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Pampers Swaddlers vs Pampers Baby Dry: What’s the Difference?

For those of you thinking about trying either the Pampers Swaddlers or Pampers Baby Dry (or both!), we will be comparing their features and similarities/differences.  Based on my experience and research, Pampers Swaddlers are the diapers I recommend and this is why: Pampers in general are reliable, but Swaddlers work insanely well. They’re more comfortable for baby and the absorb well. They’re clearly the better diaper.

SwaddlersBaby Dry
Diapers Size 4, 150 Count - Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Baby Diapers, One Month SupplyDiapers Size 4, 150 Count - Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Baby Diapers, One Month Supply
12 hour protection12 hour protection
Air channels, large absorb channel, and quilted layers3 absorb channels and 3 layers
Wetness indicator on all sizesWetness indicator on sizes NB, 1, and 2
Blanket soft exteriorNormal exterior
Average 4.75 star ratingAverage 4.25 star reviews
Check current price on AmazonCheck current price on Amazon

Why Swaddlers Are the Better Diaper

50,000 Parents can’t be wrong

The reviews for Pampers Swaddlers are overwhelmingly good. No other product we have reviewed on this whole entire site has this many 5 star reviews. It is an overwhelming number especially considering that most people only leave reviews when something is really bad.  Parents love the comfort of these diapers as well as their leak protection for the full 12 hours as advertised.

Same 12 hour protection plus so much more

Both brands advertise 12 hour wetness protection, but I feel like Pampers Swaddlers just cover all the bases.  At the same time, I’m not missing out on any extra special unique feature of Pampers Baby Dry.  Between the exceptional softness and the wetness indicator on all sizes (vs limited sizes on Baby Dry), among other features listed below, Pampers Swaddlers is the clear winner.


Diapers Size 4, 150 Count - Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Baby Diapers, One Month Supply

Pampers Swaddlers vs Pampers Baby Dry

What are the pros and cons of these two brand types – Pampers Swaddlers vs Pampers Baby Dry?  How are they similar or different? Is there a clear cut winner in this battle of these diapers?

Let’s have an in-depth look at each of these diapers.

Pampers Baby Dry Features

Diapers Newborn / Size 0 (< 10 lb), 120 Count - Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Baby Diapers, Giant Pack

  • Up to 12 hours wetness protection for a better sleep
  • 3 extra Absorb channels to lock away and distribute wetness
  • 3 layers of absorbency (vs 2 layers in most diapers)
  • Soft, cottony feel
  • Wetness indicator on sizes NB, 1 and 2 so at a glance, it’s clear when a diaper needs changed

Real parent reviews:

          Pampers.com – 4/5 stars based on 12,000 + reviews

          Target – 4.5/5 stars based on 12,000 + reviews

          Walmart – 4.5/5 stars based on 13,000 + reviews

     Overall average rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

Pampers Swaddlers Features

Diapers Newborn / Size 0 (< 10 lb), 120 Count - Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Baby Diapers, Giant Pack


  • The Softest Pampers diaper
  • Unique “AbsorbAway Liner”
  • Extra absorb channels for 12 hours of protection
  • Color changing wetness indicator on all sizes

Real parent reviews:

          Pampers.com – 5/5 stars based on 52,000 + reviews

          Target – 5/5 stars based on 51,000 + reviews

          Walmart – 4.5/5 stars based on 51,000 + reviews

     Overall average rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

Find the diaper caddy options for storing all your diapers here on EM.

Pampers Baby Dry vs Swaddlers: The Similarities

Up to 12 hours wetness protection

Diapers Newborn / Size 0 (< 10 lb), 120 Count - Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Baby Diapers, Giant PackBoth Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry advertise 12 hours of wetness protection, making them a suitable diaper for a nighttime solution.  This way, a baby can sleep all night without having to be changed in the middle of the night.  A well rested baby and well rested parents are the result!

Extra Absorb channels

Diapers Size 4, 150 Count - Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Baby Diapers, One Month Supply

Both Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry have extra absorb channels which are supposed to help lock away wetness and distribute it evenly so as to prevent wetness blowouts and to keep the baby dry and comfortable.  This is also helpful if a child sleeps in the same position all night, such as on their back, belly or side. Instead of wetness building up in the same spot, it will be evenly distributed throughout the diaper and absorbed by the diaper material.

Soft, cottony feel

Both Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry are soft.  Baby Dry has a soft, cottony feel and Swaddlers is the “Softest Pampers diaper”.  Baby will be very comfortable in either of these diapers.

Umbilical cord notch

Both Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry have a cutout on the front of the diaper to accommodate the umbilical cord of newborn babies.  This is a feature in both in sizes Newborn, 1 and 2. 

Reliable Pampers Brand Diapers

When it comes to Pampers Baby Dry vs Swaddlers, both Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry are made by Proctor and Gamble’s Pampers, which is a very reliable brand when it comes to diaper and baby care.  Both of these Pampers diapers, as well as their other versions, will keep baby dry for several hours because of their superior absorbency and no leaks. These diapers are especially reliable for newborns and younger babies because of their fit and design. Many parents swear by Pampers and refuse to use any other brand as they find it to be the most dependable.  It is a reputation that Pampers has been building since 1961 and it shows in the 50,000 + reviews.


Both Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Baby Dry are priced similarly so cost is not really a factor in the decision making process.  However, they are both more expensive than store brands and economy brands such as Luvs.

Features only Pampers Swaddlers have

Wetness indicator on all size diapers

Diapers Size 4, 150 Count - Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Baby Diapers, ONE MONTH SUPPLY (Packaging May Vary)

A wetness indicator is a yellow line printed on the front of the diaper, and turns blue (green on Baby Dry) once wet.  This helps a parent discern whether a baby’s diaper is actually in need of a change or not just by looking at the outside of the diaper. Pampers Swaddlers has a wetness indicator on diapers of all sizes whereas Pampers Baby Dry only has them on sizes Newborn, 1 and 2.

Exceptional Softness

Image of the Pampers SwaddlersImage of the Pampers Swaddlers

By their own account, Pampers Swaddlers is the softest diaper that Pampers manufactures.  It surpasses all the other diapers in softness.  So even though Pampers Baby Dry is still very soft, Pampers Swaddlers is EVEN softer.  This makes it a great choice for newborns and younger babies.

Unique Absorb Away Liner

Image of the Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Diapers Newborn Size 1 (8-14 lb), 216 Count, ECONOMY PACK PLUS

A unique feature in Pampers Swaddlers is the “Absorb Away Liner”.  Its main purpose is to pull wetness (or poo) away from baby’s skin and keep it away from the skin.   Per users reviews, this does an exceptional job of keeping the baby’s skin dry to the touch, even when the diaper is wet.

Parents also report that the Absorb Away Liner helps keep rashes away.  Sometimes while using other brands, their children would break out in a rash that would take diaper cream management or would have a hard time going away.

Velcro-like Fasteners

Pampers Swaddlers has velcro-like fasteners that make it easy to adjust and refasten, if necessary.  Many parents reported liking this feature.  Other brands, especially the more economical ones, have tabs that don’t always stay put very well and are not as reliable.

We like Swaddlers best, which is why they are on our Best Baby Diaper list.

Features Only Pampers Baby Dry Have

12 hours of guaranteed overnight dryness

Per Pampers, the highest ratings of the Pampers Baby Dry diapers come from parents using sizes 5 and 6, which are much older babies and toddlers.  This is the age group that is much more likely to be sleeping through the night.

Having a diaper that can last all 12 hours reduces the possibility of the child waking up in the middle of the night from a leaking diaper.  As a result, they are able to sleep soundly all night long and so can the parents.  Per the reviews, parents find these diapers to be very reliable for holding a night’s worth of wetness with no problems.

Image of the Pampers Baby Dry

3 Absorbent layers

A Pampers Baby Dry diaper has 3 absorbent layers of protection, versus the typical 2 layers of a regular diaper.  This helps to protect the baby from wetness during an extended period of time, such as overnight.  It pulls the wetness away from the baby’s skin, helping to keep the skin dry, the baby comfortable and preventing rashes as a result.

Considerations for choosing the best diaper

Diapers earn the allegiance of tired parents by being reliable.  What exactly does a diaper need to do to earn this respect?  If you’re a new parent, you might not know the ins and outs of diapering just yet, so these are the most important things to consider when choosing a diaper.

Does it prevent leaks?

We would like for diapers to keep the matter IN THERE, thank you. Double, triple, quadruple gussets, whatever it takes!  And leaks or #2 blowouts in the middle of the night?  Even worse! Make sure it is an absorbent diaper and contains all liquids! (Bonus: here’s how diaper absorbency works)

Is it comfortable?

Let’s face it, babies are cranky enough.  If you don’t already know this, most likely you will soon find out.  They certainly do not need another reason to cry – like an itchy or too plasticky diaper that does not adequately keep them dry.  Comfort and softness are a must.

Does it fit well?

Sometimes finding the right fit of a diaper brand or type is only accomplished through trial and error.  This could especially be the case if a baby has a unique physique (like chubby belly and skinny legs or vice versa). Babies’ bodies also may change as they grow, so what was a good solution at 2 months might not be six months down the road.  Having a well fitting diaper can make all the difference in the world.

Does it work overnight?

Most parents look forward to the baby sleeping through the night, partially (or completely) for their own sanity.  But there is nothing worse than having an otherwise content and sleepy baby wake up just because they are wet!  If a diaper is able to accommodate a sleeping baby or toddler all night, this helps EVERYONE sleep through the night without a diaper change.  Win-win!

It is affordable?

Usually in life, you get what you pay for, but costliest may also not mean the best. Thankfully, there are many different diaper brands on the price spectrum to accommodate everyone’s needs. Also, if you buy through Amazon, you can get them way cheaper than your local retailer. And you can’t beat that subscribe and save feature- it’s the cheapest way to go, plus you never have to worry about running out of diapers!


Are Pampers Baby Dry overnight diapers?

Both Pampers Baby Dry and Swaddlers advertise 12 hours of protection, but Experienced Mommy finds Swaddlers to be the dryer choice.

Which Pampers are best for newborns?

Pampers Swaddlers, or, if you are concerned about chemicals, possibly Pampers Pure Hypoallergenic Unscented.

Is there a good generic diaper?

Some oft-mentioned generic brands are Aldi’s Little Journey Small Strides, Costco’s Kirkland’s Supreme, Target’s Up&Up, and Walmart’s Parents Choice.

What is the difference between Swaddlers and diapers?

Swaddlers is Pampers’ best disposable diaper. It differs from Pampers’ Baby Dry diaper in that it is the softest Pampers diaper, incorporates a unique “AbsorbAway Liner” and extra absorb channels for extra dryness, and has a color-changing wetness indicator on all sides.

Are disposable diapers toxic?

They do contain chemicals which may be irritating to some babies’ skin and/or toxic in large quantities. So, yes. But if there were any solid proof that most babies are suffering as the result of the use of disposables, the diapers would probably be off the U.S. market.

There’s no way to protect baby from all toxins and carcinogens; but we need to keep contact to an insignificant level. Disposable versus cloth is an individual choice, as there are many factors (convenience, cost, environmental, dryness, chemicals) to consider.


Overall, even though I recommend Pampers Swaddlers, you can’t go wrong with either Pampers Swaddlers or Pampers Baby Dry as they are both very high quality disposable diapers with oodles of satisfied parents as customers.

Have you tried either of these diapers?  Which one is your go-to solution and why?  We would love to hear from you in the comments below!

Donna Fogarty

I'm a mom of three boys and enjoy researching just about everything, especially when it comes to picking the best anything to buy for my babies.