If you’d like to save time and know what our pick was, we chose Pampers as the best diaper brand. It’s pretty close, but looking at several factors, including comfort, absorbancy, the fit and which causes the least rashes, Pampers was the clear winner.
When I brought my son home from the hospital just five days after he was born, I had no idea what to expect. Babies, unfortunately, don’t come with instruction manuals. One of the most shocking revelations was how many diapers the average newborn used. I was surprised at how often I had to change his diaper. Buying diapers became almost ceremonial for me in those first few weeks and finally finding the right brand of diaper made me feel like I had scored some great victory.
Table of Contents
- 1 In a Hurry? Here is our Top Pick:
- 2 Huggies vs. Pampers
- 3 Pampers
- 4 Huggies
- 5 Huggies vs Pampers: The Cost
- 6 Differences and Similarities
In a Hurry? Here is our Top Pick:
Huggies vs. Pampers
The two Titans in the diaper world, Huggies and Pampers are often pitted against each other in a race to the top (or the bottom, no pun intended.) The most popular brands in the world and most used by hospitals for newborns, Pampers and Huggies outsell their competitors by a large margin. When deciding between these two brands it helps to know that while they share many similarities, there are a few standout features that differentiate them from each other.
Pampers are the diaper most associated with newborns. This is likely due to clever advertising on the part of the company, as Pampers’ packaging usually features a picture of a swaddled or sleeping newborn. Pampers offers a soft, lightweight material that is comfortable against baby’s sensitive skin. They feature a high panel that will cover most of a newborn’s back, providing extra protection against leaks. Wide leg holes mean a more comfy fit for baby, but more of a chance that moisture will escape from the leg holes.
Pampers make a breathable diaper, with its patented Air Channels™ that keeps wetness away from the body and allow air to circulate through. Moms especially love this feature as it means less chance of diaper rash for baby. Pampers are the most used newborn diapers in hospitals, so many moms are introduced to the brand just after a baby is born.
Pampers come with a wetness indicator that will alert you when its time to change the baby’s diaper. This pattern on the front of the diaper will change color when wet, making it easy for parents to get baby out of a wet diaper quickly. With a blanket-like softness, the brand claims that babies sleep better with dry skin while wearing Pampers.
Pampers Swaddlers are made from a soft, almost fuzzy material, and are closed with a strap similar to velcro. This makes them comfortable for the baby in all temperatures, and won’t get too hot when the baby is in footed pajamas or during the hotter summer months.
Pampers are available from preemie to size 6, so parents who love the brand can stick with it until the baby is ready to graduate to the next level.
For the youngest babies, Pampers offers Swaddlers and Baby Dry. These are specially formulated for newborns and focus on keeping baby dry as long as possible. The Baby Dry diaper is advertised as having three layers of protection between wetness and baby’s sensitive skin. Pampers Swaddlers, however, are the most popular brand that are used in hospitals.
Pampers Cruisers are made for toddlers and they are made with flexible elastic bands that meet the needs of a walking, crawling and running baby. The diaper has a tighter fit so it won’t fall off while your baby is running or playing. Since toddlers soil their diapers less than their newborn counterparts, these diapers provide added protection for the toddler that will be in the diaper for longer periods of time.
For the little ones that are almost ready to transition out of diapers, the Pampers Easy Ups offer a combination of wetness protection and flexibility. Toddlers can pull Easy Ups up and down like regular underwear, and these also feature a wetness indicator that will signal when a leak is happening. These training pants are easily removable, and the mesh side tears easily in case an accident is imminent and you need to get the diaper off in a hurry.
Pampers also makes a brand of waterproof pants for children up to 85 pounds called Underjams. These underwear are designed to protect children who deal with bedwetting.
According to the company, Huggies are the brand of diaper that is growing fastest among hospitals. While more hospitals use the Pampers brand, Huggies is quickly gaining on them and becoming a fan favorite. Huggies packaging is a brighter, more vibrant red, which suggests action and activity. Huggies uses a more plastic-like material with a plastic fastener strip.
Huggies Little Snugglers diapers tend to have larger leg holes, which make them more comfortable for babies who may kick a lot but can also lead to leaks. Huggies are sized from preemie to size 6, and they also offer a line of soft wipes to complement their diapers.
Little Snugglers are formulated for the smallest babies, and they offer a preemie size for babies up to four pounds. Little Snugglers offers dryness protection that will keep baby’s sensitive skin dry throughout the night, allowing them to sleep longer. Huggies Little Snugglers also offer a notch in the front that allows the baby’s umbilical cord stump to breathe and prevents infection. The diaper also includes a wetness indicator that will alert you when its time to change the baby.
Little Movers are for babies that are on the move, crawling, climbing, running and walking. Little Movers features a comfort waistband that won’t chafe the baby’s skin and interrupt his playtime. With its patented LeakLock™ technology, Little Movers can stop leaks before they happen with an extra layer of absorbency. Little Movers can accommodate toddlers up to 35 pounds.
Huggies Overnights provide extra protection against leaks during the night. These overnight diapers are specially formulated to hold more liquid while keeping wetness away from baby’s skin.
Huggies Pull-Ups are the company’s pull on-pull off underwear and are used for babies who are transitioning into potty training. Toddlers love the printed characters on the front of the underpants that fade when wet. The wetness indicator is a major selling point when it comes to Pull-Ups. Pull-Ups are outfitted with added protection zones that are formulated upfront for boys and in the middle for girls.
Huggies Goodnites are special waterproof pants to help with bedwetting. These pants can fit children up to 90 pounds.
Huggies vs Pampers: The Cost
The amount you will pay for either a package of Huggies or Pampers diapers depends on a lot of factors. The diapers come in a variety of sizes and configurations, so it’s a challenge to make a true head to head comparison. Both brands are at a higher level of pricing than their generic counterparts, so in essence, we’re comparing the two most expensive brands to each other. Pampers, on average, cost about $0.30 to $0.35 per diaper. Huggies diapers cost slightly less at $0.24 to $0.31 per diaper.
The Goodnights waterproof underwear cost about $.80 per diaper, while Pampers Underjams cost about $0.68 per diaper, making Pampers the less expensive option in this category only.
Differences and Similarities
Fastening and Tabs
Overall, Huggies and Pampers are both considered the high-end diaper products in the industry. They have some differences, however, that create brand loyalty among parents. Many parents who have used both Huggies and Pampers say that Huggies are easier for the parent to change quickly.
Huggies uses a plastic tab that can be easily ripped off for quick changes. This makes all the difference for the parent who is changing their third diaper in the middle of the night and just wants to get the job done quickly and without fuss. Some moms, however, report that the tabs fold in on themselves when trying to change the baby, which slows down the diaper changing process.
Pampers tabs are part of the diaper itself and have a more velcro-like feel. These tabs are more likely to hold the diaper firmly in place with the smaller babies. The thicker tabs on the Pampers Swaddlers diaper, however, mean that it can take a few extra moments to open and close the diaper. When you multiply these few extra seconds by 10-12 diapers per day for a newborn, this time adds up.
Pampers, however, is the clear winner in tabs when it comes to toddlers and walking babies. The thin tabs that made it so easy to change the newborn means that your toddler will have an easy time ripping off her diaper at any time.
In the tab category, Huggies is the clear winner small babies, while Pampers takes the top spot with the older crowd.
In a number of absorbency tests, Pampers has always been the favored brand and shown to prevent more leaks than Huggies. Both diapers come with wetness indicators that will tell you when its time to change the baby’s diaper, which is a point for both. Pampers, however, have smaller leg holes and a snug fit, which translates to fewer rashes and periods of prolonged wetness on the bottom. Overall, parents report that Pampers are more absorbent than Huggies with fewer leaks reported across sizes.
One major complaint that parents have against Huggies Leak Proof Liner™ is that the inner layer of absorbent crystal often leaks out of the diaper. Parents have been known to find these tiny little blue beads on their baby’s skin after a diaper change.
Pampers are made of a thicker material that naturally absorbs leaks, so many parents prefer them in this category. Some parents, however, complain of a chemical-like smell when the diaper is full.
It’s hard to measure the comfort level of a diaper since we can’t exactly survey the babies. Measuring diaper comfort is based on parents’ reports on the baby’s willingness to stay in the diaper without fussing. Pampers diapers have a soft, almost furry material that makes them softer on baby’s skin. This makes them more porous and breathable, which increases comfort. Huggies, on the other hand, are made of a slick plastic, which makes them score better in the leaks department, but lower in the comfort department. Parents who use Huggies report more rashes than Pampers users.
Huggies diapers have a contoured shape which is more likely to fit babies in all size ranges. Babies with thicker legs, longer babies and smaller sized babies are likely to find a Huggies diaper that will fit them.
Moms seem to love Huggies’ cuteness factor, with diapers adorned with Disney characters. Pampers diapers have simple designs, making them less appealing for photo ops. While some people are fine with just having a diaper that does the job, there is something to be said for having a diaper that looks adorable on a newborn. In the appearance category, Huggies is the winner with a better overall design.
One area when Huggies definitely gets it right is with its umbilical cord stump notch. Pampers doesn’t have this feature but provides a bit of extra room around baby’s tummy to protect the cord stump. The cut out notch on the Huggies diaper allows for the cord stump to breathe and heal more quickly. Some parents prefer the Pampers brand that completely covers the cord stump because it makes dressing baby easier. Huggies is the clear favorite when it comes to this nifty little extra.
This is where it gets tricky when it comes to comparing the two. Both are winners in their own separate categories. Many moms who are surveyed about their baby’s diaper report that Huggies have an extra amount of material between the legs. Huggies, essentially seem to be made for a chubbier baby. This translates to a looser fit and more room for accidents.
Pampers seem to fit more snugly, but they don’t have as much “give” as Huggies, making them a bit less comfortable for toddlers and walkers. Pampers Swaddlers claim to wrap the baby in softness, and among moms surveyed, they certainly did the trick. In the fit category, the Pampers brand wins out among younger babies and smaller sized infants, while Huggies take the top spot with chubby babies and walkers.
GoodNites vs UnderJams
While there is fierce debate over whether Huggies or Pampers are best for smaller babies, parents are often less passionate over their choice of overnight diapers for older kids. Formulated to keep kids dry during bedwetting episodes, these “diapers” can accommodate kids up to 85 pounds. They also come with a wetness indicator that can alert your child that he has soiled his diaper.
Pampers UnderJams overnight diapers come with a NiteLock™ absorbent core that keeps kids dry while they sleep. Bedwetting can be embarrassing for older kids, so these discrete and lightweight disposable pants are helpful at keeping kids both dry and confident. Parents love them for sleepovers and time away from home.
Huggies GoodNites overnight diapers also come with an absorbent core which allows children to sleep confidently without worrying about bedwetting episodes. The major difference, however in the two brands is the appearance. Huggies GoodNites also come with a wetness indicator and look more like an actual pair of regular underwear than a large diaper. Parents tend to favor the Huggies for this reason alone.
What are Parents Saying?
We scoured the Web for reviews on both Huggies and Pampers and it seems there is no clear winner. There is a slight advantage for Pampers, as parents seem to like the softness of the material and the extra absorbency. Huggies Little Movers seem to be a fan favorite among parents of toddlers. The larger sized diapers, easy-open tabs and wetness indicators make it easier for parents to change a baby that might take off running at any moment.
One parent, who works in a daycare center, said that Huggies was the more popular brand, with more parents sending their children with the brand than any other.
People seem to love Huggies Little Snugglers when it comes to the best diaper to keep infants dry overnight. Pampers Swaddlers are definitely a hospital favorite, and many parents stick with the brand after having gotten their first diapers before the baby is discharged.
Which Brand is the Winner?
When it comes to choosing the right brand of diaper for your baby, there are many factors to consider. The fit of the diaper, the right amount of absorbency, the design and style of diaper and the ease of use are what determine which diapers reigns supreme in your household.
Personally, I think the Pampers diapers are slightly superior to their Huggies counterparts. I like the softness of the fabric, the easy to use tabs and the snug fit that keeps out the leaks. They tend to be a little pricier, but for what you get in absorbency and comfort, the extra cost is worth it. Parents report fewer rashes with Pampers than with Huggies, so that also factored heavily into my recommendation.
Ultimately, every baby is different, and each parent will find the best solution that works for their family. Huggies and Pampers are the leading brands of diapers on the market, and parents all over the world trust these brands for their babies.