Clothes Tips & Hacks

Are Pull-Ups As Absorbent As Diapers?

If you’re thinking about making the switch from diapers to pull-ups, you’re probably wondering whether pull-ups are as absorbent as diapers.

Both pull-ups and diapers are made from the same multi-layer absorbent material, so in theory this means that both have the same absorbency levels.

So why do many parents claim one is more absorbent than the other?

Let’s find out.

Pull-Ups vs Diapers

Diapers and pull-ups are made with the same key material – sodium polyacrylate.

This super absorbent material is found in a disposable diaper’s core, and can soak up more than 30 times it’s weight in liquid.

Because this key material is found in both, in theory there is no reason why pull-ups should be less absorbent than diapers.

Related: The Complete Guide To Buying & Caring For Baby Clothes

Why Do Parents Claim Pull-ups Are Less Absorbent?

Many parents insist that pull-ups are less absorbent than diapers, leading to more leaking and the need to clean poop stains from your baby’s clothes.

This could be down to several reasons:


One reason pull-ups may be less absorbent is because pull-ups are cut smaller than regular diapers.

Differences Between Brands

As with most products, some brands are better and more effective than others.

Parents may report that pull-ups are less absorbent than diapers simply because they are using different brands.

Not All Children Are The Same

As we all know, not all children are the same.

This helps explain why some kids are more likely to have leakages than others.

Parents with kids that pee and poop more frequently and in greater quantity (especially overnight) are more likely to complain about leaking pull-ups.

What Are Pull-Ups?

They may look similar, but what exactly are the key differences between pull-ups and diapers?


It’s probably safe to assume that regular diapers are familiar to all of us.

They are secured in place by two tabs – one on each side – and have a snug fit to prevent them from moving out of place.

In order to take a regular diaper off, you must first undo the tabs on the side.


The key difference between a pull-up and a regular diaper is that a pull-up features an elastic waistband, so you can easily move it up and down.

In terms of style, pull-ups are therefore similar to the underwear grown ups wear.

This makes them ideal for changing your baby when they are standing up, something many parents have to do when their little one refuses to be changed lying down!

If your little one has done a poop and you want to easily remove their pull-up, you simply pull or tear the joint lines on the two sides.

It will then be the same shape as a regular diaper with the sides undone.

One other thing worth mentioning is the difference in cost, as pull-ups tend to be slightly more expensive than regular diapers.

When To Use Pull-Ups

Parents often start using pull-ups when they want to start potty training, which tends to be between the age of two to three.

However, if you are not ready to begin potty training you may still want to consider switching to pull-ups, because pull-ups are easy to slip up and down, making standing diaper changes much easier.

See Also:

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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