How Do Incontinence Pads Work?

Incontinence pads are the most popular option for leakage protection. With more advanced discreet designs in the market, the number of options available is increasing.

How Do Incontinence Pads Work?

Let’s start by seeing what is inside an incontinence pad.

Each incontinence pad features an acquisition layer which promotes the first passage of urine through the inner core of the pad. The core usually also contains a super absorbent powder.

Incontinence pads also feature odour technology that helps prevent the formation of odours and maintains a healthy skin PH.


The basic requirements of pads are the following:

  • Ability to contain leakage
  • Provides a discreet design
  • Ability to contain smell
  • Keeps the skin dry and reduces irritation
  • Is soft and provides comfort to the skin


Pad Part

What is it Designed from?

Its Function

Surface material 

Fiber material made of polypropene/polyethylene polyester/viscose. 

Absorbs the liquid and keeps you dry and comfortable

Acqusition layer 

Porous material featuring wood fiber or polyester fiber

Moves liquid from the surface of the pad to the centre

Absorbent core

Paper pulp and superabsorbents for pads and panty liners. In some products, porous paper-based material is used.

Absorbs and stores the liquids.

Adhesive Strip

The adhesive strip consists of various polymers and synthetic resins.

The adhesive strip is essential for binding together the product layers and attaches the product to your underwear

Backsheet material

This is designed from polyethylene film

Extra protection to prevent leakage

Fastening material

Polymere materials

Keeps the product in place

Elastic material

Polymere materials

Provides comfort and ensures a good fit

Fragrance (only certain products)

Light Perfume

Gives the product a fresh smell.

Release Paper

Silicone coated paper.

A paper that protects the adhesive on the back of the product.

Our video below demonstrates the speed of absorption in incontinence pads:

This video demonstrates further demonstrates how an incontinence pad works:


Types of Incontinence Pads

Incontinence pads are available in different designs, depending on the severity of incontinence. They can also differ depending on whether they are designed for faecal or urinary incontinence. When choosing a pad, you should base your decision on how much absorbency you need and how comfortable the product is.

Small Shaped Pads

small shaped pad

Small shaped pads are designed for light to moderate incontinence. They can be worn inside your normal underwear and are discreet and small. You can also small shaped pads that are designed just for faecal incontinence.

Large Shaped Pads

Large shaped pads are suitable for moderate to heavy incontinence. Like small shaped pads, they can be worn with your normal underwear. Some large shaped pads for heavy incontinence are also suitable for faecal smearing.

Insert Pads

Insert pads can be used inside protective products to increase their absorbency. They can also be used as inserts within washable pants or on their own as light incontinence products.

Incontinence Slips

Incontinence slips are all in ones that feature fixation tabs for security. They are designed for heavy to severe incontinence and can be worn on their own. Incontinence slips can be used for both faecal and urinary incontinence.

Belted Incontinence Slips

Belted incontinence pads are another design of all in one that feature belts rather than fixation tabs. Like incontinence slips, they can be worn on their own and are suitable for faecal and urinary incontinence.

Recommended Shaped Pads

  • Shaped like feminine towels
  • For light incontinence
  • Small and thin
  • Maximum discretion

From £1.64

Buy iD Expert Light

  • Popular option for light incontinence
  • Small, slim pad
  • Ultra white dry system
  • Dry fast core

From £2.85

Buy TENA Comfort Mini

Recommended Insert Pads

  • Use with your own underwear or elasticated net pants
  • Rectangular shaped pads
  • Small and discreet

From £3.14

Buy iD Expert Rectangular

  • Nonwoven Topsheet
  • Fluff Absorption Core Material
  • Nonwoven Polyethylene Back Sheet


Buy Attends Coldex Endless

Recommended Incontinence Slips

iD Expert Slip
  • Adhesive tapes
  • Close fit
  • Maximum security
  • For heavier incontinence

From £10.75

Buy TENA Slip

  • Discreet and reliable
  • Gentle on the skin
  • For heavier incontinence
  • Easy to take on and off
From £4.99

Recommended Belted Pads

iD Expert Belt
  • For moderate to heavy incontinence
  • Anti leak cuffs
  • Cotton feel material
  • Ideal for sensitive skin

From £8.18

Buy iD Expert Belt

  • For moderate to severe incontinence
  • Belted products
  • Maximum leakage security

From £14.95

Buy TENA Flex

Originally posted 2019-03-28 14:40:36.

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