Dear SafeMama: Disposables edition

By Kristie Turck •  Published 07/14/09 •  3 min read

Dear SafeMama,

How safe are the new Earth’s Best diapers/ new Huggies Pure and Natural diapers?

We get these two questions a lot. I’m pretty much a devout Seventh Generation user when I do use disposables, because they work well for us (and lately, with a newborn, I’ve been using them more, just because getting around to doing more laundry isn’t really happening at this point). As a sidenote, a SafeMama reader wrote in about Seventh Generation going back to using SLS’s in their products. I just want to clarify, that this is only in cleaning products, not diapers.

Anyway, in the interest of research, I thought I would buy a package of both, and put them to the test.

Earth’s Best Chlorine Free Diapers: Truthfully, I was forced to pick these up, becuase the store didn’t have my son’s size in stock. I had read that they were softer than Seventh Generation’s diapers, and that’s probably my only beef with chlorine free diapers, is that they’re not as soft as your standard Pampers and the like. The diapers themselves work pretty well. They’re also very generously sized, to the point of running on the larger size. I have dubbed these the “granny panties” of the diaper world, because they are so large that they go halfway up my son’s back. The other thing that I don’t like, is the giant Earth’s Best label across the front. I’m not one for silly characters, or even a label, plain diapers suffice just fine, but overall, it’s not a huge deal breaker. They work well, and they’re the same price as the other diapers in the same class. Overall, great safer disposable alternative.

Huggies Pure and Natural Diapers: We get a lot of questions about these diapers, and I hate to have to be the one to be the bearer of bad news, but these are not really a natural alternative, but more Huggies greenwashing the public to make them believe. Basically, the outer part of the diaper is made with organic cotton, which is great, but the rest of the diaper is no different than a conventional disposable. They’re bleached with dioxins, and as for the organic cotton outer, there’s no law that mandates exactly how much the product has to be organic in order to label it as such. So the diaper could be made from 100% organic materials, or 10% organic materials. I picked up the newborn size for my daughter in the interest of seeing what the hype was all about, and also because they had a cord cut out (something Seventh Generation doesn’t have). However, greenwashing aside, I found the diaper to be sub par and 99% of the time it leaked. SafeMama gives this diaper a thumbs down.

So what are our top picks for disposables? Seventh Generation, Nature Babycare, Earth’s Best and Tushies. There’s also the little g hybrid diaper, which could be considered disposable, however, they’re a more expensive option.