In partnership with HealthyBaby.
We don't like
Earlier this week, I found myself at Target on a diaper run just staring at the expanse of the aisle. There were so many options to choose from, I thought. And then I found another entire aisle lined with more options! The options, it seems, are endless for diapers for your little one… that is, unless you look closer at ingredients, manufacturing process, and test them out for yourself to see how your baby responds… suddenly, the options become much fewer. As we love to do around here, we tried four of the leading non-toxic diapers on the market to see which was best. Read on to see which brand took home the crown of this throwdown!
HealthyBaby: First up, we have HealthyBaby, a relatively new player on the scene. Founded in 2018 by Shazi Visram, the same mom who founded organic baby food brand Happy Baby that I have in my pantry, the brand prides itself on reinventing diapers to “protect and enrich” the early lives of kiddos everywhere.
Honest: Founded by Jessica Alba, The Honest Co. was started in 2012 as a way to do something about the gap in transparency in the baby industry. The company went public in 2021.
Millie Moon: I couldn’t find a ton of info on Millie Moon’s founding story, other than the fact they launched in 2021 exclusively in Target stores, promising luxury diapers at a more affordable price.
Pampers Pure: Finally, we have Procter & Gamble’s take on better-for-baby diapers: Pampers Pure. Though P&G has been around for close to 150 years (seriously), the line launched in 2018 amidst the race for better ingredients.
Test 1: Safety & Purity
HealthyBaby: Safety is such a hard thing to determine in a world of infinite information available at our fingertips. As a busy mom, I don’t have time to vet every product all of the time, so I rely on certified organizations like the Environmental Working Group (EWG for short) that ranks most products that touch my and baby’s skin. HealthyBaby is the first and only EWG Verified Diaper, which means they passed the strictest tests for safety and 100% transparency of ingredients. While they lack a wetness indicator, this is cited as not possible (yet) because of their care for the ingredients they use. This spoke volumes to me – this brand is willing to potentially lose customers over a feature because they want only the best for babies and are committed to taking chemicals out of diapers.
Honest: I dug deep into the depths of the internet to understand the safety of these puppies. While I think they’re pretty safe ingredient-wise, they did recently reformulate to no longer be totally chlorine-free (TCF), but now are elemental chlorine free (ECF). This is in the “fluff” part of the diaper, but it does raise concerns considering using chlorine leaves behind a “toxic residue that can cause a variety of negative outcomes for children’s health”. Honest doesn’t share its full list of ingredients.
Millie Moon: Alas… another one bites the dust by becoming ECF. Millie Moon also recently changed their formula from being TCF to being ECF. I am bummed out to hear this change, as are many other parents. Similarly, it doesn't share its list of ingredients.
Pampers Pure: While I do think the Pure line’s ingredients are better than the standard ones, there is some conflicting information about the ingredients out there. The product page states that the diapers are “fragrance free,” but digging deeper, I found that the site also states the top layer has a “light fragrance” and lotion, which can be known irritants. They are TCF, though, so props for that. Same - no ingredients shared on its website.
Test 2: Absorbency & Quality
HealthyBaby: Parents know that absorbency and quality matter in a diaper… because we pay the price in poo if these things are lacking! As for performance, I was in love. My newborn definitely slept better at night with much longer stretches in HealthyBaby than the other brands. While there were no cute prints to be had, I think this helped the softness factor. These diapers are made in the EU, which means they have higher quality standards and regulation too.
Honest: Sorry, Jessica, but I was not impressed by the absorbency offered by The Honest Co’s diapers. Just earlier today, I put one on my newborn, threw the old diaper away, picked him up, and he was totally soaked. They just feel downright thin, despite the adorable prints and upscale-looking packaging.
Millie Moon: My sister has said great things about Millie Moon and uses them constantly for her baby. That being said, for me, especially feeling the construction further and testing them out on my newborn… the quality just wasn’t there. They are made in China and frankly, they didn’t stretch at all, which is so important to me and to our wiggly little newborn and daring toddler.
Pampers Pure: I expected excellent quality from a diaper brand that’s been around for decades – and overall, I’d say it delivered. Pampers knows every little pocket that might need protection for blowouts and put them into the design. The durability and the design is there thanks to their decades of experience.
Winner: Tie between HealthyBaby & Pampers Pure
Test 3: Cost
HealthyBaby: Look, cost is definitely a driver for me when it comes to diapering. I have two kids in diapers and two kids in daycare… life ain’t cheap right now! Unfortunately, HealthyBaby is not cheap either, coming in at $0.50/diaper for a 5 pack when you bundle (210 diapers in size 1). That being said, you do often get what you pay for – and in this case, you are paying for quality construction and an unwavering commitment to safe materials. As an added bonus to your monthly subscription, HealthyBaby provides parents developmental focused activity cards backed by science promoting development from 0-36 months, and tons of extra content on their website.
Honest: I picked up the Honest diapers on Amazon, which ran me $0.37/piece for an 80 pack of size 1 diapers. Overall, this is pretty good pricing for a “clean” brand.
Millie Moon: Millie Moon runs $0.23/piece at Target for a size 1 pack of 108 diapers, which certainly makes their pricing tough to beat.
Pampers Pure: For 132 diapers, Pampers Pure costs $0.34/piece for size 1 pants. I definitely thought they’d be cheaper than Millie Moon, but alas, I stand corrected.
Winner: Millie Moon
Test 4: Softness & Fit
HealthyBaby: HealthyBaby felt exceptional right out of the box. I couldn’t believe that a diaper with good-for-baby ingredients could be so dreamy-soft! I love that they include organic cotton in the diaper too.
Honest: Again, I’m sorry, Jessica, but softness is not a strength of these diapers, either. I actually cringed a little pulling them out of the packaging for the first time. They were so stiff to the touch, which is such a bummer considering the adorable patterns the brand offers.
Millie Moon: I looooved the softness of the Millie Moon diapers right out of the box. That struck me and I was kind of in love! That being said, the softness is at the expense of the stretch.
Pampers Pure: These diapers were very soft and fit alright, but just didn’t fit as well as HealthyBaby did on my son. Yup, every baby is different, but the fit just didn’t quite hit the same on him in a not-so-good way. I know he’s only a month old, but he seemed to be comfier in the HealthyBaby fit than these.
Overall Winner: HealthyBaby
All things considered, HealthyBaby was our clear winner in the tests of safety, absorbency, cost, and softness. While they are significantly pricier than other low and non-toxic diaper options, they make up for it in quality and performance. By ridding their products of everything potentially harmful to baby, they’ve achieved a new level of safety and sustainability not yet seen in the diaper aisle. We’re in love with our happy, healthy babies – thanks in part to HealthyBaby!