Rubber pants vs. plastic pants

Written by louise harding
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Rubber pants vs. plastic pants
(George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

Before disposable nappies, babies and the incontinent used cloth nappies and plastic or rubber pants. Plastic and rubber pants are available in an array of styles to meet the needs of babies, the elderly and everyone in between.

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Function of plastic and rubber pants

Rubber and plastic pants exist to serve the same function: protect the wearer from diaper leaks resulting in odour and wet clothing. Both come in similar styles for the same purpose.

Rubber pants vs. plastic pants
Rubber and plastic pants exist to serve the same function: protect the wearer from diaper leaks resulting in odour and wet clothing.

Types

Rubber pants are made of natural rubber, allowing for airflow. Plastic pants are made from polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride, both man-made materials.

Rubber pants vs. plastic pants
(Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Features

Plastic pants tend to crack when dried in the dryer. Rubber pants are softer to the skin. Both pants come in various styles, including slip on or closures with Velcro, plastic or metal snaps.

Rubber pants vs. plastic pants
Rubber pants are softer to the skin.

Considerations when purchasing

Rubber and plastic pants sizes vary by manufacturer. Some are designed to be worn over a specific brand of cloth nappies. Both provide waterproofing.

Benefits

Wearing rubber and plastic pants over cloth diapers or disposable liners is more economical than using disposable nappies. Disposable nappies, though convenient, are expensive and consume more natural resources and landfill space. Rubber and plastic pants can be used repeatedly.

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