I originally wrote a blog post on this a few years ago, but the disposable and the cloth nappy markets have changed so much recently, that it’s worth visiting again.
When I first started running a nappy library and retailing cloth nappies, it was as clear that using cloth nappies would definitely be cheaper. However, disposables have gotten a lot cheaper, especially since Lidl and Aldi have entered the market, meaning it’s not as clear cut as it used to be.
We’ll start with the assumption that the average baby will go through 6,000 disposable nappies a between birth and potty training as that is what research suggests. We will also use the assumption that you only buy 25 cloth nappies.
In Aldi disposable nappies retail at 85p for 24 or £4.39 for 98. Pampers were on at £12 for 52 or £18 for 104 or £8 for 39 for their “Eco” brand. That makes 3.5p per disposable for Aldi newborn 4.4p per bigger size disposable. Pampers are 23p to 17.3p for their normal brand, or 20.5p for their eco brand.
So, the cheapest disposables would cost £240 over 2.5 years, Pampers £1,038 and Eco £1,230.
Cheapest option – £100 for a birth to potty terry square kit – 24 terry squares, 6 wraps, bucket, liners.
Midpriced option – Ecobebe from Ecopipo all in two system – 5 complete nappies @ £10.99, 15 Ecobebe inserts @£5, 5 Ecopipo night nappies @£10.49. 3 wraps @ £10.49 = £213.87
Accessories – Grow Up Green accessories kit (bucket, 2 x bucket mesh, wet bag, 20 fleece or 200 disposable liners) = £35
Washing – £1.00 for A or A+ machine and detergent = £125
So, from the table you can see, if budget brands suit your baby, then disposable nappies are fractionally cheaper. However, as you can use cloth nappies on more than one child and/or sell them on when you are done, then actually cloth would still work out cheaper. You could further save money by buying second-hand, bulk sets and kits and taking advantage of offers and sales. If you were planning on using Pampers or an eco-brand of disposables, you would definitely be saving money using cloth nappies.
Of course, the cost isn’t everything when it comes to using cloth nappies – there’s the environment and the cuteness to consider too. But knowing you aren’t breaking the bank while switching to cloth is always good to know!