Cloth pads and stress incontinence.

Choosing cloth pads to help manage the symptoms of urinary incontinence is a bit different from choosing them for your period. In this blog post, we will be breaking down what you should be looking for in a cloth pad you intend to use for urinary incontinence. Cloth pads can be just as effective and discreet as disposable pads. Just make sure to carry a little wet bag with you when you’re out and about. The majority of them look like makeup bags so no one will notice when you are in a public toilet.

What absorbency will I need?
This is highly individualised but here is a rough guide based on the type of urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence & Urge incontinence = pantyliner or 8 inch to 9-inches day pad for light to moderate flow.
Overflow incontinence & total incontinence = 11 inch to 13 inches overnight/ postpartum pads or specialist products for adults.

Choose a pad that is going to contour your body and give you a snug fit. If you haven’t tried cloth pads before shop around and try a few different styles to see what works for you. It’s extremely important that you wear a snug-fitting pair of underwear in order for the pad to stay in place and offer you the best protection.

Stay away from cotton, flannel, microfibre,
These fabrics will leave you feeling wet and are not odour resistant. Microfibre is widely used in the cloth nappy industry however it can leave you feeling very hot and sweaty. As well as shedding micro-particles of plastic into the water when washed.  


Choose pro-cool jersey, bamboo velour, suede cloth, bamboo fleece.
The best fabric is bamboo velour as it is super absorbent, odour resistant and antibacterial. Procool jersey comes in at a close second for it stayed dry properties.
You must make sure that all the pads you purchase have a layer of PUL in them. 
This is very important to prevent leaks as fleece on its own will not be enough to prevent leaking.


If possible we would recommend quickly rinsing the pad under cold water prior to placing in a wet bag or mesh laundry bag. This will help prevent staining. It’s important to wash your cloth pads at a higher temperature around 60c to prevent UTI’s. With a good quality detergent making sure that it does not contain any fabric softener. As this will significantly decrease the absorbency of your cloth pads.
You can also wash them with a bit of white vinegar to prevent odours.
It’s best to hang dry and avoid the tumble dryer this will help prevent any unnecessary wear and tear to your cloth pads and keep them looking like new.

Using cloth pads for stress incontinence is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of managing the symptoms of urinary incontinence however unlike some other brands, we won’t just tell you to stick a pad in your pants and get on with it. Whilst our products are very good at helping you manage your symptoms they are not the solution or treatment. Our expert team can provide information and support to get you started on your pelvic floor rehabilitation journey. Check out the useful links below.

Treatment options

Pelvic floor exercise a review

Be sure to book in with your GP and ask for a referral to your local pelvic floor physiotherapy service this can also be done through your midwife.