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Adult Diapers Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Product Type (Underwear & Briefs, Pads & Guards, and Drip Collectors & Bed Protectors), By Gender (Male and Female) By Distribution Channel (Institutional Sales, Retail Stores, and Online Channels) and Regional Forecast, 2019-2032

Last Updated: April 29, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102077



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The global adult diapers market size was valued at USD 11.55 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 29.83 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.0% during the forecast period.

Incontinence is one of the most common problems among adults. According to the Global Forum on Incontinence, over 424 million people across the world were having incontinence in 2018. Incontinence is more common in females as compared to males. The rising prevalence of incontinence and the increasing geriatric population are the major contributors to the adult diapers industry. According to the United Nations, the aging population in the world is estimated to reach 1.4 billion by 2030, representing a huge growth opportunity in the market.

Incontinence absorbent products are fast emerging as a thriving market. Prominent brands such as TENA, Poise, Always Discreet, Sure Care, and others continue to offer more discretion, comfort, and confidence in living a normal life, which, in turn, is resulting in the increasing adoption of incontinence undergarments. Growing awareness regarding incontinence is eliminating the taboo and social stigma associated with the use of incontinence absorbent products. Previously, people were hesitant to discuss or seek medical help for incontinence. But, now, as the patients are becoming more educated, they are demanding products that build their confidence, provide comfort, more discreet, and are skin-friendly. This has, in turn, encouraged the manufacturers for investing in research and development of products with excellent fluid management. For instance, in November 2017, Essity introduced New ConfioAir Breathable Technology, which will be used in the manufacturing of all the company’s briefs, underpants, and other incontinence products.

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Development of products targeted separately towards men and women and the emergence of smart diapers have become important adult diapers market trends. A study done by Essity for their product named TENA Men showed that the male shoppers buying TENA Men themselves increased by 8% in 2017. This indicates the rising appeal for specially designed incontinence undergarments among males. Besides, the use of sensors in diapers to prevent overflow and accidental leakages are poised to surge the market.


“Launch of Innovative Products to Fuel the Growth of Market”

Launch of new products with high absorbency levels, odor control, and skin-friendly component has successfully resulted in increasing consumption of incontinence undergarments. For example, in May 2019, Kimberly-Clark announced the launch of Poise UltraThin Active Collection, a range of pads and liners with wings for more stability for women. The manufacturers are making considerable investments in understanding the needs of the patients and introducing products that match their requirements. This is projected to contribute to the demand for incontinence absorbent products during the forecast period.

In addition to that, rapid incorporation of technologies, such as sensors and smart diapers to prevent accidental overflows and discomfort are likely to drive the adult diapers market growth.

“Rising Aging Population to Drive the Market”

Many of the adults suffer from incontinence problems. The rising aging population is one of the major factors that is anticipated to boost the demand for incontinence undergarments. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by the end of 2050, the world’s population aged 60 years and older is projected to reach 2 billion from 900 million in 2015. This, coupled with the significant rise in elderly care services and adoption of disposable diapers, are poised to surge the incontinence product market.  


By Product Type Analysis

“Increasing Demand for Specially Designed Night Underwear to Boost the Underwear & Briefs Segment”

On the basis of product type, the market can be segmented into underwear & briefs, pads & guard, and drip collectors & bed protectors. The underwear & briefs segment is estimated to account for the major portion of the market, which can be attributed to the increasing use of underwear and briefs that provide leakage protection for longer duration at nights. Also, increasing the availability of incontinence underwear that is more discreet and are rashes free is augmenting the underwear and briefs segment.

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The pads and guards segment is projected to witness the highest CAGR during 2019-2026 due to the increasing prevalence of stress incontinence and a shift towards online channels and e-commerce platforms. Growth of the drip collectors and bed protectors segment is likely to propel primarily due to the rising aging population and prominent use of bed protectors for overnight protection.

By Gender Analysis

“Female Segment to Register the Maximum CAGR”

Based on gender, the market can be segmented into male and female. The female segment is expected to dominate the market owing to the increasing number of childbirths, rising prevalence of post-menopause complications, and increasing awareness regarding adult diapers for postpartum. According to a survey conducted by Kimberly-Clark in 2018, nearly 63% of women admitted of using products that aren't designed for urinary incontinence such as period pads or sanitary napkins. This indicates the untapped potentials and growth opportunities of incontinence absorbent products in the female segment.

On the other hand, the male segment is anticipated to witness remarkable growth during the forecast period. Rapid adoption of male undergarments for incontinence, the growing importance of male grooming, and active customer education programs are anticipated to accelerate the growth of the male segment.

By Distribution Channel Analysis

“Rise of E-commerce to Render Fast Growth of Online Channels Segment”

In terms of distribution channel, the market is segmented into retail stores, institutional sales, and online channels. The retail stores segment is estimated to dominate the market throughout the forecast period. This is mainly due to the increasing retail purchase of incontinence undergarments and the rapid adoption of male guards and liners. The institutional sales segment is expected to grow owing to the increasing use of incontinence undergarments among females during postpartum and immobile patients. According to the Global Forum on Incontinence (GFI) 2018, 8.1% of the incontinent adults aged above 65 years are dependent on the care of others in institutions and it is likely to favor the institutional sales segment. The online channel segment is projected to emerge as the lucrative segment among all the distribution channels owing to the fast emergence and adoption of e-commerce, increasing online purchases owing to attractive pricing and easy availability.


Europe, with a revenue of USD 3.79 billion in 2018, accounted for the major portion of the adult diapers market share. Major factors attributable to the dominant share of Europe are the increasing number of customer education programs, normalization of social issues related to incontinence, and rising emphasis on elderly care. According to Eurocare, over 50 million people in Europe are incontinent, which is expected to fuel the demand for incontinence absorbent products in Europe.

Europe Adult Diapers Market Size, 2018

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In North America, the market is estimated to propel during the forecast period, mainly due to the strong growth in online sales, rapid adoption of disposable incontinence absorbent products, and strong government support. According to a report of Essity, the use of incontinence absorbent products in North America per person increased to 450-500 units in 2018. Thus, the rising uptake of incontinence undergarments is projected to favor the market growth in North America.

Rising adult population, especially in China and India, a huge number of potential users, and the increasing number of childbirths are the major factors augmenting the market in Asia Pacific. According to WHO, by 2050, approximately 120 million people living in China will be of 80 years or above. This is likely to favor the demand for incontinence undergarments in China. In the Middle East and Africa, the market is anticipated to expand owing to the increasing trend of home care services and rising demand for hygiene products. In Latin America, the market is poised to surge owing to the rising prevalence of urinary incontinence and the weakening of social issues related to the use of incontinence absorbent products.


“Essity and Kimberly-Clark Corporation to Account for the Maximum Market Share”

In terms of adult diapers market revenue, Essity and Kimberly-Clark Corporation accounted for the leading position in the market. The huge success of TENA brand in both male and female segments and increasing retail purchase of the company products are the primary reasons for the top position of Essity. Significant investment in understanding the needs of the customers and developing products to match their requirements, such as Poise range of absorbents and Poise UltraThin Active Collection with wings, are the major factors for the leading position of the company in the overall market.

List Of Key Companies Covered:

  • Essity

  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation

  • Procter & Gamble

  • Ontex


  • Domtar Corporation

  • Unicharm Corporation

  • Wellspect HealthCare (Dentsply Sirona)

  • Hollister Incorporated



An Infographic Representation of Adult Diapers Market

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The rising ageing population is increasing the patient pool and potential buyers for incontinence undergarments. This is also expected to offer huge market opportunities to the manufacturers. The demand for incontinence absorbent products is rising exponentially, primarily due to new product launches, supportive government policies, and the rapid adoption of homecare services. Furthermore, the market is projected to get a significant boost from e-commerce and online retail purchases during the forecast period.

The adult diapers market report presents a comprehensive assessment of the global market by offering valuable insights, facts, industry-related information, and historical data. Several methodologies and approaches are adopted to make meaningful assumptions and views. Furthermore, the report offers a detailed analysis and information as per the market segments, helping our readers to get a comprehensive overview of the global market. The various insights covered in the report are the prevalence of incontinence by key countries, statistical overview of the adult population by key countries, new product launches, technological advancements, and key industry developments such as mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period 


Historical Period



Value (USD million)


By Product Type

  • Underwear & Briefs

  • Pads & Guards

  • Drip Collectors & Bed Protectors

By Gender

  • Male

  • Female

By Distribution Channel

  • Institutional Sales

  • Retail Stores

  • Online Channels

By Geography

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Rest of Asia- Pacific)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America)

  • Middle East and Africa ( South Africa, GCC, and Rest of the Middle East & Africa)


  • May 2019: Kimberly-Clark announced the launch of Poise UltraThin Active Collection, a range of pads and liners with wings for more stability for women.

  • November 2017: Essity introduced New ConfioAir Breathable Technology that will be used in the manufacturing of all the company’s briefs, underpants, and other incontinence products.

  • July 2019: Suominen Corporation launched FIBRELLA Combo, offering excellent fluid management and topsheet softness.

  • March 2017: Hartmann Group announced the acquisition of Procter & Gamble’s Lindor in Spain and Portugal. Lindor is a well-known brand of adult incontinence products.

Frequently Asked Questions

The value of the global adult diapers market was USD 11.55 billion in 2018.

Fortune Business Insights says that the adult diapers market is projected to reach USD 19.77 billion by 2026.

The value of Europe adult diapers market was USD 3.79 billion in 2018.

The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.0% during the forecast period (2019-2026).

The underwear & briefs segment is the leading segment in the market.

Increasing ageing population is the key factor driving the market.

Essity and Kimberly-Clark Corporation are the top players in the market.

North America is expected to hold the highest market share.

Launch of targeted products for males and females and rise in the number of active male users are the key market trends.

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