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Incontinence Advice

Is Double Padding A Good Idea With Incontinence

When it comes to managing incontinence, you may find yourself seeking ways to improve security, and peace of mind in your daily routines. One way you may think will work is through double padding—using two layers of absorbent pads simultaneously. This practice aims to provide an extra layer of protection against leaks and accidents. However, the question is: Is double padding a good idea with incontinence, or does it lead to its own problems? In this article, you will find out whether double padding is the right thing to do. 

elderly man and women smiling at each other

What are Incontinence Pads?


Absorbent pads for managing incontinence can help with bladder or bowel control problems. They come in various styles and sizes, but the most popular ones are pads that attach to underwear and incontinence pull up pants that are worn as disposable adult underwear.


In today’s world pads can be thin and, discreet, and are suitable for both men and women. Other options like pull-up underwear and incontinence pouches designed specifically for men are also available

Functions of an Incontinence Pad


The pads use similar technology as baby's nappies. They draw urine away from the surface of the skin, ensuring dryness. Apart from keeping the skin dry, most pads will have a built-in neutraliser to eradicate odours. The main purposes of incontinence pads are to:


        Keep the skin dry.

        Contain any urine.

        Eliminate odours.

        Prevent leaks.

        Provide comfort while wearing.

        Maintain a dry environment and reduce irritation.


incontinence pads are designed to deal with different levels of incontinence and when the correct one for you is sourced it can keep you reassured when on the go.

Why You Shouldn’t Double Up On Incontinence Products


Not designed for ‘doubling up’

There is a common misconception that if the pad is not sufficient, adding another one will solve the problem. However, this is a misconception and is unnecessary. The outer lining in most incontinence products will prevent the bottom pad from absorbing any liquid. When you ‘double-up’ by adding another incontinence pad over the first one, the liquid from the initial one will leak out the sides into the second. 


Product Size Can Increase Leakage

Using a product in the incorrect size, even when doubled up, can lead to leakage. When there is excessive space around the leg areas or in the back, the chances of leakage increase. To ensure the right fit, it is important to measure the waist and hip sizes of yourself or your loved one. If improperly fitting products are used, you’re likely to have leakages.


Can provoke leakage.

Wearing tab-style briefs or pull-ups gives people a constant sense of security and protection. If you feel uncomfortable, the product may not be the right style or size.  Try our Product Finder to find the size style and size MoliCare product. Incontinence products are also available for bowel incontinence.


when choosing a product ensure you consider your level of mobility, dexterity, and body type. If your current product is not meeting your needs, consider trying a different style, and resist the urge to double-pad up. We have plenty of incontinence pads available in sizes:


        Extra small




        Extra large

        + Size for Bariatrics

        Stool Pad for faecal matter


Additional expense

Another reason why double padding is not a good idea is because of the cost, it will cost double the price. By increasing the number of incontinence products used simultaneously, the cost will quickly escalate. Instead of resorting to "doubling up," choose products with higher absorbency levels. Specifically, overnight nappies for adults are ideal for those with severe urinary and bowel incontinence, providing protection for up to 8 hours.


Although using multiple incontinence pads may seem like a temporary fix for leaks, it is not a sustainable solution. It is more effective to use super-absorbent products capable of lasting for longer. Therefore, there is no need to double up when utilising highly absorbent options.


Quality over quantity

Using a single, higher-quality incontinence product is more comfortable and cost-effective in managing care compared to layering two or more lighter products together.


While there are products available that can hold a substantial amount of fluid, we recognise that life brings its own challenges. Sometimes, you may choose additional protection for a little extra peace of mind. Fortunately, MoliCare® incontinence pads are made with quality in mind, and you can be rest assured that you will never need to double-pad up these pads due to how highly absorbent they are. 



The risks of double padding


There are multiple risks of double padding. For example, wearing old or used pads can have a negative effect if you adopt them in your underwear routines, and choose to cover them up with an extra layer of incontinence padding. If you are not already convinced, here are some other risks of double padding.

Wetness rubbing against the skin.

When the amount of urine exceeds the capacity of the inner "extra" pad, it prevents moisture from being drawn away from the skin. The protective backing of the "extra" pad hinders the absorption of urine into the main layer of the outer brief. This overflow causes leakage around the upper legs, keeping moisture in contact with the skin. Additionally, the presence of the extra pad interferes with the wetness indicator on the outer brief. This indicator may not change colour to signal that the product is soiled and requires checking.

Pressure ulcers

When you layer two products, it adds bulk that presses and rubs against the skin and tissues underneath. The trapped moisture and wetness between the layers can excessively hydrate and macerate the skin. These factors can contribute to an increased risk of skin breakdown.

elderly man and women smiling looking at camera

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)


When wetness gets trapped between the layers and is not adequately absorbed, it can promote bacterial growth and raise the risk of infections.


Leakage and odour

Leakage and odour can occur due to the interference of the extra pad with urine absorption into the core of the brief. This can lead to noticeable odours.


Friction and skin irritation

Double padding creates additional weight in the crotch area, causing friction and skin irritation.


Don’t double up with the wrong product.

It is important not to double up with the wrong product. Pads designed for standalone use have an absorbent side and a plastic or breathable backing that acts as a moisture barrier to prevent clothes from getting wet.


Why Is My Incontinence Product Leaking?


If you or a loved one are experiencing leakage while wearing a single incontinence product, there may be a few reasons to explore first.


        Incorrect size: Wearing the wrong size product can lead to leakage, especially if there are gaps in the leg holes or other areas of the pelvic region.

        Insufficient absorbency: Using an incontinence product with inadequate absorbency for your level of incontinence is a common cause of leakage. For instance, if you have heavy incontinence but are using a light incontinence pad, it may not provide enough protection. In such cases, heavier products like adult protective underwear or briefs are more suitable.

        Not exploring better product options: You may be unaware that there are improved or more absorbent products available to address your specific incontinence needs. With MoliCare®  we ensure that all our customers always get value for money and that they can feel comfortable and secure in all social situations using pads or pants.


It's time to know how anxiety affects your bladder and bowels.


Double Padding is NOT a Good Idea:

In conclusion, doubling up on incontinence pads is not recommended. The waterproof breathable backing of the pads prevents fluid from flowing between them. Using multiple pads can create hard edges that can harm and damage the skin. There are no advantages to wearing more than one pad, and it only increases the risk to the skin and pressure points. It is best to stick to using a single incontinence pad for optimal comfort and safety.




Is it advisable to double up on incontinence pads for better protection?

No, doubling up on incontinence pads is not recommended. The waterproof backing of the pads prevents fluid from transferring between them, meaning the second pad is ineffective. It can also create discomfort and increase the risk of skin irritation.


Will using multiple incontinence pads provide extra absorbency?

No, using multiple pads does not provide extra absorbency. In fact, it can lead to the formation of hard edges, which can cause discomfort and damage the skin. It is better to choose a single, higher-absorbency product instead.


Are there any benefits to double padding in terms of leakage prevention?

Double padding does not provide additional protection against leaks. Incontinence pads are designed to manage leakage on their own, and using multiple pads can prevent the anti-leakage cuffs from working.


Can double padding reduce the frequency of pad changes?

Doubling up on pads does not extend the time between pad changes. Each pad has its absorbency limit and exceeding it can result in leakage and discomfort. It is important to follow recommended pad change intervals for optimal hygiene and comfort.


What is the recommended approach for managing incontinence effectively?

Instead of double padding, it is advisable to choose a high-quality incontinence product that matches your level of incontinence. opt for products with higher absorbency levels and consider consulting with healthcare professionals for personalised recommendations.