Are Cloth Diapers More Cost Effective


Are Cloth Diapers More Cost Effective Than Disposables

One question I get asked a lot is So, Are Cloth Diapers More Cost Effective?
Having a baby is a long term financial expense. Many new parents are looking for ways to reduce their expenses, and one of those ways is to consider their diaper options. At first glance, it may seem like disposable diapers have more bang for your buck. In the long term? Not so much.

When figuring out your budget for cloth diapers, there are various factors to consider. Let’s dive in.

Types of Diapers

The brand of diaper is an obvious factor in the decision-making process. Need help finding a brand? Check out the brands section under our cloth diaper tab. Some brands will sell diapers in different size packs, which will give you a better value. Some brands will sell 4,6, or 10 packs and almost all brands sell singular cloth diapers.

Consider what stage you are in. Do you need six new diapers? Or, did one get ruined and you only need a replacement? Obviously, it is going to be cheaper to just buy one

Another point is the type of diaper (if you need a refresher on cloth diaper types, click here). AIO diapers are going to cost more than flats- so it’s going to boil down to what you prefer to use.

Keep in mind that your time is a form of currency too! AIOs are going to take up much less of your time than a flat.

Comparing Cost


A quick Target search will show you that a pack of 128 disposable diapers is a total of 39.99 before tax. A 6-pack of cloth diapers can range between 60-128 dollars. For today, we are going to take the most common price on Amazon, which is just about 50 dollars. It is recommended that parents buy just about 24 cloth diapers. Let’s pause here to make sure we are on the same page.

  • 128 disposable diapers = $40
  • 6 cloth diapers = $50 if we need 24 it will be a cost of $200

Off the bat, yes, that does look a bit nerve-wracking, but again, we want to consider the long-term.

On average a newborn baby can use anywhere between 6 and 12 diapers which means you are going to have to buy disposable diapers every week and a half or so. Also, a baby uses around 3,000 diapers per year. That’s 24 packs of diapers! Which means the total cost of diapers for the year is a whopping $960. That is way more than the $200 spent in cloth diapers.

But, wait, you have to wash cloth diapers. Doesn’t that use up water, making my water bill go up?

The Cost of Water

Honestly, yes. You will be doing much more laundry than your pre-baby life. However, the cost of doing laundry is still going to be less than if you were to spend all your money on disposable diapers!

With a newer washer, it costs about $1.44 to do one load of laundry. Obviously, you will be doing a lot more laundry than this. If you were to do one load of laundry a day it would be 10.08 a week. In a year this would be $524.16. That is still about 400 dollars less than buying disposable diapers. **

The Final Break Down

The average cost of buying and using disposable diapers in 1 year is going to be just about $724.16. This is taken from the cost of 24 cloth diapers and the cost of washing them.

The average cost of using disposable diapers is $960

Using cloth diapers saves you almost $200 dollars a year! And that’s if you are doing laundry every day. If you aren’t you are probably saving even more.

What Other Things Cost $200?

  • High-quality digital monitors
  • 2 crib mattresses
  • A bassinet from Target
  • Various types of jogging strollers
  • 3 -in- 1 car seats

There are a lot of high-quality baby items that you can buy with the money saved. Not to mention groceries, bills, gas, and toys. Would you rather spend our money on an extra safe car seat or a diaper that gets used in an hour and is then tossed away?

Everyone is trying to save money where they can. Parents especially, need to find ways to save their money for other expenses. When looking at the long term, buying cloth diapers is more of an investment, rather than a one time purchase. And since babies are long term, shouldn’t the way you care for them be long term also?

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn More..