*For more information on how I do reviews see Diaper Test Methodology
SummaryThe Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper is a low absorbency cloth-backed diaper that is among the most commonly sold brands in Japan along with the Attento Tape-Style diaper. The Lifree brand is also one of the mostly widely sold adult diaper brands sold in stores around Southeast Asia. This diaper features a large landing zone with high quality fasteners for easy re-attachment. It’s also among the most comfortable tested so far when worn dry.
In terms of absorbency this diaper ranks at the lower end. Its advertised absorbency is 4 using the Japanese rating system, which translates to 600 ml (20 oz). You can expect it to handle up to a single wetting but no more than that without a booster. I would say it’s inadvisable to use this diaper without a booster, because even with a single wetting you’ll find perspiration through the backsheet.
- Cloth-like (non-woven backsheet)
- Repositionable tapes
- Rear waistband
- Dual standing inner leak barriers
- Comfortable fit
- Breathable design
- Easy to use
- Poor absorbency
- Prone to odors
- Backsheet perspiration
For the purpose of this post I will be reviewing and referring to the medium-sized Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper. However, other available sizes are listed below:
Units Per Bag: 20
Cost Per Unit: $$
Dimensions (L x W x H): 40 cm (15.8") x 20 cm (7.9") x 26 cm (10.2")
Weight: 2.25 kg (4.96 lbs)
Available Sizes: S,M, L,LL
Advertised Absorbency: 600 ml
Backsheet: Cloth-like (non-woven)
Wetness Indicator: No
Standing Inner Leak Guards: Yes
Leg Gathers: Yes
Product Style: Tab-Style Brief
Refastenable Tabs: Yes
Number of Tapes: 2
Repositionable Tabs: Yes
Outer Color: Light Blue (white markings + patterned landing zone)
Inner Color: White
Front Waistband: No
Rear Waistband: Yes
Folded Thickness: 2.2 cm (0.87")
Folded Length: 25.5 cm (10")
Dry Weight: 117 g (4.13 oz)
Diaper Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 80 cm (31.5") x 46 cm (18.1") x 33 cm (13") x 61 cm (24")
Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Rectangular, Rectangular
Padding Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 62 cm (24.4") x 27 cm (10.6") x 21 cm (8.2") x 27 cm (10.6")
Padding Wing Dimensions (fPW x fPH x bPW x bPH): 3 cm (1.2") x 15 cm (5.9") x 3 cm (1.2") x 19 cm (7.5")
Padding Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Rectangular, Rectangular
Total Padding Area: 1506 cm2 (233 in2)
Tape Spacing (t1 x t2): 2 cm (0.8") x 14 cm (5.5")
Tape (W x L): 5 cm (2") x 2 cm (0.8")
|1.2 Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper|
Laboratory Absorbency Tests
Total Absorption Volume (after press out): 678 ml (23.9 oz)
Total Absorption Volume (before press out): 683 ml (24.1 oz)
Time to Absorb Wettings (first to last): (35 s, 37 s, 34 s)
Wet Folded Thickness: 4 cm (1.6")
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 81%
Total Padding to Absorbency Ratio: 0.45 ml / cm2 (0.10 oz / in2)
Press Out Volume: 5 ml (0.2 oz)
Surface Dampness Rating: 3
The Unicharm Lifree diaper performed about as expected in terms of surface dampness given the thin padding. There was substantial surface dampness from the very first wetting, similar to that seen in the Attento diaper. It wasn’t as bad during testing, but that may have had more to do with its breathability as the padding doesn’t take much to hit saturation.
|2.1 Wet vs Dry Diaper After Capacity Test|
|2.2 Used vs Unused Padding After Capacity Test|
"Real World" Absorbency Tests
Total Absorbed Volume: 633 ml (22.3 oz)
Total Wettings: (1 standing, 2 sitting)
Leaked After Sitting: No
Used to Total Padding Ratio:81%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.42 ml / cm2 (0.10 oz / in2)
Standing-Sitting Rating: 3
The Unicharm diaper comfortably absorbed the first wetting while standing and didn’t show any signs of leakage. Much of the moisture was absorbed at the front of the diaper but the surface dampness wasn’t particularly noticeable. I found this surprising for a diaper with an advertised absorbency of only 600 ml (20.2 oz). After a while it did feel like there was some perspiration through the backsheet. The second wetting was completely absorbed, but the surface dampness was more apparent and there was even more perspiration through the backsheet. In spite of that the double inner leak guards performed wonderfully. There was substantial leakage on the third wetting and a fair amount of surface dampness. Based on this, the Unicharm diaper should be able to take at least 1~2 wettings before leakage becomes an issue, certainly more if used with a booster like intended; however, you would still need to worry about perspiration through the backsheet.
Total Absorbed Volume: 658 ml (23.2 oz)
Total Wettings: 2
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 70%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.44 ml / cm2 (0.10 oz / in2)
Lying Down Rating: 3
The Unicharm diaper proved highly resistant to leakage on the first wetting in spite of the relatively sparse padding. The dual inner leak guards seem to play a big role in this diaper's ability to avoid leaks. However, the diaper felt very saturated at this point and the backsheet started “sweating” moisture shortly after. I pushed it through to a second wetting and it just became more saturated, there wasn’t much leakage but there was heavy perspiration through the backsheet. I stopped it at that, I think this diaper would do well with booster pads like its intended usage, but the backsheet sweating may still be an issue. Without a booster, I wouldn’t push it past a single wetting, even if the leak guards can take more.
|2.3 Pattern of Used vs Unused Padding Test Stand/Sit (right) Lying Down (left)|
Daily Wear and BedwettingThe Unicharm Lifree diaper is typical of many Japanese adult diapers, which tend to be very spacious with thin padding and designed for use with a booster pad. This diaper has a very soft cloth backsheet and padding. It also has a design typical of Asian adult diapers with a landing zone, which in this case uses a hook & loop system for easy re-application. It’s among the most breathable diapers you’ll find and very similar to the Attento diaper. One thing that sets this diaper apart from others is its use of double inner leak guards. These seem to help with the fit and are particularly good at preventing leakage. Unfortunately, the breathability has the downside of leaving the diaper susceptible to perspiration through the backsheet. During daily wear this will lead to dampness on the wearers pants at times and it generally shouldn’t be worn for long. It seems better suited for bed wear with a booster pad where it can be changed frequently, but even then I suspect perspiration would be an issue. Without a booster pad this diaper should take at least a single wetting without leaking (not including backsheet perspiration), any more than that and it’s very likely to leak.
Suitability for Bowel Incontinence: 4
The Unicharm Lifree diaper has some features that make it very good for dealing with bowel incontinence, but others that go against it. The dual inner leak guards is a big plus as well as the rear waistband, but like most cloth-backed diapers it isn’t great at containing odors and the backsheet may perspire leakage.
Wear & Tear Tests
The Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper features two high quality repositionable hook & loop (velcro-like) fasteners per side and a cloth-like backsheet. It has a dedicated landing zone for the tapes that makes them easier to detach/reattach when needed. It also features two soft/stretchy inner leak guards.
|3.1 Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper Fastener|
Ease-of-Use Rating: 9
The Unicharm diaper ranks similar to the Attento diaper when it comes to ease-of-use. It has the same great hook and loop + landing zone combo that makes it very easy to attach/reattach the tapes and it doesn’t lose stickiness over time. It’s easy to get a snug comfortable fit, but the lack of a wetness indicator could make it more challenging to determine when changes are needed.
|3.2 Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper Fit|
Comfort Rating (dry): 10
This Unicharm diaper has a very similar construct to the Attento diaper and is right up there in terms of dry comfort. This diaper feels very light and breathable with a soft padding and snug fit. The material used in this diaper won’t easily chafe and its padding doesn’t easily clump or tear when dry. The only potential issue is that if you put the bottom tape too low in the tape landing zone it can scratch the legs. That’s easily avoidable with proper tape placement so I really have no complaints.
Comfort Rating (wet): 7
You wouldn’t expect to wear this Unicharm diaper for long without a booster pad, but it can take a single wetting without one and not leak. In this case you might still notice some minor perspiration through the backsheet, which takes away slightly from the comfort. The padding has a damp feel to it, but like the Attento diaper the clamminess is somewhat reduced by it’s amazing breathability. Moreover, the Unicharm diaper’s padding holds up well with wear, even when wet so clumping and tearing aren’t much of an issue. Fixing the surface dampness and backsheet perspiration would go a long way to improving the wet comfort of this diaper, but considering it’s designed to be used with boosters that may not be much of an issue if used as intended.
|3.3 Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper Topsheet and Backsheet|
Dry Padding Deterioration Proportion: 9.2% (topsheet), 7% (backsheet)
Shake Deterioration Test: 3 shakes to deterioration
Durability Rating (dry): 8
The Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper has 3 channels of padding running parallel from the front of the diaper to the back. This gives the padding a bit more give in terms of being able to collapse inwards, reducing the potential for deterioration. The padding is also pretty thin, which poses a problem for absorption but assists with durability. This diaper has a high quality construct and the tapes won’t lose much, if any, stickiness over time. During 8~10 hours of extended wear during the dry durability test the padding clearly looked worn, but otherwise had no clumping or tearing.
Durability Rating (wet): 6
The Unicharm diaper has relatively thin padding and is well constructed so naturally it holds together quite well when wet. The tapes are also quite strong so there’s not much risk of it coming loose under its weight. Its padding won’t clump or tear, but keep in mind that it has very little absorbency and the backsheet sweats moisture.
|3.4 Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper Dry Test Deterioration|
Front Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 4.0 cm (1.6"), 5.0 cm (2")
Back Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 8.0 cm (3.1"), 6.5 cm (2.6")
Side Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 6.0 cm (2.4"), 6.0 cm (2.4")
Profile Discretion Rating: 8
The Unicharm diaper is very similar to the Attento diaper when it comes to profile discretion, though perhaps slightly slimmer fitting. The main issue is that it does have a bit of a bulge at the rear. This diaper should be pretty easy to hide under clothing although you’d need to be careful about its tendency to perspire moisture through the backsheet.
|4.1 Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper Jeans Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right)|
Noise Rating: 9
The Unicharm diaper is again very similar to the Attento diaper when it comes to backsheet noise. It’s very very quiet, not much different from regular underwear. The primary issue is in the hook & loop tape system, which can scratch the landing zone and create modest noise. Otherwise, for the most part you wouldn’t notice this diaper based on its noise.
|4.3 Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper Noise Profile|
Odor Reduction Rating: 5
The Unicharm Lifree Adult Diaper doesn’t appear to be very good at preventing odors. This isn’t uncommon among cloth-backed diapers, because odors can often escape the breathable sides. However, in this case the perspiration through the backsheet makes it particularly prone to odors. On the flip side, it does have a rear waistband, which helps counteract odors that form within the padding.