Can cloth nappies save you money?

I have written before about the advantages of using cloth nappies (see Large Family Budgeting – Cloth Nappies and Using Cloth Nappies on Newborns).  I have written both from the perspective of a long-time user (not on myself personally, you understand) and as an ex-cloth nappy advisor.

The cloth nappy world is constantly changing with new products being brought out and existing products improved upon all the time.  I tend to stick with what I know and like, and since it has been a long, long time since my advising days I have enlisted the help of Lizzie from Lizzie’s Real Nappies.

Over the next few weeks Lizzie will be writing about the benefits and advantages of reusable products and she begins by asking the question, “Can cloth nappies save you money?”



Disposable nappies are generally regarded as the most ‘convenient’ option for babies – there’s no doubt they are easy to put on, easy to change and you just throw them away when used. But there is a big downside (environment aside) and that’s COST.

Cost of disposables

A typical baby using disposables from birth through to potty training will go through 4000-5000 nappies. At an average cost of 17p per nappy that amounts to a staggering £680 – £850 per baby. Clearly larger families can go through mountains of nappies!

Cloth nappies

Cloth nappies have moved on a long way since the days of terry squares, pins, soaking in buckets and boiling on the hob. ‘Real nappies’, as they’re now known, come in a wide range of different designs and are so much easier than you’d imagine. Some are practically as easy to use as disposables – no folding, pinning or stuffing – just take them on and off your baby as you would a disposable – simple! They’ll also save you money.

In terms of cost a lot depends on which nappies you buy. The cost of individual nappies can range from around £3 per nappy (for a terry square) to upwards of £15 for the all-in-one, super-easy ‘designer’ type.

On average you’ll be looking at around £250 for a full kit which will give you pretty much everything you need to nappy baby from birth right though to potty training (including accessories such as liners, bucket, bags etc).

You’ll also need to add in the cost of washing powder, water and electricity but all-in-all you’ll be looking at a total cost of around £300-£450 depending on the brand used. Compare this with the cost of disposables and you’re looking at some significant savings.

Bear in mind, also, that these cost savings are based on ONE child. For those with a larger family the saving escalate.  Although some nappy brands are really only intended for use on one child, others will last really well and can be used on up to 3 children.

If you’d like to find out more about reusable nappies and which brands will suit you and your family contact us via


Coming soon:

  1. Reusable items which can save you more money:
    1. Washable nappy liners
    2. Washable breast pads
    3. Reusable swim nappies
    4. Reusable nappies – which brands are the best value?
    5. Reusable nappies – which brands will work best for larger families?

2 thoughts on “Can cloth nappies save you money?

  1. That’s a coincidence – I’ve just ordered a batch of reusable nappies from the Lizzie’s website! I found the info on the site really useful, by the way.

    I think the point about lastability is overlooked quite often; I used cloth nappies on my first and just assumed I’d be able to reuse them for this one but they were almost threadbare and not all of them even holding up for toddler quantities of wee by the time we started our little girl on potty training, so I’ll be looking forward to the posts on best value & larger family brands (and fingers crossed that the ones I’ve just bought will be in there!)

  2. The best thing I did was swap to cloth nappies, I only have 2 little ones, both in nappies and it was costing me a good £15+ a week on nappies when I decided to swap to cloth. My kids were 16 weeks and 15 months when I swapped and its saved us so much money, I wish I’d gone with cloth nappies from the start 🙂

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