Every parent knows that diaper costs can really add up. Even if you’re cloth diapering, it’s still not cheap having to run the washer/dryer all the time!
Well, this post is not about cloth diapers. It’s about disposable diapers. We scratched the idea of cloth diapering a long time ago after learning it wasn’t that much cheaper and would certainly be a much bigger hassle for us personally.
Actually, we found out that disposable diapers aren’t really all that expensive… considering the dirty job they have. I mean, judging by the number of trash bags I take out every week, a lot of material goes into diapers (yes, I know, it is very wasteful, no denying that). It’s not like they’re multi-use or anything (I might have been tempted at first… until the first meconium-splosion happened!). All things considered, wouldn’t you say that 10 cents per poop-catching vessel is rather cheap?! Let’s take a look.
Rules of the Diaper Cost Comparison Game
- In this post, I’ll compare the current (as of January 2019) everyday price-per-diaper of some of the most popular diaper brands in the US. If a package contains 40 diapers and costs $3.99, that would be (almost) $0.10/diaper.
- I’m not including any coupons, specials or sales. You should be able to get these diapers CHEAPER than what I’m listing here.
- For national brands, I’m listing the cheapest regular price-per-diaper I could find, regardless of package size or retailer (usually Walmart is the cheapest).
Tips for Saving Extra on Diapers
- Target rotates deals every couple of weeks. For example, they often have a “get a $20 gift card when you buy $100 worth of baby stuff” or a “buy 2 Pampers get $20 back” deal going on. If you’re a Target shopper WAIT UNTIL THERE’S A DEAL AND STOCK UP!
- Amazon often has coupons for diapers. Make sure you always check their coupon page (amazon.com/coupons). In addition, you can save up to 15% off diapers (and other baby supplies) by starting a baby registry! Or up to 20% off by using “subscribe & save”.
- The big national brands (Huggies and Pampers) almost always have (printable) coupons (that you can search for here). I find their diapers to be pretty expensive even after coupons, but if Pampers is your thing, the least you can do is print a coupon and save 2 bucks.
- Not all diapers are created equally. What works for some babies might not work for your baby, so don’t buy a huge supply before you’ve tried out several brands and find one you’re happy with! For example, we’re big Aldi fans (cheap groceries ftw!), I was really excited to try Aldi’s diapers, but we had lots of leaks and blow-outs. Not cool!
- We quickly learned that not all brands have a “wetness indicator”. Not a huge deal, but something you should be aware of. From what I gather, many of the eco-friendly options (like Honest) do NOT have a wetness indicator. Luv’s (Pamper’s budget brand) doesn’t either.
Brands Included in the Diaper Cost Comparison
We chose to stick with the main national and private label brands. No reason to include obscure imported certified organic bamboo diapers, as the cost is likely to be excessive and, after all, we are a blog about frugality!
No drug-store private label brands were included either (probably expensive, but might be worth it for some after couponing) or warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club or Costco (since you need to be a paying member and their diapers are not as cheap as you’d think!).
In this price comparison we include: Honest, Pampers Swaddlers, Huggies Little Snugglers, Cloud Island (Target), Pampers Baby Dry, Parent’s Choice (Walmart), Huggies Snug & Dry, Luvs, Up & Up (Target), and Little Journey (Aldi).
The Ultimate Diaper Cost Comparison Chart
Well, here it is! The chart telling you the diaper cost (cost-per-diaper) at regular retail price – sorted from top (most expensive) to bottom (least expensive) by price!
You’ll probably be going through at least 2,000 diapers in baby’s first year, which, surprisingly, is only about $200 when using Aldi’s Little Journey or Walmart’s Parent’s Choice diapers, but $700 with Honest diapers. What a difference!
The best bang-for-your-buck is probably Huggies Snug & Dry. They’re moderately priced at about $0.15 per diaper and have great reviews (4.6*). Luvs deserves an honorable mention with a 4.4* score and an average price of $0.14 per diaper, but they don’t have the convenience of a wetness indicator.
The best-reviewed diapers are also the most expensive (non-eco) diapers: Pampers Swaddlers and Huggies Little Snugglers as they are nearly universally liked. But who are we kidding? Even the bargain-bin private label brands all score above 4*!
Visualizing it really hits home that diaper costs vary a lot.
Overall, Size 1 diapers are the cheapest size to buy, followed by newborn size. After that, they gradually get more expensive as you size up. Judging by the consistency of pricing between sizes, each brand clearly occupies a certain niche. Honest is consistently expensive, but it’s an “eco” brand. I’m sure most of their customers don’t care too much about price. Huggies Little Snugglers and Pampers Swaddlers are “premium” brands. They’re consistently the next most expensive in this comparison. And finally, store brands occupy the “low end” niche, and are two times, three times, or even more times cheaper than the expensive brands.
At the end of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that we’re talking about disposable diapers here. Diapers have just one job to do: poop/pee-catching. That’s it. There’s no better way to prevent diaper rashes and other nasties than to change a wet or dirty diaper often, no matter which brand you buy.
You should try a few different brands and simply stick to one that works for your budget and your baby.
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