How to Decide on Cloth vs Disposable Diapers

Advertising Disclosure
Child, Parenting

How to Decide on Cloth vs Disposable Diapers

Having a hard time deciding between disposable and cloth diapers? Find out how each compares when it comes to comfort, price, and convenience.


With a new baby comes the many decisions of choosing the best products to use when they arrive. On that list will be choosing between cloth and disposable diapers. Maybe you already planned to go with cloth diapers. In either case, it’s important to know about all your options and the difference between them. 

Today, there are so many brands to choose from that are more eco-friendly and safe for your baby. Cloth diapers are obviously the “greenest” option but there are also a large variety of planet friendly disposable diapers as well. 

So how does a parent go about making their final purchase with so many options? Let’s first start with the pros and cons of each diaper:

Green Diapers: The Pros and Cons

Going through a list of pros and cons after doing some research can truly help you decide on choosing the best baby product, as it clearly improves your understanding of how the product will benefit you.

After you have gone through comparing the functions of the two products, you can then start considering the comfort, sizing options, and pricing of each.   

Health & Comfort

The basic functions of each diaper are the same. Making sure to change the baby’s diaper as soon as it is wet to avoid irritation or rashes. When you choose a diaper you want to pick one that won’t cause discomfort for your little one and feels gentle on the skin while fulfilling its purpose. 

Disposable diapers tend to be more breathable but they contain moisture and absorbency chemicals that can irritate some babies. Some babies might even prefer the softer feel of cloth diapers.  


How much the diapers cost is also an important determining factor. Having a baby is not cheap, so saving where you can is helpful. A lot of times store brands do the same job and can save you more money. 

A typical family can spend between $2,000 and $3,000 per baby for two years on disposable diapers while cloth diapers and accessories run about $800 to $1,000 if you wash them yourself.

If you go with a cloth diaper laundering service it will run you closer to the cost of disposables around $2,500 to $2,800. But also keep in mind that you can reuse cloth diapers in the future if you decide to have another baby.


We have come a long way from the complicated folds and scary pins moms had to deal with in the past. Cloth diapers now come with Velcro or snap closures making changing time just as quick and easy as with a disposable.

Cloth diapers also come with well-designed shapes fitted to baby, waterproof bands around the waist and legs to prevent leaks and removable linings so they work just as hard as a disposable. Just keep in mind cloth diapers aren’t quite as absorbent, so you’ll have to change them more often.


This is not as clear cut as you might think for cloth diapers vs. disposable. There are definitely pros and cons for both just on their sustainability factors alone.

Yes, disposable diapers use resources like trees and plastics during manufacturing but are then collected in landfills, which isn’t great for the planet. Most eco-friendly disposable diapers can be 40% biodegradable.

We then have cloth diapers that are reusable, avoiding adding waste to landfills.  But, consider the process of washing cloth diapers—clean water and energy are used up, and nothing but dirty water is produced. 

So in the end you will choose the option that you are most comfortable using, has the least amount of harsh chemical exposure to your baby, and has the least negative impact on the environment.


Miosolo All-In-One Reusable Cloth Diaper

These incredibly soft cloth diapers have easy-to-adjust Velcro tab closures around the waist and are especially comfy for babies with chunky thighs (and toddlers) due to the generous cut.

The Good 

  • Easy to use 
  • Fun and Vibrant colors 
  • Velcro straps

The Bad

  • Wash diaper cover and insert separately. 
  • Absorbency issues can occur

What Parents Say

  • “It was a hard debate whether to give these 4 or 5 stars. I went with 5 stars because for the price, these are my favorite cloth diapers and will be my go-to diapers if I need to order more.” -Julia
  • “All right, so I have been using cloth diapers since my son was born coming up on a year. I used newborn diapers for the first 2 months (Alva and Kawaii) and then I started using these. These were actually the very first pocket cloth diapers I ever got. These ended up being my favorite. They fit the best, I love the solid colors, and they are easy to customize.” -Emily

Charlie Banana Baby 2-in-1 Reusable Fleece Cloth Diapering System

Charlie Banana is a hybrid diaper like GroVia, but puts whatever liner you use—cloth or disposable—on lockdown. Cloth liners are inserted into a front-loading pocket (to avoid having to pull the liner out through a poopy mess in the back) while disposables are held on by an end flap. Soft fleece along the back makes for a comfy fit.

The Good 

  • Gentle on baby 
  • 2-in-1 system
  • Super absorbent 

The Bad

  • Elastic can wear out
  • Sizing issues can occur

What Parents Say

  • “We used these for our son. We are first time parents and after researching decided to go with these. These are amazing they never stained wash without coming apart and they grew with our son he is still wearing these at night and he is almost 2.” -CJ
  • “Great product. Blow outs aren’t a problem since they have an adjustable bra strap built within the diaper. Make sure you don’t throw the outer diaper in the dryer as it will ruin the elasticity. Otherwise I love this product.” -Marilyn

Kanga Care Rumparooz Reusable One Size Cloth Pocket Diaper

The standout feature on Rumparooz diapers is the ability to change the absorbency level and place it exactly where your child needs it most. The pocket diaper comes with two inserts that can be used together or separately, with six different ways to configure them. Leg openings with an inner and outer elastic barrier makes leakage near impossible (something every parent can appreciate!).

The Good 

  • Best leak protection 
  • Snap closure
  • Birth to potty training 

The Bad

  • Insert can be a hassle
  • Sizing issues can occur

What Parents Say

  • “I can definitely tell a difference in quality between this and the cheaper cloth diapers I purchased. These are fleece lined, double-gusseted, and the pocket is very nice. I can tell the quality of the snaps and even the tag are nicer too. I absolutely recommend these – I use it overnight with both liners snapped together and my 16-month-old daughter doesn’t leak.” -Laura
  • “Rumparooz (used without the microfiber insert) and paired with cotton or hemp inserts are my favourite cloth nappies to use on my littles. Suitable from newborn to toddler. The gussets stop the mess from getting out. They wash well. Dry quickly. The ultra soft inner lining doesn’t stay minky fleece soft after a few washes but it’s soft and suitable.” -Denisha


Bambo Nature Baby Diapers

Bambo diapers have a breathable design that helps to prevent diaper rash and they’re free of many of the chemicals and perfumes found in more traditional disposable diapers. 

The Good 

  • Wetness indicator
  • Super soft
  • Ultra absorbant 

The Bad

  • Not biodegradable
  • Sizing can run big

What Parents Say

  • “They are amazing. They are super soft for a start, far more so than any of the other disposable ones I’d tried. There’s no nasty chemical smell to them or plastic.” -Sirena
  • “This diaper is truly fragrance free and dye free, and the Abena/Bambo company is unbelievably transparent about their practices (check out their website for more info than you thought you could want on a diaper). I feel good about putting my baby in this diaper. Maybe not as good as I would using cloth diapers, but for a disposable it is pretty hard to beat.” -Jenna

Honest Diapers

Cute designs aside (and they sure are cute), there are several eco-friendly features of Honest Diapers to love. The brand’s Clean Concious line is designed with plant-based materials and the fluff pulp is sourced from sustainably-managed pine and spruce trees in Scandinavia, helping to save about 7,000 trees each year. New additions include a wetness indicator, Poo Pockets for extra messy situations and stretchier sides for babies on the move.

The Good 

  • Wetness indicator
  • Super soft
  • Belly button cutout

The Bad

  • Absorbency issues can occur
  • Sizing issues can occur

What Parents Say

  • “By far the best diapers I’ve tried for my little one. Very absorbent, and I love the wetness indicator. The prints are fun too.” -Joy
  • “I’ve always love honest diapers, they are super absorbent and gives me value for my money and their leak protection system is superb.” -Freya

PARASOL Clear+Dry Disposable Diapers

Dubbed the “yoga pants of diapers,” Parasol diapers are super soft, designed for maximum movement and feature a high-rise fit. Unlike traditional disposables that often have a thick, bulky design, Parasol diapers have an ultra-thin core, giving them a much lighter feel and helping to reduce the diapers’ carbon footprint. The breathable design and special RashShield fabrics help prevent diaper rash and the ingredients list is free of things like chlorine, alcohol, dyes, fragrances and latex.

The Good 

  • Rashshield protection
  • Instantly wicks moisture
  • Sleek and light to move with baby

The Bad

  • Not as soft
  • Sizing issues can occur

What Parents Say

  • “We first started using Parasol diapers when my oldest developed a very bad rah. We tried everything and this was the only brand that truly kept rash-free.” -Jay
  • “Let me start off by saying that diaper rashes are not a “norm” , my babies’ rash disappeared after switching to Parasol Co. I wish I would have found these sooner!   I feel like this company really cares about the well-being of babies and makes better decisions for the environment.” -Ronny

Ready, Set, Shop!

Hopefully this was a helpful resource for you when it comes to having to choose between cloth and disposable diapers. Just remember that you can always change your choice once the baby arrives and adjusts to the diapers. As always, you should prepare and purchase for your little one as you see fit. 

Happy shopping!