Pull Ups Vs. Diapers – Which One Is Absorbent?

Here is an overview of pull ups vs. diapers. This is something I discovered while researching my baby’s needs. Pull-ups are diapers with built-in absorbency and leak guards. They are easy to put on and take off like regular underwear but provide the protection of a diaper. But which one is more absorbent? If you are struggling to answer this question, this blog post is for you. I have gathered all the information through personal experience and research. Here’s what you need to know about the two.

Pull Ups Vs. Diapers

Pull Ups Vs. Diapers: What’s the Difference?

Disposable diapers and pull-ups are both uses of this type. They’re composed of the same material, with pull-ups being simply a different style of diaper. However, there are many more distinctions between them than that. Let’s look at the five most significant distinctions in design, absorbency, cost, size, and usage between them.


The most obvious distinction between pull-ups and regular diapers is in their look. Secure regular diapers in place with two tabs, meant to provide a snug fit and prevent them from easily slipping down. You must undo them before they can be removed using tape nappies, making them perfect for babies and toddlers who can’t yet sit up on their own.

On the other side, pull-ups have an elastic waistband that allows for quick up and down, much like a pair of pants. This allows kids to change quickly without having to remove their clothes completely. Pull-ups are also helpful for potty training because they can be pulled up and down like underwear.


The brand of pull-up you pick is a significant factor. You may need to play around with a few different brands until you discover one that works best for your kid.


The prices for branded pull-ups are generally higher than for diapers; however, the price difference might not be as large as anticipated. It is important to remember that the brand and style of diapers play a role in pricing, and so do the style and features of the diaper. On the market, you will find cheaper alternatives to big-name brands. Nevertheless, when comparing a less expensive brand diaper to a Pull-up from a name brand, there will likely be a bigger cost gap.


Disposable diapers come in sizes 1 to 6, with baby weight determining the size. Size 1 diapers are for babies weighing 8 and 14 pounds, while size 6 is for kids weighing more than 35 pounds.


Parents commonly use pull-ups when potty training their children or around two. However, from many parents’ experiences, pull-ups do not work as well as diapers for nighttime use despite some brands’ claims. Therefore, while you can still use pull-ups at night, leaks are more likely to occur if your child wears diapers.

In addition, because they are less bulky than traditional versions, pull-ups are ideal for usage throughout the day or when you’re out and about.

Pros and Cons of Using Pull Ups Vs. Diapers

One of the things you should consider when purchasing items for your child and assessing alternatives is the product’s advantages and drawbacks. So, let’s examine some pros and cons of using Pull-Ups vs. diapers.

Pull-ups offer many benefits over traditional diapers. They are often more absorbent, which can mean fewer accidents for your child. They also provide a better fit, making them more comfortable to wear. And they’re usually less expensive than diapers.

However, there are some drawbacks to using Pull-ups. They can be more difficult to put on and take off than diapers, which can be a problem if your child is resistant to wearing them. They also don’t always stay in place, as do diapers, which can lead to leaks.

What are Pull-Up Diapers?

They are usually made from the same soft, comfortable materials as regular diapers but can be taken off and put on much easier–like traditional underwear.

Regular underwear typically looks and fits better than pull-ups. Pull-ups are usually used by toddlers very close to the potty training stage or actively potty training. The idea is that since they can be slipped on and off easily, pull-ups promote independence when using the toilet.

Nappy pants, also called diaper covers, are a form of reusable underwear that goes over a child’s cloth diaper. They come in small sizes, starting at size 3 and up. Nappy pants are not for potty training; they simply replace traditional disposable diapers, which can be useful for extra-active toddlers or when changing diapers becomes a battle of wills with an older baby.

When Should I Use Pull-Ups?

While they are generally made of thinner fabric than a regular diaper, they are still absorbent enough to contain any spills. Many parents find pull-ups the most convenient option for their diaper-changing needs. 

Using pull-ups on toilet trains is not a universally accepted technique. Some parents just stop using diapers without using pull-ups, preferring to use large-kid underwear to speed up toilet learning.

Some children are ignorant of the distinction between pull-ups and diapers, assuming they’re similar. They tend to minimize the unpleasantness and discomfort of having an accident. When peeing or pooping in a wet pull-up diaper, it is far more unpleasant than wearing wet underwear, so the latter may be more successful in encouraging youngsters to go to the toilet when they pee or poop.

Using Pull-Ups for Toilet Training

Eventually, to use pull ups vs. diapers during potty training is a parental decision that doesn’t need to be made.

If you choose this method, slowly introduce the idea of training underwear to your little one. Allow them to practice time pulling them up and down unassisted. Helping them to feel confident and motivated at this stage will give them the encouragement they need to use the potty. Explain that their ‘big-kid’ diapers are there for accidents but that the goal is not to rely on them.

It’s worth noting that a pediatrician did not develop these methods. Some children will merely treat a pull-up like a standard diaper, which might cause potty training to proceed more slowly than necessary.

If your child can easily use pull-ups, you don’t want him to be in them for too long. He must understand that putting on underclothes is the next step. So, when should you start using underwear with your kid? When your youngster starts telling you he must pee and is mostly dry (a minor mishap is acceptable), it’s time for underwear.

Keep your child out of diapers after you’ve switched him from diapers to pull-ups. Changing back and forth between diapers and trousers may confuse your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can pull-ups be used as diapers?

Ans: Pull-ups can be used as diapers but are not as absorbent.

Q2: Are pull-ups absorbent overnight?

Ans: Yes, pull-ups are absorbent overnight.

Q3: What can I use instead of diapers?

Ans: You can use Pull-Ups or large-kid underwear. Some parents just stop using diapers without using pull-ups, preferring to use large-kid underwear to speed up toilet learning.

Q4: Do pull-ups prevent leaks?

Ans: Yes, Pull-Ups help prevents leaks. They have special leak guards and are designed to fit snugly.

Q5: Are Huggies pull-ups absorbent?

Ans: Yes, Huggies Pull-Ups are absorbent. They are also popular with parents as a transition to underwear for potty training and at night while their youngster is sleeping.

What To Do Next?

Be sure always to check the expiration date of your diapers and Pull-Ups. Check for holes or rips in the diaper if you notice any leaks. Also, keep an eye out for redness or rash around your child’s bottom, as this could indicate irritation. If you’re noticing any of these issues, it may be time to switch to a new brand or size of diapers or Pull-Ups. Check our guide on “Do Diapers Expire?” for more information.

My name is Mark Joseph, and I’m on a mission to help new parents navigate the world of parenting. With over 5 years of experience as a parenting coach, I’m here to provide you with insight into all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and raising your newborn baby. Instagram Linkedln Facebook

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