The bottom line: The best and worst newborn nappies according to CHOICE

Posted in Parenting Essentials.

Not sure what to buy for your newborn? CHOICE have done the hard work of figuring out the top and, um, bottom performers.

 Nappy overwhelm

If you’re a bleary-eyed brand-new parent, the nappy aisle of the supermarket can be overwhelming. It’s hard enough just keeping a baby fed and clean on two hours’ broken sleep; how are you supposed to decode all the info on the nappy packs and make the right choice for your bundle of joy?

Never fear: we’ve done all the hard work for you. Here are the five top-scoring newborn nappies from our tests, plus the newborn nappy that took the wooden spoon.

Advice from one parent to another

While you might be a die-hard Huggies fan or a life-long ALDI lover, our experts suggest that you keep an open mind when it comes to choosing which nappy will grace your cherub’s bottom. Our tests often reveal some lesser-known superstars that outperform the big brands (and are sometimes cheaper to boot).

Remember that every baby is different. Just because Karen next door swears by Huggies doesn’t mean that they’ll be right for your baby. Babies come in all shapes and sizes – and so do their, erm, bodily functions. You might need something with excellent absorbency to deal with Junior’s over-enthusiastic bladder emptying. Or maybe a nappy with a high back and close-fitting legs will save you if you have a kid whose signature move is the poo-nami. (Like a tsunami but with, well, poo.)

And of course you never know how your baby’s delicate skin will react to a particular nappy. Unfortunately this is simply trial and error.

Size matters, too: a nappy will fit a baby with gorgeous chubby thighs very differently to one with sweet, skinny little newborn legs. So before you rush out and stock up on enough nappies to last you the entire first six weeks, maybe try a few different brands to find out which one works best for you.

Our experts have tested 88 nappy products on the market, from newborn right through to junior sizes. Check out our disposable nappy reviews before you hit the shops.

Baby wearing nappy

The best newborn nappies

1. Pampers Premium Protection New Baby Size 2 Mini

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 91 percent
  • Absorbency score: 86 percent
  • Leakage score: 100 percent
  • Price: $0.57/nappy

The top-scoring newborn nappy in our tests is also one of the most expensive. But if you’re prepared to pay a little extra for peace of mind, then these are a good option.

They received excellent scores for leakage, absorbency and rewetting, and their adhesive closures were observed to be moderately strong.

2. Simply Snookums Small

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 88 percent
  • Absorbency score: 81 percent
  • Leakage score: 100 percent
  • Price: $0.29/nappy

Snookums is a small, Brisbane-based company whose products are available through some IGA supermarkets, Good Price Pharmacies and online.

Our testers observed no leakage during our testing, and gave the newborn nappies very good scores for absorbency and rewetting.

Baby having nappy change

3. CUB Newborn Size 1

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 87 percent
  • Absorbency score: 79 percent
  • Leakage score: 100 percent
  • Price: $0.17/nappy

One of the cheapest nappies on the market, Coles’ Cub newborn nappies deliver some serious bang for your buck. In terms of price per nappy, this one is beaten only by ALDI (14 cents), Woolworths (16 cents) and Kmart (16 cents) nappies, but only by a couple of cents – and it outperforms all of them. (Although we also recommend the Aldi newborn nappies – see below.)

4. Bambo Nature Size 1 Newborn

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 86 percent
  • Absorbency score: 77 percent
  • Leakage score: 100 percent
  • Price: $0.57/nappy

Available online and at various small retailers in some states, the Bambo Nature nappies are one of the more expensive brands. However, they received excellent scores for leakage and rewetting, and a very good absorbency score. We recommend these nappies.

5. Pandas by Luvme Small

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 86 percent
  • Absorbency score: 83 percent
  • Leakage score: 100 percent
  • Price: $0.50/nappy

These nappies scored a perfect 100 percent for leaks and an excellent 90 percent for velcro strength, plus a solid score of 71 percent for their rewetting ability (how damp they are five minutes after being wet). They’re claimed to be biodegradable and compostable; however, they’re one of the more expensive nappies we’ve tested.

Popular Australian baby names

6. Tooshies by TOM Newborn

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 86 percent
  • Leakage score: 100 percent
  • Absorbency score: 80 percent
  • Price: $0.42/nappy

Another nappy scoring a perfect 100 percent for leakage, these nappies also scored well in terms of absorbency (80 percent), velcro strength (90 percent) and rewetting (75 percent). They’re a solid performer that we recommend.

The worst newborn nappy

Almost every newborn nappy in our test performed very well, with all but one product receiving a score of 75 percent or above.

“75 percent is still a good score,” says Rebecca Ciaramidaro, CHOICE’s nappy expert. “For the most part, you can choose a newborn nappy off the shelf and expect very good performance. But check our reviews first.”

Ecoriginals Newborn

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 62 percent
  • Absorbency score: 40 percent
  • Rewet score: 50 percent
  • Price: $0.50/nappy

What these nappies claim in “eco features”, they lack in performance. Biodegrading in a claimed six months (compared to an estimated 500 years for other disposable nappies) and arriving in compostable packaging, they failed to impress our experts. They received an absorbency score of just 40 percent, a rewet score of 50 percent and a velcro strength score of 60 percent. And at 50 cents per nappy, they’re at the pricier end of the market.

However, they scored a perfect 100 percent for leakage. Parents whose environmental conscience cringes at the thought of using disposable nappies might be prepared to accept lower performance for better environmental credentials, but we don’t recommend these.

What about ALDI?

Parenting forums around Australia were abuzz in late 2019 when ALDI announced it would be changing its range of Mamia nappies. Many parents have complained that the new designs don’t work as well as the old ones, but our testing doesn’t support that. In fact, we recommend all but one of the ALDI Mamia nappies (Mamia Ultra Dry Size 2 Infant) – and it still received an overall score of 82 percent.

ALDI’s newborn nappy also scored 82 percent, and performed well on each of our tests: absorbency (71 percent), leakage (100 percent), rewet (73 percent), velcro strength (90 percent). And at 14 cents per nappy, they’re the cheapest newborn nappies we’ve tested, by at least 2 cents per nappy.

CHOICE’s audience and engagement editor Pru Engel says she uses the Aldi nappies during the day for her daughter, but opts for something more heavy-duty at night, which is a good option for parents on a budget who can’t justify the expense of premium nappies for daytime wear.

Baby names inspired by Australian animals

How we test nappies

We send nappies to be tested in a state-of-the-art laboratory, where we test for:

  • Absorption: we measure the amount of time it takes for synthetic urine to disappear into the nappy
  • Leakage: a visual assessment of whether any leaks come out the side of the nappy
  • Rewet: we assess how wet the nappy is five minutes after the absorption test
  • Velcro strength: we measure how strong the nappy’s adhesive closure is

Want to know more? Learn about how CHOICE tests nappies.

This story was written by Alice Richard and was first published on CHOICE.


Get more babyology straight to your inbox