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Are you looking for the best diapers? We've tested over 100 disposable, overnight, and cloth brands to find the absolute best diapering products for every situation. This review includes the top award-winning products from each diaper category we tested. We purchase, test, and compare all products in our lab and on real babies, so we can provide the details you need to determine which diaper is best for different circumstances. We tested each option for absorption, leakage, quality, comfort, and more to give you all the information you need to find a great product that works with your lifestyle, budget, and baby.
Seventh Generation Sensitive Protection is one of our new favorite products, providing a greener take on a disposable product. This high-ranking option offers one of the highest absorption performances in the group with a virtually dry test paper sheet indicating little ones will stay drier with few leak potentials than most of the competitors. It is also comfortable, more earth-friendly, and healthier than much disposable competition.
While Seventh Generation offers impressive absorption, our online research indicates an average rate of leak protection compared to the competition and a less than a durable product. This option had more reports for faulty tabs and leaking SAP than some contenders in a side-by-side comparison. Despite these minor concerns, we feel Seventh Generation brings together impressive performance to keep your baby dry and better eco-friendly attributes and fewer concerning irritants to a baby in a cozy package most families will love.
Babyganics is a high-quality green option that offers above-average absorption and leak protection in a durable package. We consider this product more eco-friendly than traditional disposables, claims to be Totally chlorine-free (TCF), and free of latex. Babyganics are made from soft material, have adorable prints, and claim to be fragrance-free.
Babyganics isn't as environmentally conscious as some other top-scoring green options, in our opinion. Still, it could be the right choice for those who prioritize comfort and leak protection over being eco-friendly. Overall, Babyganics is a green alternative with impressive performance.
The Amazon brand, Mama Bear Gentle Touch, is a budget-friendly and straightforward delivery option. It is an inexpensive option with average or above performance in each test. This higher scoring capability is somewhat rare, making it a potential choice no matter what your diapering goals might be. Mama Bear absorption and leak protection are better than average. Plus, it has one of the highest health scores of any non-green disposable product and is free of elemental chlorine, lotion, perfumes, parabens, and phthalates.
This option is not very eco-friendly, but it isn't advertised as green. It does come from a zero-landfill production plant, which is brag-worthy. It also isn't the most absorbent option. However, the lower absorption could be acceptable given the higher scores in other metrics or the impressively low price. Overall, we feel Mama Bear is a good option for anyone on a budget looking for better overall performance for less money.
The Rumparooz Pocket is a top performer in our absorbency tests. It is an easy-to-use cloth product with a soft microfleece lining on the inner side. The Rumparooz comes with two microfiber soakers for customizable absorbency. They offer a quick absorption rate that, in our tests, wicked away moisture and locks liquid away from the baby's skin. The inserts feel dry to the touch even after use. This cloth option has a double gusset for explosive poop containment and four rise and five waist adjustments for a perfect fit as your baby grows.
Unfortunately, pocket diapering products require a little extra work and can feel bulky compared to other types. Adding inserts can boost absorbency, but it will also be harder to fit under clothing. We think that this option runs a little small, reducing its lifespan, but this could also make it ideal for smaller babies. This cloth product has far more benefits than flaws making it one we think parents and babies will love, even overnight.
The Imagine Baby Pocket Snap is one of the top-performing cloth diapering options from the products we tested and has one of the lowest prices (win-win). This product has a 4-layer microfiber insert that soaks up liquid and locks it away like a champ. The soft micro-fleece liner fabric keeps your baby dry and cozy. This product has a larger pocket opening that is easier to stuff and allows for quicker changes than the similar style products we've seen. We like the double row of waist snaps, and the single gusset had no leaking issues in our tests.
The Imagine Baby can run bulky, but the added bulk translates to more absorbency, which feels like a small price for better leak protection. All pocket options require more prep work before changes as you must stuff in the insert, but the overall performance can make the extra effort worthwhile. The Pocket Snap offers above-average performance at a budget-friendly price, making it a top competitor for any cloth diapering family.
The Flip with Stay Dry Insert is a cloth option we tested with the Flip Stay Dry Insert. The Flip offers a trim fit that might be more comfortable and allow clothes to fit better than bulkier cloth options. It has a straightforward single fiber insert in the cover with a double row of waist snaps for comfort and fit adjustment. Despite a single gusset design, we didn't experience leaking during testing, and it has an above-average performance for absorbency. This diaper is a one-size-fits-all option that could save you money over time.
Because this is a hybrid product, the insert sits inside the cover with nothing to hold it in place. If you fail to fasten the snaps, it could move as your baby moves, creating a potential mess. Also, the single gusset design could result in potential blowouts we don't traditionally see with double gussets. Last, because there are two parts to this option, it has a more involved setup process than some of the competition. However, the cleanup is easier. The Flip is an economical hybrid system we think most families will love.
Pampers Swaddlers Overnights is advertised as offering "all night protection" and "up to 12 hours of wetness control." Our absorbency tests and user experience support these claims, showing minimal surface liquid during testing. Our results suggest that the Overnights excel at locking liquid in the inner core so your baby's skin stays dry through extended overnight use. This product also offers better leak protection, which is useful during long nights to prevent accidents leading to bedding changes and overnight upsets.
If you want an eco-friendly option, Swaddlers isn't the best fit. While Pampers utilizes an elemental chlorine-free (ECF) process 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, especially for older babies and toddlers who might be making more overnight urine than younger babies.
The Pampers Baby Dry is a disposable product that is a potentially convenient choice for night and day wear to simplify your supply. These Pampers are soft and feel sort of like cloth, making them comfortable for little ones. The tabs do not chafe and they flex with the movement of the wearer. Perhaps the most critical performance is its ability to lock in moisture during our absorbency tests, which earned it an above-average result.
While Baby Dry offers better absorbency than the average product, it didn't perform as well as the competition for leaks. Also, if your little one has sensitive skin or you're trying to lower their exposure to unnecessary chemicals then this might not be the option for you. It contains fragrances and lotions and uses Elemental Chlorine-free manufacturing instead of the preferred Total Chlorine-free method. Pampers Baby Dry isn't the highest performing product in our overnight review, but the price tag is almost half that of other high-ranking overnights and could be a good choice for those on a budget.
Why You Should Trust Us
We purchase and test every diaper in our review to provide the best possible side-by-side comparison, basing our conclusions on real-world experience and in-house lab testing. Leading our team is 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 thoroughly research top products and innovative options to include in our reviews. We've performed more than 4,492 individual tests in our evaluation of over 122 products across categories since 2012 and our first disposable diaper review. We purchased every product and objectively compared them based on day-to-day use, combined with in-house testing for absorption and leakage, comfort and durability, and more. 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. Our tests show that every product's performance varies significantly from one to another.
Our testing is divided across 4 basic rating metrics:
Absorption tests (all products)
Leakage (all products)
Fit (cloth only)
Comfort (all products)
Durability (all products)
Health (disposables and overnight)
Ease of Use (cloth only)
Each metric's weighted contribution to the overall score varies somewhat depending don't the category being tested. For example, disposable and overnight products have an absorbency weighting of 40%, because we believe this is the most important function of a diaper. However, it is only weighted 35% for cloth, as the fit of this style impacts potential absorption, so that metric is somewhat higher. Our exhaustive and detailed testing process gives us a unique vantage point to help you find the best option for your goals and needs.
Diaper Duty Truth Bombs
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 a suitable product at the right price. With pressure to go green and an uptick in cloth diapering, you'll find more information about selecting the right diapering product than ever. How do you choose? How do you know what is best for your lifestyle and goals? We believe there is an option for everyone on this list, no matter what you have in mind for your baby's 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 fact entails a substantial investment in keeping baby bottoms covered and messes contained. These sheer numbers are why many parents consider cloth or choosing more green options to decrease environmental impact and lessen the cost of diapering.
Disposable diapers have become the traditional diapering option in modern times. These options are convenient in both use and disposal as they are easy to purchase, store, use, and throw away both at home and on the road. Families appreciate the lower initial cost of disposables and the ability to throw them away without rinsing or laundering. However, disposable options contribute a lot to landfills, have ongoing costs, and you could run out in the middle of the night without a backup plan.
Cloth diapering is gaining in popularity and was the only diapering option before the creation of disposables. Cloth diapering has become more convenient with modern styles that provide inserts or other features that make cleaning easier. Cloth is more expensive as an initial cost but could save you money over time if you choose a style that grows with your baby. The downside to cloth is they require washing, often daily, depending on your supply. They are also bulky and could cause problems combined with some clothing. Last, if you change a diaper away from home, you'll need to bag that dirty cloth and carry it until you get home.
Overnight products are those options that offer better absorption than a daytime option. Why would this matter? Babies typically urinate more at night. This wetness can either be absorbed by whatever diapering product your little one is wearing or leak out and get clothing and bedding wet. Little ones are more likely to remain comfortably sleeping if the urine stays in the diaper and is quickly absorbed away from the skin. It can be upsetting for babies and parents to change clothing and bedding in the middle of the night, and this prolonged interruption to sleep can result in poor sleep quality and increased irritability. Most products are designed for day use and lack the serious ability to absorb the extra liquid. We identified the products that seem to work best at night, offering increased ability to hold extra urine.
Disposable vs. Cloth
Choosing between cloth and disposable is a personal preference primarily based on individual 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 traditional disposables provide better protection. The convenience of cloth has increased dramatically in recent years, giving it an edge over cloth options of yore. However, many parents still find disposables faster and more straightforward, with less prep work involved. Parents love the convenience of tossing a stinky package in the trash instead of a wet bag to be dealt with later.
You might be wondering about the environmental impact, which is a high priority for many parents. You can easily find arguments for both sides, 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. You should consider the process used to produce disposable diapers and the environmental impact of dioxin use in this process. Overall, it is arguably safe to say that cloth has less of a carbon footprint than disposables, but green disposables (a relatively new variety) can potentially walk the line between the two. They often have a better chance of biodegradability, less or no use of chlorine (limiting dioxin production), and increased use of recycled or renewable materials. While we feel 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.
Cloth products lack fragrance, perfumes, lotions, and other irritants that cause rashes and other skin issues. Disposables typically use chlorine in the production process, which can irritate sensitive skin. They also often include the other top causes of rashes. It is hard to argue with the potential health benefits of cloth. Still, newer green disposables can also have many benefits if they boast of being Totally Chlorine-Free and free of lotion, perfume, and other concerning chemicals. 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, we prefer green disposables over their traditional counterparts. Not only because of environmental and baby's health benefits, but these green dynamos also proved to be better in our tests for absorption and leaks earning higher results in these metrics than the traditional options.
How Much Will Diapering Cost?
Diapering your little one is going to be expensive. No matter what option you choose or what goals you need to meet, keeping your baby in a clean, dry diaper will cost you more than a pretty penny. If you assume the 6,000 diaper average over the diapering lifetime investment, it will cost somewhere between $1,200 to $2,600 before your little one is potty trained.
Cloth products often cost more at the outset as you collect the components of your chosen system. However, it can likely save you money over time because you reuse the products instead of continually buying new ones. A lifetime supply of less expensive cloth options might come in around three to five hundred dollars. At the same time, higher-end products could be closer to six or eight hundred. When using cloth, you must remember to add the expense of cleaning, inserts, water, electricity, and other supplies required for cloth diapering (think toilet sprayer). However, even if you assume a thousand dollars over your diapering years, you'll still have a significantly lower lifetime cost than using a disposable.
A growing number of parents choose to use a combination of the two methods, a tactic that allows for significant savings and a decrease in environmental impact—using cloth during the day and disposables overnight or while out and about may be the ideal balance of convenience vs. eco-friendliness. What you decide to do will depend on your budget and needs as every family and their lifestyles are different. However, there is a lot to feel good about when choosing cloth.
How to Choose?
Finding the best diapering option for your little one doesn't have to be a challenge as long as you stay flexible and consider that your ideal product could change over time. While many parents will pick a favorite and stick with it over the diapering years (which is fine), we find that being flexible might be the better solution. Cloth diapers could be a good choice as your main go-to, supplemented by disposable options for leaving the house or daycare. Then an excellent absorbing diaper for overnight to help avoid accidental night awakening. Or, you might decide life is too much already without the responsibility of laundering cloth products on constant rotation.
First, Choose a Type
The type of diapering product(s) you choose is mainly personal and depends on your goals and lifestyle. While you might love cloth diapering, if you work full time, your daycare may not allow them, and you'll need some flexibility in your plan. However, most parents choose a side and roughly use that type of product throughout the diapering years.
Second, Choose a Style
The style for cloth products encompasses the components of the product and how difficult it is to rinse, clean, and maintain. You might be influenced by the savings of a highly adjustable product that can last for years. For disposables, you may be swayed by the concept of a green disposable and its benefits for babies and the Earth. Either way, there is something for everyone and every budget.
Last, Know Your Budget
Your budget may play more of a factor than you'd like depending on your situation and goals. Cloth products are expensive at the outset and continue to cost as you clean them. However, over time they might be less expensive than disposables. However, an inexpensive disposable could be hard to beat if money is tight.
Finding the best diapering option for your little one can be challenging and potentially confusing for new parents. We've created an extensive testing process for fair, objective, and pragmatic side-by-side comparisons to help you find the right options for your little one and your lifestyle. We've tested disposable, cloth, green disposable, and liners to parse out the differences that make one more effective than another based on your goals (environmental or absorbency). Whether you are looking for a top-performing cloth product, a green disposable, or just want something with superior absorption, we feel confident there is something for everyone and every goal in this lineup of impressive, award-winning products.
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Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.