Salts Confidence BE V Coloplast Sensura Mio – which is the better bag?

I think there are the two bags on the market that are arguably the most popular with young people at the moment with an ostomy, I would say – the Coloplast Sensura Mio and the Salts Confidence BE. Don’t get me wrong, there are other bags out there by other manufacturers that you may well prefer, but for the purpose of this comparison I will analyse the pros and cons of the Salts and the Coloplast bags, and give my verdict on what I think is best….

The Look

  • Salts Confidence BE – 9/10
  • Coloplast Sensura Mio – 9/10

Now, style over function is no good if the bag constantly leaks, but aesthetic considerations are important to make you feel good in yourself from a psychological viewpoint. A bag that you like the look of can make you feel a ton better about having an ostomy so is a very valid consideration.

The reason why the Salts Confidence BE bag has burst onto the scene (excuse the pun) is because it is the first manufacturer to (finally!) offer different coloured bags (black, white and stone).

I have to say that it does feel quite ‘cool’ wearing a black bag and even the Salts logo on the cover of the bag looks trendy. Plus having the option of different colours can help match clothing choices.

The Salts bag also features ‘anti-sag’ stitching which is a nice little touch. This means that when the bag is full it retains its shape and does not sag down.

Moving onto the Coloplast Sensura Mio, this is more a classic look in a neutral grey colour. But although it is a ‘bland’ colour, it does not have the medical orange tint of some other bags and the neutral grey looks perfectly modern and sleek.

What these bags have in common is that both come with a discreet opaque viewing option that allows you to take a peek at your stoma, which is a standard but welcome feature. Both bags also have an outlet system that neatly folds up beneath the cover so it doesn’t flap around.

But the Coloplast outlet, rather nicely, gives you the option to tuck it in or wear it ‘baggy’ which can come in handy just to create a little bit of extra volume. Whereas, the Salts outlet you have no choice but to fold it up into the bag by its very design.

VERDICT: For me, looks wise it’s a score draw. Both very modern looking.

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My and my trusty abdominal companion for life

Material, Design & Shape

  • Salts Confidence BE – 8/10
  • Coloplast Sensura Mio – 9/10

Both these bags use fantastic textile material that does not fray whatsoever and so continues to look good even after a few days wear. (This is not the case with a Dansac or Hollister bag, for instance, which do fray in my experience).

The fabric of the Salt bag is very good I have to say and has a luxurious feel to it. It also claims to dry quicker when wet and having tested this out it does indeed dry quicker than the Coloplast bag, which is something to factor in if you want a nice dry bag before you put your pants on!

The Salts fabric also does not rustle as much which is another thoughtful touch. There is nothing wrong with the Coloplast material, which is a nice smooth textile finish, but Salts have really pioneered in this respect.

In terms of shape, the Salts bags in ‘Midi’ size is actually (ever so slightly) longer than the Coloplast equivalent in the same size and is shaped slightly differently too. This is no big deal, but I do prefer the shape of the Coloplast bag – as it is a bit narrower and shorter which means that it has a better fit to my body. The Sensura Mio has really nailed it in this regard I believe.

Where the Coloplast bag also just edges out the Salts bag is the ability to fold the bag in half, if say, you are having an intimate moment, hitting the beach or exercising and want the bag a little more out of the way. This is a thoughtful touch that the Salts bag does not provide.

VERDICT: Overall, the Coloplast bag has a better shape and the Salts bag for me is a slightly better material so this is a close one but Coloplast edge it due to its better design. Both bags excel overall in this respect.
Outlet System

  • Salts Confidence BE – 3/10
  • Coloplast Sensura Mio – 10/10

Both bags come with a standard velcro fastening system which is perfectly safe and secure, but this is where the similarities end. They are two, albeit subtlety, very different outlet systems. I’m quite scathing of the Salts outlet design here and believe it is justified too. Please let me explain….

It is rather infuriating that the Salts bag outlet is so poor, as other than this it is a solid bag with many well thought out features. But if you’re like me and don’t like messing around cleaning the inside of the outlet with water or tissue, then you won’t be endeared to the Salts outlet system.

The problem is that with the Salts bag you simply have to clean inside the outlet, otherwise if you don’t you will notice bits of shit/poo on the chute when you unfold it during your next toilet visit. This causes a mess and simply put is not nice to deal with.

However, if I step back and try to take my emotion out of it I do appreciate that if your routine is at all times to clean the inside of the outlet with tissue or water, then this could be a perfectly good outlet system for you!

But what I, and I’m sure many others, like so much about the Coloplast’s outlet system is that you can literally get two small bits of tissue and just wipe the outlet flap clean, fold it up, and then job done. The next time you go to empty the chute will be perfectly clean.

Moving swiftly on, in terms of the chute design the Salts chute is slightly longer than Coloplast’s and requires more folding up to tuck under the bag cover, which although not a big deal is a also a bit of a faff.

VERDICT: The Coloplast outlet design and function is reassuringly simple and effective and is emphatically better designed than the Salt’s outlet, which is the worse feature of the Salts bag.

Flange/Wafer

  • Salts Confidence BE – 7/10
  • Coloplast Sensura Mio – 8/10

This is an interesting consideration as both bags have very different adhesive flanges and there are pros and cons to both. The wafer at the end of the day is the most important factor of any ostomy bag as this is what helps prevent leaks. It’s as simple as that.

To start off, I’d say both wafers are flexible and comfortable. You hardly notice them attached to your tummy, which is great.

What I like about the Salts flange is that the hydrocolloid wafer sticks to the body almost instantly and is infused with extracts of Aloe Vera to help look after the skin. That’s a nice touch. It also has a neat ‘five-sided’ design with little slits in which helps the edges of the wafer stick to the contours of body and not curl up.

In comparison, the Coloplast wafer is certainly very good and gets the job done, although it does not adhere as quickly to skin as the Salts bag. Depending on body shape, the edges of the wafer can curl up slightly which is a minor aesthetic flaw.

Where the Coloplast wafer does excel is its performance when in contact with water. Even after four days wear, the wafer looks in great condition around the edges. The same cannot be said unfortunately for the Salts flange which after two days wear starts to become sticky around the edges and erode ever so slightly. This means that when you come to change your Salts bag you might need to use an adhesive remover wipe to scrub off any remaining residue.

However, when I removed the Salts bag there was hardly any erosion of the wafer area around the stoma and it performs better than the Coloplast wafer in this regard. This is a big factor as too much erosion around the stoma can cause leaks.

VERDICT: Both bags have really good wafers, which is crucial and welcome. This is a close one to call, as the Coloplast flange is very resilient and does not erode round the edges at all in my experience. But the Salts wafer, to its credit, is also very sticky but unfortunately erodes away too quickly. leaving a residue.
Filter System

  • Salts Confidence BE – 7/10
  • Coloplast Sensura Mio – 5/10

The Salts filter is better I think, as the problem with the Coloplast filter is that as soon as it comes into contact with water it becomes useless. I guess that’s why they provide you with the little blue filter stickers, which I stick on straight away as part of my bag changing routine. I have also experienced that if you don’t use the sticker then after a few days wear a little bit of odour can escape from the filter, which is not good.

The Salts filter in comparison is a little better and so did help to reduce ballooning a little better. But, you know, a filter by itself is not going to eliminate ballooning entirely unfortunately as this is largely impacted by diet. But the filter is pretty good and better than the Coloplast one.

Overall

Salts Confidence BE – 34/50

Coloplast Sensura Mio – 41/50

Winner – Coloplast Sensura Mio

In my opinion, the Coloplast Sensura Mio is the better bag overall – it has a neat design, shape and functionality to it. It is the best bag on the market I think and for good reasons. If they could improve any element it would by the filter and offering different colours. The Salts bag is a great new (ish) entrant into the ostomy market and has some pioneering features, but ultimately the outlet system design is very poor and it comes across as a little bit of style over function.

4 comments on this article

  1. Tracy Mcdonagh

    I have only used hollister two piece from fittleworth.Have never tried any other as they ring me for repeat prescriptions.How do you get a choice ? Thankyou I have had mine for a year now and can have reversal but I would rather keep it than have more problems

    1. tomsgutreaction

      Hi Tracy, I don’t know Fittleworth very well but you should give them a call and see if you can order other bags to try out. I would recommend trying the Coloplast two piece bag out. I use a provider called Charter Healthcare who are very good and I can order any product from any manufacturer I like – you could call them and sign up with them if you like the sound of them. I think sticking with an ostomy if that’s what your head tells you is a good idea…Don’t go for a reversal unless you really want it.

  2. G Whatley

    Hi, some of the terminology used in this bag comparison post went over my head; some I worked out/guessed. Any chance of a glossary for us relative newbies?
    Examples included: wafer, ballooning, flange.
    Perhaps a diagram with the various parts identified? Also, can I get these from Securicare?

    1. tomsgutreaction

      Hi, you’ll be able to order any ostomy products you like using Securicare I think, so that shouldn’t be a problem. I would recommend Charter Healthcare as an alternative provider though, as they are very good. There is lots of terminology but it’s all fairly simple and you’ll soon understand it all! The wafer or flange is the sticky part of the bag that you stick on over your stoma. Ballooning is simply when the bag fills with air, which usually happens during the night. I hope that helps.

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