Just how clean is a clean diaper?

And what’s inside our diapering solutions?

by Coterie Team

On our packs of diapers, wipes, and pants, you’ll find claims like: hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and free of 200+ potentially harmful chemicals. But what do they actually mean? We talked to Jackie, our VP of Product Development, to get answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about the materials in our products.

How do you decide what a product should be “free of”?

Diapers aren’t a regulated product category since they’re not intended to be ingested or absorbed by the skin, but we go above and beyond industry norms in developing our safety standards with third-party labs. We look at regional regulations (like California's Prop 65), guidelines from reputable organizations (like the Environmental Working Group), as well as international norms and standards to make sure our list of banned ingredients is regularly updated. As a mother, I prefer to err on the side of caution—if there’s any question about an ingredient, we don’t include it.

What does hypoallergenic mean?

Hypoallergenic means that a material is not likely to cause an allergic reaction or dermal sensitization with repeated exposure.

Our products are tested by dermatologists under controlled conditions over a 6-week period, and proven not to cause allergic reactions or sensitization—the materials in our diapers, pants, and wipes can be considered as gentle on skin as water.

Are your products gluten-free and vegan?

We don’t use animal products or gluten in our diapers, pants, or wipes, but these aren’t official claims we make since the FDA reserves these claims—and others, like “nut free”—for food products. However, we can, and do, say that we don’t test on animals, and we make sure none of our suppliers do.

Are your diapers made of bamboo?

It’s actually not really accurate to say that any diaper is “made of bamboo” because the raw bamboo must first be processed into viscose, which requires chemical and energy resources—and once those bamboo fibers become something else, they technically shouldn't be called bamboo anymore. After research and testing, we chose not to use bamboo for performance and sustainability reasons.

Are your diapers all-natural?

No, because all-natural isn’t always the safest and most sustainable option. I like to use the example of poison ivy: all-natural, but irritating. Even plant-based plastics (called PLA) act like regular plastic at their end of life—so it’s important to recognize where “natural” or “plant-based” is used for marketing. A “clean” ingredient list can include tested and proven-safe synthetic compounds.

We’re always working with our suppliers to find the most sustainable solutions for our materials, and we use non-irritating, plant-based materials where possible without sacrificing performance, like TCF (Totally Chlorine Free) wood pulp from sustainably managed forests.

As parents, we all want what’s best and safest for our babies. It can be confusing to navigate greenwashing, clean-washing, and ingredient lists, so we always want to be transparent with you—you can read our full safety reports here.