Last Updated on
Whether you’re looking for disposable diapers or cloth diapers, “how to find the best diapers,” is a question that may bother you for the first 12 months after your baby is born. Disposable diapers are typically more convenient, but they’re expensive. On the other hand, cloth diapers are easily affordable, especially if you’re washing them on your own.
Our expert moms and dads independently researched and tested some of the best baby diapers on the market. In this guide, we’ll discuss baby diapers in detail and guide you on how to find the best diapers. We’ll also list some top-rated diapers on the market. Read on to know more.
- 1 Types of diapers on the market
- 2 Things you should consider while buying diapers
- 3 Cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers – The big debate
- 4 Top-rated diapers on the market – Experts’ choices
- 5 Best cloth diapers – ALVABABY One Size Cute Bamboo Fitted Diapers
- 6 Best eco-friendly disposable diaper – Bamboo Nature Baby Diaper Size 2
- 7 Best overnight diaper – Huggies Overnites
- 8 Best organic diaper – Babyganics Ultra Absorbent Baby Diapers
- 9 How to find the best diaper – Our recommendations
- 10 Final thoughts
Types of diapers on the market
Before we move on to the nitty-gritty of buying baby diapers, let’s look at the types of diapers that you may come across on the market.
A disposable diaper comes with an absorbent pad crammed between two layers of non-woven fabric. The absorbent pad comes with chemical crystals that can soak up to 800-900 times their actual weight in liquid and convert it into a gel. This helps in protecting your baby’s sensitive skin from the liquid. So, your baby can wear a disposable diaper longer than a regular cloth diaper without resulting in discomfort.
Most disposable diapers on the market can soak far more liquid than a baby can produce in a day. However, you may observe difference across brands in terms of absorbency, leakage control, and fit. The major improvement in disposable diapers in recent years has been to decrease their thickness to produce fewer waste landfills.
The size of the disposable diaper would depend on your baby’s weight, beginning with premature babies and newborns and moving from sizes 1 to 7. Some leading brands mark the sizes as small, medium, large, and extra-large. As the size of the diapers increases, you’ll get lesser diapers for the same price. Disposable diapers are further classified as “Overnight” diapers that are most absorbent. Like other baby diapers, these diapers are also available in a variety of sizes.
You can buy a disposable wrap-style diaper or disposable underwear-style diaper based on your convenience.
As your baby begins potty-training, you can allow them to wear pull-up diapers. They resemble the look and feel of regular underwear. Even if your child feels a little wet, they know when they need to go to the washroom. Some pull-up diapers such as Huggies Pull-Ups come with “Cool Alert,” a wetness liner that begins to feel cool when your child urinates. Huggies is also selling “Learning Design” diapers which come with printed characters that fade when the diaper starts getting wet. Many pull-up diapers for baby girls and boys come with absorbency pad for more comfort.
You might want to take a look at this pull-up diaper models:
Cloth diapers are typically designed using absorbent fabrics such as flannel, cotton fleece, terry, unbleached hemp, soft wool, or other materials. However, flannel is the softest material for cloth diapers and perfect for your baby’s sensitive skin.
Eco-friendly organic cotton diapers, as well as diapers made of bamboo, are easily available on the market, but you’ll pay a higher price for them as compared to non-organic cotton. A dozen organic cotton diapers cost about $36, whereas a dozen terry diapers cost about $30-$32.
Many parents have cited environmental issues with cloth diapers since they are not recyclable. However, to many parents, cloth diapers make more sense from an economic point of view. Depending on the brand, material, and size, standard cloth diapers can cost $15 to $25.
Some cloth diapers come with inserts that can be washed and reused, while the others come with liners that can be removed. Some cloth diapers are also fully-washable and are less expensive too. To increase the absorbency of organic cotton and bamboo cloth diapers, you may have to wash them numerous times.
Find some of the best cloth diapers here:
Pocket diapers come with a waterproof covering that comprises a pocket inside which a folded diaper or disposable/washable liner is placed. The covering is closed using different rows of snaps and Velcro fasteners. The outer cover is available in a variety of sizes.
An all-in-one diaper is a variant of a pocket diaper in which the diaper is attached to the exterior waterproof cover. They’re great for instant changes while you’re traveling and come with an additional diaper inside to keep your baby dry all night long. However, they’re somewhat bulkier and thicker so you may need to place them in the dryer after washing. Most all-in-one diapers are single-size. Instead of buying a larger size for your growing baby, you can simply fold the front flaps on the outer snaps as your baby grows.
If you need a waterproof diapers, you might want to take a look at this review:
Contour or fitted diapers
These are more like disposable diapers with a slender crotch and broad wings that can be wrapped around your baby’s waist. Some fitted diapers come with fasteners, while the others can be fastened using Velcro. Some fitted diapers also come with elastic at the waist and legs, and a more absorbent layer in the middle. With contour or fitted diapers, you’ll have to buy diapers of different sizes as your baby continues to grow.
These are flat rectangular fabrics that need to be folded to fit your baby’s size and shape. You’ll have to fix them with diaper pins in the middle, the left side, and the right side to hold them in place. You can also fold unfolded diapers and place them inside waterproof covers.
Even though pre-folded diapers are rectangular, they’re not as large as unfolded diapers. Therefore, many parents find them more convenient than unfolded diapers. All you need to do is fold them one or at the most twice to fit them inside a waterproof cover. Depending on how you’re folding them, they can be versatile and can cater to different absorption needs of your growing baby. But, you’ll have to buy diapers of different sizes to suit your growing baby. Most diaper services in the U.S. use pre-folded diapers. Don’t worry if you’re still not sure about how to use them; they come with folding instructions.
Things you should consider while buying diapers
While cloth diapers are convenient to use, some parents find them a little cumbersome to use since they need to be washed. So, when shopping for different types of diapers, look out for features that improve comfort, fit, and absorbency. Here’s a list of factors that you should consider while buying diapers:
Absorbency is the most important characteristic of any baby diaper, cloth or disposable. It is a measure of the volume of liquid a diaper can hold, how well the liquid can wick away from the baby and distribute through the baby diaper’s absorbency core, and how long it can hold moisture away from your baby’s skin. Poor absorbency can expose your baby’s skin to mugginess, which can lead to a terrible diaper rash.
The type of fastener can vary across brands. Most diapers these days come with Velcro fasteners which don’t lose their adhesive power when they come in contact with baby powders and creams. Tape fasteners lose their adhesive power as soon as they come in contact with baby skin products.
Some disposable diapers come with petroleum-based lotions inside the liner, while the others come with scented fragrance. The lotion helps in lubricating the skin and prevents rashes. According to Ilona J. Friedan, Managing Director of Pediatric Dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco Children’s Hospital, fragrances in baby diapers can lead to allergic reactions in the case of babies who’re allergic to any kind of scent. So, the fragrance and lotions are not important.
A contoured fit
Many baby diapers come with elastic around the waist and legs to prevent potential leaks. So, if you’re planning to travel with your baby anytime soon, our experts recommend you buy diapers with a contoured fit.
The sides help in molding the diaper to the baby’s body shape to prevent potential leakages. Baby diapers with stretchable sides are typically more comfortable too. If you plan to buy diapers with stretchable sides, make sure you check the “disposable diapers,” “all-in-one diapers,” and “waterproof cloth diapers” sections.
Some diapers come with a wetness indicator to alert you about your baby’s diaper changing time.
Cutout style for newborns
Many disposable diapers come with a cutout or curved front to avoid irritating the healing navel area in the case of newborn babies. So, you won’t have to fold your regular diaper down until the navel area heals completely.
Many diapers come with printed patterns or cartoon characters meant for either genders or both. You’ll also find “limited edition” diaper patterns and prints. For instance, Huggies has launched a limited edition of “blue jeans” style diaper.
When we talk about how to find the best diapers, there’s one debate that’s never-ending – the green disposable diapers vs. cloth diapers. Some disposable diaper brands pay more attention to reducing the carbon footprint. On the other hand, cloth diapers require electricity and water to clean again and again. So, if you don’t want to commit to cloth diapers and want to go eco-friendly, you can buy the green diapers on the market. This option may include the use of renewable energy resources, chlorine-free processing, use of biodegradable materials, minimal packaging, and a lot more. But, are the green diapers really bio-degradable? Well, we’ll get to know more about that in the next section.
Cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers – The big debate
When it comes to the environment, cloth diapers are a better option. While your baby is wearing the diaper, they will make a lot of poo. You agree, right? If you’re using a disposable diaper, you’ll simply seal it with a Velcro-closure and dispose it off in the bin or diaper pail. Like it or not, here, you’re inadvertently doing something against the law. It is illegal in most parts of the U.S. to throw human feces in the landfill since it is a bio-hazard that could pollute groundwater systems. An average baby will wear 6000 diapers, and that amounts to a whole bunch of diapers entering the trash.
Research shows that almost 20 million disposable diapers end up in the U.S. landfill every year. Even the worse, disposable diapers marked as “green diapers” don’t break down inside landfills due to the lack of water and oxygen.
On the other hand, the use of cloth diapers does not cause any environmental damage. Firstly, your baby’s poo will end up in the toilet and will finally reach a water treatment system.
Top-rated diapers on the market – Experts’ choices
Now that you can identify the different types of diapers on the market and understand different factors you should consider while looking for the best diapers for your baby, let’s look at some of the top-rated diapers on the market. Our list is a mixed-bag and comprises different types of diapers, tried and tested by our team of experts.
Best cloth diapers – ALVABABY One Size Cute Bamboo Fitted Diapers
|Product material||80% Bamboo and 20% Dacron|
|Size||One size fits all|
|Maximum weight recommendation||35.9 lbs.|
|No. of diapers||1|
|Average customer rating||4.1 out of 5 stars|
|Price||$9.99 (Check the latest rates here!)|
ALVABABY Cute Bamboo Fitted Diapers are one size diapers to fit growing babies. They’re made of high-quality fabrics and come with a super trim design. The diapers are extremely absorbent and the wings overlap to ensure a great fit for chubby, as well as skinny babies. So, it doesn’t matter if your baby is a heavy wetter, the 3-layer sewn design and 100% bamboo insert provides excellent absorbency throughout the day. If you’re too concerned about the leakage issues, you can cover the diaper with any diaper cover to make it leak-proof. The snap closure is easy to use for moms, dads, nannies, and even grandparents.
Best eco-friendly disposable diaper – Bamboo Nature Baby Diaper Size 2
|Product material||Plush, super-soft non-woven back sheet|
|Maximum weight recommendation||7-13 lbs.|
|No. of diapers||30|
|Average customer rating||4.1 out of 5 stars|
|Price||$11.40 (Check out the latest rates here!)|
As the name suggests, Bamboo Nature Baby Diapers are made of eco-friendly materials and are less harmful to the environment as compared to other typical diapers on the market. Unlike cloth diapers, you don’t need to clean them now and then; you can simply dispose them off once they’re soiled.
The diapers are available in different sizes and have been tested by dermatologists to be free of skin allergens and irritants. The diapers are stretchable, breathable, and soft to prevent rashes and skin infections. Whether your baby has sensitive skin or is a heavy-wetter, you can use Bamboo Nature Baby Diapers tension-free.
Best overnight diaper – Huggies Overnites
|Product material||Quilted inner lining|
|Size||3 – 6|
|Maximum weight recommendation||Above 37 lbs.|
|No. of diapers||58|
|Average customer rating||4.0 out of 5 stars|
|Price||$23.06 (Check out the latest rates here!)|
Huggies Overnite Diapers are scientifically designed for your baby’s sleep. They’re one of the most absorbent Huggies diapers on the market and come with Double Leak Guard for almost 12 hours of protection. The Double Grip Strips and the SnugFit waistband ensure a secure fit, and the wetness indicator changes the color as soon as the diaper gets soaked. Moreover, these night time diapers come with a quilted inner lining that locks the wetness. All in all, Huggies Overnite diapers will keep your baby’s skin healthy and fresh.
Best organic diaper – Babyganics Ultra Absorbent Baby Diapers
|Product material||Plant-based materials|
|Maximum weight recommendation||Newborn|
|No. of diapers||32|
|Average customer rating||3.9 out of 5 stars|
|Price||$19.98 (Check out the latest rates here!)|
If you’re looking for a natural and organic diaper for your baby, you can buyBabyganics Ultra Absorbent Baby Diaperswithout thinking twice. They’re “Ultra Absorbent” in the true sense. The diapers are chlorine-free, latex-free, and do not contain any petroleum-based fragrances or lotions. Instead, the brand has opted for an organic solution – the NeoNourish Seed Oil Blend, a mixture of tomato, cranberry, sunflower, raspberry seed oils, and black cumin.
Babyganics is one of a kind vegetable-based diaper and perfect for your baby’s sensitive skin. Instead of wetness indicating strips, the brand uses tiny symbols and colored flowers to tracking the wetness. As soon as the colors begin to fade, you can be sure that the diaper is soaked. We bet you won’t find a more cost-effective organic diaper solution on the market.
How to find the best diaper – Our recommendations
- Chlorine-free – Treatment of the diapers with chlorine can leave small quantities of harmful chemicals known as Dioxin.
- Dye-free and fragrance-free – Fragrances and diapers are never a “must” when it comes with baby diapers. They’re unnecessary and babies can be allergic to them. So, it’s best to leave them out.
- Super Absorbent Polymer – If your baby is a heavy wetter, we recommend diapers with Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP).
- Don’t load up on the newborn size – Unless you have more than one newborn at home, don’t stock up diapers in newborn size. Your baby is likely to outgrow the newborn size diaper even before you use it. It’s best to start with a single package contain 30 diapers. If your newborn weighs more than 8 lbs. at birth, you can use size 1.
- Try different brands – Don’t be afraid to experiment; you never know which brand will suit your baby the best. Unless you try different brands, you won’t be able to find the one with the best absorbency.
- Don’t jump to the next size impulsively – If you want to make a smart purchase instead of an impulsive purchase, select the smallest diaper your baby can wear comfortably. Large diapers cost more. Even if the manufacturers are charging the same price for a larger size, they’ll reduce the quantity to balance the equation. Also, a diaper that’s ill-fitted and large could pave the way for leaks.
- Don’t get averse to cloth diapers – Debates aside, cloth diapers are good for babies. They cost less, minimize environmental impact, are available in interesting designs and patterns, and do not contain any materials that can irritate your baby’s skin.
- Other types of diapers – If you are planning to buy pre-folded, unfolded, or fitted cloth diapers, you’ll need about 2-3 dozen diapers initially, and 6-10 waterproof covers. If you want to buy pocket size diapers 12-16 diapers, in the beginning, would be good to go.
- Things you need beyond diapers – Beyond baby diapers, you may need things such as a dry pail, a wet bag, cloth-safe diapering cream, cloth wipes, flushable diaper liners, spray shield, sprayer, and a drying rack.
Though there are still many things to learn about diapers, we hope this guide covered the most important question in your mind i.e., “how to find the best diapers” on the market. If you still have any questions or concerns, you can leave your comments in the “comment section” below, and our experts will respond to your queries soon. Also, if there are any other baby products or diapers that you’d like us to review or compare, you can write to us, and we’ll be sure to consider reviewing those as well.
- The Best Water Baby Wipes on the Market
- Boxum’s 3 in 1 Portable Bassinet Diaper Change Station
- The Best Diaper Changing Pads That We Love