Heading to Hollywood………It all started for Hlukani Maswanganyi also known as ZOOKIE last year
December 13, 2016
Rescuing Rhino Project
December 13, 2016

The Best Disposable Diapers?

Babies depend on their caregivers to provide comfort and security. Parents depend on diapers to keep babies dry and comfortable. The choices may seem endless when searching for a disposable diaper. 

What is the top-performing disposable diaper and why? We took 24 disposable diapers and put them to the test in a bum to bum competition to find out. Eleven of the top green diapers and 13 traditional diapers were put through a series of tests designed to compare the diapers relative to each other. Our goal was to determine which diapers performed the best and if there was any real difference between store-label brands like Walmart's Parent's Choice and top-brands like Pampers and Huggies. 



All the diapers were put through a combination of hands-on and lab testing; then they were rated on a variety of performance factors relative to their competitors. The factors included the ever important Absorption and Leaks, as well as, the emerging in popularity categories of Eco-Friendly and Health among others. 



This review will focus on disposable diapers, which remain the most popular choice due to their convenience compared to cloth diapers. However, when you consider that your little peanut is going to blow through roughly 6,000 diapers before mastering their toilet skills, we encourage you to think carefully about what you buy, where you buy it, and the environmental impact you'll leave in your wake. 



Keep reading to find out what we learned from our tests, and how each diaper stacked up against the sometimes soggy competition.


Total 24 products tested.
Compare Gear Review Summary Retail Price Overall Rating"" Category Ratings
Compare
up to 5
Products sorted by Overall Rating score List Price Score 0-100 "Absorbency" "Leakage" "Comfort" "Health" "Eco-friendly" "Durability"
"Bambo

""

""

Bambo Nature
The Bambo Nature diaper won our Editors' Choice Award for Best Diaper. It was the highest scoring diaper overall (by a wide margin…
""
$0.48

"Editors'
100
0
82
"Absorbency
9
"Leakage
7
"Comfort
8
"Health
8
"Eco-friendly
8
"Durability
8
"Nature

""

""

Nature Babycare
Naty by Nature Babycare scored 2nd place out of the 24 diapers we tested, beaten only by BAMBO Nature. It scored higher than it di…
""
$0.49

100
0
67
"Absorbency
10
"Leakage
5
"Comfort
2
"Health
6
"Eco-friendly
7
"Durability
3
"Broody

""

""

Broody Chick
Broody Chick was one of the highest priced diapers in our tests. In our tests it scored a 65 out of 100 overall, which placed it f…
""
$0.64

100
0
65
"Absorbency
7
"Leakage
8
"Comfort
5
"Health
4
"Eco-friendly
6
"Durability
4
"Attitude"

""

""

Attitude
Attitude Eco diaper is a great green diaper. It ranked 4 out of 24, with the a 64 out of 100. It offers a great combination of per…
""
$0.47

100
0
64
"Absorbency
7
"Leakage
7
"Comfort
4
"Health
8
"Eco-friendly
7
"Durability
1
"The

""

""

The Honest Company Diapers
Like many consumers, we resonate with the stated mission that Honest Company markets, and we consider their diapers to be a legiti…
""
$0.41

100
0
63
"Absorbency
8
"Leakage
6
"Comfort
4
"Health
4
"Eco-friendly
7
"Durability
4
"Earth's

""

""

Earth's Best Tender Care
Earth's Best Tender Care stands out in our field of 24 diapers as one of the best combinations of performance, price, and eco-heal…
""
$0.36

"Best
100
0
62
"Absorbency
6
"Leakage
9
"Comfort
4
"Health
5
"Eco-friendly
3
"Durability
6
"Pampers

""

""

Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive
Pampers is a famous brand-name diaper that it is widely available, it has a higher than average price, and is a popular version. I…
""
$0.35

100
0
58
"Absorbency
8
"Leakage
6
"Comfort
4
"Health
1
"Eco-friendly
1
"Durability
6
"Pampers

""

""

Pampers Swaddlers
Pampers is one of the most famous brand-name diapers; it is widely available, has an average price, and Swaddlers is one of their …
""
$0.33

100
0
53
"Absorbency
8
"Leakage
4
"Comfort
4
"Health
1
"Eco-friendly
1
"Durability
7
"Cuties"

""

""

Cuties
Cuties brand diapers offer above average absorption and durability. They are well-constructed and incorporate many attributes for …
""
$0.24

"Best
100
0
49
"Absorbency
6
"Leakage
4
"Comfort
6
"Health
1
"Eco-friendly
1
"Durability
8
"Andy

""

""

Andy Pandy
Andy Pandy is a higher priced green diaper. It scored 48 out of 100 overall, making it about average for the diapers we tested, an…
""
$0.61

100
0
48
"Absorbency
2
"Leakage
6
"Comfort
9
"Health
7
"Eco-friendly
5
"Durability
3
Compare
up to 5
Products sorted by Overall Rating score List Price Score 0-100 "Absorbency" "Leakage" "Comfort" "Health" "Eco-friendly" "Durability"
"Babyganics

""

""

Babyganics Rear Gear
Babyganics is a above average priced green diaper that prides itself on being "baby safe". However, with its weak leak score, and …
""
$0.44

100
0
46
"Absorbency
5
"Leakage
2
"Comfort
8
"Health
4
"Eco-friendly
2
"Durability
8
"Nurtured

""

""

Nurtured by Nature
Nurtured by Nature is a green diaper with a higher than average price. In general, it scored average for everything making it, at …
""
$0.43

100
0
46
"Absorbency
5
"Leakage
5
"Comfort
4
"Health
3
"Eco-friendly
4
"Durability
4
"Huggies

""

""

Huggies Little Snugglers
Huggies Little Snugglers has an average price, is a popular brand, and is widely available; however, it rated just below average i…
""
$0.30

100
0
44
"Absorbency
4
"Leakage
5
"Comfort
7
"Health
1
"Eco-friendly
1
"Durability
7
"Huggies

""

""

Huggies Snug & Dry
While Snug & Dry has an attractive price, is a popular choice, and is widely available, it's performance in our tests failed t…
""
$0.26

100
0
43
"Absorbency
7
"Leakage
2
"Comfort
4
"Health
1
"Eco-friendly
1
"Durability
4
"Kirkland

""

""

Kirkland Signature Supreme
Kirkland Signature Supreme is a store brand diaper with an attractive price. However, given its limited availability, higher price…
""
$0.26

100
0
43
"Absorbency
4
"Leakage
5
"Comfort
5
"Health
4
"Eco-friendly
2
"Durability
3
"Huggies

""

""

Huggies Pure & Natural
Pure & Natural has an attractive look and feel, a relatively high price, and what we feel is a bait-and-switch on an eco-healt…
""
$0.36

100
0
42
"Absorbency
5
"Leakage
3
"Comfort
6
"Health
2
"Eco-friendly
3
"Durability
3
"Up

""

""

Up & Up (Target)
Target's Up & Up diaper offers a compelling combination of adequate performance for a cheap price(the lowest we tested). It fi…
""
$0.14

100
0
41
"Absorbency
3
"Leakage
5
"Comfort
6
"Health
4
"Eco-friendly
2
"Durability
4
"Fisher-Price

""

""

Fisher-Price Happy Days
Fisher-Price Happy Days offers very little beyond the run-of-the-mill for their diapers. The performance overall was just a baby's…
""
$0.24

100
0
41
"Absorbency
5
"Leakage
4
"Comfort
4
"Health
2
"Eco-friendly
1
"Durability
4
"Seventh

""

""

Seventh Generation Free & Clear
While Seventh Generation Free & Clear is a green diaper with well-known brand name recognition, it scored surprisingly low in …
""
$0.38

100
0
35
"Absorbency
4
"Leakage
2
"Comfort
4
"Health
4
"Eco-friendly
2
"Durability
6
"Luvs

""

""

Luvs Ultra Leakguards
Luvs Ultra Leakguards has an attractive price, is widely available, and has good brand-name recognition. Touting itself as the alt…
""
$0.20

100
0
34
"Absorbency
4
"Leakage
3
"Comfort
4
"Health
1
"Eco-friendly
1
"Durability
6
Compare
up to 5
Products sorted by Overall Rating score List Price Score 0-100 "Absorbency" "Leakage" "Comfort" "Health" "Eco-friendly" "Durability"
"White

""

""

White Cloud (Walmart)
White Cloud is an inexpensive diaper that it did not score well in our tests. With scores of 3 out of 10 or below in all metrics b…
""
$0.17

100
0
33
"Absorbency
3
"Leakage
2
"Comfort
8
"Health
2
"Eco-friendly
1
"Durability
3
"Pure

""

""

Pure n Gentle Ultra
Pure'n Gentle Ultra is a modestly priced diaper that is primarily found online. They sell for lower than average price, which puts…
""
$0.33

100
0
33
"Absorbency
3
"Leakage
6
"Comfort
2
"Health
1
"Eco-friendly
1
"Durability
3
"Parent's

""

""

Parent's Choice (Walmart)
Parent's Choice may have a desirable price, but that is about the only desirable thing it offers. In our tests it scored a 3 or be…
""
$0.17

100
0
30
"Absorbency
3
"Leakage
3
"Comfort
3
"Health
1
"Eco-friendly
1
"Durability
8
"Babies

""

""

Babies R Us Supreme
While the Babies R Us Supreme has a good price, nothing else about it was very good. With a product named "Supreme" we would have …
""
$0.19

100
0
23
"Absorbency
1
"Leakage
2
"Comfort
4
"Health
3
"Eco-friendly
1
"Durability
8
Compare
up to 5
Products sorted by Overall Rating score List Price Score 0-100 "Absorbency" "Leakage" "Comfort" "Health" "Eco-friendly" "Durability"

 







 










   

Buying Advice

The choices may seem endless when searching for a disposable diaper. It's impossible to know from glancing at the package how one brand compares to another in absorbency, fit, and comfort, or whether or not a more expensive diaper is worth the price. Our goal is to spare you this guess-work and aid in the decision making process. We hope this article, as well as our Best Disposable Diaper Review, will give you the information you need to make an informed decision you and your baby can live with. 

In the Beginning

* First, consider your infant's needs as well your priorities. Every family has their own bottom line. Is it cost? Health? The environment? The perfect fit? Or do you just want it all?
* Second, don't buy in bulk until you are satisfied with a specific diaper's performance and fit.
* Third, wait to buy baby's first diapers until just before or after he/she is born and you know their weight. A few packages of newborn diapers (up to 10 lb) may be all you need before heading onto size 1 (8-14 lb).Ordering diapers online is a breeze and typically they can arrive at your doorstep before you even get home from the hospital.
* Important tip: European brands, like Nature Babycare, have their own sizing systems.
* Last, cost per diaper will be best once you are ready to buy in bulk. 

"Click

Diapers are constructed in three layers, an inner layer that sits against baby's skin is designed to be soft, stay relatively dry, and wick away moisture into the core. The absorbent core is designed to pull moisture in and trap it to keep wetness away from baby to avoid rashes. The outer layer is waterproof to prevent leaks.

 

Choose a Diaper that Exceeds in Absorbency
Absorbency is the most important trait of any diaper, disposable or cloth. Absorption covers how much liquid a diaper can hold, how well that liquid wicks away from baby and distributes throughout the diaper's core, and how well it continues to hold that moisture away from baby's skin. Poor absorption can expose baby's skin to persistent dampness, which can lead to diaper rash. Our absorption tests gave us some interesting insights into how each of the 24 disposable diapers we tested compared to one another both in absorption and overall function. In our testing, the two diapers that claimed the highest absorbency scores also claimed the highest overall scores: BAMBO Nature (our Editors' Choice) and Nature Babycare recieved a 9 and 10 out of 10 respectfully.

Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP)



Please allow us to delve briefly into how diapers are constructed. In order to asses diapers fairly, it is important that we discuss exactly what they are made of. We want to make sure everyone is aware of the secret chemical ingredient that is used in almost every brand of disposable diaper. Whether a diaper is green or traditional, the absorbent core of the diaper contains SAP: Super Absorbent Polymer


"Click

Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP). While believed to be safe and non-toxic, this crystal-like gel material freaks out many-a-parent if it escapes from a soaked disposable diaper's absorbent core and onto baby's skin. Manufacturers recommend just wiping it off.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff


"Click

This photo shows the same brand diaper (Bambo), cut in half to reveal the absorbent core, when dry (top) and when wet after an overnight wetting (below). The top layer of the wet diaper feels dry to the touch, owing to the urine being effectively absorbed into the core. SAP crystals do the heavy lifting, and are sandwiched between the upper and lower layers of the diaper core material.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

SAP powder (which looks like a very fine white sand) is sprinkled into the middle of the absorbent core layers between the outer cover and inner liner of the diaper. SAP is the meat of your diaper's absorbency sandwich; it provides the primary method of absorbing urine and wet fecal matter and trapping it in the core. Even green diapers like Bambo, Seventh Generation, Honest Company, and gDiapers rely on SAP for absorption and consider it safe. 


Find a Good Fit to Help Avoid Leaks



Diapers are sized by the weight of your baby. However, much like baby's clothes, fit between disposable diaper brands vary. Most diapers help ensure a leak-free fit by providing a double elastic sealing edge; one edge just along the absorbent core, and one along the outer shell of the diaper. 


"Click

Most diapers use two elastic edges to prevent leaks, however the quality of materials is really what separates a diaper's performance on fit and leakage.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

However, despite this similarity, we found that not all diapers were equal in fit and they performed differently in leak tests. In our testing, we found that materials differed significantly from diaper to diaper and that this affected fit and leakage. Some were softer and conformed to the body nicely, while others were stiffer leaving small gaps that created a poorer fit. Our testing revealed two top scoring diapers in the leak category Earth's Best TenderCare (a Best Value pick) earned a 9 out of 10 and Broody Chick earned an 8. 


"Click

The best fitting diapers in our tests implemented an elastic stretch in the back of the diaper and/or the side wings/closure tab (as shown above). This flexibility, when combined with soft materials, can help create a great fit that is comfortable for baby.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff



Every Baby is Unique



Of course every baby has different proportions, so finding a disposable diaper with the perfect fit can involve some trial and error. Let's face it, even the best absorbing diaper may leak if the fit is not right. Parents may need to try a handful of brands to find the diaper that fits their baby best. Again, try to avoid buying in bulk until you find your "go-to" diaper, and remember to pay attention to the weight range so you know you are buying the right size. 



Baby's Comfort


"Click

The quality of securing closure tabs can make a difference for baby's comfort. Too scratchy and they may cause irritation of baby's sensitive skin.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Keeping your baby comfortable requires not only stellar absorbency and an adequate fit, but also materials that feel soft on baby's skin. Securing tabs need to stay put and should have soft or rounded corners. In addition, edges and seams need to feel seamless to avoid chafing. Becauese it is impossible to really know what you are getting your baby into without buying and comparing them all side-by-side, we reviewed these qualities for you. Of course, baby will be the first to let you know if there are issues, and as one of our little in-house testers did, might even start indicating which diapers they like the best (in case you are curious, he chose Earth's Best Tender Care over Huggies Snug & Dry).



For the Eco-Health Minded



Save the Earth



Much debate surrounds which is more earth-friendly: green disposable diapers or cloth diapers. Some brands of disposable diapers are manufactured with attention to minimizing their carbon footprint. However, they end up in the landfill where even compostable diapers will fail to biodegrade if in a dark, airless environment. Alternatively, cloth diapers require lots of precious water and electricity to clean over and over. Nonetheless, if you and your family do not want to commit to cloth diapering, but still want to make an effort toward being eco-conscious, more green diapers exist than ever before. These options may include chlorine-free processing, use of renewable resources, boast minimal packaging, use biodegradable materials, and often contribute to charities in an attempt to offset their footprint. But, in our analysis comparing cloth vs. disposable diapers we concluded that cloth is a much better option for the eco-health minded parent (and also for the budget minded parent too). 



One thing we can assure you of, is that you don't need to sacrifice quality to be more Earth friendly. In our tests of disposables, the green diapers were the top 5 performers, handily outperforming traditional brands like Pampers and Huggies on basic performance metrics like absorbency, leakage, and comfort. 



Keeping Baby Healthy



Whether your child has chemical sensitivities, true allergies that require diapers free of perfume or latex, or you are just a parent that is concerned about minimizing your baby's exposure to synthetic chemicals, health-conscious qualities in disposables are now more commonplace. They can even be found in well-performing, more affordable options like Target's Up & Up, as well as high-end brands like BAMBO Nature (our Editors' Choice winner). One word of caution would be the industry's use of the word "Hypoallergenic", which is a non-regulated word that actually means very little and is not an indicator of a product designed with baby's health in mind. We at BabyGearLab believe that in this arena, less is more. 



Our recommendations are:

  • Chlorine-free – recommended. Chlorine treatment of diapers can leave trace quantities of a dangerous chemical called Dioxin. We don't feel it is worth the risk, and there are a lot of chlorine-free options available.
  • Fragrance-free & Dye-free – recommended. Fragrance and dyes are unnecessary in a diaper and some babies can be allergic to them. Leave them out. A best way of dealing with dirty diaper smells is changing the diaper, not adding fragrance to it.
  • Super Absorbent Polymer – You will be hard-pressed to find any disposable diaper, even a green diaper, without Super Absorbent polymer (SAP). If that is your desire, the only functional option may be cloth diapers. However, we have been unable to find any evidence-based literature to suggest SAP use in disposable diapers is harmful. Even BAMBO Nature, winner of the coveted Nordic Swan Eco-label, uses SAP (in their "mix of wheat starch and acrylic polymers which do not contain phthalates").
  • Consider Cloth Diapers – without a doubt, cloth diapers are better than ever before, and represent a superior choice for eco-health metrics. They cost much less, reduce environmental impact, come in colorful, cute patterns, and do not contain materials that leave us anxious. What's more, modern cloth diapers are a lot easier to work with than the ones your parents might have used. 



Price per Diaper Estimates



New parents commonly price compare using newborn or size 1 diaper prices. However, we advise caution in using this approach. Here's why:

  • The cost of size 1 diapers is deceptively low when compared to a weighted average diaper cost across all sizes and typical amounts used per size.
  • Manufacturers may offer their size 1 as a low-cost loss-leader, knowing that most parents stay with the brand they start with. Then they set higher prices for the larger sizes, seeking profits in the more frequently used size 2, 3, and 4 diapers.



We Used Size 3 for Our Price Comparison



Based on our analysis of weighted average costs across six popular diaper brands, we believe the Size 3 diaper cost represents the approximate weighted average cost, and can reasonably be used as a practical approximation of the lifetime cost of diapers. You'll see in our reviews that we calculate an estimated diaper per unit price using size 3 bulk-volume diaper prices at Amazon (or other retailers, if not available at Amazon) to estimate a fair price. We did not include shipping price, because Amazon offers Prime which we feel is a bargain for frequent Amazon shoppers. However, in the case of The Honest Company diapers we did include shipping costs in calculating per unit prices, because there was no alternative to avoid those costs. 



Subscription Pricing Discounts



Some vendors offer additional discounts if you purchase a diaper purchase "subscription". If you have settled on a specific brand you are comfortable with, these subscription discounts can be smart and convenient. But, we urge you to avoid subscription pricing until you have determined which diaper works best for both you and baby. The prices we show are estimates; list or street prices do not reflect subscription prices. 



Choosing a disposable diaper can be daunting. The sheer number of options available, and the inability to try them all can leave a parent confused and frustrated. We recommend that absorbency be your top priority and the rest will follow. In our tests, the diapers that scored the highest in absorbency usually scored very well in the other metrics. In addition, we feel that going green is the right thing to do (as well as an easy choice), since our testing revealed that most of the high-scoring diapers were both Earth and health friendly at a variety of price points sure to work with most budgets.

 

SOURCE: http://www.babygearlab.com/

Follow 4aKid on Facebook | Subscribe to the 4aKid newsletter | SHOP Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *