10 April 2017
CHOICE has tested 46 nappies for absorbency, leakage and velcro strength, and surveyed parents about their preferences, with the research finding several supermarket generics are on equal footing with big name brands that cost up to three times more.
"While many parents prefer to splash cash on big brand names, the less expensive products really clean up," says CHOICE head of media Tom Godfrey.
Parent survey and key findings
CHOICE surveyed 500 parents with a child under two about their nappy buying preferences and experiences, and found that Huggies dominate the market.
"Although Huggies appear to account for, on average, half of all nappies used, families may be surprised to learn that some of the cheaper options can be just as good," Mr Godfrey says.
Key findings of the survey were:
- Disposable nappies are used by 95% of parents.
- Avoiding leakage and absorption are the most important features for more than 70% of parents.
- Huggies account for 46% of all nappies used during the day and 49% used at night averaged across all age ranges.
- 65% of parents said their newborns wear Huggies.
- Around 15% of parents use Mamia nappies from Aldi during the day.
Newborns nappy test
The test looked at newborn, infant and crawler nappies, testing 14 newborn nappy brands for babies weighing up to six kilograms.
"Around two thirds of parents we spoke to buy Huggies for their newborn, and while the product has an overall score of 84%, at 30 cents a nappy, it's harder on your bottom line," says Mr Godfrey.
"Comfy Bots Newborn from Coles and Mamia Supafit Newborn from Aldi both performed better, scoring 85% and 88% respectively, but only cost 17 cents a nappy. 
"The top spot for newborns went to Pampers Newborn Size 1 scoring 91%, but at 55 cents per nappy you're paying more than three times the price for marginally better performance."
Infants nappy test
In line with the results for newborn nappies, the infant nappy (up to nine kilograms) test found the generics also performed well.
"Aldi's Mamia Supafit Infant and Kmart's Baby Solutions Infant both scored more than 70% while the preferred Huggies brands for boys and girls landed firmly in the bottom half of our results,"  says Mr Godfrey.
Crawler nappy test
However when it came to crawlers (up to 13kg), performance reflected popularity, with Huggies Crawler for Boys taking out top spot while fourth place went to Huggies Crawler for Girls.
"Although they hold their own amongst infant and newborn nappies, when it comes to crawlers, the generics struggle," Mr Godfrey says.
"Despite its success in the other categories, Aldi's Mamia Crawler bottomed out with an overall rating of just 52%."
"While there are many different factors to consider when choosing the best nappy for your child, parents are better off trying a few different brands as a pricey product is no guarantee of success."
For the full results, visit: choice.com.au/nappies.
Media contact: Tom Godfrey, CHOICE, Head of Media and Spokesperson: 0430 172 669
Absorbency testing process: Using synthetic urine, gushes of the liquid are dosed into the centre of the nappy using a pump. For newborn nappies each gush is 30mL, for infant nappies it's 40mL and for crawler nappies it's 50mL. This simulates a child wearing the nappy overnight. We measure the amount of time it takes for the liquid to disappear. This is repeated four times with a five minute gap between each gush. The total time taken for all four gushes to be absorbed is the absorption speed.
Another three tests were also conducted – leakage, rewet and velcro strength.
Price per nappy is based on the cost of the largest pack size we could find for each product.
Research designed and analysed by CHOICE Consumer Insights in January, 2017. The results reflect completed online surveys from n = 500 parents of children aged under 2 years located across Australia.
 CHOICE nappy test, March 2017