Cloth Diapers vs Disposables

Cloth diapers are making a comeback vs. disposables. As people continue to search for ways to reduce the environmental impact and cost of disposable diapers, the cloth diaper business has really heated up and new products are rolling out at a fast pace.

If you haven’t considered this option because you have visions of simple rectangle cloth diapers attached with safety pins that leak all over the house, it is time for you to take another look. Cloth diapers are not for everyone to be sure. But thanks to new technology in diapers like BumGenius, they are definitely a viable option for moms and dads everywhere to consider.

The key differences between cloth diapers vs. disposables are below. While we’re at it, let’s make this a head-to-head contest and see which type of diaper wins.


The disposable diaper is smaller and will fit neatly into almost any outfit, where the cloth diaper is a bit bigger. Don’t be too concerned though, as your baby’s clothes will still work fine, albeit a little bit puffier in the seat. Edge: Disposable


Cloth diapers come in all sorts of styles, fabrics, and designs to suit your taste. Many are so cute on your baby that you won’t mind just letting them run around in it, a much more unlikely scenario with a disposable diaper. Edge: Cloth


The initial cost of cloth diapers is rather high and it is important to have several to keep your laundry cycle reasonable so there is a barrier to entry, but the never-ending cost of disposables will eventually overtake the cost of cloth. In the end, both methods are very similar in cost when all things are considered. Edge: Cloth (but only a very small edge)


There is little need to elaborate here. Disposable diapers get thrown away. Cloth diapers get washed and reused. Washing of at least one dirty diaper per day is unpleasant, and worse in the cold and flu season. Edge: Disposable


There is also little doubt here. An average baby will go through 3-5 diapers per day (some days far more) which all go in the trash and to the landfill. The cloth diaper is laundered and reused. Edge: Cloth


Various studies have shown that cloth diapers are better for baby’s skin than disposable, though studies continue. My personal experience is that this is true, as instances of diaper rash are notably less. Edge: Cloth


I include this because it’s an important category. When traveling there is no substitue for the quick change that a disposable diaper can offer at the gas station or airport. Of course, a cloth diaper user could easily switch to disposable for these trips. Edge: Disposable


This is not an opinion, this is from my nose. Disposable diapers do not mask the smell of a dirty diaper very well. With cloth, you will actually have to peek once in a while because they tend to hold in the smell so well. A benefit in public, but something to watch out for at home. Edge: Cloth


So, let’s see. That’s Cloth – 5 and Disposable – 3

As a user of both types of diapers for years, I can tell you that this is really a close race, but it is a comparison worth making for yourself. The bottom line is this. If you demand little to no effort in dealing with dirty diapers you will be happier with disposable. If you accept the laundering needed with cloth and want to do what is best for the environment you will be very happy with cloth.

One final note: You can also check your area to see if you have access to a cloth diapering service that will do the cleaning for you. If you have this option, the cleaning can become almost a non-event, but it will cost you some more money.

Now that you have considered cloth diapers vs. disposables and know it’s worth looking at, go check out your cloth diaper options.