Being new to parenting can be daunting.
Not only does there seem to be so many different things that you need for your baby, but so many different brands have their own version of each product, which you must then choose from!
Once such choice you will need to make is what diapers your little one will use. The two most popular brands for disposable diapers on the market are Pampers and Huggies, and there seems to be a continuous debate on which is the better brand to use. (Honest diapers are also a strong new player in the market and you can read our Honest Review of Honest Diapers if you’re interested in those.)
If you are completely new to this whole diaper thing, we suggest you check out our Ultimate Diaper Guide for New Parents to get oriented. And you can also check out our guide to stockpiling diapers.
Both Huggies and Pampers cost roughly the same and are pretty reliable baby diapers, but some parents swear by one or the other.
Picking the right disposable diapers is really important – not only will choosing the best diapers help prevent messes, the right brand of diapers will ensure your baby is kept comfortable and irritant-free.
To help you make the decision on which brand is best for your little one, we have done an in-depth comparison of them.
If you feel like you may enjoy cloth diapers instead, please see our guide to cloth diapers.
In order to compare the two, we must first look at the product lines offered by both. There are several options with both brands, to suit different ages and different needs.
Huggies Product Line
They sell six different types of diapers in total, which is a fair amount. Getting to know its different products and offerings will make your decision easier.
Little Snugglers is meant for newborns. It starts in preemie size, up to 3kg, to newborn size, up to 4.5kg. This range is one of the only diaper ranges which offers a diaper with an umbilical cord cutout, which prevents the diaper from rubbing the area, further preventing irritation and infection. The front of the diaper has a wetness indicator, with a soft and stay-dry lined interior.
Check the latest prices on Amazon.
The Little Movers range is for babies who have just outgrown the Little Snugglers Range and who are starting to move around more. This range of diapers has a SnugFit waistband and a contoured design to better fit moving bodies.
Click here for an Amazon price check.
Snug & Dry Diapers
With a LeakLock feature that offers protection against messy seepage, the Snug & Dry Diaper has a waistband that helps ensure the diaper has a snug fit. Check out Huggies Snug & Dry diapers on Amazon here.
These diapers are thicker than the average diaper, as they have extra layers of absorbency to ensure your child sleeps well at night, free from messes. Prices depend on size of diaper and pack size, but usually it’s between 30c and 50c per diaper.
The Pull-Ups range is for when it is time to start potty training. The Pull-Ups help to keep children dry when accidents happen, while still allowing them to learn how to use the toilet on their own. The pictures on the front of the diapers will begin to fade when the diaper is wet.
Choose from Boys or Girls’ designs at Amazon.
Pampers Product Line
Pampers has 5 products in their line, and they are fairly similar to their main competition.
Swaddlers are meant for new babies, and are the diapers that are commonly used for newborns in the hospital. They range from 1.5kg to 3kg, for the smallest of babies. The Swaddler diapers are supposedly the softest around and are safe for sensitive and delicate skin. There is a color-changing wetness indicator in the front.
Click here for an Amazon price check.
Baby-Dry diapers are for newborns and bigger babies, and for smaller toddlers. These baby diapers have three layers of absorbency that work well to prevent any leak, but are so breathable that they can be worn for up to 12 hours. The sides of the diapers are stretchy for comfort, but still snug. They also have really cute characters on the front.
Click here for a price check on Amazon.
Cruisers are diapers for babies and toddlers on the go. The diapers fit snugly to allow them to move with ease and as they aren’t bulky, they don’t get in the way of playing.
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Easy Ups are training diapers for toddlers who are potty training. They can be pulled up and down like underwear, or torn off for nappy changing. They have a wetness indicator as well. There are a variety of designs at Amazon.
UnderJams are for children up to 35kgs, and are bedwetting products. They are good for potty-trained kids who need some help with night potty training. They are similar to Easy Ups but are more like underwear and have better absorbency. Pampers UnderJams are here but we don’t recommend them anymore. Perhaps try Ninjamas instead.
Check Ninjamas on Amazon
For a more jazzed up version of Underjams check out Ninjamas on Amazon. They’re aimed at looking cool for the bigger children struggling with keeping dry at night. The S/M size is for 38 to 65lbs and the L/XL goes from there up to 125lbs.
Ninjamas are HSA-/FSA-Eligible in the US with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN).
Diaper Absorbency Comparison
Absorbency is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing diapers. There is no point purchasing diapers that don’t last longer than an hour or two. Diapers are used to stop leaks by having a high absorbency ability. Most diapers made today use super-absorbent polymer (SAP) which is able to absorb 800 times its own weight.
These two brands will both absorb your baby’s urine, but Pampers does seem to perform better when it comes to the absorbency rate. Huggies did score lower than Pampers for absorbency, but this does not mean they are not effective.
You want to make sure that you are putting a diaper on your baby that is soft and gentle on their skin, while still being durable enough to maintain leaks and messes.
Pampers diapers are made from a very soft material that any parent would be happy using on their baby’s sensitive skin. The high back and wide legs give the diaper more coverage and more leak protection. Side tabs are used to hold the diaper together, and while these are very stretchy for a snug but comfortable fit, they do tear easily.
Huggies diapers are not as soft as Pampers, but they are still a good quality material that is suited for a baby’s sensitive skin. The diapers feel slightly thicker than Pampers, which gives a little more confidence to their durability and absorbency. The waistband and legs give a good, snug fit while still being stretchy.
If you’re interested in going organic, please see Everything Parents Need to Know About Organic Diapers.
Which Diaper Is Better For Daytime?
Having a reliable diaper for during the day is so important. The last thing you want is to be worrying about inadequate diapers while your baby wants to spend the day playing.
The best diaper to use for the day time is the Pampers Baby-Dry. It has more physical coverage that keeps babies dryer for longer and is perfectly suited for an active baby during the day.
The contoured and snug fit stops leaks before they happen, but they are not bulky and do not get in the way of your baby during the day.
Which Diaper Is Better For The Night?
The Pampers Overnight diapers provide more coverage, but they are not as good at preventing leaks over longer periods. The Huggies OverNites are the better diapers to use for night time. They have a great absorbency and fewer leaks than other nappies. This is due to the contoured legs and the snug fit around the waist, which will help cut down on diaper rash.
If you want to dig deeper into overnight diapers, please read our best overnight diapers article.
Stand Out Features
Both brands have different product lines, and each diaper range has its own set of features. Here are some of the standout features in each product line.
Huggies Little Movers
The Little Movers diapers have a label on every single one of their diapers, indicating the size and type of diaper. This is especially helpful when you have multiple types of diapers at home or two children in different-sized diapers.
The contoured legs of the diapers and the stretchy waistband also make them a great fit.
The added wetness indicator just makes diaper changing that much easier for parents, saving you from having to check the inside of their nappies continuously.
Pampers Baby-Dry and Overnights
Both the Baby-Dry and the Overnights have good coverage, which really makes these disposable diapers stand out. Both the front and the back of the diapers come up higher than Huggies, which further works to keep your baby dry and free from leaks.
OverNites combine the best features from the Little Movers line of diapers, but with extra absorbency and leak protection to safeguard your baby through the night.
Deciding On The Best Diapers
The only way you will really know which disposable diaper brand are the best diapers for you will be to purchase a pack of each and try them. Some nights are drier than others and some days have fewer accidents, so test out a brand of nappies for a week at a time or until the diapers are finished (you wouldn’t want to waste them!) You should be able to tell which are the best diapers for your baby.
When it comes to pricing, both these brands are very similarly priced, and you will probably be able to find one or the other on special at any point in time.
Diapers aren’t the only thing you’ll need to decide on. To keep the smell down, you may want to get a diaper pail, too. See our honest review of the top-selling Playtex Diaper Genie.
Pampers And Huggies – A Comparison
At the end of the day, both brands are great diaper options – both have been trusted by parents for decades.
There is no clear winner with which brand is better, but our top picks would be Pampers for the daytime, as they tend to have better diapers for the daytime, while Huggies wins for the best night-time diapers.
Both brands have pretty extensive ranges, and you will be able to find the right diaper to suit different stages and needs!
Rebecca Brown is a mom to two and writer on all things parenting. She has been focussed on content creation and article writing for the last four years, drawing on the inspiration she gets from her own experience as a mother, and the expansive research the job requires.
When not writing, you can find Rebecca outside with the kids, or hidden away enjoying a good cup of coffee!