What Is the Difference Between Biodegradable Diapers and Compostable Diapers?

What Is the Difference Between Biodegradable Diapers and Compostable Diapers?

If you’re like many parents, you not only want your baby to have a comfortable, safe diaper that won’t harm their health, but you’re also worried about the effects that disposable baby diapers can have on the environment. This is a reasonable concern since disposable diapers contribute a stunning 4.1 million tons of waste to U.S. landfills each year. And depending on the brand and the specific materials in the diaper, as well as the treatment processes used by the landfill, it can take some of those diapers up to 500 years to decompose! That's a lot of mess!

But shopping for more environmentally friendly diapers can be confusing. There are a lot of marketing terms out there, and deciphering them can be tough. While we can't cover every single term you might hear, there are two words that arguably cause more confusion than any others. Here is what you need to know about the official definitions for the terms “biodegradable” and “compostable" when it comes to disposable diapers.

What About Biodegradable Diapers?
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC ), the term “biodegradable” can only be used for products that, after manufacturing, can eventually break down and return to their natural form. Are there biodegradable diapers, as defined by the FTC? The answer is no. Even though DYPER uses plant-based materials, the diapers themselves cannot return to their natural form (a Bamboo tree). Our diapers are Certified OK biobased, but they are not 100% biodegradable. And neither is any other disposable diaper. Regardless of marketing hype, truly biodegradable diapers do not exist.

What About Compostable Diapers?
So diapers can’t fully biodegrade. But can diapers be composted? In our case, yes!

Composting is a method of breaking down decomposable materials into a stable, useful new form. You might have a home composting system set up for things like table scraps, but to be safely compostable in accordance with regulatory standards, diapers must be composted in a regulated facility. Our partnering facilities safely compost our diapers into things like vegetation for highway medians.

When you buy DYPER compostable diapers and add on our optional REDYPER™ service, all you have to do is use our provided materials to bag and box your baby’s used diapers, following our easy step-by-step instructions. Print the shipping labels, and either ship the boxes to us or arrange for a convenient at-home pickup. We’ll take care of the rest, composting your diapers either at our REDYPER™ facility in San Francisco or through our partnerships. How many other diaper companies can say that?

Watch Out for “Greenwashing”!
Unfortunately, not all disposable diaper companies are transparent. They may use a bunch of fancy buzzwords to convince you that they sell eco-friendly diapers. And it’s true that many of the big players have recently taken steps toward creating diapers that are healthier for both your baby and the environment. But take the time to read the fine print. Make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for, and don’t be taken in by greenwashing, which is an attempt to use marketing to make consumers believe that a product is greener than it actually is.

Are Cloth Diapers A Better Option?
At first glance, cloth diapers seem like a great way to solve the problems associated with disposable diapers. And some parents do use them quite successfully. But cloth diapers aren’t perfect either. They add a lot to your laundry, which means using detergent, water, and electricity. You can’t just reach for a new one if you haven’t had time to do the wash, which means a lot more advance planning. Many childcare facilities won’t use them due to sanitation concerns. And using them when traveling can bring a whole host of new challenges. Even if you use cloth diapers on a regular basis, you may want to keep some disposables on hand for travel, childcare, and laundry emergencies.

Why Choose DYPER?
Our compostable diaper service, REDYPER™, lets you conveniently order our safe, healthy, plant-based diapers and then easily box them up and return them for composting. It's such a simple process and diverts hundreds if not thousands of used diapers from ending up in landfills.

Our diapers are designed by parents for parents and is proud to offer a simple and kind diapering journey! Their remarkably absorbent, soft diapers are made with chlorine-free fluff pulp and plant-based materials, and without latex, alcohol, perfumes, or phalates!

What's in DYPER Diapers?
So what's a DYPER diaper? And just as importantly, what isn't? Let's break it down.

Our plant-based diapers contain:

Textile Content

  • Outside Cover, Inside Cover: 100% plant-based materials
  • Leg Cuffs: 100% Polypropylene
  • Inner Film: 100% Bioplastic
  • Elastics: 100% Elastane


  • 22% Sodium Polyacrylate
  • 35% Elemental Chlorine-Free Wood Pulp
  • 4% Paper
  • 9% Polypropylene
  • 18% Viscose
  • 6% Bioplastic
  • 2.3% Adhesive
  • 3.7% Elastane

We know what diapers need, and we also know what additives can be harmful to both your baby and the environment. Unlike most major brands, our diapers never contain:

  • Chlorine
  • Latex
  • PVC
  • TBT
  • Antioxidants
  • Perfumes
  • Lotions
  • Phthalates
  • Inks and dyes

Responsible diapering doesn't mean giving up absorbency. Depending on the size of the diaper, our diapers can hold 255 mL (plus or minus 20) to 700 mL (plus or minus 20) of waste. With DYPER, we designed our diapers so that you can have it all, as well as a clean conscience.

Switch to Compostable Diapers with REDYPER™

Now that you understand the difference between biodegradable and compostable diapers, and how DYPER is uniquely offering a diaper pickup and ship-back solution through REDYPER™, are you ready to give our plant-based diapers a try? Are you ready for a better solution that can protect your baby, the planet, and your wallet? To join DYPER, just sign up for our diaper delivery service and then add REDYPER™ on the second page of checkout.