5 of the Sleekest Pairs of Incontinence Underwear That Actually Work—And Look Nothing Like Adult Diapers

Courtesy of Proof and Hazel; W+G Creative
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As the stigma around celebrating sexual wellness slowly erases, the pelvic floor muscles are also having a well-overdue moment of societal acceptance: Kegels are all the rage and at-home pelvic-floor devices are on the rise. While much of this pelvic-floor fervor has to do with its decidedly sexy benefits—a strong, limber pelvic floor promotes good sexual function—it's also shedding light on the topic of urinary incontinence, or uncontrolled bladder leakage largely driven by pelvic-floor dysfunction (which affects as many as one in four people with uteruses). As it's being discussed more openly, innovators are responding with some of the best incontinence underwear the market has seen to date.

Experts In This Article
  • Alex Rogers, MD, Alex Rogers, MD, specializes in all aspects of both urinary and fecal incontinence. Areas of expertise include stress urinary incontinence solutions and fecal incontinence sacral neuromodulation surgery. In addition, she is dedicated to offering effective overactive bladder therapies. Also, she...
  • Heidi Gastler, DPT, Heidi Gastler, DPT, is a Herman and Wallace trained pelvic floor therapist and an advisor at Tabu Group, Inc. She founded Mountain to Sea Physical Therapy in 2016, a LA-based physical therapy practice specializing in orthopedic and pelvic health physical...
  • Justine Roper, DPT, Justine Roper, DPT, is a certified women’s pelvic specialist & pelvic floor therapist. She has dedicated her life to offering innovative ways to heal her patients’ bodies of pain and other dysfunction through alternative methods. From sexual dysfunction to pelvic...

Though incontinence is often associated with being a postpartum or menopause side effect, bladder leaks can actually occur for folks of any age if they have issues with the muscles or other connective tissue of the pelvic floor, says pelvic-floor physical therapist Heidi Gastler, DPT, advisor to menopause-wellness company Tabu. "The layers of the pelvic floor support the bladder and its neck, which is like the neck of a balloon," she says. "If they aren't functioning properly—as in, they're too tight, too weak, or not engaging—they can't support the bladder's contents, allowing the 'air', aka urine, to flow out of the bladder balloon."

"If the layers of the pelvic floor aren't functioning properly—as in, they're too tight, too weak, or not engaging—they can't support the bladder's contents." —pelvic-floor physical therapist Heidi Gastler, DPT

In many cases, the sudden urge to pee that goes along with incontinence will be activated by a certain activity that puts additional pressure or stress on the bladder, such as sneezing, coughing, laughing, or lifting something heavy, says urologist Alex Rogers, MD, a spokesperson for Urovant Sciences, which creates medical solutions for urological conditions. But because incontinence can also be tied to a urinary tract infection or overactive bladder (which causes involuntary contractions of the bladder muscle), it's smart to see your gynecologist if you're newly experiencing leaks.

While there are many solutions to incontinence—often starting with pelvic-floor physical therapy to address the functioning of this critical muscle group—the best incontinence underwear absorbs leaks in real time, so you can feel free to live your life while you're working to treat the condition. And unlike the "adult diapers" of days long past, the latest incontinence underwear is slim and sleek, and looks practically like regular underwear, while being just as effective at holding fluids.

"We also use incontinence underwear to track progress of treatment," says pelvic-floor physical therapist Justine Roper, DPT. "The goal is to eventually progress to less frequent use of the underwear—but in the meantime, it always helps to have the added comfort and security it can provide." Below, find the five best pairs of incontinence underwear that'll have you laughing, lunging, or otherwise living your life without so much as a leak in sight.

The best incontinence underwear for seamless leak-proof protection

Knix Knixy Lace Leakproof Boyshort — $23.00

Three absorbent layers in the gusset of these Knix undies wick liquid away from skin and hold it securely in place, so it can’t spot your pants. Best for frequent light leaks (as opposed to larger ones), these boyshorts are stretchy, soft, and even sport a lace back. Incontinence, who?

Proof Leak-Proof Bikini Underwear — $39.00

For more complete coverage, go for this Proof bikini, a surprisingly thin panty that packs multilayer incontinence protection from the front waist band all the way to the back. It’s made with the brand’s patented Leak-Loc technology interwoven with antimicrobial fibers to prevent any bacterial growth or potential odor tied to leaks.

The brand also recently launched a partnership with Walmart to sell its more affordable line of undies, Unders by Proof, in Walmart stores nationwide. The new leak-proof brief from the Unders line ($35) has a lower leg for fuller coverage and the same trusty Leak-Loc technology as the above, holding up to 8 teaspoons of liquid.

Ondr Essential Leakproof High Waisted Brief — $36.00

Founded by urologist Jessica Lubahn, MD—who witnessed first-hand the limitations of existing incontinence underwear in supporting her patients—Ondr is a line of stretchy, functional undies, each of which can hold up to nine teaspoons’ worth of pee without a speck of leakage. An extra-long gusset and hypoallergenic waistband make these briefs a seamless incontinence solution.

Hazel High & Dry Briefs — $25.00

Because of the way these briefs are designed to be tossed after use, they’re by far the most absorbent of the bunch, holding a whopping 1.5 cups of liquid (that is, about a full bladder’s worth), no problem. And yet, they’re also utterly seamless and thin enough to slip on beneath leggings. The $25 price tag gets you a subscription to 15 disposable briefs per month (or you can go for 30 briefs per month at $40, or 60 at $65), and you can skip a month, change, or cancel at any time.

Speax by Thinx Thong — $28.00

Thongs and incontinence underwear might not seem to go together, but the people behind Thinx (the famous period panties) have made it happen. For light leaks, this stretchy thong promises spot-proof protection, moisture-wicking, and odor resistance where it matters most.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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