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Hands-on Gear Review
Price: $0.24 List | $0.12 each (in 144-pack) at Amazon
Pros: Absorption, price, durability
Cons: Eco/health, leaks
Bottom line: Low performance, but it is the best value diaper
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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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Up & Up. This diaper appears to be available online only, with their website indicating such under the where to buy page.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 & BabyGearLab Team
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Most recent review: October 21, 2014
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