Monday, 23 January 2012

The cost of nappies

I've had a few people asking me if cloth nappies really are cheaper than disposables. What about the cost of running a washing machine? what about the cost of water? the cost of extra washing powder?

I found lots of information on green fluffy bottoms - facebook group about all aspects of cloth nappies, and i found an absolute gem of a document detailing the actual cost of both cloth and disposable so here it is:

ok, you need to bear with me on this one...theres a lot of detailed information on here and I have tried to make it a little clearer than the original document, if you want to skip it (and i dont blame you if you do) skip down to the bottom of this post for the end'll be a little shocked at the costs. I know I was

I'm basing all the information on the following

An Average child potty trains about 2.5 years old = 912 days in nappies
with 7 nappy changes a day x 912 days.. That equals to 6384 disposable nappies (thats a lot of nappies)

The cost of cheap disposable nappies:
Store own brand nappy = between 10.7p and 19.9p each so thats an average 15.3p per nappy x 6384 = £976.75 over 2.5 years
own brand wipes = 1 pack per week £1 each x 130 weeks = £130
TOTAL cheap Disposable version = £1106.75

The cost of cheap cloth nappies
20 cheap eBay pocket birth to potty nappies = aprox £2.50 each so £50 in total
Fleece reusable wipes pack of 15 = £5
TOTAL cheap cloth £55

thats quite a price difference.

But what about those expensive custom nappies, and what about branded disposables?


Branded nappies are between 15.4p and 22.4p each with an average of 18.9p per nappy x 6384 = £1206.57
Branded Wipes are aprox £1.50 pack per week  x 130 weeks = £195
TOTAL branded disposable version = £1402.57

20x branded custom made pocket nappy with embroidery.
At about £25 per nappy with inserts = £500
Branded cloth wipes kit = £35
TOTAL branded cloth £535

ahhh,  hear you cry, what about the cost of water and electricity to power the extra washing?

here you go..this is based on 1 extra wash load, every other day for 2.5 years and without boring you with the specifics (i can add them on request)

water : £56.22
electricity: £51.51

Branded cloth nappy detergent costs approx £14 for 90 washes. You will do 456 washes washing every other day x 15p per wash = £68.40 detergent cost..bear in mind, that there are also cheaper washing powders available that are also suitable for cloth

so in simple terms

Cheap nappies:
Disposables  £1106.75 
Cloth £231.13 
 a saving of £875.62

branded nappies:
Disposables  £1402.57
Cloth £711.13
 a saving of £699.44

And if you swapped from expensive branded nappies, to unbranded cloth you could save a MASSIVE £1171.44!!!!!

WOW! thats quite a difference eh?

and look how pretty cloth is


  1. And that's before you get into the cost to the environment! Just wish I could get my head around which popper bits fasten to where :)

  2. Oh now that really is above and beyond the call of duty! Still not buying it though ;)

    1. I guess i'm just passionate about fluff :) can i ask what it is your 'not buying? is it the cost? or the usage of them?

  3. wow - never thought of it like that, just not sure I could deal with washing the poo.

    1. I thought that to start with, but you can use Biodegradable and flushable paper liners or fleece liners that help catch the poo. And once you get used to it, you dont really notice it.