Pampers and Luvs are two of the biggest hitters in the US diaper market. In fact, Pampers is one of the most popular diaper brands worldwide, with millions of products sold every year. Luvs is similarly popular in the US, with thousands of parents and carers trusting them to keep their little one dry.
With the diaper market so saturated right now, it’s crucial for diaper companies to provide the best quality diapers at the best prices in order to compete. So how do you choose between these two big brands? And should you choose one of them at all? While Pampers and Luvs must be trusted for a reason, are there choices out there that do more for your little one and for the world around us? Perhaps it’s time for big brands to offer a little more than great absorbency…
Disclaimer: Pampers or Luvs have not sponsored or endorsed this article in any way. As a mom who’s passionate about buying the best for babies, I try really hard to include accurate information in all of my posts. If there are any inaccuracies present, please let me know; I’m more than happy to amend any errors. For more information about Pampers and Luvs, head over to their main sites: www.pampers.com and www.luvsdiapers.com. This review has affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Luvs vs Pampers – which is better for your child?
Table of Contents
- Luvs Vs Pampers – Which Is Better For Your Child?
- What Are The Differences And Similarities Between Luvs And Pampers?
- FAQ About Luvs Vs Pampers
- Conclusion: which diaper is better Pampers or Luvs?
If you’ve not heard of Pampers… Scrap that – of course, you have! In fact, it’s most likely the first brand that comes to mind when it comes to wetness protection for your little one. And that’s probably because Pampers was established way back in 1961 when disposable diapers were nothing like they are now. They began life as big, bulky things, not like the slimline diapers we enjoy today. Okay, maybe not ‘enjoy’, but you see what I’m getting at. They became smaller and more absorbent as Pampers developed their disposable diapers, and ultimately evolved into the hugely popular products they are today.
Luvs came along a little later than Pampers and were, believe it or not, developed with the help of an astronaut! The diaper production process is clearly more complicated than it looks. They were originally sold as ‘deluxe’ diapers in the late 1980s and were eventually marketed as budget diapers from 1994. Nearly 30 years on, they’re hugely popular in the US, for their great value and effectiveness.
Both brands generally have great reviews, as they’re both pretty good at keeping your little one dry. But now that there are many brands that offer an effective diaper, while also doing their bit for the environment and for your little one’s health, the downside of Luvs and Pampers is that they don’t seem to be making many efforts to become more eco or skin-friendly. So if ‘kind to the environment’ or hypoallergenic is important to you when it comes to diaper choices, Luvs and Pampers might not seal the deal!
What are the differences and similarities between Luvs and Pampers?
Luvs and Pampers are two of the biggest brands in the US, so how do you decide which is for you? Are there any big differences between the two?
Our little ones live the first years of their lives in diapers, 24/7, so it’s important that we know what materials are used in them and if they’re safe. Some companies are better at making ingredients lists readily available than others – perhaps because certain brands have something to hide? Oil-based plastics are unfortunately the most common material used in disposable diapers, although more and more brands are turning to sustainable, plant-based alternatives like bamboo and wood pulp.
Unsurprisingly, Pampers and Luvs both use oil-based plastics (with the exception of Pampers Pure Protection). In fact, Pampers actually makes their ingredients super clear. Looking at their Swaddlers variety, they include adhesives, inks, elastics, and plastics like polypropylene and polyethylene. No mention of the potentially-harmful phthalates though, which you’ll know I like to avoid if you’ve read any of my other reviews! Phthalates are often used in diapers, along with flooring and baby toys, and have been shown to increase the risk of asthma in children (1), as well as abnormal genital development in little boys. Suffice to say, they should be avoided if possible.
Being phthalate-free is something brands will definitely want to shout about if they steer clear of them. There’s no mention of phthalates when it comes to Pampers, so it’s assumed that they are indeed used. Thinking about the use of chlorine, it looks as though Pampers are elemental chlorine free. The use – or avoidance – of chlorine is something to consider if you’re trying to make eco-friendly purchases. Brands often state that their diapers are either elementally chlorine-free or totally chlorine-free. The brands which are kindest to the environment will be totally chlorine-free, as the use of this chemical is incredibly damaging to the world around us. If brands state that they’re elemental chlorine-free, it means that the diapers aren’t completely free of bleaching, but this process reduces the toxicity. The fact that Pampers are elementally chlorine-free is therefore a positive, although there are plenty of brands steering clear of the process altogether!
Something you might have noticed with certain brands of the diaper is the smell. And I mean the smell before your little one’s had a chance to add to it! You might notice an odor with Pampers, as all varieties apart from Pure Protection are scented. Many brands add scents to mask smells produced by the manufacturing process, and it looks like Pampers are no different. Any additional fragrances, lotions, or dyes can potentially irritate your little one’s skin, especially if it’s sensitive, so you should bear this in mind when choosing. There are plenty of hypoallergenic diapers on the market that are super kind to your baby’s skin.
I found it harder to find a definitive ingredients list for Luvs. They have a little information about what they do and don’t include in their FAQs, but they don’t make a full list readily available. Luvs says that their diapers use absorbent gelling material, which is presumably oil-based. They avoid latex and use spandex elastic instead, which is great for little ones with a latex allergy. They also say that their diapers are elementally chlorine-free. Again, totally chlorine free is preferable, and it’s hoped that large companies, who certainly have the means to produce chlorine-free diapers, make steps to do so in the not too distant future!
There’s no mention of Luvs being phthalate free either, so I assume these nasties are probably used. I really hope bigger brands like Luvs start to move towards a more skin-friendly, eco-way of doing things soon. Other, more natural diapers are catching up.
When it comes to scents, many parents and carers notice a – how to put this – odd odour with Luvs diapers. They even have a section on their site that explains this; they say that this odour comes from the manufacturing process as their diapers are so freshly made. So it looks like Luvs don’t necessarily add fragrances or scents to mask this, unlike Pampers.
Luvs vs Pampers: Product Lines
Pampers present us with a whole host of options when it comes to baby diapers. They offer different products for each stage of your baby’s diaper-wearing journey, including:
There’s certainly not as much on offer from Luvs when it comes to different diapers for varying stages. In fact, Luvs make one ‘kind’ of diaper only: Triple Leakguards (formerly Ultra Leakguards). They range from newborn size to size 6, so are suitable for most stages of your little one’s diapering journey, although they don’t offer products like swim diapers and training pants.
Luvs vs Pampers: Reviews
There are plenty of reviews for both Pampers and Luvs, great for deciding which brand is the best for you and your little one. With nearly 14,000 reviews on Amazon, Pampers Swaddlers average 4.7 out of 5 – pretty impressive by any standards! While most reviewers love their absorbency, fit, and softness, they, of course, don’t work for some parents, with some saying they’re expensive compared to similar brands.
I’ve also seen Pampers come out on top when compared with Luvs and Huggies in polls. Plus, they’re the most used brand in US hospitals, so that really speaks volumes about the quality.
Amazon also offers plenty of reviews for Luvs diapers, averaging 4,5 out of 5 in over 3,000 reviews. While most reviews are positive, there are quite a few with the opinion that the quality has worsened recently, with some saying that they don’t seem as absorbent as they were before. But the majority are pretty positive, with users loving their great value for money.
Luvs vs Pampers: Effectiveness
There’s not much point in a diaper if it doesn’t work. The last thing you wanna be doing is changing your baby every hour because your diaper can’t handle its contents, so you need a diaper that’s super absorbent.
Looking at Pampers Swaddlers, they offer heart quilts for super soft comfort and pulling away moisture from your baby’s skin, along with air channels to keep them comfortable and dry. They have a wetness indicator to take the guesswork out of diaper changes and claim to offer up to 12 hours of protection. And given that they’re the number one diapers used by parents and hospitals, along with the great reviews, Pampers certainly seems a sure bet if you’re after a consistent diaper.
Luvs Triple Leakguards tell us exactly what the brand is focusing on in their one and only diaper variety: absorbency. They claim to hold 20x their weight and lock away moisture so effectively that they’re good for overnight use. Luvs says that their diapers – which also have a wetness indicator – are super soft on your little one’s skin, feature leak-barrier leg cuffs, and have a wide fastening area to make changing easy. Again, with such good reviews, it’s clear that, for most parents and carers at least, they ‘work’!
Luvs vs Pampers: Price
With such great reviews, I’d expect Pampers to be a little more expensive than the super-budget brands. Looking on Amazon, prices per diaper for Pampers Swaddlers range from 22 cents per diaper for size 1 to 40 cents per diaper for size 6. You’ll pretty much always pay a little more for larger sizes, and this price still isn’t too terrible considering that some diapers will set you back double. Of course, you’re not getting anything super special in terms of eco-friendly-ness for your money, but you can be pretty sure they’ll work.
The great thing about Pampers and Luvs is that you really can buy them anywhere, including Amazon and Walmart. Amazon offers size 1 Luvs diapers for 14 cents per product, with size 6 coming in at 24 cents per diaper. This really is ridiculously good value for money, with some diapers costing anything up to 80 cents. They’re also significantly cheaper than Pampers.
The only problem is you’re not getting anything in the way of skin-friendly or eco-friendly credentials with Luvs, and not all brands that can boast this cost the earth. Amazon’s Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers, for example, come in at a similar price, but they’re produced in a no-waste facility, which means all waste is either reused or recycled. But there’s no denying that Luvs are a great option if you’re on a budget. There’s also the option of saving money on the already low prices if you sign up for Amazon’s Family Program. Free for Prime members, the program gives you up to 20% off the diaper and baby food subscriptions, as well as exclusive offers and parenting tips. It’s certainly worth signing up!
Luvs vs Pampers: Sizing
Pampers diapers size chart
|Up to 10 lbs
Luvs diapers size chart
|Up to 10 lbs
FAQ about Luvs vs Pampers
1. Are Pampers and Luvs made by the same company?
You probably already know that many of your favorite brands are owned by pretty huge umbrella companies. In fact, it’s pretty scary to think that a handful of huge organizations own the majority of the products we use, eat, and drink every day.
Unsurprisingly, Luvs and Pampers are made by the same company: Procter & Gamble, who also own big brands like Pantene, Olay, Head and Shoulders, and Tide. One of the biggest issues when it comes to these giant companies is their use of animal testing, so what about P and G – do they test? They state on their website that they do not test on animals unless ‘required to do so by law’ in that particular country, so… yes, then. Thankfully, more and more of us are choosing to ditch animal-tested products and brands and choose cruelty-free alternatives. If like me, you’d prefer to choose a cruelty-free company, there are so many to choose from, including the Honest Company, Eco by Naty, and Dyper diapers.
2. Where can I buy Luvs and Pampers diapers?
It’s probably easier to list places that don’t sell these brands. As two of the most popular diaper brands in the US, with Pampers also being sold all around the world, you can pretty much purchase them anywhere. Amazon has plenty of choices when it comes to both brands, and big grocery chains like Walmart, CVS, and Target of course stock both Luvs and Pampers.
3. Are Pampers Baby Dry diapers the same as Luvs?
Pampers Baby Dry are pretty similar to Luvs Triple Leakguards in that both are supposedly suitable for overnights. Luvs focus on their absorbency and say that their diapers can hold up to 20x their weight, making them great for keeping little one asleep.
Pampers Baby Dry diapers boast 3 ‘extra absorb’ channels, whatever they are, and the company says that they’re also good for keeping little one dry overnight. So while they’re not exactly the same, they claim to do the same job!
4. Are Luvs good quality?
Despite them being incredibly cheap compared to other brands, it seems that Luvs work pretty well. In over 3,000 reviews on Amazon, they average 4.5 out of 5, which is pretty great for a cheap diaper. Users generally like their absorbency, and many parents and carers have trusted them for their little one throughout their diapering journey. Pampers fare ever so slightly better in reviews, but they are more expensive.
In terms of little ones with sensitive skin or parents who want to make eco-friendly choices, there’s not much to shout about with Luvs. This isn’t too surprising considering the price, although Amazon does offer a slightly better-for-the-environment budget diaper: Mama Bear Gentle Touch.
5. Do Luvs diapers have a wetness indicator?
Luvs Triple Leakguards do indeed feature a wetness indicator, which will turn blue when wet. They’re super useful for knowing when the baby needs a change.
6. Are Luvs chlorine-free?
Both Luvs and Pampers are elemental chlorine-free, which isn’t quite as good as completely chlorine-free, but this process does reduce toxicity.
If you’re looking for brands that avoid chlorine completely, you’re in luck. There are so many on the market now to suit all budgets. Check out my organic diaper picks for a few of my favorites!
7. Which brand of diapers is the best?
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the best diaper – literally! To find the right brand for you and your baby, you first need to decide on your priorities.
Are you looking for an eco-friendly option?
A budget-friendly diaper?
A hypoallergenic diaper suitable for little ones with sensitive skin?
There are so many brands and varieties available on the market to suit all needs that you don’t have to go for big brands like Pampers, Huggies, and Luvs.
If your baby has sensitive skin, you’ll need a hypoallergenic diaper, and some of my favorites include Andy Pandy, Nest Baby, and Little Toes. Not only are these diapers all hypoallergenic, but they’re also kinder to the environment. All of these brands produce biodegradable diapers, which are not only more sustainable but can be composted in your garden! The non-poopy ones, at least.
Looking at budget-friendly diapers, Luvs is of course great value for money, but animal testing and lack of eco-credentials are big issues. Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers are super affordable at around 16 cents per diaper and, while they’re not biodegradable, they’re produced in a zero-waste facility. They’re also hypoallergenic if that wasn’t enough!
Conclusion: Which diaper is better Pampers or Luvs?
Pampers vs Luvs
|Pampers are generally more expensive
|Pampers have a wider range of diapers
|Owned by P & G, who test on animals
|Available online and in grocery stores
|A popular choice for parents and carers
|Not necessarily suitable for little ones with sensitive skin
|Elemental chlorine free
So there’s a reason why Pampers and Luvs are so popular among parents and carers in the US, and around the world: they work. But in a world that desperately needs more eco-conscious options, is it enough? When there are so many diaper options on the market that are kinder to your little one’s skin, and kinder to the world around us, I’d like to see big brands like Pampers and Luvs do more. Developing diapers that are eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, and free from nasties like chlorine and phthalates isn’t tough; just look at the countless brands who are already leading the way!
Luvs and Pampers have their benefits, of course: they’re good quality, they keep baby dry and they’re available pretty much anywhere. But both brands need to step up to the plate when it comes to looking after our little ones, and our resources. Personally, I’d look elsewhere for baby diapers. The more we, as parents and carers, decide to make ethical diaper choices, the more brands will have to listen to our concerns. We have the power, mamas!
- 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.