Brands and countries

To meet consumer expectations, absorbent pads for period care and light bladder leakage need effective pad attachment. Absorbent hygiene manufacturers should understand the many factors that impact performance, from the product backsheet and underwear choices to environmental conditions.

Producers’ 6 Key Needs for Successful Pad

Ensuring Successful Pad Adhesion

As a manufacturer of absorbent hygiene pads for period care and light urinary incontinence, your design and material choices greatly impact performance. Having an understanding of consumer needs and expectations and how to satisfy them can influence your decisions. Choosing a pad attachment adhesive is one of the most important.

Manufacturers who can successfully meet this need are likely to increase consumer satisfaction and loyalty. Being well-informed and choosing the right approach, including a pad fastening adhesive that allows for repositioning, can help achieve both.

According to our experts, providing adequate pad placement and adhesion requires the following considerations:

  1. Backsheet material selection
  2. Current plastic regulations for plastic-free articles
  3. Valuable insights from direct consumer input
  4. Testing the impact of application pattern on an adhesive’s peel and residue
  5. Understanding the connection between undergarment selection and stay-in-place performance
  6. Overcoming the limitations of using only peel to predict consumer satisfaction

Your adhesive supplier needs to be knowledgeable of the challenges you and your consumers face to help you avoid any pitfalls.

1. Choosing the right backsheet for your product

While the backsheet is a typical component of most pads, there are additional considerations when pad attachment is involved.


One factor is selecting a backsheet that maximizes breathability. Users frequently look for a pad that breathes because:

  • An article that absorbs an insult but causes sweat stains can be seen as partially defeating its own purpose
  • Wetness can also affect the adhesive bond and reduce its ability to keep the pad where it belongs

Adhesive bonding

The second backsheet consideration is ensuring the substrate will form a sufficient bond with the attachment adhesive. If the bond is inadequate, the glue may remain on the underwear when the article is removed. This can create difficulty for the pad user and lead to lower consumer satisfaction.

There are three primary types of backsheet materials, each with its own typical benefits and challenges.

  • Nonwovens generally offer skin comfort, but they have a risk of adhesive residue transferring to the underwear
  • Breathable films can have pad attachment performance issues, as initial and in-use peel can change over time
  • Nonbreathable films provide good leak protection and offer reliable control over pad attachment quality. However, they can pose issues with skin comfort and heat.

Additionally, manufacturers may use a composite backsheet, which is a combination of film and a nonwoven. Their behavior can vary based on which materials are used and how they are constructed.

Careful selection of your pad attachment adhesive can aid in addressing these concerns to provide a satisfactory user experience.

2. Complying With Regulations for Single-Use Plastics

Responsible Manufacturing of Disposable Pads

As national, regional, and state governments consider environmental concerns, the landscape of regulations becomes more complex. Specific points to keep in mind when selecting back sheets and adhesives include:

  • Restrictions regarding the use of plastics in disposable products
  • Acceptability of bio-based or bio-sourced polymers
  • Regional definitions and/or regulations regarding compostable and recyclable materials

Bostik has regional experts familiar with regulations and best practices for markets across the globe. We can help you select the right adhesives to help you satisfy requirements, wherever you do business.

3. Meeting Consumers’ Product Attachment Needs

Supporting Menstrual Health and Leak Protection

An effective tool in differentiating your products from those of competitors is to listen to consumers who use pads. Their experiences can reveal where your products and those of your competition are excelling or falling short.

In one survey Bostik conducted1, we found that half of those who responded reported pad attachment issues at least 50% of the time. They want a product that can consistently stay in place throughout the various motions of daily life.

You can find useful, first-hand insights from an incontinence perspective from our adult user panel in Episode 56 of ‘Attached to Hygiene’.

4. Evaluating the Impact of Adhesive

Delivering the Right Peel and Residue Performance

There is more to consider than just your adhesive choice. The application method and pattern can also affect product performance results for peel and residue.

Peel is directly impacted by several factors, including:

  • Adhesive coating weight
  • Application pattern
  • Surface area of the application pattern
  • Adhesive flow into the backsheet (a function of adhesive temperature, compression, coating weight, and other factors)

Residue is generally a function of the adhesive’s anchorage to the backsheet. If the adhesive doesn’t anchor well, it can transfer to the underwear. Adhesive coating weight, temperature, compression, and substrate texture all impact this adhesion.

Keep in mind, successful anchorage to the substrate is also relative to the adhesive’s bond to the underwear. This is why the considering garment fabrics and weaves is another key to successful pad attachment.

5. Understanding the Effect of Underwear Choices

How Fabrics and Weaves Impact Pad Attachment

Absorbent hygiene article producers can control the pad attachment adhesives used and how it is applied. What they cannot control is the consumers’ choice for their underwear. Favored cuts and fibers can vary by region and demographic. The same is true of weaves, dyes, and lotions. These and other modifiers can affect bond strength—sometimes profoundly. In some cases, they make adhesion weaker, while others can make it stronger.

Suppliers who understand these trends and effects can assist you in choosing the right adhesive for your target consumer.

6. Predicting Consumer Satisfaction in Pad Attachment

A Broader Picture of Stay-in-Place Performance

Peel is a common test method for pad attachment. But does it tell the whole story regarding how well a pad will stay in place? Here is something to consider: We’ve found that most consumers2 could not accurately identify higher peel by hand.

Our experts believe this is because the forces involved with daily movements and motions are not the same as those measured by initial and in-use peel analysis. In addition, such tests do not reliably predict how well the pad will perform during users’ activities of daily life, as revealed in consumer reviews.3

A more effective test to evaluate how well an adhesive holds a pad in place was needed. That’s why Bostik created one.

Bostik’s Staybility® Testing

To address the issue of inaccurate prediction and further assess the forces involved in pad attachment, we developed and introduced a patented stay-in-place (SIP) performance test method. The data gleaned from Staybility® Testing accurately predicts consumer satisfaction with stay-in-place performance.4 For producers of pads for period care and light urinary incontinence, it could be key to achieving higher levels of consumer satisfaction.

Take Advantage of All That Bostik Can Do for You

Discover our Value Beyond the Adhesive

Wherever you are in the product development process, Bostik adds value with years of industry expertise. We are uniquely positioned to help you overcome challenges and support you in choosing the right adhesive for the markets you serve. Let us assist with quicker product introductions, performance that meets expectations, and more efficient operations. Our goal aligns with yours … to aid you in achieving better profitability and consumer loyalty.

Our blog article, “6 Reasons You May Need a New Pad Attachment Adhesive Supplier,” explores the many benefits of choosing the right adhesive resource.

Read the Blog

Ready to learn more about our pad attachment adhesives, industry expertise, and testing services—including Staybility™ Testing?



1 Respondents were Bostik employees who use period care products regularly.

2 We asked panelists to place a pad onto a cotton fabric and then remove it (peel it off) by hand. Five of the seven panelists could not consistently tell which pad had higher peel.

3 Online reviews from Amazon, Walmart, Target, CVS, and Boots. 1-5 Stars with text reviews were examined. Keywords that were positive, negative, amplifying, negating, etc., were grouped. These sentiments were used to interpret the data and correlate to test results.

4 ibid.

©2024 Bostik, Inc. All Rights Reserved

All information contained herein is believed to be accurate as of the date of publication, is provided “as-is” and is subject to change without notice. To review our full U.S. Legal Disclaimer, visit:

See also

Back to all articles
  • White paper

Better Hold On for Life’s Twists and Turns With StayX™ and Staybility™

Jun 16, 2022
  • White paper

What You Need to Know About Ladies’ Panties (and Why)

May 26, 2022
  • Disposable Hygiene

Part 2: Meeting Performance Needs in Today’s Absorbent Hygiene Core Designs

May 27, 2024