CHOICE reveals the best and worst newborn nappies on the market

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

As a sleep-deprived new parent, trips to the supermarket can be a real challenge.

Even before bub arrives, the choices - oh the choices - of all the different baby products and brands on offer can be completely overwhelming. 

While some items are luxuries, one thing you are definitely going to need for your little bundle of joy are nappies.

If you're confused by all the options on the market, the good news is that consumer watchdog CHOICE have just carried out some rigorous testing to determine the best and worst performers. Hooray. 

A word of advice from the experts before you check out the results - as with so many aspects of parenting, just remember that every baby and their needs are different - and constantly changing. Just because Huggies works for little Hugo, they won't necessarily be the best product for baby Henry. You need to consider all the different factors like absorbency, the cut of the nappy, the size of your bub's thighs, your baby's skin sensitivity - and of course, the cost.

So before you rush out and stockpile enough nappies to last the first two months, invest in a range of brands and trial and error to find the perfect fit for you. 

The CHOICE experts have tested over 88 different products, from newborn right through to junior sizes. Nappies were tested in a state-of-the-art laboratory and rated on absorption, leakage, rewet and velcro strength. It's a very serious scientific business! 

Here then, are the five top-scoring newborn nappies as well as the newborn nappy that took the wooden spoon.

The best newborn nappies

1. Pampers Premium Protection New Baby Size 2 Mini

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

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The top-scoring newborn nappy is also one of the most expensive. But if you're prepared to pay a little extra for peace of mind to guard against the dreaded poo-namis, then these are a great option. Photo: Pampers nappies from CHOICE
Photo: Pampers nappies, via CHOICE

2. Simply Snookums Small

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

Snookums is a small, Brisbane-based company whose products are available through some IGA supermarkets, Good Price Pharmacies and online. The CHOICE testers observed no leakage and gave the nappies very good scores for absorbency and rewetting.

3. CUB Newborn Size 1

CHOICE Expert Rating: 87%
Absorbency score: 79%
Leakage score: 100%
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 the Aldi newborn nappies are also recommended)

Photo: via CHOICE

Photo: via CHOICE

4. Bambo Nature Size 1 Newborn

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

Bambo Nature nappies are one of the more expensive brands, but received excellent scores on absorbency and full marks on leaks. 

4. Pandas by Luvme Small

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

Pandas are claimed to be biodegradable and compostable and perform well, however, they're one of the more expensive nappies tested.

Photo via CHOICE

4. Tooshies by TOM Newborn

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

Another nappy scoring a perfect 100 per cent for leakage, these nappies also scored well in terms of absorbency (80%), velcro strength (90%) and rewetting (75%). They're a solid performer that CHOICE recommends.

5. The worst newborn nappy

According to CHOICE, almost every newborn nappy in their test performed very well, with all but one product receiving a score of 75 per cent or above, which is still considered a good score. 

"For the most part, you can choose a newborn nappy off the shelf and expect very good performance. But check our reviews first," says Rebecca Ciaramidaro, CHOICE's nappy expert.

Ecoriginals Newborn

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

While these nappies have many 'eco features' and may appeal to parents who are concerned about using disposable nappies, they are lacking in key performance indicators such as absorbency and rewet. Plus they're at the pricier end of the market at 50 cents a nappy. CHOICE do not recommend these nappies. 

Photo: via CHOICE

What about Aldi?

Aldi updated their range of Mamia budget nappies in late 2019 - and many parents took to social media complaining that the new designs weren't as good as the old ones. However, CHOICE testing found the new range performs well and these nappies come recommended. 

The Mamia newborn nappy scored 82 per cent over all and at 14 cents per nappy, they're the cheapest newborn nappies on the market. A great option for parents on a budget, especially during the daytime when you don't necessarily need a premium, heavy-duty nappy. 

Want to know more? Learn about how CHOICE test nappies and check out their full list of disposable nappy reviews.