Are Pull Ups As Absorbent As Diapers?

Thinking of making the switch from diapers to pull ups, but you’re wondering are pull ups as absorbent as diapers?

Well, you’re not alone!

As you’re probably aware, there is a difference between diapers and pull ups.

Whilst both do a great job of absorbing urine and containing poop, the question remains how absorbent are pull ups vs diapers.

And which one is better for you and your baby?

Well, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you may think so read on as we explore the question do pull ups absorb like diapers in-depth below.

And if you love this guide on pull up absorbency, make sure you check out our guides on pull ups bigger than 5T, when to switch to pull ups, and Pampers Easy Ups vs Huggies Pull Ups.


Are Pull Ups as Absorbent As Diapers?

So, let’s dive straight in, do pull ups hold as much as diapers?

Well, the answer will depend on who you ask!

Both diapers and pullups are made of multi-layers of absorbent material for liquid absorption and contain a waterproof outer layer. And you’ll find many of the big diaper manufacturers offer the same 12hr leak protection for both products.

Yet, some parents find that pull ups do not absorb urine as well as diapers, especially at night over sustain periods. Though, as we will discuss in more detail below, it is important to consider the leakage could be due to other factors.

Other parents however find pull ups to be more absorbent than diapers, especially overnight. Again, there may be other factors at play rather than absorbency itself, especially if parents size up when they choose to change from diapers to pull ups.


Things That Can Impact Pull Up and Diaper Absorbency

When asking the question ‘do pull ups absorb like diapers?’ unfortunately is not a yes or no answer.

There are several factors that can influence whether you find a pull up or diaper more absorbent and experience less leakages. These include:


When it comes to absorbency and leakage, the fit of the diaper or your pull up is essential.

You could have the most absorbent diaper or pull up on the market and still have leaks if the fit is wrong. It is part of what determines if the diaper or pull up leaks or not.

A good, fitted diaper or pull up will fit snugly around your baby’s legs and hips and appear straight and equally proportioned with your baby.

It should have elastic along the waistband and leg gussets to prevent explosions that come out the leg holes. A contoured fit moves with your baby, so wiggling and squirming won’t cause gaps that allow liquid to escape.

If your diaper or pull up looks or feels too tight on your baby or leaves red marks on your baby’s upper legs and tummy it is more than likely too small.

If your diaper or pull up looks or feels too loose on your baby or has excessive gapping at the legs and waist, the diaper or pull up is more than likely to be too big. You make also notice increased diaper blowouts.

So, if you find that you are experiencing regular leakages with your diaper or pull up, checking the fit may help resolve the issue.

Nighttime Use

If you’ve notice that your diapers and pull ups generally have leakage during nighttime use only, then you may find that you need more absorbency than what a regular diaper or pull up can offer, especially if you child is a heavy wetter.

In this case, parents may be better off using overnight diapers instead as these are specifically designed with extra absorbency for overnight use.

You may also like this guide on the best pull ups for night time!


When it comes to the absorbency of your diaper or pull up, the brand really does matter.

Brands all have different designs, features, sizing, and use different materials to create their products.

That means that when deciding do pull ups absorb like diapers, you will need to factor in individual brands.

We discuss in detail the differences between Pampers Easy Ups vs Huggies Pull Ups. When you read the article, you will quickly notice how different pull ups can be even between two of the most popular diaper brands.

If you are considering making a switch from diapers to pull ups due to absorbency and leakage issues, we recommend you either try comparing pull ups using the same brand or opting to see if you can get a better diaper fit using a different brand altogether. Sometimes it is a bit of a trial and error until you find a brand you love.


How Much Does the Difference In Absorbency Really Matter?

The difference in absorbency between diapers or pull up only matters if you are experiencing regular leakages.

Which in that case you may want to look to see if the leakage is caused by other factors or try out an alternative brand like one of these best disposable diapers.

Generally, though, most parents do not notice a change in absorbency when moving from diapers to pull ups and find both products effective in absorbing urine.

FAQs About Pull Up Absorbency

When should I use pull ups instead of diapers?

While most parents transition to pull ups when they start potty training at around 2 yrs old, you can use pull ups instead of diapers as soon as your baby is large enough to fit them. Pull ups generally start from size 4 (though some brands start at size 3).

Do pull ups hold more pee than diapers?

Do pull up hold more pee than diapers? The answer will depend based on the brand, shape, features, sizing, and different materials used to create each product. You’ll find many of the big diaper manufacturers offer the same 12hr leak protection for both their diapers and pull ups.

Are nighttime pull ups more absorbent than diapers?

Yes, nighttime pull ups are more absorbent than diapers. Overnight pull ups and diapers are specially designed with extra-absorbent materials and leak guards to keep your baby or toddler dry for longer periods of time. This enables your little one to last the entire night without a diaper change.

Final Thoughts on How Absorbent Are Pull Ups?

You’ve asked do pull ups hold more than diapers?

And while we have given you a ‘it depends’ answer, we also hope that we have given you some useful ways to ensure whatever option you use it is going to be absorbent enough to leave you leak free.

But, like with most things diaper related, the best thing to do is try both diapers and pull ups and see which one works best for you and your child.

And if you’re looking for more great diapering guides, then check out these guides on best diapers to prevent blowouts, what to do with extra diapers, diaper bag essentials for toddlers, and Pampers Baby Dry Vs Cruisers.

do pull ups hold as much as diapers