In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Pampers Swaddlers Review

Poorly functioning diaper with few positive attributes make this comfortable option one we don't prefer
Pampers Swaddlers
Credit: Abriah Wofford
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Price:   $0.35 List | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Comfortable, easy to find
Cons:  Poor leak protection, health, and ecology, limited absorption
Manufacturer:   Pampers
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Sep 22, 2021
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51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 18
  • Absorption - 40% 4
  • Leakage - 20% 6
  • Comfort - 15% 8
  • Health - 15% 4
  • Eco-friendly - 5% 4
  • Durability - 5% 6

The Skinny

Pampers Swaddlers are a super comfortable diaper that feels good against your skin and doesn't have any rough edges or abrasive parts. The diaper offers average durability and leak protection but has below-average performance for absorption. These scores negate the overall comfort because it doesn't function as well as a diaper should. Pampers also hasn't incorporated much in the way of health or eco-friendliness with limited disclosure on materials and chemicals and presumed use of chlorine, perfumes, lotion, and dyes. Overall, many diapers performed better in our tests, with some even sporting a lower price.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Pampers Swaddlers
This Product
Pampers Swaddlers
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Value Award  
Price $0.35 List
$0.32 each at Amazon
$0.36 List
$0.36 each at Amazon
$0.36 List
$0.33 each at Amazon
$0.24 List
$0.19 each at Amazon
Check Price at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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72
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66
61
Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, easy to findGreat absorption, soft material, better health and eco-benefitsImpressive absorption, great leak protection, comfyDurable, comfortable for baby, affordableDurable, comfy, lower price, good leak protection
Cons Poor leak protection, health, and ecology, limited absorptionLess durable, below-average leak preventionAverage eco-friendliness, lower health scores, less durableAverage absorbency, less eco-friendlyNot eco-friendly, no considerations for health
Bottom Line Poorly functioning diaper with few positive attributes make this comfortable option one we don't preferA soft and cozy diaper with some green practices and high absorbency 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 bankDurable and cozy diaper with good performance for the price, but it lacks ecology and health considerations
Rating Categories Pampers Swaddlers Seventh Generation... Babyganics Mama Bear Gentle Touch Kirkland Signature...
Absorption (40%)
4.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Leakage (20%)
6.0
5.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Comfort (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
Health (15%)
4.0
6.0
3.0
7.0
3.0
Eco Friendly (5%)
4.0
6.0
4.0
4.0
1
Durability (5%)
6.0
4.0
3.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Pampers Swaddlers Seventh Generation... Babyganics Mama Bear Gentle Touch Kirkland Signature...
Type of Diaper Traditional Green Green Traditional Traditional
Chlorine-Free Elemental
Chlorine-free
Totally Chlorine-Free Totally
Chlorine-free
Elemental
Chlorine-free
Not Listed
Perfume-Free No Yes Not Listed Yes Yes
Biodegradable No No No No No
Contains SAP Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Miscellaneous Materials Details
Wetness Indicator Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Stretchable Side Wings Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stretchable Back No No Yes Yes Yes
Eco-awards

Our Analysis and Test Results

A well-known diaper brand, Pampers, is owned by Proctor and Gamble. Pampers is one of the first companies to invent the modern disposable diaper. An American chemical engineer that worked for Proctor and Gamble, Victor Mills, began working on the idea of the disposable diaper in the 1950s. In the 70s, the company added tape closures to their diapers instead of pins, and through the 80s and 90s, made thinner diapers, invented gelling material, added elastic legs, and refastening tabs.

Performance Comparison


Swaddlers have a super soft inside layer that feels almost like...
Swaddlers have a super soft inside layer that feels almost like fabric.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Likes


The best aspect of the Swaddlers diaper is comfort. This diaper offers better features for comfort than most of the products in this group. It has soft materials and motion points, and cuffs that don't chafe.

Swaddlers are relatively durable for a comfortable diaper and scored...
Swaddlers are relatively durable for a comfortable diaper and scored above average in our tests for durability.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

It also offers average performance for leak protection and durability, but there is nothing to brag about, with several traditional green options performing better in every metric.

While certainly not the worst in the group, the Swaddlers absorption...
While certainly not the worst in the group, the Swaddlers absorption test results indicate that not all of the moisture is locked in the core of the diaper and some will stay in contact with baby's skin.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Dislikes


Unfortunately, there is much to dislike in this diaper, starting with its test results for absorption. Arguably the most essential feature and functionality of a diaper are absorbing liquids followed by leak prevention. This diaper earned disappoint results for absorption and just average for leakage, making this a poorly functioning diaper on both fronts.

This diaper leaked in our tests, and leaks were reported by Amazon users as well. Not containing messes can result in wet clothes and bedding and late-night crib changes, so your baby has a dry place to sleep. For absorption, this diaper had significant wetness transferred to the test paper, which means the baby's skin will be wet and can lead to skin irritation or a diaper rash. We prefer diapers that lock moisture away so the baby's skin stays dry.

A significant amount of mock urine spilled out of the Swaddlers...
A significant amount of mock urine spilled out of the Swaddlers diaper during testing. This indicates a potential for leaks and messes.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Other things we dislike are Pampers' lack of concern for eco-friendliness or nods to health. For health, this diaper is only latex-free. Pampers doesn't say anything about chlorine, perfume, dye, lotion and only provides a partial list of materials and what they include. Some of these potential materials can irritate sensitive skin and lead to diaper rash or skin irritation.

For eco-friendliness, Pampers doesn't make much of an effort, and if they are, they aren't talking about it (something we don't typically see). This diaper and its packaging are not biodegradable, nor do they use renewable resources. They don't use any plant-based materials, and their disclosure list is only partial.

Conclusion


Pampers Swaddlers are often the first diaper hospital-born babies use and the one many parents stick with thinking hospitals know best. This diaper has a reasonable price that is neither cheap nor expensive, and it is very soft to the touch with smooth materials and friendly elastic. However, this diaper did not fare well in our tests for leaking or absorption, two critical aspects of what makes a diaper functional. Without the ability to absorb liquids, combined with leaking, we think this diaper isn't a good choice compared to the competition that can be less expensive and higher performing.

Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz