Seventh Generation Free & Clear is an eco-friendly diaper with 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 including green diapers. Seventh Generation has a below-average result for leaks with more runoff than we would expect with some online leaking reports. 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 parents looking for a diaper with significant health benefits which is why it won a Top Pick award for health.
Seventh Generation Free & Clear Review
Pros: Great health, good absorption, eco-friendly
Cons: Possible leaks, not so cozy
Manufacturer: Seventh Generation
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Seventh Generation is a 25-year-old company focusing on creating better, safer products for families and the environment. The company concentrates on designing plant-based products that are safe and effective. Seventh Generation 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."
This diaper scored well above average for absorption.
During testing, there was a small amount of moisture transfer to the paper consistent across tests. However, it is minimal compared to the competition and indicates that your baby will stay drier in this diaper than most of the others. Our findings show that Seventh Generation locks moisture away in the core better than most. Staying drier means less chance of skin irritation and diaper rash that can occur when baby's skin is wetter. Even our little tester with a tendency for sensitive skin and rashes did well in this diaper with no signs of skin irritation.
Seventh Generation earned a slightly below a for leakage.
In our tests, this diaper had more run-off in the leakage pan than the competition, indicating that the "urine" isn't absorbing as quickly as it needs to prevent leaks. This runoff means liquids could spill out before it slowly absorbs. Additionally, online reviewers indicate a problem with leaks, with 46% of reviewers reporting some leakage. Our testers didn't have too many leaks but felt it was better as a daytime diaper than a nighttime option.
What parents should consider is whether or not the chance of leaks is worth the tradeoff for impressive health and ecology features. If being green and using a disposable diaper are valuable to you, then the trade-off could mean occasional leaking.
This diaper did not stand out when it comes to comfort. Earning an OK but slightly below-average score.
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 just isn't as soft, though they are softer than the older brown colored version.
However, the elastic is more gentle than most of the competition and very skin-friendly. The motion points and closure tabs also weren't as soft, but some of the diapers are rougher on the skin than this one.
This product did very well in the health metric, receiving one of the tops scores of the group, which helped it earn a Top Pick for health award.
Health is really where this diaper shines, making it a pull for any parent concerned about what's in the diaper and what is continuously touching baby's skin. Only a few other diapers offer the same level of attention to health. This diaper is totally chlorine-free (TCF) and free of lotions and perfumes. They don't mention anything about dyes, but there are pigments you can see, including a brown base to make it look natural, and some cute pictures printed on the outside. 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 an above-average score for ecology and is 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, and the packaging isn't recyclable, but they do not use plant-based plastics. Seventh Generation provides a partial disclosure of the manufacturing process and materials, and they allude to some best practices but don't come out and explicitly say what they mean, which is a bummer. While their transparency is better than most of the competition, we think they could still do more.
Seventh Generation is one of the top scorers for durability.
During testing, we didn't see a lot of problems with durability, but some testers remark that the closure tabs didn't work as well as others and had trouble staying closed. Bad closure tabs result in unusable diapers. Some online reviewers also had complaints about faulty tabs and leaking SAP. Some of the competition had similar complaints, so it isn't abnormal to experience these kinds of issues with disposable diapers in general and isn't a reason to discount the brand if you are considering as your diaper of choice. When all is said and done, compared to the competition, this diaper is more durable than the majority of options we tested.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz