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As a new parent, you’re going to hear a lot of diaper brand names thrown around, but which is right for you is an age-old question. Luvs vs Pampers? Value brand vs name brand? Cloth vs disposable? There are so many options!
If you’re in a hurry, just know that based on the wide variety of styles, features, and price to diaper value they offer, Pampers is the best for most parents, most babies, and in almost every circumstance.
However, that’s not to say that Luvs doesn’t have their strengths, so read on to find out why sometimes saving just a bit of cash on a quick package of diapers at the store might be worthwhile.
Honestly, before having a baby, you probably never realized there were so many varieties. That’s why I’m going to dive into detail about which one of these big two is the best for most situations based on the features they offer.
Luvs is perhaps one of the most popular and most well-known value brands of diapers on the market. They offer diapers at a much lower price point than other name brands like Pampers or Huggies.
This product stands out for a variety of reasons, but one of the main reasons I think it’s a great go-to option for parents is because, of all the value brands, it’s the most absorbent, and the price is right.
If you need to save the money or you have more than one child in diapers at a time, this could be a great option. Interestingly, Luvs are made by the same parent company as Pampers: Proctor and Gamble.
Luvs diapers come in sizes Newborn through 6, so the range of sizes is nice, but you won’t find Preemie sizes or training pants, so you’ll have to switch to a different brand for specialty sizes.
They also don’t have the same padding that brand name diapers do, which can affect your child’s comfort as well as absorbency. When it comes to that fluffy, cottony feel, Luvs just doesn’t have it, and if you’re worried about leaks, you’ll have to either change Luvs more often or go with the name brand.
- Relatively absorbent
- Large closure tabs
- Thinner and less absorbent than name brands
- No preemie or trainers sizes
- Lack of padding can affect comfort
Pampers, of course, is a name brand, and is very well-known. They’re also made by Procter & Gamble, and they’ve been around for almost 50 years. They come in a variety of styles and range in size from Preemie all the way up to Size 7, and they also have training pants for toddlers.
Pampers makes styles that have an umbilical cord cutout for newborns, which is a great standout feature of the brand. It can really help your child when they have a sensitive tummy.
Pampers diapers have soft, stretchy sides, super absorbent features, and are leak-free for up to 12 hours. They’re also flexible, so when your child starts to crawl and becomes more mobile, you can rest assured the diaper will move with them.
The lining is soft enough to keep your child rash-free. This extra softness is definitely much more comfortable and contributes to absorbency. Pampers diapers also tend to be much more stretchy, which helps them fit a variety of babies much better than value brands.
Pampers is known for quality products beyond just diapers. They also make swim diapers, baby wipes, and Lumi baby monitor products.
- Soft and stretchy for better fit and absorbency
- Variety of styles and designs
- Sizes from Preemie to Size 7 + Training pants
- Leak-free up to 12 hours
- More expensive
Luvs vs Pampers: Side By Side Comparison
Let’s dive into a bit more detail about the features of each diaper brand so you’ll have a better idea of which might be right for your child and your budget.
When it comes to diaper styles, Pampers has Luvs beat. You can stick with the Pampers brand throughout your child’s entire journey, no matter what happens. There are styles for preemies, newborns, crawlers, toddlers, potty trainers, sensitive skin, overnight absorbency, and so much more.
Once you find a brand that works, it’s super frustrating to have to switch, so it’s nice to know that Pampers has everything you need and you won’t have to switch to something you’re not familiar with.
That’s not to say that Luvs doesn’t have quality diapers. They do. In fact, of all the value or store brands you can buy, Luvs is one of the most absorbent, most comfortable, and most reliable.
But they only come in one style. A Luvs diaper is a Luvs diaper. There are no sensitive skin Luvs, or crawler Luvs, or training pants Luvs. They simply have sizes Newborn through 6 Luvs diapers.
The squish test was always the way my mom could tell if she needed to change my diaper. If you have older kids, you remember it, too. You squeeze the front or back of your child’s diaper to see if it’s full.
Or, even worse, you take a peek inside to see if there’s something in there. No thanks.
Pampers Newborn and Size 1 both have a wetness indicator on the front. It’s truly life changing. It’s so easy to see if your child has a wet diaper now. The strip is yellow and it turns blue when it gets wet.
Luvs also has a wetness indicator on the front that turns blue when it gets wet, but they include their wetness indicator on all sizes. This makes it even more convenient to check a child who can crawl, walk, or – worse yet – run.
Even when your child is napping, you can check the status of their diaper and see if they need a check, which is great for a diaper that may or may not be as absorbent as the name brand.
You have to give it to Pampers. While a lot of diapers (even name brands) will make a diaper super soft and comfortable on the inside, it will be really scratchy on the outside. I’m not discounting that the diaper should be soft on the inside! Those are sensitive parts.
But as your child begins to crawl, walk, and run, a scratchy diaper can rub on their inner thighs and create a really painful rash. Pampers makes diapers that are incredibly soft on the inside and the outside.
This creates a diaper that is so soft to the touch that you’ll be shocked when you open the package. Seriously. You may want to hold it in your hands for a minute or two. It’s a great option for babies with extra sensitive skin.
Luvs, on the other hand, makes a thinner diaper. Not only can it affect fit and absorbency, but it can have a big impact on comfort. They’re definitely not as soft as many other diaper brands.
Something many parents don’t think about is that the lack of padding on a child’s bum also affects how they land when they fall. When your child is learning to walk, they’ll fall a lot. A soft, thick diaper can absorb some of that fall, so it will hurt quite a bit less, too.
However, if you’re one to prefer the slimmer profile of a thin diaper for use under leggings or tight clothing, Luvs could be an alternative to a thicker diaper that you might only use on special occasions.
When it comes to fit, Pampers are stretchy in all the right places. When you put it on, it will hug your baby’s curves, ensuring that there’s no way they can leak. Of course, every baby is different, and sometimes fit isn’t always quite right, through no fault of the diaper’s fit or your baby’s shape.
However, Pampers does a great job of conforming to the legs and waist, which means they’re less prone to leaks than many other brands. While Pampers Swaddlers are great for newborns and infants, Pampers Cruisers work great for mobile babies and toddlers.
Luvs have more stretch in the sides. When it comes to wrapping around the waist and really stretching the large tabs around to secure them, it’s much easier to do with a Luvs diaper.
The elastic waist will allow you to stay in each size longer, which could save you money, because smaller diapers come in bigger quantities per package. However, staying in a smaller size could also mean less absorbency.
The leg cuffs also have quite a bit of stretch, so you can have peace of mind against leaks in the legs. So while absorbency may be subpar compared to name brands, the stretch can help combat that a bit.
12 hour protection
There’s no sense in waking a sleeping baby to change their diaper if you don’t have to. Especially if they just started sleeping through the night. You want to sleep, too! Pampers guarantees 12-hour protection against leaks, so your baby can sleep soundly, and so can you.
Most Pampers diapers feature grooves at the edges of the diaper that help to channel wetness throughout the diaper. This distributes wetness evenly, so your child may wake up with a soaked diaper, but it won’t be saggy or leaking.
Luvs also has a variety of different technologies to help lock away wetness for up to 12 hours. They include triple leakguards, which pulls wetness to the middle of the diaper, so it won’t gather at the edges of the diaper.
Their Nightlock technology helps to lock the moisture inside the diaper so it won’t escape, and leak barrier cuffs secure the diaper around your child’s thighs, so that if moisture does gather there, it won’t seep out.
Of course, gathering moisture in the middle of a diaper means your child will have saggy britches in the morning, which some parents don’t like. The core of the diaper will be heavier than the edges.
Pampers come in a huge range of sizes. While not every Pampers style comes in every size, what you’ll find is that you don’t have to switch from the Pampers brand to find the size you need.
You can get diapers in sizes Preemie all the way up to 7 in Pampers, plus you can find potty training pants, too. Smaller sizes come with unique features like umbilical cord cutouts for sensitive tummies and wetness indicators.
Luvs has a smaller variety of sizes. They only come in one style and they have sizes Newborn to Size 6. You won’t find Preemie sizes or potty training pants. You also won’t find an umbilical cord cutout feature, but they have the wetness indicator on all their sizes, unlike Pampers.
Stand Out Features
As you can tell by now, Luvs and Pampers, while both made by the same company, are very different. They also both have a couple of standout features that I think are worth noting.
- Large tabs: All diapers have velcro-like closure tabs, but Luvs tabs are extra large and reusable. If you don’t get the right fit the first time, you can simply remove them and try again. This is huge (no pun intended). They’ll still be sticky enough to work even if you have to refasten them multiple times. Sometimes with a squirmy baby, diaper changes are trial and error, so this is a great feature. And when Grandma and Grandpa are babysitting, large tabs are easier to grab for fingers with less dexterity.
- Scent: Luvs diapers are scented like baby powder. While it’s not strong enough to cover up your baby’s diaper smells, it’s a pretty significant smell. If you like the smell of baby powder, it’s a really great way to freshen up a diaper change and a baby’s room. It can keep your baby’s diaper a bit fresher for longer, too, and help to mask the smell of accidents.
- Umbilical cord cutout: For newborn babies who still have their umbilical cord stump, diaper changes can be challenging and nerve racking, especially for a new parent. Pampers makes diapers with umbilical cord cutouts, so you don’t have to worry about aggravating that sensitive area. If the diaper still doesn’t quite fit right, you can still fold down the top, but it gives you the peace of mind that it won’t rub as much as a full-size diaper would.
- Topsheet with mild lotion: Pampers diapers have a unique topsheet that contains a small amount of mild lotion. As your baby’s urine passes through this first layer of the diaper, it activates the lotion, which transfers to your baby’s skin, protecting it from moisture and keeping it healthy.
As a mom who has used both brands in the past for four different children, I can tell you my honest opinion of both. Due to my children’s body shapes, Pampers always leaked. They just didn’t seem to fit right.
There were a few times as a young couple when we were short on cash and we went with the Luvs value brand. They were surprisingly absorbent (although not as absorbent as the name brand), and they worked very well for us until we could go back to a name brand we loved.
Now that you know more about each brand, here’s a quick recap.
Use Luvs if:
- You want to save money and don’t mind using the value brand
- You want a wetness indicator on all sizes, not just the smaller sizes
- You want scented diapers that will freshen up diaper changes and keep your baby’s diaper fresher for longer
- You like the idea of large, reusable tabs that make diaper changes easier for grandparents or a squirmy baby
Use Pampers if
- You don’t mind spending the money on a name brand diaper you can trust
- You want consistent 12-hour protection with even wetness distribution channels
- You need an umbilical cord cutout for your newborn
- You want an ultra soft diaper for sensitive skin
- You need more styles to choose from for a growing baby and you don’t want to have to switch brands