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Best breastfeeding covers for nursing mums

Nursing covers are a great way to help a new mum on her breastfeeding journey. Here we look at Mumsnetters’ pick of the best.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Feb 7, 2022

A dark haired women wearing a grey nursing cover with white stars

Breastfeeding covers are a great addition to your feeding toolkit. They can come in many different forms, such as an apron, scarf or cardigan, but all fundamentally serve the same purpose - to offer some privacy to breastfeeding mums if they want it.

Why buy a breastfeeding cover?

Breastfeeding covers aren’t for everyone, but they can be particularly useful if you’re a new mum trying to get to grips with the practicalities of feeding your newborn while out and about. A little bit of privacy can help you to hone your technique and build confidence when it comes to public feeding. 

When baby is a bit older, some mums choose to switch from a heavy-duty cover-up, such as a breastfeeding apron, to a lighter, more practical alternative, such as a muslin cloth tucked under a nursing bra strap. Some may later ditch the cover altogether, while others choose to stick with it for the entirety of their breastfeeding journey. When it comes to breastfeeding in public, it’s important that the process is as comfortable and stress-free as possible for both you and your baby.

If you decide that you want to use a breastfeeding cover, then there’s a dizzying array to choose from. So we’ve trawled expert review sites and the Mumsnet forums to find out which covers our users recommend, and have come up with our top picks below.

Here are the best breastfeeding covers to buy in 2021.

1. Best overall breastfeeding cover: Bebe au Lait Nursing Cover

Baby au Lait breastfeeding apron, cream with red flowers on

Price: From £38.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“The one I used had a piece of curved boning in the top so I could easily see my baby’s face/have eye contact just by looking down and didn’t have to lift any shawl out of the way. It was called a Bebe au Lait.” BurpingFrog 

“I use the Bebe au Lait cover and have done with all three of mine. It's really good, and has helped through difficult times when my whole boob was out with nipple shield, etc. I find it easier than a muslin as it doesn't go over their face and you can see them.” Wallabyone

“I second the Bebe au Lait ones.” littlecabbage

The Bebe au Lait Nursing Cover has a huge following among Mumsnetters who are recommending this product to new mums time and time again. 

The hooped neckline holds the cover away from your body, allowing you to keep an eye on your baby as well as for air to circulate underneath the cover. The neck strap can be adjusted and the large amount of cloth provides complete coverage. Just make sure you tuck the edges in if you’re breastfeeding outdoors on a windy day to avoid any sudden surprises!

Pros

  • Mum and baby can see each other
  • A range of attractive patterns available
  • Good coverage

Cons 

  • Pricey

2. Best budget breastfeeding cover: BebeChic Oeko-Tex Certified Cotton Breastfeeding Cover

BebeChic nursing cover

Price: £15.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I really like it as it holds the fabric out a bit which gives baby some space around their head.” TerriB1984

“I found this helpful in the first few months.” Cakeandmarshmallows

This simple nursing cover works in the same way as the Bebe au Lait - the apron slips easily over your head and boning holds the fabric away from baby to allow you to have a clear view.

Made from 100 percent cotton, the cover is light and loose and great for keeping baby cool to reduce the risk of overheating. Plus, there’s a great range of patterns available depending on how discreet you want to be.

Pros 

  • Affordable
  • Large amount of material for good coverage

Cons 

  • Neck strap can’t be adjusted

3. Best breastfeeding cover for plus-size mums: My Little Koala Breastfeeding Cover-Up

My Little Koala Breastfeeding cover up

Price: From £22.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“I've got the one pictured, used it yesterday and felt a lot more confident breastfeeding. I have really large breasts which are quite hard to keep covered with clothes depending on what I'm wearing. I don't care if people notice that I'm feeding. I'd just rather they didn't see my breasts.” shouldistop 

My Little Koala’s Breastfeeding Cover-Up measures 70cm by 75cm, making it perfect for plus-sized women and women with larger breasts. It has an adjustable strap and is made of light, breathable 100 percent cotton.

This versatile cover can also be used as a summer blanket, baby play mat or a large muslin, making it great value for money.

Pros

  • Large size
  • Pockets for storing breast pads while feeding
  • Good choice of designs

Cons

  • Boning not as rigid as on other brands’ covers

4. Best muslin breastfeeding cover: aden + anais Muslin

aden + anais Muslin

Price: From £22.49 | Buy now from Amazon

“aden and anais muslins are lovely and big, I used them a lot, mainly for swaddling, but also for putting in between my DD and I when feeding on a hot day, and they used to cover us both nicely when I was in a place where I was more self-conscious with feeding. You do get more confident with it and skilful at whipping it out and latching baby in a blink of an eye. The aden and anais ones are [...] pricier than others but great quality and worth it.” Annlee3817

“aden and anais do lovely big muslin cloths.” Foodylicious

If you favour a lightweight muslin rather than a breastfeeding apron, then these pretty aden + anais muslins come highly recommended by breastfeeding mums. Large and breathable, the cloths also make great swaddles.

The biggest problem you’ll find with these muslins is choosing from the amazing array of designs - Mickey Mouse or cockatoos and pineapples? Decisions, decisions. 

Pros

  • Wide range of gorgeous designs
  • Provides great coverage
  • Soft to the touch

Cons

  • Some find muslin covers fiddly
  • Covers baby’s head

5. Best breastfeeding shawl: Seraphine Grey Breastfeeding Cover Maternity Shawl

Seraphine Grey Breastfeeding Cover Maternity Shawl

Price: £35 | Buy now from Seraphine

“I do have a Seraphine shawl that I was planning to use this summer over normal buttoned shirts” Weathergirl1

“Seraphine do some nice ones. I like this one because it’s very soft.” Woodpecker22 

This soft and sumptuous shawl from Seraphine can be wrapped, draped and worn as a scarf, offering a variety of options for nursing mums. Just decide how you’re going to wear the shawl and secure it in place using poppers on the shoulder. After all, why shouldn’t breastfeeding be stylish?

Pros

  • Multiple options for wear
  • Stylish
  • Made from a bamboo wool blend
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Can be used as a swaddle

Cons 

  • Available in neutral colours only

6. Best breastfeeding scarf: Mamascarf Breastfeeding Scarf

Black Mamascarf nursing scarf

Price: From £10 | Buy now from Amazon

“Muslins are great as are the JoJo tops. I also often wear scarves that I can drape around to block people seeing but allow me to still see baby.” Squeakyheart

Another one for fans of both fashion and functionality, the Mamascarf allows you to feed your baby comfortably and discreetly, and can be worn as a stylish scarf after use. 

You can keep an eye on your little one throughout the feed, plus there’s a handy hidden pocket to pop your breast pad in.

Pros

  • Breast pad pocket
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • May not be suitable for women with larger breasts

7. Best breastfeeding cardigan: Waterfall Maternity and Nursing Cardigan

Waterfall breastfeeding cardigan

Price: £39 | Buy now from JoJo Maman Bébé

“I used a JoJo Waterfall Cardigan that buttoned at the shoulder when it was colder (over a normal shirt), but I just prefer using nursing tops now that still allow me to be discreet.” Weathergirl1

This cosy cardi will see you through your pregnancy during the chillier months and its button-fastened shoulders allow for quick and easy breastfeeding. With it’s wrap-over style and waterfall front, this cardigan should be a wardrobe staple for any nursing mum.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Warm
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Limited colour choice
  • Pricey

8. Best breastfeeding cover for use with newborns: Navy Stripe Jersey Breastfeeding Cover

Navy stripe jersey breastfeeding cover

Price: £19 | Buy now from JoJo Maman Bébé

“I was very conscious when baby was young. Used cover-ups mostly (the JoJo one is good) and would feed discreetly.” snackysnacksnack 

This comfy scarf from JoJo Maman Bébé is the ideal first nursing cover-up for new mums. The infinity style means you can rest assured it won’t slip off mid-feed. And, once baby has finished, the cover can be popped round the neck as an attractive scarf, meaning one less thing to fit into your changing bag.

Pros

  • Infinity styles means it stays on
  • Doubles up as a scarf
  • Fabric is really soft

Cons 

  • Bigger and more wriggly children may find it restricting

9. Best breastfeeding cover multipack: Comfy Cubs Muslin Burp Cloths 6 Pack

Comfy Cubs Muslins

Price: From £10.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“If I felt the need to be covered up (very early on before I got to grips with whipping out my boob, latching baby without milk squirting everywhere), I just tucked the corner of a muslin cloth into the relevant bra strap. It also meant that it was there and ready for burping at the end of the feed.” StrumpersPlunkett 

“I would wear a vest top with straps down under my top and a nursing bra. I'd lift my top at the side and the baby obscured my nipple and vest the rest. For a bit more privacy I would put the corner of a muslin cloth under my bra strap to secure it and use that to cover baby and boob.” Newmumatlast

“Large muslin tucked under the bra strap, draped over baby's top half until you're more confident. Saves a lot of money.” DontBuyANewMumCashmere 

Many Mumsnetters swear by a strategically-placed muslin when it comes to breastfeeding covers. We love this multipack of muslins from Comfy Cubs, which come in a white, pink or blue colourway.

The only downside is that these cloths are a bit on the small side, so they may not be suitable for plus-sized women. But it may be worth giving them a go anyway. After all, you can never have too many muslins.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Soft material

Cons

  • Small

10. Best luxury breastfeeding cover: Two Tone Luxury Nursing Shawl Wrap

Two tone luxury nursing shawl

Price: £65 | Buy now from Seraphine

If you want to treat yourself to a luxury breastfeeding cover, then this nursing shawl wrap from Seraphine is a great choice.

Ultra soft and cosy, with fitted cuffs to keep your arms warm, this ample wrap can provide a great amount of cover while keeping you and your baby nice and toasty. Perfect for post-feeding snuggles.

Pros

  • Warm
  • Large coverage
  • Reversible

Cons

  • Pricey

Is it illegal to ask a breastfeeding mother to cover up?

Under the 2010 Equality Act, it is illegal to ask a breastfeeding mother to cover up. Anyone who asks a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place, such as a café, shop, bus or park, is breaking the law.

Are breastfeeding covers safe to use?

Nursing covers that are specifically designed for the task are perfectly safe to use. Just make sure that your baby has plenty of room to breathe and that air can circulate. It’s also important to make sure that there’s no chance of baby overheating, especially during the summer months.

Which type of nursing cover is best?

There are a number of different types of nursing cover on the market. Opinions on the best type of breastfeeding cover vary among mums.

  • Apron: These have exploded in popularity over recent years. Boning is used to create a hoop that pulls the material away from your body so that you and your baby can maintain eye contact during the feed. Aprons usually come with a substantial amount of material, so this type of cover is particularly good for new mums who want to keep their feeds totally private, as well as plus-size and larger-breasted women. Aprons usually come in a great variety of colours and patterns although, as some mums point out, this can actually draw more attention to you. Some have also likened it to wearing a tent.
  • Scarf: A breastfeeding scarf wraps across your body and then baby can be slipped inside for easy feeding. When you’re done, it can be taken off and popped around your neck to be worn as an everyday scarf. Beware about wearing one to breastfeed outdoors in windy weather - one gust can cause the whole thing to blow out like a windsock.
  • Cardigan/shawl/wrap: Maternity clothing, which can later be used for nursing, is ideal to have in your wardrobe. This type of clothing can often be worn in multiple ways to help you nurse your baby comfortably, and sometimes poppers on the shoulders conveniently hold the material in place. The downside is that you’ll likely need more than one if you go out often and need to feed your baby. 
  • Muslin cloths: An oversized muslin cloth tucked into a bra strap and draped over baby and breast are a popular choice of nursing cover, particularly among women who are experienced at breastfeeding. But while a muslin is quick to use, convenient and cheap, it can be fiddly if you are new to nursing. Another downside is that you can’t see your baby’s face while feeding.

How do I choose a nursing cover?

As well as considering how easy your breastfeeding cover is to adjust, how much cover it provides so that you can breastfeed confidently, and whether the material is soft and breathable enough for maximum comfort, you should think about price, as this can vary quite a bit. Also you should consider whether one cover is enough or if you should buy another, just in case.

Which breastfeeding cover is best? 

Mumsnetters rave about the Bebe au Lait Nursing Cover. This large and breathable breastfeeding apron allows for convenient feeding while enabling you to keep an eye on your baby as you nurse.

How we chose our recommendations

We scoured Mumsnet forums to find out which breastfeeding covers our users rate highly - and which ones they weren’t impressed by.

We also consulted consumer watchdogs and took note of what they looked for in breastfeeding covers and which they were recommending to their readers.

Finally, we collated all that information and then looked at other online reviews to see which breastfeeding covers had received the best recommendations.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

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