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Seventh Generation Free & Clear ReviewPrice: $0.30 List | $0.31 each (in 155-pack) at Amazon
Pros: Great health, impressive absorption, eco-friendly
Cons: Possible leaks, not so cozy
Bottom line: Budget-friendly green option with great health and eco scores
Chlorine-Free: Totally, Chlorine-free
Manufacturer: Seventh Generation
Seventh Generation Free & Clear is an eco-friendly diaper that has a high baby health score and a cost effective price. This diaper scored well in our tests for absorption and is durable compared to the competition and many green diaper options. It has a below average result for leaks with more runoff than we would have expected and some online reports of leaking. However, given the price and results for ecology and health, we think it is a trade off worth making when choosing a great disposable diaper. We think Seventh Generation brings a lot to the table and is a good choice for families looking for a great diaper with significant health benefits which is why it won a Top Pick award for health.
RELATED REVIEW: The Battle for the Best Disposable Diapers
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Seventh Generation is a 25-year-old company focusing on creating a better safer product for families and the environment. They concentrate on creating plant based products that are safe and effective. The company makes everything from baby products to household cleaners. They are a certified B Corporation and according to their website, "We are always evaluating how to reduce their environmental impact, increase performance and safety, and create a more sustainable supply chain."
The comparison chart includes the overall scores for the products we tested in this review. Seventh Generation earned a great score that put it in third place of 24 options with a reasonable price for a green diaper.
The sections below provide more information on how this diaper performed compared to the competition during testing.
This diaper earned an 8 of 10 for absorption which is an impressive 3 points over the average.
During testing, there was a small amount of moisture transfer to the paper that was consistent across tests. However, it is minimal compared to the competition and indicates that baby will stay drier in this diaper than in most of the other products we tested. This means that the Seventh Generation locks moisture away in its core better than most. Staying drier means less chance of skin irritation and diaper rash that can occur when baby's skin is wetter.
Seventh Generation earned a 5 of 10 for leakage which is a point below the average.
In our tests, this diaper had more run-off in the leakage pan that the competition which indicates that the "urine" isn't being absorbed as quickly as it needs to be to keep baby dry and to prevent leaks. This means liquids could spill out as it waits to be absorbed. In addition, online reviewers also indicate a problem with leaks with 46% of reviewers reporting some kind of leakage.
What parents should consider is whether or not the chance of leaks is worth the trade off of impressive health and ecology scores. If being green and using a disposable diaper are important to you, then the trade off could mean possible leaking.
This diaper earned a 5 of 10 for comfort which is below the average.
The Seventh Generation diaper isn't the coziest in the group with several diapers earning a higher score. The fabric on this diaper struggled compared to the competition and simply isn't as soft. However, the elastic is nicer than most of the competition and very skin-friendly. The motion points and closure tabs also weren't as soft, but there were diapers that were rougher on skin than this one.
This product earned an 8 of 10 for health, which is the high score for the metric.
Health is really where this diaper shines making it a pull for any parent concerned about what is in their diaper and what is touching baby's skin on a daily basis. Only Bambo Nature offers the same level of attention to health. This diaper is totally chlorine free, and it is free of lotions and perfumes. It doesn't mention anything about dyes, but there are pigments used in this diaper including the brown base used to make it look more natural. Seventh Generation provides a full disclosure list of ingredients which we think should be the norm so parents can make informed choices.
This diaper earned a 6 of 10 for ecology. This is two points over the average and impressive for a disposable product.
These diapers are totally chlorine free (TCF), it is part of FSC and Rainforest Alliance and a certified B Company. The diapers are not biodegradable, they do not use plant based plastics, and the packaging isn't recyclable. Seventh Generation provides a partial disclosure of the manufacturing process and materials and they elude to some best practices but don't come out and say exactly what they mean. While their transparency is greater than most of the competition, we think they could still do more.
Seventh Generation earned a 7 of 10 for durability. This is the top score for the group shared by several diapers.
During testing, we didn't see a lot of problems with durability. However, some online reviewers had complaints of faulty tabs and leaking SAP. Some of the competition had similar complaints, so it definitely isn't abnormal to experience these kinds of issues with disposable diapers in general. Compared to the competition this diaper is more durable than the majority of options we tested.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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