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The Best Total Chlorine Free (TCF) Diapers

TCF diapers comparison




Written by:

Barbara Mighdoll

Coterie vs. Healthy Baby vs. Freestyle vs. Happy Little Camper vs. Kudos

If you’ve been researching diapers for your little one, you’ve likely come across the whole chlorine debate in the form of a battle between Total Chlorine Free (TCF) versus Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) diapers. It’s a hot topic for good reason. Personally, if given the option, I feel safer going with TCF diapers so I can be sure chlorine bleaching was not part of the process at all. 

And if you’ve found yourself here, you likely feel the same too. But which Total Chlorine Free diapers are the best? I’m here to break it down for you comparing Coterie vs. Healthy Baby vs. Freestyle vs. Happy Little Camper vs. Kudos.

Total Chlorine Free diapers vs. Elemental Chlorine Free diapers

TCF? ECF? Let’s discuss what these buzzwords mean. 

Simply put, Total Chlorine Free diapers are made without the use of chlorine or chlorine derivatives in the bleaching process when diaper materials are manufactured. Traditional diapers depend on bleaching techniques involving chlorine compounds, which produce harmful, toxic byproducts, potentially causing health and skin problems. 

ECF, or Elemental Chlorine Free, are diapers crafted without elemental chlorine. Here's the catch: ECF isn't entirely chlorine-free because it uses chlorine dioxide instead of elemental chlorine for bleaching, and chlorine dioxide is a derivative of chlorine. 

What diaper brands are Total Chlorine Free (TCF)?

There are a handful of brands that can actually claim the TCF status, and you’ll notice none of them are brands you’ll typically find in big box stores, produced by the diaper giants that are household names. Namely, Millie Moon and Honest Diapers are no longer Total Chlorine Free. Here’s a complete list of Total Chlorine Free diapers I considered for this comparison.

  1. Coterie
  2. Kudos
  3. Pura
  4. Eco by Naty
  5. Parasol
  6. Healthy Baby
  7. Terra
  8. EcoPeaCo
  9. Freestyle
  10. Bambo
  11. Abby and Finn
  12. Happy Little Camper
  13. Attitude Living
  14. Joonya

How I Selected the Best Total Chlorine Free Diaper

I'm tackling this showdown the way I know best – with extensive research. I'm sizing up each contender based on the top five factors that matter most to me when picking a diaper: ingredient safety, because I want to know what's touching my baby's skin; absorbency, because nobody wants a messy blowout; softness, for that comfy feel against my baby's sensitive skin; availability, because convenience is key; and cost, because budget is always a consideration.

which total chlorine free diaper is the best

Criteria #1: Ingredient safety

Coterie: TCF, free of latex, fragrance, lotion, dye, alcohol, heavy metals, brighteners, parabens, phthalates. Hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested and third-party tested. They are the only brand to release a Diaper Safety Report for full transparency into safety standards. 5/5

Healthy Baby: TCF, free of parabens, phthalates, fragrances, optical brighteners, latex, and lotions. EWG verified, OEKO TEX certified, allergy certified, plastic neutral certified. 5/5

Freestyle: TCF, free of fragrances, parabens, allergens, phthalates, alcohol, and latex. 4/5

Happy Little Camper: TCF, free of alcohol, fragrances, parabens, lotion, latex. Hypoallergenic. 4/5

Kudos: TCF, free of fragrance, phthalates, latex, alcohol, parabens. OEKO TEX certified. 4/5

Ingredient Safety Winner: Tied Coterie & Healthy Baby

Criteria #2: Absorbency

Coterie: This diaper absorbed liquid instantly and felt incredibly dry within seconds. 5/5

Healthy Baby: This diaper absorbed slightly slower than Coterie, and feels wet still after several minutes. 3/5 

Freestyle: This diaper absorbed decently quickly, but definitely feels wet to the touch. 3/5

Happy Little Camper: Absorbency appears identical to Healthy Baby, feeling wet to the touch still after several minutes. 3/5

Kudos: This diaper absorbed decently quickly, but felt the wettest of all the options. 2/5

Absorbency Winner: Coterie

non-toxic diaper best absorbency

Criteria #3: Softness

Coterie: OMG these are so soft inside and out! They are plush and feel like cashmere. 5/5

Healthy Baby: These are very thin – tied with Happy Little Camper, but do have a touch of softness. 3/5

Freestyle: These are soft on the outside, but the inside top sheet is a bit rougher. 3/5

Happy Little Camper: These are just as thin as Healthy Baby, but do have a touch of softness. 3/5

Kudos: These feel rough and like plastic. 1/5

Softness Winner: Coterie

Criteria #4: Availability

Coterie: Available at Customer service by email and text support 24/7. Never go out-of-stock. Delivery within 1 to 5 business days. Express shipping available ($25 fee). Single packs are available to ship to your destination when traveling. Additional purchase options: in-store and online at Whole Foods (sizes 2 to 5, typically in-stock) 5/5

Healthy Baby: Available at Customer service by phone or email. Delivery to the East Coast typically takes 3 business days, while delivery to the West Coast can take up to 10 business days. Express shipping available at a surcharge ($20 to $30 fee). Single packs are available to ship. Usually available in all sizes and typically don’t go out of stock. Additional purchase options: Target (typically out-of-stock in-store, but available online), and Walmart (online only). 3/5

Freestyle: Available at Customer service via text support or email. Delivery within 2 to 5 days. Single packs are not available. Usually in-stock. Additional purchase options: in-store and online at Whole Foods (sizes 3 to 5, typically in-stock) 4/5

Happy Little Camper: Available at Delivery within 3 to 5 days. Customer support available by phone or email. Single packs are available to ship. Often out-of-stock (at time of writing Size 3 and Size 4 had been out of stock for several weeks). Additional purchase options: online at Amazon and Walmart (but same size availability limits). 2/5

Kudos: Available at Customer service via email only. Delivery within 2 to 5 days, but may be delayed 2-3 weeks due to operations. Single packs are not available. Usually in-stock. No additional purchase options. 3/5

Availability Winner: Coterie

Criteria #5: Cost

Assuming you are signing up for a diaper subscription, here’s how the cost breaks down.

Coterie: 198 diapers in Size 1 = $90 ($0.45/diaper)

Healthy Baby: 210 diapers in Size 1 = $105 ($0.50/diaper)

Freestyle: 204 diapers in Size 1 = $100 ($0.49/diaper) *includes a 4 pack of wipes

Happy Little Camper: 216 diapers in Size 2 = $65.99 ($0.31/diaper)

Kudos: 216 diapers in Size 1 = $78 ($0.36/diaper)*

Cost Winner: Happy Little Camper

And the winner of the TCF diaper showdown is Coterie!

Taking all these criteria into account, plus the brand's extreme transparency with its public Diaper Safety Report, Coterie is my top pick for best non-toxic, Total Chlorine Free diaper. Ultimately my decision was heavily persuaded by the superior absorbency of Coterie compared to the rest. Because what good is a diaper if it isn’t wicking away moisture quickly with the ability to hold it liquid to avoid leaks and blowouts?

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Barbara Mighdoll best total chlorine free diapers


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