Whether you’re looking for a way to cut costs and save baby money or are simply looking for a quality working diaper that does the job and doesn’t have blow-outs, Target brand Up&Up diapers are, in my parenting opinion and experience, an option worth strongly considering.
As with all things parenting and children, we have to start with the simple caveat that you might experience something a bit less satisfactory than the mostly-glowing review that follows.
And since my own opinion is one of millions, I’ve also included summarized ratings from 3,260 other parents.
But even then, I strongly believe that giving Target diapers a shot is well worth it—if for no reason than that they are so inexpensive.
This article isn’t sponsored and Alphabeautics isn’t a Target affiliate. It’s written by a parent who once used [insert big name-brand diaper here ;) ] and was converted to Up&Up diapers after trial and error and another parent’s recommendation.
Target brand baby diapers are among the most economical diapers available. If we compare in-store prices for multiple brands of diaper (size one), we get the following:
- Target makes the most economical diaper available.
- Target diapers are 2.6X cheaper than the average diaper.
- Target diapers are 3X cheaper than Huggies “Special Delivery” diapers and 3.4X cheaper than Honest company diapers.
|Diaper||Cost per Diaper||Box Qty.||Cost|
|Target Up&Up Diapers||$0.114||192||$21.99|
|Huggies Snug & Dry||$0.217||124||$26.99|
|Millie Moon Luxury||$0.259||108||$27.99|
|Huggies Little Snuggler||$0.296||96||$28.49|
|Huggies Special Delivery||$0.362||84||$30.49|
In-store deals and discounts
Regular in-store promotions are run on Target formula, diapers, wipes, and baby toiletries. Customers spending $100 may get a free $20 gift card at self-checkout or at a register.
Since infant care can be pretty costly, and since you’re likely going to need plenty of diapers, formula, and wipes, it may make sense to buy in bulk, and the $100 threshold is reached pretty quickly.
Just be sure to check in-store signage on the day you’re buying, as details of the offer often change (to include or exclude various products).
FEATURES & QUALITIES:
Target brand baby diapers have no noticeable fragrance. While some parents appreciate the smell of a fragranced diaper, others want as little added/unnecessary chemicals as possible. If you’re after a fragrance-free diaper that does the job, Up&Up will likely meet that criteria for you.
Target also produces two types of baby wipe—”Fragrance Free” cloth-like baby wipes, and “Fresh Cucumber” baby wipes. The former (in a blue package) has no fragrance at all and works perfectly. They’re incredibly soft and produce no rashes or discomfort. The latter (“Fresh Cucumber,” in a green package) smell very, very strongly.
Target diapers do have the light colored line that turns blue when the diaper is full or wet. This is helpful for new parents, though most no longer need the indication within 1-2 months, having acquired the parental intuition to know diaper duty is calling even without it.
As far as the “wings” that provide a more snug fit and help to ensure no pee or poo escapes the diaper, Target’s Up&Up diapers do have them and they seem to work well in preventing accidents or blow-outs. Some users say the opposite, which we cover later.
According to the brand, Target diapers:
- Are “free of latex, lotion, and fragrance”
- Have “soft and stretchy waist and sides”
- Have “secure-grip tabs for a strong hold”
- Use a “breathable outer cover”
- Have a “liner clinically proven gentle and hypoallergenic”
- Have a “wetness indicator [that] turns blue when wet”
- Provide “up to 12-hour leak protection”
As a user of Target diapers for 10 months, I believe these are accurate.
Target’s Up&Up diapers are made of “polyester, polypropylene, [and] polyethylene” and if I had to guess, it would be the polyethylene that specifically disqualifies them from meeting Clean label program requirements. We discuss this under the shortcomings of Target diapers, below.
In contrast to Target’s diapers, Honest company diapers are made of “Wood Fluff Pulp,” and they do qualify for Target’s labeling as “Clean,” “Cruelty Free,” and containing “No Synthetic Fragrance.”
The following table lays out what various brand’s diapers are made of. For the sake of consistency, all of this information comes from Target product entries on Target.com.
|Diaper brand||Made of|
|Target Up&Up Diapers||Polyester, Polypropylene, Polyethylene (Source)|
|Huggies Snug & Dry||Cotton (Source)|
|Pampers Baby-Dry||Spandex, Polypropylene (Source)|
|Millie Moon||Wood Fluff Pulp (Source)|
|Huggies Little Snugglers||Cotton (Source)|
|Pampers Swaddlers||Polypropylene, Polyester, Spandex (Source)|
|Pampers Pure||Spandex, Polypropylene (Source)|
|Huggies Special Delivery||Cotton (Source)|
|Honest Diapers||Corn Fiber (Source), Wood Fluff Pulp (Source)|
Clean & Cruelty-Free Labels
Again using a single data source for consistency, the cleanliness, environmental-consciousness, and other qualities can be compared among diaper brands.
|Diaper brand||Target Clean?||Cruelty Free||No Synthetic Fragrance|
|Target Up&Up Diapers||✖||✖||✔|
|Huggies Snug & Dry||✖||✖||✖|
|Huggies Little Snugglers||✖||✖||✔|
|Huggies Special Delivery||✔||✖||✔|
(To be clear, the table above reflects data that Target has input for these products on its website. It may not in fact mean these brands “aren’t cruelty-free” for instance, but that Target’s online product entries don’t indicate they are. Target, in turn, says, “Cruelty free is designated and validated by each brand.”)
Target Diaper Sizing: Same as Pampers, Huggies
Diaper sizing is universal among brands, with Target’s Up&Up size/weight recommendations exactly mirroring those of Huggies and Pampers. Up&Up diaper sizes are suggested for infants of the following weights:
|Size v. Brand:||Target Up&Up||Huggies Snugglers||Pampers Swaddlers||Pampers Pure|
|N (NB)||Up to 10lbs||< 10lbs (4.5kg)||< 10lbs||< 10lbs|
|Size 1||8-14lbs||< 14lbs (6kg)||8-14lbs||8-14lbs|
|Size 2||12-18lbs||12-18lbs (5-8kg)||12-18lbs||12-18lbs|
|Size 3||16-28lbs||16-28lbs (7-13kg)||16-28lbs||16-28lbs|
|Size 4||22-37lbs||22-37lbs (10-17kg)||22-37lbs||22-37lbs|
|Size 5||27+ lbs||27+ lbs (12+ kg)||27+ lbs||27+ lbs|
|Size 6||35+ lbs||35+ lbs (16+ kg)||35+ lbs||35+ lbs|
|Size 7||41+ lbs||41+ lbs (18.5kg)||41+ lbs||41+ lbs|
Reviews, User-Ratings, and Recommendations
While we found Target’s Up&Up baby diapers effective and problem-free over the course of 10 months’ use, other parents haven’t been as satisfied: Of the nine different diapers that Target keeps stocked in-store, their own Up&Up diaper brand is the least likely to be recommended by parents.
Out of the 3,260 users/parents who have left reviews on Target.com, only 59% said they would recommend Target’s own diapers. (Target.com pulls some of these reviews from other sites.)
“Only” is relative in that’s it’s the lowest score of the 9 diapers we reviewed, yet it still means that if 10 parents were asked, 6 of them would recommend Target diapers.
This places Target’s recommendation-rating as the lowest (compared to a high of 84% for Pampers’ Swaddlers), and indicates that only Honest Company diapers, with a 3.1-star user rating, are more poorly rated than Target’s own brand.*
|Diaper Brand||Star Rating||% Who Recommend||# Recs|
|Target Up&Up Diapers||3.8 stars||59%||3260|
|Huggies Snug & Dry||4.6 stars||68%||412|
|Pampers Baby-Dry||4.5 stars||66%||464|
|Millie Moon||4.4 stars||67%||912|
|Huggies Little Snugglers||4.7 stars||82%||455|
|Pampers Swaddlers||4.8 stars||84%||925|
|Pampers Pure||4.6 stars||75%||306|
|Huggies Special Delivery||4.5 stars||78%||247|
|Honest Diapers||3.1 stars*||61%*||13*|
In ten months of use, we have yet to experience a blow-out. Whether this is due to our baby’s diet, her activity level (and aversion to sitting), or the fit, size and quality of Target’s diapers is difficult to tell. What is telling is that prior to switching to Up&Up, blow-outs were uncommon but not unheard of.
In contrast, however, some parents say the opposite. Like verified purchaser “Meos,” wrote 26 days ago on Target.com: “Every poop my 8-week-old had in these resulted in a blowout. Do not recommend.”
Unlike my hands-down 5-star review, Meos offers a 1-star. See, babies are… well, different.
But we also didn’t switch to Up&Up until about month 3.
Target’s diaper doesn’t qualify for its own “Clean” label
Frequent Target shoppers are probably aware of a “Clean” or “Green” label designation that Target applies to cosmetic and personal care products that meet certain requirements.
Interestingly, Target’s own diapers don’t qualify for this Clean label, though they do meet their “No Synthetic Fragrances” labeling requirements.
Common user complaints
According to our tabulation of the most recent complaints [the 100 most recent 1-star buyer ratings] about Target’s Up&Up diapers, if you end up disliking them, it will likely be due to one of the following, which are listed in order of frequency/probability:
- They leak pee; mostly at night or while a baby is walking, though users mention it also occurs at other times.
- They fall apart or become “busted.”
- Low quality; no specifics provided.
- A very, very small number of users say Target’s diapers cause rashes. (While, again, other users stress exactly the opposite.)
Score according to “BabyGearLab.”
BabyGearLab.com provides “in-depth baby product reviews led by a pediatrician.” Comparing important key diaper metrics (KDM™ – we’re asserting that a trademark of Alphabeautics in first commercial use as of February 4, 2022 ;) ) including absorption, leakage, comfort, health, eco-friendliness, fragrances and durability, the Lab assigned 18 different diapers a combined numeric value somewhere between 1 and 100.
In short, this means the Lab determined that despite the low price point of Target Up&Up diapers, it considers them the 17th worst out of 18 diapers; with an overall score of 39.
The Lab notes in summary, that “Disappointing absorption and leak results make this comfortable choice a no-go no matter what your diapering goals.”
This conclusion reflects the most frequent complaint by users: leaks.
[In October 2015, Good Housekeeping concluded the opposite: Target diapers, they said, provided “excellent absorption” and “little-to-no fluid release,” even at angles and when weight was applied.]
Our conclusion differs
We didn’t arrive at the same conclusion as BabyGearLab, but we also didn’t perform tests not involving a baby. We used the diapers for 8-9 months, and then conducted additional data collection for this article. We’re also no more or less financially incentivized than BabyGearLab, either—both sites monetize through affiliate commissions—we simply arrived at a different opinion and/or had different experiences.
Knowing that all babies are different, we hope to have included enough of both the pros and cons to provide an objective overview.
Target’s Baby Diapers Get Two Thumbs Up&Up!
Do we think it’s worth spending $21.99 on a pack of Target Up&Up diapers to determine if they work well for your baby and so safely save money in the long run? Absolutely.
In a worst-case scenario, your baby experiences a rash, or you have to clean up pee (or poo?!) that escaped the diaper. Neither of those are great to have to go through.
But in the best case scenario, you stand to save several hundred dollars and find a diaper that works perfectly fine. AlsoMom.com calculates that by using Target diapers, parents could save as much as $3,000, when compared to other popular diaper brands.
All things considered, we give Target’s baby diapers two big thumbs Up&Up.
* Note Regarding Honest Company Diapers:
We don’t have personal experience with Honest Company diapers. Because the information we (faithfully) relayed above from user-generated reviews on Target.com places them in a very poor light, we’re also including the following: On the Honest Company website, their own diapers are much more positively rated by users: An overall 4.3-star rating based on 785 reviews, and “443 out of 527 (84%) reviewers recommend this product.” We’re adding this note on the date of our initial publication to provide a more balanced assessment.