The Best Diapers of 2020
Best Overall Disposable Diaper
Nature Babycare is a great green take on a disposable that is potentially the most earth-friendly disposable on the market with green features akin to cloth products. Nature Babycare is working hard to set a new industry standard for disposables that keep the environment and baby's health in mind. This option has the best absorption score of any disposable in our tests with fewer leaks making it a top green option with impressive overall performance.
Babycare is more expensive than most disposable options, so it may not be the right choice for families on a tight budget. It is also somewhat delicate and can start to fall apart if you don't change it regularly (which you should do anyway). This occurrence is likely a result of the green/biodegradable design. Overall, if BabyCare works within your budget, we believe you'll be impressed with its performance and eco-friendly features, which makes it an option we recommend.
Read review: Nature Babycare
Durable Eco-Friendly Disposable
and it is totally chlorine-free (TCF) and free of latex. Babyganics are soft, cute, and claim to be fragrance-free.Babyganics isn't as environmentally friendly as other top-green options, but it could be the right choice for those looking for comfort and durability over being totally eco-friendly. Overall, Babyganics is a green choice that can save you some bucks.
Read review: Babyganics
Best Budget-Friendly Disposable
Kirkland Signature Supreme
Kirkland Signature Supreme disposable is a budget-friendly traditional disposable with better than average absorption and leak test results. This product is soft and comfy with a durable design that shows quality and attention to the manufacturing process. Kirkland's has a lower price tag than most options, making it a good choice if budget is a concern.
Supreme markets that it is perfume-free but offers little else for babies with sensitive skin. It also doesn't provide transparency for eco-friendly features leading us to believe it doesn't have any, making it a traditional disposable that is unlikely to degrade in a traditional landfill. Despite these eco-health hiccups, this wallet-friendly option works well where it counts (absorption and leaks), and we think most parents will appreciate the quality for the price.
Read review: Kirkland Signature Supreme
Best Cloth Diaper
The Rumparooz Pocket is an absorbency top-performing in our tests. It is easy to use with a soft microfleece lining on the inner side. The Rumparooz comes with two microfiber soakers for adjustable absorbency and is a quick absorber that wicks away moisture and locks liquid away from the baby's skin. The inserts even feel dry after use. This option has a double gusset for explosive poop containment, and four rise and five waist adjustments for a perfect fit as baby grows.
Unfortunately, pocket products require a little extra work and can often seem bulky. Adding additional inserts will boost absorbency, but it can also be harder to fit under some clothing. Also, some feel that this option fits a little small, thus reducing its lifespan, but this issue could make it ideal for smaller babies. This cloth product has far more benefits than flaws making it one we think parents and baby will love, even overnight.
Read review: Rumparooz Pocket
Best Cloth Diaper on a Budget
Imagine Baby Pocket Snap
The Imagine Baby Pocket Snap is a top-performing cloth product in our tests with one of the lowest prices. This option has a 4-layer microfiber insert that soaks up liquid and locks it away with ease. The soft micro-fleece fabric keeps your baby dry and cozy. This product has a larger pocket opening and is easier to stuff for quicker changes. We like the double waist snap rows, and the single gusset had no leaking issues in our tests.
The Imagine Baby can run bulky, but the added bulk translates to more absorbent, which feels like a small price for better protection. All pocket options require more prep work before changes as you must stuff in the insert, but the overall performance makes the effort worthwhile. The Pocket Snap offers above-average performance with a budget-friendly price making it a top contender for any cloth diapering family.
Read review: Imagine Baby Pocket Snap
Best Overnight Diaper
Pampers Swaddlers Overnights
Pampers Swaddlers Overnights is advertised as offering "all night protection" and "up to 12 hours of wetness control," and our absorbency tests seem to indicate some truth to these claims with minimal surface liquid. Our results indicate that the Overnights excel at locking liquid in the inner core, so your baby's skin stays dry. This option also offers better leak protection, which is useful overnight to prevent accidents that lead to bedding changes.
If you want an eco-friendly option, Swaddlers isn't the best fit. While Pampers utilizes an elemental chlorine-free (ECF) in production, it contains perfumes, lotions, and dyes. Overall, this overnight is an excellent choice for those searching for effective absorption at an affordable price.
Why You Should Trust Us
Unlike other review sites, we purchase and test every diaper in our reviews to provide the best possible side-by-side comparison. Our team is led by our founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier, a board-certified pediatrician and mother of two. Bob Wofford, Senior Review Analyst, and father of 7 led the test team by co-developing our absorption and leakage tests for each diapering class. Abriah Wofford, a Senior Review Editor, also participated in in-house testing for quality, comfort, absorption and more. Wendy Schmitz, Senior Review Editor, and mother of two rounds out the team with score analysis and award winner selections based on testing results.
We research top products and innovative options for inclusion in our reviews. Every diaper is compared based on day-to-day use, combined with in-house testing for absorption and leakage. Each option is rigorously tested in our lab and on little testers. Our test results inform our ranking and award winners, and only the best of the best make it to the final list of picks.
Unless you plan to clean up messes everywhere your baby goes, you'll need to diaper your little one. Choosing a great product can be challenging because it entails more than finding an effective product at the right price. With pressure to go green and an uptick in cloth diapering, you'll find more information out there about choosing a diapering product than ever before. How do you choose? What is best for your lifestyle and goals? We believe there is an option for everyone on this list, no matter what goals you have for your diapering years.
The bottom line is the average baby will go through 6,000-9,000 diapers before they complete potty training (around 2,500 in the first year alone!). This truth means a regular investment in keeping baby bottoms covered and messes contained. These numbers are why many parents consider cloth or choosing more green options to decrease environmental impact.
Disposable vs. Cloth
Choosing cloth or disposable is a personal choice largely based on lifestyle and goals. In short, finding a great option that offers impressive absorbency and few leaks is possible in both types, despite the often ill-informed assumption that disposables offer better protection. The convenience of cloth has grown in recent years, giving it an edge over cloth options of yore. However, many parents still find disposables to be quick and straightforward with less prep work and the ability to toss a stinky package in the trash instead of a diaper bag.
You might be wondering about the environmental impact, which is important to most parents. You'll easily find arguments both ways, including the inability of disposables to degrade in a traditional landfill and the less than Earth-friendly use of water and electricity required for cloth laundering. There is also the consideration of the process used to produce disposable diapers and the environmental impact of the use of dioxins in this process. Overall, it is arguably safe to say that cloth diapers have less of a carbon footprint and impact than disposables, but green disposables (a relatively new type) can potentially walk the line between the two with a better chance of biodegradability, less or no use of chlorine (limiting the dioxin production), and an increase in the use of recycled or renewable materials. While green is better for the environment than a traditional disposable, we recommend giving cloth a chance for both the environment and the potential health implications as well.
Cloth products lack fragrance, perfumes, lotions, and other irritants that can cause rashes and other problems. Disposables often use chlorine in production which can act as an irritant to sensitive skin. They also often include the other top causes of rashes. It is hard to argue with the potential health benefits of cloth, but newer green disposables can also have many of these benefits like the Nature Babycare, which is totally chlorine-free and lacks fragrance, lotions, and dyes. Overall, we believe cloth has advantages you won't find in any disposable. Still, if trying cloth diapering is simply something you aren't interested in, then we prefer green disposables over their traditional counterparts. Not only are they better for the environment and potentially your baby's health, but these green dynamos also proved to be better in our tests for absorption and leaks earning the higher results in these metrics than the traditional options.
How much will it cost?
Diapering is expensive. No matter what option you choose or what goals you hope to meet, diapering your little one will cost you a pretty penny. If you assume the 6,000 average for a lifetime investment in diapering, it will cost an average of twelve hundred to around twenty-six hundred when all is said and done. For disposable products, this breaks down to as little as approximately twenty-five dollars a month for a brand like the Kirkland Signature Supreme or as high as about fifty-four dollars a month for Nature Babycare.
Cloth diapers will cost you more in the beginning as you set up your chosen system, but it will likely save you money over time since you can reuse the products over and over. A lifetime supply of less expensive cloth options, like the Imagine Baby Pocket Snap, will come in around three-hundred dollars. At the same time, the higher-end products (Rumparooz Pocket) are closer to six-hundred. You have to add the expense of cleaning, inserts, water, electricity, and other supplies required for cloth diapering (think toilet sprayer), but even if you assume a thousand dollars over your diapering years, you'll still have a significantly lower lifetime cost than using a disposable.
Some parents choose to combine the two methods for savings and to decrease their environmental impact by using cloth during the day and disposables overnight or when out on the town. What you choose will depend on your finances and lifestyle as every family, and their goals are different, but certainly, there is much to feel good about when giving cloth a try.
Finding a great diaper for your little one can be tricky. To help, we've created tests and side-by-side comparisons to help you find the right option for your little one and your lifestyle. Whether you want a top-performing cloth option or a green disposable with superior absorption properties, there is something for you in this roundup.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz