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Best reusable nappies 2022: Eco-friendly, affordable and just a wee bit stylish

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Ditch those disposables for a more environmentally friendly option with our guide to the best reusable nappies

It’s estimated that three billion disposable nappies go into landfill each year - and that’s in the UK alone. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money, reusable nappies are a great way to make a big difference.

The best part is that today’s modern reusable nappies marry disposable-rivaling absorbency with gorgeously cute looks. You can pick from a vast range of colourful designs and soft fabrics that are easy to clean and comfy for baby to wear.

They’re increasingly popular, too. In fact, compared to the 1990s where only 2% of parents were using reusable nappies, over 30% of parents are believed to have now made the switch.

There is a greater upfront cost, but reusable nappies can work out much cheaper than buying disposables throughout your child’s nappy-wearing years. Make no mistake, the cost of disposable nappies adds up considerably over time.

But before you get started, you’ll need to decide which type of reusable nappy is best for your baby. Read on and we’ll answer all the key questions you might have before recommending some of our favourite choices in the mini-reviews further down the page.

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Best reusable nappies to buy: At a glance


How to choose the best reusable nappy for you

What types of reusable nappy are there?

There are several types of reusable nappies and we’ve listed the main types below:

  • Flat nappies: This old-school option is cheap, effective (if put on properly) and easy to clean. These are flat pieces of fabric made from terry-towelling, bamboo or cotton, which wrap around your baby’s derriere and are secured by safety pins or a nappy fastener. You can use them underneath a waterproof outer for more security against leaks too. They do take a little while to master, though.
  • All-in-one nappies: These nappies combine a waterproof outer with a stitched-in absorbent layer. The absorbent bit is sometimes stitched at the top in a tongue design while others are fully sewn in. They’re generally easy to clean, but they can take longer to dry and may not be as absorbent as other designs, so they’re not always ideal for nighttime. They’re almost as easy to use as a disposable nappy, though, which is a big plus.
  • All-in-two nappies: These are formed from a waterproof outer layer and a separate highly absorbent inner, which clip together either with toggles or Velcro. The waterproof outers are normally wipe-clean, so it is often possible to swap the inner and reuse the outer several times before it needs washing – the only exception is when the outers have an absorbent inner layer. A little bit fiddlier than all-in-ones, but the extra absorbency can make it worthwhile.
  • Two-part nappies: Similar to all-in-two nappies, two-part nappies combine a waterproof outer and an absorbent inner nappy. The difference here is that they’re not attached to each other and you’re not necessarily tied to one brand. This means you can combine them how you see fit: you can use a traditional flat nappy underneath or a special shaped nappy for ease of use and improved absorbency. You do need to take care that the outer covers the inner if you don’t want leaks, though.
  • Pocket nappies: These partner an outer waterproof layer with an inner pocket that can be stuffed with a separate absorbent pad. The benefit of these is that you can tailor the thickness of the pad to suit your baby (or potentially use extra pads), and they’re also easy to wash and dry. Unlike the two-part nappies, though, you can’t reuse the outer several times before washing – the pocket becomes soiled with every use.

How much do they cost?

The cost of reusable nappies depends on several factors, but most importantly whether you’re planning on using them full or part-time. As a rough guide, you may need as many as 25 reusable nappies for full-time use, and up to ten for part-time use. In either case, we’d start out with around 15 for full-time use, and seven or eight for part-time. You can always buy more if you need them.

Depending on the brand you buy, the upfront costs do sound daunting: you can end up spending anything from £150 to £500. This should work out far cheaper than the total cost of disposable nappies, though – it’s been estimated that parents can spend as much as £1,000 on disposables over the course of a child’s nappy-wearing life. A further benefit is that you can keep reusables on the off chance that you have another child or resell them once yours have grown out of nappies.

A further cost to factor in – even if it’s not an immediate one – is that of the energy required to wash and dry the nappies. You’ll want to store soiled nappies in a sealed nappy bin and ensure that you wash a full load wherever possible to maximise the energy efficiency of your washing machine. When it comes to drying, you’ll also need to air or line dry for maximum savings; regular tumble drying will add to the lifetime cost of reusables.

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How do you wash reusable nappies?

Before you start using reusable nappies, you’ll need a secure nappy bin (this is especially important if you have other toddlers or children in the house) and at least one waterproof bag to go inside your changing bag – sometimes it’s worth having two or three waterproof bags just to be on the safe side.

When you remove a dirty nappy, simply dispose of any poo straight into the toilet before popping the used nappy into your secure bin or bag. If you have multiple bags you can separate the stinkier nappies too.

If you’re also using nappy liners for extra protection, just dispose of them straight into the bin. You should then pop your used nappies into the washing machine with non-bio detergent and nappy cleanser before air drying. Most reusable nappy brands advise washing your collected dirty nappies every three days. Leave it any longer and things will get a bit whiffy.

The best reusable nappies to buy in 2022

1. Bambino Mio Miosolo All-In-One Nappy: The best value all-in-one nappy

Price: £16 | Buy now from Amazon

This award-winning all-in-one nappy is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of reusables. Its convenient one-size design is great value for money as it can be used from birth to potty-training age, thanks to the adjustable poppers and hook-and-loop fastenings.

Inside, the nappy has an absorbent core that’s designed to keep baby feeling dry and comfortable while staying super soft after every wash – and there’s sure to be plenty. If your baby is a heavy wetter, you can simply add in a booster liner for added protection during nap times and nighttime.

Key specs – Size: One size; Type: All-in-one; Drying time: Quick

2. Tickle Tots All-In-Two Reusable Nappy: The best all-in-two nappy for do-it-all versatility

Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

One of the many benefits of using reusable nappies is the fun and colourful prints they come in, and Tickle Tots offers some of the cutest designs. However, in addition to being far prettier than disposables, Tickle Tots’ all-in-two nappies are ultra-versatile, absorbent and come with a waterproof outer wrap.

The one-size design has adjustable poppers along the sides and Velcro at the waist with double-layered legs to prevent leaks. Each nappy also comes with two additional bamboo boosters: the first is larger and made from four layers of bamboo fleece, while the second smaller booster is designed to be used on its own for newborns. You can combine them both for nighttime security and, best of all, you can use the outer for a couple of changes before throwing it in the wash. They’re a brilliant birth-to-potty nappy.

Key specs – Size: One size; Type: All-in-two; Drying time: Quick

3. Little Lamb Bamboo Shaped Nappy: The best nappy for big wetters

Price: £11 | Buy now from the Nappy Lady

When it comes to softness and absorbency, Little Lamb’s shaped bamboo nappies are hard to beat. Best of all, they also come in three sizes, which is ideal if you’ve discovered that one-size nappies don’t fit your baby properly.

You can use the crossover tabs at the waist if you need to tighten the fit and the included double-layered bamboo booster provides extra absorbency at night. Bear in mind, though, that they need to be used in conjunction with a waterproof wrap, and Little Lamb’s gorgeously pretty wraps will set you back £11 each.

The only other downside to these nappies is that they’re very slow to dry – Little Lamb recommends buying some of its microfibre or cotton versions as they sacrifice absorbency for faster drying. You will also need to buy a larger size as your baby grows, although Little Lamb claims that most children only need the first two sizes.

If you want ultra-absorbent nappies for nighttime, though, these are a great choice.

Key specs – Size: Three sizes available (Newborn: Up to 12lbs; Size 1: 7-20lbs; Size 2: 20-38lbs); Type: Shaped; Drying time: Slow

Buy now from the Nappy Lady


4. Mother-Ease Wizard Uno Nappy: The best performing all-in-one nappy

Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re worried about leaks, the Mother-Ease Wizard Uno one-part nappy has a strong reputation for keeping the bad stuff contained – so much so that it promises a 100% leak-free fit.

This is due to their clever inner and outer leakage protection that includes two separate elastics and two lines of defence across the legs and elasticated waist. It offers the ease of a disposable with a high-tech inner pad that keeps baby comfortable – and, best of all, it dries quickly after washing too.

For bedtime, Mother-Ease advises adding a Wizard Booster between the absorbent core and waterproof cover for 12+ hours of leak-free wear. The one downside to this nappy is that it’s a very popular choice, so it’s best to buy when you can.

Key specs – Size: Two sizes available (Newborn: 6-12lbs; Onesize: 8-35lbs) ; Type: All-in-one; Drying time: Quick

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