The 7 Best Incontinence Pads of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Poise Maximum Incontinence Pads are our top pick because they’re incredibly absorbent, have max coverage, great odor control, and are HSA/FSA eligible.

Rich Scherr is an updates strategist and fact checker for Dotdash Meredith brands, including Health and Verywell. He is a seasoned financial and technology journalist who served as editor-in-chief of the Potomac Tech Wire for nearly two decades, and is a regular contributor to the sports pages of The Baltimore Sun. He has also been a news editor for America Online and has contributed to the Associated Press and The Washington Post. Incontinence Diaper Products

The 7 Best Incontinence Pads of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

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Let’s be real for a moment: The majority of us have experienced that sensation of laughing a little too hard or jumping over and over in a workout class and having a little bit of urine leak out. It’s mildly embarrassing, and it’s definitely physically uncomfortable, but it’s also very common—recent reports reveal over 60% of U.S. adult women experience some form of urinary incontinence.

Regular leakage becomes more common as you get older—some four out of 10 women over 65 are affected by urinary incontinence—but it can also affect women who recently went through childbirth, pregnancy, menopause, as well sometimes just when you feel stressed, says Monte Swarup, MD, a board-certified OB/GYN in Chandler, AZ, and founder of the Vaginal Health Hub.

Treating incontinence at any level can look like a combination of products and therapies, and what’s right for you is totally dependent on your body and life, says Somi Javaid, MD, board-certified OB/GYN and founder and chief medical officer at HerMD.

But whether you experience a little leakage or a lot, wearing an incontinence pad can help both docs agree. The best incontinence pads absorb varying amounts of liquid and lock in the odor, so you don’t have to be stressed over what will come out during your workout class, on long drives, or while you’re sleeping at night.

To determine which pads are reliable and worth your money, we tested 10 of the top brands head-to-head. An emergency medicine physician on our Medical Expert Board also reviewed this article for medical and scientific accuracy surrounding what to look for in incontinence pads, how often they should be changed, and who is most likely to need them.

Here are the top seven we recommend.

This pad is incredibly absorbent, with an added perimeter for extra absorbency and a wide, long fit for better coverage.

It’s a thick pad—which might rub against your legs.

During testing, we found that these thick incontinence pads soaked up liquid almost immediately and let nothing seep through. The Poise Maximum Absorbency pad is designed with a main cotton center channel for absorbency but then also has a thin border around the whole thing for added protection—and indeed, our tester found that when a small amount of liquid rolled off the center of the pad and onto the unpadded side of the pad, even that was absorbed immediately. 

These pads were also successful at not leaking through to underwear underneath, and when our tester poured an apple cider vinegar mix onto the pad, they noted that there was absolutely no smell on the outside of the underwear.

The Poise Maximum Absorbency pads were designed with a contoured fit, so they're wider in the front and back for better coverage. They don’t have wings, which makes them easy to remove without leaving any sticky residue behind. And they’re individually wrapped, so you can inconspicuously carry one in your bag in case you need it.

Lastly, these incontinence pads cost roughly $0.30 per pad—one of the best prices on our list. That affordability is the cherry on top of why we’ve dubbed the Poise Maximum Pads the best overall incontinence pads you can buy.

It is worth noting that a wider fit and the thickness needed for maximum absorbency does mean these pads can feel a bit bulky between your legs. Also, our tester did note that while the thin border does provide extra protection, it may rub uncomfortably against the thighs for some people.

It’s extra thick and long for max absorbency, leak-free, and odor-absorbent.

It feels a bit like a diaper.

The Poise Overnight Incontinence Pads are padded with the maximum amount of absorbency and are very long, so they’ll stay underneath you no matter what direction you’re sleeping when you leak.

During testing, these incontinence pads proved to be highly absorbent, leak-free, and great at absorbing odor. Even when the liquid spread to the outer edges of the pad, it was absorbed quickly with no liquid seeping through to the underwear beneath. That’s likely thanks to Poise’s patented absorb-loc core and leak-block sides, which together keep any liquid from escaping.

Our tester confirmed these would be effective to wear throughout the entire night without any leakage.

While the pads were great for absorption, they did feel slightly wet despite their large size. Let’s be clear: The underwear beneath the pad remained dry, so you shouldn’t experience any bedtime accidents. And they don’t feel uncomfortably wet to the touch, so they should serve you well throughout the night. What’s more, they’re highly padded and long enough to soothe any worries about liquid leaking out while you’re sleeping.

Because these are the max thickness and length, these pads do feel a bit like a diaper. But considering they’re for nighttime wear, this isn’t a deal-breaker of a con (and is going to be the case with any overnight pad you find).

With the best absorbency we tested, these pads had zero leakage in any direction and great odor control.

During testing, we found these incontinence pads to have incredible absorbency from the second the liquid hit the pad. Even when we twisted and moved the underwear around, not a single drop came out. Our tester saw no leakage from the front, back, or sides and felt no wetness when they pushed on the soaked pad.

Part of this is thanks to this pad’s unique design with elevated side panels to keep the flow of water off the underwear, and part is thanks to the contour fit of Poise wherein the back and front are wider to help better absorb liquid where it naturally hits.

Because these pads have such great absorbency, they are rather thick and might be uncomfortable for some to wear all day. But if preventing leakage is your highest priority, they’re the best bet.

It’s made with eco-friendly materials and methods and is irritant-free while still being highly absorbent.

They’re a bit bulky.

These pads are not only made with renewable materials and in carbon-neutral factories, but our testing found them to be reliably absorbent and have great odor control.

Attn: Grace is made with a silky soft, 100% bio-based top sheet. During testing, we found the ultimate absorbency to be true to its name—the liquid instantly absorbed into this top sheet and was contained in the initial spot rather than spreading to the outside.

The inner layer uses active botanicals to counteract odor, and indeed our tester found the odor control on these pads to be very impressive when they had apple cider vinegar poured on them. This pad is also free of chlorine, synthetic fragrances, lotions, and latex, so it’s great for sensitive skin.

We did find that there was slight residual wetness when touching the pad. But for the most part, it was completely dry and highly effective, and no moisture leaked onto the underwear below.

Note that while the packaging describes these pads as “ultra discreet,” we found them to be quite bulky, considering the ultimate absorbency requires significant thickness. These pads are also longer than most at 16 inches—great for protection but less ideal for inconspicuousness between your legs. If you’re looking for a more low-profile eco-friendly incontinence pad, we recommend trying Attn: Grace’s Moderate Pads, which are shorter and less bulky.

These affordable pads are highly absorbent and gentle on the skin.

They’re a little shorter than some other brands.

Urinary incontinence is incredibly common after giving birth vaginally, with some studies putting that number as high as one in three women experiencing urinary leakage postpartum.

We love these incontinence pads from Amazon as they’re highly absorbent, stay relatively dry with a large amount of liquid, mask odor well, and are very affordable at just $0.42 per pad. 

Our testing showed these pads effectively absorbed all the liquid we poured on them (albeit after sitting on top for a beat). It left no mess, and the liquid was absorbed into the top layer without leaking through to the sides or outer layer. Our tester found the underwear beneath the pad stayed dry, and there was no odor on the underwear or outside of the pad at all.

Their shape is less contoured than Poise, which many women prefer. And although they’re the top level of absorbancy, they aren’t as thick as other max incontinence pads—which makes them much more comfortable to wear. 

These pads use cotton to help quick away moisture, which both our experts recommend, and they’re hypoallergenic, which is ideal when your skin is already likely to be highly inflamed.

These affordable pads offer reliable odor control.

They’re a bit thick.

If you’re looking for the best incontinence pads you can buy in person at your local drugstore, Walgreens Certainty Pads are absorbent, odor-controlling, and super affordable at just $0.31 per pad.

During testing, we found it delivered on its claim of maximum absorbency; the liquid soaked into the pad quickly and didn’t seep out the sides. Despite the packaging describing these as a “thin design for a discreet fit,” this pad is definitely rather thick—but that’s also what made the product very effective.

These pads passed the odor test, reliably trapping the smell of apple cider vinegar. They’re individually wrapped for discreet transport in your purse or backpack.

They’re hypoallergenic and won’t irritate sensitive skin.

The adhesive strip could be stronger.

If you want an incontinence pad that fits like it isn’t even there but is reliable to absorb light leaks, Elyte Light Incontinence Pads are for you.

These pads are rated to control light dribbles, and during testing, we found the absorption abilities were immediate and reliable. When our tester poured liquid onto them, the pads soaked it up quickly and seamlessly. It also soaked in deep—when we touched the pad, it felt dry and wasn’t damp at all. 

The pad is on the longer side, but it’s very thin and light in weight, so you don’t notice it.

We did find that there was a very, very faint smell from the apple cider vinegar, but overall we felt like it did hold back any escaping odor. Our tester found it easy to put in underwear and that it stayed in place well, even when moving around. 

Some people do find that the adhesive strip could be stronger and that the pads sometimes bunch. They’re also not the most affordable for regular use at $1.43 per pad.

But at the same time, these pads are made of cotton and hypoallergenic, so they won’t irritate sensitive skin, and they’re very soft to the touch—both of which can be hard to find in thinner pads and are worth spending a little more to many people.

Our group of testers tried out 10 of the leading brands of incontinence pads. They put each through a series of tests, including pouring a set amount of liquid over each pad and seeing how quickly it absorbed, if any liquid came out once full, and if any liquid leaked onto the cotton underwear underneath.

For each type of incontinence pad, they rated how absorbent the pad was, how dry it remained to the touch, and how well the pad masked the odor of an apple cider vinegar and water mixture.

In addition, we consulted with a pair of experts in the field. Those we spoke with included:

Somi Javaid, MD, board-certified OB/GYN and founder and chief medical officer at HerMD

Monte Swarup, MD, board-certified OB/GYN in Chandler, AZ, and founder of the Vaginal Health Hub

“There is a multitude of incontinence pad options on the market; each usually in different shapes and sizes, and ability to absorb different amounts of liquid,” explains Dr. Javaid. 

Here are the most important factors when looking to buy incontinence pads:

“Incontinence pads are designed to address the amount of leakage an individual may be experiencing,” Dr. Javaid explains. Some are designed more like a menstrual pad for mild or moderate incontinence symptoms, and others are designed more like a diaper for heavier incontinence symptoms. 

Absorbency ratings can vary slightly from brand to brand but generally follow the ranking of:

Light/Ultra Thin/Very Light: These pads are usually the lightest and smallest and are meant to handle small leaks (a few drops at a time), like when you exercise. They usually fit the best and are the least noticeable because they’re thinner.

Moderate: This size pad can handle light dribbles, like when you really need to go. These come in a variety of lengths and thicknesses.

Maximum: These pads are made for heavier kinds of moderate leaking, like uncontrollable streams from a full bladder. They’re often longer in length and use more polymer for absorbency.

Ultimate/Overnight: The most absorbent pad, these are made for the heaviest forms of leaks. They’re usually the longest and thickest with the most polymer.

"Holding moisture against the skin increases your risk of infection, skin irritation, or skin breakdown," Dr. Javaid says.

“Incontinence products that have moisture-wicking properties built in should be the preferred choice, as these are designed to pull urine away from the skin,” Dr. Swarup says. He adds that some products have chemicals that can effectively reduce moisture, too.

The best incontinence pads should be able to hold the amount of liquid they’re rated for while the inner and outer layers remain dry to the touch. That way, you don’t feel uncomfortably moist while wearing the pad throughout the day, as it works to absorb any leakage.

Odor control is crucial for a discreet incontinence pad. The best incontinence pads should completely lock in the odor of whatever liquid is on it, including urine. 

Some incontinence pads are also scented to help further mask the odor. That’s something to keep in mind if you have very sensitive skin—look for unscented options.

Cora Free-To-Move Bladder Liners: These pads are a great price at $0.22 per pad, and during testing, we found they absorbed small amounts of liquid well. However, larger amounts of liquid overflowed from the pad, and the pad felt moist to the touch—both of which are deal breakers if you need anything beyond light control.

Prevail Incontinence Bladder Control Pads: These incontinence pads are affordable, but they felt wet to the touch when full and didn’t mask odor well. Also, the pad is wide, so it hands off either side of the underwear, creating a bulky feeling and potential for chafing. 

Because Premium Pads: While these pads did a good job absorbing liquid and preventing leakage, they felt very wet to the touch even after 10 minutes of waiting for full absorption. We also found they didn’t contain odor very well—and considering they aren’t the cheapest on our list, we recommend spending your money on other brands.

Ultimate or Overnight incontinence pads are going to hold the most urine, as they have the thickest layering and are made to absorb a max amount of liquid. We like Poise Overnight Incontinence Pads the most, as they're made with Posie's patented features like an absorb-loc core and leak-block sides to prevent any liquid from escaping off the pad.

You need to change incontinence pads frequently to prevent health risks—usually every three to four hours, so they are fresh, Dr. Swarup says. And when removing the pad, go from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria, he adds.

Certain sizes of incontinence pads, like Ultimate or Overnight, can indeed hold a full bladder. Because a full bladder is a different amount from person to person, you want to be sure to change the pad as soon as you’re able to minimize any side effects (e.g., skin irritation, bacteria spreading) if the amount is more than the pad can handle.

Rachael Schultz had been a science-based health and wellness writer since 2012 and an e-commerce writer since 2017. She leans on medical expertise, peer-reviewed studies, and a decade's worth of knowledge in the health industry, in combination with years of experience testing, assessing, and comparing products head-to-head to determine what health products are worth your money and will actually improve your life.

Patel UJ, Godecker AL, Giles DL, Brown HW. Updated prevalence of urinary incontinence in women: 2015–2018 national population-based survey data. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2022;28(4):181-187. doi:10.1097/SPV.0000000000001127

The 7 Best Incontinence Pads of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Underwear For Light Incontinence Gao J, Liu X, Zuo Y, Li X. Risk factors of postpartum stress urinary incontinence in primiparas. Medicine (Baltimore). 2021;100(20):e25796. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000025796