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Diapers Performance

There's no shortage of diapers reviews -- we found scores of comments by parents on vendor sites, blogs, and forums. As we read through diaper reviews, it became clear that several discount diapers brands do exactly what they're supposed to.

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That is, they're absorbent, don't leak, fit comfortably, and don't irritate. Diaper reviews are also enthusiastic about the cheap prices of the diapers on our list.

Diapers Performance.

Given the widespread acceptance of disposable diapers, it would be safe to assume that lots of parents and caregivers are satisfied with the product. One bargain diapers brand that garners lots of support in diaper reviews is Target's Up & Up. Parents posting diapers reviews on the retailer's website say they've tried other brands and prefer these over all for fit, absorbency, and leak protection -- and for the cheap price. Diapers reviews on Viewpoints echo these comments; in particular, parents like the hypoallergenic qualities and the polka-dot pattern (a refreshing change from cartoon characters, they say). Some diaper reviews, however, contend that this in-house brand is not quite as absorbent as the big-name competition and suggest using Up & Up by day and one of the well-known brands at night as a way to save both money and sleep.

The second best inexpensive diaper on our list, Luvs Premium Stretch (starting at 15 cents/diaper), is heavily advertised as the low-cost "premium" diaper. Diaper reviews on Amazon give this product a near-perfect score for its performance on the all-important criteria for what a diaper should do. Luvs Premium Stretch has a similar feel to Pampers premium diapers, according to diaper reviews, and the stretchy fit accommodates a wide range of baby shapes. Better yet, Luvs Premium Stretch is much more affordable than the big guy in the market, and consumers note in diapers reviews on Diapers.com that it's tough to find such a strong performer at this price point. Some budget diaper reviews on Amazon from 2009 report quality issues with the elasticity and side tabs (hence, leakage), but Luvs seems to have corrected these problems because we didn't come across similar complaints in diaper reviews written in 2010.

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Pampers Baby Dry (starting at 24 cents/diaper) is pricier than our picks for best discount diapers, but it still ranks as a good cheap diaper. Diapers reviews say this product strikes the right balance among stretch, soft feel, slim fit, and high absorbency. Although diaper reviews posted at BabiesRUs and Amazon praise Pampers Baby Dry for its adjustable fit and absorbency, many reviewers grumble about leaks when used for larger babies and toddlers.

Some parents are partial to Huggies Little Movers (starting at 24 cents/diaper), especially if their babies have chubby thighs or are particularly active. This variety of Huggies, intended for slightly older babies who weigh at least 16 pounds, gets decent feedback on Amazon and BabiesRUs, where parents note that they stay in place better than some brands when the baby is crawling or walking. On the other hand, we noticed a few diaper reviews that claim sensitive babies break out in a rash after wearing Huggies Little Movers.

We also checked out a few store brands, which don't fare as well in diaper reviews as the other products on our list. Walgreens Premium Diapers draw inconsistent reviews. Diaper reviews on Babycheapskate.com, for example, comment positively on the soft feel and wide tabs but report problems with overnight leakage; the biggest complaints aired in diaper reviews on Walgreens.com concern tabs that break easily. Also, when not on sale, Walgreens diapers aren't much cheaper than the name brands. Costco's Kirkland Signature diapers (starting at 22 cents/diaper) earns some decent reviews on the Costco site for value pricing and comfort, but other diaper reviews complain about leaks and tabs that break. Supreme diapers from CVS (starting at 23 cents) get lukewarm support in diaper reviews on Viewpoints, where some parents say they're fairly absorbent but others warn against the chintzy feel and using them at night and insist they're only worth buying at substantially marked-down prices. Walmart's house brand, Parent's Choice (starting at 14 cents/diaper), scores with some parents posting on the site for value and performance; others, however, complain about recent design changes that seem to have made the diapers less absorbent and more prone to leaking.

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Our contender for best cloth diaper, BumGenius (starting at $17.95/diaper), wins accolades in diapers reviews on Diapers.com and the company's own website. Many parents report having tried both cloth and disposable and say BumGenius diapers are far less likely to leak, especially at night (adding an extra insert helps). Diaper reviews also note that these pocket-style cloth diapers wash well -- one mom says hanging them in the sun to dry keeps them stain-free -- and don't cause rashes on sensitive skin. Moreover, many moms write that the user-friendly tabs and overall design has converted resistant fathers, in-laws, and caregivers to the cloth way. Parents posting diaper reviews about earlier versions of the BumGenius grumble about elastic that stretches out and Velcro laundry tabs that wear out, but the newest iterations of the BumGenius seem to have addressed these issues.

Diapers Fit.

For the most part, the discount diapers on our list fit babies fairly well; some brands, however, seem better suited for certain body types than others.Thanks to their stretchy soft quality and extra-grippy tabs, Pampers Baby Dry gets high marks for fit in diaper reviews on BabiesRUs and Amazon. Similarly, Luvs wins praise in diapers reviews on Viewpoints for the adjustable fit that comes with the stretchy tabs and sides. Although Up & Up diapers (starting at 15 cents/diaper) aren't as stretchy as the premium brands, diaper reviews on the company website say the fit is OK and the low price more than compensates for any problems. The leg openings on Huggies Little Movers seem to be a little looser and the diapers have a higher rise than the competition, according to many diapers reviews on Amazon, and that, says parents, makes them well suited for chubby babies and baby boys. Walgreens Premium diapers, by contrast, provide too little diaper for the stated size (which means leakage), and inadequate absorbency, according to diapers reviews.

Eco disposables like Nature Babycare and Seventh Generation get mixed reviews for fit in diaper reviews on Diapers.com. This isn't surprising because eco-friendly diapers contain less synthetic material than conventional brands, and natural fibers have less stretch to them so the fit is less adjustable. That said, Earth's Best (starting at 26 cents/diaper), impresses parents with its adaptable fit and good absorbency, according to diaper reviews on Diapers.com. If you're committed to using eco-friendly diapers, expect to test various sizes before finding the right fit for your baby.

The one-size-fits-all BumGenius cloth diapers seem to fit most babies up through toilet training, say diaper reviews on Diapers.com. Some parents report they're too large for newborns for the first few weeks and too tight for chubby toddlers, but a newborn-size insert that comes with the diaper and three rows of snaps in the front that let you adjust the rise as the baby grows help with the fit. The BumGenius 4.0 (the latest version) also touts more generous sizing.

Hypoallergenic Qualities.

Performance doesn't matter much if the diaper gives your baby a rash. Rashes are one of the biggest complaints parents have regarding certain brands. Based on the diaper reviews that we read, the irritations babies suffer seem closely tied to the dyes and fragrances used in some diapers. Luvs, Pampers, and Huggies are the most heavily criticized for this reason, and Luvs gets dinged by some parents for its strong fragrance. The big producers now offer some alternatives: Pampers has a "Sensitive" variety (starting at 26 cents/diaper) that contains aloe and earns praise in diaper reviews on Amazon, and Huggies Pure and Natural wins parents over for its relative affordability and natural materials (including organic cotton), a bonus for eco-minded families, according to diaper reviews on BabiesRUs. And don't forget, Up & Up from Target is chlorine and latex free while cloth diapers, including BumGenius, are free of perfumes and dyes. The pricey green brands, such as Nature Babycare, take "natural" a step farther by eliminating all chemicals and plastics, making the diapers hypoallergenic as well as biodegradable (they break down in landfills much sooner than conventional brands and produce fewer toxins in the manufacturing process).

by Maralyn Edid (Google+ Profile)

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