The Best Non-Toxic Diapers For Your Baby: Chemical-Free, Hypoallergenic, and Environmentally Friendly

When it comes to our little ones, we want the best. And I’m not talking about expensive clothes, lavish holidays, or infinite toys. As parents and carers, we want to know that the products we use on our little ones every day are safe. Seems simple, right? Disposable diapers appear harmless enough on the surface, but look closely and you’ll find a smorgasbord of additives, chemicals, and toxins that shouldn’t be anywhere near a product for children, let alone on your baby’s skin.

But don’t panic. Yes, the market is still pretty flooded with these disposable nasties, despite big brands having more than enough money and resources to provide a healthy alternative. *Cough*, Pampers and Huggies. Yet there are so many eco-friendly, non-toxic, skin-friendly disposable diaper alternatives popping up all the time, ready to help us keep our little ones safe and healthy. 

So which brands are leading the way in the race to offer the best non-toxic baby diapers? And which brands were knocked out at the first hurdle? 

Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. 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.

Our Top Non-Toxic Diapers For Babies, 2021

1. Andy Pandy Diapers
Eco-Friendly Non-Toxic Bamboo Diapers


2. Dyper Diapers –
5-Star Bamboo Diapers


3. Dewor Baby Diapers 
Premium Bamboo Disposable Diapers


4. Eco Boom Diapers –
Eco Friendly Bamboo Diapers


5. Little Toes Diapers –
Naturally Biodegradable & Hypoallergenic Premium Bamboo Fiber Diaper


6. Nest Biodegradable Diaper –
Natural Plant-Based Eco-Diapers


7. Eco Pea Diaper –
Bamboo Diapers for Sensitive Skin

What are disposable diapers made from?

Not all disposable diapers are made equal, but most are made from similar elements: an outer layer, an inner layer, and an absorbent core. Unsurprisingly, the absorbent layer is the star of the show and works to catch and wick away your baby’s pee and poop, to save you changing them 258 times a day. It’s about 127 on average for me…

The inner and outer layers which sandwich it are designed to provide extra protection and comfort for your little one, no matter what they’re getting up to! But while these elements are similar in most disposables, what these layers are made from is what sets them apart, and what’s a cause for worry for many parents. 

Are disposable diapers toxic?

You’d be forgiven for not knowing that many disposable diapers have materials lists longer than the average thesis. Fragrances, lotions, inks, chlorine, dioxins, latex, petroleum-based plastics, and phthalates are common culprits that lurk silently in your baby’s diapers, with the potential to cause rashes and other health issues, without us realizing it. 

And don’t worry if you’re not sure what on earth phthalates are, or why there’s chlorine in diapers. Until I started my research, neither did I! These ‘additions’ are truly needed and can harm the environment and baby’s health, but they can be avoided.

Why is chlorine used in disposable diapers?

Chlorine isn’t just used in swimming pools, it seems. While its purpose in pools is to keep them free from bacteria, it could be completely avoided in the diaper manufacturing process. Chlorine bleaching is a process diaper companies use to make their diapers more absorbent. Makes sense, except that it’s perfectly possible to do this without using such a planet-damaging process. 

Some companies avoid chlorine altogether and use oxygen, ozone or peroxide-based bleaching systems: the safest bleaching methods available, and much better for the environment.

So why is chlorine still used? Surprise surprise – it’s cheaper! And, more importantly, what about their impact on your baby’s health? Luckily, chlorine is generally considered ‘safe’ in diapers in terms of our babies’ health, not forgetting that it has a pretty devastating impact on the environment. And you might have heard of the term ‘dioxins’ linked with the bleaching process, which are by-products of chlorine bleaching. They certainly sound toxic, but, again, they’re thought to be safe. In fact, you’ll not only find dioxins in diapers but in other sanitary products that we use every day like tampons. Who knew? Studies have only found trace amounts in these items though, and, actually, this doesn’t contribute to dioxin exposure.

Do some diapers avoid chlorine?

It’s super easy to find disposable diapers that bypass the chlorine bleaching process, and these diapers are much more eco-friendly. As long as your diaper’s effective, does it really matter what it looks like? Look out for the terms ‘totally chlorine free’ (TCF) and ‘elemental chlorine free’ (ECF). Totally chlorine-free diapers are as they suggest – not made with chlorine at all, which is preferable, of course! ECF diapers still use chlorine bleaching, but this process reduces its toxicity.

There are loads of TCF options on the market, including Dyper diapers, Dewor, and Little Toes. These brands happen to be free of the toxins that are most harmful to your baby and to the environment, so they really are fantastic options.

What are phthalates?

You’ve probably never heard of phthalates, and after learning about their harmful effects, you’ll wonder why. Phthalates are chemicals used in plastic products to improve their durability. Great, except that studies have shown a link between phthalates and an increased risk of developing asthma and eczema1, as well as abnormal genital development in little boys2. In fact, diapers and even some sanitary products contain more phthalates than common commercial plastic products, so it’s no wonder exposure to these chemicals is very common and widespread among little ones. Why isn’t this information printed in the huge text on diaper packaging? 

My thoughts exactly. But phthalates aren’t regulated by the FDA, so brands are free to use them as much as they want to, without disclosing whether their products contain them, and the risks involved. Some brands are happy to use phthalates and keep this pretty hidden from parents and carers, but not all. Phthalate-free diaper companies include Andy Pandy, The Honest Company, and Bambo Nature, and there’s so many more! Just remember, being phthalate-free is a huge selling point, so if a brand doesn’t clearly state that they avoid them, it’s safer to assume that they’re used!

Why should I avoid fragrances, lotions and dyes?

As you’ve probably guessed by now, some diaper companies hide their use of fragrances, lotions and dyes. None of these unnecessary additions are truly needed to help the diaper perform its function, and the term ‘fragrances’ actually covers a very big base. It’s a vague term which can be used to describe added smells, of course, but also a load of nasty chemicals. 

Added lotions could cause diaper rash, especially if your little one has sensitive skin, and dyes are equally unimportant. Granted, they add cute pictures and cartoons to baby diapers, but, let’s be clear, this is something your baby is going to pee and poop in, so it’s hardly necessary. They can’t even see the prints themselves! And dyes and inks can potentially cause allergic reactions, as some contain heavy metals. It’s not really worth the 2 minutes parents get to see the cute images, is it… There are some diaper companies that use water-based inks like the Honest Company, which are generally considered safe for little ones.

So how do you avoid these toxins? Skin-friendly and eco-friendly brands will be quick to let you know on the packaging or on their website that their products steer clear of fragrances, lotions, and dyes, or at least dyes that contain heavy metals. Thank goodness for transparency (of a select few companies). Other brands need to take a leaf out of these companies’ wood-pulp based diapers. 

What are the safest diapers for babies?

The safest diapers for your baby’s health are those which avoid as many of these additions as possible:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes and inks
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

All products in my review of the best non-toxic diapers for babies must be free from at least 4 of these chemicals. Some are completely free of all of them, which just goes to show that it can be done. With all the money and resources at the disposal of huge brands like Pampers and Huggies, there’s no excuse not to follow suit!

Do biodegradable diapers work?

Not only are biodegradable diapers awesome for your little one’s skin, with their focus on plant-based materials, but they’re the Usain Bolt of eco-friendly diaper offerings. They don’t break down quite as fast as he can run 100m, but the process is certainly quicker than their plastic counterparts. In fact, it can take up to 550 years for plastic diapers to break down, compared to a few months for biodegradable diapers. But what are they?

Biodegradable diapers are eco-conscious diapers which are partly biodegradable. As far as I know, there aren’t any fully biodegradable diapers on the market yet, mainly due to the super absorbent polymer (SAP) used in all diapers, which is currently always petroleum-based. SAP is considered safe for little ones and is the bit that makes the absorbent core so – well – absorbent, I guess.

Some biodegradable diapers can be composted at home, which isn’t as much hassle as you might think! It’s super easy to make a compost heap – all it takes is some fruit and veggie scraps and browns like leaves. And a compost tumbler if you’re feeling fancy! It’s important to note that it’s only the pee diapers which can be composted; it’s not safe to compost the poop ones, so these unfortunately need to go straight in the trash. 

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

Others can be disposed of using a professional composting facility. Just check the packaging or the company’s site to check! Some brands offer to pick up your old diapers for you, and there are some professional services in certain areas of the US.

While biodegradable diapers do tend to be a little more expensive than plastic diapers, if you do have the budget to go for them, it’ll make a huge difference to your carbon footprint, and offer the best materials for your little one that the disposable diaper market has to offer. Plus, most biodegradable diapers happen to be free from all of those unnecessary additions: chlorine, fragrances, lotions, phthalates, and dyes. Hallelujah!

Gold Medal Winning Non-toxic Diapers: Free From Toxins and Biodegradable

1. Andy Pandy Bamboo Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes and inks
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Backsheet – 100% non-woven bamboo fiber
The absorbent core – TCF (Totally Chlorine Free) Fluff Pulp and Sumitomo SAP

Andy Pandy is truly the cream of the crop when it comes to eco and skin-friendly offerings. These bamboo diapers are completely free from the 5 toxic culprits that have the potential to harm your baby’s skin and the environment and are 86.5% biodegradable. The Andy Pandy brand clearly likes precision. I approve.

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Free from all 5 chemicals (chlorine, phthalates, fragrances, lotions, and dyes/inks)
◆ Can be composted
◆ Small family company
◆ Made from soft and absorbent bamboo
◆ Great reviews
◆ They feature a wetness indicator
◆ 86.5% biodegradable
◆ Hypoallergenic, so great for little ones with sensitive skin
◆ What’s not to like?

The bottom line

Andy Pandy diapers are the perfect choice for your baby and for the environment. They use a high percentage of compostable materials, are toxin-free, and great for little ones with sensitive skin. 

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

2. Dyper Bamboo Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Topsheet and backsheet – Bamboo Fiber
The absorbent core – Chlorine-Free Wood Pulp and Sumitomo SAP

Dyper diapers not only have a pretty cool name (you’ll never forget this brand!), but they tick all the non-toxic diaper boxes too. They’re partly biodegradable and free from the main toxic chemicals sometimes found in diapers, and they’re packaged in biodegradable bags too. 

If that wasn’t enough, these diapers are made from soft bamboo and steer clear of alcohol and PVC. They can be composted at home or you can use a professional service if you’d prefer. To make it even easier, Dyper (for an extra cost) will even pick up your dirty diapers and dispose of them for you!

And just to show off that little bit more, Dyper purchases carbon offsets with each diaper delivery to support reforestation. Talk about fancy…

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Made from soft bamboo
Free from the 5 main culprit toxins (chlorine, phthalates, fragrances, lotions, and dyes)
Biodegradable packaging
◆ Can be composted at home or using a professional service
◆ The company purchases carbon offsets with each delivery
◆ They offer a subscription service
◆ You can’t buy single packs from their site, only from Amazon.com

The bottom line

Dyper really does go the extra mile when it comes to looking after your baby and the planet. Their diapers are free from toxins, biodegradable, and come in biodegradable packaging as an added bonus. And they purchase carbon offsets. And they’ll dispose of your diapers for you. Okay, they’re amazing.

Read Next: Dyper Diapers Review: Eco-Friendly, Skin-Friendly And Bank Account-Friendly

3. Dewor Bamboo Diaper

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Topsheet and backsheet – 100% bamboo fiber
The absorbent core – Chlorine free wood pulp and Summitomo SAP

Dewor Baby diapers have great reviews for a reason. They’re premium, silky-soft bamboo diapers, with a wetness indicator, great absorbency, and no toxins in sight! They use sustainable bamboo to make their diapers and use natural aloe, which is great for the baby’s skin. 

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Silky soft
◆ Great reviews
◆ Free from the 5 main toxins (chlorine, phthalates, fragrances, lotions, and dyes)
◆ Sustainable bamboo
◆ They feature a wetness indicator
◆ Great absorbency
◆ They don’t state the percentage of biodegradable materials used

The bottom line

Dewor baby diapers are another fab choice for world-friendly and little-one-friendly diapers. Like the other brands in the biodegradable list, they’re free from the main toxins, made with sustainable materials, and have great absorbency.

4. Eco Boom Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes and inks
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Topsheet and backsheet – 100% bamboo fiber
The absorbent core – FSC Certified Chlorine free wood pulp and traditional SAP

Eco Boom are pretty new to the biodegradable diaper market, they’re certainly making their mark, arriving at your door in biodegradable packaging. They’re hypoallergenic of course and have some pretty rave reviews on Amazon.

Eco Boom diapers have 100% bamboo fiber topsheet and backsheet. The absorbent core consists of FSC Certified Chlorine free wood pulp and traditional SAP.

The diapers do not have any prints, they are pure white without any print oil.

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Free from the 5 main toxins (chlorine, phthalates, fragrances, lotions, and dyes)
◆ They arrive in biodegradable packaging
◆ Great reviews
◆ Ultra soft
◆ Flexible
◆ Their marketing is confusing. They claim that the diaper is 100% biodegradable but it is actually the ONLY bamboo fiber top and back sheet that are compostable.

The bottom line

Like Dyper, Eco Boom diapers go the extra mile to look after the planet, with biodegradable packaging. They’re super soft and have fab reviews, so if you’re looking for a diaper that’s as good for your baby’s skin as it is for the environment, give ‘em a try!

5. Little Toes Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Topsheet and backsheet – 100% bamboo fiber
The absorbent core – Chlorine free wood pulp and SAP

The Little Toes brand, like the other bamboo diapers in this list, bring everything to the table with their super soft diaper. Minus the toxins, of course. Free from the 5 main nasties, Little Toes explains that bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic because it grows without the need for pesticides or fertilizers. They state that it also ‘generates up to 30% more oxygen than other plants’. Diapers, bowls, straws… is there anything bamboo can’t do? The answer to that question is no, because bamboo is also ‘thermal regulating’ and allows fresh air into the diaper to keep your little one comfortable and dry. Oh, and it has deodorizing and antibacterial properties. Why aren’t all diapers made from bamboo?

The patterns on their diapers are water-based inks, which are absolutely fine for your little one, and won’t harm the environment. They’re also 67 percent biodegradable and the company says that their top and back sheets and paper pulp will decompose when exposed to light in about 180 days, even in landfill. They don’t recommend that their diapers are composted at home, but it’s fine to use professional disposal services. 

And finally, their packaging is biodegradable. They’re ticking all the boxes, and I just love how their FAQ page explains everything about their diapers and the manufacturing process so clearly!

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Super transparent company
◆ They clearly care about making a difference
◆ Free from toxins
◆ They use water-based inks
◆ Hypoallergenic
◆ Biodegradable packaging
◆ Lab-tested for absorbency
◆ The company doesn’t recommend composting the diapers at home, but you can use a professional service

The bottom line

I love Little Toes, if it wasn’t obvious. I wish all diaper companies were so transparent and helpful. Navigating the world of toxins in diapers is a tricky business, but Little Toes explain everything super clearly, and seem to truly care about your baby’s health and their impact on the world. I highly recommend them.

6. Nest Baby Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Topsheet and backsheet – 100% plant-based fiber
The absorbent core – Chlorine free wood pulp and SAP

Nest diapers are a little different from the others because they’re made from bamboo along with wood and cane. Produced by a small family brand that prioritizes green parenting, they even provide certification that their diapers are compostable and biodegradable, although this can only be done using a professional service. Like Little Toes, they’re super transparent with what they do and don’t use in their diapers, and they also come in recyclable packaging. 

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Hypoallergenic
◆ Free from the main toxins (chlorine, phthalates, fragrances, lotions, and dyes)
◆ Small family company
◆ Recyclable packaging
◆ Made with bamboo, wood and cane
◆ Can only be composted using a professional service

The bottom line

I’m loving the transparency with these companies. It’s clear that there are so many brands out there revolutionizing the diaper market, making truly green options easier and easier to find. Nest diapers can be disposed of and composted using a professional service, so it’s probably best to check whether there’s one available in your area before purchasing. 

7. Eco Pea Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes containing heavy metals (they use water-based inks)
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Topsheet and backsheet – bamboo fiber
The absorbent core – FSC-certified TCF wood pulp and SAP

If the cute name wasn’t enough, Eco Pea diapers smash the eco-friendly, skin-friendly thing out of the park, with completely toxin-free, biodegradable diapers. Made from sustainable bamboo, they feature a wetness indicator and blowout guards and have pretty great reviews. 

And just to show off a little more, they’re completely vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. Oh, and they’ll arrive in biodegradable packaging and their delivery process is carbon neutral. I’m surprised they can fit through the door.

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Made from soft and sustainable bamboo
◆ Free from the 5 main toxins (chlorine, phthalates, fragrances, lotions, and heavy metal dyes)
◆ Biodegradable packaging
◆ Shipping is carbon neutral
◆ Vegan and cruelty-free
◆ They offer a subscription service
◆ Erm…

The bottom line

I love Eco Pea diapers. Yeah, they ace the toxic-free diaper thing, but they also have biodegradable packaging and their shipping is carbon neutral. I bet the planet loves them too.

Silver Medal Winning Non-Toxic Diapers: Free From Toxins, But Not Biodegradable

The following diapers are good, but not first-place-at-the-Olympics good because they’re not biodegradable or compostable. The top-sheet and back-sheet of these diapers use mostly petroleum-based plastics. However, they stay away from the main toxins (including phthalates), so they’re good choices when it comes to baby’s skin. 

1. Abby + Finn Diapers

image from Abbyandfinn.com

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Top-sheet and back-sheet – Polyproylene fibers
The absorbent core – Totally Chlorine free wood pulp and traditional SAP

Abby & Finn is a brand specializing in baby products like bubble bath, diaper balm, shampoo, and, of course, baby diapers. They offer a subscription service of their wood pulp diapers, which are completely free of the 5 main toxins, as well as latex, any known allergens, and heavy metals. It’s super easy to subscribe and get these safe-for-sensitive skin diapers sent straight to your door. 

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Free from the 5 toxins, including chlorine, phthalates, fragrances, lotions and dyes
◆ They offer a subscription service
◆ Good for sensitive skin
◆ The wood pulp they use is from sustainably managed forests
◆ Not biodegradable or compostable

The bottom line

Abby & Finn diapers are a great choice for busy parents. Get them delivered straight to your door every month and take the stress out of diaper shopping! The only downside is that they’re not biodegradable or compostable. 

2. Bambo Nature Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Topsheet and backsheet – Polypropylene fiber (PP)
The absorbent core – Cellulose fluff and traditional SAP

Bambo Nature diapers are another great choice when it comes to non-toxic diaper offerings. Free from the main toxins, as well as BPA, PVC, latex, and antioxidants, Bambo Nature diapers even carry the Nordic Swan Eco Label, certifying the brand’s efforts to minimize their impact on the environment and provide products that are great for your baby’s skin health.

If that wasn’t enough, they’ve been dermatologically tested, so they’re suitable for babies with sensitive skin and come in recyclable packaging. I’ve read some reviews which say they’re not the best eco-friendly diaper on the market when it comes to leak protection, but there are equally plenty of reviews from parents and carers who swear by them!

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Free from the main toxins
◆ Free from PVC, antioxidants, BPA, and latex
◆ They carry the Nordic Swan Eco Label
◆ Their environmental efforts are award-winning
◆ They arrive in recyclable packaging
◆ Some reviews say they’re prone to leaks
◆ Not biodegradable

The bottom line

Bambo Nature clearly cares about their impact on the world. Rest assured that you’ll be buying a truly non-toxic diaper for your little one if you choose this brand. 

3. Eco by Naty Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes and inks
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Top sheet and back sheet – Oil-based and plant-based plastics, but only plant-based plastics touch your baby’s skin.
The absorbent core – 100% FSC certified wood pulp and SAP

Eco by Naty diapers are one of the most popular ‘green’ brands on the market. Unlike many eco-friendly brands, which are only available online, you’ll find Naty diapers stacked on the shelves at big grocery chains like Walgreens and Walmart. It’s great that a ‘green’ brand is available so readily, but they’re not quite as eco-friendly as they could be…

Made from Forest Steward Council certified wood pulp and free from the main toxins, it’s going well so far. But they’re not biodegradable or compostable and they state ‘no oil based plastic on skin’. As you probably know by now, I like transparency. The way in which they market their diapers suggests they’re completely free of these oil-based plastics. In fact, they’re not; they’re in there somewhere, just not directly on baby’s skin. Confused? Me too. 

Petroleum-based plastics like SAP are unavoidable, but I’m certainly not a fan of confusing statements! Plus, it’s pretty impossible to find a full list of ingredients. That being said, they still win the silver medal for non-toxic diapers for their avoidance of the main toxins. 

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Available online and in grocery stores
◆ Free from the main toxins
◆ They offer a subscription service
◆ Made from FSC-certified wood pulp
◆ Certified by the European Vegetarian Union and ◆ Swedish Society For Nature Conservation
◆ They’re packaged in plant-based materials
◆ Not biodegradable
◆ I can’t find a full ingredients list
◆ I find the messaging confusing!

The bottom line

Eco by Naty diapers do a much better job than most other brands you’ll find in grocery stores at doing their bit for the environment, and it’s great that they avoid the main toxins. I just wish they’d be more transparent. 

Related Post: Eco By Naty Diapers Review 2021: The Number 1 Eco Diaper?

4. Hello Bello Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Top sheet and back sheet – polypropylene fiber ( with the exception of core liner which is made with plant-derived plastic)
The absorbent core – Sustainably harvested TCF fluff pulp and traditional SAP

Because Kristen Bell didn’t have enough on her plate voicing characters in Disney films and making hit TV shows, she’s now ventured into the world of baby diapers… who knew? She believes that ‘all babies deserve the best’ and provides toxin-free diapers that work well and are affordable. 

They’re great for little ones with sensitive skin and they offer a subscription service, or you can get them shipped to you through the Walmart store or Amazon.

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Free from harsh chemicals
◆ Plant-based
◆ They offer a flexible subscription service
◆ They offer other natural baby products
◆ Not biodegradable

The bottom line

I’m certainly a fan of subscriptions services, mainly because I’m definitely not a fan of worrying about picking diapers up at the store or, indeed, running out of them! They steer clear of nasties, but they aren’t biodegradable or compostable.

5. Honest Company Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Top sheet – Polyethylene & Polypropylene
Back sheet – Plant-based plastic
The absorbent core – TCF wood pulp and traditional SAP

Sticking with the actress-turned-diaper-manufacturer trend, Jessica Alba offers us Honest diapers, which are fast becoming a super popular choice for health-conscious parents and carers. They provide a full list of their ingredients, using chlorine-free wood pulp and staying away from the main toxins. But they’re not biodegradable, of course, and they seem to have a pretty big price tag compared to similar brands. 

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Cute prints
◆ They offer a subscription service
◆ They’re made from chlorine-free wood pulp
◆ Honest are, well, honest about what’s in their diapers
◆ Free from toxins
◆ Not biodegradable or compostable
◆ They cost a bit more compared to similar diaper brands

The bottom line

Honest is very honest about what’s in their diapers, which I love. Our little ones are in diapers 24/7 for the first couple of years; it’s important that we know what’s in them! But they’re not biodegradable, which is a shame, and they’re on the expensive side.

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

6. Parasol Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates

Top sheet and back sheet – Polypropylene fiber
The absorbent core – Chlorine free wood pulp and traditional SAP

If Parasol is good at anything, it’s avoiding a toxin. They avoid the 5 main toxins, along with alcohol, parabens, latex and preservatives, so they’re an awesome choice when it comes to skin health. They’re made predominantly from chlorine-free wood pulp, and make their full ingredients list clear on their site. These super soft diapers have fab reviews; it’s just a shame they’re not biodegradable or compostable.

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Made from plant-based materials
◆ Super soft
◆ They have great reviews
◆ They offer a subscription service
◆ Free from toxins
◆ Free from latex, alcohol, preservatives, and parabens
◆ Not biodegradable

The bottom line

I love Parasol’s transparency and their avoidance of anything unnecessary. These soft diapers are a great buy, and the flexible subscription service takes the hassle out of diaper-buying.

Bronze Medal Winning Diapers:
Free From Dyes, Chlorine, Fragrances, and Lotions, But Not Necessarily Phthalates, And Not Compostable

These diapers were doing well in the non-toxic race to the finish but fell at the phthalates hurdle. And that’s a pretty big hurdle… While they’re free of chlorine, lotions, dyes, and fragrances, it’s not clear as to whether they do contain phthalates. My general rule is that if a company doesn’t make it clear that they’re free from phthalates, it’s safer to assume they’re used. 

1. Babyganics Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions

Top sheet and back sheet – Polypropylene
The absorbent core – TCF fluff pulp and traditional SAP

With a name like Babyganics, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re cream of the crop when it comes to skin-friendly, eco-friendly diapers. Unfortunately, this isn’t quite the case. Despite being made from chlorine-free wood fluff, they’re not biodegradable, and, most importantly, I have no idea whether they use phthalates. The thing is, they’re quick to let us know that they avoid other toxins, so if they avoid phthalates, why not shout about it? It leads me to believe that they do.

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Made with chlorine-free wood fluff
◆ Most materials are organic
◆ Wetness indicator
◆ Free from chlorine, fragrances, lotions, and dyes
◆ The smaller sizes are a good price
◆ Not biodegradable
◆ They might contain phthalates!

The bottom line

It’s great that most ingredients in Babyganics diapers are organic, but they’re not biodegradable and the lack of transparency on phthalates is concerning. I have to assume that they are used.

Related Post: Babyganics Diapers Review 2021: Disappointed Sums It Up

2. Seventh Generation Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions

Top sheet and back sheet – Polypropylene
The absorbent core – TCF free wood fluff pulp and traditional SAP

Seventh Generation is probably the brand that springs to mind when you think of ‘eco-friendly’ diapers. Available in major grocery chains, they appear on the surface to be a great green alternative to the very plastic-heavy big brands. But despite their mission – to ‘transform the world into a healthy, sustainable and equitable place for the next seven generations’, they’re not biodegradable and, like Babyganics, they don’t make their policy on phthalates clear. In fact, despite searching… and searching… and then searching a bit more, I couldn’t find anything definitive about whether Seventh Generation diapers contain phthalates. Again, I have to assume they do. Why would they avoid them and not brag about it?

The other issue with Seventh Generation diapers is that they’re owned by the global conglomerate Unilever. Whilst their diapers are certified ‘cruelty-free’, Unilever, who owns loads of household brands like Dove and Carte D’or, does participate in some testing on animals. So it’s probably best to steer clear.

Related Post: Are Diapers Tested On Animals? The Top Cruelty-Free Diapers In 2021

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Made with FSC certified wood pulp
◆ Widely available
◆ Their packaging is made from mostly recyclable materials
◆ They steer clear of some toxins like fragrances and lotions
◆ Not biodegradable
◆ They probably use phthalates
◆ Owned by Unilever, which carries out animal testing for some of its other brands

The bottom line

Seventh Generation diapers are on the right track when it comes to non-toxic diapers, but they still have a long way to go. Until they make their phthalate use clear, I’d choose a more transparent brand!

Related Post: Seventh Generation Diapers Review 2021: Greenwashed And Ineffective?

3. Earth’s Best Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances

Top sheet and back sheet – Polypropylene
The absorbent core – TCF wood pulp and traditional SAP

Earth’s Best diapers should probably rethink their name. There are some positives to the brand: they’re free from chlorine, dyes, lotions, and fragrances and are made from corn and wheat starch. They’re good for sensitive skin, given that they avoid fragrances and lotions, but, again, they’re not biodegradable and they appear to have pretty mixed reviews. And it’s yet another brand which doesn’t make their phthalate use clear. 

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Free from fragrances, chlorine, and dyes
◆ Made with plant-based ingredients
◆ Mixed reviews
◆ Not biodegradable
◆ They don’t provide a clear ingredients list
◆ Do they use phthalates? It’s anyone’s guess!

The bottom line

There’s nothing particularly special about Earth’s Best diapers and, yet again, we’re not told whether they use phthalates. 

4. Thrive Market Diapers

Free from:

  • Chlorine
  • Dyes and inks
  • Fragrances
  • Lotions

Top sheet and back sheet – Plant-Based PLA
The absorbent core – Sustainably-sourced chlorine-free wood pulp and traditional SAP

Never heard of Thrive Market? It’s pretty much an online, health-focused version of Costco. Sort of. You have to pay for a membership to access its products (just under 60 dollars for a year), and then you’re free to buy their own brand diapers, which actually have pretty good reviews. They’re free from chlorine, dyes, fragrances, lotions and BPA, and made from sustainably-sourced chlorine-free wood pulp. For added bonus points, they’ll arrive in recyclable packaging. So far so good. Until it comes to – you guessed it – phthalates.

Given that Thrive Market diapers don’t explicitly state that they’re avoided, they probably are used. It’s a shame that these diapers have lots of positives, but their silence on phthalates really lets them down.

The GoodThe Bad
◆ Free from most toxins
◆ Hypoallergenic
◆ Made with plant-based materials
◆ Come in recyclable packaging
◆ Do they use phthalates?
◆ You have to pay to be a member of Thrive Market to purchase them

The bottom line

Unless you’re interested in other products Thrive Market offers, it’s not really worth paying 60 bucks for a membership purely for their diapers. But if you are interested in the membership, it’d be worth giving them a go… if they could make their phthalate use clear, at least.

Special Mention Diapers

Mama Bear Gentle Touch Diapers 

A brand I have to pay special mention to is Amazon’s own brand diapers. Or one variety of them, at least. Amazon produces two varieties – Mama Bear Best Fit diapers and Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers. While their Best Fit diapers don’t have any eco or non-toxic credentials to boast, their Gentle Touch variety certainly does. 

Although they’re made from plastics and not plant-based materials, they do avoid chlorine, perfumes, parabens, lotions, and phthalates. Considering how affordable they are (about 16/17 cents per diaper on average), they’re a fab choice for those looking for budget diapers which are better for your baby’s health. 

And they don’t stop there. Mama Bear’s Gentle Touch diapers are made in a zero waste to landfill facility, which means any waste produced is either reused or recycled. Of course, it’s a shame that they’re not made from plant-based materials, but I guess that’s why they’re so budget-friendly. Considering that some eco and skin-friendly diapers are on the more expensive side, these are a great lower-priced option. 

How to save money on diapers? 

Some brands, especially eco-friendly, skin-friendly brands, aren’t as widely available as the bigger ones. Certain diapers, like Hello Bello and Abby & Finn, are only currently available to buy on the companies’ own sites. These brands happen to offer subscription services, which are usually a great way to save money (compared with buying individual packs) and are sent straight to your door! 

Other non-toxic brands, like Dyper and Honest, are available both on the companies’ sites and elsewhere online like Amazon. Honest diapers can also usually be found in bigger grocery chains like Walmart and Target, although it might not be the cheapest way to buy them.

But with Amazon, it’s pretty easy to save money on your diapers, as well as any other baby products you might need. In fact, when you sign up for the Amazon Family Program, you’ll get up to 20% off baby diapers, baby food, and other products for your family, as well as exclusive deals and discounts, product recommendations, and parenting tips. 

It’s completely free for Prime members, so if you’re looking for diapers available on Amazon like Dyper, Honest, Seventh Generation, or Mama Bear Gentle Touch, it’s a no-brainer. Plus, the free next day delivery helps, especially if you realize you’re running low on diapers. Why take a trip to the store when you can have them delivered straight to you? With two young children, gone are the days when I could take a leisurely stroll around the store at a moment’s notice. Getting out now is akin to planning the next moon landing. Suffice to say, it’s not happening quickly…

Frequently asked questions about non-toxic diapers:

1. Are Pampers Pure non-toxic?

Pampers Pure Protection are the gentlest, most eco-friendly option offered by huge brand Pampers. Unfortunately, they just don’t go far enough and aren’t completely non-toxic. They don’t use chlorine bleaching and are made with cotton, but they don’t make their use of other toxins like fragrances, lotions, and phthalates clear. I can’t help but think that this would be made clear if they were avoided, so Pampers Pure Protection really aren’t as pure as they claim to be.

2. Are Huggies diapers toxic?

Big brands like Huggies just aren’t going far enough to offer parents and carers non-toxic diapers. Despite producing lots of varieties for different stages of your little one’s diaper-wearing life, the vast majority are made from petroleum-based plastic and include toxins like chlorine, fragrances, lotions, dyes, and phthalates.

Their most skin and eco-friendly offering is Huggies Special Delivery. But just because it’s slightly better, doesn’t mean it’s non-toxic. These diapers are made with 23% plant-based materials and free of parabens, elemental-chlorine, and fragrances. So they’re not completely chlorine-free like many similar diapers, and they don’t mention phthalates. I’m gonna assume they’re used! 

If you’re looking for non-toxic diapers, it’s much safer to avoid Pampers and Huggies altogether. I really hope they’ll begin to offer more skin and eco-friendly diapers in the near future. They’re really lagging behind other brands, despite having plenty of money and resources to invest in producing better diapers!

Related Post: Huggies Vs. Pampers 2020: Which Is The Best Diaper Brand For Your Baby?

3. Are Hello Bello diapers safe?

Hello Bello diapers are free from phthalates, fragrances, dyes, lotions, chlorine, and latex, so they’re not doing too badly on the non-toxic front. Despite containing some plant-based materials, they’re made predominantly with plastic, including some plant-based plastics. They’re not biodegradable, so they’re not the most environmentally-friendly option, but their avoidance of the main toxins means that Hello Bello diapers are pretty safe for your baby.

4. Do Honest diapers have chemicals?

Honest diapers are gaining a pretty big following, with parents loving their cute prints. They’re free from fragrances, chlorine, lotions, and phthalates, which is great news for your baby’s skin. While they’re made with some plant-based materials, they do still contain some plastics, although all ‘eco-friendly’ brands do. 

All diapers contain plastic SAP, which works to absorb wetness. At the minute, there isn’t a biodegradable alternative, although scientists are currently working on one. So Honest diapers steer clear from as many chemicals as they can, it seems.

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

5. Are the insides of diapers toxic?

Unless a diaper brand clearly states that they’re free of toxic chemicals like fragrances, chlorine, dyes, lotions, and phthalates, it’s safer to assume that the inside of their diapers is potentially harmful to your baby’s health. It’s kinda crazy to think that something we use on our little ones every day for the first years of their life might be toxic, but these chemicals aren’t regulated by the FDA, so brands can use them as they please. It’s probably a lot cheaper to use these chemicals than it is to produce an effective diaper that’s non-toxic and eco-friendly, but at what cost to health?

Phthalates are one of the biggest culprits. They’ve been linked to the development of asthma and eczema1 and even abnormal genital development in little boys. I personally stay away from companies who don’t clearly state that they avoid them. And it’s a big selling point, so it’s better to assume they’re used if this isn’t clear! 

Fragrances, lotions and dyes are also terms which can hide a multitude of toxic sins and can cause rashes and other skin issues. So many companies now are clear that their diapers avoid these nasties, so there are plenty of non-toxic options to choose from.

6. What is the most expensive diapers brand?

Price is a pretty big factor when deciding on the best brand for you and your baby. It’s hardly surprising that the cheapest, most budget-friendly diapers are generally plastic-based and full of toxic chemicals like phthalates and fragrances. On the other end of the diaper spectrum, plant-based, biodegradable, non-toxic diapers are, unsurprisingly, more expensive. It costs more to produce diapers with natural, organic and plant-based ingredients, which is why they’re often less budget-friendly. 

Honest diapers, which get the silver medal for non-toxic, eco-friendly choices, is arguably one of the more expensive brands. It’ll set you back about 80 dollars a month for an Honest diaper subscription, although this is cheaper than buying individual packs. 

Dyper diapers are a similar price – about 70 dollars a month – which is more than a budget diaper like Luvs, of course. But you’re getting a gold standard diaper with Dyper: non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable. 

7. What is the least expensive non-toxic diaper brand?

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option when it comes to healthier diapers, Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers are a good choice. At about 16 cents each, this is a great price for chlorine and phthalate-free diapers which are manufactured in a no-waste facility. They are made with mainly plastic though, so I guess this is why they’re on the cheaper side.

If you’re looking for an amazing, budget-friendly non-toxic and eco-friendly brand, look no further than Abby & Finn diapers. Granted, they’re not biodegradable, but they’re free of toxins and will set you back around 50 dollars a month for a subscription. This is a great price for a non-toxic diaper, and the brand even donates 30 diapers to families in need with every box they sell!

The bottom line

I don’t know about you, but I was pretty shocked when I found out about the nasty chemicals lurking silently in baby diapers. Who knew that a product which should be so pure and gentle can be full of potentially harmful toxins? I was also shocked to find out that brands don’t have to display this information anywhere on their packaging or websites. They’re not regulated by the FDA, so technically they don’t have to tell us what’s in their baby diapers. And when you found out the truth, it’s clear why…

The healthiest diapers for your little one (and, incidentally, for the environment) are those which avoid toxic chemicals like chlorine, phthalates, fragrances, lotions and dyes. And my faith in the world of diapers has been restored, with a wide range of brands clearly telling us that they do not use them. Hallelujah!

The best non-toxic baby diapers are my gold medal winners; they steer clear of these toxins, are made predominantly with plant-based materials, and are biodegradable or compostable. Dyper, Andy Pandy, Dewor, Eco Boom, Little Toes, and Nest diapers are winning the non-toxic diaper race. Let’s hope other brands can catch up.

References

  1. Hannon, P.R./ & flaws, J.A. (2015). The effects of phthalates on the ovary. Frontiers in endocrinology, 6
  2. 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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