In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Honest Company Diapers Review

An expensive but eco-friendlier option that didn't perform as well as expected for absorbency
Honest Company Diapers
Credit: Abriah Wofford
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Price:   $0.36 List | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Eco-friendly, higher health score, better leak protection
Cons:  Disappointing absorption results, not as durable, high price
Manufacturer:   The Honest Company
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Sep 22, 2021
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51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 18
  • Absorption - 40% 4
  • Leakage - 20% 7
  • Comfort - 15% 6
  • Health - 15% 4
  • Eco-friendly - 5% 7
  • Durability - 5% 5

The Skinny

The Honest Company diaper is a high-priced diaper offered in various patterns. This product prides itself on being eco-friendly and good for your baby, with a lot of marketing geared toward health and eco-conscious parents. Compared to the traditional competition, it is better than many diapers we tested at both, but it struggled to keep up with the higher scoring green option in this review. Unfortunately, it also didn't perform well in our tests for absorption, one of the main requirements of a diaper. So despite its better-than-average leak protection, eco-health, and improved durability, it still can't match the performance of other green options that cost less and are better for babies and the environment.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Pros Eco-friendly, higher health score, better leak protectionGreat absorption, soft material, better health and eco-benefitsImpressive absorption, great leak protection, comfyDurable, comfortable for baby, affordableGreat for health, durable, comfortable
Cons Disappointing absorption results, not as durable, high priceLess durable, below-average leak preventionAverage eco-friendliness, lower health scores, less durableAverage absorbency, less eco-friendlyAverage for leaks
Bottom Line An expensive but eco-friendlier option that didn't perform as well as expected for absorbencyA soft and cozy diaper with some green practices and high absorbency performance but less than stellar leak protectionTop performance in absorption and leaks with a comfy feel but they aren't as green as some of the competitionA durable diaper that has some health and comfort benefits without breaking the bankHealthy option for a baby that is comfortable and durable, but absorption and leak protection aren't the absolute best
Rating Categories Honest Company Diapers Sensitive Protection Babyganics Mama Bear Gentle Touch Bambo Nature
Absorption (40%)
4.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Leakage (20%)
7.0
5.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Comfort (15%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Health (15%)
4.0
6.0
3.0
7.0
9.0
Eco Friendly (5%)
7.0
6.0
4.0
4.0
6.0
Durability (5%)
5.0
4.0
3.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Honest Company Diapers Sensitive Protection Babyganics Mama Bear Gentle Touch Bambo Nature
Type of Diaper Green Green Green Traditional Green
Chlorine-Free Totally
Chlorine-free
Totally Chlorine-Free Totally
Chlorine-free
Elemental
Chlorine-free
Elemental
Chlorine-free
Perfume-Free Yes Yes Not Listed Yes Yes
Biodegradable No No No No No
Contains SAP Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Miscellaneous Materials Details Plant based inner and outer layer
Wetness Indicator No No Yes Yes Yes
Stretchable Side Wings Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stretchable Back Yes No Yes Yes No
Eco-awards PETA Cruelty-Free and Vegan
Certified "B" Corporation
Gold Level Green America Certified Business
Nordic Eco-label
FSC Certified
Asthma-Allergy Denmark

Our Analysis and Test Results

Actress Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan, former CEO of Health Child Health World, co-founded The Honest Company. Jessica says she started the Honest Company "…to help moms and give all children a better, safer start." The company makes a variety of home products, from soaps and cleaners to multi-vitamins and diapers. Both Christopher and Jessica were frustrated, trying to find the best products for their little ones, so they decided to create these products themselves. Honest strives to develop effective, safe, eco-friendly, convenient, and affordable products for families.

Performance Comparison


Honest tested above average for eco-friendliness and baby's health...
Honest tested above average for eco-friendliness and baby's health, but it wasn't at the top of the green pack.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Likes


It is hard to say what we liked about this diaper. While it has some fun designs, and we like that you get to choose what pattern you order, It didn't score that well in most of our tests, leaving a general feeling of blah about it. However, it managed above-average scores for our ecological and health metrics, which is something we can truly get behind.

The Honest diapers come in a variety of patterns you can choose from...
The Honest diapers come in a variety of patterns you can choose from for a more custom look.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

This diaper earned a relatively high score for eco-friendliness, where many traditional diapers struggle in this metric. It is totally chlorine-free (TCF), uses plant-based plastics and pulp from sustainably managed forests. It also has a plant-based inner and outer layer, but Honest doesn't remark on its biodegradability. Honest offers a partial disclosure list for their diapers, and we wish it were a complete disclosure because we've caught them in "greenwashing" fibs before, which now makes most of their claims a little suspect, in our opinion. Despite scoring above average for these metrics, it is important to note that other green diapers score higher, often much higher, and cost less.

The Honest diapers are super cute with lots of available patterns to...
The Honest diapers are super cute with lots of available patterns to choose from and they fit our little testers well.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

For health, the Honest diaper also scored above average. This diaper is TCF and offers a partial disclosure list. It is perfume and latex-free, but it has a print and added lotion, so it isn't lotion or dye-free. It could have scored higher if they offered a full disclosure list and were free of any additives.

Our new testing and research for Honest diapers show an uptick in its ability to control leaks, which is a big deal given their previous disappointing results in this metric. With an above-average score for leaks this go, we think there is finally a key diaper aspect to love about the honest diaper.

Honest earned below average scores for leakage and absorption making...
Honest earned below average scores for leakage and absorption making it a poor performing diaper where it counts.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Dislikes


The Honest diaper didn't perform that well in our absorption tests, making it a tough diaper to love overall, as this is one of the two main objectives of a diaper.

Honest diapers didn't perform well in our tests for absorption with...
Honest diapers didn't perform well in our tests for absorption with more moisture on the test paper than competing diapers.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

If a diaper can't lock moisture away in the core, there is a high probability that the baby's skin is in direct contact with wetness. This moisture can lead to discomfort, skin irritation, and diaper rash over time. It can also lead to wet clothing or leakage because it doesn't absorb fast enough and could run off the surface and past the leg cuff or up the back. While our new testing and research indicate less leakage than our previous review, we still think poor absorption creates a situation conducive to potential leaks.

Sensitive skin can react to chemicals used in the production of the...
Sensitive skin can react to chemicals used in the production of the diaper or from dyes, fragrances, lotions, or the leg cuff design of disposable diapers. The Honest diaper caused a repeated rash on one of our testers.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

One of our testers developed a rash when using Honest. After a three-day break, the irritation went away, but it came back as soon as they tried Honest diapers again.

Honest diapers earned a below average score for durability with many...
Honest diapers earned a below average score for durability with many online reviewers remarking on faulty tabs and falling apart.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

We also don't like that this diaper isn't very durable. While it isn't as poorly constructed as we've seen in the past from Honest, it still didn't hit the average score for the group compared side-by-side. After much use and online research, this diaper seemed to have some issues with faulty tabs and occasionally falling apart compared to other diapers we tested. With a higher price, you expect that diaper to stay in one piece, and you don't want to have to throw away an unused diaper because the tabs don't work.

The Honest diaper disappointed in its performance in our tests...
The Honest diaper disappointed in its performance in our tests compared to the competition.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Conclusion


The Honest diaper has some nice features and materials that make it eco-friendly and healthier for babies with TCF production and no perfumes or latex. However, it isn't the best at locking away liquids, a critical component of diaper functionality, in our opinion. Because it has difficulty doing the main job of a diaper, it is not a diaper we recommend. Also, we noticed that since Honest went mainstream with increased distribution, its performance decreased in our tests (comparing this year to our 2014 tests). It also performed poorly compared to similar green diapers in our tests, which makes us wonder if the mass distribution has impacted the quality of the materials used to produce this diaper. While this diaper has always had a relatively average score in our tests, it has now dipped below the average, which indicates (to us) that it is either losing performance abilities or other diapers are improving at a more rapid pace.

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Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz