Which Reusable Nappy Should I Buy?

Which Reusable Nappy Should I Buy?

Reusable nappies can save you a lot of money AND the environment, but with so many different types on the market, it can be hard to decide which reusable nappy is best for you. Are they all as good as they say? Is there a top brand? How do they hold up through the night? These are just some of the questions that you may have when considering reusable nappies. We have put together this simple guide to answer any questions that you may have and help you find the reusable nappies that will work best for your baby and your lifestyle.

What nappy is the best?

First thing's first - there is NO best nappy. Only the best nappy for YOU. Every parent ill have a different take, and you shouldn't rule out brands based on what your friend has told you, nor should you commit to a full set because that's what your aunt's friend's daughter liked best. Every baby is different, every lifestyle is different, every budget is different, and every parent is different. You've got to decide which factors are most important to you when choosing to reuse.

So what factors are there to consider?

  • Drying

  • Ease Of Use

  • Affordability

  • Baby's Shape & Size

  • Materials/Absorbency

  • And anything else that matters to you!

So let's go through the factors one-by-one and compare the options...

Drying

How will you be drying your nappies? If you'll be air drying then you won't need to worry too much, other than with regards to drying time. Do you want a quick drying nappy or do you not mind them being sat on the airer for a day or two in winter? There are always ways around this - dehumidifiers and heated airers can drastically speed up drying time for as little as 4p/hour to run.

But say you live in a flat and you're limited to tumble drying for most of the year, then your nappies will see a lot more wear, particularly the PUL outers. This isn't an issue for one child (maybe two) when tumble dried on a gentle setting, in which case you can use whichever nappy suits you best, PUL and all in the tumble dryer on gentle. But if you want your nappies to last multiple children then you'll probably want to consider a two-part cotton prefold system. This way the 100% cotton inners can even be tumble dried on hot if you wish, whilst the wraps can hang on a door, stair gate or curtain rail overnight as they're quick to dry.

Ease Of Use

Convenience plays a huge part in our everyday decisions, particularly if one parent isn't yet fully on board with the idea of cloth nappies or relatives/childcare will be doing a lot of nappy changes. An all-in-one such as the Little Lovebum Everyday Nappy (also available in a kit) is a fantastic choice for those in need of convenience, their design means that they are as close to a disposable as you will get in terms of fit and ease - they require zero prep and very little knowledge to fit without leaks.

Of course, if you aren't to worried about convenience, but more about your partner or a grandparent getting on board with cloth, then you can always book onto a cloth nappy class with us to gain confidence before little one arrives!

Affordability

Regardless of which brand you buy from us, all will save you money in the long run. We recommend thinking of a nappy kit as an investment like a pram or crib - it will be used for years to come by multiple children. But of course, some of us are still on a strict budget when it comes to reusable nappies. But don't worry as we still have a couple of options to choose from! Firstly, our Alva Budget Kit is perfect for those wanting an affordable birth-to-potty pocket nappy, and is convenient for nursery too. We also have our prefold two-part kits, which some in Size 1 (up to 6 months) and Size 2 (6 months +), which can be useful to spread the cost into two chunks whilst remaining affordable per nappy.

We do also offer Klarna on all nappy kits, which is a great option for those needing to split essential baby purchases over 3 months to lessen the financial blow of your little one's arrival. I personally have found this a lifesaver in many situations as a parent when needing new car seats etc.

Baby's Shape & Size

Different babies fit different nappies best, so whilst a Bambino Mio Miosolo will fit chunky babies best, a Close Pop In will fit skinnier babies best. A good fit is essential for a leak-free, easy reusable experience. We find two-part nappies are much more forgiving, so if you are wanting to choose a kit before your little one arrives, then opt for a kit with a separate wrap to inner nappy, such as the Little Lamb fitted nappies and wraps.

If in doubt then pop in to store or send us an email at thefriendlyecobristol@gmail.com to discuss your options before buying, it's our job after all!

Materials/Absorbency

All materials have their uses, or else they wouldn't exist in the reusable nappy world! As absorbency increases, you typically find that speed of absorbency decreases - so the material holds more but is slightly slower to suck up the moisture. Here's the three most common materials from least to most absorbent (and fastest to slowest to absorb):

  • Microfiber - Fast but little absorbency

  • Cotton - Middle for both

  • Bamboo - Slow but high absorbency

You also have hemp, which is quick to absorb and also holds a lot of liquid, whilst coming in very thin boosters such as the Little Lamb Hemp Booster. But it comes at a high price point currently in the UK due to strict regulations.

Most bamboo boosters contain a small amount of microfiber too which can be important for speeding up absorbency and also keeping the booster soft - bamboo is a wood and therefore on its own would be much too brittle! You typically want 10-30% microfiber maximum to ensure that the booster still has lots of absorbency. Equally, if choosing an exclusively microfiber nappy, you will likely need some hemp or bamboo in there to hold bigger wees as baby gets older.

There is also the environmental impact of using microfiber - overall, it is still much more sustainable to use 20 microfiber cloth nappies than 5,000 disposables. But we do get a few parents who would still prefer to avoid microfiber altogether, in which case you'll want to stick to the natural materials such as cotton, hemp and bamboo.

Conclusion

Whilst choosing to reuse can seem like a bit of a minefield, once you begin to understand what's important to you, your options will quickly narrow down considerably. If you're still unsure, then why not try a few before buying the full kit?

If you want to learn more about reusables and get our take on everything from washing to nappy types, then download our FREE eBook "The Ultimate Cloth Nappy Guide" to learn more!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.