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Diaper Comparison and Testing

I have often wondered how different diapers compare to each other. There’s a huge price range and many different brands to choose from. Some people swear by Huggies, some by Pampers, others only buy generics. With so many options, how’s a girl supposed to know what to choose?!I’ve been using Luvs with my 1 year old, but I’ve noticed lately that we’ve been having a lot of leaks. So today I’m going into all-out mad-scientist mode and giving three brands of diapers the full gamut of rigorous (cough, cough) testing.

For my tests, I decided to go with three brands of diapers that are in the same price bracket. I figure for as much as Huggies and Pampers cost, they had better work, so no need for testing. Ha!

Here are the three contestants:

Parent’s Choice (from Walmart), Luvs, and up & up (from Target).

And here’s a much cuter display of the three contestants. Thank you to my lovely model.

First up, let’s compare price. All of the prices were for size 3 diapers.

And just F.Y.I., Huggies cost 22 cents per diaper and Pampers cost 27 cents per diaper.

One thing to remember is that Parent’s Choice may be cheapest every day, but up & up diapers go on sale pretty frequently, so you can get them for an even better price. I’ve never seen coupons for Luvs, but maybe they are available? Does anyone know?

Let’s move on to the next test, shall we? When it comes to diapers, I figure the bottom line is: “Will it hold stuff in?” Am I right? So I decided to see how much water each diaper would hold before leaking. I carefully measured so that I could give you accurate results.

This is about the point where I thought, “Am I crazy? Hmm… probably. Oh, well. Carry on!”

Here are the results:

Luvs Diaper: Held 3 cups of water before puddling.
Parent’s Choice Diaper: Held almost 4 cups of water before a major leak with water running everywhere.
up & up Diaper: Held 4 1/4 cups water before pooling occured.

Isn’t that interesting? You would not believe the weight difference at the end of testing. The Parent’s Choice diaper got the biggest, but that up & up diaper was seriously heavy! (Can I just say “ew” once, please?!) I am guessing that the super absorbency is because up & up diapers now have cotton in them, so they hold a lot of water and actually become stronger when wet.

The last test was the least scientific of all. We’ll call it “everyday observation.” After switching between these three brands for a few weeks, I prefer up & up but probably won’t be buying Luvs again. I especially like how up & up diapers hold up at night. I like that Parent’s Choice diapers are cheaper. And Luvs? They are scented and smell great, but they just don’t hold as much “stuff” as the up & up diapers. Plus, if I switch to buying diapers at Target, I’ll get to browse all their cute home goods every time I need to stock up. Bonus!

So there you go. Everything you ever wanted to know about diapers. Now wasn’t that fun?


  1. I look for good absorbency and comfort for baby when purchasing diapers. I have tried the up & up disinfecting wipes for cleaning around my house and they work great.


  2. I use cloth diapers now, but I preferred the Costco brand when I used to buy disposables.

    Up&up brand…I've had fantastic luck with these and will try anything. My kids don't like the BandAids because they want Lightning McQueen but that's the only complaint I've heard!

  3. I look for good fit and absorbency. I used to use pampers but I actually love the up & up brand from Target. I use those diapers and actually the diaper rash cream they have is great. And their diaper genie refills are just as good as the brand name.

  4. Well I don't have kids/babies so I don't buy diapers, but I do buy other things from the Up+Up line all the time. I like the tissues/body wash/cleaning wipes 🙂

  5. We moved away from having a Target near to us just as the up & up brand was really getting space on the shelves. I'd love to try their products! When we were using diapers in the house, we definitely were looking for the cheapest diaper that didn't cause a rash but held "stuff" in. Luvs won hands down 15 years ago, but it looks like things are looking up & up!

  6. Cloth all the way when it comes to poop-splosions. Nothing keeps poop in like a cloth diaper. Only time I ever had problems in that area was when I used disposables. But man, most disposables can hold bucketfuls off wee. I go with absorbency and a good fit when I buy disposable (I like Huggies), and they're usually just emergency, help healing bad rash, or night time diapers.
    I'm not a US resident though, just like to talk about diapers.

  7. I have twins, so we go through a LOT of diapers. I have used Pampers, Huggies, Up & Up, Luvs, Parents Choice, the walgreens brand, and Kirkland signature. Out of all of those, I actually prefer the Kirkland brand–lucky me since they're cheaper, too. They work well and I don't have problems with leaks and such. I like the Up & Up diapers,too, but Target isn't close enough for me to go there on a regular basis to buy diapers. I haven't had any problems with Parents Choice or Luvs. The Walgreens brand didn't work for us–my son leaked a lot with those ones. And the WORST ones for us were Huggies–I swear, that is the only brand my kids ever have a blowout in…and they'd have a blowout just about every time they wore Huggies. With doing double diaper duty, it's super important to me that the diapers don't leak but are still really affordable.

  8. How they'll hold up at night. We cloth diaper during the day but nothing beats disposables for nighttime diapering. No one wants to change a wet baby with wet jammies and a wet bed at 3 am! carlypalacios at gmail.com

  9. Poop explosions! Or more accurately, the lack there of. I have used all three in size three. Up and up is more durable (on and off again for potty training). And with sales or the bulk pack (222 diapers) proves to be cheaper than LUVS and Parents Choice. My overall favorite, however, is cloth diapers.
    (project fix it) gmail

  10. I tried the Up & Up brand but they gave my little one a rash so I switched back to Luvs. It has been about a year since I tried Up & Up so maybe they have improved the interior…I must give Target kudos though because they even let me return the opened huge box of diapers that I had purchased that didn't work (I let them know that I had only used a few, but still I thought that was excellent customer service!) You can often find LUVs coupons on the Betty Crocker website or coupons.com. Thanks for sharing your results!

  11. I went through a lot of brand of diapers when daughter was a baby. The number one thing I looked for, holding power (meaning, no leaks from #1 or #2)… There were very few brands that passed my test, but I never tried up & up diapers. neyabenz(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. I don't have to buy diapers anymore – but I would have loved to try the up and up ones when my kids were little. I do like their disinfecting wipes!

  13. Those are some great results from the up&up diapers! When purchasing diapers I like to look for fit, and make sure there are no gaps around my baby.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  14. I don't have young children any more so I don't buy diapers but I like the Up & Up cleaning supplies. I don't live near a Target store so when I do get there I like to stock up.

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

  15. I love the scientific approach you used. The other issues I've had are:
    1 – compression leaks (so even though the diaper holds a lot, when baby sits, the liquid squishes out and that icky gel stuff comes out too.
    2- blow outs. sure the diaper absorbs a lot but then it comes out and up the back 🙁

    the only thing I've found that helps with both of those is Pooters fitted cloth diapers. Have you tested which disposable diapers do best in these two ares?

    • Majaliwa, I am way too scared of cloth diapers to ever test them. If others want to use them, great, but this girl? No way! I know what you mean about compression leaks and blow outs. I think the Walmart diapers are the worst for both of those.

  16. I LOVED your test!!!!! You always wonder, and what I look for…is NO Leaks!!! Or very few! I LOVED that the UP and UP diapers held more! I LOVE them, and we rarely have a leak in them!!! We used t use Huggies, but he leaked every night. We also love the Up and Up wipes!!!
    landfjacobson @ charter . net

  17. My kids are well out of diapers but I always looked for two main things: leak protection and price. I'd definitely try Target's brand if I were still buying diapers.

  18. I'm a tree hugger so I always looked for something that was as environmentally friendly as possible. We use Up & Up products all the time, especially their versions of OTC medicines.
    dmarie824 at aol dot com

  19. I don't have kids, so I have never shopped for diapers. If I did, I would look for eco-friendly varieties though. I also have never used any of Target's brands, so I don't have a favorite. Sorry!
    14earth at gmail dot com


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