Best Disposable Diapers & Pampers for Babies Reviewed in 2018

We know no one revels in diaper changing duty, but it’s a necessary evil. Before you begin, we strongly suggest running a mental checklist to make sure you have all your supplies on hand. Wet wipes or a wet/warm washcloth is always a good idea. You might also want to invest in a burp cloth, a changing pad (if you’re not using a changing table), baby powder, lotion, and diaper rash ointment. If these are all stocked up and within arm’s reach, it’s time to look at your last, and most necessary resource: the diaper itself.

Some families prefer to use reusable diapers, but that can get messy and be time-consuming. Plenty of others opt for disposable diapers when it comes to keeping baby clean and bubbly. There are hundreds of diaper brands out there, and most companies offer slightly altered designs to fit specific needs. Night-time nappies will hold the night’s load, active baby diapers are meant to stay in place throughout play. When choosing a diaper for your baby, consider their habits and what sort of features might best suit them. Pay close attention to sizing, and try to stick to hypoallergenic materials so no one winds up with any rashes or irritations.

Here are our Top 10 Disposable Diaper designs. Browse freely and if it takes a little trial and error, that’s alright! We actually suggest going into battle armed with more than one type of diaper, if you haven’t figured out baby’s favorite yet.

Last Updated: October 20, 2018
By Amanda Milewski:

You could spend hours in the baby diaper aisle of your local store mulling over all of the options and wasting precious time that you could be spending with your baby. We've done some of the legwork for you with our recently updated list of the 10 best diapers. In addition to adding a number of new products, we also reviewed all product information--materials, construction, sizing, additional features, cost and availability--to ensure its accuracy.

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Disposable Diapers & Pampers for Babies

When comparing diapers, we looked at a few things. Firstly, each diaper needs to be absorbent. Duh! That’s what they are there for. There are different types of absorbencies, some being more effective than others. Some are chunkier and can absorb a lot of liquid but that also means they are heavier on your little one. Others are lighter and work better if they are changed more often. It all comes down to personal preference.

There are also some smaller features that can add some convenience to the busy life of a parent. A wetness indicator is a strip of yellow that changes to blue when wet. This can be much easier than trying to wrangle in an infant on the move. The softness of the inner lining will prevent chafing and rashes while wicking away moisture from your little one’s skin. All these components will determine what makes the perfect diaper.

Leg leaks that require an outfit change can really throw a wrench in your day. Most diapers feature blocks that prevent this from happening. Its effectiveness is based more on the quality of the elastic rather than the material. The elastic needs to fit snugly without seams, to prevent rubbing while also keeping moisture inside. This perfect balance can be tough to find.

Another way to prevent leaks is by buying the correct size. It may seem simple but this can really play a huge role in whether or not a diaper has a blowout. If it is too small, there won’t be enough surface area to contain the amount of fluid. If it is too big, there can be gaps that allow liquid to pass through. Make sure you follow the sizing guidelines for each brand. A size 3 in one brand may be larger than another brand.

Many parents do not have the luxury of using cloth diapers and many others just don’t like them. A lot of these parents have a fear about the wastefulness of disposable diapers, especially when you need six to eight diapers a day. Thankfully, there are many manufacturers that have taken on the responsibility of becoming environmentally friendly. By sourcing material sustainably, some brands have earned FSC certifications and other types of green labels. Some diapers are even biodegradable and every step counts towards being more sustainable.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know which diaper to pick?

A: First, each individual family has different needs. Prioritize what you find important for your lifestyle and find a diaper that works. If you really care about the environment, pick a green brand. If your baby has sensitivities, find a brand that is dermatologist-tested and recommended. Purchase in a small pack until you find the perfect brand before you buy in bulk.

Q: Why is being fragrance- and chlorine-free important?

A: When chlorine is added to diapers, it can leave trace elements of dioxin, which is a dangerous chemical in larger amounts. Fragrances can be irritants to some sensitive skin. If your baby struggles with skin sensitivities, diaper rashes and allergies can benefit from brands that are chlorine- and fragrance-free.

Q: How are diapers so absorbent?

A: There is a powder inside the middle of the diaper that can absorb up to 800 times their weight. This is called SAP, or superabsorbent polymer. It is in between the outer, waterproof layer and the inner, moisture-wicking layer.

Q:  How do I buy the right size?

A:  Most sizes are based on weight but each brand can vary. It is best to follow the size chart and make adjustments from there.

Q: How many diapers should I buy?

A: While you may save money buying in bulk, if you are getting a newborn size you won’t use that many. Many babies grow out of their newborn size rather quickly. Also, if you are unsure which brand you like, it is best to buy smaller packs and test out your favorites. After that, younger infants will go through 10 to 12 diapers a day. As infants get older, they start using 6 to 8. After you find a brand you like and your baby is in a steady size, buying economy sizes can save a lot of money.

Q:  How do I prevent blowouts?

A: As we’ve mentioned, finding the right diaper and the right size is the best way to prevent leaks and blowout. Certain foods can even cause a mess. While you are breastfeeding, avoid anything that may cause an upset stomach. This includes excess fruit, for example. If you’re going to have a mess, it may happen at an extremely inconvenient time. Always be prepared with an extra change of clothes and clean-up materials. Also, you can avoid unpractical—and generally expensive—clothes. Fancy pj gowns or daytime clothes can be a mess to try and clean up. Easy access through buttons can determine how easy the clean-up process is.

Q: We’re worried about the wastefulness of disposable diapers.  How do we help reduce our ecological/environmental impact?

A: Great question!  (And good looking out for Mother Earth. She has roughly 7.6 billion children to support.)  Several of the brands above are specifically designed to reduce waste.  Andy Pandy Biodegradable Bamboo Diapers (#4), Bambo Nature Diapers (#6),  and Naty By Nature (#10) all explicitly mention in their product descriptions that they are sustainably sourced and environmentally friendly. You might also consider trying cloth diapers if that’s an option for your family’s lifestyle and schedules. Cloth diapers are proven to emit much less waste, decompose faster in landfills, require fewer materials to make, and can be used multiple times before they’re thrown out. Some daycares refuse to use them, and they can be difficult and messy if you’re usually on the go, so consider utilizing them part-time if possible, and always dispose of solid fecal waste in the toilet, even when utilizing disposable diapers. (Fecal matter and contaminated garbage in landfills can endanger our water supply.)

Q: What’s a wetness indicator?

A: A wetness indicator is a feature in many disposable diapers that helps to alert the parent as to when the diaper is exposed to liquid and therefore might need changing.  Rather than wrangling your little ones in an hourly rodeo to check if they need changing, let the diapers do the work for you. Usually, the feature is as simple as a color-changing strip, or a design that fades or gets more pronounced as it detects moisture.

Sources

  1. Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team, How to Choose the Best Disposable Diaper , Online Advice Article,
  2. Charlee, How to Prevent Diaper Blowouts (or at least try!), Informative Article,
  3. Juliet Spurrier, MD , What Is Inside Those Disposable Diapers? , Online Advice Article,
  4. Admin, Diaper Buying Guide , Buying Guide,
  5. Catherine H. Banks , Disposable Diapers, Informative Article,
  6. Admin, Cloth Diapering 101, Informative Article,