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What materials are used to make diapers?

Updated: Nov 27, 2021

What materials are used to make diapers?

Disposable diapers are made from common materials that have a long history of safe use in a variety of everyday consumer products. An average diaper weighs between 1.4 and 1.8 ounces and is primarily made of cellulose, polypropylene, polyethylene and a super absorbent polymer, as well as minor amounts of tapes, elastics and adhesive materials. Advances in each of these materials have enabled diapers to become lighter, thinner and more effective – with less of an impact on the environment.

Since becoming broadly available in the 2000s, disposable diapers have gone through a number of changes in materials used or diaper construction to improve their performance, fit, and skin comfort. In recent years these advances have also reduced diapers’ environmental impact.

Each diaper has two primary parts:

*Diaper core – the middle of the diaper where urine and liquid feces are absorbed and stored.

*Diaper chassis – the shell of the diaper holds the core together, attaches the diaper onto the baby, and creates a proper fit around the legs.

Diaper Core

The core is primarily composed of polypropylene, cellulose and a superabsorbent polymer.


*Acquisition/Distribution Layer

*Absorbent Core

Diaper Chassis

The chassis is made up of the backsheet plus additional features that ensure the diaper fits well. These features can include stretch side panels, fastening systems and tapes, and leg cuffs.


*Fit and Comfort Features

Additional Materials

In both the diaper core and chassis, small amounts of adhesives are used to bond component parts together to ensure performance, fit, and overall integrity. In some products, features such as designs or scents may be added.

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