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Hands-on Gear Review
Babies R Us Supreme Review
Price: $0.19 List | $0.19 each (in 116-pack) at Amazon
Pros: Durable, price, latex & perfume free, cute
Cons: Absorption, leaks, not widely avail
Bottom line: Better, cheaper, eco-health options available
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 expected it to receive top scores in most metrics, or at least any metric. Not only did the Supreme fail to live up to its name in our tests, but it fell below all the other diapers we tested. All diapers in its price range did significantly better. With the lowest absorption score of the diapers we tested and low scores in every other metric, it is not a diaper we recommend. All diapers in our tests scored better, so with 8 diapers in the same price range, a better diaper is not hard to find.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Babies R Us Supreme is a store brand diaper at a very good price, that is far below average. It appears to be constructed well, and can be found online, or in Babies R Us and Toys R Us stores. It is latex and perfume free, has an aloe, vitamin E, and zinc lotion, and comes in two cute safari designs. Babies R Us is a name many parents trust, and therefore some parents might be compelled to try this cheaper diaper as an alternative to the leading brands like Huggies or Pampers, hoping for the same quality at a better value.
Absorption and Leaks
When talking about absorption and leaks in regards to Babies R Us Supreme, there isn't much to say. Well, nothing positive anyway. Supreme rated the lowest absorption score of any diaper we tested with a 1 of 10 rating. It didn't have much better luck when it came to leaks either, managing just a 2. No other diaper in our tests had such a low combination of scores for these two categories; categories we feel are essential to a diaper's ability to function as it was intended.
The only diapers that came close to a 1 in absorption were primarily store brand diapers with one exception; tying with a score of 3 of 10 were Wal-mart's White Cloud and Parent's Choice, Target's Up & Up, and Pure n Gentle Ultra. The store brand diapers were also all cheaper than Babies R Us. Which means that according to our tests, they all offered better absorption for a cheaper price.
With a test score of 2 for leaks, Supreme had more company than it did for it's absorption score. It actually tied with 4 other diapers; Babyganics Rear Gear, Seventh Generation Free & Clear, White Cloud, and Huggies Snug & Dry. This was an interesting combination of green and traditional diapers; which indicated the Supreme's lack of ability to prevent leaks is not a store brand diaper issue, but more of a general diaper problem. Even price didn't seem to guarantee a better leak score, with Babyganics Rear Gear costing significantly more per diaper.
There were however, comparably priced diapers that had better absorption and leak scores in our tests. If budget is a driving force in your decision making, Cuties, one of this year's Best Value picks, is about the same price, but offers a comparatively impressive score of 6 of 10 for absorption and a 4 for leaks. Not great, but better by far than Babies R Us.
The absorption test for Supreme (left) versus Cuties (right) are shown below. The larger green area indicates more surface moisture; less green indicates better absorption. Supreme scored a 1 for absorption, while Cuties earned a 6 out 10.
Comfort and Durability
Supreme scored just about average for comfort. With a score of 4 of 10 it had plenty of company; including Fisher Price Happy Days, Luvs Ultra Leakguard, both Pampers varieties, and Seventh Generation Free & Clear. The two big pluses for Supreme was the softness of the materials used, and the friendliness of the side and back elastic. Overall, it wasn't a great score with both a Best Value pick, Cuties, and Editors' Choice, BAMBO Nature, scoring higher with 6 and 7 of 10 respectfully.
In its price range, Supreme scored near the bottom for comfort. White Cloud received the highest mark in our tests with an 8 for about the same price, and Parent's Choice brought up the rear with a 3 of 10, again with a similar price. Babies R Us failed to score well in this category, but in fairness many of the diapers we tested scored similarly.
Durability is really the only metric the Supreme diaper was Supreme in. It received an 8 of 10 score, tying with our Editors' Choice, BAMBO Nature and the cheaper Parent's Choice. Our Best Value, Cuties, also scored an 8 for this metric; offering a diaper that, according to our tests, is not only as durable as Supreme but better absorbing for about the same price.
Eco and Health
With Eco-friendly being all the rage (as it should be), we sort of hoped more traditional diapers would at least start giving a nod in the Earth's direction. In the case of Supreme, this just isn't so. With no claims of using renewable resources or biodegradable materials, it failed to earn many points for being green. In fairness, it isn't marketed or sold as a green diaper so we weren't surprised so much as disappointed. The Supreme earned a score of 1 of 10, primarily because it couldn't score a 0. It did have loads of company down there at the bottom with 12 other diapers sharing the 1 of 10 rating, and 3 other diapers earning just a 2; including the "green" Babyganics Rear Gear brand. Up & Up and Kirkland Signature Supreme both traditional diapers that earn higher than a 1, with a 2 of 10 for not using chlorine in the processing of their diapers.
To find a diaper with a more green leaning, one does have to spend a little more money. Green diaper Nurtured by Nature got an impressive 4 of 10. It has a reasonable price, for a green diaper, with several green diapers scoring lower and costing more. However, this is an increase in price over the Supreme, so if budget is a concern, Up & Up would still be the go to with the cheapest price of any diaper we tested and an eco score of 2.
Babies R Us is latex and perfume free which earned it a health score of 3 of 10. It also boasts a hypoallergenic liner with an aloe, vitamin E, and zinc lotion applied to help prevent diaper rash. However, hypoallergenic actually has no real meaning according to the FDA, and manufacturers are allowed to use it without any real evidence to support the claim. In addition, in our view, an added lotion is not necessary, and because it can be potentially irritating to babies with sensitive skin it is not a plus in our book. If your child needs a lotion, we feel you should be able to choose and apply the one you like.
We'd like to see diapers make more of an effort to be healthy. In addition to being latex and perfume free, it would be nice to see Supreme avoid chlorine and dyes as well. The added benefits of using less SAP or organic materials would just be a plus. Many traditional diapers are making strides in being better for baby with a few others earning 2s as well. Kirkland Signature Supreme managed a 4, the highest for any traditional diaper in our tests.
The budget conscious parent looking for a quality store brand to save money off the top brand name diapers is likely to be drawn to Babies R Us Supreme. With a cheap price, and trusted name recognition it is easy to see why parents might be drawn to this diaper. However, with an overall test score of 23 of 100, and the already mentioned lowest score for absorption, our tests put this diaper at the literal bottom of the diaper stack at 24 out of 24 diapers tested. If budget is your bottom line, there are similarly priced diapers available with better scores in every category. Cuties, a Best Value pick, scored better overall with a 49 of 100 and a better absorption score, all for just a pennies more per diaper.
Overall, the Supreme ranked 24 out of the 24 diapers we tested, that made it dead last in the competition. It might be easy on the wallet but the low absorption and leak score, make it a diaper not worthy of its moniker; this diaper may be many things, but supreme is not one of them.
If money is the driving factor for your diaper buying decisions, there are similarly priced, better diapers, that give you more of everything you are looking for in a diaper. Our Best Value, Cuties, which is cheaper than Supreme, had higher marks in just about every metric. In addition, the Target brand Up & Up (the cheapest diaper we tested) ranked 18 out of 24; giving Supreme more than a run for less money.
The photos below show the absorbency results for Cuties (left), Up & Up (middle), and Babies R Us Supreme(right).
There are no other versions of Babies R Us diapers. According to our tests in the realm of store brand diapers, there really are no standouts except perhaps Target's Up & Up and Kirkland Signature Supreme. Kirkland had average scores for absorption and a good score (comparatively speaking) of 3 for health for baby. If buying a store brand is something that is important to you, both would be better choices than Babies R Us. If finding a cheap, good diaper is important, we suggest our Best Value Cuties.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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Most recent review: June 5, 2014
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