The Best Overnight Diaper Review
Pampers advertises "all night protection" and "up to 12 hours of wetness control" for their Pampers Swaddlers Overnights. During our absorbency testing, we were impressed with our results, which support these claims by showing very minimal surface liquid. Our results suggest that Swaddlers Overnights do a great job of absorbing fluid into the diaper's inner core, leaving the baby's skin dry. Users also report excellent leak protection, which is crucial in an overnight diaper.
If you are looking for a diaper produced with eco-friendly methods, Swaddlers Overnights only partially fits. Although Pampers use an elemental chlorine-free process in production, the diapers contain perfume, lotion, and dye (wetness indicator). Although some complain that the Overnight version feels the same as the daytime Swaddlers, our tests show the overnight holds an impressive amount of "urine" without leaks. Overall, this is an excellent choice for an overnight diaper with excellent absorption and an affordable price that is easy to find in most local stores.
The Rumparooz Pocket is a cloth diaper system you can use from newborn up to 40 lbs. The real draw of this adorable diaper shell is the variety of absorbency levels achievable by placing different inserts into the pocket. The pocket feature and three 6rSoaker inserts combine to create more than 17 degrees of absorbency, making it the perfect setup to customize for your child's liquid output for overnight use. This diaper has a waterproof outer layer, soft micro-chamois cloth by the baby's skin, and double gusset interior design to limit leaks while keeping your baby and crib dry.
This diaper requires stuffing a pocket with inserts, which takes time and creates a bulkier product than the average disposable. Some little ones might be uncomfortable with the thickness and resist using them. Also, the shell and inserts need laundering every day, so you'll need to do laundry regularly or purchase several for rotation. Despite the added effort and bulk, we like this cloth option and think most sleepy-time littles will wake up dry and happy.
Read review: Rumparooz Pocket
Luvs Ultra Leakguards is a sturdy diaper at an affordable price. As one of the lowest cost diapers in our roundup, it has impressive absorbency test results, making it a top-performer. This product is an altogether remarkable choice for a 24/7 value diaper, so there is no need to buy two types of diapers. Plus, it comes in the most extensive range of sizing from newborn to size 6, so the brand can last as long as your diapering days.
This diaper has a potent fragrance that could be offensive to some individuals or potentially irritating to the skin. This additive makes it a poor choice for babies with sensitive skin. While there is much to love about Luvs, we recommend purchasing a small pack to ensure it doesn't cause rashes before you invest in a larger box. If you want an economically priced diaper that is widely available, and fragrances don't bother you or your baby, then Luvs might be a diaper you love.
Read Review: Luvs
Pampers Baby Dry (available in Sizes 1 to 6) is a useful option if you want one diaper for day and night. They have a soft cloth-like feel and are one of the most comfortable diapers in our Best Disposable Diaper Review with smooth tabs that bend and flex without chaffing. In our absorbency testing, Baby Dry locks away moisture effectively compared to the competition.
One notable con with Baby Dry is that, on occasion, overly full diapers may split open, which can result in finding hydrated SAP (crystals on baby's skin. In our research, we have found that SAP is considered to be non-toxic and safe. If this occurs, all you need to do is wipe off the excess, and you're good to go.
Read Review: Pampers Baby Dry
We should mention reports of counterfeit Pampers Baby Dry diapers on Amazon; this is an issue that any brands endure. If you feel you may have purchased a fake version, we recommend contacting Amazon directly to resolve the issue. We did not experience this.
Nature Babycare delivers as a dependable overnight diaper thanks to impressive absorbency and leak protection test results. Naty is transparent about the ingredients in its disposable diapers, which is extremely rare in the industry and is among only a handful of stand-outs with a totally chlorine-free production process. Naty claims they are "free of all known allergens or substances classified as locally irritating, sensitizing, carcinogenic, or mutagenic." They practice what they preach with multiple certifications and awards to support their eco-conscious model. Naty markets their diapers as 99.9% biodegradable.
While perhaps biodegradable under ideal circumstances, most landfills lack the oxygen and sunlight required to break down even the most biodegradable diaper, so the claim is attractive but somewhat misleading. If you genuinely don't want to contribute to the landfill, we suggest you consider cloth. Nature Babycare also struggles somewhat in durability and comfort metrics; once opened, the tabs do not reattach well. The diaper is not as soft as its competitors, with some users noticing skin chaffing. Also, Naty uses European diaper sizing, which tends to run small, so be sure to pay attention to the advertised weight ranges, not the size numbers. Overall, we believe Babycare delivers where it counts and is well worth the higher price if your budget allows.
Read Review: Nature Babycare
The GroVia O.N.E. is a cloth diaper system that is easy to use and great for the day or night. This reusable diaper is available with hook-and-loop or snap closures, is adjustable for growing babes, and comes with two soaker inserts that you don't need to stuff. With straightforward instructions and versatility, this absorbent diaper is a breeze to use and reuse, especially for cloth newbies. The O.N.E claims enough absorbency that you won't need extra absorbers or stuffings, even for overnight use, and it comes in a variety of colors and patterns to keep your little one looking stylish.
This cloth option requires frequent laundering, and you'll need multiple diapers on hand to make it from day-to-day. However, it is machine washable and can go in the dryer, so its overall downtime is short. While it isn't an expensive cloth option, it does require more initial investment than disposable options. Overall, we believe the investment is worth it for this diaper and love the idea that it is reusable for years with an extensive 10-35 lbs size range.
Read review: GroVia O.N.E.
The Sustainablebabyish Snapless Multi Fitted is an organic bamboo/cotton terry diaper for babies from 10-35 lbs. This diaper has turned and topstitched leg elastic and includes two 3-layer bamboo fleece doublers for absorbency customization. These simple diapers come with a variety of stitch colors and have a traditional look you'll love.
To use this diaper, you need an additional waterproof cover, which adds to the overall cost. It also has lower absorbency than other cloth options, so you may want to invest in additional doublers for adequate coverage. This diaper also uses a safety-pin to keep the diaper closed, which could cause injuries if it manages to disengage. We recommend purchasing a Snappi accessory to avoid this safety issue. Overall, we like the look and feel of this cloth option. The layering method allows for customized absorbency, and we think that feature alone is a reason to love this cloth option.
The Smart Bottoms Dream Diaper 2.0 Snap-In Overnight Insert is an overnight cloth diaper insert for use with the Smart Bottoms Dream 2.0 diaper. Together, they offer many customized absorbency possibilities. This reusable diaper insert is easy to use and has a microfiber lining that wicks away moisture. The cover sports an impressive weight range for long term use. We also like that the cover has a pocket for stuffing and snap attachments for the overnight inserts making it possible to use soakers from different brands if needed.
This diaper and insert combo are more expensive than much of the competition, though the long term use and adjustability might make that worthwhile over time. When using the daytime inserts, the natural fibers do not wick away moisture very well. Therefore, you need to change diapers as often as possible to avoid rashes caused by chronically moist skin. However, this is not a problem with the nighttime inserts. We find that this option offers impressive absorbency, and the snap-in design makes it straightforward to use. It is a nice overnight solution for cloth diapering families.
If your baby has sensitive skin, Bambo Nature is an excellent choice for a day and night disposable. It is super soft and comfortable with sound absorption and very few leaks in our tests. It is free of elemental chlorine, perfumes, fragrance, and dyes and comes in sizes 1 to 6.
Because Bambo Nature diapers are pricey and their sizing system differs from traditional brands like Pampers and Huggies, you should first test a package on your baby to make sure size and fit are correct before purchasing in bulk. Some users complain of issues with leaks and faulty tabs, but in our tests, it performed above average on leakage, and we didn't have tab troubles. Overall, we think Bambo is a reliable green diaper with a lot to offer most families.
Read Review: Bambo Nature
Just edging out Honest Overnights in our absorption tests, Target Up & Up Overnight cost half as much and are available in Sizes 3 to 6. These diapers are worth trying if you are diapering on a budget and regularly find yourself shopping at Target stores. They are a great value for an overnight diaper. The material is soft and is free of perfumes making them suitable for babies with sensitive skin.
Target's Overnight has divided reviews with many expressing an overall good performance at an excellent price and others expressing disappointment due to leaks. Although sizing up seems to solve some of these complaints. Nonetheless, for an overnight that is one of the cheapest available, their performance is acceptable. We like that they are made without added perfumes, and they are worth considering if you're on the hunt for a fragrance-free overnight that won't break the bank.
Honest Overnight diapers in sizes 3 to 6 are a fun choice for those willing to spend more for an adorable overnight diaper. This diaper is fragrance-free and uses totally chlorine-free processing, making it somewhat eco-friendly and potentially suitable for sensitive skin. Of the overnights we tested, it scores about average for absorbency and does a good job preventing leaks.
Honest Overnights are one of the most expensive on the market for overnight options. If they fit within your budget, and you use them for overnight purposes only, they might be worth considering for the cuteness factor alone. However, the pigments on this diaper could be potentially irritating to the skin, so you'll want to buy a small package before investing in larger boxes. If your little one is prone to rashes, and you want a reliable green disposable, we suggest Nature Babycare or Bambo Nature as your overnight go-to. Also, some user complains of faulty tabs on Honest Overnights. Given the price, we expect closures to stay in place and have the ability to be re-positioned. If you're looking for cuteness and keeping dry overnight, the Honest Overnight's might make your shortlist.
Sposie Diaper Booster Pads is a one-size-fits-all booster designed to be placed on the inside of a diaper for extra absorption during naps or nighttime for heavy wetters. It can be a particularly useful addition to boy tummy sleepers that need extra absorption at the front of the diaper. It may take a few nights to hone in on the correct placement for adequate leak protection, but your persistence can be worth it when you find the sweet spot as this insert can prevent leaks from heavy overnight wetting.
Although Sposie Pads do absorb lots of liquid, our testing showed that they aren't as good at wicking moisture away from a baby's skin as traditional diapers, which could lead to a rash. You could try to circumvent this potential problem by lining the booster pad with a synthetic cloth liner such as Kanga Care Reusable Diaper Liner to keep skin drier. Also, there is no method to hold this booster in position, so it could potentially shift out of place if your baby is a restless sleeper. Despite these drawbacks, if you have tried multiple brands and sizes of diapers and your child and night are still a wet mess, these boosters may be the answer to a good night's sleep.
Why You Should Trust Us
BabyGearLab is the first review site to purchase a variety of diapers for testing in real life and in "the lab" for side-by-side testing and analysis. We designed testing procedures for absorption and leaks to mimic real-world use and applied "urine" to all kinds of diapers to give parents the inside skinny on which products perform the best. Our testing team is led by our founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier, a board-certified pediatrician who uses her medical expertise to help choose products and analyze their results. The team also includes the original testing designer and coordinator, Bob Wofford, father of 7 and BabyGearLab Senior Analyst since 2013. Bob has tested 100s of disposable diapers for our review in the last seven years. The team is rounded out with Senior Review Editor, Abriah Wofford, who tested overnight and cloth diapers for leaks and absorption with Bob's help. Senior Review Editor, Wendy Schmitz, analyzed data for roundup winners and write-ups for diapers starting with disposable diapers in 2014. Together, the team has several hundred hours of experience testing a variety of diapers from cloth to disposable, green to overnight, and everything in between.
We hand-selected popular diapers from our Disposable Diaper and Cloth Diaper reviews with excellent to average absorption for inclusion. We also entered Pampers Cruisers and Huggies Little Movers to see how they stack up to the competition. Our recommendations are a result of in-house absorbency testing, hands-on overnight testing, and lots of research.
Analysis and Test Results
We chose a variety of disposable and cloth diapers to test for our overnight diaper round-up, and only a handful of contenders make our final recommendations. Driving our product selection is the knowledge we acquired in our disposable and cloth diaper reviews and research on the top overnight specific options.
We tested over 18 potential contenders for this roundup, and not all of them made the cut. Some of the diapers simply failed to measure up to the competition, while others were so similar to a better or less expensive product that we excluded them to avoid mudding the waters. Here is a breakdown of the competition that didn't make the grade and missed our list of recommended options.
- Seventh Generation Overnight — This green diaper has impressive absorption properties, but both Bambo Nature and Nature BabyCare performed better in our tests and have similar price points. While this brand may be more readily accessible in your local store, we still like the other options just a bit better, and if you need to order online, we opt for those.
- Pampers Baby Dry - While this traditional disposable has notable absorption in our tests, it is similar to the Pampers Swaddlers Overnights with less design for fit and comfort, making the Swaddlers our Pampers of choice for overnight use.
- Walmart Parent's Choice Overnight Diapers — This inexpensive store brand diaper did not perform well in our tests for absorbency. You are unlikely to save any money over the competition by choosing this option over a product like Luvs that earned an absorbency score twice that of the Walmart brand.
- Pampers Cruisers — This traditional disposable isn't an overnight diaper, and its absorbency test results bear this out with a score lower than most of the competition. If Pampers is your brand, the Pampers Swaddlers Overnights is the better choice with superior absorption properties.
- Babyganics — This green disposable has one of the worst absorption test results in the group and failed to join the overnight review based solely on this factor.
- Huggies Little Movers — Coming in with a score of 1 for absorption in our tests, Little Movers failed to offer anything useful for overnight use pushing it to the bottom of the competition.
Absorbency is the critical test metric for diapers. If a diaper can't keep liquids contained, then it is useless. Locking fluids away is even more crucial overnight when little ones need more protection and coverage to make it through without waking or leaking on their bedding. When choosing the best overnight diaper, you'll want the best absorbency and leak containment to increase potential sleep for parents and little ones. In our absorbency tests, a few traditional diapers and a cloth product scored perfect 10s. Luvs, Pampers Swaddlers Overnights,, and Sustainablebabyish Snapless Multi Fitted offer superior absorbency and the ability to lock moisture away from a baby's skin, thereby reducing rash potential.
When devising out testing methods, we estimated the average amount of urine created by a 22 lb toddler overnight and poured this amount of our mock urine onto each diaper. To more closely simulate real life diaper use, we divided the liquid into several deposits and weighted the diaper in between each session, mimicking a baby's weight and movement for a more accurate representation normal use. The filter paper with the least amount of fake urine (green transfer), indicates the diaper with the top absorption and wicking properties. As you can see, not all overnight options offer equal levels of performance.
We've included photos of each diaper's absorbency performance results below. The competitors are shown from best to worst as assessed by the amount of green "urine" on the test paper. The test papers include diaper results that did and did not make the final cut for this roundup.
Pampers Baby Dry (above right)
Rumparooz Pocket (above right)
Nature Babycare (above right)
GroVia O.N.E. (above right)
Seventh Generation Overnight (above right)
Honest Overnights (above right)
Walmart Parent's Choice Overnight (above right)
Babyganics (above right)
Huggies Little Movers (above right)
In our tests, we've proven that the best performing diapers for daytime absorbency are not necessarily the best for overnight performers. Thus, we recommend not relying on daytime absorbency test results to choose overnight diapers for older babies. Our overnight review focuses on absorbency for older babies and toddlers wearing a size three diaper and up.
Keeping your baby dry through the night is a critical part of getting a good night's sleep. If your little one routinely soaks through their daytime diaper during the night, finding a super-absorbent overnight diaper can be a game-changer for everyone. After all, babies don't like waking up to a cold, wet diaper and often cry as a result. Parents are equally nonplussed, waking up to change diapers and potentially bedding in the middle of the night. Don't even get us started on the extra laundry!
Most ordinary diapers cannot absorb the liquid levels little ones can produce in 10-12 hours. Manufacturers assume you regularly change your baby's diaper frequently during the day when they are soiled, so you don't require extended coverage. Overnight diapers have more Super Absorbent Polymer, (SAP) than regular diapers to help absorb the increase in urine that comes with a full night's sleep. While not labeled as "overnights," some brands manage to work well in the day or night. Pampers Baby Dry advertises "12-hour protection," and Luvs Ultra Leakguards have their "nightlock plus" moniker. As our absorbency tests show, both do a great job absorbing excess fluid and locking it away from the baby's skin. These products live up to their marketing claims.
Choosing an excellent long-wearing diaper from the multitude of options available can be difficult. As each family varies in their routines and needs, there typically isn't a single best solution for every baby. To help you find the best overnight product for your baby, we consider the critical components of a great overnight diaper: absorbency, cost, fit, comfort, and traditional versus green versus cloth.
How well a diaper absorbs liquids is arguably the most critical consideration for choosing an excellent overnight diaper. A great diaper absorbs liquids quickly and keeps it locked away, so your baby's skin stays dry. For disposable diapers, SAP is the secret sauce to absorbency. SAP is a petroleum by-product that can absorb up to 300 times its weight in liquid! While it is not biodegradable, SAP is generally considered safe. Currently, there are no plant-based SAPs on the market, though they are in development. SAP and the layer of fabric that rests against your baby's skin are what keep the skin dry. Moisture-wicking fabric combined with SAP is essential to keeping skin dry and healthy. In our tests, Luvs and Pampers Swaddlers Overnights both earned 10s for absorbency.
Cloth diapers rely on different materials to keep little ones moisture-free. Padding, pockets, and inserts work in conjunction to absorb and trap liquids away from the skin. While they don't absorb as much fluid as SAP, some manage to do an adequate job in preventing midnight urine nightmares. Cloth diapers also include waterproof or water repellent outer covers designed to avoid leaks and urine from soaking into clothing and bedding. Several cloth options offer impressive test results. Sustainablebabyish Snapless Multi Fitted has superior moisture lock and absorbency with a score of 10. The Rumparooz Pocket is close on its heels with a 9.
Overnight diapers are frequently pricier than daytime diapers as they usually contain more SAP and other absorbing materials to prevent leaks during the nighttime hours. This added cost is money well-spent as it can decrease the need to use more than one or two diapers a night, which saves money in the long run. Finding a diaper with impressive absorbency that fits well and has minimal leaks can save money in the long run. Luckily, the least expensive disposable diapers also happen to be some of the most impressive, with the Luvs diapers earning 10 for absorption with one of the lowest per diaper price in this review.
Fit and Comfort
Even a diaper with excellent absorbency can leak if it doesn't fit, which is why finding a good fit is critical for diapering at night. The overall fit can vary depending on the size of the diapers and your baby's shape. To complicate matters further, each brand has different size ranges, so a size three can differ depending on which brand you consider. The sizing differences between brands can result in some false starts and poorly fitting underpants, especially if your baby has smaller than average or chubby thighs.
Overnight diapers need to be comfortable without gaping in the thighs or around the waist. There should be room for adjustment around the waist with elastic along the upper back or medial to the tabs to help contain potential blowouts. We suggest purchasing small packages until you locate the right size and brand that works best for your child. This approach is especially vital with green brands like Bambo Nature and Nature Babycare. These sometimes have different size ranges than traditional brands. If your baby has sensitive skin, the rougher feel of some green diapers can chafe and irritate, mainly if the diaper is too small or tight-fitting. Diapers that contain fragrances or color pigments (especially on the inner part of the diaper that touches the baby's skin) can cause rashes. Once you find a working solution for your little one, you can save money by buying in bulk.
Daytime appropriate diapers can fail when used overnight, particularly with heavy wetters. Standard troubleshooting many parents do to reduce nighttime leaks includes sizing up, frequent changes, or double diapering. While these solutions may work for some babies and toddlers, they don't work for the majority. Sizing up can create gaps for leaking, and double diapering increase diapering cost and overall bulk, which impacts sleep comfort.
Traditional versus Green versus Cloth
When it comes to choosing diapers, you have three choices: Traditional, Green (i.e., Nature BabyCare, Bambo, etc.), and cloth. Typically, traditional diapers are easy to find in the grocery store and are brands you are familiar with, such as Huggies and Pampers. However, even traditional overnight-specific diapers can be challenging to find and may require an online purchase. Traditional overnights historically work well enough, but often contain ingredients like fragrances, lotions, pigments, and phthalates, which can aggravate the skin of babies with allergies and sensitivities. Pampers Swaddlers Overnights and Luvs Ultra Leakguards are the two top-performing traditional products in our review.
Alternatively, green diapers typically use more eco-friendly practices in the production process and are often free of fragrance, lotions, and phthalates. Consequently, they are usually more expensive; but depending on your needs, they can be a better choice than traditional options. Nature Babycare and Bambo Nature are the top-performing green diapers in our tests.
What Is Inside Those Disposable Diapers? explains more about diaper ingredients and what they mean for your baby. Or, do you have questions about Green Diapers vs. Traditional: What's the Best Choice?
If you're looking for something more eco-friendly, cloth diapers have come a long way with a variety of brands and super user-friendly designs. We feel cloth diapering is worth serious consideration, and we think you'll be surprised at how easy it can be once you understand the options and start the process. Although it requires more labor than disposable diapers as a result of the laundering process, it also provides cost savings and reduces landfill waste. Another significant benefit of cloth diapers is that they don't contain SAP, fragrances, or lotions, and they are soft and adorable. These features make cloth an excellent choice for babies with sensitive skin or allergies. Because there are a variety of types to consider, here is a learning curve for newbies, but it isn't a highly problematic avenue to negotiate. We believe cloth is an intriguing option and encourage you to read more about Cloth Diapers vs. Disposables: How and what to choose?. The Rumparooz Pocket and
Sustainablebabyish Snapless Multi Fitted is one of the most impressive cloth options in this overnight roundup.
Using the perfect overnight diaper can be critical to a good night's sleep, but is only half of the battle. Using a few bedtime modifications as part of your sleep plan can help decrease the odds that your baby will soak through their diaper overnight.
- Limit liquids before bed — Avoid offering toddlers drinks shortly before bed. If you can, try to limit fluids up to an hour before bedtime. If they get thirsty (and are not sick), a few sips of water should do.
- Put the diaper on last — You want the diaper to be dry when your baby hits the hay. The final thing to do before you lay your baby down is put on a clean diaper. It is easy to get sidetracked during nighttime prepping, and before you know it, your little one's diaper is pre-used before they even get in their crib. Toddlers especially are professionals at stalling bedtime, so we suggest delaying the overnight diaper application until you're ready to tuck them in. We can't stress this enough.
- Diapering logistics — When putting on the diaper, make sure to pull out the inner ruffle (if present) to remove any gapping and help prevent leaks. Also, if you have a boy, position his penis down (to reduce front/top leaks) before closing the diaper.
An excellent overnight diaper can mean the difference between a blissful night's sleep and multiple overnight changes with urine-soaked laundry or severe morning fatigue. Investing in better diapers that can handle the extra liquid output so you can get a full night's sleep is well worth it. Whether you're looking for an economical disposable option or reusable cloth, we believe this round-up can help you find the right nighttime solution for your little one. Choose your diaper, and with luck, sleep well.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Lindsay Selig