The Best Cheap Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapering can be a great way to save money when your baby is born. But building a stash can be a daunting task when you are already living on a tight budget.

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.

cheap cloth diapers


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!




How Did I Choose the Cheap Cloth Diapers?

Diapers had to meet the following criteria to qualify for this themed article on cheap cloth diapers:



What You Need to Know About Cheap Cloth Diapers First

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 diapers.


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.



Ethics?

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?

Cloning

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

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.




A Note about Shipping Costs

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 diaper itself.


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:

  1. Buy several diapers at once or
  2. Consider a slightly more expensive diaper from a retailer such as Diaper Safari, which offers free shipping with no minimum orders.


Another favorite retailer of mine is Irresistibly Green.  They have a large selection of discount cloth diapers in their Bargain Bin section, including pockets, covers, and more - and $2 US shipping (free on orders over $20), plus $3 flat-rate shipping to Canada!



And now for our list!


Cheap Cloth Diapers (Under $13)

Kawaii One-Size Snazzy Minky

  • 8-36 lbs, one-size design with 3 rows of rise snaps
  • This diaper is bigger than some of the others, and would not likely provide a snug fit on a newborn
  • Hip snaps and a single cross-over snap at waist
  • Back pocket opening with fleece pocket flap
  • Narrow band of PUL across inside of front of diaper - apparently reduces wicking at the seams
  • Outer made of laminated minky
  • Inner stay-dry microfleece layer
  • Comes with 2 3-layer microfiber inserts

cheap Kawaii one-size minky cloth diaper

cheap Kawaii one-size minky cloth diaper

In the US, buy it from Dearest Diapers, where it sells for for $10.75, and qualifies for free shipping!  Canadians can buy from Lagoon Baby for $9.75 each, or $9.25 each when you buy 12 or more!

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.


Sew is Your Baby Slim Cut Silky Pocket

  • Round tabs with hip snaps and 2 cross-over waist snaps
  • This diaper adjusts smaller than most (except Glowbug) and would fit a newborn sooner, but expands just as long as the Kawaii (however is narrower between the legs)
  • Back pocket opening with fleece flap
  • One-size design with 3 rows of rise snaps
  • Slim-cut design
  • Inner stay-dry fleece layer
  • Available in silky PUL outer fabrics
  • Comes with 1 micro-fiber insert

Sew is your baby cloth diaper review

cheap SIYB cloth diaper

$13, directly from Sew Is Your Baby, with 1 insert.



Glow Bug Diapers

Glowbug cloth diaper review

cheap Glowbug one-size cloth diaper

These diapers are not available individually, and are sold only in packs of 12 for $150 - includes 24 snap-in inserts and a coordinating wet bag ($12.50 each). You can browse Glowbug Diapers here.



Sun Baby

  • Hip snaps and no cross-over waist
  • One-size with 3 rows of rise snaps
  • Somewhat narrower than Kawaii and Giggle Life, would provide a better fit on long skinny babies
  • Back pocket opening
  • Narrow band of PUL across inside of front of diaper to reduce wicking at the seams
  • Outer made of PUL
  • Inner stay-dry microfleece layer
  • Comes with 1 3-layer microfiber insert

Sunbaby cloth diaper review

cheap Sunbaby cloth diaper

$6.75 from Sunbaby Canada, with 1 insert



Alva Baby - A Series

  • Hip snaps and 2 narrow cross-over waist snaps
  • One-size design with 3 rows of rise snaps
  • This diaper is larger than the Sew is Your Baby, Sun Baby, and Glow Bug diapers and wouldn't fit a newborn well. It has looser leg elastic than some, too, which might I felt might pose a problem on long skinny babies even past the 10 pound mark.
  • Inner suedecloth doesn't feel as luxurious, but doesn't pill, and apparently resists staining better than fleece. Suedecloth does come with its own challenges, since some babies develop rashes or sensitivity to this material.
  • Can be purchased with minky or smooth PUL outers in a variety of prints and solids
  • Each diaper comes with 1 microfiber insert, additional inserts can be purchased
  • Note: shipping is directly from China and can take a few weeks
  • The website is hard to navigate. If you find it challenging to understand the cryptic product descriptions on the Alva website, check out the Loving Alva Facebook page posts for more information on Alva diaper materials by series and differences on Alva diaper types.

Alva baby cloth diaper review

cheap Alva baby cloth diaper

$4.95 from AlvaBaby.com, with 1 insert



Giggle Life

  • Single row of snaps with 1 cross-over waist snap
  • One-size design with 3 rows of rise snaps
  • This diaper is the largest of the 6 in this article, and would not adjust to a newborn sizing
  • Outer TPU laminated fabric
  • Inner is soft micro-fleece.
  • Comes with 2 large 3-layer microfiber inserts
  • Widest cut, making for big hands to stuff inserts

Giggle Life cloth diaper review

cheap Giggle Life cloth diaper

$16.99 for 1 directly from Giggle Life, or $68.99 for 10 ($6.90 each)



In Summary

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

Quality of Materials - Sew is Your Baby

    Most Likely to Fit Newborns - for Size and Double Gussets - Glow Bug
    Softness of Inner - Giggle Life
    Attention to Detail - Kawaii
    Fit for Skinny Babies - Sew is Your Baby
    Fit for Big Babies - Giggle Life
    Trimness - Glow Bug




Some of our other budget-friendly ideas for cloth diapering:

Prefolds and Covers

How to Make Your Own Diapers





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Disclosure:  The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own, and your experience with the product may differ from mine. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. This article contains some affiliate links.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, see our Disclaimer and Copyright.



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