Mother and Baby

A guide to the best reusable nappies and eco nappies

Section: Baby
A guide to the best eco nappies

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.

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.

Why use reusable nappies?

Just to give you an idea, if your baby were 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. 

Check out the 6 common myths about reusable nappies to find out more about the benefits you could be missing out on by not making the switch to the eco-friendly alternative.

The best reusable nappies

This eco nappy won Gold in the 2020 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards and was shortlisted in the 2021 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards. 

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.

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.

This eco nappy won Silver in the 2021 and 2020 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards.

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 TotsBots 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.

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 Louise said: "These nappies are so versatile. There is an easy to use popper system means that the nappies can go from birth to toddler which gives good value for money. They are really easy to use, wash well and look really comfortable on my toddler. It doesn’t feel like an extra effort to use them. The designs look so cute, particularly on those summer days when only a nappy is needed."

Read our full review of the Tot Bots Easyfit here.

This eco nappy won Gold in the 2021 and 2019 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards.

These cute reusable nappies are soft, bright and comfy. What’s more, they’re also super absorbent and fit nice and snug thanks to the poppers. 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.

Some mums found it took a little practice to get used to them at first but found them to be really good quality and fitted really well without leaving marks.

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.

This eco nappy was Shortlisted in the 2021 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards.

These cute washable nappies have been designed with your little one’s comfort in mind. The birth-to-potty nappy is made from a unique, fast-wicking panel to keep excess moisture in the middle of the nappy and has a soft elasticated waist and legs. It has an easy hook and loop fastening and stretchy tabs for a great fit and easy, quick, one-step changes just like a disposable. It converts quickly from day-to-night with a specially-designed boosters, has a unique design and leakproof double leg gusset.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.

Mum tester Lola said: "It was my first time using cloth nappies, I always liked the idea of them but never got round to trying with my now 19-month old. While cloth nappies are not as 'convenient' as standard disposable nappies, they definitely look better and are more environmentally friendly. The all in one design makes it easy to pick up and put but also the fabric is quick-drying which is great in that it saves time between washing and being ready to use again."

Read our full review of the Close Pop-in Puffin Bio Laminate Nappy here.

This eco nappy won Bronze in the 2021 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards and Shortlisted in the 2018 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards. 

Not only do these nappies look adorable, they stand out from the crowd for their longevity, being strong, durable, and as soft as a baby's bottom! They are super versatile: you can use 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, it minimises rubbing. With a bra-strap adjustment which allows for a secure and comfortable fit, our mums loved the easy-to-use buckle and the adjustable sizing, using poppers, ideal for growing tots.

Mum tester Tiffany said: "Not having to go to the supermarket when you run out of nappies or having to change sizes as these nappies move with you. They are really quick to snap on and off and once you’ve gotten used to them, they really are just as quick and efficient. They fold up nice and small so easy to carry with you where ever you go."

Read what else our mums had to say about these nappies here.

This eco nappy was Shortlisted in the 2021 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards.

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.

Mum tester 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.

This eco nappy was Shortlisted in the 2019 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards.

Ecobebé nappies consist 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. 

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.

This eco nappy was Shortlisted in the 2021 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards.

The Bambino Mio mioduo two-piece reusable nappy is a simple and versatile nappy made up of two sizes of nappy cover and a one size foldable insert which will see little ones through from birth to when they're potty ready. Made from 100 per cent cotton, the foldable nappy insert is a super absorbent material and provides a soft and natural option for baby, making it perfect for delicate little bottoms. The nappy cover ensures a snug, leak-proof fit as baby grows by using the adjustable hook and loop fastenings.

Mum tester Toni said: "These are really easy to use and because there's only two pieces to deal with it makes nappy changing super quick. The velcro straps are child-friendly so they don't scratch my baby's skin and they don't catch on other fabrics in the washing machine. The range of prints are incredibly cute. The nappy holds urine really well but I will admit I'm still too chicken to use it for a number two! Also if you use disposables for nighttime you can pop the cover over the top to add an extra layer of protection."

Read our full review of the Bambino Mio Mioduo Two-Piece Reusable Nappy here.

This eco nappy was Shortlisted in the 2021 and 2017 Best Reusable Nappy category in the M&B Awards.

This nappy can be both a cloth diaper with reusable washable inserts or it can be used with disposable inserts if necessary. The new cloth insert has an extra soft upper layer made out of fleece. This gives you a choice to place the cloth insert inside the pocket, or to put it on top of the pocket with the fleece layer against the baby's skin. The diaper is fitted with bra-strap adjustment one-size system which allows for a secure and comfortable fit around the legs. It also comes with snaps to size the waist of the diaper.

Mum tester Louise Maddock said: "Beautiful and groovy designs that really make these reusable nappies stand out from others on the market. Unlike many other reusable nappies this nappy is one size fits all so can be used from newborn to toilet training. It has an easy to use buckle that allows you to adjust the size from small to large. The disposable liners make cleaning soiled nappies a lot easier, these nappies are easy to wash. Apart from giving my daughter a large/bulker bottom they didn't leak (however I did change them regularly)."

Read Louise's full review of the Charlie Banana One Size Hybrid All in One Diapers here.

Top pick for style

Modibodi aren't just there for us as the UK's number one leak-proof underwear brand, they're there for your baby too.

Modibodi have now launched a baby range of sustainable and reusable baby products which include reusable nappies and bamboo nappy liners. Adapting to every growing baby, their nappies has been developed with a one size fits most design for baby’s between 5kg and 18kg. Designed for multi-tasking modern parents, each nappy can be simply thrown in the wash, meaning no soaking, no special detergents, no scrubbing and no stains all whilst being free from harmful chemicals and Oeko-Tex 100 Class-1 certified – the highest safety standard.  Each four pack of reusable nappies comes in unique, modern and stylish designs, provides 12 hours' overnight protection, and they can hold up to one litre of leaks!

Related: Period pants: How they can help you postpartum

Top pick for an affordable multipack

Cheaper than other reusable nappy multipacks on the market, these nappies boast plenty of fun designs and poppers to make sure you can get the best fit for your little one. Each nappy comes with two triple-layer microfibre inserts and a suede inner layer to wick away moisture and help keep the insert as dry as possible. They're waterproof, breathable, and convenient for carrying on the go. They fit ages 18-24 months and the pack includes six reusable nappies and 12 inserts.

Mum Kerry wrote on Amazon: "The world of reusable diapers was scary to us at first, there is just so much choice! So we just ordered these as they were the top selling ones, and we just wanted a few to try out reusable diapers. We have not been disappointed, and are now converted and love this brand. They are easy to use, wash well and dry quickly. The colours are great, although the grey is a bit dark and dull compared to the rest, perhaps okay on a little boy but seems too dark on our baby girl. Have since bought several more, including some gorgeous pink colours and are really pleased with this brand.

"I washed the inserts at least 7 times before our baby was born, not realising at the time just how important this is - the diapers will leak if you don't wash them enough to begin with! The poppers take a little longer than velcro or the disposables to put on (although we're talking seconds here!) but unlike those, the poppers ensure the diaper stays in place. We have now got 18 diapers and inserts which lasts us about 3 days, so we always have diapers to use even if we've got one load in the wash and the last load is still on the drying rack."

Top pick for customisation

A highly absorbent, comfortable nappy, the fleecey inner layer will keep moisture away from your baby’s skin and the waterproof PUL laminated outer layer keeps wetness in. Good value for money, there are a whopping 104 designs to choose from and you can choose to buy just the nappy (if you prefer disposable inserts), a bamboo insert, microfibre insert, or charcoal insert instead. 

Mum Rachel on Amazon said: "I bought twelve of these nappies along with some microfibre and some bamboo inserts, and have used them with my baby since she was 2 months old. The inserts are super absorbent, which means her wees aren't sitting against her skin for hours on end when she sleeps longer at night, and the wraps dry really quickly after washing. (Just FYI, I've found the bamboo inserts take a bit longer to dry). The poppers mean I can make the nappy 'smaller' to fit her now, and as she gets bigger, I won't need to do them up so much that we can - hopefully - keep using them until she's potty trained.

"One downside is they are quite bulky when the poppers are done up for a smaller baby, and I don't think these would have worked when she was newborn as she was just too tiny. But other than that, we seldom get leaks, the designs are gorgeous, and they wash really well - barely any stains after two months of use! I can highly recommend these, especially as other brands can be quite pricey."

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 reusable 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 it in the bin before washing the pee out of the reusable nappy in the washing machine. Most nappy liners on the market are 100 per cent 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 reusable nappies here. 

Popular articles to read next:

 
  • Author: Sophie Knight Sophie Knight
  • Job Title: Contributing Editor

Sophie is a journalist and mum of one, and previously edited motherandbaby.co.uk before moving on to write about family cars for Parkers.co.uk - now Sophie is Commercial Content Editor for M&B, Closer, Heat, Empire, Yours, Garden News, and WhatsTheBest.co.uk 

She is passionate about raising awareness around postnatal depression and is a Mental Health First Aider.

Sophie studied History at the University of Sheffield and has been in journalism for 16 years. 

Other contributors

Lorna White - Digital Writer

Related Content

You May Also Like

You May Also Like

You May Also Like