A lot of parents turn to Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers for a greener disposable option. One of the most widely available eco-friendly disposables, the diapers have lots of admirers for their chlorine-free, perfume-free materials. However, a redesign in 2011 left some parents unimpressed -- they say the diapers aren't as absorbent as they used to be. Others dislike the use of tan dye, saying it clashes with Seventh Generation's eco-conscious image.
Absorbency is iffy. Reviewers give Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers mixed reviews on absorbency. While some say they work just fine, others complain of leaks and blowouts and say the difference will be particularly noticeable if you're used to non-eco diapers. The diapers fare poorly in an expert absorbency test, and there is no wetness indicator. Most reviewers say the elastic fasteners are strong and re-sealable, making quick diaper checks a bit easier. The diapers have a relatively slim profile, which parents like, but several say they run small. Others complain that the elastic isn't strong enough to contain messes.
Chlorine-free, but not dye-free. Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers do not contain fragrances, latex, petroleum-based lotions or chlorine. However, the company dyes the diapers tan to make them appear more natural, a tactic that many reviewers find off-putting. Just like nearly all disposable diapers, Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers include sodium polyacrylate (SAP), a gel that boosts absorbency. No studies have established any dangers linked to its use in diapers: however, that doesn't alleviate parental concerns over SAP. The diapers are not biodegradable or compostable. They do not feature special designs or characters, though Seventh Generation did use Dr. Seuss's Lorax on some diapers in 2012, which many reviewers panned.
Review Credibility: Excellent In lab tests of 20 disposable diapers, Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers rank 13th. Testers say the diapers offer good fit and comfort, and they like the recycled-material packaging and chlorine-free, latex-free, fragrance-free materials. They also like that the company gives back to charity, but say the diaper is outclassed by competitors on absorbency -- it scores just 2 out of 10 in that category.
Review: The Battle for the Best Disposable Diapers, Juliet Spurrier, Nov. 15, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good TreeHugger.com's brief roundup of eco-friendly diapers includes both disposables and cloth diapers. Copeland says Seventh Generation is a good pick for families that "aren't willing to commit to cloth" and praises the hypoallergenic construction. The short review does not compare the diaper to others or note cons.
Review: 10 Best Green Baby Diapers on the Market, Blythe Copeland, Jan. 23, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers earn 4 out of 5 stars in just over 245 reviews on Amazon.com. Reviewers like the diaper's "gentler" materials and say they are a good happy medium for people who don't want to cloth diaper. Most say fit and absorbency is good, and many report that diaper rashes went away when they switched to this diaper. However, some reviewers say absorbency is poor and the elastic is too loose to contain messes. Others dislike the price and warn that these are not suited for overnight use.
Review: Seventh Generation Free and Clear Baby Diaper, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers earn 3.8 out of 5 stars in more than 300 reviews on Buzzillions.com. Reviewers say the diapers are a good value and generally give high marks for absorbency and fit. Others disagree, and report leaks and poor fit.
Review: Seventh Generation Diapers -- Stages 1 through 6 Size 3 -- 35 Count, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good In a thorough review, natural-parenting blogger Vanessa Pruitt praises Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers for being chlorine- and perfume-free, but says the tan dye added to the diapers is "sneaky." She says the diapers run small and are less absorbent than other disposables, and finds that the elastic doesn't hold up well.
Review: Seventh Generation Free and Clear Diapers Review, Vanessa Pruitt, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers are one of Bestcovery.com's runners-up for best newborn diaper. A short review praises the diaper's chemical-free, fragrance-free materials and says the diapers are absorbent despite their slim profile. The tabs are also easy to resecure, the review says. No cons are noted. Pampers Swaddlers, Huggies Pure and Natural, Earth's Best and Broody Chick diapers are also reviewed.
Review: Best Diaper, Natasha Puryear, Sept. 27, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good GoodGuide.com scores diapers according to company-level environmental commitment, social policies and potential health concerns. Seventh Generation ranks highest of all disposable diapers, with editors saying the company's environmental and social policies are among the top 5 percent of rated companies.
Review: Best Disposable Diapers Ratings, Editors of GoodGuide.com, Not dated