Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

How we test incontinence products

The low-down on how we lab test the absorbency of incontinence pads.

white incontinence pad on a blue background

Continence aids can make a real difference to your quality of life if you're looking at buying a pad for various levels of bladder leakage. Our test results will help you find the best product for your needs.

How we choose what we test

With a range of products on the market, what makes us choose one incontinence pad to test over another? As with the majority of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular brands on the market and what you're most likely to see in stores.

We check shops to see what's available and we survey manufacturers to find out about their range of products. From this information we put together a final list that goes to our buyers. They then head out to the retailers and purchase each product, just as a regular consumer would. 

We do this so we can be sure the products are the same as any consumer would find them and not 'tweaked' in any way for better performance.

How we test

We send incontinence pads available from major supermarkets to a laboratory for testing. We also calculate the value for money of each product by working out how much each pad costs based on the pack size.

Absorbency score

Each product is tested according to the industry's Rothwell method. We soak the product for five minutes, drain it for 30 seconds, then roll it to express water. The product is then weighed and scored based on the amount of solution that it was able to absorb. 

Wet feeling score

Layers of absorbent paper are placed on top of each pad and the amount of solution absorbed is recorded. This helps us assess how wet someone will feel when using the product. A high score in this test indicates someone would feel more dry, whereas a low score indicates someone would feel more wet when using the product. 

Test criteria explained

We recommend incontinence pads with a CHOICE Expert Rating of at least 70% and at least 70% for absorbency. The CHOICE Expert Rating is made up of:

  • absorbency score (80%) 
  • wet feeling score (20%).
We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.