Sunday, 16 August 2020

Top 10 Adult Diapers 2020 Rankings

*For information on how I do reviews see Diaper Test Methodology


Summary

With 10 full adult diaper reviews completed I've started crunching the numbers to evaluate some metrics for this diaper metrics blog. My previous reviews included a mix of adult diapers with many of the best on the market, but also some cheaper-to-mid range diapers. All diapers reviewed so far are plastic-backed, however, in the next series of posts I will start including more diapers with cloth-like backsheets together with more premium plastic-backed diapers.

To better assess each diaper for its individual strengths as well as overall performance they have been evaluated according to 4 different criteria: absorbency, comfort, durability and discretion. To reduce my scoring bias I've written several formulas to balance the weight of my personal scores against more objective measurements. This way my ranking accounts for easily measured aspects of performance like absorbency as well as harder-to-measure aspects like random leaks experienced in real world settings. All scores have been normalized from 0-10 to give an idea of how each performed relative to the other and this ranking system will continue to be used to update the top 10 as future reviews are added.

1.1 Adult Diaper Comparison Spreadsheet

Absorbency Ranking

The absorbency ranking was calculated using the formula in figure 2.1. It combines the scores I personally assigned to each diaper based on experience with the average total absorbency across each test and average absorbency per unit of padding ratio. These measures will give weight to a diaper that can absorb a huge amount as well as one whose padding is highly efficient at absorbing moisture. Additionally, I give a small amount of weighting to diapers with leg gathers and inner leak guards for the value these provide in preventing leaks. I also give a small weight to the average used percent of padding across all tests because this is reflective of the diaper's wicking ability.
 
2.1 Absorbency Score Formula

ab: average total absorbency between lab/stand+sit/lying down tests
ar: average absorbency ratio between lab/stand+sit/lying down tests
st: standing/sitting score
ld: lying down score
lg: leg gathers = 1, none = 0
ig: inner leak guards = 1, none = 0
ud: used percentage
 
DiaperScoring
Score: 9.96
Absorbency: 1895 ml (66.8 oz)
Absorbency Ratio: 1.17 ml/cm2 (0.27 oz/in2)
Leg Gathers: yes
Inner Leak Guards: yes
Stand/Sit Score: 10
Lying Down Score: 10
Used Percent: 93
Score: 8.67
Absorbency: 1601 ml (56.5 oz)
Absorbency Ratio: 0.88 ml/cm2 (0.20 oz/in2)
Leg Gathers: yes
Inner Leak Guards: yes
Stand/Sit Score: 8
Lying Down Score: 10
Used Percent: 88
Score: 8.03
Absorbency: 1292 ml (45.6 oz)
Absorbency Ratio: 0.96 ml/cm2 (0.22 oz/in2)
Leg Gathers: yes
Inner Leak Guards: yes
Stand/Sit Score: 8
Lying Down Score: 8
Used Percent: 98
Score: 7.96
Absorbency: 1365 ml (48.1 oz)
Absorbency Ratio: 0.80 ml/cm2 (0.18 oz/in2)
Leg Gathers: yes
Inner Leak Guards: yes
Stand/Sit Score: 9
Lying Down Score: 8
Used Percent: 87
Score: 7.96
Absorbency: 1225 ml (43.2 oz)
Absorbency Ratio: 1.12 ml/cm2 (0.25 oz/in2)
Leg Gathers: yes
Inner Leak Guards: yes
Stand/Sit Score: 8
Lying Down Score: 7
Used Percent: 87
Score: 7.38
Absorbency: 1221 ml (43.1 oz)
Absorbency Ratio: 0.70 ml/cm2 (0.16 oz/in2)
Leg Gathers: yes
Inner Leak Guards: yes
Stand/Sit Score: 8
Lying Down Score: 8
Used Percent: 86
Score: 6.47
Absorbency: 935 ml (33 oz)
Absorbency Ratio: 0.59 ml/cm2 (0.13 oz/in2)
Leg Gathers: yes
Inner Leak Guards: yes
Stand/Sit Score: 7
Lying Down Score: 7
Used Percent: 90
Score: 5.40
Absorbency: 813 ml (28.7 oz)
Absorbency Ratio: 0.61 ml/cm2 (0.14 oz/in2)
Leg Gathers: yes
Inner Leak Guards: yes
Stand/Sit Score: 7
Lying Down Score: 4
Used Percent: 90
Score: 3.35
Absorbency: 624 ml (22 oz)
Absorbency Ratio: 0.41 ml/cm2 (0.09 oz/in2)
Leg Gathers: yes
Inner Leak Guards: no
Stand/Sit Score: 3
Lying Down Score: 2
Used Percent: 89
Score: 2.39
Absorbency: 525 ml (18.5 oz)
Absorbency Ratio: 0.23 ml/cm2 (0.05 oz/in2)
Leg Gathers: yes
Inner Leak Guards: no
Stand/Sit Score: 2
Lying Down Score: 1
Used Percent: 61



Comfort Ranking

The comfort ranking was calculated using the formula in figure 2.2. It combines my personal scoring for different aspects of comfort with padding area and absorption time. Of the rankings calculated here this is the most biased toward my personal ranking as measures of comfort are tough to quantify. I've attempted to reduce any bias by including the surface dryness rating, which is reflective of the laboratory tests and the formula gives a lower ranking to diapers that demonstrated slower absorption times as it would result in the wearer feeling dampness for longer after a wetting. On top of that I'm giving more weighting to diapers with a larger padding area because padding contact with the skin typically provides better comfort than contact with the backsheet.

2.2 Comfort Score Formula
 
pa: total padding area
at: average lab wetting absorbency time
ds: dry comfort score
ws: wet comfort score
sd: surface dryness score
es: ease of use score


DiaperScoring
Score: 9.21
Padding Area: 1625 cm2 (252 in2)
Absorbency Time: 58 s
Dry Comfort Score: 9
Wet Comfort Score: 10
Surface Dampness Score: 10
Ease of Use Score: 10
Score: 8.83
Padding Area: 1823 cm2 (283 in2)
Absorbency Time: 97 s
Dry Comfort Score: 9
Wet Comfort Score: 10
Surface Dampness Score: 9
Ease of Use Score: 10
Score: 8.46
Padding Area: 1095 cm2 (169 in2)
Absorbency Time: 52 s
Dry Comfort Score: 10
Wet Comfort Score: 9
Surface Dampness Score: 7
Ease of Use Score: 7
Score: 8.28
Padding Area: 1747 cm2 (271 in2)
Absorbency Time: 53 s
Dry Comfort Score: 9
Wet Comfort Score: 9
Surface Dampness Score: 6
Ease of Use Score: 7
Score: 7.21
Padding Area: 1587 cm2 (246 in2)
Absorbency Time: 101 s
Dry Comfort Score: 8
Wet Comfort Score: 7
Surface Dampness Score: 8
Ease of Use Score: 7
Score: 7.18
Padding Area: 1341 cm2 (208 in2)
Absorbency Time: 47 s
Dry Comfort Score: 7
Wet Comfort Score: 8
Surface Dampness Score: 7
Ease of Use Score: 7
Score: 7.15
Padding Area: 1701 cm2 (264 in2)
Absorbency Time: 54 s
Dry Comfort Score: 9
Wet Comfort Score: 7
Surface Dampness Score: 4
Ease of Use Score: 6
Score: 6.05
Padding Area: 2253 cm2 (349 in2)
Absorbency Time: 46 s
Dry Comfort Score: 9
Wet Comfort Score: 3
Surface Dampness Score: 1
Ease of Use Score: 6
Score: 4.80
Padding Area: 1336 cm2 (207 in2)
Absorbency Time: 76 s
Dry Comfort Score: 6
Wet Comfort Score: 4
Surface Dampness Score: 2
Ease of Use Score: 6
Score: 3.74
Padding Area: 1536 cm2 (238 in2)
Absorbency Time: 150 s
Dry Comfort Score: 5
Wet Comfort Score: 3
Surface Dampness Score: 1
Ease of Use Score: 4


Durability Ranking

The durability ranking was calculated using the formula in figure 2.3. It gives equal weighting to my personal assessment of durability and quantifiable diaper metrics. The ranking is weighted a little more toward assessing the diaper's dry durability performance since the wearer would typically spend longer in a dry diaper than a wet diaper, particularly in cases where durability is important. I also give a small additional weighting to diapers with waistbands because I've found these can provide a snugger fit and reduce factors that cause deterioration. This ranking also leans heavily on the dry durability test whereby the diaper is worn in its dry state for an extended period of time with modest activities and the proportion of padding that has deteriorated is calculated at the end of it. Moreover, I give the wet diaper shake test a relatively small weighting as I've found it isn't particularly reflective of durability in reality.

2.3 Durability Score Formula

ta: total tape area (how much tape attaches to backsheet)
dd: dry durability score
wd: wet durability score
st: shake test (number of shakes to deterioration after lab capacity test)
td: topsheet deterioration percentage after dry durability test
bd: backsheet deterioration percentage after dry durability test
wb: has waistband [front/rear = 1, rear = 0.5, front = 0.5, none = 0]


DiaperScoring
Score: 9.04
Tape Area: 45 cm2 (7 in2)
Dry Durability Score: 10
Wet Durability Score: 10
Shake Test: 7
Topsheet Deterioration: 0.54%
Backsheet Deterioration: 0.56%
Waistband: none
Score: 9.01
Tape Area: 69 cm2 (10.7 in2)
Dry Durability Score: 9
Wet Durability Score: 9
Shake Test: 4
Topsheet Deterioration: 1.22%
Backsheet Deterioration: 1.78%
Waistband: front/rear
Score: 9.00
Tape Area: 72 cm2 (10.7 in2)
Dry Durability Score: 9
Wet Durability Score: 9
Shake Test: 4
Topsheet Deterioration: 4.13%
Backsheet Deterioration: 1.61%
Waistband: front/rear
Score: 8.19
Tape Area: 60 cm2 (9.3 in2)
Dry Durability Score: 9
Wet Durability Score: 6
Shake Test: 4
Topsheet Deterioration: 0.56%
Backsheet Deterioration: 0.70%
Waistband: front/rear
Score: 8.07
Tape Area: 42 cm2 (6.5 in2)
Dry Durability Score: 9
Wet Durability Score: 8
Shake Test: 2
Topsheet Deterioration: 1.50%
Backsheet Deterioration: 1.01%
Waistband: rear
Score: 7.79
Tape Area: 36 cm2 (5.6 in2)
Dry Durability Score: 7
Wet Durability Score: 8
Shake Test: 9
Topsheet Deterioration: 3.49%
Backsheet Deterioration: 2.43%
Waistband: none
Score: 7.54
Tape Area: 54 cm2 (8.4 in2)
Dry Durability Score: 7
Wet Durability Score: 7
Shake Test: 8
Topsheet Deterioration: 8.75%
Backsheet Deterioration: 4.93%
Waistband: none
Score: 6.73
Tape Area: 40 cm2 (6.2 in2)
Dry Durability Score: 7
Wet Durability Score: 6
Shake Test: 3
Topsheet Deterioration: 8.33%
Backsheet Deterioration: 5.17%
Waistband: none
Score: 6.66
Tape Area: 40 cm2 (6.2 in2)
Dry Durability Score: 6
Wet Durability Score: 5
Shake Test: 9
Topsheet Deterioration: 11.02%
Backsheet Deterioration: 7.38%
Waistband: none
Score: 4.39
Tape Area: 60 cm2 (9.3 in2)
Dry Durability Score: 2
Wet Durability Score: 1
Shake Test: 3
Topsheet Deterioration: 33.70%
Backsheet Deterioration: 30.80%
Waistband: front/rear


Discretion Ranking

The discretion ranking was calculated using the formula from figure 2.4. A large part of the weighting comes from the scores used to assess how the diaper performed in terms of reducing odors, how much noise it produced and how easily it could be concealed. Those scores are given equal weighting so a diaper that might not otherwise seem discrete due to bulkiness can rank higher because it's quieter and better at reducing odors than thinner ones. Although this rating leans toward my personal rankings it also assesses objective metrics including how high the diaper rises above the wearer's waistline and the folded diaper's dimensions (thickness/length/weight), which may be important for a hiding the diaper in a bag or purse. I also gave some weighting to how much the diaper will swell when wet, because this may result in a diaper bulge becoming visible after a wetting.

2.4 Discretion Score Formula

ds: profile discretion score
ns: noise score
os: odor reduction score
dw: dry weight
fl: folded length
wt: wet folded thickness
ar: average rise above waistline
dt: dry folded thickness


DiaperScoring
Score: 7.76
Profile Discretion Score: 9
Noise Score: 9
Odor Reduction Score: 10
Dry Weight: 125 g (4.4 oz)
Folded Length: 25 cm (9.8")
Wet Folded Thickness: 5 cm (2")
Average Rise Above Waist: 4.4 cm (1.7")
Dry Folded Thickness: 2 cm (0.79")
Score: 6.78
Profile Discretion Score: 9
Noise Score: 7
Odor Reduction Score: 6
Dry Weight: 93 g (3.3 oz)
Folded Length: 26 cm (10.2")
Wet Folded Thickness: 4.5 cm (1.8")
Average Rise Above Waist: 3.9 cm (1.5")
Dry Folded Thickness: 1.6 cm (0.63")
Score: 6.51
Profile Discretion Score: 7
Noise Score: 8
Odor Reduction Score: 7
Dry Weight: 150 g (5.3 oz)
Folded Length: 25 cm (9.8")
Wet Folded Thickness: 6 cm (2.4")
Average Rise Above Waist: 2.8 cm (1.1")
Dry Folded Thickness: 2.6 cm (1")
Score: 6.47
Profile Discretion Score: 8
Noise Score: 6
Odor Reduction Score: 7
Dry Weight: 105 g (3.7 oz)
Folded Length: 24 cm (9.5")
Wet Folded Thickness: 4.5 cm (1.8")
Average Rise Above Waist: 3.8 cm (1.5")
Dry Folded Thickness: 2.4 cm (0.94")
Score: 6.38
Profile Discretion Score: 5
Noise Score: 8
Odor Reduction Score: 10
Dry Weight: 217 g (7.65 oz)
Folded Length: 26 cm (10.2")
Wet Folded Thickness: 9 cm (3.5")
Average Rise Above Waist: 4 cm (1.6")
Dry Folded Thickness: 2.8 cm (1.1")
Score: 6.19
Profile Discretion Score: 6
Noise Score: 8
Odor Reduction Score: 6
Dry Weight: 100 g (3.53 oz)
Folded Length: 25 cm (9.8")
Wet Folded Thickness: 4 cm (1.6")
Average Rise Above Waist: 6.3 cm (2.5")
Dry Folded Thickness: 2.3 cm (0.9")
Score: 5.88
Profile Discretion Score: 4
Noise Score: 7
Odor Reduction Score: 10
Dry Weight: 225 g (7.9 oz)
Folded Length: 30 cm (11.8")
Wet Folded Thickness: 6 cm (2.4")
Average Rise Above Waist: 6.6 cm (2.6")
Dry Folded Thickness: 3 cm (1.2")
Score: 5.76
Profile Discretion Score: 7
Noise Score: 5
Odor Reduction Score: 5
Dry Weight: 93 g (3.3 oz)
Folded Length: 29 cm (11.4")
Wet Folded Thickness: 4 cm (1.6")
Average Rise Above Waist: 2.8 cm (1.1")
Dry Folded Thickness: 2.3 cm (0.9")
Score: 5.60
Profile Discretion Score: 2
Noise Score: 8
Odor Reduction Score: 8
Dry Weight: 166 g (5.9 oz)
Folded Length: 24.5 cm (9.7")
Wet Folded Thickness: 4 cm (1.6")
Average Rise Above Waist: 5.2 cm (2")
Dry Folded Thickness: 3 cm (1.2")
Score: 4.88
Profile Discretion Score: 3
Noise Score: 7
Odor Reduction Score: 5
Dry Weight: 183 g (6.5 oz)
Folded Length: 26.5 cm (10.4")
Wet Folded Thickness: 5.5 cm (2.2")
Average Rise Above Waist: 5.1 cm (2")
Dry Folded Thickness: 2.8 cm (1.1")



Overall Top 10 Ranking

Different people have different needs when it comes to adult diapers so it's hard to give a conclusive overall ranking. Some may prefer a diaper that's more discrete even if it comes at the cost of absorbency, while others only wear for bedwetting and will want a diaper that provides the best protection with no care to discretion. In this regard I hope the above category rankings are helpful. Another consideration is price, which varies greatly by region so I've left it out of my ratings. To calculate my overall ranking I take all 4 of the above rankings and combined them by my own interpretation of value to the wearer with a little more weight on absorbency and a little less on discretion (see figure 3.1).

3.1 Overall Ranking Formula

Looking back at the above rankings I found there was a huge range in performance when it came to absorbancy but far less when it came to discretion (probably because I only assessed heavy incontinence adult diapers in this ranking). In most cases the best performing diapers were also the pricier ones, as expected and overall the BetterDry/Crinklz diaper was the clear winner. The scoring system gave a good sense of how similar the performance of each was, with this we can see the First Quality Briefs and Attends Care Waistband diapers were far worse at 4.63 and 3.69 points lower than BetterDry/Crinklz. Whereas the Tranquility ATN, while 4th from last ranking was only 2.1 points lower than the BetterDry/Crinklz (nearly twice as good by this measure). This is worth considering when accounting for the fact the ATN can often be found for half the unit price of some of the higher ranking diapers.

DiaperScoring
Score: 8.82
The BetterDry/Crinklz diaper was by far the winner for absorbency and also ranked best in comfort due to its full feature fit and resistence to dampness. This diaper comes with either a plain white backsheet or colorful patterns depending for wearers who appreciate that.
Score: 8.24
There's little surprise the ConfiDry 24/7 came in second with its great absorbency and comfort (particulary for bedwetting). It's a shame the production of this diaper has been inconsistent lately because when they get it right it really is an amazing diaper.
Score: 8.07
I was a little surprised the Tena Slip Maxi ranked 3rd as it isn't among the most absorbent of the diapers rated, but it had great all around performance with the best discretion ranking without sacrificing comfort or durability.
Score: 7.76
The iD Expert Slip Maxi (PE) was another surprise as it's not very well known and often cheaper than the Abena M4 or Molicare Slip Maxi. Even so it was great all around and proved to be the most durable of all.
Score: 7.35
The Molicare Slip Maxi is a super comfortable diaper, its padding is about as soft as you'll find on the market. It also provides an excellent level of protection. I was surprised it didn't rank higher but it was a little less durable and absorbent than those ranked above it.
Score: 7.04
The Abena Abri-Form M4 was the first premium diapers I tried, but it is no longer the best on the market. It has decent absorbency but struggled with surface dampness and related issues resulted in a lower comfort and discretion ranking. It also comes in at a similar price-point to the BetterDry/Crinklz so it's harder to justify purchasing unless you get a discount.
Score: 6.74
The Tranquility ATN is a great mid-range diaper, that will easily take a wetting. It's far from the most absorbent and if you can't change after 1~2 wettings you'll want to go with something better (particularly for overnight wear). On the plus side, it comes in at a competitive price-point and is relatively easily to find in North America.
Score: 6.22
Depend Protection with Tabs is a popular mid-range medium-heavy absorbency adult diaper. They run on the thin side and are poorly suited for bedwetting but they will typically handle a full wetting without leakage and are widely available.
Score: 5.13
This First Quality Briefs product performed incredibly poorly, leaking on the first wetting in every test. Its standout feature is extensive padding that helps bump its comfort rating but there's not much point when it won't provide adequate protection. I'd recommend their newer Prevail products instead (even if they are cloth-backed).
Score: 4.19
The Attends Care Waistband diaper came in dead last, which is a shame because it sounded great in theory. Unfortunately with flimsy padding and no leak guards it falls flat and leaks at the first sign of moisture. It's a shame because Attends made a decent plastic-backed diaper in the past. Now their premium products are all cloth-backed.



4 comments:

  1. Best review I have ever seen. My experience with Betterdry's absorbency agrees with your tests. Your site is instrumental for my purchase decision. While I like Betterdry's absorbency, I find it too bulky to hide when full and too noisy to hide as I live with others who don't need to know. My current favourite Tena Stretch (Canada) because it's quiet and breathable, refasten-able, can be pull down for #2 and reasonably priced. I'm not sure how to test breathability, but it feels cooler in the summer. Maybe measure the temperature overtime when known amount of fluid at body temperature is poured and diaper is folded. I'd imagine that breathable diapers would cool faster. For discretion I usually cut the ends of the diaper that extend out of my pant with scissors for siting-standing use. Alternatively I fold it down. So Profile problems are easier to fix than noise and odour.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I'm happy to hear you found my reviews useful. I like the idea of measuring temperature over time to gauge breathability. I did initially look into something similar and did a few tests early on, but I had a hard time getting consistent measurements. I may have to give it another try when I get some better equipment.

      That's good to hear about the Tena Stretch. It's actually one of the diapers I have scheduled for an upcoming review this fall, so it will be interesting to see how it compares.

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  2. I have found North Shore supreme to be very rugged and do not clump they are my goto diaper for the day as I work out side in a rugged environment. I do add a booster to them to increase there absorbency and wear lose clothing and no one know I wear a diaper. I wear better dry at night and they are very comfortable and absorbent. I have found some of the ABDL diapers out there to also be very absorbent and comfortable too. I am not one of those people as I have ben incontinent all my life but they are cute and different from the old white diaper. Could you test some of them?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback! I recently reviewed the NorthShore Supreme and was quite impressed (https://blog.diapermetrics.com/2020/12/northshore-supreme-adult-diaper-review.html). Also a big fan of BetterDry/Crinklz. I've got a few more premium diapers to review in upcoming reviews but I'm not sure any would categorize as ABDL diapers. They tend to run a bit above the unit price I normally aim for, but I will try to find some budget for them in the upcoming year. I'm always open to review suggestions.

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