Saturday, 18 September 2021

Wellness Briefs Original Adult Diaper Review

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


Summary

The Wellness Briefs Original diaper has been on the market for quite awhile and was one of the earliest “high performance” diapers available. This diaper is advertised for it’s NASA inspired technology, referencing the Maximum Absorbency Garment (MAG) diaper used by astronauts. It has a light-blue plastic backsheet and soft absorbent padding with reasonably high absorbency. This diaper is made in Turkey with materials imported from the US and Germany. Regrettably, it has one fatal flaw: a strong tendency to develop pinhole leaks in the backsheet, which will result in leakage to clothing or bedsheets. I found many of the diapers tested suffered from this problem. This diaper is advertised as being best for bedridden patients and perhaps with very minimal movement the leakage can be avoided. In personal experience, even a restless sleep by a bedwetter will be enough to trigger the leakage if the diaper nears saturation. This does have the potential to be a great diaper due to its fit and comfort, but until the quality control issues are fixed it would be hard to recommend it for active wearers.


Key Features:

  • Plastic backsheet
  • Standing inner leak barriers
  • Refastenable tapes

Pros:

  • Soft/comfortable padding/backsheet
  • Good padding absorption
  • Resistant to surface dampness

Cons:

  • Numerous pinhole leaks
  • High unit cost

 

Product Details

For the purpose of this post I will be reviewing and referring to the medium-sized Wellness Briefs Original Adult Diaper. However, other available sizes are listed below:


Packaging

Brand: Unique Wellness
Manufacturer: EBM Ventures, Inc.
Origin: Turkey (with US and German materials)
Units Per Bag: 20
Cost Per Unit: $$$
Dimensions (L x W x H): 40 cm (15.8") x 17 cm (6.7") x 25 cm (9.8")
Weight: 2.38 kg (5.24 lbs)
Available Sizes: M, L,XL
Advertised Absorbency: Super

 

1.1 Wellness Briefs Original Packaging

Diaper

Backsheet: Plastic (Poly)
Wetness Indicator: Yes (orange line down the middle, blue when wet)
Standing Inner Leak Guards: Yes
Leg Gathers: Yes
Product Style: Tab-Style Brief
Refastenable Tabs: Yes
Number of Tapes: 2
Repositionable Tabs: No
Outer Color: Light Blue
Inner Color: White (green rectangle in middle padding)
Front Waistband: No
Rear Waistband: No
Folded Thickness: 2.3 cm (0.92")
Folded Length: 25 cm (9.8")
Dry Weight: 125 g (4.4 oz)
Fragrance: None
Diaper Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 76 cm (29.9") x 64 cm (25.2") x 25 cm (9.8") x 63 cm (26.7")
Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Rectangular, Rectangular
Padding Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 68 cm (26.7") x 24 cm (9.5") x 16 cm (6.3") x 26 cm (10.2")
Padding Wing Dimensions (fPW x fPH x bPW x bPH): 4 cm (1.6") x 11 cm (4.3") x 5 cm (2") x 14 cm (5.5")
Padding Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Semicircle, Semicircle
Total Padding Area: 1316 cm2 (204 in2)
Tape Spacing (t1 x t2): 5.5 cm (2.2") x 11 cm (4.3")
Tape (W x L): 2.5 cm (1") x 4 cm (1.6")

1.2 Wellness Briefs Original Diaper


Laboratory Absorbency Tests

Total Absorption Volume (after press out): 1225 ml (43.2 oz)
Total Absorption Volume (before press out): 1350 ml (40.6 oz)
Time to Absorb Wettings (first to last): (40 s, 40 s, 46 s, 50 s, 48 s)
Wet Folded Thickness: 5 cm (2")
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 84%
Total Padding to Absorbency Ratio: 0.87 ml / cm2 (0.20 oz / in2)
Press Out Volume: 75 ml (2.65 oz)

Surface Dampness Rating: 7
The Wellness Original diaper demonstrated no obvious surface dampness after the first wetting and just a small amount after the second wetting. It wasn’t until the 3rd that more dampness showed up, but it was still far from saturated. This was backed up in real world testing, where the diaper showed strong resistance to surface dampness.

 



2.1 Wet vs Dry Diaper After Capacity Test


2.2 Used vs Unused Padding After Capacity Test


"Real World" Absorbency Tests

Posture Tests


Standing-Sitting

Total Absorbed Volume: 900 ml (31.2 oz)
Total Wettings: (1 standing, 1 sitting)
Leaked After Sitting: No (see notes below)
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 75%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.68 ml / cm2 (0.16 oz / in2)

Standing-Sitting Rating: 2
The Wellness Original diaper absorbed the first wetting while standing without any obvious leakage, but I still felt like some moisture escaped through the backsheet. There appeared to be some minor leakage upon sitting. The second wetting while seated pushed up the front of the diaper, but didn’t cause any immediate leakage in the front and nothing got past the leak guards. However, there was even more substantial leakage through the holes that had formed in the backsheet and it would have left a very obvious wet stain on the wearer’s chair/pants. There was also still a large area of unused padding at the rear and absorbency might have improved had it been wicked up back there. So with this in mind, I would not recommend this diaper for daytime use. It needs to be used in combination with a bed pad and even then there can be substantial leakage with a single wetting. Aside from that, the diaper’s padding remained decently comfortable after both wetting (although it felt a little damp on the second wetting) and there wasn’t much in terms of clumping or tearing. This diaper would be great if they could just fix the leaking backsheet.


Lying Down

Total Absorbed Volume: 900 ml (31.2 oz)
Total Wettings: 2
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 74%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.68 ml / cm2 (0.16 oz / in2)

Lying Down Rating: 4
The Wellness Original diaper didn’t perform as well as expected in the lying down test; it could be so much better with better quality control on the backseat. There were pinhole leaks on the very first wetting, yet the leak guards were barely tested and the padding remained dry and comfortable. On the second wetting there was more substantial leakage through the backsheet, even though there was no apparent leakage through the leak guards. It wasn’t entirely clear where the leakage was coming from but it would have made a mess of the bed if a bed pad hadn’t been used. The performance was quite disappointing considering the diaper still remained relatively comfortable and may otherwise have been able to take a 3rd wetting without leakage. Unless they fix the backsheet leaks, then with a bed pad you may be able to get one or two wettings out of this diaper otherwise you’ll be dealing with at least some leakage from the very first wetting. I didn’t find this was the case with every diaper tested, but it was a high enough number that I wouldn’t have confidence to wear it to bed.

2.3 Pattern of Used vs Unused Padding Test Stand/Sit (right) Lying Down (left)


Daily Wear and Bedwetting

I have to say, I’m glad I tested the Wellness Briefs Original diaper before wearing any to bed. Perhaps, I got a bad batch, but many of those tested had pinhole leaks and the amount that they leaked was beyond mere perspiration, it was enough that it would have left a significant stain in pants or bedding. This is really too bad, because otherwise this is a pretty impressive diaper with comfortable padding and a soft backsheet. I also was curious to see how this diaper performed and hoped it would do well based on its unusual NASA-based branding and marketing materials. Upon first inspection of the diaper I noticed some bumpiness in the backsheet, which had me concerned from the start. Nevertheless, I did test it sitting and lying down. It will absorb a modest amount before leakage becomes an issue, but that may not even be a single full wetting. It does advertise this product as one that should mostly be used for bedridden patients, but even then I found pinhole leaks developed when lying down and while it wasn’t as bad it would still be an issue and require a bed pad much of the time (perhaps not for those who are bedridden with very minimal movement). It isn’t great for daily wear, it sometimes (though not always) would leak on the first wetting while still standing, in that case it would leak even more if sitting afterwards. Again, it has the potential to be a great diaper but I can’t recommend it at present due to quality concerns, not to mention a pretty high unit price.


Suitability for Bowel Incontinence: 5

The Wellness Original diaper should perform well at containing bowel incontinence. It has decent leg gathers, quality padding and a plastic backsheet. Containment won’t be an issue, but introduce any amount of liquid into the mix and it will find its way through the pinholes in the backsheet.


Wear & Tear Tests


Fitting

The Wellness Original diaper features two small double-tape fasteners per side, allowing the diaper to be detached and reattached in the same position. The tapes are small, but have a reasonably strong adhesive that holds well on the plastic backsheet. Just don’t pull too hard, or hold the inner tape when removing them as they can rip the backsheet.

3.1 Wellness Briefs Original Fastener

Ease-of-Use Rating: 7

I put the Wellness Original diaper in a similar spot as the Tranquility ATN or Molicare Slip Maxi when it comes to ease-of-use. Generally it was a little easier than the Tranquility ATN to achieve a snug fit in spite of having no waistbands. In this particular rating I’m ignoring the tendency to develop pinhole leaks, which could obviously introduce some challenges. Otherwise, this diaper is easy to apply and remove (as long as you’re careful in the way you detach the tapes if reapplying). This doesn’t account for the fact that the bag they come in doesn’t have any easy-tear seams so it can be tricky to open.

3.2 Wellness Briefs Original Diaper Fit

Comfort


Comfort Rating (dry): 8
The Wellness Original diaper has a very soft plastic backsheet, with a consistency I haven’t noticed in any other diaper. Its padding is also incredibly soft and doesn’t easily clump or tear. This diaper has a snug fit and is very unlikely to come loose during wear. It may have been a little better with front/rear waistbands, otherwise the only real downside is that the diaper can get pretty warm and doesn’t disperse heat as well as might be expected (though this isn’t uncommon in plastic-backed diapers).

Comfort Rating (wet): 4
The Wellness Original diaper doesn’t fall back in terms of wet comfort due to surface dryness or claminess (though it can get a bit warm). Instead, the primary reason for its low score is once again the leaks that develop in the backsheet. It doesn’t matter that the plastic backsheet and padding are still super comfortable when your pants are getting soaked. I give it points that until it hits a certain level of absorption this problem generally isn’t noticeable, but when it does happen you really notice it; so far it’s the only diaper tested that has leaked while standing (even low absorption diapers tend to hold off leakage until seated).


3.3 Wellness Briefs Original Topsheet and Backsheet


Durability

Dry Padding Deterioration Proportion: 5.1% (topsheet), 15.2% (backsheet)
Shake Deterioration Test: 3 shakes to deterioration


Durability Rating (dry): 6
The Wellness Original diaper performed well in terms of avoiding padding clumping or tearing and the only significant areas of deterioration were between the legs where the padding folded inwards a little. So the condition of the padding itself wouldn’t have a significant impact on the performance of the diaper. Unfortunately the rapid development of holes in the backsheet was a far more serious issue. The holes were tiny, but still large enough to lead to substantial leakage after the diaper hit a certain level of absorption. This is the primary reason for the lower score in terms of dry durability.


Durability Rating (wet): 4
The padding of the Wellness Original diaper still holds up quite well when wet, but again it's the leaks that are a huge problem, which you may notice as a theme by now. If it were only based on the state of the padding or look of the backsheet I’d consider this to be a fairly durable diaper in terms of wet durability. Unfortunately the most important part of wet durability is the ability to keep leakage to a minimum and thus it gets an even lower score than given in terms of dry durability.

3.4 Wellness Briefs Original Dry Test Deterioration

Discretion Tests


Profile

Front Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 3.0 cm (1.2"), 4.0 cm (1.6")
Back Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 7.5 cm (3"), 5.4 cm (2.1")
Side Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 4.5 cm (1.8"), 4.0 cm (1.6")

Profile Discretion Rating: 7
The Wellness Original diaper can be concealed under clothing but it does have a tendency to cause a bit of a bulge at the rear. I put it inline with diapers like the Certainty or Attends Delta-Form M3 in this regard.

4.1 Wellness Briefs Original Jeans Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right)

4.2 Wellness Briefs Original Sweats Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right) 



Noise

Noise Rating: 4
The Wellness Original diaper has a relatively loose plastic-backing that is easily prone to rustling. This creates an obvious crinkling noise with even the slightest movement. I ranked it between the Attends Care Poly and Attends Waistband diapers in this regard; it would be challenging to hide the noise produced by this diaper.

4.3 Wellness Briefs Original Noise Profile


Odor Reduction

Odor Reduction Rating: 5
This diaper would perform well in terms of odor reduction if only it weren’t for the pinhole leaks in the backsheet. The lack of waistbands could allow odors to escape more easily, but otherwise the padding isn’t particularly prone to odors (though far from the level of the Tena Active Fit Ultima). But again, it doesn’t matter how good the padding or structure of the diaper are at containing odors when leaks escape through the backsheet.


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