7 Best Baby Diapers of 2023, Tested by Experts

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7 Best Baby Diapers of 2023, Tested by Experts

By the time your baby is potty trained, you will go through thousands of diapers (and mountains of baby wipes), so it's essential to choose quality, absorbent diapers that are worth the money. Because your baby is spending most of their time in diapers, make sure they're comfortable, lightweight and unrestrictive. With new diaper brands popping up all the time and tons of options already on the market, it can be difficult to decide which ones are best for you and your baby.

At the Good Housekeeping Institute, we put all kinds of baby gear to the test, including baby strollers, crib mattresses, bottles and disposable diapers. When we test diapers, we inspect and score the construction, considering dimensions, elastic waistbands, leg openings and more. We also use a variety of tests to assess absorbency and evaluate how dry the diaper's surface stays after fluid is absorbed.

Along with testing in the Lab, we have a panel of consumer testers rate each diaper for softness in a blind comparison, and as part of Good Housekeeping's Best Parenting Awards, we send samples to real parents who are able to try the diapers with their babies and report back with valuable insight. In recent years, we've tested more than 25 different diapers from popular brands and have collected thousands of data points for analysis.

Keep reading to learn more about how we test diapers and for a helpful shopping guide, but first, here are our top-tested diaper picks.

With the highest overall score in our tests, Huggies Snug & Dry diapers stood out for their superior absorbency and top-notch construction. When we assessed absorbency, the diapers quickly soaked up fluids from different angles (babies don’t pee in just one position!) The liquid stayed inside the diaper's core and the diaper didn't feel damp at the surface, which results in a more comfortable feel for your baby. Despite being some of the most absorbent diapers we tried, they were some of the lightest in our tests, so they aren't bulky and won't hold your baby back.

None of our test liquid leaked out of the diapers, and thanks to thoughtful details like a fitted elastic waistband and double elastic leg openings, our consumer testers agreed that these diapers were great at containing messes and preventing blowouts.

The diapers are covered in a Mickey Mouse print, which one tester noted was visible under lighter clothing, but other testers weren't concerned about the design. Huggies also offers other styles like its Overnites diapers for sleeping, Little Snugglers for infants and Little Swimmers for a trip to the pool, and they've all been top performers in our evaluations. Plus, Huggies' diapers are less expensive than others we've tested, proving you don't have to spend a fortune to get a high-quality diaper.

Not only were these Little Journey diapers from Aldi the most affordable in our tests, coming in at less than half the cost of other popular styles, but they were also among our top performers. We were blown away by how quickly they soaked up fluids in our absorbency tests and were impressed by how dry the liner felt after being wetted repeatedly.

In a blind comparison test, these diapers earned high scores for softness, and one tester highlighted that her baby seemed comfortable when wearing them. When we evaluated the construction, we appreciated the lightweight design and elements like a wetness indicator so you know when it's time to change your baby. Double elastic leg openings also help to contain messes. Our testers said the diapers fit their babies snuggly around the waist and legs and shared that they experienced no leaks or blowout accidents.

These diapers are only available at Aldi and come in sizes 3 to 6, so they're more limited than other styles we evaluated, but you can opt for the brand's Tiny Bundles version to fit smaller sizes. In addition to its diapers, Aldi also carries high-quality Little Journey baby wipes at an incredible value.

Used by many hospitals for newborn babies, loved by GH analysts and favored by testers, these diapers are one of the most popular options on the market, and for good reason. In our Textiles Lab evaluations, the diapers were lighter than any other style we tested, and they received high scores for construction. We appreciated the helpful design elements like elastic stretch all the way around the waistband, front and back wetness indication and double elastic leg openings.

Ideal for newborns who are spending most of their time snuggling and sleeping, the diapers aced our pooling, strike-through and rewet absorbency tests, meaning the absorbent core is able to soak up tons of liquid in the same spot without leaking or feeling wet. Plus, there's an extra barrier at the back of the diaper to prevent blowouts. When we applied liquid at a 45-degree angle, we noted some runoff, which means a baby who is up and on the move could experience more leakage.

While most diapers start at newborn sizing, Swaddlers start at size 0 for premature babies and extend through size 7. It's important to note that the diapers have a powdery fragrance that some testers found strong, while other testers and analysts weren't bothered by the scent.

Co-founded by Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard in 2019, Hello Bello is a diaper brand with celebrity-like status. The diapers live up to the hype and were one of the top-rated diapers during recent evaluations. Our testers appreciate that the diapers are fragrance-free with no harsh smells, and they especially love all of the colorful and fun print and pattern options. To access the majority of the prints including seasonal styles, you'll need to create a bundle of diapers and wipes on the brand's site, which means you're purchasing more at one time, but for a better value.

During our Textiles Lab tests, these diapers earned some of the highest scores for absorbency. When we poured fluid onto the diapers, they were able to quickly soak up and hold onto the fluid at the core, so the diapers still felt dry and comfortable on the surface. They especially stood out in our 45-degree angle tests with barely any liquid runoff, which is an indicator that the diapers won't leak when babies are on the move.

Because the diapers are covered in an all-over print and don't feature a brand name or label, some testers found it difficult to differentiate between the front and back during diaper changes. There's also no wetness indicator, so it's not as clear when the diapers are full and ready to be changed.

Millie Moon describes its Luxury Diapers as "feather soft," and our testers and GH experts agree. In a blind comparison, testers unanimously gave the diapers perfect scores for softness, earning these diapers the highest softness rating in our test. They shared comments like, "Woah! They're so soft and plush!" and, "They're the best combination of soft and smooth."

In our absorbency tests in the Textiles Lab, we were impressed by how much fluid these diapers were able to absorb and how quickly the fluid soaked into the diaper. Even after being filled with fluid and pressed by a weight, the surface of the diapers still felt dry. We also appreciated the front and back wetness indicator, fitted waistband and leak guards at the leg openings.

Because the diapers are so soft and padded, they were some of the heaviest diapers in our recent round of testing and have a bulkier look. Our testers appreciated the fuller coverage design, though, and found the diapers protected well against leaks and blowouts.

Made from bamboo pulp (not viscose) instead of the standard tree pulp, these diapers from Freestyle are the perfect pick for eco-conscious shoppers looking for a more sustainable option that isn't a reusable cloth style. The bamboo diapers performed just as well as other disposables in our Textiles Lab tests, earning high scores for construction, softness and absorbency and receiving rave reviews from our parent testers.

When we poured liquid onto the diapers from different angles to measure absorbency, the diapers were able to absorb the fluid quicker than others we tested, and they held onto the moisture without leaking or feeling wet. Our testers happily reported that they didn't experience leaks or blowouts, either. The diapers feature double elastic leg openings and elastic all the way around the waistband for a secure fit that testers loved. Plus, there's a wetness indicator on the front and back of the diapers so you know when your baby is ready to be changed. One caveat: the all-over print made it difficult for some testers to distinguish between the front and back of the diapers, which they found frustrating during diaper changes.

Know that if you order from Freestyle's website, you will have to create a bundle of six packs of diapers and four packs of wipes, which will be delivered to you monthly in a subscription model for $100, but you're always free to delay or cancel your subscription. If you prefer to shop for individual packs, Freestyle diapers are available at select grocers, including Whole Foods.

If you're looking to give your baby the best comfort and protection without any of the added stuff like fragrances or parabens, consider diapers from The Honest Company. Thousands of online reviewers say their babies wear these diapers with no adverse skin reactions. Our testers agreed, highlighting that the diapers were gentle on their babies' delicate skin without irritation.

In a blind comparison test for softness, these diapers beat out dozens of other diapers from popular brands, and they performed well in Textiles Lab evaluations. When we poured liquid on the diapers at a 45-degree angle, the diapers soaked it up quickly without major runoff, and the absorbent core held onto the liquid even after we applied weight to the surface. The only downside was the absorption rate was a bit slower and caused the liquid to pool when we poured it onto the diaper in a cupped position.

Each box comes with diapers in two adorable prints including baby animals, sweet fruits, pretty florals and simple geometrics. Our testers love the variety of options and appreciate features like the wetness indicator and the front and back barriers to stop blowouts.

At the Good Housekeeping Institute, we test baby care products of all kinds, including the best baby detergents, baby clothes and baby wipes and diapers. When we evaluate diapers, we review them in the Textiles Lab and share them with parents who can try the diapers out with their own children and provide real-user feedback. In recent years, we've tested more than 25 different styles and have collected thousands of data points for review. Here are some of the characteristics we consider when testing diapers:

✔️ Construction: We visually assess each diaper, scoring its design features like elastic waistbands, front and back wetness indication, double elastic leg openings and extra absorbency layers. We also weigh the diapers and measure the length of the absorbent cores.

✔️ Absorption: Because babies spend so much time in diapers, either lying down or crawling around, it's important that the diapers are able to absorb liquid quickly from different angles and hold onto the liquid without feeling wet. We conduct multiple absorbency tests on each diaper to ensure it will keep your baby dry and comfortable:

✔️ Softness: We stretch the diapers out on a countertop and tape them securely into place with the inside facing up and all labels or visible branding covered. We then invite GH analysts and testers to touch each diaper and rate it for softness in a blind comparison.

✔️ Consumer testing: We share the diapers with parents who try the diapers at home on their own babies of different ages and sizes. Our consumer testers rate characteristics like how well the diapers fit their children, how easy they are to put on and take off, how well the diapers protect against leaks and how soft the diapers feel. Testers also share if they would recommend the diapers to other parents and explain what they specifically like and dislike about the diapers.

When you're looking for a new pack of diapers to buy, here are some things to keep in mind:

✔️ Size: Diapers typically come in sizes 1 to 6, with some brands offering newborn or premature options (size 0) and others offering a larger size 7. It's important that you choose the right size diaper for your baby to prevent unnecessary irritation or leaks.

Diaper sizes are determined based on baby weight, not age, so while your baby is 6 months old and wearing a size three, another 6-month-old baby could be wearing a size four. Most diaper brands follow the same weight classes when distinguishing their sizes, but we recommend following each brand's size guide before buying to ensure that you're getting the best fit for your baby.

✔️ Special features: During our evaluations, we've found that diapers with special features can be helpful for containing messes and can even ease the changing process. Look for diapers with elastic on the front and back of the waistband, as well as double elastic leg openings for a secure fit to minimize leaks. Extra panels or "pockets" inside the diaper near the waistband can contain messes or blowouts, as well. We also appreciate wetness indicators on the front and back of the diapers which turn color when your baby's diaper is wet. Some diapers have stickers on the back that you can use once the diaper is soiled to securely seal it closed, prevent messes and minimize unwanted odors.

✔️ Materials: Most disposable diapers are made of wood pulp from trees and polymers that work together to keep your baby comfortable and dry. If you prefer something more sustainable, look for diapers made of bamboo pulp (not viscose) instead of wood pulp. For babies with sensitivities, check to see if your diapers are latex-free and fragrance-free.

Amanda Constantine is a home and apparel reviews analyst in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab and has tested and covered a variety of baby and children's products, including clothing, kids' luggage and crib mattress protectors. She recently tested more than 15 different styles of diapers in the Lab and coordinated consumer testing to gather feedback from real parents.

Lexie Sachs is the executive director of strategy and operations at the Good Housekeeping Institute and has a fiber science background. She has extensively evaluated a variety of children's products for the Textiles Lab, including diaper bags, swaddle blankets and kids' clothing. She is also a mom and has tested diapers from many of these brands herself and with her own children.

Lexie Sachs (she/her) is the executive director of strategy and operations at the Good Housekeeping Institute and a lead reviewer of products in the bedding, travel, lifestyle, home furnishings and apparel spaces. She has over 15 years of experience in the consumer products industry and a degree in fiber science from Cornell University. Lexie serves as an expert source both within Good Housekeeping and other media outlets, regularly appearing on national broadcast TV segments. Prior to joining GH in 2013, Lexie worked in merchandising and product development in the fashion and home industries.

Amanda (she/her) researches and reports on products in the Good Housekeeping Institute's Textiles, Paper & Apparel Lab, ranging from clothing and accessories to home furnishings. She holds undergraduate degrees in apparel merchandising and product development and advertising and marketing communications, as well as a master of science degree in consumer sciences from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping in 2022, Amanda was a lecturer for the fashion and retail studies program at Ohio State, where she taught fashion and textiles courses.

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7 Best Baby Diapers of 2023, Tested by Experts

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