Are cloth nappies cheaper than disposables?

The other day, I spoke to a friend who was quoted over £3,000 a year for gas and electricity, then the very next day had a conversation with another friend who was lamenting the huge price increases at the supermarket. It’s no secret that the cost of living has increased significantly in the last few months, and many families face a difficult winter ahead. 

In these times, every little helps, and one way that we know can save families money in the long run is to make the switch to reusable cloth nappies and cloth wipes. While there may be a significant cost to begin with, cutting out the weekly expense of disposable nappies will almost certainly save you money over the time your child is in cloth nappies. We’ve crunched the numbers to show you exactly how much you could save. 

How much will you spend on disposable nappies?

Each disposable nappy costs on average around 10p. There are cheaper nappies out there, but they won’t be accessible for every family.

Assuming you use 6 nappies each day on average, and that your child potty trains at age 2.5, this means you’ll spend around £547 per child. 

And what about wipes? Assuming they’re around 1p each and that you use 3 wipes at each nappy change, you’re likely to spend £164 per child. 

That makes £711 on disposable nappies and wipes by the time each child is potty trained.

How do cloth nappies compare to disposable nappies?

Cloth nappies vary in price quite a bit, but we’ll use Pim Pam nappies as an example. Our print nappies cost £17.99 and you’re likely to need 20 nappies for full time use. That adds up to £360 on nappies (or £288 with our discount code TOPTEN)

If you also wanted to try cloth wipes, you’d need 40 wipes which would set you back £48. 

So in total, you’d spend £408 on buying your cloth nappies and wipes.

However, with energy costs rising, it’s worth considering how much you’re likely to spend on washing your nappies and wipes. A washing machine uses around 1kWh of power per hour, which by the end of 2022 is expected to cost around 51p on average, so assuming you’re washing your nappies every other day you’re likely to spend around £233 over the child’s time in nappies. 

Altogether, that makes £640 on buying your nappies and wipes and washing them, which is a saving of £70 over the time your child is in nappies.

How can cloth nappies save me even more money?

There are a few ways that you can save even more money by using cloth nappies.

The main way is to plan to use your cloth nappies for multiple children. Most cloth nappies will last more than one child, so for each additional child you have you’d be saving a further £711 by using your cloth nappies again. 

Another way to save money is to buy your cloth nappies secondhand. There are lots of Facebook groups dedicated to buying and selling nappies and you can sometimes find nappies lightly used for a fraction of the price of new. 

Alternatively you could look into using cheaper styles of nappy. If you’re on a particularly tight budget then trying flat nappies like terry squares is a great way to buy a full stash of nappies for around £100.

If the initial cost of cloth nappies is still too high, you could consider buying one or two nappies each month and gradually increasing your cloth nappy collection over time. You won’t save quite as much in the long run, but it will help spread the cost.

Make the most of our cloth nappy bundles here

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