*For more information on how I do reviews see Diaper Test Methodology
The Duchesse Flexi Slip is a cloth-back, high absorbency adult diaper sold in Muller drugstores throughout Central Europe. This diaper advertises as being absorbent up to 1100 ml (37.2 oz) and actually came out quite close to the advertised range during testing (a rarity for diapers that advertise a specific capacity). It’s marketed as Medium/Large (M/L), but in reality I found the fit to be more like a medium. As far as I can tell, the M/L is the only size available for this diaper so the target market is limited to those with a waist size of around 76 ~ 100 cm (30 ~ 40”).
This diaper seems to have a high quality construction with a very comfortable/breathable design. During testing I found that I often barely noticed this diaper and couldn’t tell if it was wet or not in the morning. It also proved fairly durable overall with little padding clumping or tearing during testing. As far as diapers that can be bought from a regular drugstore go, I was pretty impressed with this one and would recommend giving it a try where it can be found at a good price.
- Cloth-like backsheet
- Repositionable tapes
- Standing inner leak barriers
- Wetness indicator
- Highly breathable/comfortable
- Good absorbency
- Limited sizing/availability
- Moisture sweats through backsheet
- Gap at the rear waist
For the purpose of this post I will be reviewing and referring to the large/medium-sized Duchesse Med Flexi Slip Diaper. However, other available sizes are listed below:
Manufacturer: Muller Handels AG Schweiz
Units Per Bag: 10
Cost Per Unit: $$
Dimensions (L x W x H): 21 cm (8.3") x 16 cm (6.3") x 22 cm (8.7")
Weight: 1 kg (2.2 lbs)
Available Sizes: M/L
Advertised Absorbency: 1100 ml
|1.1 Duchesse Flexi Slip Packaging
Backsheet: Cloth-like (non-woven)
Wetness Indicator: Yes (two yellow lines down 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: Yes
Outer Color: White
Inner Color: White
Front Waistband: No
Rear Waistband: No
Folded Thickness: 2.5 cm (0.98")
Folded Length: 21 cm (8.3")
Dry Weight: 100 g (3.5 oz)
Diaper Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 78 cm (30.7") x 67 cm (26.4") x 30 cm (11.8") x 66 cm (26")
Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Rectangular, Rectangular
Padding Dimensions (L x fW x mW x bW): 60 cm (23.6") x 22 cm (8.7") x 15 cm (5.9") x 25 cm (9.8")
Padding Wing Dimensions (fPW x fPH x bPW x bPH): 3.5 cm (1.4") x 10 cm (3.9") x 5 cm (2") x 13 cm (5.1")
Padding Wing Shape (Front, Rear): Rectangular, Rectangular
Total Padding Area: 1100 cm2 (171 in2)
Tape Spacing (t1 x t2): 2 cm (0.8") x 12 cm (4.7")
Tape (W x L): 5 cm (2") x 3 cm (1.2")
|1.2 Duchesse Flexi Slip Diaper
Laboratory Absorbency Tests
Total Absorption Volume (after press out): 1235 ml (43.6 oz)
Total Absorption Volume (before press out): 1250 ml (44.1 oz)
Time to Absorb Wettings (first to last): (53 s, 48 s, 56 s, 56 s, 59 s)
Wet Folded Thickness: 4 cm (1.6")
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 94%
Total Padding to Absorbency Ratio: 1.12 ml / cm2 (0.26 oz / in2)
Press Out Volume: 15 ml (0.53 oz)
Surface Dampness Rating: 7
The Duchesse Flexi Slip showed decent resistance against surface dampness. In the lab test there was no dampness after the first wetting and only a little after the second wetting. During real world testing it also proved resilient to surface dampness, with only very brief pooling and it continued to feel comfortable and breathable when wet.
|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: 875 ml (30.7 oz)
Total Wettings: (1 standing, 2 sitting)
Leaked After Sitting: No
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 73%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.80 ml / cm2 (0.18 oz / in2)
Standing-Sitting Rating: 7
The Duchesse Flexi Slip performed reasonably well when tested while standing and sitting. The first wetting while standing was quickly absorbed, though with a little pooling and a “squishy” sensation at first. Once fully absorbed the padding firmed up again and there were no hints of leakage. Nor was there any sign of leakage upon sitting shortly afterward. The second wetting while seated also didn’t leak. This time the moisture pressed well up the front of the diaper and almost reached the sides. I felt it came close to leaking at this point but not quite there and there was considerably more pooling. Even so, the rear padding was still mostly dry and it didn’t seem like much moisture made it to the back. The diaper continued to feel comfortable at this time. On the final wetting the front moisture finally overran the leak guards and spilled out into the wings. Some of it was actually redirected toward the rear padding but there was a substantial leak as well and I ended the test with that. Even so, at the end of the test there was still a substantial amount of dry padding at the rear. Were it able to channel moisture better when seated it certainly would have performed better. In general, I’d expect this diaper to absorb 1~2 wettings during daily wear before leaking.
Total Absorbed Volume: 925 ml (32.6 oz)
Total Wettings: 3
Used to Total Padding Ratio: 94%
Padding to Absorbency Score: 0.84 ml / cm2 (0.19 oz / in2)
Lying Down Rating: 8
The Duchesse Flexi Slip performed decently when tested while lying down. The first wetting was absorbed quickly with minimal surface dampness, though I did sense a bit of brief pooling. Once absorbed it was hardly noticeable and there was still a lot of dry padding. The second wetting was again fully absorbed though it felt a little closer to saturation by this point. Moisture pushed up near the front wing but was still restricted enough and there was enough dry padding left that there weren’t any leaks. Once fully absorbed the diaper continued to feel comfortable. The padding felt a little squishier than some comparable diapers, but not so much so as to be particularly susceptible to pressout. There was finally some leakage on the third wetting with a moderate leak of moisture out through the rear leg gathers and I called the test at that. In spite of that, the diaper remained remarkably comfortable and there was even still a bit of dry padding at the front. I didn’t notice too much in the way of surface dampness either. I’d expect this diaper to perform decently when worn for bedwetting and generally should absorb 1~2 wettings before leakage might be a concern.
|2.3 Pattern of Used vs Unused Padding Test Stand/Sit (right) Lying Down (left)
Daily Wear and BedwettingI found the Duchesse Flexi Slip exceeded expectations when testing for daily wear and bedwetting. In both scenarios it was more than sufficient to take a full wetting without any signs of leakage and in both posture tests it actually didn’t leak until the 3rd wetting. Even so, I’d be worried about it leaking after the second wetting during daily wear and I did notice some “sweat”/microleaks through the backsheet. The padding also takes on a somewhat "squishy" feel when wet but it's more like the feeling of thicker padding than that of a sponge. I feel it’s a little better suited for overnight wear and wouldn’t be surprised if it consistently took 2 wettings without leaking in that case. When used for daily wear, I found it was susceptible to microleaks, but only after the second wetting, particularly when subject to pressout (like when seated). It seems some moisture was able to sweat out through imperfections in the backsheet, though still nowhere near the level found in the Wellness Briefs Original. This sweat-like leakage felt more like the type that’s typical for cloth-backed diapers, where imperfections and osmosis can lead to moisture leaking through a seemingly solid backsheet. In terms of skin health, these diapers were great. They remain super breathable, even when wet and I never noticed significant irritation or discomfort with wear. The leak guards are also of high quality and I was happy with the wicking ability through the core padding of this diaper. Also of note, I found the construction of this diaper to be interesting, with a thicker backsheet material running over the padding and up the front and back waistlines well above the wings, particularly at the rear.
Suitability for Bowel Incontinence: 6
I feel the Duchesse Flexi Slip is likely better for dealing with bowel incontinence during daily wear than overnight wear because the rear waist has a substantial gap that would be problematic for night wear. On the plus side, this diaper has an extensive area of rear padding coverage and decent leak guards, but it also has a cloth-like/breathable design that won’t be the best for containing odors. This diaper certainly could be used for managing bowel incontinence, though there are far better options available in this regard, like the Forma-Care X-Plus.
Wear & Tear Tests
The Duchesse Flexi Slip features a cloth-like backsheet with a distinctive thicker midsection extending above the wings at the waist and at the rear; likely to provide better leak protection in comparison to the porous wings. The tapes are decent quality but use a 4 strip hook & loop combined with adhesive tape material to stay fastened. This means the tape part is susceptible to losing its stickiness with multiple re-attachments.
|3.1 Duchesse Flexi Slip Fastener
Ease-of-Use Rating: 8
The Dutchesse Flexi Slip is comparable to the Tranquility Smartcore when it comes to ease-of-use. It’s quite easy to get a snug fit, though not quite perfect. With this being a “Medium/Large” sized, it’s safe to say the sizing runs rather small, comparable to the “Small/Medium” Depend Protection with Tabs. The tapes are generally easy to use and reapply and the wetness indicator clearly turns blue when wet without much fading. This diaper is very skin friendly given how breathable it is and it has decent inner leak guards and leg gathers. I feel it’d be a little better geared toward bedwetting and lower levels of activity. That said, I feel the looser fit around the rear and lack of waistbands would make this a challenge when dealing with heavy bowel incontinence. Overall, it’s well constructed and consistent in terms of quality so I think most will find it fits their needs.
|3.2 Duchesse Flexi Slip Fit
Comfort Rating (dry): 10
The Duchesse Flexi Slip is about as comfortable as they come with regards to dry comfort. This diaper is highly breathable and made of soft flexible materials. The padding and tapes hold up very well with wear and I didn’t feel any clumping or tearing. All in all, the fit is quite snug and doesn’t loosen with wear. My only minor complaint would be that the rear of the diaper isn’t very snug and has a bit of a gap since it doesn’t have a waistband to hold it to the waist. That said, I didn’t feel like this took away from the dry comfort because it doesn’t cause the diaper to sag or fit awkwardly so I didn’t count it against it.
Comfort Rating (wet): 8
The Duchesse Flexi Slip proved quite comfortable when wet. It’s one of few diapers where I found that I’d wake up in the morning and be unsure of whether I’d wet the previous night without checking the wetness indicator. The diaper remains remarkably breathable when wet and I never found surface dampness to be much of an issue; it’s barely perceivable with just a single wetting. The padding of this diaper takes on a somewhat squishy texture when wet but not in the same way you’d get from others like the Rearz Barnyard/Elite Hybrid. It almost feels as if the dry padding just became thicker. If there is any downside I’d say it’s that I noticed some slight sagging when wet as well as a little pressout on the second wetting. Compared with the dry state the tapes just aren’t strong enough to keep the same snug fit.
|3.3 Duchesse Flexi Slip Topsheet and Backsheet
Dry Padding Deterioration Proportion: 7.4% (topsheet), 5.7% (backsheet)
Shake Deterioration Test: 3 shakes to deterioration
Durability Rating (dry): 7
The Duchesse Flexi Sip performed decently in the dry durability test. After extended wear there was relatively little padding deterioration though some of it did border into core padding. I didn’t consider it to be enough to considerably weaken its absorption ability, but it was still not quite up there with the top performers either. Otherwise, the tapes on this diaper generally held up while dry, but did become a bit loose over time. I didn’t find looseness of this diaper to be an issue during dry wear, at least not enough to significantly detract from its durability. Moreover, I didn’t notice much in the way of padding clumping. I feel with waistbands for a better fit this diaper would score a bit higher; as it is now it’s plenty durable for low activity but not quite for more active wear.
Durability Rating (wet): 7
The Duchesse Flexi Slip isn’t a top performer when it comes to wet durability but better than many cloth-backed diapers. I noticed some minor tearing/bunching of the padding and it came apart quickly in the shake test. However, I didn’t find the amount of padding deterioration significantly impacted its utility. The biggest weakness ended up being the weakening of the tapes under the weight of wet wear, though I also found some minor leaks that appeared to come out through the backsheet when seated after 2 wettings. I found that with extended wear while wet, the diaper had a loose feel and could have benefited from strong tapes/waistbands.
|3.4 Duchesse Flexi Slip Dry Test Deterioration
Front Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 4 cm (1.6"), 5 cm (2")
Back Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 8 cm (1.6"), 5.5 cm (2.2")
Side Rise Above Waistline (Jeans, Sweatpants): 4 cm (3.2"), 3 cm (1.2")
Profile Discretion Rating: 8
The Duchesse Flexi Slip provides a similar level of profile discretion to the Medline Extended Wear. It has a relatively snug fit that holds up well with wear. The core padding sits mostly at the middle and rear so there’s a bit of a diaper bulge at the rear but it’s neglectable in the front. The thicker padding sits between the legs where it is less noticeable from a profile perspective. In terms of the diaper’s rise above the waistline it mostly shows up in the rear and I wouldn’t expect it to stand out much.
|4.1 Duchesse Flexi Slip Jeans Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right)
|4.2 Duchesse Flexi Slip Sweats Profile (left) vs Normal Underwear (right)
Noise Rating: 10
The Duchesse Flexi Slip gets top marks when it comes to noise discretion. It has a very soft cloth-like backsheet that doesn’t rustle or put up resistance. The noise produced by this diaper was almost indistinguishable during testing and I’m quite certain no one would hear it in an environment with any amount of background noise. Additionally, the noise discretion extends to when the diaper is wet as I never noticed any noise when tested while wet.
|4.3 Duchesse Flexi Slip Noise Profile
Odor Reduction Rating: 7
I didn't noticed much in the way of odors from the Duchesse Flexi Slip during testing. Like many other European manufactured diapers, the padding of this diaper seems to have a built-in resistance to the formation of odors. The biggest problem this diaper faces when it comes to odor resistance is the relatively loose fit at the rear. This would be particularly problematic for those with bowel incontinence. Moreover, I also have some concerns with respect to micro-leaks through the backsheet.