My new scoring system is based on six categories, each of which contributes up to 10 points for a total score out of 60. This determines the extent to which I would recommend the diaper in general, as follows:
55-60 - Pretty much a perfect diaper. Why aren't you out there buying some NOW? :)
50-55 - Exceptional diaper. Highly recommended.
40-50 - Good diaper. Recommended.
30-40 - Decent diaper. Somewhat recommended.
<30 - Not a recommended diaper. (Note - you probably won't see a review with this rating on my blog. In the event that I encounter an unsatisfactory product, I would settle things privately with the sponsor.)
Here are the six categories:
Category 1: Appearance/Style
- Is the design attractive?
- Does the diaper look good on baby?
- Is the diaper trim?
- How many colour/pattern options are available?
Category 2: Performance
- How well does the diaper do its job - namely, protect against leaks and contain messes?
- Is diaper a viable choice for night diapering?
Category 3: Comfort & Fit
- Does the diaper leave marks on baby's skin?
- Does the diaper fit snugly without pinching? (Around both the waist and the legs.)
- Are the surfaces which touch baby's skin soft & pleasant?
- Is the diaper stretchy or firm/stiff?
- Does the diaper move well with baby?
- Is there any "wing droop"?
- Does the diaper appear to truly cover the advertised size range?
- How easy is the diaper to put on and take off baby?
- Is there any "assembly" required for diaper? (e.g. liners to snap in, pockets to stuff, etc.) If so, how quick & straightforward is it?
- How easy is the laundering & care routine?
Category 5: Quality & Durability
- Is the diaper made from high-quality materials?
- Does the diaper appear to be well-made? No loose seams, flawed stitching, etc.
- Is the diaper durable? How well does it hold up over time?
Category 6: Value
- This category is based on how much a "lifetime stash" costs
- For comparison purposes, a lifetime stash is considered to be 24 wearable diapers (with any/all liners, inserts, etc.) from birth until potty training
- For one-size (OS) systems, a premium is added to the lifetime stash cost to account for the fact that, in some cases, these diapers can be too large to fit newborns and/or too small to fit toddlers (in which case additional diapers are needed.) I've tentatively set the premium to +$100 for a 7-35 lb range (or better), and an additional $50 for each lb lost on either side of the range. So, for example, an OS system advertised to fit from 8-32 lbs would have a premium of +$300.
- Points in this category are awarded per "lifetime stash" cost as follows:
- Less than $300: 10 points
- $300-$400: 9 points
- $400-500: 8 points
- $500-600: 7 points
- $600-700: 6 points
- $700-800: 5 points
- $800-$1000: 4 points
- $1000-$1250: 3 points
- $1250-$1500: 2 points
- $1500+: 1 point
Note that if any particular category is not that important to you, it can be taken out of the equation. So say that money isn't an issue - you just want the best diapers out there. Then subtract the Category 6 score from the diaper's total, subtract 10 from each recommendation range at the top and re-compare to see where the diaper fits following the adjustment.
Note that I'll need to make some adjustments to the above system to score individual components of a 2+ part diapering system (e.g. covers, prefolds, inserts, etc.). This'll take a bit more thought.
So whaddya think? Like the system? See any improvements that can be made? Want to see it in action before you comment? (If you're in the latter camp, you're in luck! Next fluff review will be coming out within a day or two. Stay tuned!)