Two series of superabsorbent hydrogel composites were prepared using waste linear low-density polyethylene, acrylic acid, and two types of clays including kaolin and halloysite nanotube (HNT) through emulsion polymerization. The effects of the clay content on Water absorbency were investigated to obtain a high swelling capacity. The prepared samples were characterized using FTIR, SEM, thermogravimetric analysis, XRD, solid-state 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy, and 29Si NMR. SEM characterization of the samples showed that the hydrogel composites have more pores and a higher swelling ratio than the clay-free hydrogels. The hydrogel composite containing kaolin had higher water absorbency compared to the hydrogel composites with HNT. The swelling behavior of the hydrogel composite was investigated in various saline solutions. The hydrogel composite containing 5 wt % kaolin had the highest water absorbency (760 g/g in distilled water). © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 40101.