Diaper Secrets: How strong are you?

So how have you been? It’s been a few weeks now since my last post and as promised, I used the free time to work on new stuff for this site. No, no new product reviews yet since I’m still waiting for a few things to work out and some people to send in nice things. ;-) Therefore instead of being busy with touching up photos I have spent quite some time with other things. Some of it is still a continuous “work in progress” and far from finished, some other bits a bit closer to being finalised and a few things are already done.

One of those is another spin on the eternally popular subject of misaligned absorption/ absorbency ratings for incontinence products. As our little survey last year showed nicely, most people’s perception of this factor is considerably below what manufacturers and vendors want to have you believe with all their fancy product names and rating systems. I’m also mentioning this a lot in my articles, so it seemed only logical to look into this again in more detail and with a slightly different angle.

Wherever possible I like to take a “lead by example” approach and therefore I have poured and moulded my own ratings into some fancy charts. The battle with Excel‘s limitations was a tough one and the final product has a few glitches (placing things exactly to line up is a painful exercise and then it still renders overlapping lines incorrectly for instance), but I hope it didn’t turn out all that bad. Here’s a little preview and you can download the full 9 page PDF below.

Absorption Ratings

Overview of normalized Absorption Ratings (PDF)

What are you actually looking at? Since it’s infinitely difficult to compare the rather arbitrary vendor ratings, I tried to imagine a “neutral” scale from 0 to 15 and cunningly called it the M-Scale as in Mylenium Scale. Clever, aren’t I? ;-) On this scale I placed the products according to their absorption. This is solely based on my experience of regularly using some of these products as well as of course wearing them for them for my tests.

I tried to be realistic about it and reserved the highest ratings only for really exclusive products like the old Comficare. Most other products will be lower, with other high absorbency products usually coming in somewhere between 10 and 13. On the other end of the spectrum I would consider any product that comes in below 5 to be pretty bad, but as you know from reading the articles, I prefer a certain minimum thickness to begin with. Naturally my  ratings are also biased towards this then.

Rather than having me tell you which products are the most absorbent ones you might have a different opinion on the matter and here’s your chance to have your say. The other part of this complex undertaking is indeed a survey to go with my own tables. Just use this link or the same one in the sidebar menu:

Survey for Absorption Ratings

As per what I wrote before – this is a subjective rating system, not something that can be measured exactly. There are a few downsides like potentially skewed results, but advantages as well. One of those advantages is that you can be very direct and don’t have to think too much about technical parameters like the actual size. I’m collecting this info of course to have a frame of reference, but it should not influence your decision too much on what values to input. On the other hand you should be realistic about it. A diaper that would score a 20 on this scale may only exist in your dream and the survey caps off at a value of 15, anyway.

If you use multiple products, multiple sizes or multiple flavors, you have to run the survey as many times. This is a technical thing and unlike in the diaper comfort survey I have opted to make things more straightforward by not using complex matrices and tables and keep things simple with a bunch of pop-ups and input fields. You don’t even have to do it all at once and can revisit this as often as you like. For everything else make good use of the comment field on the survey, leave a comment on this post or get in touch on Facebook (for which I’ve also added a fancy button in the sidebar now). Have fun with this and hope it’s a good start into the new year…

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