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Hands-on Gear Review

Cuties Review


Disposable Diaper

Best Value Award
Price:   $0.24 List | $0.15 each (in 144-pack) from Amazon - 36% Off
Pros:  Absorption, price, durability
Cons:  Eco/health, leaks
Bottom line:  Low performance, but it is the best value diaper
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   First Quality

The Skinny

Cuties brand diapers offer above average absorption and durability. They are well-constructed and incorporate many attributes for a better fit and feel. Given the cheaper price tag and its above average marks in many metrics, we had to give this diaper a Best Value award. This diaper earned a total overall score of 49 out of 100, and it placed 9 out of the 24 diapers we tested. This was a pretty big deal considering it beat out several more popular diapers for this position. The only thing this diaper didn't earn over a 4 in were the eco and health categories, where it only earned 1 for each. However, given it was a traditional diaper, and not a green one, this wasn't a surprise. We recommend this diaper for families looking for a budget friendly diaper that still performs well. Essentially, the diaper that gives the most bang for the buck. We do recommend this diaper.

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD
Mom-in-Chief, BabyGearLab

Last Updated:
Thursday
June 5, 2014
Cuties brand diapers are manufactured by First Quality, a company that also makes adult incontinence products. They began making children's diapers in 2008. Cuties is the only diaper for children this company makes. The company's goal is to make a great performing diaper that has high absorbency qualities. Cuties has a thin design, breathable zones, an ultra absorbent core (according to the product website), a cloth-like outer cover, soft inner leg cuffs, and an elastic waistband that helps prevent leaks. It is one of the more economical diapers we tested. Its price was lower than average, though still higher than the cheapest diaper we tested, Up & Up. This diaper appears to be available online only, with their website indicating such under the where to buy page.

Performance Comparison


 
The above photos include absorption test results for our two Best Value award winners. Cuties (left) and Earth's Best Tender Care (right).

Absorption and Leaks


Cuties scored above average for absorption with a 6 of 10 in our tests. For diapers in its price range only Huggies Snug & Dry managed to score better for absorption; it earned a 7 of 10. While it did have a similar price, it had a lower overall score than Cuties earning only a 43 of 100 compared to Cuties 49 of 100. The next diaper to score higher going up in price, was Pampers Swaddlers which earned an 8 of 10. Swaddlers also earned a higher overall score, with a 53 of 100. However, this score came with an significant price hike. All of which is just to say, wow! not a bad score for the price there cutie pie.

The absorption test for Cuties (left), Snug & Dry (middle), and Pampers Swaddlers (right) are shown below. The larger green area indicates more surface moisture; less green indicates better absorption. Cuties scored a 6 for absorption, Snug & Dry a 7, and Pampers earned an 8 of 10 in our tests.
 

This diaper is designed with an absorbent core for leakage protection, and adjustable grip tabs for a more comfortable fit. In fact those grip tabs might have been the grippiest tabs out of all the diapers we tested. Once those tabs went on, they stayed on. We feel that a good fit is part of what helps a diaper prevent leakages, stretchy sides, and good closure tabs are part of that equation.
Visible side leak that clearly shows poo on the outside of the leg cuff.
Visible side leak that clearly shows poo on the outside of the leg cuff.

For leaks this diaper earned a 4 of 10 in our tests. Only two diapers scored higher than it in this metric in its price range. Up & Up scored a 5 of 10, but had a significantly lower absorption score with a 3. Pure n Gentle Ultra managed a 6 of 10, but it has a price tag higher by $0.05 more per diaper on average.

The combo score of 10 for both absorption and leaks makes it something special for its price range. The next diaper price-wise to earn similar would be Nurtured By Nature, also a 10, and Pampers Swaddlers with a higher combo of 12.

Comfort and Durability


Cuties scored above average for comfort and it isn't hard to see why.
It has a soft cloth like material in and out with friendlier materials used in the back and side elastics when compared to the other diapers in our tests. We also felt the closure tabs were friendlier (and don't forget super duper sticky) than the many of the other diapers we looked at. Some of our in-house reviewers felt the diaper was very cozy, and even a fairly persnickety toddler seemed to like them, preferring them over Snug & Dry, but not as much as BAMBO Nature.

 

Cuties earned a score of 6 of 10 in our tests for this metric. Not many diapers scored over a 6 in this metric. Our Editors' Choice, BAMBO Nature scored an 8 of 10, as did Babyganics Rear Gear. In its price range, Up & Up also scored a 6, with Walmart's White Cloud earning an 8 of 10 in our tests for comfort. While Cuties might not have been a high scorer in comfort, it was better than most for its price range.

Inner thigh with leg cuff chafe
Inner thigh with leg cuff chafe
There certainly weren't many indications in our tests that this diaper suffered any problems in comfort or durability related to its reasonable price. While you might expect a cheaper diaper to appear cheaper, this one, in our opinion, did not. We did not experience any tab issues, broken side panels, or SAP leaks while reviewing this diaper.

Cuties earned an 8 for durability in our tests. It is well constructed with materials that stay where they should be. It withstood active toddler play and ample nighttime fluids. Both Babies R Us Supreme and Parent's Choice scored the same as Cuties in this category, proving even cheaper diapers could offer durable qualities. In fact, 8 was the highest ANY diaper out of the 24 we tested scored for this category, which put Cuties right at the top with the big boys like BAMBO Nature at least in this metric.

Eco and Health


For the eco and health metrics this diaper fails to deliver much of anything interesting. How can it be an award winner? Well, even though it is firmly placed in the world of traditional diapers, and this is reflected in its weak scores for these two metrics, it is still a good diaper that performs well and fits into most budgets. Had it offered more in these two categories it might have scored even higher than it did. This year we also chose an additional Best Value diaper, Earth's Best Tender Care. because it is a great green diaper offered at a reasonable price. If going green on a budget is what you are looking for, you might consider Earth's Best.

Imagine if Cuties even offered a fragrance, chlorine, and latex free option, it would have earned more points that would have helped situate it even higher in our overall rankings. But with a 1 out 10 for each the eco-friendly and baby healthy categories, it kept Cuties from getting higher than a 9 out of 24 slot. Only 3 non-green diapers managed to crack the top ten out of twenty four diapers tested, so Cuties was still in good company; Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Swaddler Sensitive also ranked in the top 10 diapers we tested. So as you can see, Cuties managed a lot for very little.

Eco and health are important metrics, but in order to find a higher score you have to go up higher in price, which might be difficult for some families. The closest diaper to Cuties to earn points were, Kirkland Supreme which earned a 4 for health, and Nurtured by Nature which earned a 3 for health and a 4 for being eco-friendly.

Best Applications


Parents looking for a good quality budget friendly diaper might be interested in giving Cuties a try. With a quality fit and feel, and above average scores in many key metrics, it is hard not to be curious about this diaper. Our in-house reviewers indicated that they liked this diaper for the most part. The diaper did prove itself in absorption, even if it did drop below average for leaks.

Conclusion


We definitely recommend this diaper for being the Best Value for families looking for a quality diaper for a friendly price. We recognize that not everyone can spend top dollar for their diapers, but that doesn't mean they should have to sacrifice performance if they can help it. With Cuties diapers, families can get a good diaper that functions well for a price most families can afford. Cuties offers a comfortable diaper that is durable and made it through multiple heavy absorption nights on our toughest in-house toddler tester, without a single leak.

It was hard not to be impressed with this diaper's abilities given its modest price. While the diaper wasn't the best one we tested, scoring only 49 of 100, there were 15 diapers that scored lower. All Huggies varieties failed to do better overall than Cuties, and three green diapers also scored lower than Cuties, including Babyganics Rear Gear, Huggies Pure & Natural, and Seventh Generation Free & Clear; with Free & Clear ranking surprisingly low with a total of 35 of 100. All of which makes Cuties a good bargain, a good diaper, and one we recommend high enough to give it our Best Value award.

Other Versions


 
First Quality does not make any other diaper versions. However, if you are looking for a budget friendly diaper and Cuties is still on the higher side price-wise, then Target's Up & Up might be a possible option. Up & Up won the Best Value award winner last year, but lost that prize this year when the diaper was altered. However, it is cheaper than Cuties. It had a better leak score, but a slightly lower absorption score. Still, for the price it might be an interesting alternative.

It is interesting to note that as of the date of this review, we could discern no difference between Cuties diapers and those sold by Diapers.com as their brand name diaper. Both are made in the same location, received the same test results in our tests, and were virtually identical in appearance and touch. With the undeniable similarities we concluded they were the same diaper.
 
Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLab Review Team

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(in 144-pack)
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User Reviews


Most recent user review: October 21, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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Oct 21, 2014 - 02:11am
 
I appreciate this thorough review of top diapers in the market place. Your cuities review intrigued me, although I was disappointed to see in your chart regarding chlorine free and latex free…it seems like a simple inquiry to the manufacturer would complete those blanks - and likely result in a higher score as the answer is positive on both accounts according to another reviewer who claims to have inquired. (See home delivered cuties baby diaper review.) There are hardly any product reviews on the web about this brand, so I think adding this info to your chart is helpful to the reader. Just a thought. (I would have privately contacted the editor with this nite but didn't see the option.)
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Amazon $0.15 (in 144-pack)

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Your baby will go through 2 500-3 000 diapers in the first year alone. Choosing the right one for you and your baby is a key decision.
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by Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLab Review Team

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