According to studies, approximately 90% of parents use disposable diapers. If you’re one of that majority, it’s important to know that not all diapers are created equal.
As parents, we always want the best for our babies, and since they wear diapers 24/7, buying non-toxic diapers may be top of mind for many of us.
Unfortunately, many diapers (and other baby products) are greenwashed, making it difficult to decipher which diaper brands are truly safe and non-toxic.
I’m a parent of three kiddos. One is still in diapers, and another is in training pants. I’ve used disposable diapers with all three of my kids, and over the last 6 years, I’ve tested A TON of different brands.
I’ve also done a lot of research on what’s actually in diapers and the potential health effects of those ingredients.
From my experience and research, I’ve compiled a list of what to look for (and avoid) when choosing a safe and non-toxic disposable diaper for your baby, and I’ve found some of the best non-toxic disposable diapers that are available on the market. Here I want to share them with you to make your shopping experience a little easier.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I could be compensated if you decide to make a purchase. You can read my full disclosure here.
The Best Non-Toxic Diapers
There are a ton of diaper brands that claim to be safe, non-toxic, eco-friendly, and even biodegradable… so I looked through them all, read reviews, tried them out with my babies, made a giant spreadsheet, and compared them to my list of must-haves and things to avoid when it comes to disposable diapers.
After years of research, here are the best non-toxic diaper brands I’ve found:
Kudos are a newer brand of disposables that have quickly become one of my favorites. Their diapers are made with 100% cotton touching your baby’s skin, and the rest of the ingredients are mostly plant-based, hypoallergenic, and free from latex, fragrance, dyes, and chlorine processing.
They’re certainly not the cheapest diaper on my list here, but they’re far superior to the other brands (in my honest opinion).
We never dealt with any leaks, and they are quite literally the softest feeling diaper on this list.
And if you’re into prints, they have some super cute and unique designs that are specifically made with your baby’s age in mind. So you can get a reminder that your little Beethoven really enjoys music between 6-18 months.
I only wish this brand would have existed when my oldest was a baby.
You can read my full review of Kudos, but in short, they’re a great choice if you’re looking for an eco-friendly and non-toxic disposable diaper that won’t give your baby a rash (but will still do all the things a diaper is supposed to do).
Dyper is a subscription diaper service intended to keep your baby’s bottom safe and dry (and save you time and money along the way).
The top sheet is soft and gentle on baby’s skin, and the absorbent core contains bamboo (which is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial).
Dyper’s diapers (haha) are totally chlorine-free, fragrance-free, and dye-free. They also don’t have any latex, lotions, or other nasty chemicals that could cause irritation and other health issues (like phthalates and parabens).
The diapers are delivered monthly, and they guarantee that you’ll never run out. In fact, if you need more diapers, they can deliver them to you in as little as 4 hours.
We used these diapers with my middle child when they first came out (back in 2018). I loved that they were just plain ol’ white diapers that were good for everyday use, and the top sheet felt soft and gentle for baby’s skin. But we did deal with some leaks. Bad enough that I actually stopped using them and switched over to Honest Diapers, which were easier to find.
However, in the four years since then, they have improved the diapers’ design and have incredibly good reviews from customers. They’re next on the list to test out with my son, so I’ll let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, you can test them out yourself with their FREE sample pack (you just pay shipping).
Dyper Diapers are available in sizes Newborn through size 5, and they also have training pants.
Yes, Nest diapers are more expensive than any other diaper on our list, but they are really great diapers, and if you’re looking for something that’s truly eco-friendly, these should be at the top of your list because they’re designed to degrade.
Nest diapers are made with mostly plant-based sustainable materials, they’re vegan and cruelty-free, biodegradable, and compostable.
Because of the higher price, I think Nest diapers are a great option if you usually use cloth diapers but you’re looking for a diaper that you can use for those one-off days when you need a disposable option. But they could get extremely expensive if you’re buying a pack every week, so I wouldn’t recommend them if your baby wears disposable diapers all day every day.
That being said, they’re free of harmful chemicals, lotions, fragrance, and known allergens like latex. And they’re very open about the ingredients they do use, so you can rest assured knowing that there isn’t anything sneaky in them.
I tested them out on my baby and really liked them. We never had any issues with leaks, and they were soft and felt like they would be comfy to wear. And I liked the minimalist design too.
Read my full Nest Diapers review.
Little Toes bamboo diapers are made with bamboo pulp, which you’ll find in most of the diapers on this list. The top sheet is soft and hypoallergenic, and the diapers are free of harsh chemicals.
They have a super-absorbent core that can hold up to 10 times its weight in liquid (which is great for those super soakers), and they have leak guards to prevent any accidents.
The brand claims that the diapers are about 67% biodegradable. With soil and sunlight, they degrade in 180 days (compare that to traditional disposables, which can take up to 500 years to decompose in a landfill). They do not recommend composting them at home though.
They meet most of our requirements for safety as well since they’re totally chlorine free, fragrance-free, and also free of parabens and phthalates. They use water-based inks for their cute prints, which don’t off-gas any harmful VOCs into the environment, and they’re also safe for sensitive skin.
They’re available in sizes Newborn (up to 11lbs), Small (6.5-17lbs), Medium (13-24lbs), and Large (20-31lbs), and they also offer swim diapers!
A relatively new brand, Eco Boom has only been around since 2017, but they’re already making a name for themselves in the non-toxic diaper world.
Eco Boom diapers are made with bamboo pulp and are totally chlorine-free and fragrance-free. They’re also free of lotions, parabens, phthalates, and other potentially hazardous chemicals. And the diapers are solid white, which means you don’t have to worry about harmful dyes or inks touching your baby’s sensitive skin.
The diapers are super absorbent, so you don’t have to worry about leaks, even overnight. And they have a wetness indicator so you’ll know when it’s time for a change. I know that’s a huge help for new parents.
A downside to these diapers is that they’re made in China, so they’re not as environmentally friendly as some of the other brands on this list since they have to be shipped halfway around the world.
But if you’re looking for a safe and affordable option, these are definitely worth checking out.
Eco Boom diapers are available in sizes Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large, and they also offer toddler training pants in larger sizes.
Andy Pandy’s solid white diapers are becoming a favorite among parents, and it’s no wonder why.
These non-toxic diapers are super-soft and absorbent, prevent leaks, and they’re made of bamboo fibers instead of cotton, which makes them better for the environment.
As with all of the diapers on our list, they’re chlorine-free and fragrance-free. They don’t have any phthalates, TBT, or latex either. They do use an aloe mist on the diapers in order to keep your baby’s skin soft and nourished, which may or may not be something you like.
And in coordination with Eden Reforestation Project, Andy Pandy plants TWO trees for every item that you purchase, which helps to offset their carbon footprint a bit.
So if you’re looking for eco-friendly and non-toxic diapers, these are a great option.
Andy Pandy diapers are available in sizes newborn, small, medium, large, and extra-large, and they also offer training pants for toddlers.
Some of their sizes have been out of stock lately thanks to global supply chain issues (including the size my son wears), but they expect to have everything back in stock by the end of the summer.
Oh, and they offer a subscription service that gives you a 5% discount and free shipping, which is awesome.
Eco by Naty
Eco by Naty diapers are of great quality, and they make sure only 100% plant-based materials touch your baby’s skin.
These diapers are made with FSC certified fluff pulp from sustainably managed forests and they’re free of harmful chemicals like chlorine, fragrances, phthalates, and latex. They’re also hypoallergenic and super absorbent.
Each pack has a different design, and unfortunately I’m unsure of what kind of dyes Naty uses in their diapers. I reached out to ask but never received a response (which is also a ding to their customer service), but it’s worth it to note here that the designs and colors do not touch skin, so if you have a baby with super sensitive skin, the designs shouldn’t bother them.
The diapers have multiple certifications, and they go through additional testing to screen for harmful chemicals.
Bambo has two options for their diapers: Classic and Love.
Both are relatively equal for our purposes, but the Love collection does have an additional certification from Asthma Allergy Denmark.
They’re elemental chlorine-free (which isn’t necessarily as good as being total chlorine-free, but it’s not a deal-breaker for us). They’re also free of parabens, phthalates, and fragrances.
They have fairly good ratings and reviews (with over 3,000 5-star reviews on Amazon), but many people do complain about leaks because the diapers are a bit wider than most.
If you’re interested, we recommend purchasing a small pack to see how they work for your baby.
This one is our honorable mention, simply because Honest’s diapers are so easy to find (they’re on the shelves of nearly every grocery store), and they’re inexpensive, coming out at the same price as Pampers when you subscribe.
Obviously, they have adorable designs too. We always love picking out diapers each month! That being said, Honest’s diapers are not dye-free, and they’re not very open about what’s in the dyes.
I reached out to them in June 2022 and all the customer service rep would tell me is that the dyes are “plant-based” and wouldn’t go into further detail. But they’re careful not to allow the designs to touch baby’s skin.
They do have a plain white diaper though, which I prefer and have used many times in the past.
Honest Company diapers are totally chlorine-free, TBT-free, they don’t use any fragrances, phthalates, or parabens, and they’re soft and comfortable for all-day wear.
They’re not as environmentally-friendly as some of the other diapers on this list, so if you’re looking for diapers that are biodegradable, you should look elsewhere.
They’re perfect when you’re in a pinch though, and I regularly buy their training pants too.
Why You Should Switch to Non-Toxic Diapers
We always want our babies to be safe and healthy, right? Well, their diapers may be causing a range of health issues.
Chemicals in Disposable Diapers
Traditional disposable diapers often have a range of additives and chemicals that you don’t want touching your baby’s sensitive skin.
Let’s talk about some of the worst offenders below.
Many brands use chlorine as a bleaching agent to make their diapers white. As nice as it may look, it’s anything but clean.
Chlorine emits dioxins, which the EPA classifies as a highly toxic health hazard with a cancer risk to humans.
Dioxins may also damage the immune system, interfere with hormones, and cause reproductive and developmental issues.
That being said, dioxins are a huge presence in our day-to-day lives anyway, and you won’t even get away from them if you use cloth diapers. In fact, dioxins are in our food supply. According to the EPA, 90% of the dioxins that we’re exposed to are actually from meat and seafood because they accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals.
Some people argue that since dioxins are everywhere, we shouldn’t be too concerned about whether or not they’re in our babies’ diapers. However, it’s still a good idea to avoid them when possible because they pose such a great risk to the environment, which ultimately affect us even more.
Now, don’t worry too much if you’re in a pinch and you have to use a non chlorine-free diaper on your baby, but you should try to find chlorine-free diapers when possible.
Some diaper brands use fragrances to mask the scent of poop or pee.
Have you ever walked past someone who had a lot of perfume on? Sometimes it can give us a headache or temporarily cause breathing issues. (Which is why you may cough or have an urge to pinch your nose.)
Imagine how much worse that feeling is to a baby who hasn’t been exposed to fragrances and perfumes!
Not only can fragrances cause respiratory and skin irritation, but they can pose other health risks as well.
That’s because, as we’ve mentioned in past articles, the FDA does not regulate the ingredients in fragrances. Fragrance and perfumes are considered a proprietary trade secret, so companies are not required to disclose the ingredients that they use in them.
Often fragrances contain phthalates and parabens (both of which can cause reproductive issues), and they may contain other harmful chemicals as well.
Furthermore, U.S. law does not require companies to disclose whether their products contain phthalates (at least not yet), so you should look for diapers that are explicitly marked “phthalate-free.” Even some “non-toxic” diaper brands don’t make any claims about phthalates.
Always be skeptical. If a box of diapers isn’t marked phthalate- or paraben-free, you should assume that the diapers include phthalates and/or parabens.
So many disposable diapers have cute little patterns and designs on them. The dyes that brands use to create these pictures, however, can cause skin irritation and diaper rashes.
The wetness indicator on some diapers also use dyes. Some brands even dye the stretchy fabric that goes around your baby’s legs.
If your baby is sensitive to certain dyes, you really need to be careful and try to buy diapers that are as plain as possible. That’s because the word “dye” isn’t very highly regulated, so some companies claim to be “dye-free” but instead use “pigments” or “inks” in their diapers.
Lotions, Latex, and Other Irritants
Some diapers have other ingredients that can irritate your baby’s skin and respiratory system.
When possible, you should avoid lotions, latex, and other irritants in disposable diapers.
Something You (Probably) Don’t Have to Worry About
Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP)
Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) is what keeps your baby nice and dry, even overnight.
If you’ve ever put your baby in water while they were wearing a regular diaper instead of a swim diaper (Oops! I’ve been there!), you’ve probably seen SAP.
These tiny little plastic beads can absorb 300x their weight in liquid!
There hasn’t been a ton of research on SAP, but it’s thought to be fairly safe and non-toxic.
SAP is petroleum-based, and since it’s a plastic, it is an environmental threat. Some brands are working on plant-based SAP, but I’m not aware of any that are on the market yet.
Unfortunately, ALL disposable diapers contain SAP, so you couldn’t get away from it even if you wanted to (unless you’re cloth diapering). That being said, some brands specifically state that their SAP is non-toxic.
Things to Consider When Buying Non-Toxic Diapers
Aside from the chemicals in disposable diapers, there are a few more things that you might want to consider before buying non-toxic diapers.
Are Non-Toxic Diapers More Expensive? (+how to save money)
Diapers are so expensive.
But are non-toxic diapers more expensive than their conventional counterparts?
They certainly can be, but you can often find coupons and discounts available for various diaper brands. Some non-toxic diaper brands offer a subscription service where you can get a discounted rate (and have your diapers automatically delivered each month, which is super convenient). Others are available on Amazon with the subscribe and save option.
In this table, I’ve compared Pampers Swaddlers (which is what they give you in the hospital) with our favorite non-toxic diaper brands to give you an idea of how much more you’ll be spending if you want to buy chemical-free diapers. For pricing and quantity information, I looked at size 1 or equivalent.
|BRAND||# OF DIAPERS IN BOX||PRICE PER BOX||PRICE PER DIAPER|
|Andy Pandy||108||$37.97 (with subscription)||$0.35|
|Eco by Naty||100||$35.96 (with subscription)||$0.36|
|Sprouted||140||$40.80 (4 packs with subscription)||$0.30|
|Honest Company||245 + 4 packs of wipes||$79.95 (with subscription – $61 when taking out the price of wipes)||$0.25|
|Little Toes||216||$99.99 (with subscription)||$0.47|
|Earth & Eden||176||$27.99 (with subscribe & save)||$0.16|
Ingredients & Materials in Non-Toxic Diapers
As mentioned above, you should try to find a list of ingredients and materials used in your baby’s diapers.
Look for non-toxic diapers that are chlorine-free, fragrance-free, dye-free, phthalate-free, and paraben-free.
Are Non-Toxic Diapers Biodegradable?
No. Not all non-toxic diapers are biodegradable.
If you’re looking for biodegradable diapers that are safer for the environment, be sure to check each individual brand. Learn about their production processes, and dig deeper into the ingredients that they use to make sure your chemical-free diapers are also environmentally-safe.
Obviously, you should always check out the reviews of any diaper brand that you’re considering.
Not all diapers will work for every baby, however, so use your best judgment when looking through reviews.
If the diapers have fairly good reviews but one or two people say that the diapers leak or that their babies get rashes, it may be a good idea to test them out with a small pack and see how they work for your baby.
Hopefully you found this list of non-toxic diapers helpful in your search!
If you like to support sustainable brands and prefer eco-friendly products, we’ve made a list of the best biodegradable diapers too!