Once in a while, I come across an ostomy accessory that significantly improves my quality of life. The ComfortBelt is one of those products, and I’m excited to be bringing you this review.
I received the ComfortBelt for this review after asking the company to send me a product sample. I received no other compensation, and they’ve had no say in the direction of this review.
About the ComfortBelt
The ComfortBelt is an ostomy support band that’s been designed to keep your appliance secure through all levels of activity including intimacy and sports.
The ComfortBelt is available in several sizes to accommodate various body shapes, and all sizes are adjustable through using the Velcro fastener, you get quite a bit of room to play with.
There’s a hole in the back of the ComfortBelt which allows you to feed your appliance through it. The hole is large enough to accommodate nearly any appliance size, and I’ve worn it with appliances as large as 64mm (the Hollister Premier 1pc) with room to spare.
A zipper on the bottom of the ComfortBelt allows for easy access to your bag for when it needs emptying. The zipper is easy to open and close, although you do need to be mindful that it doesn’t snag on your pouch.
The ComfortBelt, which is of British design, is made in Latvia using 74% Polyamide and 26% Elastane. The material is stretchy (two-way), and feels quite soft and smooth (no part of it is scratchy or bothersome).
This product is designed in a way that you can wear it regardless of whether you have a left or right stoma (colostomy or ileostomy).
How to Put on the ComfortBelt
In order to use the ComfortBelt, you will need to have your appliance on your skin horizontally. This obviously raises a lot of questions for most ostomates, and it certainly did for me the first time I heard someone mention it.
I’ve addressed many of these concerns in a separate article, which you can read HERE.
Getting the ComfortBelt on is pretty easy, and it takes no more than 10-15 seconds at most. You can see how I put it on by watching the video above, but here’s the basic idea:
1. After emptying your pouch, put the ComfortBelt on so it’s not too tight.
2. Feed your bag through the hole in the ComfortBelt.
3. Flatten out the bag inside the ComfortBelt (gently tugging outwards on the pouch outlet can help)
4. Zipper the bottom of the ComfortBelt.
5. Adjust the belt as needed.
It’s really that simple, and you can easily remove the belt if you need to by going backwards in those steps.
Emptying Your Bag
Emptying your bag will require some practice, but I find it easy and just as convenient as keeping my bag vertical; I also notice very little difference when emptying a bag full of loose output vs thicker. Removing your bag from the ComfortBelt is actually quite quick and easy to do, and you don’t have to fumble around or anything.
Depending on how you empty your bag, you may find it more or less difficult when your pouch is sideways. Because I tend to kneel when I empty my bag, I find emptying this way to be easier.
For those who also like to rinse their bag out after emptying it, I can confidently say that you won’t have any trouble doing this, and I’ve done it many dozens of times while wearing the ComfortBelt.
Something I don’t tend to do is wear accessories and ostomy wraps 24 hours a day, but I’ve been wearing the ComfortBelt for many weeks, stopping only to wash it or when hoping in the shower.
Overnight, as my bag fills to capacity, I do find it to be a little difficult to remove my bag from the belt, but it’s never been stuck in there. If you’re an ostomate who wears smaller pouches, will never have this trouble.
Now, you don’t have to wear the ComfortBelt overnight, and sleeping without it won’t be a huge challenge. If you do decide to sleep without the belt, you can safely do so with your bag in the horizontal position (I have many, many times).
You can use either a one or two-piece appliance with the ComfortBelt, which each having its own strengths and weaknesses. I’ve worn both styles of appliances, and either will work well. I tend to favor the 2pc with a mechanical coupling because I find it offers some protection to my protruding stoma.
FYI: The people at ComfortBelt have said that their customers report very good results using the Coloplast Sensura Mio 1pc pouches.
I’m also happy to say that the ComfortBelt does not have a negative impact on my wear time, and I’ve often noticed better wear as it applies gentle pressure on my wafer, increasing the adhesive strength.
One potentially negative consequence to wearing your bag horizontally, however, is that it can cause pouch filters to clog more quickly, and depending on the brand of pouch, may even cause the filter to leak.
I haven’t experienced any leaks through the filter of my Hollister New Image bags, but I know that ConvaTec filters leak on me, even when wearing my appliance normally! I think it’s safe to say that if your filter normally leaks, it won’t get better by using a product like the ComfortBelt.
One advantage to using this product, and it’s one of the biggest selling points for me, is that it allows me to easily wear clothes without the bag getting in the way.
Wearing a shirt tucked in, for example, is so much easier using the ComfortBelt, and it’s a great alternative to wearing a stoma guard (as a clothing option).
The belt is comfortable while doing any activity, and it would be particularly useful to wear during sex or exercise (considered the same thing for many people!). I’ve even taken the ComfortBelt to the amusement park, where I’ve been able to enjoy many rides with no real concern. In fact, I prefer this product over stoma guards for the rides, but only because I know what to expect on each ride.
Just a quick note about cleaning the ComfortBelt. Handwashing is recommended, and I find that rolling it in a towel can speed up drying.
At the time of this writing (April 2017), the ComfortBelt is available for approx. US$100 or £79.00 GBP. International shipping is FREE, which makes this a reasonably priced belt. Mine took about two weeks to get to Canada, which is really quick, but considering these belts aren’t custom made for every order, I expect they would ship soon after an order is placed.
Unfortunately, like many other accessories, this product may not be covered by private insurance, so you’ll likely be paying for it out of pocket.
Overall, I’m extremely impressed with this product, and I see many more years of use out of it. If you are looking for extra bag support, better concealment of your appliance, the ability to wear clothes without resorting to a hard stoma guard, or all of the above, then the ComfortBelt is worth looking that.