Disposable vs Reusable Nappies

As a new mum deciding between disposable and reusable nappies can be difficult. Therefore to help you come to a decision, in this article, we will explore what each type of nappy is, the pros and cons of each and hopefully help you make an informed decision.

reusable nappies vs disposable
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The world of nappies is rapidly changing but the two most popular options are either disposable or reusable nappies. If you are sat on the fence about which nappy to choose, below we walk you through everything you need to know.

What Are Disposable Nappies?

Disposable nappies are single-use nappies that are thrown away after use. They are made of a soft absorbent material with an outer waterproof layer to prevent leaks and are widely available and used by most parents.

disposable vs reusable nappies


  • Disposable nappies are very convenient as they are easy to use and dispose of.
  • They save time since they do not require washing or drying.
  • They are portable as you can carry them in your nappy bag.
  • They are widely available and easy to get hold of.
  • Come in a range of sizes.
  • Absorbent materials help to keep your baby dry.
  • Some brands of disposable nappies claim to be more environmentally friendly with biodegradable or compostable materials.
  • Disposable nappies can be more suitable for babies with certain medical conditions such as severe eczema because they provide a barrier between the skin and potential irritants.


  • Disposable nappies can be more expensive in the long run as they need to be continually repurchased.
  • They are not environmentally friendly since they contribute to landfill waste and take years to decompose. It’s estimated that 8 million nappies are being thrown away every day in the UK alone.
  • They contain chemicals that can irritate your baby’s skin, leading to nappy rash.
  • They can leak, causing discomfort and embarrassment.

What Are Reusable Nappies?

Reusable nappies are washable nappies made of soft, absorbent materials such as cotton, bamboo or hemp and they come in different sizes and styles (as shown in the image below).

reusable vs disposable nappies


  • Reusable nappies can be more cost-effective in the long run as they are washable.
  • They are environmentally friendly as they reduce landfill waste and can be used multiple times.
  • Some parents find that reusable nappies are more reliable at containing leaks than disposable nappies.
  • They are more breathable and do not contain chemicals that can irritate your baby’s skin.
  • Some studies suggest that children who use reusable nappies potty train earlier.
  • There are several different types of reusable nappies available, including all-in-one nappies, two-part nappies and pocket nappies.
  • Some parents find that reusable nappies are more comfortable for their baby because they are made from softer, more breathable materials.


  • They require more maintenance since they need to be washed and dried after each use.
  • May require more water and energy to clean.
  • As some of the reusable nappies are made out of hemp or bamboo (which are more absorbent), they can take a long time to dry.
  • They are less convenient than disposable nappies since they take more time to put on and take off.
  • They are bulkier than disposable nappies and may require larger nappy bags.
  • Some people find the initial cost of purchasing reusable nappies to be high.
  • As there are so many styles and sizes on the market it may take a while to find the perfect fit.

Which Is Better?

Ultimately, the decision of whether to use disposable or reusable nappies is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer and you should choose what works best for you and your family.

Disposable nappies are convenient and require less maintenance but they are expensive and not environmentally friendly. Reusable nappies on the other hand are more cost-effective and eco-friendly but they require more maintenance and may be less convenient.

If you decide to use reusable nappies, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, you’ll need to invest in a good quality brand, which may seem expensive initially but will save you money in the long run. You will also want to consider how you’ll wash the nappies to prevent stains and smells too.


In conclusion, both disposable and reusable nappies have their advantages and disadvantages.

It’s important to note that the decision of whether to use disposable or reusable nappies is a personal one and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Factors such as cost, convenience and environmental impact should be considered, as well as your individual preferences and needs. If you are concerned about the environment and cost, reusable nappies may be the way to go. However, if convenience is your top priority, disposable nappies may be the best option.

Whatever you choose, remember that your baby’s comfort and well-being are the most important thing. By weighing the pros and cons of each option, you can make an informed decision that is best for you and your baby.

If you require further assistance on reusable vs disposable nappies, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

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