The 10 best reusable nappies for 2019

best reusable nappy

Reliable, easy to use and environmentally friendly, reusable nappies are gaining in popularity – and for good reason. After four months of research and parent-led testing, here are the 10 best reusable nappies available to buy.

Whether they're expecting their first baby or are in the thick of it with their third child, more and more families are making the switch to reusable nappies. Some have an eye on the environmental benefits, others the potentially lower overall cost, and others simply appreciate a pretty cloth nappy print.

With terry squares no longer the only game in town, not only are washable nappies easier to use than ever before but there’s never been so much choice when it comes to the types and brands on offer.

Working out what you need can feel like deciphering a foreign language, especially when you encounter terms like 'nappy wraps', 'pocket nappies' and 'rise poppers' – so we’ve worked with parents and experts and gone through a rigorous testing programme to discover which nappies more than justify the initial expense.

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Read our reusable nappy reviews | What you need to know about reusable nappies | How we tested | Why you should trust us

What is a reusable nappy?

Reusable nappies are washable alternatives to the disposable nappies you’d buy in multipacks at supermarkets and in high street stores. They generally consist of an absorbent fabric inner layer (usually made of cotton, bamboo or microfibre), a waterproof (often PUL) outer layer, and are fastened with poppers or Velcro.

There are lots of different types of reusable nappies – from nappies that come as all-in-one pieces, with no assembly needed, to products with lots of different components.

When it comes to choosing the right nappy, a lot can depend on your baby’s size and shape – some people find that what provides a perfect fit for one can leak for another.

So while we’ve narrowed it down to the best washable nappies that work for most parents, carers and babies, you might like to trial a set with a cloth nappy retailer or visit your local cloth nappy library for more advice.

How we chose the best reusable nappies

On the hunt for the washable nappies that outperform the rest, we commissioned journalist, blogger and mum of three Adele Jarrett-Kerr to research and then write about them, working alongside a tester with a new baby.

Adele is an experienced reusable nappy user, having used cloth nappies from birth to potty with all three of her children. Over the years, she’s used just about every style on the market so has a pretty comprehensive understanding of how they work.

She scanned the Mumsnet forums, researched respected brands and newcomers, and talked with industry experts Wendy Richards, founder of The Nappy Lady, and reusable nappy consultant Sarah Smith of Bristol Cloth Nappy Library. The aim was to bring together as much information as possible about reusable nappies in general, the specific brands parents and experts found exciting, and what they thought we should really be testing for.

After 14 hours of research, Adele collated a list of 38 high-performing nappies which she eventually whittled down to a final 22 to put to the test. The shortlist included pocket nappies, all-in-one nappies and two-parters made of microfibre, bamboo and cotton – some organic and some not.

How real-life comparable testing makes Mumsnet Reviews unique

We believe that consistent scoring and like-for-like comparison is crucial, which is why we usually ask one tester to test out all the products in a single category.

As such, all the nappies were tested with a mum of two, Felicia, whose baby was three months old at the start of the testing process.

She was already an experienced cloth nappy user before testing began, having used them with her now two-year-old toddler, however many of the specific products she tested were completely new to her.

Testing took place over a period of four months, with all nappies tested for at least two months. Felicia included the nappies in her usual routine to get a good sense of how they performed in real-life circumstances and took notes as she went along.

At the end of the process, she was asked to score each one on safety and comfort, assembly and preparation, day-to-day usage, cleanliness, aesthetics, ethical claims and value for money.

Five products were then awarded a Mumsnet Best badge – these are the products that we feel offer the absolute best value for most parents. We also gave honourable mentions to five others.

After analysing the scores, the results are in. Here are the 10 best reusable nappies for 2019.

1. Motherease Wizard Uno: Best Overall Reusable Nappy 2019

“My favourite nappy is the Motherease Wizard Uno. It’s pricey but brilliant. You just use poppers to do it up and all the layers are sewn together so it’s just like putting on a disposable.”

1. Motherease Wizard Uno: Best Overall Reusable Nappy 2019

The Motherease Wizard Uno is in such high demand that retailers are currently rationing purchases of it. We think it’s gold dust for good reason. It’s a solid, slim-fitting, quick-drying nappy with attractive designs.

The long-respected Motherease brand manufactures in Canada and uses green energy, and its strong ethics and eco commitment also make it a great choice.

Special 'stay dry' fabric wicks moisture away from your baby’s skin and it can even be tumble dried on low in a pinch.

Great for parents who

  • Are new to reusable nappies
  • Don’t have a lot of air drying space

Pros

  • Highly adjustable around both legs and waist to easily achieve a good fit
  • Easy to store as it’s an all-in-one and ready to go when you need it
  • Fastened with poppers so no need to secure Velcro tabs when washing
  • Remains soft after washing
  • Only needs to be washed once before first use
  • Highly absorbent so lasts the recommended two to three hours
  • Stays put and doesn’t shift about once on
  • Doesn’t stain easily
  • Bomb-proof – no leaks here!
  • Simple design with no learning curve for parents

Cons

  • Made of polyester – not the most eco-friendly fabric
  • Elastics are less flexible than those used by some other brands such as Tots Bots

Product information

  • Type: All-in-One
  • Size range: 7 to 35lbs (newborn fit goes from 6 to 12lbs)
  • Materials: Polyester
  • RRP: £23
View on Earthlets

2. Tots Bots Easyfit Star: Best All-in-One Reusable Nappy 2019

“Takes a while longer to dry than you’d hope but a great reliable design and super easy to use – even Grandpa can do it without help!”

2. Tots Bots Easyfit Star: Best All-in-One Reusable Nappy 2019

Easy, compact and reliable, the Tots Bots Easyfit Star is our choice for best all-in-one reusable nappy.

Super absorbent bamboo makes the Easyfit Star a great nappy to take on outings, and it adjusts down to 8lbs so will comfortably fit a new baby – although you may find it really comes into its own a few weeks in.

It also comes in a diverse range of beautiful styles, from quirky to classic, so there’s something for everyone here.

Great for parents who

  • Want a grab-and-go cloth nappy when out and about
  • Need a reusable nappy that’s easy for other caregivers to use

Pros

  • Slim-fitting
  • Brilliant absorbency
  • Very comfy and highly adjustable as it uses both rise poppers down the front to adjust for legs and Velcro at the waist to get an exact fit
  • Great green credentials as it’s manufactured in Scotland and uses 100% recycled plastics in its waterproof outer layers
  • Can be tumble dried on low
  • Lots of eclectic and cheerful colours and patterns to choose from
  • Mid-range price tag
  • Doesn’t take up much room in a changing bag
  • Can be washed at 60 degrees

Cons

  • Bamboo doesn’t wick moisture away from a baby’s skin as well as other fabrics
  • Air dries slowly

Product information

  • Type: All-in-one
  • Size range: 8 to 35lbs
  • Materials: Bamboo and PUL
  • RRP: £19
View on Amazon

3. Close Pop-in Bamboo: Best Eco-Friendly Reusable Nappy 2019

“They do take a bit longer to dry but it’s worth it for ease of use and absorbency.”

3. Close Pop-in Bamboo: Best Eco-Friendly Reusable Nappy 2019

Somewhere between a pocket and a prefold, the Close Pop-in Bamboo impressed us as a high-functioning product from a company with heart.

Close provides subsidised products for not-for-profit nappy libraries, enabling more parents to make the switch from disposable to reusable. They donate nappies to international sustainability projects and their waste material is upcycled into menstrual kits for teenage girls in Malawi.

The Close Pop-in Bamboo booster pad poppers onto the main soaker, providing solid protection and it can even be prepped to make it through the night.

Great for parents who

  • Like the idea of collecting different patterns
  • Want to support an ethically-engaged small business
  • Are looking for a nappy that boosts for nighttime

Pros

  • A booster can be added for extra absorbency
  • Microfibre against the skin wicks moisture away from your baby
  • Velcro tabs make the waist fully adjustable
  • Soaker can be folded in different ways according to your baby’s needs
  • Stays together for washing so no need for reassembly
  • Different coloured poppers for different parts so you don’t mix anything up
  • Adjusts small enough for a newborn baby (although bulky on this setting)
  • Fantastic absorbency
  • Solid double gussets offer extra protection against leaks
  • Particularly fun prints put out in themed releases

Cons

  • Moderately bulky
  • Takes a while to air dry

Product information

  • Type: Two-parter (soaker and waterproof outer layer)
  • Size range: 7 to 35lbs
  • Materials: Bamboo viscose blend and PUL
  • RRP: £19
View on Uber Kids

4. Blueberry Simplex All-in-One Nappy: Best Fast-Drying Reusable Nappy 2019

“It fits very easily into a changing bag – doesn’t take up much space at all.”

4. Blueberry Simplex All-in-One Nappy: Best Fast-Drying Reusable Nappy 2019

The Blueberry Simplex All-in-One Nappy is so slim fitting it works well for parents who want a reusable nappy that won’t require roomier clothing cut specifically for cloth.

Made from breathable fabrics and a layered soaker, the Simplex also scores highly for absorbency without sacrificing drying time.

Great for parents who

  • Don’t have a lot of space for air drying
  • Have a higher budget

Pros

  • Organic cotton
  • Soaker consists of 12 layers for ultimate absorption
  • Soaker detaches on one end for thorough washing and quick drying
  • Contains a pocket that allows you to add an extra insert to make it last even longer
  • Super slim fitting
  • Poppers for easier washing
  • A breeze to put together
  • Adjustable at both the waist and legs
  • Fleece liner against the skin to wick away moisture

Cons

  • Only just about makes the two to three hours
  • Not suitable from birth for average-sized newborns

Product information

  • Type: All-in-one
  • Size range: 10 to 35lbs
  • Materials: Organic cotton and PUL
  • RRP: £24
View on Baba Me

5. Blueberry Capri Wrap and Insert: Best Two-Part Reusable Nappy 2019

“It has an off-white insert – doesn’t show stains as much as others with brilliant white inserts.”

5. Blueberry Capri Wrap and Insert: Best Two-Part Reusable Nappy 2019

Manufactured in the USA, the Blueberry Capri Wrap and Insert combine to offer a cost-effective full nappy solution, cheaper than many other cotton alternatives on the market (think Smart Bottoms).

The insert folds on thirds to sit inside the wrap, soaking up liquid, while the wrap offers a final layer of protection. Detached wraps allow multiple uses before washes, which means that you can buy more inserts and fewer wraps.

The Blueberry Capri Wrap is fully waterproof so you might even choose to mix and match by using it as an outer layer with other brands, especially as there are so many designs to choose from.

Great for parents who

  • Are budget-conscious, as the wrap can be re-used and the inserts are fairly cheap
  • Are planning to use cloth nappies at night

Pros

  • Wrap can be wiped and reused right away
  • Slim fit, compact design
  • Elastics are covered and latex free to prevent irritation
  • The wrap mixes and matches easily with other prefolds, shaped nappies and terry squares
  • Realistically sized
  • Can be tumble dried on low heat
  • Relatively quick drying
  • Poppers easier to clean and harder for baby to undo than Velcro tabs
  • Double leg gusset prevents leaks
  • Lots of cute designs

Cons

  • Nappy insert can shift about when putting it on your child
  • Multiple parts to store
  • The poppers can be fiddly to work out at first

Product information

  • Type: Prefold and wrap
  • Size range: 10 to 35lbs
  • Materials: Birdseye cotton and PUL
  • RRP: Wrap (£16), prefold inserts (£6)
View on Kingdom of Fluff

6. Little Lamb Bamboo Shaped Nappy and Wrap

“They’re pretty cheap and they’re pretty bomb-proof too.”

6. Little Lamb Bamboo Shaped Nappy and Wrap

The Little Lamb Bamboo Shaped Nappy and Wrap is a long-standing favourite combination for many – and we can see why.

While this cloth nappy takes a long time to dry (the only reason it didn’t make our top five), its superior containment wards off poo-splosions and makes it a nappy you can take out and about without worry.

Great for parents who

  • Need a budget option
  • Are after a nappy that can be trialled and returned if needed

Pros

  • Outstandingly absorbent with an integral booster
  • Velcro gives a completely bespoke fit as it’s a sized nappy
  • Can be further boosted, making this a reliable nighttime nappy
  • Can mix and match with other nappies
  • Wrap could be wiped and reused
  • Two-part system is particularly leak-resistant
  • Straightforward design
  • Comes with a washable fleece liner
  • Cheaper option as both parts carry a lower price tag and the wrap could be wiped and reused

Cons

  • One of the slowest nappies to dry
  • Not particularly exciting designs
  • The shaped inner nappy goes very crispy with washing and air drying unless you finish with a quick tumble dry
  • You have to buy bigger sizes as your baby grows
  • Multiple parts need to be assembled

Product information

  • Type: Two-parter (shaped nappy and waterproof wrap cover)
  • Size range: 7 to 20lbs, 20 to 38lbs and 35+
  • Materials: Bamboo and PUL
  • RRP: Shaped nappy (£9), wrap (£10)
View on Little Lamb

7. Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch Nappy and PeeNut Wrap

“For nighttime, the Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch with a PeeNut Wrap is fool-proof. Back when DD was feeding throughout the night (which was just a week or so ago, at the grand age of 11 months), she would last 12 hours in that with no leaks.”

7.   Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch Nappy and PeeNut Wrap

The Tots Bots Bamboozle Stretch is an attractively shaped nappy made of bamboo rayon with microfibre inside. With a Tots Bots PeeNut Wrap on top, it is often hailed as a solid nighttime solution.

Bear in mind that it takes a bit longer to dry but, as its such a high performer all round, we doubt you’ll mind.

Our tester personally preferred the shaped nappy to the wrap, which is why the combination didn’t hit our top five, but the beauty of two-part cloth nappy systems is that you can mix and match to find what works for you and your baby.

Great for parents who

  • Are looking for a reliable and comfy nighttime nappy

Pros

  • Brilliant absorbency
  • Velcro tabs and rise poppers down the front give a great fit
  • Softer than other bamboo nappies after washing
  • Internal booster can be unpoppered for a slimmer fit or left in for better absorbency
  • Suitable as a nighttime solution
  • Coloured inserts help to prevent any stains from showing
  • Patterns on both inner nappy and wrap
  • Waterproof wrap sourced from recycled plastic and manufactured in Scotland
  • Wrap could be wiped and reused

Cons

  • Fabric leaves skin feeling damp if very wet so you might want to use a washable liner inside
  • You need to remember both parts
  • A bit more expensive when the cost of the shaped nappy and wrap are combined

Product information

  • Type: Shaped nappy and waterproof wrap
  • Size range: 8 to 35lbs (and 6 to 18lbs for smaller babies)
  • Materials: Bamboo and PUL
  • RRP: Shaped nappy (£14), wrap (£13)
View on Babipur

8. BumGenius Freetime

“We've used the same set of BumGenius Freetimes for both our girls. After four years of use, they still function brilliantly.”

8. BumGenius Freetime

The BumGenius Freetime was the fastest-drying washable nappy we tested but we didn’t call it the best fast-drying nappy for 2019 because it’s not quite as absorbent as the Blueberry Simplex All-in-One.

With no extra bits to stuff and microfibre to keep your baby’s skin dry, this is a really convenient option, tucking into your changing bag without taking up much space at all.

Great for parents who

  • Have limited space for air drying

Pros

  • Microfibre inner layer stays soft
  • Slim-fitting
  • Highly (and easily) adjustable with poppers for both the waist and legs
  • All-in-one so no spare parts to keep track of
  • Fast-drying

Cons

  • Microfibre sheds in the wash
  • Needs to be changed frequently – didn’t alway make the recommended two-and-a-half hours

Product information

  • Type: All-in-one
  • Size range: 8 to 35lbs
  • Materials: Polyester, nylon and spandex
  • RRP: £22
View on Uber Shop

9. Smart Bottoms Smart One 3.1

“Worth the extra for being organic, all in one and absorbent.”

9. Smart Bottoms Smart One 3.1

Slim but marvellously absorbent, the Smart Bottoms Smart One 3.1 puts 10 layers of organic cotton next to your baby’s skin, making it notably long-lasting.

The inner layer can even be folded for extra soaking where it’s needed.

Great for parents who

  • Plan to use washable nappies for the long haul

Pros

  • Four sets of rise poppers for brilliant adjustability – more than any other nappy we tested
  • Splendidly absorbent
  • No spare parts to remember
  • Mid-range drying time
  • Lots of patterns and colours to choose from, all with a ‘natural’ feel

Cons

  • Insert could occasionally stick to baby when pulling away the wrap
  • Stains quite easily
  • Quite pricey
  • Too big for the average newborn

Product information

  • Type: All-in-one
  • Size range: 10 to 35lbs
  • Materials: Organic cotton and PUL
  • RRP: £26
View on Amazon

10. BumGenius Elemental

“BumGenius Elementals are my absolute favourite. They are very absorbent, have never leaked, slimmest out of the lot, lovely bright colours and prints, and they can even be tumble dried.”

10. BumGenius Elemental

Another organic cotton nappy to complete our top 10, the Bumgenius Elemental was one of the softest nappies we tested.

They regularly sell out and for good reason – the excellent elasticity around the legs and the ability to fold the inner layer and boost if needed make this a reliable option.

Great for parents who

  • Value comfort above all else

Pros

  • Stays relatively soft after washing
  • Poppers allow good adjustability around waist and legs
  • Highly absorbent
  • Wicks moisture away from baby’s skin
  • Lots of block colours and funky patterns available
  • Organic cotton

Cons

  • Could be baggy on the smaller end of its size range
  • Stains easily
  • One of the more expensive nappies we tested

Product information

  • Type: All-in-one
  • Size range: 8 to 35lbs
  • Materials: Organic cotton and PUL
  • RRP: £23
View on The Nappy Gurus
baby looking up at mother

What you need to know about reusable nappies

The different types

1. All-in-one

As the name suggests, these nappies come all in one part. You may need to fold the absorbent inner soaker, but nothing detaches.

2. Pocket nappy

These operate much like all-in-ones except the soaker is detachable when washing and needs to be stuffed into a pocket inside the nappy.

3. Shaped nappy and wrap

The absorbent cloth nappy fits around your baby like a disposable would and a waterproof wrap cover adds a second and final layer.

4. Prefold

The flat soaker folds, often on the third, to sit inside the waterproof wrap cover.

5. Terry squares and muslins

These are folded and fastened with Nappy Nippas or pins with a waterproof wrap placed as the covering layer.

Why buy washable nappies?

While lots of people choose to use disposable nappies for convenience, there are so many reasons to consider going reusable.

Firstly, it’s estimated that cloth nappy users save hundreds of pounds over the course of the birth to potty years.

Environmentally (even with washing, drying and manufacturing processes taken into consideration), a washable nappy’s carbon footprint is lower than a disposable's and it won’t end up in landfill where nothing ever really goes away.

Many also consider cloth nappies the safer option for your baby’s health, especially if you go for an organic inner layer.

Do reusable nappies leak?

Leaks can occur if the nappy doesn’t fit well, it isn’t the right shape for your child or mistakes are made in either adjusting or washing it.

On the other hand, many users find that cloth nappies can be better at containing runny milk poos than disposables because of the elastic at the waist and legs, meaning you’ll face fewer full-body changes. If you have any concerns, it’s worth talking to a nappy library (some even offer free introductory classes) or a retailer with a trial scheme.

To reduce the chance of leaks, you’re looking for a cloth nappy that fits low and close for full contact with your child with slight tension in the elastics.

How often should you change reusable nappies?

The Nappy Lady recommends changing every two-and-a-half to three hours during the day and before or after every night feed for babies under six months.

This changes to every three hours during the day and as needed during the night from six months onwards.

How to clean reusable nappies

Wash any wee or poo off with cold water before starting a proper wash cycle at the temperature recommended by the manufacturer.

Once washed, some reusable nappies can then be tumble dried.

baby in cloth nappy

How we tested

We put each nappy through its paces with the same parent tester to cut out unnecessary variables. As such, we feel confident that we’re recommending the top reusable nappies for most babies.

Safety and comfort

The baby wore the nappy as frequently as possible, taking washing into consideration, over the course of two months. Any pulling or potential for anything getting caught was noted.

Assembly and preparation

The reusable nappy was unboxed and assembled if necessary. Our tester scored for ease of use and assessed how complete and comprehensible the instructions were.

Day-to-day usage

The child was changed in different settings – at home, out and about and a friend’s house – and our tester noted how easy it was to put on and remove it as well as how well it performed overall.

Cleanliness

How well reusable nappies wash is crucial so each nappy was washed after each use, following the manufacturer’s instructions. They were all line dried. How well it washed and how long they took to dry was observed.

Aesthetics

We took into consideration what the nappy looked like, how many prints, patterns and colours were available, how slim fitting they were and where the poppers were placed.

Ethics

We looks at the ethical claims of each brand as well as any additional green commitments they discuss.

Value for money

We asked whether the nappy’s function justified the price tag, whether there were any other factors that might make it good value for money and how satisfied our tester was overall.

Why you should trust our reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust – brands can’t pay to be featured in our articles or win a Mumsnet Best award.

We spend hours researching, speaking to parents, analysing data and listening to experts before we test out the products on our shortlist.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about how we tested the products we recommend. We won't always recommend the cheapest products, or the ones with the most extra features. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the one's we'd recommend to our own friends and family.

We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful and independent review pieces like this one. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.

Our recommendations are always made entirely by our journalists without input from our commercial team, and our writers are never made aware of any business relationships.

If you decided to buy something that we recommended as a result of our research and testing, we usually (not always) get paid affiliate commission from the retailer where you make a purchase. But, if you weren't impressed with the product and decided to return it, we wouldn't make a penny.

There's no incentive for us to be lazy with our research or in our testing process. There's no reason for us to respond to pressure from retailers or brands trying to promote new products. It's actually quite the opposite and we think it's a good system, one that keeps us focused on making parents lives' easier.

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