UPDATED 07 APRIL 2020
Despite its longstanding popularity in Australia, Huggies is not the best nappies for newborns. It is quite pricey for a supermarket brand, its performance is very average, and it is not biodegradable for the eco-conscious mums.
There is a surprising number of alternative nappy brands available to Aussie mums, including an international bestselling newborn nappy and several eco-friendly options if you want disposable nappies that are biodegradable.
In this comparison article, I analyse all the nappy brands available in Australia. I delve into the costs, ratings and features of two types of nappies – supermarket brands and eco-friendly brands – to determine which nappies are the best for newborns.
Newborn Nappies – Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my baby be in newborn nappies?
The newborn phase is generally three months, but when it comes to nappies, it’s best to go by weight rather than age. Most brands with newborn nappies are for babies up to 5kg, but there are some that specifically for 4-6kg.
As such, how long your baby will require newborn nappies will depend on how quickly they gain weight and how long it takes them to exceed the maximum weight recommendation for that particular brand.
As a general rule, though, if you’re trying to work out a budget, it’s safe to assume you’ll need at least three months worth of newborn nappies. Most newborns can use up to 12 nappies a day, so over their newborn phase, you should budget for roughly 1,080 newborn nappies.
It’s definitely not a small figure, which is why the cost comparison in this article is significant. Based on the cheapest and most expensive brands out there, you could be looking at a total difference of almost $600 over three months!
Are newborn nappies unisex?
Yes, most if not all newborn nappies are unisex, both in terms of print design as well as the fitting and layer composition. Bigger sizes, however, catering for crawlers and toddlers tend to be gender-specific, with boys’ nappies having greater absorbency at the front, and the girls’ more concentrated in the middle and back.
What size are newborn nappies?
Newborn nappies are usually labelled as Size 1. Some brands will offer premmie nappies as Size 0.
What are some common nappy problems?
The two most common issues parents experience with nappies are leakages from the sides and back, and also nappy rash or redness.
Nappy leakages can be caused by many reasons including:
- Incorrect use of nappies – Taping it up too loose, misaligned, or forgetting to flip out the leak guard can all result in leakages.
- Unsuitable fitting – Every baby is different, so it will take trial and error to find a nappy with a contour and cutting that perfectly wraps around your baby’s bum and thighs.
- Sizing too large or too small – Both cases can cause leakages, although in most cases people have found that sizing up usually solves leaking problems.
Nappy rash and redness is also fairly common, and has a few contributing factors:
- Sensitive skin – If the baby has eczema or naturally sensitive skin, they might will require nappies that are more breathable and natural.
- Having nappies on for too long – Unlike older babies who can sometimes go half a day without changing their nappies, newborns require frequent changing of nappies, even if it’s only a small wee because wet nappies create a lot of warm moisture around their sensitive area which can lead to skin reactions.
Price Comparison & Rating
For this comparison, I have included links to the cheapest available option I found, which may not necessarily be a mainstream supermarket. In most cases, bulk buying offers significant savings.
To keep the results fair and consistent, I have sourced all review ratings only from ProductReview.com.au, the largest review site in Australia. I generally also like to calculate the percentage of 5-star ratings. I believe this is a more accurate representation of how good a product is, rather than looking at the poorer reviews.
Unsatisfied customers tend to rate differently and irrationally (e.g. a leaking nappy might cause some people to give 1-star, while others might give 3-stars), whereas people who rate 5-stars are consistently 100% satisfied, so their feedback is more accurate.
|Brand||Lowest Unit Price||Rating on ProductReview|
|Huggies Ultimate Nappies Newborn Size 1||$0.25 on Amazon AU||Overall 2.8
5 stars - 33%
|Woolworths Little Ones Newborn Nappies||$0.16 at Woolworths||Overall 3.1
5 stars - 33%
|Babylove Cosifit Bulk Nappies Newborn||$0.26 at Coles||Overall 3.9
5 stars - 57%
|Mamia Unisex Newborn Nappies||$0.14 at ALDI||Overall 3.6
5 stars - 35%
|Coles CUB Unisex Ultra Dry Newborn Nappies||$0.17 at Coles||Overall 2.7
5 stars - 28%
|Pampers Premium Protection Newborn (aka Pampers Baby Dry)||$0.39 on Amazon AU||Overall 4.2
5 stars - 62%
|Brand||Lowest Unit Price||Rating on ProductReview|
|Rascal & Friends Unisex Premium Newborn Nappies||$0.26 at Coles||Overall 3.5
5 stars - 56%
|Tooshies By Tom Newborn Nappy||$0.39 at Coles||Overall 4.0
5 stars - 61%
|Ecoriginals Nappies Newborn Plus||$0.52 at Hello Charlie||Overall 4.5
5 stars - 73%
|Moltex Eco Nappies Newborn||$0.66 at Hello Charlie||(Previously Moltex Oko - discontinued)
5 stars - 68%
|Bambo Nature Eco Nappies Newborn||$0.59 at Hello Charlie||Overall 4.4
5 stars - 70%
|Thank You Nappies Little Dreamer||$0.26 on Amazon AU||Overall 3.6
5 stars - 43%
Newborn Nappies – Supermarket Brands
- Has wetness indicator
- Endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives
- Despite its brand and reputation, it doesn’t have a significant advantage over other brands
Huggies is one of the biggest and bestselling brands in Australia, but unsatisfied customer reviews seem to agree that it is overpriced for what it offers. Some of the drawbacks include leakage and baby skin problems, including rash and blisters.
Huggies have also gone through a few redesigns of their nappy packaging in recent years, and earlier this year faced controversial news with “exploding nappies”.
It was also announced that Huggies nappies will no longer be manufactured in Australia, with its factory shutting by end of July 2019 and all operations moving to Asia. Only time will tell if this restructuring will affect the quality and production of their nappies.
- Woolworths home brand
- Unisex design
- Second cheapest supermarket brand
Despite having only an overall rating of 3.4, Little Ones has a good 62% of 5 stars rating, the highest among all the supermarket brands. Its price of $0.16 per piece also places it as the second cheapest supermarket brand, after Aldi’s Mamia.
Considering it is a home brand, which is known to be economical, it’s a decent choice. I personally used both Little Ones and Huggies newborn nappies, and I did find that Little Ones tend to leak a bit more than Huggies. Huggies is also a lot softer and more absorbent.
- Has wetness indicator*
- General feedback indicates less skin rash and redness than Huggies, but more leakage
- Supporting partner of Miracle Babies Foundation, for premature and sick newborns
- Free sample available
*Some Amazon reviews complain that the wetness indicator is not available on size 3 and up, but this is true of all brands. It is uncommon to find wetness indicator for larger nappy sizes in any brand.
Although a brand commonly found in supermarkets locally in Australia, Babylove is, in fact, a subsidiary brand of Japanese corporation Unicharm, which specialises in disposable hygiene products for babies and females.
Despite often seen as a cheaper alternative to Huggies, my own search for the lowest price has shown that Babylove ($0.26 per piece at Coles) is in fact slightly more expensive than Huggies ($0.25 per piece on Amazon AU).
- Coles home brand, previously branded as Comfy Bots
- Second cheapest disposable newborn nappy available
- Prone to leakage
Prior to being rebranded as CUB, the Comfy Bots range seemed to receive better feedback from mums. Most of the negative reviews for CUB are from customers who used to buy Comfy Bots and are now frustrated with the poor quality after the redesign.
Personally, I have never used their newborn ones, but I am currently using their Walker for my 2-year-old and was previously using their Junior nappy for my 4-year-old. My only reason is their economical pricing, but given the low pricing, I wasn’t surprised to find that the nappies do feel very stiff and uncomfortable.
My boys didn’t seem to mind though, the comfort of the nappy didn’t bother them. They did have a few leaks overnight, but since it wasn’t an every day or weekly occurrence, I felt it was worth it for the savings it brought us.
- Partner of Tresillian
- 2019 Winner of Canstar Blue Best Disposable Nappies
- Triple-layer core for greater absorbency
- Most affordable brand on the list
The home brand of supermarket Aldi, Mamia is another popular choice for newborn nappies amongst local mums in Australia. Although not highly rated on ProductReview, it is the winner of Canstar Blue in 2019 for best disposable nappies, according to a survey of 1,200 local families.
A significant number of negative feedback on Huggies newborn nappies referred to Aldi’s Mamia as being better in terms of what it offered for its price.
- 2020 Bronze Winner of Mother & Baby Award – ‘Best Performance Disposable Nappy’
- “Amazon’s Choice” product for newborn nappies
- Highest rated disposable nappy (4.2 on ProductReview)
- Bestselling American brand in the UK, Europe and Asia
- Three absorbing layers
- Contoured front to fit below the belly button
Pampers is an internationally bestselling brand that hasn’t quite made a name for itself in Australia. Available for the lowest price on Amazon AU, customer reviews indicate that Pampers nappies are thinner but more absorbent than Huggies. They are also slightly longer at the back, which aids in keeping poo explosions contained.
This brand also has the highest percentage of 5-stars rating on ProductReview, with whooping 62% of reviews giving 5-stars, as compared to Huggies (33%) and Babylove (57%).
Biodegradable Newborn Nappies – Eco-friendly Brands
- 100% NZ owned & designed
- Prints on nappies are made with water-based eco inks
Technically, Rascal & Friends isn’t as eco-friendly as the other brands listed below. It is non-biodegradable, but because they use water-based eco inks for the prints on the nappies, I’ve decided to list them in this section.
Although it is the most affordable eco disposable nappy on this list, it is the lowest rated on ProductReview. Despite its claim of having no nasties and designed to prevent rash that often happens with eczema babies, customer feedback has reflected that it does not, in fact, do the job.
From leakages to blisters, it appears Rascal & Friends nappies have the same problem as Huggies. I have personally used their Infant size, and to be very honest, it’s one of the worst nappy designs I’ve seen.
The Infant size is listed as suitable for 4-8kg, but the cuffs are extremely tight around the thighs even for my 6kg baby. The waistline has little to no elasticity, and the same goes for the thigh cuffs. You can hear the sticky tabs stretching and peeling off as my baby bends his legs.
- 100% Australia owned & designed
- Founded by an Aussie mum
- Made from hypoallergenic plant-based materials
One of the few eco-friendly options that are readily available at local supermarket Coles, Tooshies By Tom is an Australian brand that has been well received by mums across the nation.
Some of the more common positive reviews include sustainability, great balance between convenience and environmental impact, and no leaks.
- Highest rated 5-star brand on the list
- Australia designed
- Only suitable from 4kg up (roughly 2-4 weeks postpartum) – Newborn size (birth-4kg) coming soon
- Made from 80% plant-based ingredients
- Zero nasties
- Compostable packaging (world first!) which takes only 90 days to biodegrade
A fairly new kid on the block, Ecoriginals was launched in December 2013 by Byron Bay (NSW) Aussie parents – Lachlan and Lisa – after 2.5 years of research, design, and testing.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Ecoriginals nappies is that not only does it have a whopping 83% of 5-stars review, but it also has yet to receive a single 1-star review on ProductReview.
Granted, it doesn’t have many reviews at the moment, but the percentage of 5-star ratings is definitely something to note for now. If you’re looking for a truly eco-friendly disposable nappy, this would be my top pick.
- World’s first eco nappy, German engineered
- Awarded ‘Mumsnet Best’ Award for 2013
- 100% biodegradable outer lining, 40% biodegradable inner lining with 100% FSC certified wood pulp
- Comfort recess for newborn umbilical cord
- Reducing carbon footprint with ‘carbon neutral’s’ Plant-a-Tree program
- Sponsoring ‘Trees for Life’ Australian native bushland regeneration program
Although not an Australian brand, Germany-based Moltex has been doing great things for our local environment with its carbon-neutral production process and donations towards ‘Tree For Life’, which aims to revive and protect Australian bushland, farmland and urban terrain.
It claims to be the world’s first eco nappy, free of fragrances and natural latex. As an organisation, they also seem to be making a conscious effort to minimise their environmental impact, right through their manufacturing and marketing.
According to their website:
The pallets used for the nappies are made from recycled woodchip and are sent to the local tip for recycling. Wherever possible we use recycled paper/card for all our printing.
- Made in Denmark, Nordic Swan Eco Label
- Lower eco footprint guaranteed
- No nasty chemicals
- 100% recyclable packaging
- Made with FSC wood pulp
Bambo Nature is comparable to Ecoriginals and Moltex in terms of both pricing and ratings. However, it is the only brand on this list that is an independently certified eco-label and truly cares about the cradle-to-grave life cycle of its nappies.
While other eco nappies focus mainly on disposal, Bambo Nature also looks at its raw materials and manufacturing process to reduce its eco-footprint. They were featured as a top eco disposable nappy in the Herald Sun back in 2010, beating Moltex.
- “Amazon’s Choice” – awarded to highly rated and well-priced products
- 100% profit donated to ending poverty globally
- Designed by Thank You, an Australian social enterprise
Similar to Rascal & Friends, Thank You newborn nappies aren’t strictly eco-friendly. They do use sustainable sourcing for their wood pulp and are free from chlorine, latex, fragrances, metals and lead, but they’re not biodegradable or compostable.
As a social enterprise, the Thank You company exists 100% for the purpose of ending global poverty, which means 100% of their profits are donated to their global partners (such as Unicef and World Vision) for sustainable projects.
Conclusion – The Best Newborn Nappies
Cheapest newborn nappies – ALDI Mamia
If cost is an important factor in your decision making, ALDI’s Mamia nappy range is the most economical option on the market. Although its general feedback isn’t top of the line, it’s not the worst either. At just 14 cents per piece, it’s not a bad choice for those with a limited budget.
Best supermarket brand – Pampers
Despite being the most expensive supermarket brand, Pampers is the award-winning people’s choice with 5-star ratings outstripping its supermarket rivals. It has consistently proven its quality with great customer reviews that outshine even some eco-friendly brands.
Best eco-friendly nappies – Ecoriginals
Although one of the most expensive brands, Ecoriginals ticks all the boxes for most Australian mums – it is an eco-friendly local brand, produced ethically and sustainably with zero nasties, and highly comfortable and absorbent. It is the highest rated on ProductReview (with a rating of 4.5) and has yet to receive a 1-star rating for its Newborn Plus sizing.
Best overall nappies – Tooshies by Tom
For the best of everything, Tooshies by Tom is a competitively priced option (only slightly more expensive than Huggies and Babylove). It is also eco-friendly with a fairly decent rating of 4.0 on ProductReview. So for those who want to find a balance between price, quality, and environmental impact, Tooshies by Tom is the best choice.