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Which is Better... Briefs or Protective Underwear?

September 28, 2022

Which is Better... Briefs or Protective Underwear?

Briefs or underwear? Sounds a little confusing because in general clothing terms, they mean the same thing. However, when speaking about incontinence products, briefs and protective underwear are two very different things. If you have incontinence or are a caregiver for a person with this condition, it’s best to understand the difference between them to determine which product is best for your needs. 

What’s the Difference?
Briefs – It’s a more respectable term for adult diapers. Like the childrens’ version, briefs have side tabs that open and close for changing.

Underwear – More commonly known as pull-ups, they are fully enclosed and pull on like regular underwear. The sides are usually tearable for quick removal when necessary. Unlike briefs, once opened, underwear cannot be closed again. 

Which One is Better?
Both products come in various sizes and absorbency levels and they both offer full day and/or overnight protection. It’s not a matter of which one is better from a performance standpoint, but which one is better for your lifestyle. 

Briefs are better if...

  • The wearer has mobility issues or spends most of their time in a horizontal position.
  • The wearer requires assistance with changing.
  • The wearer has fecal incontinence.
  • The wearer has to perform frequent changes in a less than private setting (rest room).
  • They do not require the wearer to undress to change.

Underwear are better if...

  • The wearer is more mobile and does not require assistance changing.
  • The wearer feels more confident with the fit of the protective underwear.
  • The wearer has difficulty with memory care, as pulling up and down protective underwear is familiar and easier to manage
  • The wearer has lighter incontinence requiring fewer changes such as in a public restroom.

Once you determine which one works best for your circumstances, then you can focus on proper fit and capacity.


We Can Help!
We have friendly, compassionate, and knowledgeable Product Experts ready to answer questions and work with you to help you get exactly what you need. Call Rely Medical Supply toll-free at 1-888-529-2308 (phones are answered 24/7). Our helpful Product Experts are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Time to help you decide what is best for your personal needs.




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