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Hands-on Gear Review
Huggies Snug & Dry Review
Price: $0.26 List | $0.13 each (in 222-pack) at Amazon
Pros: Price, availability, soft cover
Cons: Absorption, leaks, poor eco-health
Bottom line: Good price, but there are better diapers w/ similar price
While Snug & Dry has an attractive price, is a popular choice, and is widely available, it's performance in our tests failed to impress. It had one of the lowest scores for leaks out of the 24 diapers we tested, and it only scored slightly above average for absorption. In addition, it only scored 1 out of 10 for eco/health. When compared against diapers of a similar price, several other diapers scored higher in our tests, making them a better option. Huggies Snug & Dry may be snug, but it certainly isn't dry; making it a diaper we do not recommend.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Snug & Dry diaper is the basic model of the three Huggies varieties; these include Huggies Pure & Natural, and Huggies Little Snugglers. Snug & Dry has a desirable price, boasts a softer outer cover from its previous versions, and is widely available. Diapers like Huggies, and their top competitor Pampers, have a perceived value and quality due largely to brand recognition, increased advertising, and a reasonable price point.
Absorption and Leaks
Given the brand name recognition of Huggies, and the perceived quality of this diaper based on popular usage, we thought it would do better in our in-house testing than it did. It scored a 7 of 10 in absorption and at the bottom for leaks. While the absorption score in our tests was somewhat lacking, it was however, above average and outscored several other diapers in its price range, and even a few of the more expensive brands like Seventh Generation and Babyganics that scored a 4 and 5 of 10 respectfully.
The absorption test for Snug & Dry (left) versus Nature Babycare (right) are shown below. The larger green area indicates more surface moisture; less green indicates better absorption. Snug & Dry scored a 7 for absorption, while Nature Babycare scored an impressive 10.
The leak score on the other hand, was not only one of the lowest with a 2 of 10 rating, putting it on par with Walmart's premium diaper White Cloud, but worse still, a substantial percentage of Amazon user reviews report more leak issues relative to other diapers, which lends support to our in house testing result. Only two other diapers in our review had similar numbers of user reports complaining of leaks; Parent's Choice and Babyganics. Conversely, Nature Babycare, earned a score of 5 of 10 for leaks, with significantly fewer user reviews complaining about leaks and an impressive high score of 10 of 10 for absorption.
Comfort and Durability
The Snug & Dry has a new softer outer covering than it did in our previous test, but it wasn't enough to impact its overall score for comfort, earning only a 5 of 10. The back and side elastic earned a point for adding comfort to the overall fit, but our reviewers felt the leg cuff elastic was coarser relative to the other diapers tested, so it lost a point for that. Overall, it rides the middle line for comfort; with no real stand out attributes in either direction.
In its price range, Snug & Dry scored about the same as other diapers for comfort. The only exception was White Cloud, which earned an 8 of 10 score, primarily for its overall softness. Huggies Little Snugglers and Pure & Natural also rated higher, but just marginally with a 7 and 6 respectfully. The lowest priced diaper, and last year's Best Value, Up & Up received a 6 of 10 score, putting it higher in comfort than Snug & Dry for a cheaper price.
Durability of this diaper wasn't a problem, but it wasn't anything to write home about either. It rated a 4 of 10, not showing any real standout qualities. Several diapers scored higher for durability, including one of our Best Value picks, Cuties with an 8 of 10, which is available for about the same price. Overall, price and durability did not seem to have a correlation, with several of the more expensive diapers scoring lower than average like Attitude, which scored 1 of 10.
Eco and Health
Eco-friendly is where diaper men are separated from the diaper boys; and the Snug & Dry is still just an infant in this realm. It scored just 1 of 10, due to its use of chlorine, latex, dyes, and perfumes as well as not using renewable resources. However, it wasn't alone; all but two of the traditional diapers we reviewed failed to rank higher than 1 of 10. Up & Up and Kirkland Signature Supreme both scored a 2 of 10 because they use chlorine free processing.
However, the green diapers we tested all managed at least a 3. Even Pure & Natural, which we feel is a pseudo-green diaper, eeked out a 3 of 10. Given that several of the green diapers managed over a 5, like our Editors' Choice, BAMBO Nature, with an 8 of 10, and Nature Babycare with a very respectable 7, we think it would be nice to see a big name brand like Huggies make more of an effort with their more traditional products by adding renewable resource components.
The Snug & Dry makes no real claims about being good for baby by being free or containing less of, possibly harmful components. With a score of 1 of 10, there really is nothing for them to brag about. While several other diapers we tested said they were "free" of fragrances, dyes, chlorine, and latex, or reported using less SAP, like Nature Babycare which scored a 5 of 10 for being free of the aforementioned, the Snug & Dry has made no such effort. While it's true that no diaper is perfect, we would like to see this one be a little more "free" for better baby health.
The budget conscious parent is likely to be drawn to the Snug & Dry. With a middle of the road price and brand recognition it is hard not to be swayed to buy Huggies Snug & Dry. However, with an overall test score of 44 of 100, and the already mentioned bottom of the barrel leak score, our testing indicated that if money is your driving factor there are similarly priced diapers available with higher overall scores, that report fewer leaks. Our Best Value, Cuties, scored better overall with a 49 and costs less per diaper on average. In addition, if budget is a concern but eco-health is also important to you, we suggest you try the Editors' Choice BAMBO Nature which earned an impressive 82 of 100 (with an impressive 8 of 10 for Health and Eco).
Overall, the Huggies Snug & Dry ranked 11 out of the 24 diapers tested. It might be easy on the wallet and have a quality fit and feel, but the tradeoff of potential leaks, and near average absorption, made it a diaper not worthy of its popularity.
If money is a major factor in your decision, there a cheaper, better diapers that give you more bang for your buck like our Best Value, Cuties. In addition, while it might not have scored as high as Snug & Dry overall, the Target brand Up & Up (the cheapest diaper we tested) and scored a 39 of 100; giving Snug & Dry a run for its money.
The photos below show the absorbency results for Cuties (left), Up & Up (middle), and Snug & Dry (right).
With Snug & Dry's overall lackluster performance, average scoring, failure to use eco-friendly materials, and (we assume) the use of chlorine, dyes, fragrances and latex, it is not a diaper we recommend. There simply are just higher scoring, healthier diapers out there even on a budget.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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