Best washable women's underwear for incontinence
June 8, 2020 4:49 AM   Subscribe

Over the last year, I've seen ads for washable underwear, and it's overwhelming. So many brands, so few reviews. What have you tried? What's worked? I have minor incontinence -- a few drops a day. I'd like to do away with liners, which are landfill hogs. Recommendations?
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I have light periods and I use modibodi underwear and like them. They have a page on good ones for pee. Here are the ones I use that work well. Work well, comfortable, not too thick, not smelly. I also like their body-positive advertising.
posted by medusa at 5:03 AM on June 8, 2020

I have a few pairs of Icon underwear, which are a bit expensive, but I think the smell stoppage is very effective.
posted by thelastpolarbear at 5:46 AM on June 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Icon (now renamed Speax). They cost the earth, but are worth it to me to no longer have to fuss with panty liners (which are fine for a few dribbles, but over the years of the hormonal roller coaster which is menopause, those tend to escalate). They are comfortable to wear and are durable (my original pairs are chugging along after five years), as well as easy to launder (I wash mine in the machine with a regular load, then hang them on a rack to dry).

I haven’t figured out what they use for the crotch panel, but it is thin, absorbent, controls smells, and keeps the moisture from your skin. (I have never had a leakage through the crotch panel.). The leg and waist openings are finished with a heat-sealed seam tape, which ups the comfort (no elastic digging in).

Best of luck on your search!
posted by Dogged Persistence at 6:17 AM on June 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

You might look into washable panti-liners instead, as they serve the same purpose but you wouldn't need to toss your whole underwear collection.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:11 AM on June 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

Here to second washable liners - also from the point of view of needing to change them.

If your flow is very light, you might not need to do this often enough for it to be a bother, but when I'm on my period and especially when wearing trousers, changing my whole underwear is a huge faff compared to changing a fabric pad!
posted by greenish at 8:55 AM on June 8, 2020

If you only have minor incontinence, then almost any brand of menstrual underwear will work for preventing leaks. I bought relatively cheap menstrual underwear for use with a cup - I don't know if I would use them entirely on their own (as a friend uses the more expensive Thinx brand), but they've been great for catching when the cup leaks. The care is simple: I machine wash, and hang to dry (they came with a warning to not run them through the dryer).

That said, I don't know what kind of odour absorbancy they have, if that is a concern.

DoubleLune makes a good point that there are re-usable panti-liners, though I do like the very full coverage that menstrual underwear gives.
posted by jb at 8:57 AM on June 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

For a few drops a day, Dear Kates minis should do the trick. They're designed for a "light flow" and feel like regular underwear with a slightly thicker crotch panel. Regular Thinx also work just fine. Odor is not an issue.
posted by rednikki at 12:56 PM on June 8, 2020

I have a bunch of Speax brand undies and I love them. They are super comfy, cute, cope well with my always fluctuating weight. I wash them AND I just throw them in the dryer because I don’t use fabric softener (a no no with this product). They are expensive, but wear like iron. I mostly need them for sneezy allergy season, and jumping around in Zumba. I have tried Thinx, which are more stylish, and less expensive, but they don’t seem as well made and sturdy.
posted by Malla at 6:30 PM on June 8, 2020

Another vote for Icon, now Speax. I bought one pair, they worked well, so I got several more, and they are often the driving factor in doing laundry. If I were to buy more I'd get them in a bright color (I liked the orange) because I often miss the other colors and accidentally put them in the dryer. The only negative I've noticed with that is that they got a little stiffer in the crotch area, but they still are nicely protect for small leaks and unexpected spotting.
posted by ldthomps at 7:21 PM on June 8, 2020

I'll nth the Speax suggestion...just note that for me the size guide on their website was wildly inaccurate - about three or four sizes up from what I would ordinarily wear. I ordered one pair at one size below what they recommended, it was pretty big, although still usable. I subsequently ordered two additional pairs at each of the next two sizes down and both of those were better fits.

I'm kind of intrigued though by the reusable liners - have you used them DoubleLune? I see some reviews suggest they might not stay put for more active wear.
posted by Preserver at 2:59 PM on June 9, 2020

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