Hello Bello vs. Honest Diapers Review with Real Life Testing

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honest diapers vs. hello bello diapers

Hello Bello vs. the Honest Company diapers: which ones are better? If you’re unsure how these two eco-friendly diaper offerings compared, then this detailed review is for you.

This review stands out from the crowd because I actually bought and tested hundreds of these diapers on our baby. And I conducted rigorous absorption experiments to find the best diaper.

Most importantly, I turned these experiments into gif animations so you can quickly see for yourself how these diapers work.

Below you’ll find an in-depth comparison of our experience using both Honest Company diapers and Hello Bello diapers. In addition to the absorption experiment, you’ll also find sections on our real-life “field testing” and overnight experience, costs, ingredients, comfort and fit, and look of each diaper brand.

And don’t forget to check out some of our other diaper reviews:

Let’s check out the diapers.

[NOTE: Costs mentioned in this article refer to prices as of January 2023]

Size of Hello Bello & Honest Diapers

I tested size 3 diapers for this write-up. Hello Bello and Honest diapers have different size ranges for size 3. Honest diapers fit babies from 16-28 lbs. vs. Hello Bello’s smaller fit at 16-24 lbs.

hello bello diaper vs. honest company diaper side by side
Left: Hello Bellos, Right: Honest Co.

The bigger weight range for Honest diapers was surprising since they are actually smaller than the Hello Bello diapers. Honest diapers are about an inch shorter in the front and three-quarters of an inch shorter in the back. The two brands’ waistband circumferences are essentially the same.

Hello Bello diapers are available from size newborn to size 6 (35+ lbs.). Honest diapers offer diapers up to size 7 (41+ lbs).

WINNER: TIE — Honest diapers gets a point for offering a size 7, which is nice for bigger kids who may still need diapers (though I wonder if it is actually bigger than Hello Bello’s size 6 diapers). That said, I personally prefer a larger fitting diaper like Hello Bello for money saving reasons, as cost per diaper goes up as size goes up.

Absorbency Testing

Experimental absorption tests were performed by pouring 50 mL of dyed liquid on the diapers seven times. 50 mL roughly emulates an infant’s bladder capacity and a total of 350 mL approximates the daily urine production of an average 9-month old, at a rate of 2 mL of urine per kg body weight per hour (source, source).

After each 50 mL pour, photos were taken every 5 seconds to visualize absorption. After 25 seconds, residual wetness was checked with a paper towel.

Once the diapers were exposed to 350 mL total, they were allowed to rest before a final dryness test.

Honest Company Diapers Absorption Test Results

Honest Company diapers did well at the beginning on the absorption experiment. At 50 mL and 100 mL it only had very slight dampness on the paper towel test. They were only a little wet at 150 mL.

animation of honest company diapers absorbing liquid

However, performance started to lag at the 200 mL mark. At 250 mL and 300 mL, you could visually see the absorption slow down, and the paper towel test was wet but not soaked. By 350 mL, the diaper was still working to absorb the liquid at 25 seconds and the paper towel was definitely wet.

When watching the diaper absorb, the liquid seemed to pool in the channels between the core-filling bifurcations. Impressively, by 25 seconds, the diaper was able to absorb all the pooled liquid even at the highest volumes.

After a resting period, the diaper was dry for the final paper towel test.

Hello Bello Diapers Absorption Test Results

Hello Bello diapers did not have the best absorption efficiency results, which at first I found surprising since they worked well on our baby.

Upon investigation, it appears that Hello Bello diapers have an additional absorbent liner that does not wick liquid away as quickly as the polymer bead filling. Presumably, this extra layer adds to overall absorption capacity, even though it decreases the immediate absorption efficiency.

You can see this layer outlined in the photo below. When I touched the paper towel to this area, it felt wetter than when touching the back area without it.

the inside of hello bello diapers showing an absorbent layer

So from the first very pour, the Hello Bello diaper had slight wetness on the paper towel after 25 seconds. From 100 mL to 200 mL, the diaper had some wetness on this extra layer. You can see the absorption experiment test results in the gif below.

animation of hello bello diapers absorbing liquid

Hello Bello’s were similar to the Honest diapers in that their absorption visually slowed down at the 250 and 300 mL marks, with paper towel tests that were wet but not soaked. The final 350 mL pour was significantly wet.

After a rest period, the diaper had a dry paper towel test but felt very slightly wet to the touch.

WINNER: Honest — Honest diapers had a slight edge on Hello Bello diapers because of their better performance at low volumes. The diapers’s performance were comparable in the latter part of the experiment, from the 200 mL pour on.

Overnight Performance

HONEST: Honest diapers did not work well for us as overnight diapers. At first, they seemed to do okay and we used about half the pack overnight without issue.

Then suddenly, our baby started sleeping about an hour longer than usual. And when this happened, she’d wake up all wet. Her pajamas and sleep sack repeatedly were soaked four nights in a row.

We’ve had other diapers where she’d wake up a little wet, but this was much wetter than that. It was a surprising and disappointing result for a premium diaper. Once this became a clear pattern, I stopped using the Honest diapers at night.

HELLO BELLO: Hello Bello’s have worked well for us as night diapers. Even before I started this testing, we used Hello Bello’s diapers for overnights and felt that we could trust them. Occasionally our baby would wake up with the outer shell of the diaper feeling damp, but not enough to leak through her clothes.

We actually felt the night performance of the regular Hello Bello’s were almost on par with their specific overnight version (check out my full review of Hello Bello’s nighttime diapers).

WINNER: Hello Bello — Hello Bello have solid overnight performance vs. Honest diapers surprisingly poor performance.

Cost of Hello Bello vs. Honest Diapers

Both Hello Bello and Honest diapers are available to purchase either through a subscription bundle or directly from retailers. Here’s how the pricing works for each model.

Subscription Bundle Costs

Hello Bello bundle boxes are cheaper than Honest Co. diaper bundles. As of January 2023, Hello Bello subscription boxes cost $69.99 plus $1.95 shipping. Honest Co. diaper subscription boxes cost $82.99 with free shipping.

Each company includes seven packs of diapers and four packs of wipes in their boxes. Hello Bello gives you a freebie of your choosing in your first box, such as lotion, supplements or swim diapers.

Honest Company also sells a “build your own bundle” subscription where you can pick five of their items, including diapers. These boxes cost $54.99 (Jan. 2023 pricing). Hello Bello has a pick-five bundle too but it doesn’t include diapers.

You are able to find promo codes for your first subscription bundle for both companies, and you can cancel at any time. From my research, Hello Bello usually offers bigger discounts than Honest Co. When I ordered my Hello Bello box, I got 40% off with the code DIAPERS (which still works as of this writing but the percentage-off fluctuates). The best promo code I can find for Honest diaper bundle right now is 15%.

Retail Store Costs

When buying from a retailer, Hello Bello diapers are also cheaper than Honest diapers.

That said, both Hello Bello and Honest Co. diapers are name brands and their costs reflect that. Hello Bello prices are comparable to Pampers or Huggies when bought in a store.

Honest diapers are even pricier, and are closer to Pampers Pure or Seventh Generation price point. Personally, I find Honest Co. diapers to be overpriced for what they are.

Retail prices fluctuate regularly. You can check current Hello Bello prices here and Honest diapers prices here.

Either way, opting for Hello Bello or Honest diapers will at least double your diaper cost compared to store brand diapers. You can head over to my review of Target Up & Up vs. Amazon Mama Bear diapers for an example of how well store brands can perform.

WINNER: Hello Bello — Hello Bello diapers are cheaper per diaper than Honest diapers (as of Jan. 2023).

Ingredients of Hello Bello vs. Honest Co. Diapers

Both Honest Company and Hello Bello brand themselves as hypoallergenic and “eco-friendly.”

Hello BelloHonest
Fragrance Free?YESYES
Chlorine Free?YESYES
Latex Free?YESYES

Both diapers are totally chlorine free, which is rare amongst diapers. I’ve reviewed a lot of diaper brands and Honest and Hello Bello are the only two to be totally chlorine free. Chlorine is a concern because of the environmental impact and possible exposure to dioxins (source).

Both diaper companies also use sustainable harvesting for their pulp materials and are free of latex and parabens. That said, neither diaper is biodegradable and both include plastic fibers so some of their “eco-friendliness” feel like green-washing.

Another marketing point that Honest diaper makes is that their diapers are thinner, so they use less materials and are thus more environmentally friendly. When you look at the diapers though, Honest diapers are in fact thicker vs. the Hello Bello diaper.

thickness of honest diapers vs. hello bello diapers.

Here are each diapers ingredients:

  • Honest: Absorbent bio-core (totally chlorine-free wood pulp from sustainably managed forests, sodium polyacrylate containing renewable materials, citrus extract [odor inhibitors], liquid chlorophyll [odor inhibitors]), plant-based PLA [outer layer], polyethylene & polypropylene [inner layer], polymer spandex & polypropylene [leg & waist system], polyolefin adhesives [seams & joints], design inks
  • Hello Bello: absorbent filling contains an absorbent polymer and “totally chlorine free fluff pulp from sustainably managed forests;” shell contains polypropylene, polyethylene, polyester non-woven fibers, plant-derived PLA non-woven fiber, spandex, and an elastomeric film.

WINNER: Tie — Both diapers fragrance-free and chlorine-free, and make similar eco-efforts.

Are Hello Bello and Honest Diapers Made in the USA?

Hello Bello is partly but not solely made in the US. They’re transitioning their production from Canada to the United States so some of their diaper patterns have “Made in the USA” labels on them while others do not.

Honest diapers do not appear to be made in the USA. Their website does not address this directly but a CNN article from a few years ago says they are made in Mexico (source). This was the most recent reputable source I was able to find.

Comfort of Honest Company vs. Hello Bello Diapers

SOFTNESS: Hello Bello diapers are slightly softer than Honest diapers. The inside of Honest diapers are textured whereas Hello Bello inner liners are smooth. The difference in softness though is subtle and Honest diapers are still soft.

BULKINESS: All diapers will bulk up a lot once they’ve absorbed liquid. Honest Co. diapers, however, divide their inner filling into channels to keep the bulkiness evenly distributed.

This bifurcation, pictured below, is a nice premium feature that most diapers don’t have (Pampers also does this). The divisions helps keep the filling from bunching up as your baby moves around.

honest co diaper cut in half to show absorbent filling
hello bello diaper cut in half to show absorbent filling

UMBILICAL CORD SPACE: Honest and Hello Bello newborn diapers both have space for the umbilical stump.

WINNER: Honest — The sections of the inner filling to prevent bunching is perhaps the best feature of Honest diapers.

Fit & Secureness of Honest Diapers vs. Hello Bello

FIT: We were able to get good and comparable fits with both Hello Bello and Honest diapers.

WAISTBAND: Honest diapers have more ruching and stretch in their back waistband vs. Hello Bello waistbands, which have some ruching but it provides very little give.

In sizes 1 and 2, Honest diapers include a back waistband pocket which helps reduce poop blowouts. This is a nice luxury feature for a diaper that is missing from the Hello Bello’s.

TABS: The tabs on Honest diapers vs. Hello Bello diapers are comparable. Both attach securely and offer some — but not too much — stretch.

tabs of hello bello vs. honest company diapers

STURDINESS: We had no issues with either diaper staying on and staying in place as our baby crawled around.

WINNER: Honest — the diapers are pretty much the same, but the the back waistband pockets of Honest diapers (size 1 & 2) is a nice touch.

Look of Hello Bello vs. Honest Diapers

WETNESS INDICATORS: Hello Bello diapers only have wetness indicators up until size 3 vs. Honest diapers which include them on all diapers.

SIZE UP INDICATORS: Neither Hello Bello nor Honest Company include size up indicators.

DESIGN: Hello Bello and Honest diapers seem to be going head to head on diaper designs. Both companies now offer subscription models where you can select from lots of different patterns. The designs are cute and regularly updated.

If you’re buying from retailer instead of a subscription, I think Honest Company has the edge on Hello Bello in terms of designs. If you buy Hello Bello outside of their subscription, the design options are quite limited and varied by size. On the other hand, I could pick between seven different options when I bought my Honest diapers.

Here are examples of the patterns I got of each diaper:

honest company diaper pattern in leopard print
Honest Co. diaper pattern
hello bello halloween diaper pattern
Hello Bello diaper pattern

WINNER: Honest — While they’re closely matched, Honest pulls ahead by offering more design options outside of a subscription.

Conclusion: Are Hello Bello or Honest Diapers Better?

So, are Honest diapers or Hello Bello diapers better? Here’s a summary of the categories:

HonestHello Bello
SizeTIETIE
AbsorbencyWINNER
OvernightWINNER
CostWINNER
IngredientsTIETIE
ComfortWINNER
Fit & SecurenessTIETIE
LookWINNER
ManufacturingMexicoUSA & Canada

Personally, I would skip Honest diapers in favor of Hello Bello’s.

Honest diapers are some of the more expensive on the market. For that price point, I expect the diapers to be almost flawless. But Honest diapers really failed on overnight performance, which is an indicator of overall absorption ability.

Honest diapers originally differentiated themselves from the competition by their eco-friendly branding. However, Hello Bello diapers have moved into this space and also use sustainable harvesting and chlorine-free processing.

Plus, Hello Bello diapers are cheaper and work better.

Still, both diapers come in at a name-brand price point. The bigger question to ask yourself is whether there is enough value over store brands to justify the cost. Some people may appreciate the convenience of the subscription model.

For me, neither diaper offers enough improvements to entice me away from much more affordable store brands. Name brand diapers like Honest Company and Hello Bello will cost you hundreds of dollars more than their store brand alternative.

I also feel like both brands oversell their eco-efforts as a marketing angle. At the end of the day, all disposable diapers come with an environmental toll.

If you’re curious about store-brand savings, check out some of my other diaper comparisons:

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