If you have a baby, you need diapers. There’s no getting around it. But, you do have a choice when it comes to the type of diapers you use. Did you know that an estimated 20 billion diapers are thrown in landfills in the United States every year? That equals about 3.5 million tons of waste.
When some people read numbers like that, they immediately think about the effect that all of those diapers have on the environment. This has them turning to biodegradable diapers as an alternative. We’re going to take a closer look at disposable & eco-friendly diapers, why they’re important, what to look for as well as what to avoid. Of course, we’re also going to tell you our picks for the best biodegradable diapers on the market.
In this article
- In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Picks!
- What are Biodegradable Diapers?
- Why are Biodegradable Diapers Important?
- What to Look for in Disposable Diapers
- How is a Biodegradable Diaper Made?
- Things to Avoid with Biodegradable Diapers
- 9 Best Biodegradable Diapers
- #1. Bambo Nature Eco-friendly Baby Diapers
- #2. Andy Pandy Biodegradable Bamboo Disposable Diapers
- #3. Earth + Eden Baby Diapers
- #4. Seventh Generation Baby Diapers for Sensitive Skin
- #5. Eco by Naty
- #6. Earth’s Best Tendercare Disposable Diapers
- #7. Eco Boom Baby Bamboo Biodegradable Diapers
- #8. Little Toes Naturally Biodegradable Disposable Bamboo Fiber Diaper
- #9. Dewor Baby Premium Bamboo Diapers
- The Bottom Line on the Best Biodegradable Diapers
In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Picks!
|Bambo Nature Eco Friendly Baby Diapers Classic for Sensitive Skin
|Andy Pandy Biodegradable Bamboo Disposable Diapers, Newborn
|Earth + Eden Baby Diapers, Size 3, 180 Count
What are Biodegradable Diapers?
Biodegradable diapers are single-use diapers that are made from nature. They can break down naturally and turn back into soil. They differ from traditional diapers because traditional diapers are typically made from a variety of plastic-based ingredients. As you know plastic is not biodegradable. So, all of those traditional diapers never make it out of the landfill.
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Why are Biodegradable Diapers Important?
Disposable diapers just don’t degrade well, even when they’re exposed to oxygen and sunlight. It’s estimated that disposable diapers take around 500 years to decompose. That sounds crazy, but it’s true. So that means long after you and your babies are gone, their diapers will live on!
Using biodegradable diapers can lessen the amount of trash and have more of a positive environmental impact. Also, there are many chemicals used in conventional diapers. These diapers can also include dyes and dangerous dioxins. Many times there are no adequate studies done about the effects that these chemicals can have on kids in the long run.
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What to Look for in Disposable Diapers
Biodegradable diapers strive to not only be better for the environment but also better for your baby. Many people decide to use biodegradable diapers to avoid toxic chemicals and their possible effects on their babies.
When you’re shopping for biodegradable diapers, you should look for diapers that are:
Besides looking for these things, you also want to look at the basic design of the diaper.
- Are there stretchy tabs?
- What about side panels?
- Is there an inner layer that helps keep your baby feeling dry all day and night?
Also, how biodegradable are the diapers? Not all diapers are 100% biodegradable. If you truly want biodegradable diapers, look for ones that are as close to 100% as possible.
How is a Biodegradable Diaper Made?
Great, you’ve decided to buy biodegradable diapers to do your part for the environment. But, do you really know how they’re made? Let’s take a look.
Inner Layer or Top Sheet
For starters, this is the layer that’s touching your baby’s skin, so it’s the most important. If there are any lotions or dyes, your baby could develop a rash or reaction. Look to see what the top layer is made of and that it is fragrance and dye-free. If there are materials you’ve never heard of, or better yet, can’t pronounce, do your homework. This could be a sign that you should look for a different diaper.
This is the layer that’s going to do the dirty work…literally. It absorbs all the liquids. You don’t want a core that will be squeezed backed out and onto your child’s skin. This is going to make them irritable, which means you’re going to be irritable.
Many diapers are made from a super absorbent polymer (SAP). This soaks up the fluid. In traditional diapers, SAP may contain chemical compounds that are unsafe for babies. In biodegradable diapers, this material is typically made from wood pulp. Other companies may use wheat or corn-based materials.
Waterproof Outer Shell
The waterproof outer shell is what keeps the liquid from getting all over your child’s clothes. Eco-friendly companies typically use plant-based plastic to create a waterproof coating.
Things to Avoid with Biodegradable Diapers
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As you’re looking for the best biodegradable diapers out there, there are several things you want to avoid. These include:
Dyes can cause allergic reactions. They may also contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals. Many companies realize this and are using pigments and safe inks instead of dyes. Read the labels to be sure.
You may be tempted to opt for fancy smelling diapers because we all know what’s inside the diaper doesn’t smell very good! But, many times, these fragrances are created with synthetic chemicals that babies are allergic too. Just go with the fragrance-free diapers, no matter how bad your baby’s diaper may smell! It will be better than your baby getting a reaction.
Some diapers have lotion on the top layer that touches your baby’s skin. This is a big no-no because it can lead to reactions, even if your baby isn’t necessarily sensitive. When diaper companies use lotions, they may not label what lotions they are using or what formulas. This can be dangerous for your baby. Read the label to make sure there are no lotions in the diapers.
Phthalates are chemicals that make plastic softer and more durable. They can be found in dyes and glues.
Dioxins are possible cancer-causing agents. They can be found in some diapers. Usually, diapers need to be unbleached or 100% chlorine-free for them to be free of dioxins.
9 Best Biodegradable Diapers
Now that you know why biodegradable diapers are important, what to look for and what to avoid, let’s take a closer look at the best biodegradable diapers on the market.
- Bambo Nature Eco-friendly Baby Diapers
- Andy Pandy Biodegradable Bamboo Disposable Diapers
- Earth + Eden Baby Diapers
- Seventh Generation Baby Diapers for Sensitive Skin
- Eco by Naty
- Earth’s Best Tendercare Disposable Diapers
- Eco Boom Baby Bamboo Biodegradable Diapers
- Little Toes Naturally Biodegradable Disposable Bamboo Fiber Diaper
- Dewor Baby Premium Bamboo Diapers
We love this diaper as the best biodegradable diaper because it checks all of the boxes of what a biodegradable diaper should be. Let’s start with the fact that it’s soft for your baby’s skin. This eliminates the chance of rashes. If your baby has ever had a diaper rash, you know that it’s one of the most unpleasant things a baby can experience. It makes them cranky too, which isn’t good for anyone!
The diapers are highly absorbent, which means they are perfect for use during the day and at night. Bambo Nature also makes its diapers with sustainable manufacturing processes. There are no harmful chemicals or perfumes, so you don’t have to worry about allergies. You can also feel confident that these diapers are certified-free of all known allergens or any substances that can be irritating, carcinogenic, or mutagenic. These diapers have also earned the Danish Asthma/Allergy certification.
They are available in newborn sizes through size 6 (up to 30 kg or about 66 pounds). So, you can use these diapers from birth through the early toddler stages, depending on your baby’s size.
- Soft for baby’s skin
- Made up to size 6 (30kg= 66lb)
- Perfect body fit
- We honestly can’t find any!
Here are more diapers that rank high on the list when it comes to the best biodegradable diapers.
These diapers are made by a mom-owned business, so they know what makes a good diaper and what doesn’t. These diapers are also super silky which means no diaper rashes, or at least a lesser chance of getting one! There is moisture-wicking and thermal regulating bamboo that helps to protect the baby’s delicate skin from irritation and rashes. They’re hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial. There is also an aloe liner to keep the baby’s skin hydrated.
Andy Pandy diapers don’t leak or tear easily. So, not only will you use fewer diapers, but you’ll also have less laundry to do because there will be fewer blowouts. We’ve all been there and know how horrible those can be!
The diapers are 100% free of any chlorine, phthalates, latex, PVC, TBT, alcohol, preservatives, and antioxidants. They are also 100% biodegradable, so you can feel good about your footprint left on the earth.
Besides feeling good about your purchase because of its impact on the earth, you can also feel good knowing you’re helping sick children. Andy Pandy supports St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital with its sales.
- 100% biodegradable
- 100% free of any chlorine, phthalates, latex, PVC, TBT, alcohol, preservatives, and antioxidants
- Soft liner
- We looked high and low and couldn’t find any either!
Earth +Eden also puts out a good product when it comes to the best biodegradable diapers. Let’s start with the up to 12 hours of leakage protection that it advertises. That’s huge because you don’t want your baby’s diaper to be leaking all over the place, especially if they’re in the car or the stroller.
The breathable outer cover helps to keep the baby’s skin dry as the cotton enhanced dryness layer and hypoallergenic inner liner work to keep your baby dry. Your baby should be comfortable in these because there is a fit-grip technology with a stretchable waist and sides that hug your baby as he moves.
These diapers are also fragrance-free, latex-free, and lotion-free. You also don’t have to worry about any chlorine bleaching. You can be proud that these diapers are made in the USA at a zero waste to landfill facility. They are also never tested on animals. There are no dyes because they are printed with non-toxic water-based inks.
The only drawback here is that the largest size advertised is for babies 41 pounds plus. There are other brands that advertise that they can fit larger babies.
- 12 hours of leakage protection
- Lotion free
- May not be comfy for larger babies as the largest size advertises for babies 41 pounds and larger, other brands advertise for larger babies
If you’re looking for the best biodegradable diapers, these from Seventh Generation are worth a look as well. They are great for sensitive skin because they are hypoallergenic and free from any lotions and fragrances. The diaper’s core is also made free from chlorine bleaching. It is ultra-absorbent and has a high capacity for anything your baby has thrown at it!
For the smallest babies who wear sizes newborn, 1, and 2, there is a quilted liner that is made with soft unbleached cotton. These are the softest diapers yet!
The wood pulp of the diaper is also sustainably sourced which helps to protect the worlds’ forests and animals. The recommended weight for the largest size (size 6) is 35 pounds and up. There are other biodegradable diapers that are good for even larger babies. So, this is just something to keep in mind if you wanted to use the same diapers all the way through.
- Quilted liner in smallest sizes for extra soft diapers
- The largest size is 35 pounds and up
#5. Eco by Naty
Eco by Naty is big on advertising that 0% plastics end up on your baby’s skin. The diapers are mainly made of plant-based material. Besides the diapers being eco-friendly, the packaging is renewable as well.
Because of the materials used, Eco by Naty also advertises a reduced risk of allergies and diaper rash with its product. The company also doesn’t test on animals or use any animal products in the process of making its diapers.
Eco by Naty’s diapers are also free of dioxins, perfume, phthalates, latex, dyes, GMOs, VOCs, parabens, and hap. These diapers check many of the boxes of what the best biodegradable diapers should be. As with some other brands, the largest size advertises for babies over 35 pounds. Depending on your baby’s size, they may not fit comfortably as the baby gets older and bigger.
- Uses 0% plastic on baby’s skin
- Does not test on animals
- Free of dioxins, perfume, phthalates, latex, dyes, GMOs, VOCs, parabens, and hap
- Largest size is for babies 35 pounds and up, may not be sufficient for all babies
- Not made in the USA
These biodegradable diapers are chlorine-free, latex-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free. There is a moisture barrier cuff with breathable sides to prevent leaks and keep your baby comfortable and dry.
Although they are available in seven different sizes, we did notice that no newborn size was advertised. The smallest is a size one for babies 8 pounds and up. If you have a preemie or a smaller newborn, you may have to wait to get your baby into these diapers.
On a positive note, they are priced well when you buy the value-sized box. So, once your baby can get into these, you can stock up and save.
- Diapers are chlorine-free, latex-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free
- Breathable sides to prevent leaks
- Priced well for value-sized box
- No newborn size advertised, smallest size is for babies 8 pound and up
The best thing about these diapers is that they are made from 100% biodegradable bamboo fabric. This means it’s not only good for the environment but is also soft on your baby’s skin. The diapers are naturally hypoallergenic which is great if your baby has super-sensitive skin. Total chlorine-free pulp is also used in the process. The packaging and inside bag is made from material that is biodegradable within 18 months.
These diapers are strong and super absorbent. They also advertise big-ear type side tape for extra elasticity. This allows for flexibility for your baby to move. The velcro tape also avoids cutting into your baby’s tender skin.
There is natural aloe used in the surface of the diaper to protect and nourish the baby’s skin, but the diapers are chlorine, alcohol, and phthalate-free.
These diapers are a good choice if you’re looking for the best biodegradable diapers. But, you should know that they are a little pricier than others on the market. Also, the extra-large size (largest size available) is only for babies 26 pounds and up. So, they may be tight on larger babies.
- Made from 100% biodegradable bamboo
- Uses chlorine-free pulp
- Alcohol and phthalate-free
- Size extra large only 26 pounds and up
- Pricier than others like it
Little Toes biodegradable diapers are highly absorbent with stronger reinforced tabs and wetness indicators. They have a 100% bamboo top sheet that is soft against your baby’s skin. It’s also breathable so fresh air gets in and your baby doesn’t experience a diaper rash. No one wants that!
Bamboo biodegrades 100% in soil without causing pollution. They decompose within 180 days with soil and sunlight. Your baby will also be able to move around pretty freely because there are triple-stretchable side fasteners and an elastic-back waistband.
Little Toes’ diapers are 100% chlorine-free, alcohol-free, perfume-fee, phthalate-free, and preservative-free. They are a little more expensive than similar packages of biodegradable diapers.
- Made from 100% biodegradable bamboo
- Diapers can decompose within 180 days with sunlight and soil
- Free of chlorine, alcohol, perfume, and preservatives
- Slightly more expensive than other biodegradable diapers
Dewor may not be a brand that you may have heard of before, but they make a solid product when it comes to biodegradable diapers. Their diapers are made from 100% bamboo fiber. They are super-absorbent and ultra-comfortable with a soft feel.
As a fragrance, dye, and chemical-free diaper they are hypoallergenic and perfect for babies with sensitive skin. There is also a natural aloe liner that helps to minimize the risk of diaper rash. The wetness indicator lets you know when it’s time to change your baby’s diaper.
You can also feel confident that Dewor’s biodegradable diapers are also free of Phthalates, Latex, PVC, lead and heavy metals.
The large diapers are made for babies up to 31 pounds, so some parents may be limited to how long they’ll be able to use them.
- Made from 100% bamboo filter
- Natural aloe liner can help to minimize the risk of diaper rash
- Free of phthalates, latex, PVC, lead and heavy metals
- Diapers are only large enough for babies up to 31 pounds
The Bottom Line on the Best Biodegradable Diapers
When shopping for biodegradable diapers, you want to look for ones that will be comfortable for your baby and good for the environment. That’s why we love the Bambo Nature Eco-friendly baby diapers as the best biodegradable diapers.
They’re soft on your baby’s skin, which eliminates the chance of diaper rash. The fact that they’re also free of all known allergens or any substances that can be irritating, carcinogenic, or mutagenic.
This can give parents peace of mind that they’re using a good product on their baby. Another plus is that they’re super absorbent.
While many diapers cap their weight limit around the 30-pound mark, these diapers are large enough for babies up to 30 kilograms which is equal to about 66 pounds. So if you start using these diapers when your baby is born, you should be able to use them until they’re out of diapers.
Many people turn to biodegradable diapers because they are good for the environment and good for their babies.
Many parents worry about the chemicals that can be found in traditional diapers as well as about harsh plastics interacting with their baby’s skin. With biodegradable diapers, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Be sure to keep our tips in mind when you’re looking for the best biodegradable diapers for your baby.