Diapers vs Pull Ups (Differences, Pros, Cons, and More)

Do you feel like your child needs to go up one diaper size or just switch to pull-ups?

What’s the difference between diapers vs pull ups? Which is more absorbent? Is cheaper? Is easier to put on and off?

This article will answer that and more.

I started using pull ups on my daughter when she was 2 years old or so. 

She was wriggly and active as hell, giving me headaches during diaper changes. And pull-ups seem to be the easiest option, rather than making her lie down to change her diaper.

But it does have some disadvantages and you’re going to learn some of them here.

Let’s get started with a quick feature comparison between Pull Ups vs Diapers.

Diapers vs Pull Ups: Compare Features

This is best viewed on a desktop. Here’s a quick comparison guide on Diapers vs Pull-Ups.

FeaturesDiapersPull Ups
SizePreemie, Newborn up to Size 6 or 7Sizes start at 2T up to 5T
Security Velcro tabsElastic waistband
AbsorbentYes, mostlyMixed reviews
ComfortableYesYes
For Potty TrainingNoYes
PriceExpensiveExpensive

Basics of Pull Ups

What Are Pull Ups?

Pull Ups are like underwear diapers. 

Your kid wears them like regular underwear, but they still function as a diaper. 

They can still hold leakages and the usual diaper messes like normal, traditional diapers.

Difference between Pull-Ups vs Diapers

The major difference between a diaper and a pull up is how a child wears them.

A pull-up is worn like underwear – it has an elastic band that can be pulled up and down, without fully removing them. 

A potty-trained, older kid can independently pull them up and down, without any issue.

A diaper, on the other hand, needs the help of a parent or caregiver to put on.

Best Age to Start Using Pull Ups

The best age to start using pull ups is when your kid is:

Now that we’ve settled on the quick basics of a pull-up diaper, let’s get into more details about Diapers vs Pull-Ups.

Pull Ups (or Easy Ups for Pampers)

Differences Between Pull Ups vs Diapers

Here are the major differences between Diapers and Pull Ups

Sizes

Diapers can come in Newborn sizes, even Preemie sizes, and up to maximum Sizes 6 or 7. 

Pull-Up diapers are for older toddlers, even preschoolers! They don’t have sizes for babies.

Available sizes can start at 2T and can go to a maximum of 5T.

Security and Fit

Pull ups only have an elastic waistband, so it’s easier to see if they fit on your kid. 

Unlike diapers. 

You also don’t need to worry about pull ups getting accidentally removed, especially at night when your kid is sleeping. 

Unless of course, your child already knows how to pull down their pull ups!

But for the most part, pull-ups are more secure and are meant for active, older, bigger kids. 

Some parents though feel that some pull up brands can easily rip when pulling them up.

Convenience

Personally, it was easier for me (and everyone!) to use pull ups on my kid, compared to a diaper. Here’s why:

I don’t need to make her lie down to change her diapers properly.

I don’t need to distract her to keep lying down so I can change her diaper long enough.

It’s not hard and awkward to change her diapers if she’s standing up. 

She can learn how to pull down and up her pull-ups. Which makes potty training easier.

Her childcare teachers can easily change and dispose of her diapers. 

Some pull ups have easy-to-tear sides which are convenient for uncooperative kids – those that refuse to have theirs pulled down.

Although, pull ups can be a hassle sometimes as you need to remove your kid’s bottom clothes and shoes when putting them on. 

Then you need to put back those clothes and shoes again!

And it’s not an enjoyable experience. Especially if the floor is dirty, your kid has a massive shit on their pull-ups and you can’t rip them at the sides.

Design

Pull Ups seem to have more fun designs than regular diapers.

The latter, depending on the brand, has some well-known cartoon characters on them too but Pull Ups have more popular characters that are geared towards toddlers and preschoolers.

And this can entice little ones to use a pull up!

Pull-Ups vs Diapers: Similarities

Diapers are quite similar to Pull-Ups in many ways:

Absorbency

Both have the same job in absorbing and preventing diaper leakages.

They more or less, are made of multi-layers of absorbent material, have a contoured fit to prevent leakages, etc.

And like diapers, pull-ups have complaints too about leakages, terrible absorption, can’t keep messes in, etc.

Some parents have noticed though that pull ups tend to be less absorbent and can’t hold that much mess. Especially at night.

Some said that their kids seemed to feel the sensation of wetness.

Others said that’s probably because that’s what pull ups are for – so kids will be forced to use the toilet, instead of their pull ups.

Comfort

Both pull ups and diapers are more or less, comfortable. 

Depending on the brand and type, they each have their unique features, but both are meant to be safe and snug for kids.

On the flip side, both pull ups and diapers also have the same complaints from parents about causing rashes and irritating their baby’s skin. Etc.

Price

Both pull ups and diapers have more or less the same price. If we’re talking about the price per piece here, not bulk.

Its prices can vary, depending on the brand or size.

But the price difference is not that huge.

Pull Ups (or Easy Ups for Pampers)

FAQ: Pull Ups vs Diapers

Are pull-ups as absorbent as diapers?

Pull ups are meant to be as absorbent as diapers.
Although some parents and even daycare teachers would disagree. 

Are pull-ups better than diapers?

Pull ups are better than diapers when it comes to potty training. 
It makes the whole potty training experience easier for both the child and the parent or caregiver.

When should I use pull ups on my kid, instead of diapers?

It’s recommended to switch to pull-ups when your kid is ready to be toilet trained.
Ages can vary, but some kids can already show signs of being ready for potty training between the ages of 18 months to 24 months.

Pros and Cons: Pull-Ups vs Diapers

Here’s an overview of the advantages and drawbacks of using Diapers vs Pull Ups.

Pros of Pull Ups

  • Great for potty training
  • Have sizes even for preschoolers

Cons of Pull Ups

  • Has complains of less absorbent quality
  • Doesn’t have sizes for younger babies

Pull Ups (or Easy Ups for Pampers)

Pros of Diapers

  • Has sizes for newborns and even preemies
  • Has more absorbent types for overnight use

Cons of Diapers

  • Child can’t use it independently
  • Sizing can be a hit-or-miss

Takeaway on Diapers vs Pull Ups

Both pulls and diapers have essentially the same job of absorbing wetness and keeping messes in.

I’d recommend using pull-ups though if:

Your child is ready to be potty trained

If it’s more convenient to put them on and take them off

If your child is getting more independent and wants to put on and take off their diaper

You can’t find a bigger regular diaper

Some parents find diapers still more absorbent than pull-ups so take your time in testing one. Try out a batch and see which one works better for your little one.

If you like this guide, make sure to check out my other ones on Pulls Ups vs Easy Ups right here.

Pull Ups (or Easy Ups for Pampers)