It takes a while for potty training to begin and for parents to feel assured that their babies are trained. Until then, they need diapers. Traditional disposable diapers harm the environment and may endanger a newborn's health. There are eco-friendly disposable diapers available today, and they are much better options.
We understand that greenwashing has made a lot of people wary of eco-friendly diapers. So we went ahead to compile a list of diapers you can explore. With some new parents' help and feedback, we’ve found a few trustworthy baby diapers for you.
Cleaning up after your newborn gets messy, but the poo part is the yuckiest part. Over the years, people have used all sorts of things to make the process easier.
Conventional disposable baby diapers seemed the best solution until we learned some unsavory truths. Brands make these diapers from plastic materials, and they are not biodegradable. They are also not reusable or recyclable in any way. Diapers we throw away end up as landfill waste after a single use and stay there for hundreds of years. They contribute to plastic pollution and the exhaustion of non-renewable fossil fuels.
Another issue with disposable diapers is the questionable chemicals found in them. Most disposable diapers promise anti-odor, moisture locking, colorful appearances, and all. Chemicals like dyes, chlorine, phthalates, etc., make these qualities possible. This can endanger your baby's health.
Read more: We have a deeper dive into the environmental impacts of cloth vs. disposable diapers a click away. You might also like our zero-waste baby selection perfect for gifts and our rundown of the best plastic-free baby bottles.
There are no completely natural diapers. But unlike traditional disposable diapers, these eco-friendly disposable diaper brands use safer ingredients and pay attention to biodegradation. Apart from compostable diapers, we also included reusable cloth diapers you'll surely love.
Quick links to our recommendations:
Andy Pandy's disposable diapers are plain white with no prints whatsoever, except for the wetness indicator. The back sheet is made of biodegradable bamboo sheets. Other raw materials include elastic, velcro tape, and adhesive.
This diaper has chlorine-free fluff pulp. It is also free of latex, phthalates, antioxidants, alcohol and preservatives, PVC, and TBT. It uses super absorbent polymers (SAP), which are non-toxic for its absorbent core. Most sustainable disposable diapers have SAP, but it isn't biodegradable.
The best thing for us about Andy Pandy diapers is that they are biodegradable, not wholly, but at least 86.5% is better than nothing. You can compost this diaper at an industrial compost facility. The primary material is everyone's favorite green fabric; bamboo. It keeps the baby's skin dry. The hypoallergenic material and super softness help to resolve diaper rash issues.
Parents who use this diaper love its minimalist design, and the softness is a win for more than a few. The SAP in the diaper means that the diaper holds in more liquid, and you won't have issues with leakage and blowouts. The wetness indicator has been a big help to parents who don't want to risk waking their infant up just to check for wetness.
The biggest issue with Andy Pandy is availability, you can only get it online, and the company seems to run out of stock fast. Also, this diaper tends to run a little bit large for newborns, so you may not enjoy the snuggly and no-leaks advantages.
There’s even a testimonial from Jennifer Lopez (probably paid, but still):
Dyper diapers are entirely white, with not even a tiny print, just a urine indicator. They are very soft and wider than traditional diapers. They also fit high around the waist. Like the other eco-friendly disposable diapers on our list, they have no fragrance or chlorine bleaching. The key material is bamboo viscose, although it contains SAP.
If you prefer cloth diapering, Dyper offers eco-friendly cloth diapers too. The cloth diapers are made with waterproof PUL and bamboo viscose fabrics. Find them here.
This is one of the best eco-friendly diapers. We love Dyper's printless look, as ink use also contributes to the overall waste we generate through a product. The pulp is Standard 100 certified by OEKO TEX, but it isn't clear if they use SAP or not.
Dyper diapers are wider and have leak guards that prevent leaks and blowouts. Parents who have used Dypers have said it was great for overnight use. Not to forget that the diaper has bamboo's hypoallergenic and antibacterial qualities. That means fewer instances of bum rash.
Another reason to like Dyper is that they operate a waste diaper collection service. This allows customers to return their used diapers for composting. Also, the brand offsets the carbon cost on each diaper it ships.
Dyper biodegradable diapers run big compared to most brands. Also, the REDYPER service costs money, and that increases the overall cost of using this diaper.
Earth's Best eco-friendly diapers have an all-natural absorbent core material that is fully biodegradable in an industrial compost facility. The diaper has no fragrance, dyes, latex, or chlorine, but the manufacturers are not very clear on what it does have. The diaper has a pretty simple white look except for the brand stamps across the tapezone.
So more than a few parents said they preferred this diaper brand because it is very absorbent, unlike other natural baby diapers they have tried. It seemed to help with diaper rash significantly. This diaper is free from most chemicals that you worry about, like chlorine or dyes.
The diaper fits quite snuggly and has excellent leak protection. But they tend to run small. So you will probably have to buy a size bigger than you would with other brands. We like that they make the absorbent core with sustainable materials like corn and wheat starch.
The most common complaint about Earth's Best disposable diapers is that they're a bit stiff. Also, the diaper doesn't have a wetness indicator; buy it if you can manage without that.
If your child is allergic to corn or wheat, they may react badly to those ingredients in this diaper. Although it is one of the most popular plant-based diapers, Earth's Best diaper isn't biodegradable in a landfill.
Eco by Naty disposable diapers have a wood pulp and an SAP absorbent core and use mostly bioplastic. They use plant materials like sugar cane, corn, wood cellulose, and cotton. They also use elastic, polypropylene, and Polyethylene terephthalate.
Naty's diapers changed recently from a bulky version to a slimmer type, and the new version is a lot more elastic. The baby diapers come with different cute nature-inspired prints.
The Swedish brand is transparent with its ingredients and processes too. The diaper is partly commercially compostable and comes in renewable plant-based packaging.
Most of the plastic in this diaper is plant-based, and oil-based parts do not touch the baby's skin. This could be why parents who use it don't really deal with diaper rash. That and the generous sizing. We observed that the diaper got wet fast and needed frequent changing but handled poop better.
Parents' most common issue with Eco by Naty is their rather stiff and papery texture. Also, they tend to be unsuitable for newborns because they run a bit large.
This diaper usually doesn't last through the night. Plus, they have no wetness indicator. We don't recommend it for nighttime use. Also, it's not unusual to find faulty tabs.
This disposable diaper was recently redesigned; it is now thinner and comes in new packaging. Bambo Nature diapers are not the most eco-friendly diapers. They have SAP, elastane, and other synthetics like regular diapers. But it has about 30% bio-based material and contains no parabens or fragrances. It has a wetness indicator.
They manufacture the diapers in a factory powered by wind energy, which helps to reduce carbon footprint. Also, the brand just switched to recycled, FSC-approved, recyclable paper packaging. But since it's a pretty recent change, if you order from any website apart from their official website, you might get the regular plastic packaging.
Bambo Nature diapers have totally chlorine-free (TCF) fluff pulp and no harmful chemicals. We didn't get many reports of diaper rash or allergies. They are so soft and fit comfortably on newborn and growing infants. The diaper is thin but has a wide waist area; they make moving around and playing easier for kids.
Bambo Nature diapers are not the most absorbent, and we don’t think you should use them at night time. Except if you don't mind waking up to change frequently, but the wetness indicator helps.
Another issue with this diaper is its low biodegradability. The organic materials (which is only about 30%) will decay, but it has plastics in them that won't.
This disposable diaper is plain white except for the brand name printed across the tapezone and the wetness indicator strip. The major material is bamboo which is certified by the FSC. The sheets and absorbent core are all bamboo-based.
They do not use chemicals like alcohol, chlorine, or fragrances. Recently, they switched from plastic packaging to paper, so you'll find the pack has changed, but the quality remained the same.
Eco Pea is one of the best eco-friendly diapers. Over 85% of the diaper material is organic and biodegradable. The key material is sustainable and chemical-free bamboo. The new paper bag packaging is compostable in your backyard heap. Their carbon-neutral shipping is a plus point.
Its bamboo origin lends it antibacterial and hypoallergenic qualities. The parents who used it say the diaper is great on sensitive baby skin, with no rashes, itches, or allergies. The diaper is soft and super absorbent as it uses SAP along with the bamboo fluff. Folks who used it say it's great for overnight use and will handle baby poop just fine.
Eco Pea Co diaper is a little expensive, but it still costs less than some other biodegradable diapers. You can get 20% off by subscribing. You can subscribe to almost any eco-friendly diaper on our list.
Ecoriginals diaper is very simple looking; it's all white except for the brand stamps on the front. The diapers are pretty high-waisted. The back sheet is made from cotton, and the top sheet is made from cornstarch.
The company says it uses a unique plant cell technology to improve diaper absorbency. The absorbent core has SAP and wood pulp. There wasn't any fragrance detected in the sample we got. The diaper is free of chlorine bleaching.
Ecoriginals' diapers deliver on their promise of biodegradability. About 90% of the diaper is plant-based, and that part of the diaper is biodegradable. You shouldn't try to decompose it at home; send it to a composting facility. What you can compost at home is the paper and cornstarch package the diaper comes in.
The diaper is thick, but some parents didn't mind because it feels soft and cushiony. The absorption rate is fast and high. It didn't irritate kids with sensitive skin that were not originally allergic to cornstarch.
Ecoriginals promise to take out 25 plastic bottles from the ocean every time you make an order for diapers.
Some kids are allergic to cornstarch, so they won't be able to use Ecoriginals diapers. The tabs get loose easily, so keeping them on perfectly is not easy. Perhaps that's why we got some leakage reports.
Also, Ecoriginals claim to be plastic neutral doesn't mean the diaper is 100% plastic free. It just means they plant trees and recycle plastic to offset their plastic use - which is still very much a win over traditional disposable diapers.
Nest sustainable diapers are thin and lightweight. They are white with a rainbow-like design and the Nest logo on the front tape zone. The diaper has a wetness indicator.
They use TCF fluff wood pulp and SAP for the absorbent core. Other materials include bamboo fabric and cane. There are no fragrances, latex, bleach, lotions, or parabens. The Nest Diaper bag is made of paper and oriented polypropylene (OPP).
Let's start with the recyclable packaging and the Oeko-tex 100 standard diaper materials. The baby diapers are also certified as 62.2% biodegradable by the SGS. It will decompose in a landfill easily and quickly.
Nest eco diapers are soft and easy on the baby's skin. They don't cause diaper rash or stick to the skin when wet. They absorb a high volume of pee, and you can always tell it's time for a change with the wetness indicator. The diaper scored high points for fitting snugly without causing redness around the thighs or waist.
Some parents have said they found Nest diapers run small, and that has caused minor leaks and blowouts. Sizing up can solve this issue. Other people have stated that they prefer the former thick and fluffy version of Nest diapers to the present slim version.
Parasol diapers are ultra-thin and very lightweight. This super slim design replaced a thicker one. They have a larger elastic waistband at the back than most other diapers. The inner lining is embossed, so it looks pretty luxurious.
The diaper has a wetness strip and contains SPA. The brand maintains its style of splashing lots of green grey prints on its white diapers.
Parasol has been called the yoga pants of diapers, and that's because of how snuggly they fit. Plus, they seem super flexible and don't seem to bother kids who are super active and running around playing. Parasol diapers are super soft, and the textured inner lining adds extra comfort.
The manufacturers use wood pulp from sustainable forests and avoid harmful chemicals. They use water-based inks for all their prints, and that's great because their diapers have a lot of cute prints. The diaper bag is recycled and designed to be reusable.
For a lot of parents that choose Parasol diapers, the rash-free bum of their kids is a determining factor. The brand claims it uses a special medical grade fabric "rash shield" to prevent diaper rash.
Parasol has a good performance reputation but not enough green qualifications. The pulp and recycled plastic bags are where it ends. Also, many parents who were used to the old thicker design have found it hard to get used to the new one. They found they had to size up to get the right fit with the new design.
Momgaroo's cloth diapers or nappies have a waterproof outer layer and a suede cloth inner layer. They have double rows of snaps around the waist and come in one size fits all designs. You get to choose what type of inserts you want. The options are hemp or bamboo charcoal fabrics. They are not disposable inserts.
Cloth diapers are washable and reusable. The back sheet is waterproof, and the top sheet is soft and cozy on the baby's sensitive skin. It's one size fits all, so parents get to save money even as their child grows.
We love that this cloth diaper is handmade, which means less environmental impact than its disposable counterparts. The cloth inserts are made from hemp or charcoal bamboo. It's a plus that Momgaroo has such friendly customer service.
You'll have to do a lot of laundry with cloth diapers. That's tons of wastewater and detergent entering the environment. The fabrics used except for the inserts are synthetics, so we also have a microplastics issue.
Nurture diapers are completely print-free, and they are all white. They have a wetness indicator that will change color when wet, though. They are longer than most other diapers and semi-soft. The diapers contain plastics, but some, like Polylactic Acid and Polyurethane, are biodegradable because they are biobased.
Nurture diapers are produced in a factory that runs on wind power. The diapers are commercially compostable, and the company partners with the EarthBaby diaper service system for that purpose. You can compost the diaper bag with the used diapers as well.
The Nurture brand does well by being transparent with its ingredients which helped us understand that the diaper couldn't be 100% compostable. The diaper is also quite long; depending on how your kid likes it, it may be a pro or a con. The diapers are not luxuriously soft but seem to have good absorbent capacity. It has SAP in it, so little wonder.
Of course, not every element in Nurture diapers is biodegradable. The company makes it clear that their composting partner landfills all the non-biodegradables. The diapers get rather squishy when wet, and that's not very comfortable for most babies. You'll want to change it often.
If you are searching for eco-friendly diapering options, this list is sure to be a big help, especially if you are looking for eco-friendly disposable diapers or even cloth diapers.
There is no totally eco-friendly diaper. The best environmentally friendly diapers are those that use sustainable materials, have eco-friendly packaging, and are somewhat biodegradable.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.