Since the launch of Merries disposable diapers for babies in 1983, Kao has been continuing to develop products with more comfortable fit by focusing on “diapers that are gentle to baby skin”, based on dermatology research findings.
The immature skin of a baby is delicate and vulnerable to minimal stimulation, and the hot and high humidity condition inside in a wet diaper can cause diaper rash on the skin. To solve this problem, Kao developed a new “breathable sheet” that releases moisture and yet retains liquid, and we were the first in the world to use it for diapers. This sheet shows levels of waterproofing and moisture permeability that are among the highest in the industry. It controls humidity inside the diaper by allowing moisture vapor to escape while trapping fluid inside, which keeps the skin from becoming rough and results in a lower incidence of diaper rash. Furthermore, for improving gentleness to skin, Kao diapers use high-function materials, such as a high-performance sheet “Airy-mesh Sheet” that is gentle to the skin. This sheet features a characteristic soft and 3D textured structure on the surface that prevents liquid reflux contacting the skin from the diaper surface, and also a “super-absorbent polymer” that quickly absorbs and retains a large amount of urine to keep it far removed from the skin.
For pull-up (pants-type) diapers for children, Kao has marketed Merries Pants. On the basis of a study regarding clothing construction design, these pants-type diapers have an anti-slip point-gather feature at the position of the iliac bone, which prevents diaper slippage without the need for tightening around the midriff. These materials and technologies have also been adopted for Relief diapers made for adults.
In addition, Kao has developed several other lines of diapers featuring comfort and convenience. The Merries First Premium product was launched in 2020 as a premium-quality disposable diaper. It uses an air-through nonwoven sheet made from specially-processed fibers with a diameter thinner than silk on the diaper surface to realize an unprecedented smooth and comfortable feel.
For disposable diapers for adults, Kao has developed Relief Two-way Pull-up/Taped Pants, a new two-way pants diaper that can be worn either as pull-up pants or a tape-fastened diaper to match the physical condition of the wearer.
Anti-slip gather for baby pull-up diapers
Mechanism of Two-way Pants (pull-up and fastening system) for elderly
Kao’s ESG Strategy Kirei Lifestyle Plan
Sustainable Development Goals