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Are you in search of the best store brand diaper? Unsure if Target’s Up & Up vs. Wal-Mart’s Parent’s Choice diapers are the better buy?
What makes this review different is that we actually used and tested hundreds of diapers on our baby. I analyze size, fit, absorption, overnight performance, cost, ingredients, and more.
In addition to using the diapers on our baby, I also tested the absorption of each diaper in an experimental setting. These tests were photo documented and animated so you can actually see how well these diapers work side by side.
Before we dive in, don’t forget to check out some of our other store-brand diapers posts:
UPDATE: I have updated this article in July 2023 based on re-testing Target Up & Up diapers now that our baby is walking. The performance on our walking baby has been very disappointing. I’ve added notes throughout this write up but we’ve had many, many leaks and cannot use them overnight now that she’s bigger. I’ve left my original assessment for those with smaller babies, since the diapers did work great when she was smaller.
[NOTE: This article offers costs comparisons that were current as of July 2023]
Size of Up & Up’s and Parent’s Choice Diapers
The Parent’s Choice vs. Up & Up diapers used in this review were size 2 diapers, which fit babies between 12-18 lbs.
Parent’s Choice size 2 diapers run a bit larger than Target’s Up & Up’s. Below you’ll find a table of measurements for each diaper:
|Target Up & Up||Parent’s Choice|
|Back waistband stretched||12.25″||12.5″|
Both Wal-mart Parent’s Choice diapers and Target Up & Up diapers are available from newborn (up to 10 lb.) to size 7 (above 41 lb.).
WINNER: TIE — It is personal preference as to whether a bigger or smaller diaper is better. I like diapers that runs larger for cost saving reasons, because cost per diaper increases as you go up in sizes.
Absorption Testing: Wal-Mart vs. Target Diapers
To test absorption, both brands of diapers were filled with 350 mL of liquid in 50 mL increments. Absorption was photographed in 5-second intervals after each pour and remaining dampness was tested with a paper towel after 25 seconds. Diapers were then allowed to rest ~10 minutes before a final dryness test.
These volumes were selected to emulate upper volumes diapers may face. 50 mL pours are roughly the size of an average baby’s 48.9mL bladder capacity (source). 350 mL is just shy of the estimated daily urine volume for a median 9-month old (assuming 2 mL/kg/hr and 50th percentile weight of 8.2 kg, source & source).
Wal-Mart Parent’s Choice Diaper Absorbency Testing
Wal-Mart‘s Parent’s Choice diapers performed poorly on the absorbency testing. I’ve now run this type of trial on over ten different types of diapers and this was unfortunately the worst performer.
[NOTE: I do want to mention that I was very surprised by these results because Parent’s Choice diapers were our preferred diaper with our first baby. They look different now so I wonder if a recent redesign has impacted their performance.]
The diaper felt wet at the 50mL and continued to be wet with each subsequent pour. While I’ve observed some wetness even at low volumes with other diapers, Wal-Mart’s Parent’s Choice diaper really fell behind the pack at the highest volumes.
At 300mL the diaper had not fully absorbed the liquid at the 25 second marl. You could visually even see the liquid still slowly absorbing at 350mL and the paper towel test was completely soaked.
After the 10-minute rest, the diaper still had a little dampness on the paper towel test and felt wetter to the touch than other diapers.
These absorption results also match our experience with the diapers on our baby. Yesterday she and I both ended up soaked in pee out at a farm and today she again soaked through the diaper and her clothes in about 2 hours (much quicker than with other diapers we’ve tried).
Target Up & Up Absorbency Testing
Up & Up diapers appeared to soak up liquid quickly during their absorption test. Unlike the Wal-Mart diapers, it visually absorbed all the liquid by the 25-second mark even at the higher volumes.
The Up & Up diaper was not completely dry on the paper towel test but far exceeded the performance of the Wal-Mart Parent’s Choice diaper.
It did fine enough absorbing the majority of the liquid on the first pours, but it’s performance started to falter a little at 300 & 350 mL. Still though, it was better than Parent’s Choice.
Up & Up’s also outperformed Parent’s Choice after the 10-minute rest, when it had a dry paper towel test.
WINNER: Up & Up — Up & Up diapers had a very solid performance, while Parent’s Choice failed to absorb all the high volume liquids quickly.
Parent’s Choice: With our first baby, we used Parent’s Choice diapers regularly at night without issue. However, the daytime performance of these redesigned diapers has been so poor that I have not trusted them enough to do an overnight test.
I will hopefully get up the nerve to do it soon and will update this when I do. However, I think it is still telling that I don’t trust the diaper enough for an overnight.
Up & Up: Up & Up diapers work great for us overnight. We will very rarely get leakage overnight and I don’t wonder if she’ll wake up wet when I put her in an Up & Up. I’m also impressed at how the diaper also stays on our baby’s body when it is filled to that capacity in the morning.
UPDATE: Up & Up did work great for us for overnight when our baby was smaller. However, now that she is over 1 year old, we no longer can use Up & Up diapers overnight. She woke up soaked in regular Up & Up’s multiple times.
WINNER: Target Up & Up — Perhaps it isn’t fair to award a winner if I haven’t tested the new Parent’s Choice diaper overnight. However, I think lack of confidence based on daytime performance is a major point against Wal-Mart diapers. Up & Up’s worked for us on overnight when our baby was smaller. However, now that she is bigger I won’t use Up & Up overnight either.
Cost Comparison: Wal-Mart Parent’s Choice vs. Target Up & Up’s
[NOTE: Prices are dynamic and change frequently. This price comparison was last updated in July 2023.]
Both Parent’s Choice and Up & Up diapers are Wal-Mart’s and Target’s store brands, respectively. This is clearly reflected in the price because both diapers are often the most affordable diapers on the market.
Compared to name-brand, opting for one of these store brand diapers will save you tons of money (they’re almost half the cost!).
The largest box of Wal-Mart diapers runs $0.11 per diaper as of this writing. The cost jumps slightly to $0.12 per diaper if you opt for smaller packages.
Target Up & Up’s costs a touch more at $0.14. However, I appreciate that Target’s Up & Up pricing is consistent regardless of the package size.
Often you don’t need the biggest box (plus, it can be annoying to store) so this is a great feature. This also helps you avoid having a lot of leftover diapers when your kid outgrows a size.
WINNER: Parent’s Choice — Parent’s Choice were slightly cheaper, though the difference is almost negligible.
I was unable to find a full ingredients list for Parent’s Choice. In fact, Parent’s Choice was one of the few diaper brands I’ve reviewed where I couldn’t track down even a general materials list.
Target’s ingredients list for their Up & Up diapers includes: polyester, polypropylene, and polyethylene. Their diapers claim to be free of fragrance and latex. Up & Up diapers has another leg up by noting that they are elemental-chlorine free, while Wal-Mart diapers do not mention chlorine.
Elemental chlorine-free means that no direct chlorine was used, but other chemicals used in the wood bleaching process may contain chlorine.
|Up & Up||Parent’s Choice|
|Chlorine Free?||YES – Elemental||Unknown|
Where Wal-Mart does beat out Target is by indicating its environmental efforts on its packaging. Parent’s Choice diapers participate in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, no animal testing, and a zero-waste to land fill production facility.
WINNER: Up & Up — While I appreciate Wal-Mart highlighting their sustainability efforts, they do not disclose an ingredients list like Target does.
Where are Wal-Mart & Target Diapers Manufactured?
Both Target Up & Up and Wal-Mart Parent’s Choice diapers are made in the USA.
Are Up & Up or Parent’s Choice More Comfortable?
Softness: Wal-Mart diapers are a little rougher than Target Up & Up diapers. Target diapers are a bit softer, though Parent’s Choice aren’t bad by any means and likely feel fine to a baby in practice.
Bulkiness: Parent’s Choice diapers are thinner than Up & Up diapers before encountering liquid. Both diapers bulk up quite a bit after absorbing. The Target diaper is a little narrower and stouter than the Parent’s Choice diaper when full, as shown in the pictures below (Parent’s Choice on the left, Target Up & Up on the right).
The inner filling of the Parent’s Choice diaper felt less secure and would bunch a little more with movement vs. the Target diaper.
UPDATE: Now that our baby is walking, I have been disappointed with how Target Up & Up diaper filling bunches up.
Umbilical Cord Space: Both Wal-Mart Parent’s Choice and Target Up & Up newborn diapers have space for the healing umbilical cord.
WINNER: TIE — While Up & Up diapers are a bit softer, the filling of both diapers bunch up with movement.
Fit & Secureness: Parents’ Choice & Target Up & Up
Fit: I was able to get a secure and snug fit with both Target Up & Up and Parent’s Choice diapers. This fit held well even after the diapers were full. For reference, our baby is long and lean — she usually weighs in the 20th percentile and below.
It should be noted that a lot of the fit of a diaper comes down to the proportions of your baby. For example, Target Up & Up’s work great for our current baby but they didn’t fit our first baby as well (they still got the job done though).
Waistband: While Target Up & Up and Wal-Mart Parent’s Choice diapers have elastic cinching on the back waistband, the Wal-Mart diapers are stretchier.
The Wal-Mart diapers also include a small pocket in the back waistband, pictured below. This pocket helps reduce poop blowouts and is a nice luxury feature to find on a store-brand diaper.
Tabs: Target Up & Up and Wal-Mart Parent’s Choice tabs feel comparable in terms of stretchiness.
Sturdiness: Both Wal-Mart’s and Target’s diapers stayed on our baby well when she moved.
However, the ruffle leg material of the Parent’s Choice diaper does not seem as durable vs. the Up & Up’s. I noticed this fact because I caught our baby trying to eat part of the material that she somehow pulled off the diaper. I am not “taking points off” for one incident incase it got snagged on something, but I’ll revisit this if it happens again.
UPDATE: I have been re-testing Up & Up diapers now that our baby is walking. Unfortunately, I have been quite disappointed with the diapers now that she can move more. They do not stay on her well and I would not call them sturdy.
WINNER: Parent’s Choice — The pocket feature at the back of the waistband gives Wal-Mart the edge in this category. It is a premium feature that is nice to see in a store-brand model. Also, Up & Up diapers do not feel as sturdy now that our baby is walking.
Wetness Indicator: Both diapers diapers include pH-based wetness indicators.
Size Indicator: Parent’s Choice diapers include very clear size indicators that say “Next Size” on the waistband. Size indicators are nice because they eliminate the guess work of sizing up. Target diapers do not have an equivalent.
Design: Both diapers are generally simple-looking and also similar-looking. They each have an option that is a white shells with simple coloring on the waistbands. Up & Up’s also include a second option that has more design on the outer shell.
WINNER: Parent’s Choice — Parent’s Choice win this round with their clear size up indicators.
Conclusion: Are Up & Up or Parent’s Choice Diapers Better?
Up & Up diapers handedly outperformed Parent’s Choice diapers on both during real-life wear and in the absorbency test. I did not feel like I could trust the Parent’s Choice diaper like I did the Up & Up.
|Up & Up||Parent’s Choice|
|Fit & Secureness||—||WINNER|
Plus, Wal-Mart does not disclose ingredients like Target does for their diapers. They have a few nice features like the back pocket and advertised sustainability efforts. However, it is not enough to compensate for the poor absorbency performance.
UPDATE: I’ve retested Up & Up’s now that our baby is walking and have been very disappointed with the performance. We’ve had multiple times where she’s left puddles on the floor in essentially new diapers. Amazon’s Mama Bear Plush Protection are my new go-to store brand diaper.
Still undecided on diapers? Check out some of our other diaper comparisons, including Huggies and Pampers diapers: