The advances in adult incontinence products over just the past several years have come so far. There are now cloth-backed briefs that allow for air flow and leakage protection. There are underpads that can handle more liquid than imaginable. And there’s even gender-specific protective underwear that look more like regular underwear than ever. The improvements are convenient and there are always more on the way.
But how did we get here, to this place of convenience? Let’s take a look back.
Disposable diapers weren’t introduced until the 1940’s. Everything before that point was cloth. There’s not a lot of information about the prevalence of adult incontinence supplies during this time of change (so if you have any information, please be sure to comment below!). There is some anecdotal evidence about the US Army, Air Force and Marines using adult diapers during long-term or potentially chemically dangerous missions.
Kimberly Clark introduced their line of baby diapers in 1978, and in 1984 they created the Depend line, which began by manufacturing liners for adult incontinence. While Depend was one of the first to create specifically targeted adult incontinence products, many others quickly followed suit when they recognized the market need. First Quality, maker of Prevail, introduced their adult incontinence briefs in 1990.
Since then, with the baby boomers growing into a lively older age, the market need has grown even more, and innovation to keep people as comfortable and active as possible has grown as well.