Kirkland diapers vs Pampers diapers, 2022: Why neither diaper lives up to the hype

Finding the right diaper isn’t easy. With so many diapers on the market, each claiming to be the softest and most absorbent, how do you really know which is best for your baby?

Both Kirkland diapers and Pampers diapers are firm favorites with parents and carers across the country.

But if we compare them side by side, which diaper comes out on top?

It’s no longer enough to just be effective – it’s crucial that we avoid unnecessary toxins and chemicals that worm their way into so many baby diapers.

Let’s take a closer look at Costco diapers vs Pampers diapers. Does either brand offer soft, effective and non-toxic diapers for the delicate skin of our little ones?

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Table of Contents

Are Kirkland diapers like Pampers? Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers Swaddlers comparison table 

What are the similarities and differences between Kirkland diapers and Pampers Swaddlers diapers?

Kirkland diapers (made by Costco)Pampers Swaddlers
Special FeaturesCushion liner, next size up indicatorUltra-soft, absorbent layers, BreatheFree liner, dual leakguard barriers
Available atCostco, AmazonWalmart, Target, Amazon and most grocery stores across the country
Any plant-based materials?At least 20%No mention
Free ofFragrances, lotions, latex, elemental chlorineNatural latex, parabens
Price per diaper (size 3)32 cents32 cents
Reviews on Amazon4.7 out of 54.9 out of 5

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers diapers in depth side by side feature comparison

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Absorbency

Both Kirkland diapers and Pampers Swaddlers diapers claim to be super absorbent. Reviews do seem to back up this claim, both for Kirkland and Pampers.

Neither Swaddlers nor Kirkland diapers claim to offer up to 12 hours’ protection, though, so they may not be suitable for overnights.

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Fit

Costco’s diapers have a stretchy pocketed waistband that adapts with your baby’s body and movement, and reviews don’t seem to say that the diapers run too small or too big.

Some do say that Swaddlers diapers run a little small, so it might be worth getting the next size up if your little one might be in-between sizes.

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Softness

Despite being a budget-friendly brand, Kirkland diapers use at least 20% plant-based materials, so it’s easy to see why they claim to be extra soft. 

Pampers doesn’t tell us that Swaddlers uses any kind of plant-based materials, but says its diapers are made with extra-soft and breathable materials. 

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Breathability 

The breathable outer cover offered by Kirkland diapers promises to keep our little ones comfortable.

Without breathability, a diaper would be very uncomfortable for our little ones; we don’t want their delicate skin to be irritated by a diaper that’s too thick.

Pampers tells us that Swaddlers feature a breathable liner, for keeping babies’ skin comfortable.

Related Post: Kirkland Baby Diapers Review 2020: Are Costco’s Diapers Worth Trying?

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Umbilical Cord Notch

Newborn size Swaddlers feature an umbilical cord notch. Kirkland diapers don’t feature an umbilical cord notch on their diapers. But they start at size 1 and don’t offer newborn or preemie sizes, so that’s not a huge surprise.

Read Next: Pampers Swaddlers Vs Cruisers: Everything You Need To Know

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Wetness Indicator

Kirkland diapers feature a wetness indicator on all sizes, and so do Pampers Swaddlers.

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : When to use

Kirkland diapers are available in sizes 1 through 6, so they might not be suitable for newborn babies. They say that their size 1 diaper suits babies who are ‘up to 14lbs’, but you’ll probably find that they’re a little big for brand new bundles of joy.

Swaddlers diapers, on the other hand, are available in sizes 0-7, so suitable from birth. In fact, due to their softness, they’re very popular with parents of newborns and very young babies.

Bear in mind that when your little one arrives at the potty-training stage, you might find that pull-ups are a better option.

Read Next: What Are The Best Pull-Up Diapers For Potty Training?

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Are they suitable for sensitive skin?

The term ‘hypoallergenic’ is used a heck of a lot by various diaper brands. The term itself means ‘unlikely to cause an allergic reaction’, so you’d be forgiven for assuming that ‘hypoallergenic’ diapers are completely suitable for our little ones’ soft and delicate skin.

Unfortunately, it’s not always the case…

The biggest issue with the term ‘hypoallergenic’ attached to baby diapers isn’t regulated by the FDA. Brands can say that their products are hypoallergenic, when they actually contain chemicals and toxins that could easily irritate the skin. 

Ultimately, it all comes down to marketing. Using ‘hypoallergenic’ convinces parents and carers that baby diapers are suitable for sensitive skin, and we all want the best for our babies.

It’s pretty crazy that this term isn’t regulated, and this is exactly why it’s so important for parents and carers to dig a little deeper.

So what about Kirkland and Pampers Swaddlers diapers?

While Costco doesn’t claim that Kirkland diapers are hypoallergenic, Pampers does make the claim about Swaddlers. This is seriously surprising and can’t possibly be true; the brand is quite open and transparent about its use of fragrances and lotions in its diapers, including Swaddlers. They also don’t mention phthalates, so it’s safer to assume they’re used.

We know that these toxins can irritate the skin and can be more serious still. Phthalates have even been linked to asthma and eczema in little ones, so why Pampers claims that Swaddlers are hypoallergenic is a mystery to me…

Until you remember marketing.

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Ingredients 

I love it when diaper brands make their ingredients lists accessible. We put our little ones in these things 24/7 for the first years of their lives, so we deserve to know what goes into them. 

Unfortunately, Costco doesn’t make an ingredients list available. Sort it out, Costco!

Pampers does make their ingredients list available, so what do they contain? Here’s a full breakdown from Pampers:

Topsheet/Inner Liner – Polypropylene/Polyethylene Nonwoven
Backsheet – Polyethylene
The absorbent core – Fluff pulp and SAP
Lotion – Petrolatum, Stearyl Alcohol, And Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract
Scent – Light fragrance added in very small amounts underneath the absorbent materials.

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Safe or Toxic?

It’s good to know what’s inside a baby diaper, but it’s just as important to know what’s not.

It’s crucial that diapers are free of toxins that could harm our little ones’ delicate skin, or potentially cause even more serious health issues. It’s pretty crazy that we have to worry about toxins in baby diapers, but, unfortunately, you’ll find them in heaps of different varieties.

Chemicals like phthalates, lotions, fragrances, chlorine and dyes are often found in baby diapers. 

Fragrances and lotions can easily irritate skin and  phthalates have been linked to increased asthma and eczema rates in young children. While chlorine isn’t necessarily harmful to the skin, it should be avoided for the sake of the environment.

Shockingly, it can contaminate water and wildlife, so it’s best to look for totally chlorine-free (TCF) diapers . Check out my round-up of the best non-toxic diapers for more on hidden toxins!

So what about toxins in Kirkland diapers and Pampers diapers?

Costco says that their own brand of diapers are free of fragrances, lotions, latex and elemental chlorine. But the most concerning thing is the lack of information on phthalates.

If a brand doesn’t explicitly state that these unecessary chemicals are avoided, it’s much safer to assume they’re used.

Pampers Swaddlers are even worse. Not only do they not mention phthalates – so I assume they’re used – but they openly admit to using fragrances and lotions. 

With fragrances and lotions easily irritating the skin, why wouldn’t you avoid them? I never understand why they want to make diapers smell nice. We all know the end result…

Luckily, it’s so easy to find truly non-toxic diapers. With budget-friendly brands like Amazon’s Mama Bear avoiding these chemicals, as well as gold standard eco brands like Andy Pandy and Healthybaby, there’s more choice than ever before.

And the more parents and carers opt for skin-healthy and planet-friendly options, the more other brands will take note! 

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

Read More: Healthynest Diapers Reviewed: The New (And Super Healthy) Kid On The Block

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Sizing

Kirkland diapers and Swaddlers offer similar sizes, but there are some differences.

Costco diapers are available in sizes 1-6 and Pampers Swaddlers Little Snugglers are available from 0-7.

Kirkland diapers sizing:

Size 1Up to 14lbs
Size 212-18lbs
Size 316-28lbs
Size 422-37lbs
Size 527lbs+
Size 635lbs+

Pampers Swaddlers size guide:


Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Pricing

One of the biggest factors when it comes to choosing the right diaper is price. We buy a lot of diapers as parents and carers, so they need to be within our budget. Let’s compare the price of Kirkland diapers vs Pampers Swaddlers over on Amazon, where both varieties are available. 

Kirkland sizePrice per diaperPampers SwaddlersPrice per diaper

The price of Swaddlers and Costco diapers are very similar. Both diapers are pretty budget-friendly, although you can get cheaper – Amazon’s Mama Bear Gentle Touch, for example. Amazon’s diapers are free of toxins like fragrances, lotions and phthalates too…

Kirkland Diapers vs Pampers : Reviews

Reviews of both Kirkland diapers and Pampers Swaddlers are pretty amazing. Kirkland diapers average 4.7 out of 5 in over 2800 reviews on Costco’s site, with reviews saying they’re super absorbent and comfy on their little ones. Reviewers also love that Kirkland diapers use some plant-based materials (20% by weight).

On the other hand, a few reviews do discuss skin rashes. To reduce the chance of skin rashes as much as possible, choose truly hypoallergenic diapers. Check out my favorites here

Related Post: Best Hypoallergenic Diapers For Babies With Sensitive Skin

Reviews of Pampers Swaddlers on Amazon are even better than Kirkland – they average 4.9 out of 5 in over 67,000 reviews! They’re loved for their softness and superior absorbency.

Is Costco switching to Pampers diapers?

Costco’s diaper brand, Kirkland, is highly rated and well loved by parents and carers. They’re often compared to Huggies Little Snugglers, which isn’t a surprise considering they’re both made by global company Kimberly-Clark. 

While Costco now stock Pampers diapers, Kirkland diapers remain the same. They’re not ‘switching’ to Pampers, and have the same design as they have offered previously.

What are Kirkland diapers compared to? 

Kimberly-Clark, the company behind huge brands like Andrex and Kleenex, produces both Kirkland diapers and Huggies Little Snugglers. They share many similarities, and parents and carers often wonder which one’s best. Check out my comparison of Kirkland and Little Snugglers diapers to find out!

Looking elsewhere, Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers are a great alternative to Kirkland diapers. Not only are they budget-friendly, but they stay well away from fragrances, lotions and the dreaded phthalates. What’s more, they even use some sustainably-sourced wood pulp. 

Abby & Finn diapers are also a great alternative to Kirkland diapers. These non-toxic diapers are very unlikely to cause rashes and the brand offers a subscription service. That means no more running out and last-minute dashes to the grocery store! 

They’re a great price too, especially considering they use some plant-based materials.

Read More: A Review Of Abby And Finn Diapers: Budget-Friendly, But Is That Enough?

Are Kirkland diapers made by Pampers?

Costco’s Kirkland diapers are made by the global corporation Kimberly-Clark: the same company behind household brands like Kleenex, Andrex and Kotex. 

Kimberly-Clark also produces Huggies diapers, so Huggies and Costco diapers are often compared, especially when it comes to Huggies Little Snugglers. See my Little Snugglers vs Kirkland diapers review here!

But Pampers aren’t produced by Kimberly-Clark. So Kirkland and Swaddlers diapers might share some similarities, but they’re not the same diaper.


Finding the right diaper is a mission. More and more brands are flooding the market, all claiming to be the softest and most absorbent. So how do you decide on the right diaper for you and your family?

It’s so important to look past marketing speak, and do some digging to find out if diapers are effective and safe for the delicate skin of our babies.

Both Kirkland diapers and Pampers diapers are super popular with parents and carers across the US, and the world! Whilst it’s clear that both are effective, how do these diapers score on their safety?

Unfortunately, not great.

Pampers contain lotions and fragrances, and probably phthalates too. Kirkland diapers are free of fragrances and lotions, but they don’t mention phthalates.

Ultimately, it’s so much safer to go with a brand that’s clear about its use (or avoidance) of toxins. Brands like Mama Bear Gentle Touch are not only effective and budget-friendly, but non-toxic too. 

And if you want to both skin and planet-friendly options, you’re in luck.

Brands like Dyper, Eco Pea and Healthybaby offer plant-based, completely non-toxic diapers that will look after your baby’s delicate skin.

Other brands need to catch up. Marketing speak won’t work forever…

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