The Great Diaper Challenge!

The competitors:


Pampers Cruisers, Huggies Snug & Dry, and Luvs Ultra Leakguard

Now, first of all, there’s the matter of the construction of the diaper.  I was pleased to discover that none of them felt like plastic.  The Luvs diaper has a papery feel to it, but soft like a paper towel.  The Huggies diaper was slightly softer than the Luvs.  The Pampers was the most cloth-like feel of the three.  While I prefer the feel Pampers, I was not disappointed with the feel of the other diapers.

The tabs on the Pampers and the tabs on the Luvs were comparable.  The tabs on the Huggies, while at first I liked because of the width, were very hard to remove.  That’s a good thing if your child takes his or her diaper off, but if you’re wrestling to change that diaper, you want to be able to get it off with as little difficulty as possible.  Also, I personally like to roll used diapers up into a diapergami ball and seal them with the tabs to keep anything from leaking out on the way to the diaper pail as well as holding smell in.  The Huggies tabs tended to have to be practically ripped off of the diaper and did not want to re-fasten to the diaper probably 40-50% of the time.  It’s a toss up on the winner there, because it depends on your needs.

You’ll probably notice that of the three tested, the Pampers is taller than the other two.  You might also notice that it is a size 3 and the other two are size 4.  Even though this diaper is designed for a smaller weight range of 16-28 lbs vs the 22-37 lbs of the other two brands, it is actually LARGER.  There is more material here.

Here we have them opened up.  Notice the difference in width between the three.  The width of the size 3 Pampers is actually wider than the size 4 Luvs, and about even with the size 4 Huggies.



Let’s go on to talk about fit.

While the wide tabs and the cinching in the back of the Huggies Snug & Dry diaper seems like it would provide a better fit, I did not experience this.  In order to keep the diaper from sliding down, I had to pull the tabs tightly, thus negating the purpose of the cinching.   The tab straps fit across the lower part of his hips.  He would often have red crease marks on his legs in between changes due to the extra width of the straps and the placement on his hips. The slightest bit of movement would pull the diaper down otherwise, but that may be because I have a long and lean boy.  It also sagged in the crotch when even slightly wet.

The Luvs Ultra Leakguard were a bit more narrow than the other two, but if I hadn’t tried wider diapers, I wouldn’t have noticed a problem.  The fit was essentially fine, but the straps fit over the lower part of the hip like the Huggies, so they, too, are low-rise.  The slightest sign of wetness or movement and the diaper would sag and leak.  That’s not fun when your toddler has just pooped and makes a mad dash down the hallway to jump on the couch.

The Pampers Cruisers diaper fits well.  The sides are stretchy enough to move as he moves, and it’s a little more narrow in the crotch so that it doesn’t bunch up when he walks or runs.  It’s also longer than the other two, so it stays in place better by having the straps over the top of his hips instead of the bottom.  It stays in place much better than the other two.

Now let’s talk absorbency.

Luvs… I had such high hopes, but I was sadly disappointed.  Even though the box of Luvs was about $10 cheaper than a similar quantity box of Pampers, I used twice as many.  For night time,  he and I both got up a minimum of three, and sometimes four, times a night with a soggy diaper.  This sometimes included changing wet pajamas and bed clothes.  After a week, I started to double up the diapers just to keep from having to wash his bedsheets every day.  His little bum stayed wet and red even though we were going through over 10 diaper changes a day.  Between bedtime and during the day, a box of 160 diapers lasted me 2 weeks.
Cost:  Box of 160 cost $32.99 but only lasted 2 weeks. To have enough for a month, I would have to pay around $68.

Huggies were slightly better, but still not quite enough.  A diaper would last overnight, but usually by the time he normally would wake up (or two hours before) he would be soaked through his pajamas.  During the day, the diaper would get wet pretty quickly, but at least it had a dry shield layer that kept his skin a little bit drier than the Luvs did.  I was displeased the other day when I put a fresh diaper on him, put him in his high chair for dinner, and when I pulled him out, he was soaked through his clothes.  A box of 92 lasted just under 2 weeks.
Cost: Box of 92 at Walmart for $25.  Roughly $50 plus tax per month, maybe slightly higher.

Pampers…. ah, Pampers.  I was so excited to find an old stash of Pampers in a spare diaper bag when I cleaned out my car.  That’s actually why this review compared the size 3 to the others that were a size 4.  I’ve never had a lot of problem with leaks with Pampers Cruisers leaking except in rare cases.  As I was finishing up the box of Huggies, I would put one Pampers Cruisers diaper on at bedtime and he would wake up with dry pajamas and a drier feel to his skin due to the dry shield on the inside of the diaper.  There’s just more absorbent material in the Pampers, and the outer cover is more water tight, too.  A box of 152 Pampers Cruisers will last me just shy of a month, and with no diaper rash even though I’m not having to change him as often as with the other diaper brands.
Cost: About $45 per month in store, $36 per month via Amazon Mom

If your child doesn’t pee as much as mine does, Luvs or Huggies might work for you. Pampers designed for a smaller baby are designed better and absorb more than the other brand’s diapers that are designed for a larger baby (and subsequently larger bladder!)

If I didn’t know how great a Pampers diaper could be, I wouldn’t really think badly of Huggies or Luvs.  It’s just that in comparison, spending more per diaper on a Pampers diaper is cheaper than going through so many of the others in one month.



How does your diaper stack up?

How does your diaper stack up?

Check out the blog post that inspired this project.





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