In August 2021, we asked parents to rate 20 reusable nappy brands, including Bambino Mio, Little Lamb and TotsBots.
The best brand gained an impressive customer score of 75%, achieving good ratings all round. Parents were particularly satisfied with its nappies’ absorbency, which was rated good or excellent by three quarters of those surveyed.
Some brands failed to impress, with the worst receiving an overall customer score of just 59%. Our survey results can help guide you to the best reusable nappy brands. For each nappy brand we’ll tell you how parents rate each of the following:
We also calculate a customer score for each brand, which is based on parents' overall satisfaction with the nappies and how likely they are to recommend them. You can see a preview of the best and worst customer scores below:
|Brand||Customer score||Ease of use||Fit||Comfort||Absorbency||Value for money|
Using the table
Results are based on an online survey of 1,030 UK parents in August 2021, who were asked to rate the reusable nappy brands they use currently and the brands they've used in the last year. Scores represent the percentage of people that gave a 'good' or 'excellent' rating. Customer score is calculated using a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend the brand to a friend.
Sample sizes: Baba & Boo (56), Bambino Mio (94), Bambooty (36), Beaming Baby (40), Blueberry (33), Bright Bots (34), BumGenius (40), Charlie Banana (31), Cheeky Doodoo (37), Easy Peasy (47), FLIP Nappies (42), Happy Nappy (64), Kit & Kin (50), Little Lamb (53), Modern Cloth Nappies (48), Motherease (40), Smartipants (40), Smart Bottoms (38), Tickle Tots (34), TotsBots (38).
Reusable nappies are a good way to cut costs because they work out cheaper than disposable nappies in the long run.
They also help to reduce the number of disposable nappies ending up in landfill and can be a more environmentally friendly option if you take steps to reduce energy use, such as avoiding tumble drying.
However, they need to be washed and dried after every use so they aren’t as convenient as disposable nappies.
Reusable nappies – also known as washable nappies, cloth nappies or real nappies – have evolved significantly in the past decade and are a popular choice for eco-conscious parents.
They come in a vast range of colours and fabrics, often look like disposables, and can be just as easy to put on and take off again.
Reusable nappies are made up of an absorbent inner layer, containing a washable or disposable liner and a waterproof outer layer, called the wrap. You can also choose to add a booster pad for extra absorbency.
They’re available in a variety of materials, including cotton, bamboo, hemp and microfibre. The outer wraps can be made of fleece, wool, PUL (a type of laminated fabric) or waterproof plastic.
Instead of binning the nappy once used, you put the reusable nappy in a designated bucket ready to be washed. When clean and dry, it can be worn again.
Reusable nappies come in a range of different designs. Some have layers attached, while others have separate parts that you need to join together.
You may want to try out a few types of nappy before you buy in bulk, to see how you and your baby get on with them.
All-in-one nappies have an absorbent inner layer attached to a waterproof outer layer. The two parts are sewn together, making them one piece.
Pocket nappies are similar to all-in-ones but have a pouch in the nappy cover, which you stuff with a fabric insert to provide absorbency.
Nappies with a two-part design have a separate inner nappy and outer wrap. You can choose between a shaped nappy and a flat nappy.
Shaped nappies have elasticated waist and leg cuffs and are usually fastened with Velcro or poppers.
Flat nappies are simply a piece of fabric that you fasten around your baby using a nappy grip. You can either buy Terry squares, which need to be folded to a suitable size and shape, or you can buy pre-folded nappies. These are the cheapest type of reusable nappies.
One-size or 'birth to potty' reusable nappies can be adjusted to fit your baby as they grow.
With sized nappies, you'll need to buy different nappies as your baby grows. These are useful for newborns as you may find that birth to potty nappies are too big for small babies.
Take our short quiz to find out which type of reusable nappy is right for you.
By the time a child is potty trained, they could get through more than 5,000 disposable nappies. According to recycling charity Wrap, this adds up to an estimated three billion nappies thrown away every year in the UK. As disposable nappies can’t usually be recycled, most end up in landfill.
The most recent study on environmental impact of reusable and disposable nappies was carried out by the Environment Agency back in 2008.
It concluded that consumers’ behaviour dictates the environmental impact of reusable nappies. Based on average washer and dryer use, the study found reusable nappies had a worse global warming impact than disposable nappies. But if consumers take steps such as washing in fuller loads, line drying and reusing nappies with a second child, the global warming impact could be reduced by up to 40%.
Reusable nappies have a higher upfront cost than disposable nappies, but they work out cheaper in the long term, particularly if you use them for more than one child.
The cost of reusable nappies varies depending on the type and brand you choose. The government’s money advice service estimates the average overall cost of using own-brand disposable nappies at £1,875. It puts the average cost of reusable nappies at just £400 (including laundry costs), giving an overall saving of £1,475 over the course of a baby’s first two and half years.
Depending on your baby’s age, how often they need changing and how frequently the nappies are washed, you’re likely to need around 15-25 reusable nappies. You won’t need as many if you’re using them alongside disposable nappies.
These four tips could help you to reduce the cost of reusable nappies: