each time there’s an accident. NorthShore's Champion XD Washable Underpads are soft, highly absorbent, durable, and available in sizes Large, X-Large, and 2X-Large. Washer and dryer friendly without layer separation or blowout.

Dispose of products in trash

Disposable Absorbent Products

While washable options seem great, there are many types of disposable incontinence products that have significant benefits. In fact, there are many situations when they’re an even better option than reusable alternatives. See below for different types of disposable incontinence products that address absorption, odor control, and leak protection:

Disposable Briefs & Pull-Up Style Underwear
Disposable briefs are probably the first incontinence product that comes to mind. The major benefit is they can be thrown away once soiled. The convenience of disposable briefs and protective underwear can be seen when working, traveling, and socializing. It is easier to discard a disposable undergarment in a trash receptacle than store a reusable product to be washed at a later time.

Disposable Underpads, Bed Pads & Chux
Disposable underpads
are very convenient to use. They are easy to unfold and throw away, or 'chuck them,' when soiled. They are great for travel, can be used for several days if they stay clean and dry, they usually offer good odor control and many offer extra absorbency compared to washable options.

Cost-Effective Incontinence Supplies

Cost-Effective Incontinence Supplies

The most cost-effective incontinence products depend on many factors. For instance, if you’re having frequent accidents, then the washable option may be the better solution if you don't mind doing a lot of laundry. You won’t have to throw out the product after each use and then buy another one. This could mean spending less money.

Consider disposable if convenience is important. Disposable options such as NorthShore MagicSorb Air Underpads, for example, are air permeable allowing them to contribute to reduced heat buildup and improved skin dryness. They are 2x more absorbent than other underpads, lessening the need for multiple-pad use.

NorthShore Care offers washable and disposable incontinence products that are highly absorbent and comfortable. Check out our selection of Incontinence Products or call (800) 563-0161 for personalized recommendations.

Shop Products Featured in this Article

NorthShore Champion XD Premium Washable Bed Protectors (Underpads)
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NorthShore MegaMax Overnight Diaper Style Briefs with Tabs
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Maximum Absorbency

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NorthShore GoSupreme Overnight Incontinence Underwear
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Starting at $8.99 FSA/HSA Eligible