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Disposable Diapers: Name Brand vs. Generic

pile-of-diaper-boxes Ok, so I’ll admit it… I use disposable diapers and I love the ease and convenience of them.  I always thought that I would only use the most expensive name brand diapers because “my children deserve only the best”.  My friends will all attest to the fact that I was a sold-out Pampers snob with our first child.  So often they commented on it that it’s now just kind of a running joke, especially since I only buy generic diapers for our second child.  Oh the things I have learned in my four years of motherhood!

With two kids in diapers, we quickly realized that it was not financially feasable (or smart) for us to spend $150 a month on diapers.  Before I would even consider buying generic diapers, I did my research by polling my friends and of course online searches.  But honestly, the best research I did was actual trials on my own baby.  Here is what I found:

Pampers Swaddlers/Cruisers

Pros: soft outer cover, form fitting, held overnight well, cute designs, available everywhere, coupons readily available, Pampers Gifts to Grow program, goes up to size 7

Cons: most expensive disposable per unit

Pampers Baby Dry

Pros: held overnight well, few leaks, cute designs, available everywhere, coupons readily available, Pampers Gifts to Grow program

Cons: not very form fitting, not stretchy (somewhat restrictive), almost as expensive as Pampers Swaddlers/Cruisers


Pros: soft outer cover, stretchy tabs, held overnight well, cute designs, available everywhere, coupons readily available, Huggies Enjoy the Ride program

Cons: not very form fitting, had many poopy leaks (especially in the first few weeks of life while breastfeeding), about the same price as Pampers


Pros: soft outer cover, moderate absorption, cute designs, available everywhere, cheaper than Pampers and Huggies

Cons: not very form fitting, somewhat restrictive, needed larger size because of lack of stretch

Parents Choice (Wal-Mart brand)

Pros: soft outer cover, held overnight well, never had a leak, less than $15 a box for 80-100 diapers (sizes vary)

Cons: only at Wal-Mart, harder to detect fullness from outside “feel”

Up and Up (Target brand)

Pros: soft outer cover (similar to Pampers), held overnight well, form fitting, cute design, about $15 a box for 80-100 diapers (sizes vary)

Cons: only at Target, seems to get full faster than other brands, harder to detect fullness from outside “feel”

Overall, we have been really happy using the Parents Choice and Up and Up diapers.  Admittedly, we kept our son in Pampers longer than we would have liked because he was difficult to potty train and Pampers went up to a size 7, but just changing one kid to store brand diapers saved us over $50 a month! 

What has your experience with store brand/generic disposable diapers been?  How many brands of diapers did you try before deciding on the right one for your child?

Photo Courtesy of: Kimblahg

15 Responses to Disposable Diapers: Name Brand vs. Generic

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Christina B
    July 22, 2009 @ 5:57 am

    We also started out with the Pampers and I loved them! But now we use COSTCO brand and I love them, the price is right and the boxes are big so you don’t run out. Diapers are one of the main reasons we have a Costco membership, we also used to get our formula there.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Hayley
    July 22, 2009 @ 6:30 am

    We used Parents Choice and they worked great for daytime use. My daughter tee teed A LOT during the night and she had leaks before I found Huggies Overnights.

    Parents Choice: Daytime
    Huggies Overnights: Nighttime

  • Comment by Christy
    July 22, 2009 @ 6:39 am

    I haven’t tried the costco diapers, but another friend of mine swears by them! Maybe a membership is in order! :-) And Hayley, great idea buying only the overnight diapers to mix in! I bet it still saves a ton! :-)

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Melissa
    July 22, 2009 @ 6:52 am

    My daughter started out in Pampers because she had extremely sensitive skin and they seemed to be the only thing that didn’t give her a rash. After a few months, we tried Luvs and they work great for during the day. We still use Pampers for the 10-12 overnight stretch.

    Speaking of expensive, her special formula for premature infants costs $15 a can. We have another two months on Neosure before we switch to either whole milk (please, please) or Pediasure (supposedly more expensive then Neosure)…You do what you gotta do, though! :)

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Susanne
    July 22, 2009 @ 7:11 am

    Huggies stink for newborns being breastfeed (I agree!). Pampers are great and we used them for the first 4 months of my son’s life. However, they are expensive. I tried Walmart’s Parent Choice brand, but my son is a heavy wetter and I did not have much success with them. He would wake up from his naps wet. I had to change him more frequently with Parent’s Choice and ended up using more diapers in the end. I am currently using Luvs diapers. I love Luvs! I belong to a whole sale club called BJs and I can buy a whole box of Luvs diapers for cheap, $25 for a large box (size 3- 204 count), when I use my $5 off coupon. I price Luvs per diaper and Luvs is cheaper than buying Parent Choice diapers from Walmart. I have never had a leak with Luvs, except for at night. To help with that problem, I just put my son in a size larger diaper for nighttime use. So he sleeps in a size 4 Luvs at night and he is in a size 3 Luvs during the day. You really cannot beat these diapers- they fit well and hold in all poop and pee!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Stephanie
    July 22, 2009 @ 8:11 am

    I think it really depends on your child. I have had friends swear by each brand of diapers, but the only one that I liked was Huggies. I tried all the others to try to save money, and they just didn’t work like Huggies. Once I had two in diapers I was desperate to try to save money too, so we switched to cloth diapers. They were great for my older son and we used them till he potty trained. But my younger son kept getting yeast infections with them. I tried everything under the sun with my wash routine and he would still get infections. We finally went back to Huggies. Now I am trying out gDiapers. So far, I love them. They are a cross between disposable and cloth- so that helps with my environmental concerns, but they are as easy as disposable. Overall, you have to do what works for your family. I guess it’s good that we have so many choices! Happy diapering all!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Jenn
    July 22, 2009 @ 9:00 am

    We used pampers at the beginning since my son was so tiny. Once he was out of his newborn diapers, we were able to switch to cloth (I am totally converted to cloth now mainly due to the cute factor). But I still use disposables for travel and overnights since we pick him up from grandma’s in a disposable and he usually goes right to bed.

    We recently switched to Superstore (canadian) brand. I just bought a box of 5s last night and got 80 for $15. What is nice is since he uses so few, that box will last us at least two months.

    Let me know if you want post on picking out cloth diapers! Hoo, there’s a major process!!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Natalie
    July 22, 2009 @ 9:10 am

    I use HEB diapers. They are $15.99 for a 100 diapers and I have found them to work out great. They don’t have a lot of stretch, but they are just fine. HEB is only in Texas though. However, I do love Luv’s diapers too.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Trina
    July 22, 2009 @ 10:36 am

    I HATED Pampers, my daughter leaked and they never fit her well. We use Huggies and LOVE them. I have never had a leak or blowout. We started using the Overnight Huggies at a year old. We do not use Parent Choice because I felt they were not good quality plus my daughter would always get a horrible rash with Parent Choice and Costco brand. But we shopped Costco for the Huggies where the boxes are in the 150 per box add coupons and we saved a lot.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Amy
    July 22, 2009 @ 10:45 am

    Am I loyal to a fault?
    We tried Huggies, were happy with them, and have not even looked into another brand.
    And purchasing them at Costco is a big $ help!

  • Comment by Christy
    July 22, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    I think you are totally right Stephanie! It really does depend on your child! Some diapers fit different “shaped” babies differently and it really does change how you feel about them. @Natalie… The HEB diapers are really nice too… I like that they have a “upper” and “lower” type brand (friend of mine uses them and I’ve watched her kiddos!). I guess I just love that we have so many options! I wish we could afford to use Pampers all the time, but I love that I can pretty much go anywhere and find good quality diapers for a better price!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Kristi_runwatch
    July 22, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

    We use cloth mostly during the day when we’re at home, but I use disposables for overnight and when we’re away from home. My daughter could wear any generic brand, but my son leaks through EVERYTHING at night. I really like Walmart’s generic, but he leaks through those, too. Target’s new up&up dipes are the only diapers other than pampers that have worked for him (and I am WAY too cheap for pampers!) I actually wrote a blog post about them recently:


  • Gravatar
    Comment by teetee
    July 22, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

    WE started off with the huggies newborn diapers which i love so much b/c they didn’t come up to high in the front by the imbelical cord. so it didn’t interfere with his belly button. But huggies after the newborn size suck b/c they were so rough and Luvs are even rougher. So we stuck to pampers, but pampers are expensive so when my son turned six months I tried the target brand up & up and we love them. They are much cheaper and comfortable.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Gretchen
    August 6, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

    I liked the Target brand diapers after size 1 or so (I think I liked Huggies Newborn (that U-shaped thingie) and Pampers size 1), but the Target ones are great (so are their training pants, btw). I also like the Target brand wipes–just as soft as the name-brand, better than Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club brand. I drove to Target specifically for diapers/wipes.

    We did EC too (Elimination Communication) so that saved a TON on diapering, but we had diapers/training pants for the convenience of sitters or longer trips in the car when needed. ;)

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Beth
    June 10, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

    I tried so many different kinds with each of my kid, and different kinds worked better with each kid. Variety packs of different kinds of diapers are a good way to go, trying out a couple of each type of diaper to avoid wasting money on the wrong diapers.

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