The Throwdown: Diaper Edition

TQE is in partnership with Coterie. Our editorial team only endorses products we believe in.

You’ve heard me talk about diapers before, and I’m still putting both my babies in Coterie. But, I’m a tough critic and as part of my constant search for the “best of the best,” I thought I’d see how our beloved Coterie diapers stack up against the competition. With metrics like functionality (absorption, leakage), materials, eco-friendliness, design, and comfort in mind, we put three different diaper brands to the test. Here’s what we learned!

The Players

First up is Coterie, a DTC diaper brand known for making incredibly soft, high-performance diapers that claim to keep your baby drier, longer. Next is Honest, a family favorite with a new line of recently redesigned Clean Conscious Diapers that are slim and absorbent. And finally, Pampers Pure, a line from one of the world’s most well-known brands that boasts safer and cleaner materials than their flagship diaper.

Side-by-side comparison of all three players in the diaper throwdown. Coterie won the functionality category with best absorption of the three.

Test #1: Functionality

As much as I love the idea of keeping a non-toxic and eco-friendly household, above all a diaper has to be functional. If it doesn’t adequately absorb liquids and prevent leaks, it simply won’t do. Here’s how our three contenders fared:

Coterie: This brand promises a proprietary core that holds 70% more than competing brands, an extra-wide back panel that limits leaks, and a powerful transfer layer that moves liquids away from skin within 15 seconds. I have to say, these diapers more than get the job done. They don’t get the full and saggy feeling that you often see with pee-soaked diapers. 9.5/10.

Honest: I looooove the “poo pocket” which is essentially an extra backup layer for super messy poops. And the Belly Button Cutout on the newborn size diapers, which is designed to stay out of the way of your baby’s healing umbilical cord, is both innovative and useful. But, I do feel like these diapers got fuller, faster. 8/10.

Pampers Pure:  These are pretty average in terms of functionality -- they don’t leak every time, but they definitely leak on occasion. The elastic feels a bit flimsy, and poop doesn’t always stay contained. 6/10.

Winner: Coterie

Test #2: Materials

Once you’ve got a diaper that does its job, the second most important thing (in my opinion) is what the diaper is actually made of. Kids wear diapers pretty much 24/7 for at least the first two years of their life, so if there’s one place to eliminate toxic chemicals, this is probably it.

Coterie: These diapers are INSANELY soft. Like, I weirdly enjoy taking them out of the drawer because they feel so nice. Additionally, all components of these diapers are independently lab-tested and proven to be free of harmful chemicals, including fragrance, dye, parabens, chlorine, VOCs, brighteners, and more. Basically, they’re as clean (and soft) as it gets. According to The Bump, “The list of materials they leave out of their diaper construction is just as impressive as what they put in.” 10/10.

These diapers are INSANELY soft. Like, I weirdly enjoy taking them out of the drawer because they feel so nice. Additionally, all components of these diapers are independently lab-tested and proven to be free of harmful chemicals, including fragrance, dye, parabens, chlorine, VOCs, brighteners, and more.

Honest: Ok so here’s the deal. I think Honest diapers are mostly non-toxic. The brand has incredibly high standards and is generally known to be “clean.” However, I had some trouble figuring out exactly what materials are and aren’t used in the diapers specifically. I’m a busy mom and don’t have time to read a million blog posts; I’m simply looking for straightforward answers which are nowhere to be found. 7/10.

Pampers Pure: I’m really impressed with the materials in these diapers, especially given they are manufactured by a big box brand -- kudos to Pampers here. The brand’s premium cotton is the same material used in hospital garments and other fabrics, and the diapers, which are independently reviewed and accredited as skin safe by the Skin Health Alliance, are made with chlorine-free fluff pulp as well as a mineral-based odor absorber. 9/10.

Winner: Coterie

Test #3: Eco-Friendliness

We go through at least 10 diapers a day, which means 10 giant balls of waste going into the trash can every single day. While they’re obviously necessary, diapers are hugely wasteful, and I appreciate brands that make an effort to do something good for the environment.

Coterie: Sustainability is at the forefront of production for this brand, and their diapers are made of 25% plant-based ingredients including wood pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests. Because of the higher absorption noted above, parents use fewer Coterie diapers compared to the competition, yielding less overall waste. 8/10.

Honest: The company claims to save over 7,000 trees a year by harvesting wood from sustainably managed pine and spruce trees in Scandinavia. 8/10.

Pampers Pure: Made with 100% certified renewable electricity, they participate in the Cotton LEADS™ program, which offers cotton users the confidence and knowledge that their cotton is responsibly produced and identified. 8/10.

Winner: Tie

The cutest little baby butt

Test #4: Design

There’s nothing cuter than a freshly diapered baby bum and I’ll be honest, the loud colorful prints many diaper brands offer are just…not cute. Or at least not my jam. For me, simplicity and a good fit is all you need.

Coterie:  As someone with (self proclaimed) great taste and appreciation for design aesthetic, I love that Coterie’s only available colorway is a simple white. In terms of fit, I’ve found the sizes seem to run small despite following their size guide. I definitely recommend sizing up (my 12 pound baby is almost in a size 3). 8/10.

Honest: This brand offers tons of designs -- like lemons, avocados, and leopard print, along with fun seasonal patterns. They fit true to size and the new less bulky design is great. However they are not soft at all and don’t seem particularly comfortable. 6/10.

Pampers: Love how soft these are and the fit is pretty great. I also love the sweet, subtle designs that are playful, yet simple. 8/10.

Winners: Coterie & Pampers Pure

Test #5: Cost

Obviously a big one, as diapers are a daily expense and can add up very quickly. In fact, according to the National Diaper Bank Network, the total cost to families is about $900 a year. So naturally, I’m always looking for a deal.

Coterie: It’s well known Coterie is synonymous with premium for the diaper market. But, as with all things in life, you get what you pay for. These diapers will set you back $85 a month if you choose the subscription model or $94.50 for a one-time purchase of ~192 diapers. 

Honest: $62.40 a month for the subscription, or $65.70 for a one-time purchase. You can buy them directly from Honest, or in different sized packs from bigger retailers like Amazon or Target. 

Pampers: $60.34 for four week supply (~186 diapers) and for purchase from big box retailers only. Definitely the most cost effective of the clean diapers, though not available on a subscription basis.

Winner: Pampers Pure

Final Verdict: Coterie FTW 

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You just read a thousand words about diapers, so you must really care (it’s OK; I do too!). At the end of the day, Coterie is the clear winner for me. Not only are they the softest and most leak-proof diapers on the market, the brand’s website is super easy to navigate, and I was able to quickly get all the information I needed to make a confident purchase. And really, as a parent, what more could you ask for?

Shop our winner here. And you can use code Extra10 with a subscription purchase at checkout to try Coterie for just $76.50 for the first month to see if they are right for you.