Do pull ups hold more pee than diapers?

Do pull ups hold more pee than diapers

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support!

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Do pull ups hold more pee than diapers?

No, pull ups do not hold more pee than diapers. Pull ups are generally thinner and less absorbent than diapers because they are designed to mimic underwear which helps during potty training.

I tested a few diapers to see how much liquid they absorb. The brands I chose to test were Hello Bello, Healthy Baby, and Pampers.

And just to be clear, my daughter is wearing size 5 as of the date of this post, so this is the size I tested for all brands.

By the way, Hello Bello and Healthy Baby are two of my favorite brands and I highly recommend them if your child is a heavy wetter.

By the way, if you use my Hello Bello affiliate link, you get $15 off your order!

How much pee do diapers and pull-ups hold?

I used water and not pee just to keep things clean and sanitary.

Once again, I am testing size 5 pull-ups and diapers from Hello Bello, Healthy Baby, and Pampers.

Please note that these tests were for my own personal curiosity and if you do the tests yourself, you may get different results.

Hello Bello

First, I compared the Training Pants and Overnight Pull-Ups, both by Hello Bello. For the test, I used water so I could measure the amount they would hold before they started to leak.

It wasn’t surprising to know that the Overnight pull-ups held more pee.

Hello Bello

The amount of liquid held, in mL

Training Pants


Overnight Diapers


What I like about Hello Bello is that both the diapers and training pants are free of harmful chemicals like synthetic fragrances, phthalates, parabens, and lotions.

Instead, they are made with sustainably harvested fluff pulp and a plant-derived core liner. This is great if you are environmentally conscious and would like something better for the environment.

And this also means that your baby will not absorb chemicals when they get their diaper soiled.

Healthy Baby

I then tested Healthy Baby Diapers and Diaper Pants. Both are great products but as I anticipated, the diapers held more liquid. 

However, the difference in volume was not that huge. Both seem to hold almost the same amount of liquid.

Healthy Baby

The amount of liquid held, in mL

Diaper Pants




If you need a diaper or pull-up that is safe and soft on your child’s skin, then this is a great choice.

I like the fact that Healthy Baby’s products are EWG-approved, which gives me peace of mind knowing that I can enhance my child’s potty training journey. 

EWG verification means that these diapers meet the strictest standards for your baby’s health. There are no chemicals that could pose a health risk.


Now to the last brand. Honestly, Pampers and other similar brands like Huggies are not my favorite but I just wanted to see how much liquid they would hold.

I tested the Pampers Swaddlers and the Cruisers and just as I thought, the diapers performed better.


The amount of liquid held, in mL

Swaddlers (pull-ups)


Cruisers (diapers)


I am not surprised by how much liquid they held. I expected these diapers to hold a good amount of liquid.

HOWEVER, I don’t like how many chemicals are in them. To begin with, standard diapers have a wetness indicator line.

The chemical used in the wetness indicator is bromophenol blue, and according to Lewis University, it may cause skin irritation.

Plus there are other chemicals that mask the smell of urine or poop. 

So no thank you. I would rather pay a higher price for Hello Bello and know that my child is not absorbing harmful chemicals.

Price comparison

As you may have guessed, Hello Bello and Healthy Baby do cost a bit more than Pampers and other standard brands but the benefits are much superior.

They don’t have harmful chemicals that can cause skin irritation or other conditions. And this is one of the main reasons why I am willing to pay a bit extra for high-quality and safe diapers.



# Diapers per pack (size 5)

Hello Bello Training Pants


Bundle of 126

Hello Bello Overnight Diapers



Healthy Baby Pull-ups



Healthy Baby Diapers



Swaddlers (pull-ups)



Cruisers (diapers)



Diapers vs pull-ups: which ones should you choose?

As you can see, the major difference is in the design and the amount of liquid they hold. But here are some key facts to help you decide.


Diapers have adhesive tabs or fasteners on the sides to easily secure the diaper and are primarily used for infants and young children who are not yet potty trained. 

I think the biggest benefit is the convenience of quick changes, especially for babies who may be lying down during diaper changes.

And as you can see from the data above, diapers are designed to absorb large amounts of urine and feces compared to pull-ups, and this keeps your baby’s skin dry.

They also have elastic leg cuffs and a snug waistband to prevent leaks.


Pull-ups don’t have adhesive tabs and look more like underwear with stretchy sides that can be pulled up and down. 

Some pull-ups have tear-away sides that make it easy to take them off if you don’t want to pull them down.

They are designed for toddlers who are transitioning from diapers to underwear but still may have occasional accidents. 

Since they are typically used during potty training, they are not as absorbent as diapers and this allows your child to feel wet.

What to do next?

There you have it. Pull-ups are less absorbent than diapers because the purpose is to help your child during potty training.

Again, I recommend Hello Bello or Healthy Baby, these two are my favorite brands and their products are by far better quality.

About Leslie - Latinx Montessori

Hello, I am Leslie. I am on a mission to help you support the growth and development of your child. With the right tools and proper guidance, you can navigate parenthood with confidence and assertion! My goal is to equip you with knowledge to help you construct a strong foundation for your child’s life.

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