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.
Table of Contents
About the ComfortBelt
Product name: ComfortBelt
Product #: n/a (no product code to speak of)
Size: Men’s sizes available for waist widths 30-45″ (in 5 different sizing steps); Women’s sizes available for waist widths 26-40″ (in 5 different sizing steps).
Quantity per package: 1 ComfortBelt per package.
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 of 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 (Jan 2022), the ComfortBelt is available for approx. US$105 or £75.00 GBP.
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 or may not be covered by private insurance, so it’s best to check with your provider if you can’t afford to pay for it out of pocket.
- Offers wonderful support day and night.
- Very comfortable to wear.
- Lowers the profile of your appliance to help conceal it under clothing.
- Can be used in both 2pc and 1pc appliances.
- Adjustable band means it will fit even if you lose/gain a little weight.
- This band will accommodate virtually every ostomy appliance, regardless of the flange size.
- Can be used in both left and right stoma placements.
- The stretchy material expands as your pouch fills.
- Allows you to tuck in your shirt without the need for a stoma guard.
- Free (!) international shipping.
- Quick shipping to North America.
- Doesn’t offer protection from hits to the stoma, although some 2pc appliances can offer minimal protection.
- Slight learning curve when emptying your bag. (See THIS trick to make things easier)
- Some people may not like the feeling of their bag being in the horizontal position.
- Tends to cause pouch filters to clog faster.
- May restrict output flow in certain situations.
- Can be expensive for people paying 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.