Each style of diaper has a different range of features, so it can be challenging to know which one is right for you and your baby. We’ve combined our bum-changing experience with that of multiple online reviews and interviews to help you choose.
Here we take a look at Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry, sharing with you the pros and cons of each and recommending which diaper is suitable for which circumstance. Hopefully, this will save you the time and money involved in trying multiple types of diapers.
|Product||Pampers Swaddlers||Pampers Baby Dry|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Best||Best For Sensitive Skin||Best Bang For Your Buck|
|Size range||8 sizes from newborn to 7||10 sizes from preemie to 7|
|Preemie sizes||N/A||P3: <1.8lbs, P2: <4lbs, P1: <6lbs|
|Smallest standard size||<10 lbs||<10 lbs|
|Largest standard size||7: 41+ lbs.||6: 35+ lbs|
|Wear time||Up to 12 hours||Up to 12 hours|
|Umbilical cord notch||Sizes N–2||N/A|
What are the similarities and differences between Pampers Baby Dry and Swaddlers, and which one is the better diaper?
Best For Sensitive Skin
Pampers Swaddlers have a slightly stiff yet snug, fitted feel to them, which fans claim gives a better fit than Baby Dry. The soft BreatheFree Liner is unique to Swaddlers and wicks moisture away from your baby’s sensitive skin, minimizing the risk of irritation and diaper rash.
Standard Swaddlers start with a size N for newborns and babies under 10lbs. Sizes N to 2 come with an umbilical cord notch to ensure your baby’s cord stump is not irritated by the diaper’s waistband.
All sizes of Swaddlers come with a wetness indicator. This is a ph-sensitive strip that changes color, letting you know when it’s time for a diaper change.
The flexible fit is complemented by a disposal tape and polypropylene closure system. But the downside to the soft tape is that it is slightly more prone to ripping away from the diaper than Baby Dry’s closure.
- Umbilical cord notch in sizes N to 2.
- Wetness indicator on all sizes.
- Sizes range from <10 lbs to size 7 or 41+ lbs.
- They are independently certified by the Skin Health Alliance.
- Soft, quilted BreatheFree liner.
- More expensive per diaper.
- Hold less liquid than Baby Dry.
- Closure tabs can rip.
|Size range||8 sizes from newborn to 7|
|Smallest standard size||N: <10 lbs|
|Largest standard size||7: 41+ lbs.|
|Wear time||Up to 12 hours|
|Umbilical cord notch||Sizes N–2|
Pampers Baby Dry
Best Bang For Your Buck
Pampers Baby Dry diapers contain three layers of absorbency and a trio of airflow channels designed to keep your little one comfortable through the night.
The flexible closure tabs are made with a polypropylene and stretch film fastening system, meaning they are stronger than those on the Swaddlers while remaining soft enough to bend and twist with your little wriggler.
The layer closest to your baby’s skin contains a skin-protecting lotion made from cleansers and the same ingredients used in lip balms (1).
- Three layers of absorbency plus a unique three-channel airflow design.
- Holds more fluid than Pampers Swaddlers.
- Flexible tabs are comfortable yet strong.
- Wetness indicator only available on sizes N to 3.
- Not as soft as Swaddlers.
|Number of sizes||10 sizes from preemie to 7|
|Preemie sizes||P3: <1.8lbs, P2: <4lbs, P1: <6lbs|
|Smallest standard size||N: <10 lbs|
|Largest standard size||6: 35+ lbs|
|Wear Time||Up to 12 hours|
|Wetness indicator||Sizes N–3|
|Umbilical cord notch||N/A|
In-Depth Feature Comparison
Here we’ve compared additional features of Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry diapers so you can determine which will best for your needs.
Baby Dry seems to have a slightly stiffer feel than the softer Swaddlers. However, the impact that has on fit is subjective. Ensuring your baby is in the right size for their weight and body shape is more important than the stand-alone fit of the diaper.
For example, if your baby has a longer, thinner build, the “correct” diaper size for their weight may fit too loose. Rather than sticking rigidly to your child’s weight as an indicator, consider how snug a diaper is around the waist and legs.
Both Swaddlers and Baby Dry have cuffs made from polypropylene and elastic. Polypropylene is free from BPA and is considered safe for human use (2). As they have the same build, the cuffs around the legs hold the diaper against your child in much the same way.
Some parents feel that Baby Dry has a saggy fit, while others claim it is snug-fitting. All babies are sized differently, and the shape of your baby will determine the best diaper fit.
Both Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry have an absorbent core made of super absorbent polymer, elemental chlorine-free fluff pulp, and a light baby powder type fragrance. So, despite what some people claim, the smell and the ingredients are exactly the same.
The difference in absorbance comes down to construction. Pampers Baby Dry has three absorbent layers and a trio of air channels. This combination holds more urine and wicks it away from the skin more efficiently than Pampers Swaddlers.
Some parents swear Swaddlers are more absorbent and others are convinced it’s Baby Dry that wins, so who’s right?
It’s challenging to make a like-for-like comparison when a baby is wearing a diaper because there will always be differences in the amount a child pees, how much they were moving, and even how their caregiver fastened the diaper.
We took one of each type of diaper in the same size and poured water onto them, a quarter cup at a time. After each cup, we counted to ten to give the diaper time to absorb, then dabbed it with a piece of kitchen towel. When the towel came away wet, we decided it was full.
The Pampers Swaddler held 4.25 cups of water, and the Pampers Baby Dry held 5.25 cups — that’s over 20% more!
This test, combined with our extensive experience, convinces us that Baby Dry is the clear winner.
Pampers Baby Dry
The lotion on the liners of both Swaddlers and Baby Dry is made with stearyl alcohol, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, and petroleum. This means your baby has the same level of skin protection from the lotion, no matter which of the two diapers you choose.
While Pampers Baby Dry has an absorbent top layer made from polypropylene and polyester, Swaddlers have a super soft absorbent top layer made of polypropylene, polyethylene, and polyester.
This makes the liner in the Pampers Swaddlers much softer to the touch than that of the Baby Dry. Not that there’s anything wrong with the liner in the Baby Dry; it’s also soft, but not as soft as the Swaddlers liner.
When it comes to the wetness indicator on Pampers Swaddlers vs. Pampers Baby Dry, there’s no difference until size four. Sizes three and below in both styles of the diaper include a wetness indicator.
In sizes four and up, Pampers Swaddlers has the wetness indicator strip; Baby Dry does not.
However, rather than looking at this discrepancy in isolation, we considered it in the wider view of diaper use.
As younger babies pass smaller amounts of urine at a time, it can be difficult to recognize, based on the look and feel of the diaper, whether they’re wet or dry. As they age, they pee more, making it more obvious at a glance that the diaper is full
To see the indicator, you have to undress your baby. But a quick poke to an older baby’s diaper, through the clothes, will likely tell you how full it is, so a wetness indicator becomes less critical.
Pampers Swaddlers vs. Pampers Baby Dry Conclusion
Do knowledgeable parents choose Swaddlers or Baby Dry?
Pampers Swaddlers: The Verdict
For preemies, newborns, and babies up to the age of three or four months, we recommend using Pampers Swaddlers. The combination of an umbilical cord notch, the handy-dandy wetness indicator, and a super-soft liner makes them ideal for the newest member of your family.
This is especially true for newborns and preemies who may have especially sensitive skin.
Pampers Baby Dry: The Verdict
Once your baby has passed the first few months, we recommend Pampers Baby Dry.
The combination of stronger closure tabs and an excellent level of absorbancy means Pampers Baby Dry stands up to the twisty, wriggly movements of your growing child and the larger volume of their growing digestive system.
These are the five questions we hear most often about Pampers diapers.
Both Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry have their own pros and cons. While the choice between the two is in some ways subjective, from an objective perspective, we recommend Pampers Swaddlers for babies under five months and Pampers Baby Dry for older babies.