In Depth Baby Product Reviews Led by a Pediatrician

10 Best Diapers

We tested diapers across all categories, including disposable, cloth, and overnight options, for this review that highlights the best
gearlab tested logo
10 Best Diapers
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Our Top Picks

Tuesday April 2, 2024

Are you searching for the best diapers? We've performed hands-on testing for over 135 diapers of different types, including disposable, overnight, and cloth, to find the absolute best diapering products. This review presents the top award-winning products from each diaper category we tested. We purchase, test, and compare all products in our in-house lab to evaluate absorption, leakage, quality, comfort, and more, and we use each diaper on real babies to gain real-world experience. Our detailed tests for absorption and leaks are unique and the only ones we know of in the review industry. Our review provides the information and details to determine which diaper fits your diapering goals and budget.

Diapering is a full-time job, and our list of the best diaper gear can help you prepare for any mess that comes your way. If you want to learn more about a particular diaper type or how a featured product in this review compares to other competitors, visit the best disposable diaper review, our favorite cloth diapers, and the best overnight diapers review. If you're heading to a baby shower, you can't go wrong with gifting diapering essentials. Consider a baby gift basket that includes diapers, the best diaper cream, our favorite baby wipes, and more.

Editor's Note: We updated this review on April 2, 2024, with additional information about our test-centric methodology for all diaper categories, including our unique absorption test process.

Best Disposable Diaper

Kirkland Signature

Supreme absorption & protection from leaks
Durable andcomfortable
Few nods to the environment
Lack of ingredient transparency
Chlorine-FreeECF/TCF ECF
Type of DiaperGreen/Traditional Traditional
Fragrance-Free Yes
Biodegradable Not listed
Contains SAP Yes
The Kirkland Signature is a big box store disposable diaper with more green considerations than the traditional competition. This impressive diaper has some of the highest scores in key metrics, like a perfect score for absorption and excellent leak protection analysis. It is free of lotions and fragrances and is Elemental Chlorine-Free.

This diaper is somewhat baby skin and eco-friendly but isn't completely chlorine-free and lacks transparency on our preferred manufacturing process and ingredients. With no information about latex, dyes, and renewable resources, it doesn't win any eco-health love. Still, it does offer more than most traditional diapers and has a lower price with top ranks in critical metrics, including absorption that can't be beaten. If you are interested in a brand outside of store brands, the Huggies Snug & Dry also offers impressive performance and lower price, with much in common with Kirkland.

Read more: Kirkland Signature review

diaper - the kirkland signature diapers offer superior absorption and...
The Kirkland Signature diapers offer superior absorption and impressive leak protection in a less expensive diaper.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Budget Disposable Diaper

Huggies Snug & Dry

Good absorption & Leak prevention
Available everywhere
Poor environment considerations
Strong smell
Chlorine-FreeECF/TCF Not Listed
Type of DiaperGreen/Traditional Traditional
Fragrance-Free No - Strong baby powder scent
Biodegradable Not listed
Contains SAP Yes
The Huggies Snug & Dry is a well-known, easy-to-find, budget-friendly traditional diaper. It features adorable Disney patterns and is comfortable with soft materials yet still durable with long-lasting back sheets and closure tabs. This diaper performed well for leak protection and absorption, and the convenience of being available almost everywhere is something many parents will love.

This traditional diaper doesn't do much with the environment or baby's sensitive skin in mind. It lacks transparency on what it contains or doesn't contain concerning common irritants like fragrances, dyes, lotion, and latex. It has a strong scent when opened, and there is a printed pattern, so we assume it uses some dye and fragrances and who knows what else. Huggies also doesn't include information on how the diapers are made concerning the Earth and being greener. The Kirkland Signature is very similar but often cheaper, especially if you belong to Costco. Despite the hiccups related to the Earth and sensitive skin, we think there is a place in our lineup for an easy-to-find, higher-ranking disposable with a performance that excels for the price.

Read more: Huggies Snug & Dry review

diaper - snug & dry is a comfortable and durable diaper that is easy to...
Snug & Dry is a comfortable and durable diaper that is easy to find with higher scores for absorption and leak protection.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Readily Available Disposable Diaper

Hello Bello Premium

Great absorption & limited leaks
Wallet-friendly price
Available in most stores
Slightly less eco-friendly
Chlorine-FreeECF/TCF TFC
Type of DiaperGreen/Traditional Green
Fragrance-Free Yes
Biodegradable No
Contains SAP Yes
The Hello Bello Premium is a high-performing disposable diaper that is easily accessible in stores and online, including subscription delivery and places like big box store retailers. These higher-ranking diapers combine impressive absorption and leak protection with a reasonable price tag and more considerations for the environment and baby's skin than much of the easy-to-find competition. It is also durable and comfortable, providing a non-chaffing design and softness.

Hello Bello considers the environment and baby's skin more than many traditional competitors, but it still doesn't offer as much as green-defined diapers. However, it does boast a totally chlorine-free production and uses fluff pulp from sustainably managed forests and plant-derived PLA nonwoven fiber. Whoa! Not too shabby for a traditional disposable. If you want a higher performer with green leanings and a reasonable price that you can find in your local grocery store, Hello Bello is one to consider. If you want to lean more green, it might be worth checking out a cloth diaper, Rumparooz Pocket is an easy option to start with.

Read more: Hello Bello Premium review

diaper - hello bello is a top-scoring diaper you can find in most stores...
Hello Bello is a top-scoring diaper you can find in most stores, order online, or set up a subscription service.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Cloth Diaper

Rumparooz Pocket

Type: Cloth | Style: Pocket
Great absorbency
Requires stuffing
Tested Material Diaper Synthetic Fiber: Polyester, Polyamide
Style Pocket
Weight Range 6 - 35+ lbs
Gusset Double
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 it has 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 this option runs a little small, reducing its lifespan, but this could also make it ideal for smaller babies. If you need a more budget-friendly choice, the Imagine Baby Pocket Snap is one to try with easy-to-use inserts (though bulky). This cloth product has far more benefits than flaws, making it one we think parents and babies will love, even overnight.

Read more: Rumparooz Pocket review

diaper - being comfortable in the diaper is key while roaming and exploring...
Being comfortable in the diaper is key while roaming and exploring new things.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Budget Cloth Diaper

Imagine Baby Pocket Snap

Type: Cloth | Style: Pocket
Great on leaks
High absorbency
Harder to adjust
Tested Material Diaper Synthetic Fiber: Polyester, Nylon
Style Pocket
Weight Range 8 to 35+ lbs
Gusset Single
The Imagine Baby Pocket Snap is one of the top-performing cloth options from the products we tested and has a budget-friendly price (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. For better absorption, the Rumparooz Pocket will cost a little more but offers more absorbency.

Read more: Imagine Baby Pocket Snap review

diaper - although a bit bulky, the imagine baby pocket snap diaper fit well...
Although a bit bulky, the Imagine Baby Pocket Snap diaper fit well on our little tester and did not hinder movement.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Hybrid Cloth Diaper

Flip with Stay Dry Insert

Type: Cloth | Style: Hybrid/All-in-Two
Easy to adjust
Trim fit
Liner free-floats
Multiple-step set up
Tested Material Diaper Synthetic Fiber: Polyester, Nylon, Spandex
Style Hybrid/AI2
Weight Range 8 to 35 lbs
Gusset Single
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 contender 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, and 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 this option has two parts, 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. If you don't want a hybrid and are looking for something with a pocket, the Rumparooz Pocket is a top performer.

Read more: Flip with Stay Dry Insert review

diaper - the combination of a snug fit and soft fabric makes the flip so...
The combination of a snug fit and soft fabric makes the Flip so cushy to hang out in.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Overnight Diaper

Pampers Swaddlers Overnights

Type: Disposable | Style: Traditional
Good overnight absorbency
Elemental Chlorine-Free
Better leak protection
Contains perfume, lotion & dye
Not eco-friendly

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. If you don't need an overnight diaper, the Kirkland Signature is economical with excellent absorption.

Best Overnight Budget Diaper

Pampers Baby Dry

Type: Disposable | Style: Traditional
Excellent absorbency
Not as skin-friendly

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 wearer's movement. 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. If you want the best overnight absorbency, the Pampers Swaddlers Overnights is the best absorbency. Also, if your little one has sensitive skin or you're trying to lower their exposure to unnecessary chemicals, this might not be your option. It contains fragrances and lotions and uses Elemental Chlorine-Free manufacturing instead of the preferred Total Chlorine-Free (TCF) method. Pampers Baby Dry isn't the highest-performing product in the overnight diapers 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.

diaper - to assess performance, we test each diaper in our testing facility...
To assess performance, we test each diaper in our testing facility and with real babies.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

How We Test Diapers

What sets BabyGearLab apart from others in the review industry is our vetting process for selecting products and our hands-on testing of every product to provide our readers with the best possible side-by-side comparison and objective data.

Since the debut of our first disposable diaper review in 2012, we've performed more than 4,492 individual tests in evaluating over 135 products across all diaper categories. In other words, that's equivalent to completing more than 12 diaper changes each day for a year. It's safe to say our experts know a thing or two about diapers.

Our diaper selection and results are the outcome of multiple steps. We complete market research to examine and evaluate the most compelling products and innovative options on the market and only select those that show potential. We purchase each contender at market value for testing.

The Bambino Mio Miosolo has a built-in hand pocket that helps glide the insert through the cover.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Our rigorous testing involves hands-on testing in our in-house lab, plus use with real babies ranging in age and weight to gain real-world experience.

Testing is divided into 4 to 6 basic rating metrics depending on the type of diaper category:

  • Absorption tests (all products)
  • Leakage (all products)
  • Fit (cloth only)
  • Comfort (all products)
  • Durability (all products)
  • Ease of Use (cloth only)

Each metric's weighted contribution to the overall score varies somewhat depending on the tested category. For example, both disposable and overnight products have an absorbency weighting of 40% because we believe this is the most critical function. While absorption is vital for cloth diapers, the fit can also impact absorption and leaks. Therefore, absorbency weighting for cloth is 35% of the overall score, and a cloth-specific metric called fit/leakage holds 30%.

Results among the different metrics and tests inform our ranking and award winners. Our tests show that every product's performance varies, and only the best of the best make it to the final list.

Video showing our absorbency test for disposable.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Absorption Testing

We designed our absorption test method to evaluate how effectively a product absorbs and locks away urine in its inner core and measure the remaining surface moisture next to the baby's skin. Each product endures this test multiple times to assess variability. Here are some performance elements we examine:

  • Absorption — We create a mock urine concoction that matches baby urine. We distribute the same amount of urine-like solution to each diaper and allow the same amount of time for absorption.
  • Redistribution Process — Since a baby's movement plays a role in the redistribution of urine, we load and unload each diaper with 15 lbs on top for the same amount of time. Again, this recreates a baby's typical pressure and movement while wearing the diaper.
  • Surface Wetness — A diaper should lock moisture away in its core versus having wetness next to the baby's skin, which can increase the chances of skin irritations. We place a science-grade filter paper against the diaper's surface with 5 lbs of weight on top for a specific time to record the surface wetness. Those diapers with drier filter paper indicate better absorption within the pre-determined time frames. We photograph each filter for a real-world visual representation of a diaper's ability to absorb urine.

Our standardized and highly repeatable testing provides an apples-to-apples analysis and visual results instead of an opinion based on anecdotal evidence or manufacturer influence from free samples. Check out the How We Tested Disposable Diapers article to read more details about our testing process.

Absorbency filter paper comparisons during our most recent round of...
Absorbency filter paper comparisons during our most recent round of testing. Each diaper was tested at least three times to ensure consistency in testing and diaper performance.
To simulate real-world experiences, we put each contender through...
To simulate real-world experiences, we put each contender through the same absorbency tests involving mock urine, weights, and filter paper.
All the parts and pieces of cloth diapers. Systems can be vastly...
All the parts and pieces of cloth diapers. Systems can be vastly different from one another, and each has its pros and cons, including varying price points.

Why You Should Trust Us

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.

diaper - diapering doesn't have to be a total chore if you choose the right...
Diapering doesn't have to be a total chore if you choose the right option for your goals, lifestyle, and needs.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

How to Choose a Diaper

Unless you plan to clean up messes everywhere your baby goes, you'll need diapers. Choosing a great product can be challenging because it entails more than finding a suitable option for your budget. 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? We believe there is an option for everyone, no matter what your goals are for your the diapering years.

Since 2013, we've tested over a hundred diapers, including more disposables than we can count.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

diaper - we test each disposable diaper to evaluate overall performance...
We test each disposable diaper to evaluate overall performance, including absorbency, fit, and design differences.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers remain a popular diapering option for many parents in modern times. They are undoubtedly convenient in use and disposal, regardless of whether you are at home or on the road. They are also widely available to purchase. Many families appreciate the lower initial cost of disposables than cloth diapers and the ability to throw them away without rinsing or laundering. However, no diaper we tested is perfect. 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.

Testing disposable diapers is no easy task. We strive to comprehensively analyze the best disposable diapers available, including in-house lab testing, research, and real-world data from our little testers. Each contender in the disposable competition undergoes more than 29 individual tests to assess performance, including 3 mock urine tests.

SAP is an acronym for Super Absorbent Polymer. It is the component of disposable diapers that gives them the ability to absorb liquid and trap it to avoid leaks. You can see the SAP expand as it locks in the "urine."
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Based on our in-house lab tests, all disposable diapers we have tested since 2012 contain varying amounts of SAP (Super Absorbent Polymer), the secret sauce inside the absorbent core layer of a disposable that soaks up moisture. Interestingly, our absorbency test results show that some green diapers perform above average and better than some traditional choices. We appreciate having disposable options that prioritize eco-friendliness in their production process.

diaper - the velcro on the miosolo is swift and helpful, making diaper...
The Velcro on the Miosolo is swift and helpful, making diaper changes easier with wiggly little ones.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapering is gaining popularity, and it 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 with top-ranked baby detergent, 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 must bag that dirty cloth and carry it until you get home.

A double row of snaps is exactly what we look for in our ideal cloth...
A double row of snaps is exactly what we look for in our ideal cloth diaper.
The Freetime inserts are highly customizable, so you can get extra...
The Freetime inserts are highly customizable, so you can get extra absorbency right where you need it.
The double gusset on the Thirsties Duo Wrap helps keep the leg...
The double gusset on the Thirsties Duo Wrap helps keep the leg openings snug against the baby's skin, preventing leaks and blowouts.

Your baby will rapidly grow in the beginning years, and having a diaper that can keep up with the changes and output is ideal. Some of the most significant advantages of using cloth are customization in absorbency needs and fit. Pulling from our extensive background in the cloth diaper department, including test results, we have learned that not all cloth diapers are created equal and that design features, like gussets, adjustability in the waistband, material type, and more, make a significant difference in performance.

The cloth competition endures more than 22 individual tests in our in-house lab to compare and analyze performance in each metric and overall, including 3 mock urine tests to see how they receive and locks away moisture. We also complete research and hands-on testing with real babies to gain real-world experience. Our expertise provides the details you need to select the right option for your family.

diaper - overnight diapers are more absorbent than disposables to keep your...
Overnight diapers are more absorbent than disposables to keep your baby dry for extended periods.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Overnight Diapers

A top-ranked overnight diaper can potentially mean the difference between a restful sleep and multiple overnight urine-soaked changes, involving favorite baby crib bedding changes and fatigue the next day. So, what makes overnight products useful? While some cloth and disposable options have impressively high scores in our absorbency tests, they are designed for daytime use and are not equipped to absorb the extra urine that happens at night. Our overnight diaper review focuses on absorbency for older babies and toddlers who create more urine output and wear a size three and up diaper.

diaper - there's a noticeable difference in the amount of sap in pampers...
There's a noticeable difference in the amount of SAP in Pampers Swaddlers Overnights versus Sposie Booster Pad
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Each overnight contender undergoes more than 24 individual tests, including 3 absorbency tests. This process allows us to rate and compare the products in individual metrics and overall performance. We administer more mock urine to the overnight options than other kinds of diapers. We estimated the average amount of urine created by a 22 lb child while asleep overnight is 200 ml. Besides this difference, the rest of the testing process is similar.

Each diaper's filter paper result shows how much mock urine remains close to your baby's skin versus being locked into the diaper's inner core.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

From our experience testing, we have learned that some competitors struggle to absorb and wick moisture, as indicated in the filter paper results. The science-grade filter paper is akin to a baby's skin. Any mock urine moisture at the surface layer is absorbed into the filter paper, creating a visual record of how much liquid remains close to the baby's skin versus locked into the diaper's inner core. We've included comparison photos of each contender's filter paper test result in our reviews to help document our findings.

Credit: Katarzyna Wojtasik ©

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 with 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.

diaper - once you establish a routine, washing cloth diapers won't feel much...
Once you establish a routine, washing cloth diapers won't feel much different than any other load of laundry.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

You might be wondering about the environmental impact, which is a high priority for many. 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 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 traditional disposables, we recommend giving cloth diapers a chance for both the environment and the potential health implications.

diaper - sensitive skin can react to chemicals used in the production of the...
Sensitive skin can react to chemicals used in the production of the diaper or from dyes, fragrances, lotions, or the leg cuff design of disposable diapers. The Honest diaper caused a repeated rash on one of our testers.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

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.

diaper - some cloth options have a higher upfront cost but can be less...
Some cloth options have a higher upfront cost but can be less expensive in the long run.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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 start as you build your stash. 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 $300 to $500 dollars. At the same time, higher-end products could be closer to $600 or $800. 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 disposables.

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. Some families use cloth during the day and disposables overnight or while away from home, which 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.

diaper - we bought and tested diapers from various brands to see which would...
We bought and tested diapers from various brands to see which would come out on top.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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. A top-ranked cloth diaper 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.

diaper - first, you need to choose cloth, disposable, or a combination of...
First, you need to choose cloth, disposable, or a combination of both. Next, you need to find the right options within those types for your baby and lifestyle.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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 using cloth, 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.

diaper - diapering your little one is a big part of your first years, so...
Diapering your little one is a big part of your first years, so finding the right diaper or diapering system for your little one and lifestyle is important.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


Choosing the right diapering option for your little one can be challenging and sometimes confusing if you don't know much about cloth diapering. We've created an extensive testing process for fair, objective, and pragmatic side-by-side comparisons to help you find the best diaper for your baby, goals, and budget. We tested traditional disposable diapers, cloth options, green disposable diapers, and add-in liners to analyze the differences that make one more effective than another based on specific goals (environmental, absorbency, or both). Whether you are looking for an impressive cloth product, a more Earth-friendly disposable, or want something with superior absorption, we feel confident there is something for everyone and every goal in this lineup of impressive, award-winning products.

Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz