Results from our latest survey show nearly a quarter of parents are deterred from using reusable nappies by the amount they cost*.
But while reusable nappies do have a higher upfront cost than disposable ones, they work out cheaper in the long term. They’re particularly cost effective if you use them with more than one child.
The government’s Money Advice Service estimates that using reusable nappies can save you more than £1,400 over the course of your baby’s first two and a half years.
Follow our tips below to save money when buying your reusable nappies, plus reduce energy costs from washing and drying.
Check out our guide to the best reusable nappy brands to find out which brands parents rate for fit, comfort and absorbency.
1. Check whether your local council runs an incentive scheme
Some local councils offer reusable nappy incentive schemes, which can include free starter packs or a voucher towards the cost of your nappies.
They’re ideal if you’re considering switching to reusable nappies but aren’t sure whether you want to take the leap.
The discount you’ll get varies depending on where you live. It’s usually around £30 to £50, but in some places, councils offer up to £100 towards the cost of the nappies.
Check out our disposable nappy reviews to find out which 5p nappy we’ve named a Best Buy.
2. Try before you buy
There are a wide variety of reusable nappies to choose from and some are easier to use than others.
Before investing in a full set of nappies, it’s best to try out a few different types to find out which work best for you, and avoid wasting money on nappies you don’t get on with.
Nappy hire kits can be handy if you want to try some different styles before committing. Some local councils also offer free hire kits as part of their incentive scheme.
For a quick rundown of the pros and cons of all in one, pocket and two part reusable nappies, watch our video on how to buy the best reusable nappies.
3. Consider buying second hand
Buying second hand is a good choice for eco-conscious parents, and it can also save you a lot of money.
You can buy secondhand reusable nappies for a fraction of their original price on sites such as Gumtree, or on Facebook selling groups.
Make sure to check the nappies carefully before buying to ensure they’re in good condition.
New to reusable nappies? Read a parent’s account of trying reusable nappies for the first time to find out what it’s like to make the switch.
4. Keep your nappies in good condition
Taking good care of your reusable nappies can help them last longer and reduce the chance of having to fork out on replacements further down the line.
Plus, if you keep them in good condition you may be able to resell the nappies once you no longer need them and make some money back.
Read our top tips on how to make your reusable nappies last longer for advice on the best way to care for your reusable nappies.
5. Use an energy efficient washing machine
Reusable nappies need to be washed after each use, so depending on how many you have, you may find that you need to do multiple washes a day.
Switching to an energy efficient washing machine can reduce energy bills considerably – you could even slash your running costs by more than half.
See our top five energy-efficient washing machines to find out which models we recommend.
6. Avoid tumble drying
You can also save on energy costs by line drying reusable nappies, rather than tumble drying them.
As well as reducing your energy bill, line drying may also help to increase the lifespan of your nappies.
If you do tumble dry them, use an energy efficient tumble dryer, and check the instructions carefully beforehand as some reusable nappies aren’t suitable for tumble drying.
For more advice on how to get cheap baby products, see our 25 money-saving tips for parents.
*Results based on a survey of 1,346 parents that use disposable nappies, conducted in March 2021.