In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Pampers Swaddlers Review

Poorly functioning diaper with few positive attributes
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Price:   $0.33 List | $0.45 each (in 112-pack) at Amazon
Pros:  Comfortable, durable
Cons:  Leaks, limited absorption, health, ecology
Manufacturer:   Pampers
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jul 28, 2017
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48
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 22
  • Absorption - 40% 4
  • Leakage - 20% 4
  • Comfort - 15% 8
  • Health - 15% 4
  • Eco-friendly - 5% 4
  • Durability - 5% 7

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 is durable and holds up well between diaper changes, but this averagely priced diaper had disappointing test results for leaking and absorption. These scores negate 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, some diapers performed better in our tests, with some even sporting a lower price.

Compare to Similar Products

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 fabric.
Swaddlers have a super soft inside layer that feels almost like fabric.

Likes


The best aspects of the Swaddlers diaper is comfort and durability. This diaper offers better features for comfort than most of the option in this group. For durability, it managed to score over the group average.

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

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.

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.
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.

Dislikes


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 are preventing leaks and absorbing liquids. This diaper earned low scores for both tests 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 being able to contain messes 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 and can lead to skin irritation or a diaper rash. We prefer diapers that lock moisture away, so baby's skin stays dry.

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

Other things we dislike are Pampers' lack of concern for eco-friendliness or nods to health. The Swaddlers diaper earned very low scores in 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.

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 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.

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Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz