Cloth nappies vs disposable nappies: Money saving

Thursday, 25 March 2021  |  Admin

Will I save money using cloth nappies over disposables?

Yes! And I can say this from experience, but will back it up with facts too, because that's how we roll here at Cheeky HQ.

Cost of disposable nappies

We estimate that the 'average' baby will use approximately 5000 disposable nappies, which is a sh!tload of money to literally throw away! 

Newborns can use up to 10 nappies a day,  but generally 5 nappies is the 'normal' amount of nappy changes daily from around 3 or 4 months old.  And we reckon that potty training normally happens at around 30 months old (130 weeks), between their 2nd and 3rd birthday.

Amount of nappies per day


Newborn  = 10 x 7 days a week x 12 weeks = 840

Average = 5 x 7 days a week x 118 weeks = 4,130

Total = 4,970 nappies

Cost of disposable nappies

Some people always only use 'branded' nappies, some use supermarket brands, so again, it's important to use an average.  The market leading brand works out at around 24p per nappy, so using these will cost you around £1200.    It's worth nothing though, that pull ups are generally way more expensive than this, these costs are JUST for nappies.  You'll need to add on the costs of nappy bags etc.

  Price per nappy Total Cost
Market Leading Brand 24p £1200
Leading 'supermarket' brand 6.5p                £325       

'Average' cost of disposable nappies PER BABY = £762.50

How much do Cloth Nappies cost? And how much can I save by switching to Cloth Nappies?

Switching to cloth nappies isn't just better for the environment.  Switching to Cloth Nappies will save you hundreds of pounds for one baby, potentially THOUSANDS if you go on to use those nappies for another baby.

Cost of cloth nappies

Obviously cloth nappies vary too.  Some brands cost more than others and if you're looking for bespoke 'pretty' cloth nappies, you can spend a load of money.  But there's no need to spend lots.  Assuming that you wash every other day, our 'standard' bundle will see you right for one baby, it contains:

Costing just £149.95, it's a great kit.

Washing costs of cloth nappies:

  Per Load Per child*
Washing Machine 26p £142.48
Washing Powder 18p £98.64
Tumble Drying 67p £61.19**
Total 67p £302.31

** We assume that nappies aren't tumble dried by themselves but as part of shared load with other washing.  Assumes that nappies account for 1/3 of a full load and that the dryer is only used for half the year.*washing as a sole load every other day for 30 months = 548 washes

Total Cost of using Cloth Nappies for one child = £452.46

You can see that using our fairly robust numbers, you'll save AT LEAST £310 on using cloth nappies for one child.  However it would be much higher than that if you would have been buying premium brands (Pampers / Huggies / Eco nappies).  And if you're thinking of having more than one child, obviously your nappies can be used again, leading to even more cost savings!

Personally, I used my stash of nappies for all 4 children and then I donated them to a cloth nappy library so that they could continue to be used as they still had plenty of life left in them.  So not only did I save £££ but was also doing my bit for the planet too.