Individual Retail: $13.95 [22- to 40-ct pack, depending on size (price per diaper increases with size)]
Bundle via Honest.com: $79.95 [Six packs of diapers + four packs of 72-ct wipes (breaks down to $13.33 per pack, but wipes are essentially free and shipping is included); interchangeable sizes, patterns, and daytime and nighttime options available within each bundle.]
Manufacturer Description: Our super-absorbent, eco-friendly* diapers — made with plant-derived and sustainable materials* — are ultra-soft, hypoallergenic, made without chlorine processing and additives (like synthetic fragrances, lotions, and latex). Oh, and did we mention how adorable they are?
*made without: chlorine processing, latex, lotions, fragrances, optical brighteners, or organotins (MBT, DBT, TBT)
Why This Sh!t Worked For Us
Girl crush on Jessica Alba aside, I decided to commit to Honest diapers after thumbing through a September 2016 issue of Allure magazine while standing on a CVS Pharmacy prescription pick-up line just before Sydney was born. Without price comparisons or trial runs with any other diaper brands, one quote from the cover story solidified my decision to enroll in Honest’s online Diaper Bundle membership:
“Everything is a chemical. Water is a chemical. I’m not against chemicals. I care about human health, and I want whatever is safest and healthiest. Some people can have very extreme points of view. I created the Honest Company because I’m not extreme. I couldn’t identify with people who wanted to do everything completely 100 percent from nature. I don’t have a garden growing my own organic fruits and vegetables. I don’t have an organic farm where I’m raising my own livestock. That’s not my reality. So I want the best options that work for me without me feeling like I want to compromise on health or safety. Honest is about that happy medium, and not extreme.”
Alba’s opinion — articulated in response to an apparent misconception that she is an environmental absolutist who thinks all chemicals are evil — was so closely aligned with the philosophy I hoped to embrace in our household, I admittedly did very little additional diaper brand research. And by “very little additional research,” I mean that I did nothing more than unenthusiastically ask around. When products from the Honest cleaning collection were awarded the Good Housekeeping Seal, it reinforced my decision to support the brand, and I slowly began replacing our household cleaners and detergents with Honest products as the time came to restock.
Sh!t We Like
Though we have no point of reference, the overall quality of Honest diapers — in our opinion — is quite good. We cannot claim that we’ve never had a diaper blow-out or a leak; however, we can attest that any of our malfunctions are likely attributable to user error (occasional crooked placement), prolonged wear (unfortunate occasions in which we fail to change Sydney’s diaper with the necessary frequency), or outgrowth (with subsequent notice provided in multiple successions of wet or soiled attire).
There are parents who have performed comprehensive diaper performance and pricing checks; I’ve read that Honest is on the higher end of the cost spectrum, but their spectrum for quality is largely up for debate. Those parents — some of whom have gone on to create extremely thorough websites, such as Babylist (highly recommends Honest) and Lucie’s List (less impressed with Honest) — can provide more informed recommendations based on brand comparisons and costs, but for us (read: me; Carlyle participated less in this decision), the mission statement of the Honest Company was our (my) ultimate determining factor.
Via Honest’s app or website, our Diaper Bundle can be scheduled to arrive in increments of 3, 4, 5 or six weeks. In the retailer push to keep up with Amazon, this is not a unique service since a lot of companies are now providing free delivery and returns. Similar to Amazon’s Subscribe-and-Save, recurrent deliveries can be flexibly managed via their app or website. An Essentials Bundle of five beauty and household products can also be created and maintained digitally. Like the Diaper Bundle, three add-on items can be included at a 25% discount. When purchasing items à la carte, there is a $50-minimum to qualify for free shipping.
Honest’s bundle shipment dates can be adjusted without penalty. Subscribers will receive an email or push notification to remind them of upcoming shipment dates; however, on the rare occasion that a box was delivered before we were ready or we realized that we needed a larger diaper size, we were provided with stellar customer service bar none. Returns are free and painless. For those living in a confined city space without a private vehicle, bulk purchases — while economical — pose challenging transportation and storage solutions. Like many New Yorkers, a steady delivery service of regularly-utilized items is helpful for our family when it comes to convenience and limited space.
The available patterns on Honest diapers — some of which change seasonally — mean the least to us, but I will admit that they are cuter than I anticipated — particularly since we allow Sydney to spend many hours a day in just a diaper. Within the safety and comfort of our own home, we subscribe to what a mama-friend calls the Motherland Philosophy. It’s based on alleged research that too much clothing and constantly covering baby and toddler feet with socks and one-piece footies might be a contributor to the increasing diagnosis of childhood sensory issues. I say “alleged” because I’ve never actually seen the data and do not know who funded any related studies (the first question I often ask when “science” is referenced); however, what my mama-friend calls the Motherland Philosophy is aligned with (again, alleged) science-supported advice handed out by Elliott Cortez, Ph.D., a child psychologist, former gymnast (see #ElliottsClasses), and baby guru of the Upper West Side. I simply liked the concept and trusted both my mama-friend and Cortez enough to accept it without diving into medical journals. [RETURNING FROM DIGRESSION] The images and colors on Honest diapers are crisp and clear; not faded like some other brands. If this is something that might bring you joy in the frequent monotony of motherhood, add their vibrant diapers to your stash.
Sh!t We Don’t Like
We have to be honest (har-har), we don’t love Honest’s baby wipes. Click here to read our full review, the alternative sh!t that worked for us, and how we believe we were able to avoid diaper rash for over 14 months.
It’s worth noting that the cost per pack of diapers, from newborn through size 6, is static — presumably for consistency in the recurring bundle pricing. However, whether bought individually or as a bundle, the cost per diaper increases with the sizes since the quantity enclosed in each pack lessens as the size goes up.
Sh!t Others Like
Because the baby product industry is saturated with a plethora of diaper brands, I asked a few mama friends to weigh in on the “urine-and-feces-containment attire” — whether cloth or disposable — that have best met their needs. Since I chose Honest based on a quote in a magazine, I’ve compiled additional quotes from other mothers, who have one or more kiddos currently in diapers. You’ll find their responses below, listed in order of receipt:
“We use Honest until they are mobile, and then we switch to Huggies Little Movers and Pampers Overnight Diapers. The Honest diapers started leaking when Lennox started moving/got bigger, if I recall correctly. Locke is still in Honest.”
– Deirdre Maloney, mama of Lennox and Locke
“I’m Honest with you [oh, puns]. I shopped around but wasn’t a fan of any others. We did like up & up though. In Pampers, she would pee though, and in Huggies, I didn’t like the waistband.”
– Jill Martin, mama of Anna
“We also like up & up and Pampers, but Zolan would pee through them as well. We realized that Huggies were a lifesaver and worked for us! I also love Seventh Generation; we used them on our trip to California.”
– Karina Beauford, mama of Zolan
“I used GroVia cloth diapers for the newborn stage, but since then, I have used different disposables. I don’t like that the next size in cloth is too big on him, so I’m waiting until he gets bigger. I’ve tried Seventh Generation, Bamboo, Honest, Aiden+Anais, 365 Everyday Value and Pampers. Pampers are super soft and work well, but I try to be more natural and eco-friendly, so after I went through what we received as gifts, I didn’t buy any more. The Aiden+Anais are so soft and super cute; they’re my favorite so far. But I was happy with Seventh Generation; that’s my husband’s fave. The Bamboo were the most expensive, and we did not like Honest. [The latter] are not soft at all and not worth the price to me. It’s also interesting to see that different diapers fit/work better depending on your baby’s size. And boys-versus-girls because boys have hoses that spray pee everywhere. My girlfriend has two girls and swears by Honest; my friend with a boy hated them. Has anyone tried Babyganics diapers?”
– Rachel Nicks Lyons, mama of Samual
“We used Pampers Swaddles up to size 2, and then found that the way Ellie was sleeping in the size 3 didn’t work as well. We’ve had success with Honest diapers ever since, including their Overnights! Also, I would look into Aden+Anais; they just launched a line of diapers, and I’ve heard good things.”
– Nicole Becker, mama of Eliana (and soon-to-be-a-second in diapers)
“The best (day and night!): Seventh Generation. And Honest and Huggies work, too. Not so bad: Pampers, Kirkland Signature Supreme and up & up. We alternate between diaper brands, depending on what store we are at and if there’s a sale.”
– Laura Brown, mama of Bianca, Vivian, Angela and William (three in diapers, including a set of twins!)
“Seventh Generation! They’re non-toxic, but we needed overnights (and use Honest) starting at 20 months. Also — just a note — Alex loves her ‘sheep diapers’ (the pattern on Honest Overnight Diapers), which helps when she doesn’t really want to put a diaper on. We started with the Pampers [as a newborn] because of the pee strip, which was so helpful. I did miss that when we made the switch to Seventh Generation. Also, we wanted to go with Honest, but couldn’t really justify the price point for a throwaway item.”
– Denise Posnak Gaffney, mama of Alexandra
“We used Pampers Baby-Dry from day one and we really like them [until we left New York. After moving back to] Germany, I tried different brands, but none stay as dry as [the Pampers]. They also come with cute designs. I bought them with an Amazon Abo in jumbo packages. I loved the smell of the U.S. ones; they smell like newborn babies. The German ones smell different. I know mums who use them at night, so that they don’t have to change their babies and wake them up (especially the very little ones) and then use different brands during the day. In Germany, they are much more expensive than other brands.”
– Dany Strum, mama of Klara and Paula (both in diapers)
“I initially began with Pampers because that’s what the other mothers I knew used. In Haiti, the word pampers has evolved to literally mean diapers. I used them for the first few months until I discovered Honest. It felt good to use a product focused on safety and being natural. I used them for a few months until I got into a bit of a squabble with Honest’s customer service reps about their unfair billing practices. I had mistakenly purchased two product bundles instead of the diaper bundle, and I had used one of those introductory 50%-off coupons. When I realized that I had inadvertently purchased the Essentials Bundle instead of the diaper subscription, I immediately called to make the change and they refused to apply the 50% discount to the amended order. After some back-and-forth via email, I was over them. It was very shortsighted on their part, if you ask me. I reluctantly switched back to Pampers for about a year. Then the boys ran out of diapers at daycare one day and came home with Huggies; I was sold. I now like those best for an active baby.”
– Marie Francois-Brice, mama of Ethan and Elias (twins in diapers)
Composing this blog post has piqued my interest in Nature Babycare, Babyganics and Seventh Generation Free & Clear. Perhaps STWFU reviews about those brands will soon follow. What are your favorite diapers and why?