Diapers are the top item on every parent’s shopping list when they’re preparing for the arrival of their new baby. With so many brands on the market, it can be challenging to find the right one. But two brands might be on the top of your mind: Kirklands diapers vs Pampers.
Most babies use thousands of diapers in their first year alone. With concerns over allergies, blowout prevention, comfort and of course cost, it’s necessary to find the most compatible diaper option.
Are Kirkland diapers the same as Pampers?
It’s important to note that Kirland and Pampers aren’t the same. Pampers is a well-known diaper brand, featuring a wide variety of types and designs. Kirkland is the in-house brand for Costco. While Pampers are more contoured. Kirklands have stretchier elastics.
- Are Kirkland diapers the same as Pampers?
- Main differences between Kirkland diapers and Pampers
- Is Costco switching to Pampers diapers?
- Which brand to choose when
Main differences between Kirkland diapers and Pampers
To get a clearer idea of the differences and similarities between the two brands, I opted to compare the Kirkland Signature Supreme and the Pampers Swaddlers. This is because these two products are the most popular diapers on the market from these two famous brands. With that in mind, the main difference between these two is that Pampers are contoured to fit your baby’s body.
Pampers are also softer and have better blowout protection. Kirkland on the other hand has stretchier elastics on the waist and legs. While Pampers contain some fragrances, Kirkland is fragrance-free. I’ve created a side-by-side comparison table so you can see how these two brands stack up.
|Features||Kirkland Signature Supreme||Pampers Swaddlers|
|Manufacturer||Kimberly-Clark||Procter & Gamble|
|Absorbency||Leaks if left on too long/overnight||Polyacrylate polymer is super absorbent|
|Tab Fastening||Changes in 2021 have removed the purple strip, making them slightly weaker||Strong, sturdy tabs allow the diaper to be adjusted for a better fit|
|Wetness Indicator||The wetness indicator is made up of a yellow line that turns blue when the diaper is wet.||Also has a wetness indicator made of a yellow line that turns blue to let you know the diaper is wet|
|Design||Has a size up indicator||Clearly indicates when baby is ready for the next size|
|Waistband||Waistbands are made up of elastic||Higher waistband prevents blowout and helps create a more snug fit|
|Outside feel||Soft but has a plastic feel||Extra soft and snug and feel like fabric|
|Fit||Easily fits different sized babies quite well||Has a very snug fit which can be adjusted with the tabs|
|Bulkiness||Tend to curl up when wet and sag between the baby’s legs||Less bulky and doesn’t bunch between the legs|
|Leg cuffs||Fit snugly on the baby’s legs||Fits snugly and does a good job of keeping the diaper in place|
|Ingredients||Hypoallergenic and latex-free||Free of BPA, dioxin, dye, chlorine, parabens, PVC|
|Blow out prevention||Has the normal elastic band around the legs and can leak during a diaper blowout||A taller waistband helps keep blowouts from going up the back area|
Kirkland is made by Kimberly Clark. This is also the same supplier that makes the equally well-known Huggies brand and has about 22% of the market share. Pampers are made by Procter & Gamble (P&G) who currently has a 35% global market share. See my comparison on Huggies vs Pampers in another article I wrote.
Absorbance is crucial in diapers. Especially overnight when you might not change the diaper that often. Both Kirkland and Pampers have very good absorbency. Pampers however hold an estimated 30% more liquid. Did you know there are special diapers for heavy wetters?
Sturdier tabs are always more appreciated by parents. Tabs should keep the diaper in place and properly closed. This will avoid any spills and leaks. Kirkland’s diaper made a few changes in 2021 which have made their tabs weaker. Pampers, on the other hand, have strong and sturdy tabs which can be adjusted to have a sturdier, more contoured fit.
Wetness indicators go a long way toward taking the guesswork out of knowing when the diaper needs changing. This prevents new parents from opening and closing the diaper every so often to see if the baby has peed!
Fortunately, both Kirklands and pampers have wetness indicators. A yellow stripe runs from the center of the diaper all the way to the back of the diaper. When the diaper is wet, the stripe turns blue. Using diapers with wetness indicators makes changing so much easier!
Most diapers look the same. Some minor changes and different patterns are often the only points separating them. Patterns, colors and pictures are really just nice to have and might serve some entertainment value to older babies.
The important factor to consider in terms of design is the size-up indicator. Since babies grow at different rates, you want some indication of when to change to a bigger size. Both Kirkland and Pampers have size-up indicators which show you when it’s time to move to a bigger size. Little lines that the tab needs to reach will indicate if the size should be changed.
A strong waistband is a key to a good diaper. A sturdy waistband keeps the diaper from sliding down and also keeps everything where it belongs.
Kirkland has a strong elastic band which works well for chubby babies. Pampers feature a higher waistband which keeps any blowout instances from ending up all over your baby’s back.
Diapers should feel as soft on the outside as they do on the inside. The outside should also be waterproof and not contain any allergens. Don’t forget that your little one will be touching it. While being soft, Kirkland’s diapers tend to feel a bit like plastic, but still get the job done. Pamper diapers are made of polypropylene, giving them a soft but firm feel.
Diapers should offer a good fit to keep the diaper on and prevent leakage. Kirkland has an additional layer in the bottom area. Pampers are well known for their contouring feature and fit snugly on your baby’s body. You can easily use the tabs to adjust the diaper for a more snug fit.
Bulky diapers make finding properly fitting clothes a challenge. Kirkland’s tend to bunch up between the legs and make the diaper quite bulky. Pampers on the other hand are a better fit.
Leg cuffs are designed to keep everything from running down your baby’s legs. Leg cuffs should also be comfortable enough for the baby to move around in.
Both Pampers and Kirklands offer supportive leg cuffs which easily prevent leakage. Both are firm but don’t constrict the baby from moving around.
You have no doubt heard stories of certain babies being allergic to certain diapers. No one wants their little one to have an allergic reaction to their diapers. It’s important to consider the ingredients used.
Kirkland diapers don’t contain any of the perfumes, scents or dyes often found in other brands. According to their labeling, their products are also latex-free, minimizing the risk of latex allergy.
All Pampers products are free of common allergens such as BPA, PVC and elemental chlorine. Instead, their diapers are made from nonwoven polypropylene which helps move the urine and poop into the diaper core. These polymers are inside the diaper and nowhere near your baby’s skin.
Diaper changes aren’t always as simple as a quick change. Breast-fed babies produce liquid-like poop that can get everywhere. Sometimes this nastiness ends up being up the babies back and fronts and all over their clothes and bedding.
While Kirkland’s diapers elastic band around the waist goes a long way to prevent diaper blowouts, it’s not always perfect. Pampers on the other hand have a higher waistband which prevents a lot more blowouts up the back area.
Is Costco switching to Pampers diapers?
Originally, Costco only stocked Kirkland’s. This was because of an arrangement between Costco and Kirkland supplier, Kimberly Clark.
However, according to Costco Insider, Costco will be adding Pampers to their bulk diaper range. They’ll still stock Kirkland’s as usual. While Pampers are readily available at other retail stores, having them available in the bulk pack option that Costco offers is a huge plus point! If you’re a new parent, you’ll soon learn that buying items like diapers and wet wipes in bulk is definitely the way to go!
Which brand to choose when
Are there instances when using one option above the other would be better? While most features are similar, some are better for specific situations. You can also compare Swaddlers vs Pure in a recent article I wrote. Let’s compare when to choose Kirkland and when to choose Pampers.
Choose Kirkland diapers if:
- You prefer to buy your diapers in bulk packs
- Working on a budget
- Need a diaper with a stretchy waistband for a chubby baby
- You prefer unscented diapers
Choose Pampers diapers if:
- You prefer the more contoured fit
- Prefer the super-absorbency of Pampers
- Your baby has a lot of blowouts and prefers the higher waistband
- Your baby has sensitive skin
Watch this short clip to see why Pampers Swaddlers is such a popular choice for newborns.
Last update on 2022-05-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API