Are plastic pants ok for bedwetters?

Many people think of plastic pants with cloth diapers like parents do for babies and toddlers.  The traditional Gerber vinyl pants have been used for decades for babies through toddlers. While plastic or rubber pants are used with diapers for very young children, the use of plastic pants can be beneficial for older children as well. In fact, plastic pants or incontinence pants are made in every size from babies through very large adults.

Advantages of using plastic pants

Plastic pants have an obvious advantage to just using a waterproof sheet – they keep the bedwetting centralized in the child’s undergarment rather than getting the sheets wet.  Plastic pants can be used over disposable underpants, diapers, or even over regular underwear. Using a plastic pant such as Tiger StepIns with regular underwear will provide less bulk under pajamas, plus the child will be able to feel when they are wet, which is a big plus while dealing with bedwetting and trying to overcome it.

Types of plastic pants for older children

Plastic pants come in various styles and materials.  Most of the time the term “plastic pants” really means vinyl pants.  They may also be made of PVC. Waterproof pants can also be made of actual rubber, which remains soft for a long time, but can tear and get holes very easily.

Vinyl  or PVC Pants


  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Easily available
  • Easy to wash


  • Can become brittle over time
  • Some children may have a vinyl allergy

Rubber Pants


  • Remain soft


  • Somewhat harder to find
  • Can get holes more easily
  • More expensive
  • Less options

Plastic or Vinyl pants can come in a variety of styles and weight of plastic.  They can be white, colored, see-thru, or have prints on them.  They may also be either pull-on style or have a variety of snap closures on the waist or the legs. They usually have elastic for the waist band, but can also have snaps to help adjust the fit.

Brands of plastic pants

Some of the biggest brand-names of adult plastic pants and plastic pants for older children are Tiger Underwear, Suprima, and Sani-pant.  Most health-care stores that sell incontinence products carry the sani-pant plastic pants.  These pants have a waterproof inner shell, and a soft cloth-like outer material to help cut down on the noise.

Plastic pants should not be used with an alarm system, because they could cause the child to sweat at night and have false-positives. Using plastic pants over regular underwear, or with an absorbent underpant will give your child more protection at night, especially if they have a tendency to leak through whatever protection you are currently using.