How we test continence products

The low down on how we test continence pads and underwear.

Whether you're looking at buying a pad or underwear for various levels of bladder leakage, continence products make a real difference to quality of life. Our tests help you find the best type for your needs.

How we choose what we test

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

We check in-store 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 normal consumer would. 

We do this so we can be sure they're the same as any consumer would find them and not 'tweaked' in any way.

How we test

We send continence products 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 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, 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. 

Thickness score

Using calibrated calipers, we measure how thick each product is at its thickest point. This helps reveal how likely the product will show up through your clothing. This score does not form part of the overall score, but it's useful as a guide to the user. 

Test criteria explained

The overall score is made up of:

  • absorbency score (70%) 
  • wet feeling score (30%)

Ready to buy?