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Pampers Swaddlers ReviewPrice: $0.33 List | $0.26 each (in 180-pack) at Amazon
Pros: Comfortable, durable
Cons: Leaks, limited absorption, health, ecology
Bottom line: Poorly functioning diaper with few positive attributes
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 is durable and holds up well between diaper changes, but this averagely priced diaper had disappointing test results for leaking and absorption. This negates the overall comfort because it doesn't seem to function as a diaper should. In addition to leaking, Pampers 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, there are diapers that performed better in our tests with some even sporting a lower price.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Pampers is a well-known company 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.
The chart shown here includes the overall scores for each diaper tested in this review. The Pampers Swaddlers did not score well compared to the competition and failed to rank higher than the bottom third.
The subsections below include detailed information on how this diaper performed during testing and what we like and dislike about this diaper.
The best aspects of the Swaddlers diaper is comfort and durability. For comfort, this diaper earned an 8 of 10 and the high score for the review. For durability, it managed a 7 of 10 which is 2 points below the high, but still over the average score for the group.
While some diapers are comfortable and others are durable, not all seem capable of being comfy and tough to last through a blowout or a long time between changes.
Unfortunately, there is much to dislike in this diaper starting with its test results for leakage and absorption. Arguably the two most important features and functionality of a diaper is preventing leaks and absorbing liquids. This diaper earned 4 of 10 for both tests making this a poorly functioning diaper on both fronts.
For leaking, this diaper experienced leaks in our tests and leaks were reported by Amazon users as well. This can result in wet clothes and bedding and late night crib changes so baby has a dry place to sleep. For absorption, this diaper had significant wetness transferred to the test paper which means baby's skin will be wet which could lead to skin irritation or a diaper rash. We prefer diapers that lock moisture away so baby's skin stays dry.
Other things we dislike is Pampers lack of concern for eco-friendliness or nods to health with a 3 of 10 for both metrics. 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 omissions 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. This diaper and its packaging are not biodegradable, are not made with renewable resources. They don't use any plant based materials, and their disclosure list is only partial.
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 key 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 scored higher.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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