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Hands-on Gear Review
Parent's Choice (Walmart) Review
Price: $0.17 List
Pros: Price, perfume & latex free, durable
Cons: Absorption, leaks, available online & Walmart
Bottom line: Cheap, but largely ineffective
Parent's Choice may have a desirable price, but that is about the only desirable thing it offers. In our tests it scored a 3 or below in every metric but durability, and with an overall score of 30 out of 100, there was only one diaper in our tests that scored lower, Babies R Us Supreme with a 22. When compared to other diapers in its price range, Target's Up & Up, and one of our Best Value winner, Cuties, both rated higher overall with Cuties scoring twice as high in absorption, a key metric in diapers. Both are better diaper options than Parent's Choice, even if you are on a budget.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Walmart's Parent's Choice is a big-box store brand bargain diaper with a good price. It can be purchased online or exclusively at Walmart stores. It has a soft outer cover, stretchy sides, a contoured fit, and it is perfume and latex free.
Absorption and Leaks
We tested two different varieties of Walmart brand diapers, and while neither of them scored well, Parent's Choice did score better than White Cloud with a 3 for absorption and 3 for leaks. The scores were unimpressive both in general and for the diapers in its price range. Both Up & Up, and Cuties had higher scores of 5, and 4 of 10 respectfully. Several diapers in the higher price ranges scored worse as well, even a few green diapers failed to impress by comparison in the two categories we feel are integral to a properly working diaper.
The absorption score of 3 was on par with diapers of an equal or lesser price, with only Luvs scoring slightly higher with a 4 of 10. However, our tests showed that you didn't have to go up much in price to find a diaper with a better absorption score. Cuties and Huggies Snug & Dry both rated higher with a 6 and 7. Which is a significant score increase for just a few cents more.
The absorption test for Parent's Choice (left), Snug & Dry (middle), and Cuties (right) are shown below. The larger green area indicates more surface moisture; less green indicates better absorption.
The leak score for Parent's Choice was equally unimpressive with a 3 of 10. But it wasn't the worst score in it's price range with Babies R Us Supreme, White Cloud, and Snug & Dry fighting for that honor with a score of 2. But before you think it is just normal for a cheaper diaper to have poor scores for leaks, there is Up & Up which earned a score of 5 of 10 for leaks, a high in it's price range. You have to go up in price to find a higher scoring diaper in Pure n Gentle Ultra which earned a score of 6.
Comfort and Durability
This diaper continued to score low in our tests for the comfort category. Compared to the other diapers in our tests it just didn't measure up, and it seemed to be less cozy than the other brands. There were a few other diapers that scored similarly or worse, but the majority of diapers scored higher. Pure n Gentle Ultra and Earth's Best Tender Care scored lower with 2s, and both cost more. In general, our tests showed that price had little to do with comfort or durability with diapers of all prices scoring low and high.
This diaper scored only a 1 out of 5 for softness of materials in our review and lost a point for a leg cuff that felt coarser on average than the other diapers we tested. It did earn a couple extra points for nice back and side elastic, but overall it was not a stand out in the comfort department. Interestingly enough, the comfort score of all the diapers had no correlation to the performance of the diaper, and while it is important for baby to feel cozy, it was not the most important metric we tested.
Durability was the only metric this diaper shined in. Earning a score of 8 of 10, it was the only category where Parent's Choice scored higher than a 3. Cuties also earned an 8 for this metric in our tests, and it had a higher score of 4 of 10 for comfort and 6 for absorption, it's scores in our tests made Parent's Choice feel like a bad choice.
Eco and Health
If diapers walked around bragging about their carbon footprint, Parent's Choice wouldn't have much to say. It might even go so far as to be embarrassed in this department. Given the size and influence of Walmart in general, it would be nice to see them manufacture a diaper that scored higher than a 1 for this category. It makes no claims for using a chlorine free process, renewable resources, or any biodegradability which prevented it from earning any points in this metric. It is not marketed as a green diaper so it wasn't a surprise as much as a disappointment. Out of store brand diapers it had lots of company with only Up & Up scoring higher. If you want a diaper with a higher score for being eco-friendly, you have to go up in price.
This diaper did just as badly for baby's health, offering a diaper that is not free of anything, earning a score of 1 of 10. When compared to other store brand diapers, it was in the bottom of the pack. Kirkland Signature Supreme was free of chlorine, latex, and perfume giving it the highest store brand score. To find a diaper that scored higher than Kirkland, our tests indicated you have to go up in price to Earth's Best Tender Care which scored a 5 for baby's health. But its hard to beat our Editors' Choice pick BAMBO Nature which earned an 8 of 10.
Parents on a budget looking for an economical option to the big name brands might be attracted to this diaper. However, with scores as low as these there are better options available in a similar price range. Many diapers scored better for absorption and leaks, as well as making stronger efforts in the eco and health metrics. Parent's Choice may show up to the diaper party, but you probably wouldn't want to answer the door when it knocks.
Even when compared exclusively to other store brand diapers, this diaper failed to impress scoring next to the bottom overall with only Babies R Us Supreme scoring lower with a 22 of 100. With an overall score of 30 of 100, it ranked 23 out of 24 diapers in our tests. Even for bargain diapers it failed to compete, with Up & Up earning a 41 and Cuties getting 49, it failed to live up to the competition. With low scores in every category besides durability, Parent's Choice just isn't a diaper parents should choose. If budget is a concern, our tests showed that for a few cents more or less on average there were better diapers available no matter which metric parents feel is the most important. Which makes this a diaper we don't recommend.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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