[REVIEW] The Diaper Challenge – 14 Brands of Small Size Disposable Diapers

Diaper Review All

With my elder son 8 years ago, we were extremely price sensitive when purchasing baby products as we were a young couple that just got married (honeymoon baby) and we were renting a place while waiting for our BTO flat. Our philosophy on diapers at that time: The cheaper the better. We calculated diapers based on PER PIECE price with calculators at the supermarket aisle.
And thankfully, our boy was allergic to expensive brands like Pampers. He had very bad eczema and the doctor’s conclusion then was that Pampers was made of waterproof material and not breathable, trapping moisture and causing the nasty red broken skin (I’m not sure if they’ve improved over the years). After many trips to KKH and loads of different creams, we managed to sooth the raw broken skin and he did very well on cheaper brands like NTUC house brand and Pet Pet thereafter.

With my younger son 4 years ago, we had a bit more money to spare on diapers. We were still price sensitive (habit more likely). We were scared of Pampers due to previous bad experience. And he was mostly on Mamy Poko (MMPK for short) and occasional cheaper brands like NTUC house brand if there are good promotions. However, that fella is a drinking monster! He loves milk and water (after 6 months)! And naturally, his pee volume was over the top. We had to search around for diapers which held better. In our desperate search, we brought in Happy Blossom from Korea.

Now with Meimei (5 months old), we tend to want to splurge a little more on her. “Daddy’s Little Princess” as everyone says.
And we noticed that there are a lot more premium brands available now compared to 4 & 8 years ago. We got some leftover diapers from my grand niece who is 5 months older than Meimei. And we bought some.
We received: Nepia Newborn
Hospital gave: Huggies Newborn
We bought: Goon Newborn, KCA Small & Medium

We asked around for samples for the purpose of this review and got many mummies who gladly sent us diapers (THANK YOU!).

With this review, price is NOT taken into consideration. We’ve evolved to the state of mind that quality for Meimei is more important.

The diapers involved: Merries, Bosomi, Moony, Huggies, Goon (Speedy Dry), Goon, Happy Blossom, Nepia, Mamy Poko, Pet Pet, Drypers, KCA, Onwards, Pureen
All diapers are small size.

THE PROCESS

Process
How was this review done?
1. Mini lab test: 90ml of tinted water was poured into each diaper. A piece of plain paper was placed over the soiled diaper and pressed with a book for 30 seconds. I then squeezed the soiled part hard to test for compression leaks.

  1. Actual usage test: Meimei tried the diapers! Sorry we can’t share the pictures of her in the different diapers as she is very exposed and Ahjussi says that we have to protect her modesty.
  2. Mummy’s checking: I rubbed, and examined all the diapers carefully.

Summary

Summary

The above list is according to how the diapers were arranged when I took an overall photo. No particular order.

Cutting: Meimei tried these diapers when she was around 4 months old at around 6kg. Most small size diapers indicated 3-7kg. Huge refers to those she can still wear at 5 months old (7kg). Average refers to those which were just nice when she was 4 months old. Small refers to those she had to squeeze into at 4 months old.
Huge & Average ones tend to be wider too. The Small ones were really narrow at the private area and you will get paranoid about leaks from the sides (at the thighs).

Side Gathers: Alright. I know. This sounds like some sanitary napkin advertisement. However, THIS IS IMPORTANT! Poo leakages for us happens mostly on the sides. Seems like all brands do come with double side gathers as additional protection now.
Personal preference: Loose side gathers are more comfortable for Meimei. They don’t contribute to more leakages as long as the diaper was taped on well. Average and Tight side gathers caused red marks on her thighs which are not very fatty compared to other babies I’ve met.

Back Gathers: With Monster (my #2), his poop ALWAYS leaked up from the back! With Meimei, it does happen but less often compared to her brother. Some have nice gathers but there were stiff and plastic feeling, a little uncomfy. Some have soft gathers and some don’t even have back gathers.

Urine Indicator: We’ve always heard that girls tend to get UTI easily, thus we have a habit of changing her diapers ON TIME. This may not be very applicable to us but it will be useful to new parents or caregivers.

Thickness: I’ve never wondered if thickness would cause a difference to a baby before having Meimei. However, it seems like the thinner diapers are more breathable. And also, I felt the difference when we babywear her in a Soft Structured Carrier (SSC).

Tape: I’ve always been fussy about the tape as it is not easy putting on diapers for a wriggling baby! And if the tape is the sticky type, my frustration level goes through the roof, especially if I taped wrongly due to her movements and I’m not able to retape = 1 diaper wasted! And sometimes, the tape comes off due to them crawling or squirming around, it may scratch their delicate skin.

Absorption: This is based on what I saw (how fast the water disappeared when I poured 90ml of water) and when I squeeze it thereafter to test for compression leaks.

And the detailed review of each brand…

1 merries .1 merries

Merries: Love the thinness and large cutting. Meimei can continue on small size for now (5 months). Holds urine well but sadly no back gathers. She had a poonami in this while babywearing and yes, we got leakage on the back (probably due to pressure forcing the poo up & out too).
Diaper is also embossed which prevents bunching.
Lowered the rank due to the lack of back gathers which could have prevented poo leakage.

2 bosomi.2 bosomi

Bosomi: Very soft and comfy diapers. Cutting is not as big as Merries but not small like Pureen. It is starting to get a little snug for Meimei now. Great diaper overall but we noticed small strands of hair embedded inside the inner fabric of the diaper in 2 pieces out of the 3 pieces we were given. Holds well but took a while to fully absorb the water I poured.
Diaper is also embossed which prevents bunching.
Lowered the rank due to the hair & it took longer to absorb the water fully.

3 moony.3 moony

Moony: Thin! And really soft. I could rub against my face and enjoy it – I think. Cutting is HUGE. I think Meimei can probably wear this for another month. Only thing is the tape is small (came off easily when she struggled to be freed during diaper change because she wanted to flip).
Diaper is also embossed which prevents bunching.
Placed #1 rank because we will definitely want to buy this if there is promotion.

4 huggies.4 huggies

Huggies: We’ve not considered Huggies at all because we found the cutting really small. But after experiencing poonamis leaking from the back of the diaper, I’m super in love with the additional back guard! It is an extra soft piece of fabric placed on top of the back gathers which further blocks any poo from escaping from the back! ALL DIAPERS SHOULD HAVE THIS! However, the down side is the cutting. Meimei will need medium size instead of small size if we want to use this in future.
Diaper is also embossed which prevents bunching.
Definitely ranked #1 because of the back guard.

5 goon  SD.5 goon speedy dry

Goon (Speed Dry): I’ll be honest. I’ve never heard or seen this version at all! Was very surprised when the nice mummy told me she has this version for Meimei to try. “Speedy Dry” is really a good term to describe this diaper! It really sucks the water very fast and holds well. Cutting is HUGE too! Great for big butt babies. No urine indicator that I can see though. No visible embossing and slight bunching occurred when squeezed.
Lost in ranking due to lack of back gathers which are super important to us for now.

6 goon.6 goon

Goon: How is this different from Goon (Speedy Dry)? In general they are very similar looking. But this has urine indicator. Sadly, no back gathers too! And since we were using this for newborn, we noticed a lot of back leakage due to poonamis. Sometimes she was in the SSC, sometimes she was just playing on her bed/play mat and it still leaks from the back. Absorption for pee wise is great.
Diaper is also embossed which prevents bunching.
Lost in ranking due to lack of back gathers.

7 happy b .7 happy blossom

Happy Blossom: I have to state clearly: We brought in these diapers because we were desperate with #2. When I flew to Korea, I went around getting samples and shamelessly ask in my broken Korean for feedback from Korean mummies I met along the streets. We were pointed to Happy Blossom and we have been bringing in stock ever since then.
The special thing about Happy Blossom other than the common features is that it contains a herb. The herb is called taheebo which is from the Amazon and is traditionally used as an antifungal application and also people who seek alternative treatment for cancer will turn to taheebo as it is said to contain anti-cancer substances.
Diaper is also embossed which prevents bunching.
We love the huge cutting (my 4yo is still wearing XL size for night time). And Meimei is now on this after we finished our stash of bought-on-impulse diapers.

8 nepia .8 nepia

Nepia: Our first encounter with Nepia was the newborn size. It was nice and suited Meimei until her poonamis started! I love the way it is folded into 3 parts instead of the usual folded in half because it makes the size very squarish and easy for us to pack into the diaper bag. Also, the way it is folded makes more space (less skin contact) when put on, probably adding on to Meimei’s comfort.
No visible embossing but didn’t have bunching even after squeezing it hard.
However, it lost in ranking due to lack of back gathers.

9 mmpk .9 mmpk

Mamy Poko (MMPK): We used to love this a lot with #2. However, I’m quite disappointed when I received it. The quality seems to have dropped compared to 4 years ago. The cutting seem to have shrank a bit, it used to be huge but now it is average. I was shocked by the water pouring test too. I had always thought that MMPK absorbs fast. But at least it held well when I squeeze it when loaded with water.
Diaper is embossed, no bunching when squeezed.
Disappointed. Lost in ranking due to no back gathers and cutting was smaller than I imagined.

10 pet pet .10 petpet

Pet Pet: The cheapo in me always loved the thought of buying cheap diapers. However, I’m so glad I did this review. No more cheapies for us unless we are broke for the month. First impression: Wah! So thick! Then during the water pouring test, I literally had to watch it slowly absorb the water. And guess what happened when I squeezed the loaded diaper? Water was dribbling down my hand!
No embossing but bunching wasn’t very obvious.
Probably good for newborn frequent changing (every 1-2h) to save on cost, but if your baby is older and doesn’t poo that often, it might be quite a chore to be cleaning up leaky pee all the time.

11 drypers .11 drypers

Drypers: Similar feedback to Pet Pet but I was stunned that the tape was rough, hard and had a sticky portion. Sticky tapes will hurt baby if they move around and get stuck on their skin instead of the diaper. Thankfully, it’s not as sticky as Pureen’s. You can still remove and reuse if you stuck the tape wrongly or need adjustments to get the right fit. Diaper is not embossed, bunching occurs and you will get leaks from poonamis or sudden streams of pee after the bunching occurs.

12 kca 13 onwards .12 kca .13 onwards

KCA & Onwards: I’ve been told by the promoter that they are manufactured in the same factory in Malaysia but placed under different brands. Onwards is only available at NTUC and KCA at Sheng Siong. Generally, I really can’t tell the difference except that Onwards has licensed characters (Tom & Jerry) printed on the diaper but KCA only has their own design printed. Diaper is not embossed, bunching occurs and you will get leaks from poonamis or sudden streams of pee after the bunching occurs.
We had numerous pee leaks with KCA on Meimei.

14 pureen .14 pureen

Pureen: I don’t know what to think of this diaper to be honest. It probably is 100% cotton and doesn’t have chemical absorbers. Very thick, and you can practically squeeze it dry with 1 hand. The other diapers all had varying amounts of chemical absorbers which hold the urine to prevent compression leaks. But not Pureen. Great for those who wish to not have chemical absorbers but this is really not for me as I need to babywear Meimei daily to commute to work. Diaper is embossed but the bunching was pretty bad due to the swelling upon intake of water. It was really like a loaf of bread between the legs!

*** *** ***

Overall, we will definitely use one of the brands ranked #1. Maybe #2 can be considered if price is factored in.

From my review, you guessed it: I hate poonami leaks. If it happens at home, not an issue as long as bedsheets and sofa are safe. However, it is extremely troublesome if it happens when we are out!
If you are budget conscious, you can try the cheaper range to use at home or use cloth diapers at home and get better quality diapers for outings to minimise spoiling your wonderful (and maybe rare) trip out of the house.

I hope you enjoyed reading my review and this review is helpful for you!
Remember: What works for us may not work for you because every baby is unique and different! Choose what is best for your baby and budget. 🙂

Audrey Wong Profile
Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3 children & Owner of TLO.com.sg

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One thought on “[REVIEW] The Diaper Challenge – 14 Brands of Small Size Disposable Diapers

  1. Michelle | The Chill Mom

    Good list of diapers! I haven’t even heard of a couple of these brands. We use Fitti during the day and Drypers Drynights at you guessed it, at night. Fitti is easy on the pocket and I’m using it on both my children. So far so good. No rashes and so far, very little leaks.

    Like

    Reply

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