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According to the Internet, baby wipes became a *thing* around the mid-1950s, as people started traveling more and needed a way to clean up diaper messes while on the go. Today, they’re a staple in every nursery…and if you’re like me, a staple in your car, diaper bag, stroller and bathroom.
I’m not sure what I’d do without baby wipes -- they’re one of those jack-of-all-trades items that I end up using all the time. My family uses ours for diaper changes, of course, but also as a go-to cleaning tool for the post-dinner high chair, the craft table that was painted all over, or the snotty playground nose (please tell me you’ve been there too?). With all the wipes we’re using, we set out to find the best one -- one that gets the job done, and that’s environmentally friendly too. Here’s what we found...
If you read our Diaper Throwdown, you know the players already. We’ll start with Coterie, the premium diaper brand that also offers a killer water wipe. Then we’ve got Honest’s line of unscented sensitive wipes. Last but not least, we’ll test the Pampers “Aqua Pure” line, made from a touch of premium cotton.
Test #1: Performance
Coterie: As usual, if a product doesn’t perform well, it just doesn’t have a place in our home. I’ll be honest: Coterie’s diapers are so so so good that I had really high expectations for the brand’s wipes, which Coterie claims are “bigger and thicker than any other wipe.” I’m happy to say they do not disappoint. These wipes are seriously thick, almost towel-like, and they are generously sized, meaning I don’t need to use a bunch to get most jobs done. My husband and I often judge a baby blowout by how many wipes were required to clean it up (“I’ve got a seven-wiper in here!”), but this system went right out the window with Coterie -- I almost never need more than one wipe. We don’t use a wipe warmer, but for those that do, Coterie doesn’t recommend using one for these wipes because they can “erode the quality” and cause them to dry out more quickly. I guess that would be a downside for those who prefer warm wipes. Verdict: 9/10.
Honest: So these are pretty thick too. Not nearly as thick as Coterie, but more so than the average baby wipe. They get the job done, though I wish they were a bit bigger. Overall, average performance. 7/10.
Pampers: I love how soft these are, and they’re super wet so they do clean very well. However, I don’t love that I have to wait forever for baby to dry off before putting the diaper on…I just don’t have time for that (and baby certainly does not have the patience!). 7/10
Test #2: Ingredients
Coterie: These wipes are 100% plant-based, made with EOCEL™ Lyocell fibers and 99% water, with the remaining 1% containing skincare ingredients like Vitamin E & Glycerin and gentle preservatives like citric acid. They’re very clean. I also really love that the brand publishes a toxicity report detailing the rigorous research and science that goes into making its products. Bonus points for transparency. 10/10.
Honest: Also 100% plant-based and made with over 99% water…we’re off to a great start! They also earned the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance, meaning that they’re suitable for even the most sensitive skin. I love this, and appreciate the simplicity of this wipe. 10/10.
Pampers: Again made of 99% water (ladies and gentlemen, this is called a theme), but the thing I love most about these wipes is that they’re actually made with cotton and regenerated cellulose meaning they’re extra soft. What’s extra cool is that the water they use goes through a five step purification process, which monitors ions and microbes and makes these wipes super clean. Unfortunately, though, they do contain sodium benzoate and peg 40 hydrogenated castor oil, which are mild skin irritants. 7/10.
Test #3: Eco-Friendliness
Coterie: This is where things get really interesting, and I start getting really nerdy! Eco-friendliness is important to me, and it’s rough to think about how many diapers and wipes get thrown in the trash can every day. That’s why I was so excited to find out that Coterie’s wipe is compostable. It literally decomposes faster than an apple. Ummm, so legit. 10/10.
Honest & Pampers: This one is tough. Both are plant-based so I know they must be compostable, but there is really no information available as to just how eco-friendly they are. I did a quick Google search and didn’t find much either. So it’s impossible to know. 0/10 for lack of transparency.
Test #4: Cost
Coterie: Alright, here’s the catch. As with their diapers, these are definitely some of the priciest wipes on the market. You can get four packs (224 wipes) for $26 or 8 packs (448 wipes) for $52. This comes out to about 12 cents per wipe, which is not cheap. 5/10.
Honest: I’d say these are on the “expensive end of average.” There are tons of pack sizes to choose from which is awesome -- I love the small 10 and 36 count packs for travel. A standard pack of 288 wipes will run you about $18.95, which ends up being around 7 cents per wipe. 7/10.
Pampers: As expected, these are the most affordable of the three, and all things considered, a pretty fantastic deal for a high-performing wipe made with mostly clean ingredients. They also come in a variety of pack sizes. The larger pack of 448 wipes retails for $24.49 giving you incredible bang for your buck at 5 cents per wipe. 9/10.
Final Verdict: Coterie
At the end of the day, Coterie’s wipes are not only the highest performing, but also by far the cleanest and most eco-friendly wipe of our three contenders. While the cost is significant, I’m personally willing to pay a bit more for something I can feel good about. We have a pack in every room of the house and I find myself reaching for them over paper towels or really any other cleaning product.
Coterie also came out on top in our diaper throwdown -- and bundling at check-out makes it easy to get all of your essentials in one place (and save on the cost, too). Just add some diapers to your cart, and you'll have the option to add wipes at check-out. When you bundle, you'll save 10% on the wipes. For those looking for an ultra-thick wipe that simply gets the job done, I definitely recommend trying out Coterie (and getting our favorite diapers at the same time)!