Mama Bear Diaper Review: Gentle Touch & Plush Protection

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mama bear diaper review: gentle touch and plush protection

Are you considering trying Amazon Mama Bear diapers? Check out this in-depth review of Mama Bear Gentle Touch and Mama Bear Plush Protection diapers.

This review is different than a lot of reviews you’ll find online because we actually tested hundreds of Mama Bear diapers on our real life baby. All the diapers were personally bought and this review is not sponsored

Plus, you don’t have to take my word for it. We subjected the diapers to rigorous absorbency testing and I made animations of the results of each experiment. So, you can see for yourself how well these diapers work.

Amazon’s house brand offer two different kinds of diapers: Mama Bear Gentle Touch (basic line) and Mama Bear Plush Protection (premium line). I review both types here so you can see a side by side comparison of their features.

And if you’re wondering how Mama Bear diapers stack up against other popular diaper brands, don’t forget to check out these articles:

So let’s dive in. In this Mama Bear diaper review you’ll find: absorption performance, details about fit and secureness, ingredient information and a discussion of costs.

What are Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers?

Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers are Amazon’s standard store brand diaper. They are diapers that are made in the USA in zero-waste-to-landfill facilities.

Gentle Touch is Amazon’s basic diaper line. Think Target Up & Up diapers or Costco Kirkland brand diapers.

What are Mama Bear Plush Protection diapers?

Mama Bear Plush Protection diapers are Amazon’s premium diaper line. They are also made in the USA and are made with sustainably harvested pulp (Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified).

As the more luxury diaper, Plush Protection are a step up from Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers. Think Hello Bello or Huggies diapers.

How absorbent are Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers?

I tested the absorption of the diapers in three ways. First, each diaper was subjected to an experiment where absorption could be controlled and observed. Next, the diapers were worn by a real baby during the day. Finally, each diaper was used overnight to test nighttime performance.

Experimental testing

To test absorption, each diaper was tested with 350 mL of liquid, poured over in seven 50 mL increments. After each pour, photos were taken every 5-seconds and after 25-seconds dryness was tested with a paper towel to pick up residual dampness.

These volumes were selected to emulate upper volumes diapers may face. 50 mL pours approximates an average baby’s 48.9mL bladder size (source). 350 mL estimates daily urine volume for a median 9-month old (assuming an output of 2 mL/kg/hr: source & source).

Before diving in to the results, I want to point out that the Gentle Touch diapers have a layer added of material in the front of the diaper that was wetter than the back of the diaper. You can see this layer in the rectangle highlighted below:

inside of a full mama bear gentle touch diaper

This added layer likely adds more overall absorption capacity; however, its absorption efficiency is lower which resulted in more dampness through the experiment.

Here is an animation of the Gentle Touch experiment:

animation of mama bear gentle touch diaper absorbing liquid

At 50 mL, the Gentle Touch diaper was mostly dry except around the legs. From 100 mL to 200 mL, there was some dampness but not bad. The diaper was damper in the front at the liner and drier in the back.

At 250 mL the diaper was somewhat wet; at 300 mL the diaper was wet; and at 350 mL the diaper was very wet.

After a resting period, there was still some dampness on the final paper towel test.

Real-world testing

On the whole, I’d say that Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers had average performance in real life testing. When diapers were changed on schedule, the Gentle Touch diaper always did its job and worked fine.

There were two occasions where I accidentally tested the outer limits of the diapers, and that is where I saw their performance falter a little.

There was one day after a sleepless night and hard time with the babies where I forgot to change our baby’s diaper twice. She went about 5 hours in a Hello Bello diaper in the morning and about 5 hours in a Mama Bear Gentle Touch diaper (including nap) in the afternoon. While both had major leaks, the Mama Bear Gentle Touch diaper actually started leaking out liquid onto the floor as I got her out of her high chair. That said, her only being in a diaper and no pants may have made the leaking more obvious.

On one occasion, I had a Mama Bear Gentle Touch diaper that released some of the absorbent beads on our baby. It was not a full explosion of beads but was notable since I’ve only had that happen a handful of times in the last three years. However, it was only one occurrence so I take it as a fluke and will update this if it happens again.

Even with these two incidents, I still continued to use Gentle Touch diapers and trusted them. For most people who change their baby every 3 hours or so, these diapers work as well as any other.

Overnight testing

Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers did not perform reliably for us overnight. We sometimes got leaks when we used them at night. Usually these were light leaks, where just her pjs were damp but not her sleeping bag or sheet. However, we did get a few leaks through her sleep sack.

After using the diaper enough at night for this testing, we switched to using them only as daytime diapers.

How absorbent are Mama Bear Plush Protection diapers?

Plush Protection diapers were subjected to the same testing as described above. They were experimentally-tested, real-life tested, and overnight-tested.

Experimental testing

The Plush Protection experimental testing was conducted exactly like the Gentle Touch testing, with 50 mL pours for a total volume of 350 mL.

The Plush Protection diaper decidedly outperformed the Gentle Touch diaper. The diaper efficiently absorbed liquid and had dry paper towel tests after the 50 mL, 100 mL, 150 mL, and 200 mL pours.

animation of mama bear plush protection diaper absorbing liquid

It was only after 250 mL that there was slight dampness remaining after 25-seconds. My note at this point referred to the absorption at this higher volume as “impressive.”

That said, this diaper did experience some pooling of liquid around the legs starting at 250 mL that was unique to this diaper. However, in real-life a baby’s movement would redistribute the liquid so, ultimately, I do not think this is a functional concern.

There was still only slightly dampness at 300 mL. By 350 mL though, you could visibly see absorption slow and the paper towel test was finally, decidedly wet.

After a resting period, there was slight dampness on the final paper towel test.

[NOTE: I think part of the difference observed between the Gentle Touch vs. Plush Protection diaper is that the added absorbent layer with slower absorbency efficiency took up a lot more area in the Gentle Touch diaper. I tested the Plush Protection first and since there was so much area in the back of the diaper without the additional liner, I naturally did not test it. Presumably the very front of the Plush Protection diaper may have made more dampness; however, it’d still be less area in contact with a baby’s skin.]

Real-world testing

Mama Bear Plush Protection diapers did great in real-life testing. I found them to be reliable and effective, even with slightly longer stretches between changes.

There is not much to report here because they did the job and did it well. I would reach for a Plush Protection diaper first if I knew we were going for a longer drive, or we were going to be outside in the cold when we might not want to strip our baby down for a change.

Overnight testing

Mama Bear Plush Protection diapers did great on overnight testing. We never had an issue with leaks in the Plush Protection line. It quickly became one of our go-to diapers we’d reach for before bedtime.

Often our baby wants a drink and a snack immediately upon waking up and the Mama Bear diaper even held strong for this added delay before changing. Our baby’s skin never seemed overly damp or irritated in the diaper.

Plush Protection’s overnight performance I think is the biggest differentiator from the Gentle Touch line. It just did a better job, which speaks to its improved absorption ability.

Diaper fit, comfort and size

Both Gentle Touch and Plush Protection fit our baby securely. I was able to get a good fit on the diaper each time. Here are the breakdown of the details:

Size

For this review, I compared size 3 diapers. Babies often stay in size 3’s the longest since they have a wide weight range. Both Mama Bear Gentle Touch and Plush Protection size 3 diapers fit babies between 18-28 lbs.

However, the Gentle Touch diapers run a bit larger than the Plush Protection diapers as shown in the measurements I took below:

Gentle TouchPlush Protection
Height9″8″
Width4.5″4.25″
Front Waistband11″11.5″
Back Waistband11.25″12.25″
Stretched Back Waistband13″13″

I personally like a diaper that runs larger since they’ll fit your baby longer. The cost per diaper increases as you go up in size so the longer you stay at a smaller size, the more money you’ll save.

Fit

WAISTBAND: The back waistband on the Mama Bear Gentle Touch has a lot of elastic ruching and it gives a good amount of stretch. Here is a picture of the Mama Bear Gentle Touch waistband vs. the Plush Protection one.

Waistbands of mama bear gentle touch diapers and mama bear plush protection diapers

In comparison, the Mama Bear Plush waistband has a strip of padding in the waistband. It has some elastic but it is not as stretchy as the Gentle Touch diapers. However, the waistband itself runs a little larger so they turn out to be the same size when stretched.

TABS: Gentle Touch diaper tabs include a grip strip vs. the regular tabs on the Plush Protection diaper. In practice, I did not notice much effect of these grip strips but I appreciated the effort for a more luxury feature. Here is a picture of them:

Mama Bear gentle touch vs mama bear plush protection tabs
Mama Bear gentle touch and plush protection tabs

I greatly preferred Mama Bear’s grip strips to the grip strips found on Huggies diapers (you can read more about that in my Mama Bear vs. Huggies article). They did not impact my ability to adjust the diaper tabs.

The grip strips start in size 3, presumably because babies become more mobile around the age they’d wear size 3 diapers.

Comfort

Overall, Mama Bear diapers are very soft. They particularly standout in softness compared to other store brand diapers. I even found the Mama Bear Gentle Touch’s inner linings to be softer than name brand Huggies or Pampers.

Surprisingly, Gentle Touch diapers are a little softer than their premium Plush Protection cousin. I found the inside lining to be slightly more velvety. Their outer shells were comparable.

The reinforcement of where the front tab connects to the diaper is slightly rough on the Plush Protection. In theory this should not come in contact with the baby’s skin; however, it may happen if you: get close to sizing up, or the diaper becomes too full, or your baby manages to shift the fit when moving.

Amazon-brand diaper ingredients

Both types of Mama Bear diapers are advertised as being hypoallergenic. Mama Bear Gentle Touch diapers state that they are free from chlorine bleaching, perfumes, lotions, parabens and phthalates. Mama Bear Plush Protection are free from elemental chlorine bleaching, latex, lotion, and fragrance.

Gentle Touch Ingredients List: fluff, superabsorbent polymer (sodium polyacrylate), nonwoven dryness layer, polypropylene nonwoven fabrics, non-latex elastics, fastening system, moisture barrier, adhesives, and ink

Plush Protection Ingredients List: cellulose, sodium polyacrylate, polypropylene, polyester, polyurethane, isoprene

Cost of Mama Bear Diapers

Mama Bear diapers are Amazon’s store brand diaper. As such, they are priced more affordably than name brand diapers.

Mama Bear diapers pricing often varies by package size. If you buy a single package, Gentle Touch diapers are about 5-8 cents more expensive per diaper than a comparable store brand like Target Up & Up or Wal-Mart’s Parent’s Choice (as of December 2022). However, if you buy their four-pack option, the price is essentially the same as other store brands (at the time of this writing in Dec. 2022, which seemed to include a discount).

Mama Bear Gentle Touch are their standard diaper offering and are more affordable than their Plush Protection line. Plush Protection is their premium line of diaper and it is priced accordingly. Again, their diaper cost comes down when you opt for the 4-pack Plush Protection option.

That said, prices fluctuate frequently and I was able to buy both types of Mama Bear diapers on sale so it is worth keeping an eye on pricing. I often see sales on their Plush Protection diapers that makes them more affordable than other premium diapers.

Mama Bear Plush Protection vs. Gentle Touch diapers

How are Mama Bear Plush Protection and Gentle Touch diapers the same?

  • INGREDIENTS: Both diapers are hypoallergenic and free of fragrance and elemental chlorine
  • SECURE FIT: Both diapers provide a secure fit
  • LOOK: Both diapers offer wetness indicators and two designs (one simple white, one patterned)

How do Mama Bear Plush Protection and Gentle Touch diapers differ?

  • ABSORPTION: Plush Protection diapers outperformed Gentle Touch on absorption
  • OVERNIGHT: Plush Protection were more reliable for overnight wear
  • SIZE: Gentle Touch diapers are a bit bigger vs. the Plush Protection diapers
  • COST: Gentle Touch are Amazon’s economical diaper offering vs. Plush Protection, which is their premium diaper line
  • COMFORT: Gentle Touch diapers are a little softer than Plush Protection diapers.

Conclusion: should you buy Amazon’s Mama Bear diapers?

Overall, Amazon Mama Bear diapers are a solid diaper offering. I would buy both Gentle Touch diapers and Plush Protection diapers again.

Gentle Touch diapers I would limit to day time wear. They’re reliable enough for daytime wear and I appreciate the convenience of ordering online with very quick delivery.

I have tested a number of diaper brands and compared to other store brand diapers, Mama Bear Gentle Touch perform better than Wal-Mart’s Parent’s Choice, Aldi diapers, and BJ’s Berkley Jensen diapers. For day time wear, their performance is comparable to Target Up & Up’s, though Up & Up’s are better for overnights.

Plush Protection are a great all around diaper. I’d say they are one step down from Huggies or Pampers, and similar to Hello Bello diapers.

What makes Mama Bear diapers worth it to me is when I can find them on a good sale. I probably wouldn’t pay full price for Plush Protection as I prefer more affordable options; however, I’ve found them to be a good value for the quality when on sale.

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