Are these luxury diapers worth the money? We tried them to find out
Coterie diapers standout amongst the rest.
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Parents and caregivers make a lot of decisions for their children—including which diapers to buy. I’ve spent my fair share of time trying out popular diaper brands with my toddler son, but lately I’ve been targeted on social media by Coterie, a brand that makes chemical-free, sustainably sourced diapers.
I’m always on the lookout for a new diaper to try with my son, especially one that’s free of parabens, fragrances, and other harsh chemicals. Curious to know more about Coterie diapers (and if they actually live up to their cashmere-like feel claim), I decided to give them a whirl with my 2-and-a-half-year-old son. Here’s how it went.
What is Coterie?
Based in New York, Coterie makes sustainably-sourced, hypoallergenic diapers that are free of harmful chemicals. Coterie was founded by Frank Yu, an “accidental diaper engineer,” after stumbling upon a Japanese diaper so soft he thought it was cashmere at first. That inspiration is exactly what makes these diapers different from other brands—they’re incredibly soft and also very effective at absorbing liquids and offering a snug fit (aka zero leaks).
The back of the diaper is made with apparel-grade fabric that doesn't pill or snag during wear. There's also the secure leakage barrier that's loose enough for a comfortable fit and tight enough to lock in blowouts. Inside the diaper, you'll find a highly absorbent layer that’s designed to soak up liquids within 15 seconds.
Coterie diapers are sold directly through the Coterie website. For a one-time order, a six-pack of diapers costs $90. The number of diapers per pack varies by size. (For example, there are 22 diapers in one pack of size 5 Coterie diapers.) Coterie also offers a 10% discount on automatic renewal subscriptions, bringing the six-pack diaper bundle down to $81 (a savings of $9). Here are the diaper sizes offered by Coterie:
- Newborn: up to 10 pounds
- Size 1: 8 to 12 pounds
- Size 2: 10 to 16 pounds
- Size 3: 14 to 24 pounds
- Size 4: 22 to 37 pounds
- Size 5: 27 pounds and up
- Size 6: 35 pounds and up
In addition to diapers, Coterie also has a line of 100% plant-based wipes. Like Coterie diapers, the wipes are also hypoallergenic, fragrance- and paraben-free, and made for sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
What we like
They're soft and absorbent without being bulky
During my time at Reviewed, I’ve tested a couple of similar chemical-free and eco-friendly diaper brands like Hello Bello and Dyper, and none have felt as soft as Coterie diapers. The diapers have a soft and smooth feel similar to that of a pillow top mattress. These diapers even caught the attention of my husband (which is hard to do), who commented to me about how soft and well-made they are.
Smoothness aside, let’s talk absorbency. It’s arguably one of the most important factors when choosing a diaper. During our month of testing, Coterie diapers did a great job of absorbing liquids and keeping my son free of diaper rash. (For comparison’s sake, I thought Hello Bello diapers offered so-so absorbency.)
Coterie claims their diapers “move liquid away from skin within 15 seconds,” up to four times faster than other brands. I didn't crunch the numbers myself, but there were a few days where I noticed we were using fewer diapers than normal. My son is almost ready to potty train and promptly informs me when he’s ready for a diaper change, but it seemed like we were using fewer diapers than normal because the wicked-away wetness was less bothersome to him.
Additionally, some diapers bulk up when they take on liquids, but I found that the Coterie diapers held their shape after hours of wear.
They're made without harmful chemicals
Fragrances, lotions, latex—all of these ingredients come with the potential to irritate your baby’s skin. These days, most nontoxic diapers are formulated without dyes, fragrances, lotions, and are considered to be hypoallergenic. Coetrie diapers are free of many other questionable ingredients like parabens, phthalates, heavy metals, alcohol, rubber, latex, and chlorine bleach.
Coterie says its diapers are tested by dermatologists and not on animals (yay) and, as you may have guessed, don’t contain any harsh chemicals. The company also provides a toxicity report that is available for download, so you can see exactly how much and of what these diapers are made of.
They offer a good design and snug fit
Finding diapers that offer a snug fit (in addition to being ultra-absorbent) is a bit of a guessing game because every brand fits a little differently. Coterie diapers fit my toddler son well, leaving no gaps or room for messes to escape in the event of a blowout. I was also impressed by how well the diaper’s Velcro-like fasteners stayed stuck to the outside of the diaper. One soiled diaper and several hours later, the diaper held its shape without sagging or coming undone.
And, unlike Hello Bello diapers, Coterie diapers have a wetness indicator on the front and back. It’s a small but helpful way to quickly eyeball whether it’s time for a diaper change or not.
What we don’t like
They're more expensive than other mainstream brands
One box of Coterie diapers, which should last about a month based on the company’s estimates, runs $90. Remember, the quantity of diapers you get will depend on the size you select. (The bigger the size, the fewer diapers are included since changes become less frequent with age.)
Based on my calculations, a six-pack bundle of 132 size 5 Coterie diapers works out to about $0.68 per diaper. Whereas, a 100-count box of size 5 Honest Co. diapers, a comparable diaper brand, only costs $0.50 per diaper. While Coterie costs more than I pay per month for diapers, the saying “you get what you pay for” rings true here. That said, I do wish that premium diaper brands like Coterie were generally more affordable for parents and caregivers of all income levels.
There are no fun prints and patterns
Taking on a minimalist white cloth look, Coterie doesn’t offer any fun prints and patterns for its diapers like Hello Bello and Honest Company. The lack of stylish diapers isn’t a dealbreaker for me, but it may be for anyone who prefers a colorful disposable diaper.
Should you buy Coterie diapers?
Coterie diapers are like the Rolls Royce of the diaper world. Are they nice to have? Definitely. Will your kid be just fine without them? Of course. But if you’re looking for a sturdy, hypoallergenic diaper that excels at preventing major blowouts and diaper rashes, and wicks away moisture while they sleep, Coterie diapers are worth the investment. Let’s not forget that these diapers are luxuriously soft, feature a slim yet absorbent design, and are made with clean materials that you can feel good about, too.
For anyone on the fence, we’d encourage you to take advantage of Coterie’s free diaper trial, which includes 10 diapers if you pay the $5 shipping charge.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.