Huggies vs. Pampers 2021: Which Is The Best Diaper Brand For Your Baby?

Even parents completely new to the diaper scene will have heard of the baby giants Huggies and Pampers. Two of the biggest diaper brands in the world, they’re sold all over the globe and are trusted by millions of parents and carers. While they may not all be the most environmentally-friendly of diapers (to say the least), there’s a reason why they’re so popular – their effectiveness. But which comes out on top? 

I’m taking a closer look at the wide range offered by both Pampers and Huggies and comparing the brands in the hope of discovering which is best for your baby, best for you and best for the planet!

Pampers Diapers Vs. Huggies Diapers

Both Huggies and Pampers are such huge brands that they manufacture a long list of different diapers. So what does each brand offer, and who are they made for? 

Huggies

  • Special Delivery diapers
  • Little Movers diapers
  • Snug & Dry diapers
  • Made By You diapers
  • Little Swimmers Diapers
  • OverNites diapers
  • Pull-ups training pants

Pampers

  • Swaddlers diapers
  • Swaddlers Sensitive diapers
  • Baby-Dry diapers
  • Cruisers diapers
  • Pure Protection diapers
  • Splashers Swim diapers
  • Swaddlers Overnights diapers
  • Easy Ups training pants
  • Underjams
Huggies

What diapers Huggies offer?

Special Delivery Diapers

Huggies’ Special Delivery diapers are described as ‘their perfect diaper’. No pressure, then. The brand says that this variety is the ‘softest plant-based diaper’ they produce, with a variety of designs and clinically proven to be hypoallergenic. Straight off the bat, it looks like these are the go-to Huggies diapers for little ones with sensitive skin, and parents who are looking to make more eco-friendly choices. 

What’s even better is that these diapers are free from parabens, elemental-chlorine, which is terrible for the environment, and fragrances. Available from newborn size to size 6, they’re suitable for most stages of diaper-wearing!

The only problem is, what about phthalates? These pesky chemicals find their way into all sorts of everyday items, from toys and flooring to, yep, baby diapers. What makes them so bad? They’ve been linked to asthma in children (1) and even abnormal genital development in young boys. Suffice to say, if we can steer clear, we probably should. Huggies Special Delivery doesn’t mention being phthalate-free, so I have to assume that they’re not!

Little Movers Diapers

Huggies Little Movers diapers are designed for active babies. They feature double grip strips, a snug fit waistband, and a contoured shape to let baby move freely while keeping them protected. Available in sizes 3-6, this variety isn’t suitable for newborns, of course, not that they do much wriggling!

With these diapers, there’s no mention of eco-credentials or the avoidance of dyes, fragrances, or lotions, which could irritate the baby’s skin. 

Little Snugglers Diapers

Huggies says that their Little Snugglers diapers are designed to keep your baby’s skin clean and healthy. They have a gentle absorption liner, a pocketed back waistband, a wetness indicator, and are hypoallergenic, so are great for little ones with sensitive skin. For newborns, they even have an umbilical cord cutout to protect your baby’s belly button while it heals. 

Huggies Little Snugglers are available from premature size to size 6. While these diapers don’t seem to have any eco-credentials, and there’s no mention of whether they use phthalates, they’re hypoallergenic and designed to be soft on baby’s skin. Not that I’m letting go of the phthalate issue… sort it out, people!

Snug & Dry Diapers

Their Snug & Dry variety is all about keeping baby comfortable. They promise fewer leaks and up to 12 hours of dryness, day or night. Huggies claims that these diapers absorb wetness in seconds have a quilted liner to support absorption and a wetness indicator to take the guesswork out of changing. 

Available in sizes newborn to 6, they seem like a good option for overnight!

Made by You Diapers

So this is a pretty new concept… customizable diapers!

Huggies Made By You diapers let you design your own unique diapers. Personalize them with contemporary patterns, baby’s initials, and colorful prints, for a diaper like no other!

They’re available only in size 1 diapers, so they’re great for a baby shower gift. But like most Huggies diapers, there’s little information regarding the environmentally-friendly side of things, as well as phthalates.

Little Swimmers Disposable Swim Diapers

For babies with Michael Phelps aspirations, Huggies produce their Little Swimmers Disposable Swim Diapers. We have to use special swim diapers when a baby’s going into the water as they’re designed to absorb the mess without swelling as a regular diaper would. They promise to protect your baby from leaks and be super comfortable for your little one. 

Available in sizes 3 to 6, your little one is on course for gold in no time!

OverNites Diapers

While Huggies Snug & Dry diapers seem to be a good choice for overnights, they also produce a specialist overnight diaper. They offer up to 12 hours of leakage protection, meaning fewer disturbances for baby, and for you!

Huggies similarly say that this variety of diaper is super soft, so your baby will feel comfortable all night. They’re available in sizes 3-6.

Pull-Ups Training Pants

So what about when your little one isn’t so little? When they’re ready for potty training, Huggies have a range of training pants available. While I prefer to steer clear of the gender stereotypes, Huggies produce a range of training pants ‘for girls’ and a range ‘for boys’, although I’m sure my little girl would prefer a diaper with cars on to princess…

Regardless of the design, they feature easy-open sides, day and night protection, and the design will fade when it’s wet. They’re available in sizes 12M-24M to 4T-5T.


Pampers

What diapers Pampers offer?

Like Huggies, Pampers offer a wide range of diapers, suitable for different needs and sizes. 

Swaddlers

Pampers say that their Swaddlers are the number 1 choice for hospitals, nurses, and parents, which should say a lot about their quality! They talk of ‘blankie softness’, being super breathable and super absorbent. 

Pampers Swaddlers are dermatologically tested, free of parabens, and latex and hypoallergenic, so suitable for babies with sensitive skin. It’s great that these diapers are hypoallergenic but, unfortunately, like Huggies, there’s no mention of eco-credentials or the avoidance of phthalates, dyes, and lotions. They’re available in sizes preemie to 6.

Swaddlers Sensitive

Pampers also produce a diaper variety called Swaddlers Sensitive, although it’s not too clear what the differences are between these and the originals. Like the regular Swaddlers, they claim to be blankie soft and hypoallergenic, although one difference appears to be extra absorbency for up to 12 hours of protection. 

Baby-dry

Pampers Baby Dry, available in sizes newborn to 6, focus on absorbency and keeping your little one comfortable and dry for longer. They feature 3 layers of absorbency, air-dry channels for breathability, and a wetness indicator, so it’s clear when the baby needs to be changed. They’re also hypoallergenic, so suitable for babies with sensitive skin.

Cruisers 

As the name suggests, Pampers Cruisers are designed for movers and shakers. They claim to fit better around baby’s bottom, have a unique fit that adapts at the legs, bottom, and waist, allowing the baby to move freely and dual leak-guard barriers to protect against leaks. Again, these are hypoallergenic, free of parabens, and free of latex. They’re available in sizes 3 to 7, so obviously aren’t suitable for newborns. 

Pure Protection

Pampers Pure Protection (sizes newborn to 6) seem to offer more in the way of eco-credentials than any other Pampers variety. They completely avoid chlorine bleaching, which is absolutely awful for the environment, along with fragrances, parabens, and latex. They’re made with premium cotton and ‘plant-based’ materials and it’s clear when they claim that they’re 2x drier and more breathable than Honest diapers, that they’re competing directly with this brand when it comes to their Pure Protection variety. 

They’re available in sizes newborn to 5, are hypoallergenic, as you’d expect, have a wetness indicator and come in ‘adorable prints’, which, incidentally, is a massive focus of The Honest Company diapers. There’s, unfortunately, no mention of Pure Protection diapers being phthalate-free or biodegradable. Luckily, there are so many brands out there that offer exactly this!


Related Post: What Are The Best Organic Diapers On The Market, And Why You Should Look For The Most Natural Ingredients

Related Post: Honest Diapers Review, 2021: Honestly? They Don’t Live Up To The Hype

Splashers

Just like Huggies, Pampers manufacture their very own range of swim diapers for our little water babies! As with all swim diapers, they won’t swell like regular diapers, and are designed to be comfortable for baby as he or she splashes away! Available in sizes small, medium, and large, they feature a stretchy waistband for comfort and leak-guard barriers to prevent leaks and are hypoallergenic. It certainly seems like every Pampers diaper can boast this!

Swaddlers Overnights

Although some other varieties of Pampers diapers promise 12-hour leak protection, they also produce a diaper specifically for overnights. Designed to handle ‘even the heaviest night’ – up to 12 hours, they’re breathable and super absorbent. As with all Pampers diapers, it seems, they’re hypoallergenic, so good for little ones with sensitive skin. 

Easy Ups

Of course, Pampers produce their own range of training pants! Their Easy Ups fit just like underwear, have a stretchy waistband, and are super soft while retaining the absorbency of their other ranges. They also have dua leak-guard barriers, easy-tear sides, and are hypoallergenic. 

Underjams

Finally, we have Pampers Underjams: bedtime underwear for little ones who need that little bit of extra protection overnight. With the look of regular underwear, they’ll keep your little ones dry overnight and, of course, are hypoallergenic. 

Comparing Pampers’ and Huggies’ Ranges

So we now know that Huggies and Pampers produce a wide range of diapers, suitable for newborns to toddlers, and for dry land and in the water! But which diapers do you need for different age ranges, stages, and purposes?

Age, Stages, and PurposesPampersHuggies
NewbornsSwaddlersLittle Snugglers
Active infants and toddlersCruisersLittle Movers
Older infantsBaby DrySnug & Dry
Potty training Easy UpsPull Ups
SwimmingSplashersLittle Swimmers
OvernightsSwaddlers OvernightsOverNites
Eco-friendly (sort of)Pure ProtectionSpecial Delivery
Sensitive SkinSwaddlers SensitiveLittle Snugglers

Huggies vs Pampers: A Comparison

It’s pretty clear that diapers produced by Pampers and those produced by Huggies are fairly similar. But, looking more closely, how do they compare? What ingredients do they use, what’s the quality like and which comes out on top? 

Huggies Little Snugglers versus Pampers Swaddlers

Both Huggies Little Snugglers and Pampers Swaddlers are designed with newborns in mind. We, therefore, want them both to be super soft, absorbent, and gentle on baby’s delicate skin. 

Ingredients

More and more of us want transparency when it comes to the ingredients and materials used in diapers, especially as we continue to learn about potentially harmful chemicals that are sometimes included. It’s super frustrating as a parent when brands don’t make this clear. So what about Pampers and Huggies? 

Straight off the bat, Huggies provide us with a list of ingredients for their Little Snugglers diapers. It’s a heck of a long list, but at least it’s there for parents and carers to see. It includes plastics like polyester, polypropylene, and polyethylene, which are petroleum-based, so pretty terrible for the environment. The list also includes wood fluff pulp, adhesive, and dyes. 

Surprisingly, Pampers also make their ingredients lists pretty clear, with a quick google search displaying results on their site for their Swaddlers variety. Again, plastics like polypropylene and polyethylene are used, along with ‘non-sensitizing’ inks, adhesives, and elastics. No plant-based materials in sight, unfortunately. 

The main thing I’m always looking for with diapers is a clear statement that a company does not use phthalates, those harmful chemicals which can increase the chances of asthma in children (1). Unfortunately, both of these varieties don’t state anything about their use of phthalates, so I have to assume that they do! Other more natural diapers like Andy Pandy shout from the rooftops about the fact that their diapers are phthalate-free… and quite rightly!

Features

Pampers SwaddlersHuggies Little Snugglers
Absorb Away LinerGentle Absorb Liner
Soft, stretchy sidesPocketed Back Waistband
Wetness IndicatorWetness indicator
Umbilical cord notchUmbilical cord cutout
Super softSuper soft
HypoallergenicHypoallergenic

Reviews

Unsurprisingly, it’s not hard to find reviews of these diaper varieties, considering their immense popularity! On Walmart’s site, there are close to 30,000 reviews for Huggies Little Snugglers diapers, averaging 4.7 out of 5. The vast majority of reviews are super positive, with reviewers saying they protect against leaks, prevent blowouts, and are good for little ones with sensitive skin

The same goes for Pampers Swaddlers, with an average of 4.8 out of 5 in a huge 53000 reviews! Parents and carers say they fit baby well, absorb messes, and are soft on baby’s skin. 

The bottom line

It’s almost like these two diaper varieties are one and the same. With similar ingredients, features, and quality, there’s not much to distinguish between them at all. Again, the lack of transparency about phthalates in both diapers lets them down, as does the lack of eco-credentials.

Huggies Special Delivery versus Pampers Pure Protection

So what about the more eco-friendly varieties of Huggies and Pampers diapers? I say more eco-friendly, because, arguably, neither variety is great for the environment when compared to plant-based, biodegradable diapers like Dewor Baby, Andy Pandy, and Dyper diapers.

But if it’s Huggies or Pampers you’re looking for, and you want to choose the best of the lot, Special Delivery and Pure Protection diapers are the ones for you. 

Ingredients

Huggies Special Delivery diapers are made up of 23% plant-based materials, including wood fluff pulp. Aside from this, their ingredients list looks pretty similar to their other varieties, with polypropylene, polyester, adhesives, and color-changing dyes thrown into the mix. I do like that they’re transparent about the percentage of plant-based materials, given that not many companies do this, but it’d be nice to see Huggies expand into the world of biodegradable diapers! And, similarly, there’s no mention of phthalates, which leads me to believe that they are indeed used in Huggies Special Delivery diapers

In terms of Pampers Pure Protection, there is a full and transparent materials list available on the Pampers site. They state that they use wood fluff pulp in their manufacture, which is ‘responsibly sourced’ and ‘totally chlorine-free’. It’s great that they completely avoid chlorine bleaching; the practice is awful for the environment! Pampers also say that the nappy top sheet in Pure Protection diapers is a plant-based fiber blend that comes from sugarcane. However, the top sheet and outer cover include cotton, polypropylene, polyethylene, and polyester blend which are petroleum-based.

Another positive of Pampers Pure Protection is their recyclable packaging and the fact that they’re produced with ‘100% renewable electricity from a wind farm in Norway’… fancy!

Features

Pampers Pure ProtectionHuggies Special Delivery
Free of chlorine bleachingFree of elemental chlorine
Free of fragrancesFree of fragrances
Free of parabensFree of parabens
Premium cottonSuper soft
Plant-based materials23% Plant-based materials
12-hour leak protection12-hour protection
HypoallergenicHypoallergenic
Wetness IndicatorWetness indicator
Free of latex

Reviews

Sticking with Pampers Pure Protection diapers, it’s clear that they’re tried, tested, and loved by parents and carers. With an average of 4.8 out of 5 in over 2000 reviews on Walmart’s site, users love that they prevent diaper rash and leaks and are gentle on baby’s skin.

While Huggies Special Delivery diapers don’t fare quite as well in reviews – with an average of 4.5 out 5 in over 2000 – there’s really not much in it. The majority of reviews are very positive, with users loving how soft they are and the fact that they include plant-based materials.

The bottom line

Pampers Pure Protection and Huggies Special Delivery diapers are, again, pretty similar. They both use some plant-based materials, and it’s great that Pampers Pure protection shuns chlorine bleaching completely. Their use of renewable energy in their manufacture and recyclable packaging puts them slightly ahead of Huggies when it comes to environmentally-friendly practices, but neither variety is biodegradable, so both will end up in the landfill. 

It’d be amazing to see Huggies and Pampers produce a true eco-friendly disposable diaper, made with more plant-based materials, which is able to be composted, like Andy Pandy, Dewor Baby and Dyper diapers. 


Read Next: Andy Pandy Diapers Review: The Best All-Around Diapers For Baby And For The Planet?

Huggies vs. Pampers: The Cost

Given that both Huggies and Pampers diapers can be found pretty much anywhere – online or in-store, it’s worth doing a bit of research on the pricing at different retailers. On the whole, it’s unlikely to vary too much, but there are ways to save, like using the Amazon family program or subscribing to regular deliveries. 

Huggies Little Snugglers vs Pampers Swaddlers

ProductTargetWalmartAmazon
Huggies Little Snugglers size 124 cents* per diaper23 cents* per diaper24 cents* per diaper
Pampers Swaddlers size 124 cents* per diaper22 cents* per diaper21 cents* per diaper

*Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Huggies OverNites vs Pampers Swaddlers Overnights

ProductTargetWalmartAmazon
Huggies OverNites size 437 cents per diaper33 cents per diaper34 cents per diaper
Pampers Swaddlers Overnights size 443 cents per diaper39 cents per diaper33 cents per diaper

*Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Pampers Pure Protection vs Huggies Special Delivery

ProductTargetWalmartAmazon
Pampers Pure Protection Size 443 cents per diaper37 cents per diaper37 cents per diaper
Huggies Special Delivery Size 444 cents per diaper50 cents per diaper44 cents per diaper

*Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Clearly, prices are incredibly similar on the surface but do bear in mind that the Amazon Family Program entitles you to 20% off diaper subscriptions. So if the diapers you’re looking for are available on Amazon, it’s worth checking it out!

Huggies vs. Pampers: Reviews

When comparing reviews for Pampers Pure Protection vs Huggies Special Delivery and Pampers Swaddlers and Huggies Little Snugglers, there’s really not much of a difference between them. It’s no surprise that there are thousands upon thousands of reviews available for both brands across all varieties, and they’re generally all pretty positive. Thousands of positive reviews on their quality don’t lie, so it’s no wonder they’re such big sellers! 

Whether a diaper can keep baby dry is, of course, a huge factor. No parent enjoys dealing with leaks and blowouts, and we certainly don’t wanna be dealing with diaper rash! But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t alternative brands out there that won’t cost the earth, but offer way more in terms of healthy ingredients for baby’s skin, and practices that reduce damage to the environment. Take a look at my favorite organic, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic diapers for a whole world of alternatives, the vast majority of which are loved by parents and carers just as much as leading brands.


Related Post: Top Picks for the Best Biodegradable Diapers on the Market

Frequently Asked Questions About Pampers and Huggies

1. What is the difference between Pampers and Huggies?

With Pampers and Huggies being two of the biggest diaper companies in the world, it’s no surprise that they offer similar fare. When one brand comes up with a new variety, the other is likely to follow! It’s easy to compare their offerings, and it seems that there’s not much in it when it comes to cost and quality. 

Ultimately, it’s a case of finding what’s best for you and your baby. And it’s worth remembering that, just because they’re the biggest brands, doesn’t mean they’re the best! There’s a whole world of incredible options out there, for babies with sensitive skin, parents on a budget, and those who want a truly eco-friendly alternative. 


Related Post: Best Hypoallergenic Diapers For Babies With Sensitive Skin on the Market

Related Post: What Are The Best Organic Diapers On The Market, And Why You Should Look For The Most Natural Ingredients

2. Which is more expensive: Pampers or Huggies?

After taking a look at the costs of Pampers and Huggies diapers above, it’s obvious that they’re incredibly similar. These two brands will always compete against each other, so will make sure to keep their prices on a similar level. You can get both brands a lot cheaper by subscribing to a diaper service, like the Amazon Family Program, which gives you 20% off baby subscriptions and other family products!

The prices of Pampers and Huggies, compared to other brands, is arguably average. Disposable diapers can set you back anything between the incredibly low 16 cents per diaper to over 80. The general trend tends to be that the more plant-based materials and eco-friendly credentials a diaper has, the more it will cost. This isn’t always the case, of course, but it does seem fair; it will inevitably cost brands more to make diapers that are kinder to baby and the environment! 

The Huggies and Pampers diapers I’ve looked at in terms of cost range between 22 and 50 cents per diaper, depending on the variety and size. So there are certainly cheaper and more expensive brands out there!

3. Why are Pampers and Huggies diapers so popular?

Aside from the fact that many parents and carers swear by both Pampers and Huggies diapers for their quality, both brands were established in America, and globally, many, many years ago. Pampers was introduced to the world in 1961 and, at this time, disposable diapers were pretty heavy and bulky. Over the years, Pampers created new and better varieties, each more slimline and absorbent than the previous! While Huggies came along a little later, in 1978, they’re now well-established as a world-leading brand, with their products selling in almost every country across the globe.

Reviews of both brands are generally incredibly positive, so it’s no wonder they’re the most popular in the US. But just because their diapers effectively wick away moisture and keep baby dry, doesn’t mean they’re the best for baby’s health or for the environment. In fact, the opposite is true, with so many other brands charging ahead in terms of their commitment to staying away from harmful substances. 


Related Post: What Are The Best Organic Diapers On The Market, And Why You Should Look For The Most Natural Ingredients

4. What are some alternatives to Huggies and Pampers?

With so many brands and varieties of diapers available now, it’s super easy to look past Huggies and Pampers to find the best brand for you and your baby.

The best brand for you will depend on a variety of factors, including your budget, the age of your baby if they have sensitive skin and whether you’re looking for a brand that’s kind to the world around us. 

Taking a closer look at hypoallergenic diapers, some of my favorite brands include Andy Pander diapers, Little Toes, and Nest Baby diapers. These brands also happen to produce biodegradable diapers, which can be composted after use (not the poopy ones, though!). In terms of cost, Little Toes, for example, average around 55 cents per diaper*, which is a little more than some Huggies and Pampers diapers. But, you are getting a diaper that’s biodegradable, hypoallergenic, free from phthalates, and great quality. 

If you’re looking for a brand that’s significantly cheaper, but still carries some eco-friendly credentials, Amazon’s own brand of the diaper – Mama Bear Gentle Touch – is definitely worth checking out! At around 16 cents* per diaper, they’re incredibly affordable, and, while they’re not biodegradable, they are hypoallergenic, and are produced in a zero-waste factory. This means that all waste produced from the manufacture of the diapers is either reused or recycled. 

Take a look at my round-ups of the best organic, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic diapers for some amazing alternatives to Pampers and Huggies!

*Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

The Bottom Line

Huggies and Pampers are globally popular brands for a reason: for a lot of parents and carers, they work. They’re tried, tested, and proven to keep babies dry and prevent leaks. This is, of course, a huge part of an effective diaper. Who wants to bath their baby every time they change a diaper? No-one, that’s who!

Reviews for the vast majority of these diapers are very positive and both brands have become synonymous with the word ‘diaper’. When it comes to comparisons between the two brands, it seems like they’re largely one and the same, apart from some very subtle differences in price and ingredients used. But just because they’re the biggest brands, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re gonna work for you. 

While there were limited options in the 60s and 70s when it came to disposable diapers, the market is now flooded with options, covering all budgets, ages, and purposes. Aside from Pampers Pure Protection and Huggies Special Delivery diapers, their varieties make little attempt to stand out when it comes to their avoidance of harsh chemicals or attempts to reduce their impact on the environment. And with so many brands leading the way with their plant-based ingredients, better-for-baby materials, and eco-credentials, you’re sure to find a better alternative. 

So, apologies Huggies and Pampers. The diaper world is starting to move on… let’s hope you can keep up!

References

  1. Jaakkola, J. J., & Khinght, T. L. (2008). The role of exposure to phthlates from polyvinyl chloride products in the development of asthma and allergies: a systematic review and metaanalysis. Environ Health Perspect, 116(7), 845-53.

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