Up and Up vs Kirkland Diapers: Compare Target and Costco’s Store Brand Diapers

Are you comparing store brand diapers and need to know if Target’s Up and Up vs Kirkland diapers are right for your baby? I’ve tested every aspect of these two diapers after using hundreds of each brand and want to share what I’ve learned with you!





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Here’s a quick summary of Up and Up vs Kirkland Diapers:

  • Kirkland diapers are higher quality diapers with an elastic waistband that prevents blowouts. They are a little more absorbent, and have sturdy diaper tabs. However, they tend to be more expensive, but it depends on sales and discounts available at the time you purchase them.
  • Up and Up diapers are thinner,  less bulky, and almost as absorbent as Kirkland!  
    • I do not recommend Up and Up for infants who have diaper blowouts. The lack of a sturdy waistband is bad news!
    • However, for older babies, they work just fine for daytime use when you are changing diapers more frequently than at night

Diaper Pattern and Design Comparison: Up and Up vs Kirkland

Kirkland just updated their diaper patterns in 2020 to be cute forest animals! To me, Target’s look kinda generic.

up and up vs kirkland diapers- front
Target (left) vs Kirkland (right): the front of the diapers

Wetness Indicators

It’s a tie! Both diapers have wetness indicators that are about the same size and are easy to see.

Outside Feel

It’s not a big difference. But Kirkland diapers  are a bit softer and feel more like fabric. Up and Up feel more plasticy.


Diaper Fit: Up and Up vs Kirkland

My daughter is big for her age. Kirkland’s stretchy elastic waistband and leg cuffs means their diapers fit her much better than Target’s store brand. Target’s diapers seem to run a little smaller and would fit a thinner baby better.

Bulkiness

Up and Up diapers versus Kirkland diapers: Up and Up are less bulky. You can see they don’t bunch up as much between my baby’s legs.

Leg Cuffs

up and up vs kirkland leg cuffs
Up and Up (left) and Kirkland (right) leg cuffs both are about the same size and stretchiness

Leg cuffs are those frilly parts that stick out around your baby’s legs. I didn’t notice a difference between Costco and Target here. They both seem sturdy and strong to hold the diaper in place.

Waistband

costco vs target diaper waistbands
Costco (top): stretchy elastic waistband. Target (bottom): No elastic

Kirkland’s waistband is elastic and fits snugly while Up and Up’s doesn’t have elastic. 

This isn’t quite so important in older babies. But when my daughter was an infant, she had a lot of diaper blowouts with Up and Up diapers. I was washing her poopy clothes, sheets, and sometimes even my clothes multiple times a day when the poopy diapers leaked!

We switched to another brand and our blowout problem stopped immediately. 

Related post: read my tips to prevent diaper leaks and blowouts here!


Diaper Tabs and Fasteners Comparison: Up & Up vs Kirkland

The diaper tabs on Up and Up vs Kirkland are pretty similar in size. But Kirkland’s are sturdier than Up and Up’s and fasten much more snugly.

It’s difficult to see, but check out the part with the text on the Up and Up diaper. See how it’s brighter white? That’s the only part with velcro! The rest of the tab isn’t sticky! On the other hand, the whole Kirkland tab is sticky!

up and up vs kirkland diaper tab close up
Kirkland diaper tabs (left) vs Up&Up (right) – only the part with the writing on the Up&Up are sticky! The whole Kirkland tab is sticky!

You can also see the base of the Kirkland tabs are much wider where they attach to the diaper, making it sturdier.

For both brands, I do wish the tabs were a different color from the rest of the diaper so they’d be easier to see.

Finally, you can see the Kirkland diapers have these purple grippy strips to help hold the fasteners in place. Up and Up do not have these.

diaper fastener area
Note that the Costco diapers (top) have the sticky purple area to help keep the diaper on your baby. The Target diapers (bottom) do not have this feature. Does it help? I haven’t noticed a difference.

Absorbency

I conducted my tried and true test of pouring water with blue food coloring onto each diaper, ¼ cup at a time and observing what happened.

To sum up the absorbency differences between Kirkland vs Up and Up:

  • Kirkland vs Up&Up compare very well for how much water they can absorb. Kirkland only held 7% more water than Up&Up!
  • Up&Up stopped absorbing water sooner than Kirkland
  • Up&Up bunched up when they got wet and Kirkland did not
absorbency testing
Up and Up (left) vs Kirkland (right) diaper absorbency test. Kirkland held slightly more, and bunched up less. But Up and Up still held a lot of water! You can also see the Kirkland diaper is longer. Up and Up diapers tend to run a little smaller.

The experimental details:

  • When did Up and Up versus Kirkland diapers stop absorbing water immediately? At this point, it took about a second or two for each diaper to soak up the water. 
    • Up and Up: after 4 cups of water
    • Kirkland: After 6 cups of water
  • When did Up and Up vs Kirkland diapers stop absorbing quickly? At this point, it took at least 10 seconds for each diaper to soak up the water.
    • Up and Up: After 5 cups of water. Note at this point, Kirkland hadn’t slowed down at all!
    • Kirkland: After 6.5 cups of water – it kept absorbing quickly the entire time!
  • Up and Up vs Kirkland diapers: Which is more absorbent? 
    • Up and Up: 7 cups of water. I was very surprised at how much water the Up&Up diaper held! I expected it to absorb much less than the Kirkland diaper! Kirkland are known for their great ability to soak up quite a bit!
    • Kirkland: After 7.5 cups of water
  • How dry did each diaper stay?
    • Many parents want to know if a diaper will keep their baby’s skin dry and pull the moisture into the diaper quickly. Why? This prevents diaper rash!
    • Both diapers held up well at the beginning, but Up and Up felt wet after about 4 cups of water, around the same time it started absorbing more slowly
    • Kirkland stayed pretty dry to the touch until about 6 cups of water.
  • What did each diaper look like at the end of the test?
    • The Up and Up diaper was still kind of bunched up. This fits with my experience that Up and Up tend to bunch up more when they are wet.
    • The Kirkland diaper was really flattened out. You can tell they cram a lot of absorbent, moisture-wicking stuff in there and use all the space possible!

Ingredients

Knowing the ingredients in your baby’s diaper is very important, especially if your baby has sensitive skin, allergies, or is prone to diaper rashes.

Overall, neither brand shares much about the ingredients used in their diapers. Other brands like Pampers have very transparent websites that tell you what each layer of the diaper is made of and what it does!

Up&Up Diaper Ingredients

The label on Up&Up diapers is pretty minimal. It reads:

Free of latex, lotion, and fragrance

Researching further on Target’s website, I also found:

Up & Up diapers are ECF (elementally chlorine-free), meaning…bleach is not used in the production.

The diapers also do not contain phosphates, dyes, fragrance, lead, phthalates, or latex.

[Source: 1]

Costco Diaper Ingredients

Similarly, Kirkland’s box only says that they are hypoallergenic and do not contain natural rubber latex. I couldn’t even find this information on Costco’s website, it was only available on the box.

Where are Up and Up and Kirkland diapers made?

Both Up&Up and Kirkland diapers are made in the US.

Which diapers have the best price: Costco vs Target diapers

Personally, I found that when comparing the price of Up and Up vs Kirkland diapers, Up and Up tend to be cheaper. However, check with Target and Costco to see what sales they are running and which is the best deal.

  • Costco often has diapers on sale, reducing the overall price!
    • Did you know you can buy Costco diapers on Amazon? Click through to check the price:
    • Size 1 (up to 14 pounds), Size 2 (12-18 lbs), Size 3 (16-28 pounds), Size 4 (22-37 pounds), Size 5 (27+ pounds), Size 6 (35+ pounds)
  • Target tends to run sales, like “spend $75, get a $15 Target gift card,” or “spend $100 on diapers, get a $20 Target gift card.”
    • These deals change depending on if you shop online or in store
  • If you have a Target RedCard credit card, you’ll automatically save 5% on all Target purchases
    • Or you can save 15% if you subscribe for baby purchases online

When my baby was a newborn, I didn’t think it was worth saving a few cents per diaper but having to clean up poop from a leaky Up and Up diaper.

However, now that she’s older and doesn’t suffer from diaper blowouts, I definitely see the case for using Up and Up diapers to save money!

Conclusions: Up and Up vs Kirkland Diapers

To wrap things up and summarize what we’ve learned about Costco vs Target diapers:

  • Both diapers have wetness indicators
  • Kirkland are a little softer than Up and Up
  • Up and Up are slimmer. Kirkland are bulkier.
  • Kirkland has an elastic waistband to hold the diaper on snugly. Up and Up does not.
    • The elastic waistband is very important feature for babies with diaper blowouts!
  • Kirkland’s diaper tabs fasten more securely and sturdily than Up and Up’s
  • Both absorb a lot of moisture
  • Kirkland bunch up less when they are wet
  • Up and Up vs Kirkland pricing: Up and Up is typically cheaper, but check sales and other discounts

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