Kirkland Diapers vs Huggies Diapers



Kirkland diapers vs Huggies diapers: How does the store brand from Costco, one of the biggest wholesale stores, stack up to a hugely popular name brand? We’ll go through the key differences and similarities for both brands, complete with testing! This guide will help you understand the differences between Kirkland Signature Supreme diapers and Huggies.



Kirkland diapers are similar to Huggies. Both are very absorbent and fit snugly to hold in the mess. But Kirkland diapers don’t have a pocketed waistband, absorb 30% less, and bunch up more when they are wet. That being said, they work really well for many babies!



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To sum up the ridiculous amount of research and data I’ve collected after using over 200 diapers from each brand:

  • Huggies are great if you want every bit of protection for your baby
  • That being said, Kirkland diapers are awesome!
    • They absorb a lot (just not quite as much as Huggies)

Of course, since I’m a nerd, this post is full of comparison pictures and testing of Kirkland diapers vs Huggies diapers for size, fit, absorbency, construction, and more. So keep reading if you want the nitty gritty report!



Secret Tip: Who makes Kirkland diapers? Who makes Huggies Diapers?

First, before comparing the two types of diapers, let’s start at the very beginning, all the way back at the diaper factories. Who makes Kirkland diapers? And who makes Huggies diapers? The answer surprised me! Kimberly Clark manufactures both Huggies and Kirkland diapers! (source)

For years, Costco asked Kimberly Clark and Procter and Gamble (who makes Pampers) to develop a private label diaper that they could sell under the Kirkland brand name. And Kimberly Clark agreed! That’s why Costco sells Huggies and not Pampers- due to their agreement with Kimberly Clark. 

Related post: Considering Pampers instead of Huggies? Click here for my review of Pampers versus Kirkland diapers.



Secret Tip: Kirkland Supreme Diapers are old versions of Huggies 

So knowing who makes Kirkland diapers makes this comparison a lot easier! According to several different websites, Kirkland diapers are the previous generation of Huggies diapers (source 1, 2, 3)! Up front, that tells us that if you are comparing Kirkland diapers vs Huggies diapers, they’re already pretty similar! And you’ll see shortly that they sure look almost identical! Reading Costco diaper reviews, you’ll see parents claim that Kirkland diapers are just as good as Huggies. And now you know why!


Costco’s Kirkland Signature Supreme Diapers vs Huggies Little Snugglers

The other thing I’d like to clear up is what brands we are reviewing here. I’m comparing Kirkland Signature Supreme diapers to Huggies Little Snugglers. Those are quite a mouthful, so I’ll simply call them Kirkland vs Huggies from here on out.

Kirkland is Costco’s store brand. Huggies is a premium diaper brand that is neck and neck with Pampers for brand-name recognition. Many hospitals use Huggies on newborns. Now that we have some background, on to our comparison of Kirkland diapers vs Huggies diapers! 


Diaper Tabs: Tie – they are nearly identical!

kirkland vs huggies diaper tabs
Left: Kirkland. Right: Huggies. They look exactly the same, except for the color of the waistband!


Tab Sturdiness: Tie 

I unfastened and refastened the tabs on a Kirkland diaper and Huggies diaper ten times, and both still held well. The area where I fastened the diaper looked a little raggedy, but both brands still held up just fine. The material feels the same on both types of tabs.


Tab Fastening Power: Tie

Both diapers have what they refer to as “double grip strips” or “secondary fasteners” to help hold the diapers on. That means that in addition to the normal velcro- like diaper tab, they also have a purple area on the outside of the diaper waistband to hold the tabs in place- check out the picture below. The secondary fasteners don’t feel sticky to the touch, but the diaper material sticks to them very well.

Top: Huggies. Bottom: Kirkland.

This gets more and more important the older your baby gets- they’ll be more likely to try to take the diaper off or be crawling around doing something that might make it come off! Every little thing that helps it stay on is a plus! 


Diaper Pattern & Design: Huggies

You might think the prints on the diaper don’t make the diaper better or worse. But surprisingly, they do in a few ways. First, the Kirkland diapers have a a bright red circle with the diaper size right in the middle of the back of the waistband. When you’re changing your baby’s diapers, you can see it through the diaper. I always think the diaper leaked or something got on the back of the diaper when I notice it.

Second, the Kirkland diapers don’t have a size up indicator like the Huggies diapers do. Check out the image below- understanding when to go up a diaper size will prevent leaks, blowouts, and make your baby more comfortable.

As for the prints, the Kirkland Signature Supreme diapers have bright and fun animal- themed prints, with two different designs in each box. The size 3 diapers have a monkey. The Huggies currently have a more subtle Winnie the Pooh design in blue, red and gray.

Related post: Want more info on Huggies Diapers? Learn about the differences between Huggies Little Movers and Little Snugglers in my post here!


Wetness Indicators: Tie 

Both Kirkland and Huggies have yellow lines that turn blue to show when there is moisture in the diaper. They both appear to be the same length and thickness, so I rate this a tie.


Outside Feel: Tie

Both feel about the same, pretty soft! 


Fit: Huggies are better

Both Kirkland and Huggies have really great elastic around the legs and waist, so they fit a wide variety of babies very well. My baby has very fat legs and I’ve never had a leak out the legs with either of these brands. (Related post: Suffering from diaper leaks and blowouts? Read my tips here! )


Bulkiness: Tie

Both Huggies and Kirkland diapers tend to bunch up between your baby’s legs.

How do Kirkland vs Huggies compare for bulkiness? Unfortunately, both brands tend to sag down between your baby’s legs. Personally, I think it makes more room to contain poop, but they do look pretty saggy. Other brands, like Pampers, fit more snugly around the butt. (Read my comparison of Pampers and Huggies here!)



Leg Cuffs: Tie

The leg cuffs on both brands are identical. They both hold snugly against your baby’s legs! 


Waistband: Huggies

Both diapers have great elastic waistbands that hold the diaper on snugly. 

However, the waistbands between Kirkland and Huggies are different. Kirkland has elastic that holds the diaper on snugly. Huggies has the same elastic and is like a little pocket. It will catch and prevent diaper blowouts up the back. It will save you from washing outfits and sheets. To me, having this extra protection from Huggies is worth the very slightly higher price!  

Left: The Kirkland waistband is flat and flush with the diaper. Right: Huggies have a little pocket where the diaper meets the waistband.

Best Absorbency: Huggies

Now, I’ve never had a leak due to a diaper being too full of pee. But, of course, I wanted to test the absorbancy of Kirkland vs Huggies diapers.

So, I added some blue food coloring to water, and added water to each type of diaper, one tablespoon at a time (one tablespoon is about 15 ml). This isn’t totally accurate since who knows just where in the diaper your baby is peeing, so I’m open to suggestions for a better test if you have ideas! 

The Kirkland diaper held 63 tablespoons of water! That’s about 4 cups, which is 32 ounces or a quarter of a gallon! For the metric users out there, that’s 930 ml,or nearly a liter of water. It’s nearly 2 full Solo cups worth! 

The Huggies diaper kept going! I was able to add 83 tablespoons, which is 5.25 cups, about 42 ounces, or about ⅓ of a gallon! Again, for the metric users, that’s 1474 ml.The Huggies diapers held about 32% more than the Kirkland diapers.

That’s amazing to me that the diapers can hold that much volume! 

Left: Kirkland. Right: Huggies. Both diapers at max capacity of water.

As for the dryness, I patted the diapers with a paper towel throughout the test. As the diapers got fuller, they absorbed the water more slowly, so they were more likely to be a little damp. But even after 36 tablespoons of water (over 2 cups), after waiting for one hour, the paper towel came away dry from both types of diapers. That means that even if your baby pees a lot during the night and you don’t change them right away, their skin will stay dry. Dry skin means less diaper rash. 

Left: A very full Kirkland diaper, with nearly 32 ounces of water! Right: A brand new dry Kirkland diaper. Check out just how much it expanded!

So at the end of the day, both diapers hold a ton of liquid, which is great! But Huggies holds about 32% more. 



Huggies and Kirkland Diaper Ingredients  

Huggies are not manufactured using elemental chlorine bleaching, and do not contain latex or fragrances. 

Kirkland diapers packaging only mentions that they are hypoallergenic and do not contain natural rubber latex. This information was not readily available on Costco’s website, but you can read it on the back of the box. 

Therefore, Huggies wins this round. They have clearer labeling about their ingredients that is more accessible to parents and their diapers have fewer potentially harmful or irritating chemicals. 


Where are Kirkland diapers made? Where are Huggies made? 

Kimberly Clark makes both Huggies and Kirkland Supreme diapers. Both brands are made in the United States. This information is also available on the diaper packages. 



To sum it up: How are Kirkland diapers vs Huggies diapers different? 

If the two diaper brands are almost the same, what are the big differences? 

  • Huggies have a pocketed elastic waistband. Kirkland waistbands are just elastic
  • Huggies have better patterns and designs than Kirkland, letting parents know when to go up a diaper size
  • Huggies hold about 32% more liquid than Kirkland.
  • When they are wet, Huggies tend to stay flatter and Kirkland tend to curl up

Now that we know how the properties of Kirkland diapers vs Huggies diapers compare, let’s look at what most parents are concerned about: the price!


Best price: Kirkland diapers by a very narrow margin! But Huggies are worth the slight increase!

Click the image to see more pictures and details about Huggies on Amazon

The price depends where you buy. Huggies prices vary, depending on where you purchase them. Check the price of Huggies by clicking the links: Amazon, Target, or Costco. Costco even had a deal going on while I was writing this article – $9 off each box of Huggies, plus free shipping if you ordered them online.

Doing a quick comparison, this was only $1 more for a whole box of Huggies when compared to the same size box of Kirkland diapers. To me, it’s worth the very slightly higher price for the pocket on the back to prevent blowouts

As for Kirkland diapers, that leads us to…




Secret Tip! You can buy Kirkland diapers on Amazon

Click the image to see more pictures and details on Kirkland diapers on Amazon.

Yup. I thought I’d have to be a Costco member to buy their brand of diapers. Turns out, you can buy Kirkland diapers at a Costco store or on Costco’s website if you’re a member. Or, check the price of Kirkland Diapers on Amazon!

Summary table comparing Kirkland diapers vs Huggies diapers 

New Kirkland Diapers 2020: Did Costco update their diapers?



Costco rolled out their new Kirkland diapers in early 2020. The new Costco diapers look different from the older ones. However, the changes are completely cosmetic. The new Kirkland diapers released in 2020 have more modern patterns and now have size up indicators.

left - old kirkland diapers. right - new kirkland diapers 2020
Left: old Kirkland diapers. Right: new Kirkland diapers (2020)


Conclusions: Kirkland diapers vs Huggies diapers

Personally, I’ve found that both Kirkland and Huggies diapers work great for me and my baby. Since Kirkland diapers are a little cheaper, they’re my top choice right now!  However, Costco is kind of out of my way, so I do buy Huggies when I’m not able to get to Costco. What experiences have you had with Kirkland vs Huggies diapers? What other brands would you like to see reviewed? 

Related Posts: Read about Pampers vs Huggies Diapers, or Disposable Diaper Comparison, or the Average Cost of Diapers per Year, or Preventing Diaper Blowouts.



PS: Bonus! A sort of defective Kirkland diaper!

I picked out a Kirkland diaper and Huggies diaper to compare the tabs, and was really confused when I looked at the Kirkland diaper! It actually had two tabs on one of the sides!

This Kirkland diaper had two tabs on one side. One was sewn into the waistband!

Looking more carefully, I saw the top tab was sewn into the waistband, so I couldn’t use it. But Kirkland helpfully added another tab so that there was a usable one! I actually did put this diaper on my baby and didn’t have any issues besides that it was a little weird to fasten.

Have more questions about diapers? Check out my related posts:




This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Lauren

    I didn’t see a date on the article but a lot of this info seems pretty outdated. The Costco diapers have a lot of the same info now, such as fragrance-free, etc… and my side-by-side comparison for me just the last two months the Costco seemed to come out waaaay on top. I wonder what things have changed.

    1. Meg

      Hi Lauren,
      Thanks for your comment! I initially wrote this post back in October. And I see that Costco now has a new version of diapers out. I’m planning to order some new ones pretty soon here and will update my post.
      Meg

  2. Emma

    Wow!! Such a thorough comparison, this is way better than what I hoped to find online! Thank you for being so “nerdy”, it has been very helpful as well as a fun read! Keep on keeping on 🙂

    1. Meg

      Thank you for your kind words! Appreciate your comment!

  3. Diana

    Thanks for making the comparison. I look forward to your new review.

  4. Meg

    Alrighty, thank you all for your patience! I’ve updated this post based on my last 3 months using Kirkland’s new 2020 diapers!

  5. Kathy

    This was soo so helpful! Thank you! Will definitely give Kirkland brand a try!!

  6. Olesya

    I found that Huggies are better for my baby. The chemical smell from Kirkland is awful. Huggies do not smell that bad even though I think inside gel is the same for both.
    I prefer Huggies.

    1. Meg

      Interesting, thank you for sharing your experience with Kirkland and Huggies! I did not notice a smell to either diaper, but it may be that my nose is always plugged up due to allergies!

  7. Baylee

    I’d love to see a review of the Target up and up brand! We found them to be pretty comparable to pampers swaddlers but they have terrible reviews online so I wonder if something changed.

    1. Meg

      Personally, I tried Up&Up when my daughter was very young and had daily diaper blowouts. But now that she’s much bigger, that’s a great idea, I should really try them again!

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