Have you thought about trying reusable nappies or eco nappies?
There was once a time when reusable, cloth nappies were all mums had. From soaking them for hours to get the stains out to hanging them out on the line to dry, reuseable nappies were and still are a more environmentally friendly and cost effective version of baby nappies. Just to give you an idea, if your baby was to wear nappies daily until they were around 2 and a half (the age when many tots are potty trained), you'd have likely used around 900 nappies which take hundreds of years to decompose!
Not only are reusable nappies better for the environment, but they're also said to be softer on your baby’s skin, claim to be less likely to spill, and supposedly help make potty training easier. If you’ve done your research about reusable versus disposable and have decided upon washables, you’ll be pleased to know things have come a long way since the days of terry nappies and safety pins. Let's be honest: eco nappies require more effort than disposables, but there are huge benefits to choosing washables.
To help you find out which reusable nappies are best for you and your baby, we’ve collected our top picks together. Don't forget to check out the best baby washing detergents, too.
From the gold, silver and bronze winners in the Mother&Baby Awards, to those shortlisted finalists our mums loved, these are the best eco nappies on the market right now:
The best reusable nappies
The cute Bambino Mio Miosolo nappy fits well, sits comfortably and dries quickly after washing. The pull-out tab system makes removing the core from inside the nappy super simple. The downside, however, is the nappy itself, which is not highly absorbent and usually wouldn’t last the whole night; Bambino Mio has tried to solve the problem with an added booster pad.
This eco nappy won Gold in the 2020 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards.
Our mums loved the great designs and how easy these nappies were to wash. Mum tester Nicola said: "I love this nappy. It is by far the best reusable we have used. It is durable, kept my baby dry with no leaking what so ever. We don’t get any nasty smells when using this. My baby also has not suffered from any nappy rash. My baby felt dry to touch when changed and not damp in any way. The nappy itself is easy to clean, I used a 60 hot wash and used the miofresh laundry cleanser."
Read our full review of the Bambino Mio Miosolo All-in-One Nappy here
Quick drying, slim fitting and easy to use, these colourful, cute nappies come with a nifty Velcro tab that makes for quick changing. With a couple of bamboo boosters, the Tots Bots Easyfit will stay dry for up to four hours. The fleece liner is great for reducing nappy stains, as well as making the nappies extra absorbent. This is an all-in-one nappy that fits most babies from birth to potty training - the Velcro ensures a good fit.
They won Silver in the 2020 M&B Awards Best Reusable Nappy category.
Our mums loved these easy-to-use nappies, voting them 4.5 out of 5. One of our testers vowed she would never go back to disposable nappies after using these nappies.
Mum tester Sikha said: "These nappies go on much like disposables so they are really easy and much more acceptable to family members who weren't that on board with cloth. We will definitely use them for the nursery too. I think you'd need quite a stash to use these full time as they did take a long time to dry, but the flip side of that is that they were really absorbant which is more important to us. They weren't bulky on our baby and therefore also weren't too big to take out and about in the changing bag. Also, I love a cute cloth bum and the fab designs on these nappies just add to the cuteness!"
Read our full review of the Tot Bots Easyfit here.
These cute reusable nappies are soft, snug, bright and comfy. What’s more, they’re also super absorbent and won a Mother&Baby Gold award in 2019. We love the fact they come with a handy instruction leaflet for those who are trying reusable nappies for the first time. The only downside? They take a while to dry after washing and can be quite bulky, however they are still a good night-time nappy.
Mum tester Lucy said: "It’s great to be able to use a nappy that is reusable and to feel you are doing something to help the environment. Once you get your head around all the different components that make up the nappy, it is very easy to use. It’s a bit of trial and error as to how many inserts etc you need. But overall is a nice product."
Read our full review of the TotsBots Bamboozle Stretch here
These cute washable nappies have been designed with your little one’s comfort in mind. The back poppers have been replaced with tab poppers and the birth-to-potty nappy is made from a unique, fast-wicking panel to keep excess moisture in the middle of the nappy. The designs are cute and colourful, but if you have a wiggly baby, you might find these nappies slightly complicated to put on and take off.
They were Shortlisted in the 2019 M&B Awards Best Reusable Nappy category.
Mum tester Chloe said: "I would recommend this product as it is a great way of saving money. These nappies last your baby a good few sizes until you would need to buy the next size up. The nappies are very stylish with different colourful designs on each one and they have a modern look to them. They are very absorbent and feel lovely and soft."
Read our full review of the Close Parent Pop-in New Gen here.
Cheaper than other reusable nappies on the market, the pull-off sections make the PSS! All-in-Two Washable eco-Friendly Nappy really easy to wash. With a number of booster pads to choose from, you can re-use the outer cover, making it a flexible and versatile choice. That said, although changing just the inserts sounds like a great time-saver, it can be fiddly.
A highly absorbent, comfortable nappy, the fleecey inner layer will keep moisture away from your baby’s skin and the waterproof polyester outer layer keeps wetness in. Good value for money, our mums loved the choice of bright colours. There are a few downsides, however: despite being good quality, they're not as absorbent as other brands, so be prepared to carry a few additional nappies.
Not only do these nappies look adorable, they are super versatile: you can used them with reusable washable inserts or disposable ones if you’d prefer. Designed with a cloth insert made from super soft fleece that lies flat across your baby’s skin, minimising rubbing. With a bra-strap adjustment which allows for a secure and comfortable fit, our mums loved the easy-to-use buckle. Read what else our mums had to say about these nappies here.
TJ's BTP Nappy Wrap are birth to potty waterproof wraps made from polyester laminated with polyurethane (PUL) and are designed to be a flexible option. With double leg gussets for extra protection from leaks, these wraps can also be used over fitted nappies in size 1/ 2 or birth to potty styles, as well as traditional terry nappies and other more bulky night options.
This nappy has been shortlisted in our 2021 Mother&Baby awards.
Mum Lucy Bull says: "Having a separate cover and liner makes it easy to wash and quick to dry. It also means that the system is flexible and more adaptable to suit different sized babies by using different inserts. The poppers make it easy to adjust so that the cover can grow with your baby, and the size can be reduced much smaller than my slim 3 month old."
Read more mum reviews of this nappy here.
Ecopipo UK Ecobebé One size All in 2 Nappy System
Ecobebé nappies consists of a soft, breathable waterproof cover and a slim but highly absorbent insert. The designers wanted to make eco nappies more accessible to all parents, as sometimes they can be seen as the expensive option. They wanted to make a simple, easy-to-use, affordable, reusable nappy.
They were Shortlisted in the 2019 M&B Awards Best Reusable Nappy category.
Mum tester Kelly said: "The insert is very soft and it is reversible depending on which texture you prefer for your little one. It is slimmer when fully open (when the poppers haven’t been used to make it smaller) and my little boy seemed to find it comfortable. The insert did seem to dry quite quickly, which is helpful if you are short on time."
Read our full review of Ecopipo UK Ecobebé here
How many nappies will I need?
This depends on how many nappies you get through in one day and how often you plan on putting a wash on. For example, if your baby gets through around 10-15 nappies per day, plus around 5 changes in the night, you might want around 20 nappies.
How to change and wash reuseable nappies
While reusable nappies are much better for the environment and your pocket, cleaning them is a lot harder than wrapping a nappy up and throwing it in the bin.
When it comes to washing them, a top tip is to add a nappy liner between your baby and the nappy which acts as a permeable layer to stop any non-liquid waste from getting to the nappy. This makes the washing process a whole lot easier as all you need to do is wrap up any poop in the nappy liner and pop in the bin before washing the pee out of the reusable nappy in the washing machine. Most nappy liners on the market are 100% biodegradable or compostable so you don't have to worry about creating waste through the liners.
If you want to give reusable nappies a go, we've also put together a step-by-step guide on how to change your baby's resuable nappies here.