At the hospital where my baby was born, they used Pampers. However, we live in the days of corporate sponsorship and the fact is that big brands are well aware of influencers and the power they hold. Hospitals where babies are born are huge in that regard. Therefore, what your hospital used isn’t necessarily what’s right for you. What you pick depends entirely on you and your baby, how your baby is built, and what is important to you in a diaper.
I’ll be honest, I wanted to try the Huggies because they have Winnie the Pooh on them. Yes, I know it’s just more clever marketing, but I really do like Winnie the Pooh.
Swaddlers and Snugglers are nearly identical in price.
Coupons and Deals
Both Huggies and Pampers offer coupons on their website. Pampers tends to be a little more free with the coupons than Huggies does. Huggies tends to rotate their styles and since their current line has 9 variations and Pampers has 5, the chances are higher that you will hit a Pampers coupon you can use. Both brands generally offer coupons in the $1 – $2 range.
Neither brand seems to fall into sales more frequently than the other. However, if you’re an Amazon Prime Member you get 20% off of your diaper subscription. With that in addition to occasional Amazon sales on the product, this meant I saved anywhere from $5 – $10 over what I would pay in the store per pack and the shipping was free. The savings on this alone paid for my Prime Membership and made me a huge Amazon fan. It was sort of a no-brainer. Click here Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial and it will take you directly to the 20% savings link.
The Initial Visual
Starting with the visual, Pampers is more brightly colored, while Huggies is more a classic style. In my opinion, Huggies “looks” like a more expensive diaper from the outside because of the color trim around the leg and waist. That doesn’t mean it performs better, just that the graphics give an overall vibe. However, when worn, the placement of the face graphic on Pampers is MUCH better because it’s more visible and the bold colors and large round face make it easier to see. This makes it very cute on the baby.
The Variety in the Package
Huggies will have the exact same design on each diaper. Pampers feature four different designs in each package. For Newborns, there is Oscar, Cookie Monster, Elmo, and a cute one that says “Pampers” and has little images of buttons to each side of the logo. For some reason in Size 1, they replaced the Oscar one with Big Bird. I enjoyed having a variety because it was something that my little one and I could talk about during changing. I could show him the design and say “Look! It’s your Cookie Monster pants!”
Size-wise the two brands are nearly identical for length and width.
Both have it. It works equally as well on both. All diapers should have it. I love the dry line. They work identically and are both very efficient. The little yellow line that you see will turn blue when wet.
This is where we see the first real difference in the diapers. First, Pampers doesn’t use a graphic. Honestly because of the graphic on the Huggies I occasionally tried to put them on backward. (This happened more frequently than I like to think about.) Aside from that, Huggies has nice elastic in the back which goes across the top that Pampers does not have. You can see it best in the image above. It’s like a waistband elastic. I’ve never had an issue with poop trying to come up over the top of the back of the diaper or the diaper slipping down, but if you do, this really is a nice feature. It keeps the back part of the diaper really snug and is easier to fit at the waist.
When lying flat, the Huggies try to pull into a more cradle-like shape than the Pampers do. The crotch area between the legs is also slightly narrower in the Huggies. This didn’t seem to have much difference in “fit” to me, though on a smaller baby the Huggies would be a hair less bulky when dry. For babies that make a lot of mess, this may have more potential to leak, though I didn’t experience that.
Velcro Closure Quality
The velcro closures on the Huggies are undoubtedly superior to that of the Pampers. I’m not sure what it is about them, but it grips easier and seems to be of better quality. The Pampers has no problem gripping. It isn’t likely to pop open when they are put on properly or anything, but the Huggies velcro strip is more flexible and has more of an “immediate cling.” The difference is somewhat slight but still noticeable.
There really isn’t much difference in thickness when dry. When they are wet, they equally swell about as much to produce the same “puffy diaper” look.
I tried a lot of other diapers in addition to these two. In some other brands, I noticed that the stuffing would clump up and separate unpleasantly when they got wet overnight. Keep in mind my baby doesn’t generally sleep more than 5 hours a night and gets changed as soon as he wakes up. Neither Pampers or Huggies had this problem. They both get a thumbs up for stuffing.
It’s all in the ruffles. You can see from the picture that the ruffles themselves on the Pampers are quite a bit longer. The length of the elasticized area is also longer on the Pampers. This gives a better fit around the leg, especially if your baby is on the high or the low end of the scale for the size of diapers. When putting them on, the ruffles go out so the elastic stays close to the baby’s leg to hold in messes and makes them less likely to leak. The ruffles also tend to work as “damage control” if a leak does occur. The snugger fit and longer ruffles make messes less likely. I had no leak issues with the Pampers when little one pooped. Even overnight we were good. When this happened with Huggies, they didn’t “actually” have a blowout, but they came pretty close and were right on the edge of doing so.
You can see the difference in liners in the picture. The Huggies have a quilted liner. It’s soft to touch. The Pampers have a texture more like the lining of some men’s sport shorts. It’s a more breathable design. While both usually kept my little guy dry, I definitely noticed his skin stayed dryer with the Pampers than the Huggies. The Huggies didn’t do badly, but they did occasionally leave moisture against his skin far more often than the Pampers did. I liked the Pampers liner better.
A poopy diaper is a poopy diaper. They smell bad and there isn’t much you can do about it. Urine is another matter. There was a distinct difference in smells when the diaper contained only urine. The Pampers almost never had a smell. The Huggies usually did smell strongly of urine. In fact, using the Huggies was the first time I noticed a urine smell.
Both of them take a while to earn anything for rewards. Both let you enter sweepstakes in exchange for points for bigger prizes if you only have a few points to spend. Huggies points are primarily for gift cards, while Pampers has merchandise. I prefer the gift cards, but Huggies rewards leave little room for error. If you don’t have your receipt, you’re out of luck. Pampers reward codes are printed inside the package, so if you forget your receipt (or the clerk does) you aren’t missing $30 worth of reward points, which is frustrating. Pampers is a lot more user friendly because of this. I have to jump through less hoops, so Pampers wins in the rewards department for me.