Cloth nappies

Find out about the financial and environmental benefits of cloth nappies and advice on how to get started.

Washable cloth nappies are a cheaper, easy to use and a more environmentally friendly alternative to disposable nappies. You can save as much as £500 by changing to cloth! There is no complicated washing process and they can be as easy to put on as any disposable. 

Use cloth and save money!

One of the main reasons people consider using cloth is because of the cost benefits, disposables are expensive! You can easily spend £10 a week on disposables, adding up to £1,300+ for the duration your baby is in nappies. If you use cloth, you can pick up a birth to potty cloth kit for as little as £100. It is also possible to buy cloth nappies for your baby for next to nothing if you buy preloved. Even buying a brand new kit you can save over £500! The cost benefits add up quickly if you have more children.

If the upfront cost is off putting, you could contact your local credit union Eastern Savings & Loans to find out more about their low cost loans, such as Child Benefit Savings & Loan Plan.

Better for the environment

The average child uses 4,000 disposable nappies, resulting in nearly 8,000 total tonnes of nappy waste being sent for disposal in Suffolk each year.

Cloth nappies reduce waste and can be reused, this reduces the need for raw materials and is better for the environment. They can be up to 40% better for the environment than disposables.

Many people make the assumption that cloth nappies are just as bad for the environment as disposables because of all the washing and drying. The Environment Agency proved this was not the case and have published an updated Life Cycle Assessment report in March 2023 (the report can be downloaded below). The report highlights that providing cloth nappies are washed responsibly they can have a significantly lower environmental impact that use of disposable nappies.

Health benefits for your baby

Many parents who use cloth nappies believe that they have health benefits due to the materials used and reduced chemicals in comparison to disposable nappies.

Materials such as bamboo, cotton and microfibre are specifically chosen because they are soft and comfortable.

If your baby has sensitive skin then materials such as wool can offer a waterproof and more breathable alternative to disposables.

Benefits include; less nappy rash, earlier toilet training and a softer bum to land on when learning to walk!

The size of the problem..

This video shows the difference in volume of cloth nappies compared to disposable nappies.

The black bags represent 2000+ disposable nappies that are used by the average baby, and the pile in front is the amount of nappies needed when using re-useable cloth nappies, which only needs about 25.

Remember, disposable nappies do not belong in your recycling bin! They should be disposed in your general waste (black) bin. it seems like an obvious message but too many nappies still end up at sorting facilities.

Cloth vs Disposable Nappies Life Cycle Assessment - Defra Report 2023