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Best nappies 2022: Keep your baby comfortable and dry, from just 6p per nappy

Victoria Woollaston Antonina Adamou
31 Aug 2022
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We've picked the best nappies, from disposable and reusable options to swimming and overnight wear

If you’re starting a family, you’ve probably given plenty of thought to the larger items, making sure you're getting the best cot, the best pram, the best car seat and the best travel cot. But often it’s the small, everyday things, such as finding the best nappies, that make the biggest difference to your baby’s comfort.

Different sized and shaped babies will tend to get on better with some nappy brands than others, so try a few to see which fits most comfortably around your baby’s tush.

Other things you might want to consider when choosing the best nappies are ease of use, impact on the environment and handy features such as moisture-locking and wetness indicators to help you know when your young charge needs a change. To get you started, we’ve picked some of our favourites below.

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Best nappies: At a glance

  • Best overall: Pampers Active Fit | Buy now
  • Best budget nappies: Aldi Mamia Ultra Dry | Buy now
  • Best overnight nappies: Pampers Baby-Dry Night Nappy Pants | Buy now
  • Best pull-up nappies: Mama Bear Disney Nappy Pants | Buy now
  • Best newborn nappies: Pura Premium Nappies | Buy now

How to choose the best nappies for your baby

Disposable or reusable nappies: which type is better?

The biggest decision when deciding on the best nappies for your baby's bottom is between single-use disposable nappies and washable reusable nappies. Reusables have come a long way since our own terry-towelled childhoods and can now be purchased in a range of colourful, machine-washable and easy-to-fit styles. While reusable nappies are not completely lacking in environmental impact – the energy involved in washing itself needs to be taken into consideration – washable nappies certainly avoid the problem of non-biodegradable materials sitting in landfill for centuries.

The debate is a fierce one in some circles and can cause anxiety and guilt among the more eco-leaning parents. In 2005, there was uproar when the UK government published research claiming “it was no more environmentally friendly to use reusable nappies than disposables”. A similar report three years later reversed these claims. Then a report found that, yes, biodegradable nappies do degrade, it can take up to 50 years and such products have been found to produce more methane, which is bad for the environment.

How do you get the perfect fit to prevent leaks?

Nappies come in a variety of sizes to fit all babies and toddlers and they are sized in numbers, i.e. 0–7. These numbers each symbolise a weight range so you can easily find which one will be the most suitable for your child, according to their weight. In addition to the number, each nappy clearly states the weight range on the packet so you won’t have to do any guessing.

For newborns, most nappy brands start from either size 0 or Size 1, but “Tiny Baby” ranges are also available for premature babies and smaller infants. If you do happen to go home and find that the nappies are either too big or too small, most supermarkets offer a refund or exchange policy for any unopened packets.

Nappy sizing charts usually look like this (size of nappy = weight of child):

  • Size 0 = under 6 pounds
  • Size 1 = 4–10 pounds
  • Size 2 = 9–18 pounds
  • Size 3 = 13–22 pounds
  • Size 4 = 20–31 pounds
  • Size 5 = over 24 pounds
  • Size 6 = over 29 pounds

A correctly fitting nappy should allow no fluid leaks either through the leg holes or up around the waist. If you find that leaks are a recurring problem, then it’s worth trying a different size in your current brand, or testing another brand as one manufacturer’s sizing can differ significantly from another’s. For example, Tesco nappies come up larger than most, while Pampers are a little on the snug side.

Children in the larger nappy sizes can also try a more absorbent ‘plus’ size nappy which is denoted with a + symbol next to the size, i.e. 4+, 5+, 6+ and so on. These plus-sized nappies are exactly the same size as their non-plus versions, but offer increased absorbency for big wetters and overnight usage.

How can you tell when a nappy needs changing?

It’s easy to tell with bigger kids, but it’s not always so obvious with tiny babies. This is why many of the best nappies for newborns have a yellow line down the front of the nappy that will turn blue when the baby wees. It doesn't change colour for poos, however, unless the baby has urinated at the same time. As some nappies are bulky to begin with, this wetness indicator can let you know when the baby has peed without having to strip him or her off.

Newborn babies, on average, pee every 20 minutes so bear that in mind in both how many nappies you'll be using as well as when to check for changes.

How can you prevent nappy rash and allergic skin reactions?

The leading cause of nappy rash is delicate baby skin left in contact with a soiled nappy, so if you’re using reusables (or plastic-free nappies made of natural materials) you will need to keep on top of changes in order to prevent stools irritating the skin. Sometimes the nappy itself can cause a mild allergic reaction, so if you’re changing regularly but baby is still getting rashes, try switching to another brand to see if the condition improves. Leaving baby out of a nappy for a while (on a towel or other absorbent surface) and avoiding perfumed wipes and soaps can help. Your health visitor can recommend a course of action if rashes are frequent or severe.

How do nappies keep baby dry even when they’re wet?

Most disposable nappies contain superabsorbent polymer beads embedded into the nappy material. These beads can absorb many hundreds of times their weight in moisture, allowing babies to wander around with a “wet nappy” without the skin being in contact with the moisture. It's not impossible for a baby to get nappy rash from a wet nappy, but as most of the moisture is locked away it's less likely and you won't be doing your baby any harm if you accidentally leave a wet nappy on for longer than intended. It's just not a good idea to make a habit of it, though.

If eco-friendliness is important to you, note that the natural materials used in biodegradable nappies are less moisture-wicking than these superabsorbent polymers (which take hundreds of years to break down in landfill), so you will need to change the nappies more often to keep baby’s skin dry.

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The best nappies you can buy in 2022

1. Pampers Active Fit: The best overall nappies

Price: £9 | Buy now from Ocado

As our top pick for the best nappy, the Active Fit is a product that offers reliable protection, keeping your baby dry and comfy—a priority as they grow into toddlerhood and become increasingly more mobile day by day. Featuring 12-hour dryness protection, super soft material, a wetness indicator and the Pampers 3-way-fit design, the company’s Active Fit nappy is an all-round pleaser.

This best-selling nappy contains soft and fluffy fibres derived from wood pulp which is highly absorbent. It is made from pH sensitive materials and has a wetness indicator strip that makes your life easier by letting you know when your little one needs a change. With wide, stretchy tapes and flexible cuffs that comfortably wrap around your baby’s leg, the Active Fit ensures no leaks, superior protection and ultimate comfort no matter how much your baby moves around.

Key specs – Sizes: 3-6; Nappies in pack: 42; Price per nappy: 21p

Buy now from Ocado


2. Aldi Mamia Ultra Dry: The best budget nappies

Price: £3 | Buy now from Aldi

For a high performance nappy that punches well above its price, the Mamia Ultra Dry nappy does not disappoint. At just 6p per nappy, the quality of these nappies will take you by surprise: they are soft, flexible and highly absorbent. If you are looking to keep costs down, this tried and tested nappy is a no-brainer.

Featuring its new ‘Ultra Dry Air System’, Aldi claims that wetness is absorbed up to two times faster, keeping the baby's bottom dry and fresh for hours. You’ll also know when your baby needs a change thanks to the wetness indicator, so no need for any guesswork. Despite the low cost, these nappies are dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic, so even the most sensitive bottoms should remain comfy, dry and rash-free.

Key specs – Sizes: 4-6+ (newborn range also available); Nappies in pack: 48; Price per nappy: 6p

Buy now from Aldi


3. Pampers Baby-Dry Night Nappy Pants: The best overnight nappies

Price: £8 | Buy now from Tesco

Bid farewell to that gruelling 4am nappy change with Pampers Night Nappy Pants. Once the baby starts sleeping longer stretches through the night, you’ll need a nappy that can accommodate all that extra liquid, and this nappy from Pampers is it. They’re specifically designed for overnight use and ensure your baby stays dry all night long. This can be a game-changer when it comes to sleep training and can encourage little ones to sleep through the night.

The ‘Stop and Protect’ pocket provides a more absorbent core than Pampers Baby-Dry nappies, so your baby can stay dry and comfortable for up to 12 hours through the night. In addition, the flexible and soft waistline moves as the baby does, making sure they are not restricted and can wriggling away freely as they wish.

Key specs – Sizes: 4-7; Nappies in pack: 32; Price per nappy: 25p

Buy now from Tesco


4. Mama Bear Disney Nappy Pants: The best pull-up nappies

Price: £14 | Buy now from Amazon

Pull-up nappies are ideal for potty training as they help to teach your child how to use big-kid underwear. Mama Bear pull-ups are great because they have a high level of absorbency, just like regular nappies, and they also have anti-leak barriers to avoid big messes. These nappies are designed to feel more underwear-like and can help to instil confidence in your little one and help them feel secure during this new transition.

The nappies are super flexible around the waist and sport an elastic adjustment system that adapts to the size of your toddler for a more comfortable fit. This is key in helping your child learn how to put their underwear on and take them off by themselves. They also have cute Disney designs that appeal to children and can encourage them to engage with the potty-training process. These soft and breathable pull-up nappies are hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested. They’re easy to remove for changing and are a convenient option to ensure your child remains comfortable and dry as they reach their next big milestone.

Key specs – Sizes: 4-6; Nappies in pack: 80; Price per nappy: 18p

Buy now from Amazon


5. Pura Premium Nappies: The best newborn nappies

Price: £3 | Buy now from Amazon

If you are a first time parent, finding the right newborn nappy for your new addition can be daunting. Pura offers a premium nappy at an affordable price without skimping on quality. You will be going through a lot of nappies in those first few weeks, which could work out to be quite expensive, but these premium nappies cost a reasonable 12p per nappy and are one of the best we’ve come across thanks to their velvety soft and hypoallergenic organic cotton material.

These nappies are clinically and dermatologically tested, making them suitable for even the most sensitive newborn bottoms. They’re eco-friendly too, as they are created with 100% renewable energy and no production waste. When you buy a pack of Pura Premium Nappies, you’ll also be helping to reduce your carbon footprint, thanks to the company’s FSC-certified plant fibre inner core, sustainable materials and packaging.

Key specs – Sizes: 1-4+; Nappies in pack: 24; Price per nappy: 12p

Buy now from Amazon


6. Kit & Kin Eco Nappy: The best eco-friendly disposable nappies

Price: £8 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re on a journey to minimise your carbon footprint, but are not quite ready to commit to reusable nappies, then eco-friendly disposables are the next best option. As “the most accredited eco-nappy”, the Eco by Kit & Kin is made with sustainable plant-based materials and is kind to both the planet and your baby’s skin. Approved by dermatologists, these nappies are hypoallergenic and contain no chlorine, latex, perfume or parabens.

The nappies have a highly-absorbent extra layer to keep the baby dry for longer and a technology that ensures even liquid distribution for less sagging. With the cute animal designs printed on the rear, the Kit & Kin Eco nappies are a win for eco-friendly babies and parents. They’re made in a carbon-neutral factory and when you buy a pack, the company puts proceeds of sales towards buying areas of threatened rainforest.

Key specs – Sizes: 1-6; Nappies in pack: 40; Price per nappy: 20p

Buy now from Amazon


7. Huggies Little Swimmers: The best swimming nappies

Price: £6 | Buy now from Boots

If you are planning on taking your little one for a dip, you will want to make sure they are wearing a good swimming nappy to avoid any accidents in the water. Unlike regular nappies, these Huggies Little Swimmers are made from lighter materials which don't make the nappy swell or become heavy when immersed in water. This means that, while the nappies won’t be able to contain urine (be careful when you are out of the water), they do a great job of holding in any number twos. Although they are thinner than usual nappies, they have leak guards that form a seal around the legs so your baby (and anyone in the vicinity) will be protected while enjoying a swim.

One of the best things about these reusable swimming nappies is that they’re super easy to take off after use—simply tear the sides and off they come. This ensures that you don’t have to fumble around pulling down a wet nappy while your little one is getting cold. The Little Swimmers are thin enough to fit underneath a swimsuit without looking too bulky, and they’re adorned with colourful Disney designs which look super cute.

Key specs – Sizes: 3-5/6; Nappies in pack: 11; Price per nappy: 54p

Buy now from Boots


8. Bambino Miosolo Supreme: The best reusable nappies

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

The Miosolo Supreme All-in-One is a reusable nappy that can take your baby from newborn up to toddlerhood . Though it costs £18 for a single nappy (£12 per nappy if you purchase the set of six), they’ll be the only nappies you’ll likely ever need to buy and can potentially save you hundreds of pounds in the long run.

Made from premium bamboo fabric and free from chemical nasties, these high performance reusable nappies can protect even the most active babies. Adjustable fastenings make it easy to adapt the Miosolo to fit your growing baby, and the highly absorbent double core provides impressive leak protection.

Just like an ordinary nappy, it can be popped on and off easily, and washing them isn’t as daunting as you might think. A handy little pull out tag inside the nappy allows you to remove the inner padding, and this enables the nappy to be washed thoroughly while reducing drying time.

Key specs – Sizes: One size for all; Nappies in pack: Available singly or as a set of 6; Price per nappy: £18 (£71 for set of 6, which works out to around £12 per nappy)

Buy now from Amazon


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