This article highlights 6 high quality, cheap cloth diapers with comparisons on sizing, materials, other features, and prices. Plus, we talk about the differences between these diapers and those manufactured in North America, so you know what to watch out for.
What's a mom to do?
While flats and prefolds in combination with covers are usually the least expensive cloth diaper option, many parents still prefer the simplicity of pocket diapers for many reasons! This can be especially true when you will be leaving your baby in the care of others who aren't as familiar with the use of cloth diapers.
Buying on a Budget?
We strive to bring you helpful articles and we think this one's unique. If you're looking for cloth diapers that are easy on the wallet and can help you build your stash inexpensively, we've got a list below. There are tons of cloth diaper reviews out there, but few compare the features of several diapers side by side. So, for the first time ever, we're publishing a head-to-head comparison of 6 cheap cloth diapers brands that have caught our eye!
I'm glad you're considering cloth diapering - for so many reasons!
Cheap cloth diapers have a wonderful place in this world, bringing an
affordable, reusable, environmentally friendly diapering option to many
parents who couldn't otherwise afford the start-up costs for cloth
I don't want to get all preachy on you. But bear with me for a few more minutes - and please just consider the differences between ethical production and clones. As Amanda from the Eco Friendly Family says, "As ethical consumers, we have a responsibility to make choices that not only benefit us, but that do no harm to others." There are lots of great, ethical and affordable cloth diapers out there.
Many cloth diaper brands start out small, with local production. As the industry expands and the brands' reputations grow, many small businesses need to expand to keep up. For some, local production is an easy choice. For others, off-shore production in China and other developing countries represents an opportunity to bring quality diapers to their customers at lower costs.
Some cloth diaper companies were founded by parents turned business people who recognized that the cost of many brands was unachievable for parents on a budget. These companies have sought out manufacturing facilities that have allowed them to make affordable and accessible cloth diapering solutions for budget-conscious parents.
There's one thing that both of these types of these businesses have in common: they care about ethics as much as you do! If they've chosen an off-shore manufacturing facility (in China or another developing country), they will have carefully selected their production facilities after in-person visits. And they will be happy to share more information with you about working conditions, wages, and environmental impacts of their production facilities. So where does ethics become a problem?
We all love a great deal, but sometimes the cheap cloth diaper deals are too good to be true!
Knock-off cheap cloth diapers, also known as clones, can look just like expensive brand names, but at a much lower quality. Here's where ethics comes in... clones copy the patented designs of existing brands, snap for snap and feature for feature, without permission. The brands that own the patents worked hard to develop unique features. It may surprise you to learn that many cloth diaper manufacturers have worked for several years to perfect the features you usually take for granted - snap placement, fabric selection, and elastic types!
Even if the patent issues don't bother you, quality can be a real problem. Clones might come with a cheaper price tag, but if you experience delaminated PUL, broken snaps, and non-existent warranties, cheap cloth diapers won't save you any money in the long run! The sad thing is that, for those who are new to cloth diapering, they may not even realize that they aren't getting a quality diaper.
Rebranding is, in my mind, not the same as cloning. Rebranding is perfectly legal. Some companies, including Alva, do provide their basic diapers for sale to other companies. These companies sew their labels onto the diapers. But, the benefit of using one of these companies is that they also take the guess-work out of ordering. They figure out those incomplete and inaccurate descriptions and manage shipping, importing, duties, and other hassles you don't have time for.
In addition, they provide customer service, trouble-shooting, and advice where none might be offered otherwise, and they often provide assurance for warranties, too! Plus, they may offer local pick-up, or much more timely shipping - so you don't have to wait weeks for your new diapers to arrive from Shanghai!
In exchange for this customer service, these companies charge you a higher cost than they paid. And so they should! I've tried to navigate the Alva site myself, and it isn't easy! Most companies that rebrand are usually up-front with you, too, about their business model. I've seen several rebranded Alva diapers, and they are all similar... so what you're buying in these cases is the customer service.
I've met some great small business owners that sell rebranded Alvas and they have been wonderful to deal with! So much easier than trying to figure out what to buy off of the Alva website!
For Further Reading
If you'd like to read more about the ethics of made-in-China diapers, check out these articles fom two popular cloth diaper blogs:
And if you want to support a company that uses North American manufacturing facilities, please check our list of locally produced Canadian and American cloth diaper brands.
As I purchased most of these diapers myself, I was quite surprised by
the significant shipping costs on some of the diapers... For a single
diaper, in many cases the shipping at least half as much again as the
Additionally, many of these diapers are for sale only through the manufacturer. When this is the case, if you see high shipping costs, you will want to either:
And now for our list!
Buy it on Amazon for 11.45.
Note: Kawaii also offers a newborn size pocket diaper that fits 6-18 lbs. I haven't tried it out yet but will report back when I do.
$6.75 from Sunbaby Canada, with 1 insert available on Amazon.
Available on Amazon, with 1 insert
$12 for 1 directly from Giggle Life
All of these pockets provide great value for the money. I haven't used
them long enough to talk about longevity, but they have all received
positive reviews by users in other forums.
The Best of Features
Some of our other budget-friendly ideas for cloth diapering: