Pampers vs Huggies diapers: Which are the best name brand diapers for my baby? In this article, I’ll compare Pampers and Huggies diapers. For a broader look at other brands of diapers, check out our disposable diaper comparison. Considering buying from Costco? Check out my post on Kirkland vs Huggies Diaper Review.
I’ve made a quick summary chart of my findings at the end!
Let’s start with the outside of the diaper. I’m comparing size 2 diapers here today.
Pampers vs Huggies: Best Diaper Tabs: Tie
Pampers has yellow tabs and Huggies are white. So Huggies tabs may look better, but Pampers stand out more and are easier to see. We’ll call that a tie.
Parents used to like that Pampers tabs were integrated into the diaper, while Huggies were not, which made them stronger and sturdier. But that isn’t the case on these size 2s. Both Huggies and Pampers tabs are separate layers in the diaper. Another tie. Maybe the larger size diapers are different.
Tab Fastening Power
Pampers tabs have strips of velcro-like materPial, while Huggies tabs are completely velcro-like. The Pampers tabs feel a little bit stronger than Huggies. Sadly, I don’t have a machine at my house to do a peel strength test.
So let’s put them to the test with what we do have! I took one Pampers Swaddler, Size 2, and one Huggies Little Snuggler, Size 2, and fastened and unfastened one tab onto the same spot on the marked strip on the diaper ten times.
Huggies: The outside of the diaper became “fuzzy” after ten fastenings and unfastenings. While this is all done by hand, I felt like the tab felt like it still stuck well.
Pampers: At a glance, we see the same result. The outside became “fuzzy” after ten fastenings and unfastenings. But it was more fuzzy than the Huggies. Does this mean anything? Is the Pampers velcro stronger? Not necessarily, the outer liner of the Pampers may just be softer and fray more easily than the Huggies.
I rate this as another tie.
Overall, we see that neither Pampers nor Huggies tabs are better than the other.
Best Diaper Design: Huggies
Pampers has a design along the area where the tabs fasten, so that parents can tell the front from the back and the size of the diaper. Right now, they have cute little animals and patterns, mostly yellow and blue in color. Huggies design covers the whole front and back of the diaper with gray Winnie the Pooh characters and a few splashes of color. Huggies wins for the soft, fun design that covers the whole diaper.
I don’t have any newborn diapers anymore, but by looking at pictures, you can see that Huggies have much more cord clearance compared to Pampers. This means the umbilical cord stump won’t rub against the diaper. Sure, parents using Pampers can roll down the top of the diaper, but that’s just one more step to remember while changing your baby. Huggies wins this round!
Huggies and Pampers both have wetness indicators that go about the same length up the diapers. Huggies is slightly wider than Pampers, and to me, the yellow seems to stand out more because of the patterns around it. But when they turn blue when they get wet, both wetness indicators are obvious. Since they both meet the basic function of a wetness indicator, I’ll call this a tie.
Pampers has a soft, quilted feel, and you can even see the textured pattern in the photo. To me, Huggies feels soft as well, but less soft than the Pampers.
Best Fit: Pampers
Huggies bunches up and hang down more between the child’s legs. But they don’t seem to absorb any more or less than Pampers. Winner: Pampers.
Leg cuffs are gussets with two elastic bands meant to prevent leaking around the legs. I know they’ve saved me from a number of blowouts by trapping poop between them before it can escape onto me, the couch, crib sheets… Huggies are much more elastic and stretchy than Pampers. The pictures below really show this.
Look at how the Huggies diaper curls up, almost into a “U” shape. The Pampers diaper elastic is much looser, it looks more like a Nike swoosh.
I also measured the diapers with a ruler. The Huggies could stretch from about 6 inches to 8 inches when the elastic was fully extended, or an elongation of 33.3% (repeating, of course). And the Pampers extend from 7 inches to 10 inches, giving an elongation of 42.9%. So the Huggies will be tighter fitting since they are smaller, but the Pampers are stretchier.
Pampers leg ruffles stick out way further than Huggies. In the picture below, you can see they almost come down to my daughter’s knees! I don’t know how this affects fit or prevents leaks. Perhaps some parents like how it looks.
Pampers waistband goes higher up your baby’s back than Huggies, but Huggies has an elastic band that holds it snugly. The Huggies diaper is slightly shorter than the Pampers, as well. So if you are looking to prevent diaper leaks and explosions up the back, go with Huggies. Another tip- fasten them tightly, which will hopefully help poo from escaping up the back.
Best Diaper Interior: Tie
I’m not sure how visible it is in the pictures below, but Pampers diapers have a “liner” layer over the absorbent diaper layer. According to the Pampers box, this helps wick moisture away from your baby’s skin to keep it dry and prevent irritation. Personally, I found that the “liner” on the inside of the Pampers diapers tended to get stuck to my baby’s skin, while the Huggies didn’t. However, I did see the little quilted “bumps” on the inside of the Huggies leave impressions on my daughter’s butt. Neither diaper seemed better or worse for keeping away moisture, both absorbed quite a bit, and I didn’t notice any difference in redness on my baby, or difference in diaper rash.
Best Absorbency: Tie
Sadly, I did not save diapers to pour water in them and see which one absorbed more. I am definitely planning on doing this down the road for some other diaper brands. However, I did not have any pee leaks with these diapers yet (keeping my fingers crossed)! And measuring the dimensions of the absorbent pad, they were both the same width and length, so in theory, they should hold about the same amount.
When using both brands of diapers on my baby, I found that both Pampers and Huggies held plenty of solids and liquids. The only leaking I saw – from both brands – was that they leaked out the top when I didn’t fasten the tabs tight enough. So that was on me, not on either type of diaper.
Best Cost: Tie
Price is extremely important to many parents since they may be spending $50 or more per month on diapers! On Amazon, I found both Huggies and Pampers were about the same price. At places like my local Target, I found that Huggies were slightly cheaper. My local Target also usually has deals – like buy two boxes of diapers of any brand, get a $10 Target gift card! I also got lots of Pampers coupons from my baby registry. So, I’ll have to say again, tie!
Purchasing through the Amazon Family subscription service can save you 20% on all diaper brands. You just set how often you want a box of diapers delivered to your door, and you can change the brand, size, and delivery frequency to what you need.
Most skin-friendly ingredients: Pampers
Pampers website lists that their diapers are free from: bisphenol a (BPA), dioxins, disperse dyes, elemental chlorine, ethanol/ alcohol, latex (natural rubber), lead and mercury in printed inks, organotins, parabens, pesticide residue, phenol, and polyvinyl chlorine (PVC).
According to Huggies website, their diapers are “elemental chlorine free and free of natural rubber latex. They are also fragrance-free, parabens-free and EU allergens-free.”
So Pampers definitely says they have fewer nasty chemicals in them. That doesn’t necessarily mean Huggies has those bad ingredients, but they don’t list them on their website. For transparency of ingredients, Pampers wins this round!
Where are Huggies made? Where are Pampers made?
Huggies are made by Kimberly Clark, in the United States. I wasn’t able to find information on where their manufacturing plants are located within the US.
Pampers vs Huggies: Summary Chart
The bottom line
So, I personally prefer Huggies for my baby. She’s very long and has chubby legs, and it seems like the Huggies fit her best. I like the fitted waistband and the cute patterns. But this is only a slight preference. Both types of diapers work really well for me. If your baby has a different body shape, you may find one brand works better for you. At the end of the day, the premium, brand names like Pampers and Huggies are more expensive, but have good quality product from my experience.
If you know which diaper you want, you can click these links to buy them directly from Amazon.
What diapers do you prefer, and why? Which diapers should I compare next? I am totally looking forward to seeing how absorbent diapers are in future testing!