7th Generation Free & Clear diapers are not our favorite, but they also get the job done well enough without any nasty chemicals or additives, so they made the cut.
Things We Love
- Chemical and Fragrance-Free: Chlorine-free. Fragrance-free. Latex-free. Hypoallergenic. The only “unnatural” thing in this diaper is the sodium polyacrylate fill, which is the same moisture-absorbent gel fill used in all effective disposable diapers on the market.*
- Widely Available: They are available at many stores, Whole Foods included, if you need to pick up a pack last minute.
- Similarly “Eco-Considerate” to Popular Brands: They are less expensive than Honest Co. or Parasol, with similar green-factors (namely, the sustainably harvested wood pulp). However, their designs are not nearly as cute.
Things We Don't Love
- Major Greenwashing: These diapers have been dyed brown to look “natural,” which is maybe one of the more ridiculous things we’ve ever seen a supposedly environmentally-friendly brand doing. Their fluff pulp comes from sustainably harvested forests, but that’s about the only eco-friendly thing about this diaper.
- Kind of Ugly: The natural brown color kind of makes it look like your baby is wearing a paper bag, and the animal prints are fine but nothing special.
- Poorly Made: More recent factory runs of these diapers have had a tendency to rupture mid-use, spewing sodium polyacrylate fill all over the place (including all over your baby's bum). This is something that happens with other cheap diaper brands like Huggies, Target Up & Up, and Kirkland Supremes.
7th Generation Free & Clear Alternatives
- If You Want Eco-Friendlier Options… Naty by Nature Babycare diapers commercially compostable, and about 15% more expensive than 7th Generation. Bambo Nature diapers are softer and commercially compostable, though they are about 30% more expensive.
- If You Love Great Prints… Aden + Anais, Honest Co., Parasol, and Pampers Pure all have nice prints and are all more expensive.
- If Cost is a Concern… If money is tight, less expensive alternatives include Earth's Best and Target Up & Up, or even cloth.
Total Cost of Ownership**
- $1700 – $2600/child (list)
- $1300 – $2100/child (subscription with Amazon Prime)
*Sodium polyacrylate fill is considered safe in diapers by all current measures and standards, but has been linked to toxic shock syndrome when used in tampons and feminine hygiene products. If its use concerns you, cloth diapers may be a better option for your baby.
**Total cost of ownership was calculated using a few arbitrary averages, knowing full well that no baby is average. We used approximate weights from height/weight charts to determine how many days the average baby would be in each diaper size. These are the numbers we used:
- 30ish months as the arbitrary average potty training date, though this is “early” for some and “late” for others
- Five Newborn diapers/day on the low end and fourteen Newborn diapers/day on the high end, for 40 days
- Seven Size 1 diapers/day on the low end and ten Size 1 diapers/day on the high end, for 60 days
- Seven Size 2 diapers/day on the low end and ten Size 2 diapers on the high end, for 110 days
- Five Size 3 diapers/day on the low end and eight Size 3 diapers/day on the high end, for 160 days
- Five Size 4 diapers/day on the low end and eight Size 4 diapers/day on the high end, for 180 days
- Five Size 5 diapers/day on the low end and eight Size 5 diapers/day on the high end, for 365 days.