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The best diapers for price and performance

Consumer Report tested 10 popular diaper brands.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — As parents know, diapers are necessary—and expensive. And if you’re going to spend that much money, you want to make sure the diapers work. 

Consumer Reports recently tested 10 popular brands to find out which diapers are the most absorbent and which ones keep your baby feeling dry.

"The testing mimics what babies do a lot of … pee. Testers looked at how fast a diaper absorbs saline and how well it holds it in, helping keep your baby dry," said Angela Lashbrook, Consumer Reports. 

At the top of the ratings (score 97) is the luxury brand Coterie, which aced both the absorption and dryness tests. The brand boasts that its diapers are made from cleaner ingredients and are free of more than 200 chemicals, claims that Consumer Reports did not independently verify. But the downside is they’re the most expensive tested, at 51 cents each.

Seventh Generation, another diaper that claims to be environmentally friendly, also scored near the top of CR’s ratings (score 95). But they’re also pricey, at 35 cents each, which can add up fast.

"The good news is there are more budget-friendly alternatives that scored well too," said Lashbrook.

For example, Amazon’s Mama Bear (score 94) and Walmart’s Parents Choice  (score 92) are good options for under 20 cents a diaper.

Well-known brands like Huggies (score 88), Pampers (score 84), Luvs (score 76), and Kirkland Signature (score 78) are all recommended— landing in the middle of CR’s ratings.

At the bottom are Dyper and The Honest Company diapers. Although they did okay in CR’s dryness test, that’s not the case for the absorption test, which means a bigger risk of leaks.

Consumer Reports says all 10 diapers passed its safety testing—which screened for heavy metals and phthalates.


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