Stop the leaks
Our starting point for testing nappies is what you, as a parent, want out of a nappy for your child. So our specialist CHOICE Consumer Insights research team designed a survey which went out to 500 parents of children aged under two.
Here's what you told us: when it comes to what's very important in a nappy, 75% of you are looking for a nappy that avoids leakages, and 72% find it very important that a nappy is absorbent. This has helped to shape our nappy testing.
Our expert testers
For our test, we bought as many brands as possible within the newborn, infant and crawler sized nappies and sent them to a laboratory for testing. In-house, we work out the value for money of each product by determining how much it costs per nappy (based on the largest pack size available). We also take a look at the labelling claims.
How we choose what we test
With most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular models on the market and what you're most likely to see in the retailers. In the case of nappies our buyers purchased all the products they could find on the supermarket shelves in the newborn, infant and crawler categories.
How we test
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.
This is a visual assessment where we check if any leaks come out the side of the nappy.
Five minutes after the last gush from the absorption test, six pre-weighed dry filter papers are placed on the wet nappy and held down for 30 seconds. The filter paper is then removed and weighed. Ideally, the filter paper should remain relatively dry.
We attach one side of the velcro to the nappy, then we place a pin through the tip of the velcro with an empty container hanging off the pin. The container is slowly filled with water at a constant rate until the velcro breaks free. The total weight required to make the velcro break free is converted to force in Newtons. We test both the left and right side and then create an average across both sides, then we repeat the test five times and our final velcro strength score is calculated.
Test criteria explained
The overall score is made up of:
- Absorption (40%)
- Leakage (30%)
- Rewet (20%)
- Velcro strength (10%)
Ready to buy?
Check out our disposable nappy reviews to see which brands come out on top, or if you want to know more about what to look for in a good nappy, check out our disposable and cloth nappy buying guide.