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The best and worst newborn nappies 

Not sure what to buy for your newborn? We've done the hard work of figuring out the top and, um, bottom performers.

the best and worst nappies pile of nappies
Last updated: 22 June 2021

Need to know

  • The top-scoring product was a well-known nappy brand, but it tied in first place with a cheaper product
  • Several supermarket own-brand nappies also performed very well in our tests
  • The most expensive nappy was also the worst, being out-scored by products that cost less than half the price

If you're a bleary-eyed brand-new parent, the nappy aisle of the supermarket can be overwhelming. It's hard enough just keeping a baby fed and clean on two hours' broken sleep; how are you supposed to decode all the info on the nappy packs and make the right choice for your bundle of joy?

Never fear: we've done all the hard work for you. Here are the five top-scoring newborn nappies from our tests, plus the newborn nappy that took the wooden spoon.

Advice from one parent to another

While you might be a die-hard Huggies fan or a life-long Aldi lover, our experts suggest that you keep an open mind when it comes to choosing which nappy will grace your cherub's bottom. Our tests often reveal some lesser-known superstars that outperform the big brands (and are sometimes cheaper to boot). 

Remember that every baby is different. Just because Karen next door swears by Huggies doesn't mean that they'll be right for your baby. Babies come in all shapes and sizes – and so do their, erm, bodily functions. 

You might need something with excellent absorbency to deal with Junior's over-enthusiastic bladder emptying. Or maybe a nappy with a high back and close-fitting legs will save you if you have a kid whose signature move is the poo-nami. (Like a tsunami but with, well, poo.)

And of course you never know how your baby's delicate skin will react to a particular nappy. Unfortunately this is simply trial and error.

You could be faced with a nappy failure – something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy

Size matters, too: a nappy will fit a baby with gorgeous chubby thighs very differently to one with sweet, skinny little newborn legs. So before you rush out and stock up on enough nappies to last you the entire first six weeks, maybe try a few different brands to find out which one works best for you. 

Our experts have tested 63 nappy products on the market, from newborn right through to junior sizes. Check out our disposable nappy reviews before you hit the shops. 

The best newborn nappies

huggies newborn size 1

Huggies Newborn Size 1

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 88%
  • Absorbency score: 90%
  • Leakage score: 100%
  • Price: $0.25/nappy

The top-scoring newborn nappy in our tests is also one of the more expensive. But if you're prepared to pay a little extra for peace of mind, then these are a great option. 

They received excellent scores for leakage and absorbency, and their adhesive closures are moderately strong. They have a wetness indicator, which can be a boon to brand-new parents who are still learning when to change their newborn's wet nappy. 

Plus, if you want to stock up ahead of Junior's arrival, they come in a pack of 216 which should last you a solid few weeks of regular nappy-changing. 

little ones ultra dry size 1 newborn

Little One's Ultra Dry Size 1 Newborn

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 88%
  • Absorbency score: 84%
  • Leakage score: 100%
  • Price: $0.15/nappy

If you can get past that errant apostrophe in the name, these nappies could be worth a try. They received the same overall score as the more expensive Huggies nappies, and even performed slightly better on the rewet test (a measure of how wet the nappy is five minutes after the absorbency test). 

Unfortunately, though, our experts can't recommend these as they scored only 60% for velcro strength. This means that if your little one is a wriggler or is prone to prolifically filling their nappy, you could be faced with a nappy failure – something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. 

In all other aspects they're a solid performer and they're available through Woolworths so they're great for those late-night emergency nappy runs. 

babylove cosifit nappies newborn

Babylove Cosifit Nappies Newborn

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 87%
  • Absorbency score: 81%
  • Leakage score: 100%
  • Price: $0.27/nappy

At 27c a pop, these are some of the more expensive nappies in the newborn category, but they certainly deliver great performance for the price. 

Our expert testers found that they were very good for absorbency, rewetting and velcro strength, and they didn't leak in our lab tests. 

kmart anko newborn nappies

Kmart Anko Newborn Nappies

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 87%
  • Absorbency score: 84%
  • Leakage score: 100%
  • Price: $0.18/nappy

If you're in Kmart stocking up on extra onesies because you haven't had a chance to wash the 15 other outfits your baby has soiled, grab a pack of the store's newborn nappies. 

They're just 18 cents each but performed as well as (and often better than) more expensive brands. Our testers were impressed with their absorbency, velcro strength and lack of leakage. 

tooshies by tom nappies with organic bamboo newborn size 1

Tooshies by TOM Nappies with Organic Bamboo

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 87%
  • Absorbency score: 84%
  • Leakage score: 100%
  • Price: $0.38/nappy

These nappies scored a perfect 100% for leaks and an excellent 90% for velcro strength, plus a solid score of 74% for their rewetting ability (how damp they are five minutes after being wet). 

They're one of the most expensive newborn nappies we tested, however, so if you're on a budget then these probably aren't for you. They also don't have a wetness indicator so you'll need to be confident in your ability to spot a wet nappy. 

aldi mamia ultra dry size 1 newborn

Aldi Mamia Ultra Dry Size 1 Newborn

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 84%
  • Leakage score: 100%
  • Absorbency score: 74%
  • Price: $0.14/nappy

The cheapest newborn nappies in our test, these were also one of the top performers. They outperformed nappies that cost more than twice the price, and they're suitable for sensitive skin.

There's a risk that if you shop at Aldi while severely sleep-deprived, you could end up coming home with a reciprocating saw or night-vision goggles, but you can probably afford the extra purchases since you'll be saving so much money on nappies! 

The worst newborn nappy

Almost every newborn nappy in our test performed very well, with all but one product receiving a score of 75% or above. 

"75% is still a good score," says Rebecca Ciaramidaro, CHOICE's nappy expert. "For the most part, you can choose a newborn nappy off the shelf and expect very good performance. But check our reviews first."

lovekins premium nappies newborn

Lovekins Premium Nappies Newborn

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 72%
  • Absorbency score: 60%
  • Rewet score: 61%
  • Price: $0.41/nappy

These nappies claim to be super absorbent, but unfortunately that's not what our lab tests found. While they didn't leak per se, they were only OK for absorbency and rewetting (a test of how wet the nappy is five minutes after the absorbency test), and their velcro is weak. 

They're also the most expensive nappies in our newborn nappies test, proving again that price isn't always a good indicator of quality. Unfortunately there's not much to commend these nappies on. 

How we test nappies

We send nappies to be tested in a state-of-the-art laboratory where we test for:

  • Absorption: We measure the amount of time it takes for synthetic urine to disappear into the nappy
  • Leakage: A visual assessment of whether any leaks come out the side of the nappy
  • Rewet: We assess how wet the nappy is five minutes after the absorption test
  • Velcro strength: We measure how strong the nappy's adhesive closure is

Want to know more? Learn about how we test nappies.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.