Cloth Diapers vs Disposable and Types of Cloth Diapers

There are a few different camps when it comes to diapers. Some like the store bought option of disposables. Those include accessories like diaper genies (for the soiled diapers)  while cloth diapers have wet bags.


 The short version here is cloth diapers are cheaper by more than half. But that doesn’t account for your time. 

  • Cloth diapers are reusable, so less expensive
  • They’re trendy
  • They’re supposedly better for baby’s skin, but a lot of the most absorbent material isn’t supposed to be that close to a baby’s skin

How much do diapers cost? 


It depends on if you’re going to use disposable or cloth diapers. This website calculated the cost of 30 months of disposable diapers at $1912.04.  That’s around $2.10 per day, and that cost really might be worth it as far as a “good” price for how much diapers cost..  That works out to $63.73 per month, so if you do end up not having your little one potty trained in the first year or so, add around that much for every month you extend it. An extra year of diapers would cost 764.76 if we use his model.  Here is a rundown of great disposable, store bought, diaper options. I don’t need to go through them again. 

Cloth Diapers

The really short version is that the total cost of cloth diapers, including laundry, for approx the same amount of time is $774.75. That’s roughly $450 for the diapers themselves and $325 dollars for the laundry.  The author of the piece does not take his labour into account when making his calculations I think. So, if your time is worth $0, then that is accurate.  It is more time intensive to wash cloth diapers. Another factor to consider is the resale value of the diapers. Yes, they do have value and can be resold.  It’s a good way for you to get into the cloth diaper scene for even cheaper than the $450. 

Two main types of cloth diaper systems and some extra cover options to choose from. 

  1. The first type of cloth diaper system is Prefold + Cover

Prefold + Cover is a 2 step system.  

The good thing about this system is that these are the cheapest systems out there for diapering your kids. If you’re concerned about how much diapers cost, then a cloth system like this could be exactly what you’re looking for. 

The cloth diapers grow with your baby, and a lot of the cloth diaper covers are designed to grow with your child.  The drawbacks are mostly looks, sometimes the prefold can get bunchy or seem like a lot of material.  And the increase in laundry. But, trust me when i tell you, you will have an increased amount of laundry when you introduce kids into your life.   I feel it would be remiss if i didn’t mention the diaper snaps that are helpful in holding the prefolds together. 

The benefit of this system is that you’re not dealing with actually folding a diaper. You’ve got a cloth that’s cut into the diaper shape. It will have snaps or velcro. There are complaints about the velcro aging poorly after multiple washes.  Also, this cloth diaper system is more expensive with each diaper costing around $13 a piece.  You need the fitted diaper (linked above) and a cover as well.  It can add up quickly if you need to rely on this system fully. Also, you will need to get new diapers as your children get bigger.

These are waterproof nylon diapers that are meant to go overtop of the prefold or fitted diaper you’re using. These are wonderful for overnights as they’re designed to keep everything contained.  Make sure there is not any of the prefold outside of the nylon diaper, that will lead to leaks. Otherwise, these are the best overnight covers we used.

These covers are not at all what I expected. Wool covers are good because they are treated with lanolin. This helps prevent leaks. But you have to keep retreating after it runs out; and it runs out after a few times through the wash cycle. There are a lot of reasons you might want to use wool diaper covers, and these ones are very popular. 

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