Best nappies in Australia
Through a combination of extensive research, reading real user reviews and personal experience, we’ve selected the 4 best nappies in Australia for your little one.
What's in this guide?
- Best disposable nappies: Pampers Baby Dry
- Best budget disposable nappies: Aldi Mamia Ultra Dry nappies
- Most environmentally friendly disposable nappies: Tooshies By Tom
- Best reusable nappies: Designer Bums
- Disposable vs cloth nappies
- How to compare nappies
- How to check fit
- How to wash cloth nappies
- 3 things to consider
How did we pick this list?
Our editorial team selected the products on this list based on actual customer reviews from multiple shopping and parenting forums, and extensive personal experience. For each category, we carefully selected parameters based on our research and identified the nappies with the highest review score within those parameters. If consumer sentiment on two products was similar, the author's own experience served as a tie-breaker.
Best disposable nappies: Pampers Baby Dry
Why we chose it
Pampers Baby Dry nappies are our pick for the best disposable nappies. They hold an average rating of 4.4 stars from more than 7,000 customers on Amazon.com.au and are recommended by industry professionals.
Parents using Pampers Baby Dry cite the absorbency as a standout quality, particularly during the crucial overnight period when extra absorbency means extra crucial hours of sleep for mum and dad. Very few people report overnight leakage issues, which is consistent with Pampers' claim of being able to maintain dryness for up to 12 hours.
They're less bulky than many comparable nappies, which, while not impacting absorbency negatively, does result in ever-so-slightly less environmental waste. They're a popular, reliable, go-to nappy used by countless parents across the country.
Best budget disposable nappies: Aldi Mamia Ultra Dry nappies
- Great value
- Reliable absorbency
- Only available at Aldi
- Not biodegradable
Where to buy
Check availability at Aldi
Price: Around 20 cents per nappy for unisex toddler nappies.
Why we chose it
Aldi Mamia Ultra Dry nappies are outstanding value, but they're also remarkably reliable for their price point. Bubhub forums rate these nappies at 85% across 78 user reviews, and they have received numerous awards including the 2019 Canstar Blue Award for disposable nappies.
Like Pampers, the Aldi Mamia has a sleeker profile for bub's comfort while maintaining good, reliable absorbency. They're soft and comfortable, and the tabs are easily resealable should you need to make adjustments if they've been fitted incorrectly. They're perfume-free, which is better for sensitive skin, but might result in slightly stronger urine odours. If money is tight, you won't find a better, cheaper, more reliable nappy.
Most environmentally friendly disposable nappies: Tooshies By Tom
Why we chose it
There's no getting around the fact disposable nappies create waste, but some brands are better for the planet than others. Tooshies By Tom nappies are made from sustainable plant-based materials extracted from corn, sugarcane and wheat. It's not clear how well they actually biodegrade while in landfill, but there's no denying the production process has a reduced impact on the environment.
They perform well in action, too. Chemist Warehouse customers rate them at 4.8 out of 5 from 60 reviewers. When my wife and I use disposable nappies, we go for these. Our baby finds them comfortable, and we rarely have leakage issues overnight. They're fragrance free, hypoallergenic, soft on skin and provide excellent protection while reducing your impact on the planet.
Best reusable nappies: Designer Bums
- No landfill waste
- Cute designs
- Need to be changed every 3-4 hours, so not ideal for overnight
Where to buy
Price: Each Designer Bum nappy costs $34.95, but discounts are available for bulk purchases.
Why we chose it
Our pick for the best reusable nappy is Designer Bums, which I use for my little one at home.
The average baby will soil 6,000 nappies before becoming potty-trained. That's an immense amount of waste. The only way to significantly cut that down is by using reusable nappies. Fortunately, there's been a boom in the modern cloth nappy scene of late, and a range of funky, colourful, "Instagramable" options are now available.
They have a 5 star rating from more than 2,000 user reviews on the Designer Bums website. Admittedly, this isn't the most impartial sample, but Designer Bums nappies aren't available through large retailers so user reviews in statistically significant quantities aren't available elsewhere.
They're one-size-fits-all with adjustable straps, so they grow with your baby. Liners are inserted into an outer shell for use and removed for easier cleaning. The shells themselves feature colourful designs, often created by local artists, and are released in quarterly product lines.
Keep in mind, the most popular designs sellout almost instantly; the community, self-dubbed "Pop Tarts" after the popping sound the buttons make, are a passionate bunch.
- Our editorial team compared nappy brands found in major chemists, retailers and online stores across Australia.
- We examined hundreds of customer reviews and ratings as well as expert reviews and our own personal experience.
- The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.
Disposable vs cloth nappies
Nappies are one item that you need to purchase before your baby is born and you'll use them for at least a couple of years until your little one is toilet trained. There are two main types to choose from, each with their pros and cons, so it's up to personal preference which is the right option for you and your baby.
Disposable nappies are the most commonly used and the most convenient type of nappy. They come in a range of sizes from newborn through to toddler, and are easy to use and dispose of. Most disposable nappies have elastic leg holes and waistbands so that they fit snugly on your baby, and a moisture-absorbing pad soaks up liquid. This helps to keep your baby dry and reduce the risk of nappy rash.
However, they create a lot of waste with millions of nappies going into landfills each day.
- Convenient and easy to use
- Can throw directly in the bin
- Absorb moisture quickly
- More expensive
- Not reusable
- Bad for the environment
Cloth nappies are usually made from natural materials like bamboo, hemp or cotton, so they are breathable and kinder on your baby's skin. As they are made from cloth, they can be washed and reused for a long period of time.
While they were once just a square or rectangle piece of material that you had to fold up and safety pin together, there are now different styles to choose from that include moisture-resistant and absorbent layers, pockets to add absorbent inserts or press studs that combine waterproof and absorbent layers that can be taken apart for washing. You can still buy the original flat cloth nappies if you are on a tight budget, and these often come with a fastener so you won't need to use pins.
- Lighter environmental footprint
- Cheaper than disposable nappies over time
- Usually made from natural materials
- More effort required when putting on baby if using flat nappies
- Can take some time to work out how to put them on correctly
- More washing to do
How to compare nappies
If you are preparing for a new baby and trying to decide on the right nappies to meet your baby's needs and your lifestyle, consider the following points before purchasing.
Disposable nappies are much more convenient than reusable nappies, however, even though a little more time consuming, modern cloth nappies can also be easy to use once you get the hang of them, and if you do find that they take a bit longer you can distract your baby with some toys. The main inconvenience of cloth nappies is the washing process.
All nappy brands have a size guide that indicates which is the right size based on your baby's age and development stage. You can choose from newborn, crawler and toddler sizes, and then opt for pull-up nappies when your child is toilet training. It's important not to buy nappies that are too big or too small, so that your baby stays comfortable and you can avoid messy spills.
Budgeting for a baby can be difficult with so many things to buy upfront and then ongoing costs. Nappies are one thing that you'll need a lot of, and the cost depends on whether they are disposable or reusable, the brand and what materials they are made from. For reusable nappies, you can expect to pay around $2-$5 for plain flat cloths and as much as $25-$35 for some of the styles that have pockets or layers. Disposable nappies are much cheaper individually, with prices ranging from 15c through to over $1.50.
The cost of nappies certainly adds up over time, as you may use 8 or more a day for newborns and at least 6 a day for crawlers and toddlers. With cloth nappies you'll need to have around 20-30 to cover the number of changes for newborns and time for washing and drying. As your baby gets older and has fewer changes then you won't need as many.
Impact on the environment
Disposable nappies can take a very long time to break down and can not be recycled. There are eco-disposable or biodegradable nappies that break down more quickly due to their lack of chemical products, but these are generally more expensive.
Cloth nappies are kinder on the environment but they still need to be washed and dried, and if you don't have many nappies you will need to do this as frequently as every day or every other day.
You can also use a combination of cloth and disposable nappies, or switch to cloth as your baby grows and doesn't use as many nappies each day.
If your baby has sensitive skin, some disposable nappies may irritate them and cause rashes. Some brands carry nappies that are designed for sensitive skin that are unscented and have fewer chemicals.
Washing and drying
If you opt for reusable cloth nappies, the type of material that you choose will impact the washing and drying time. While cotton, hemp and bamboo are great for sensitive skin either as the core material for the nappy or liner, they do take longer to dry, so make sure that you are able to wash and dry these efficiently before you run out.
How to check fit
You'll know you've chosen the right nappy when you notice the following things:
- Your baby is able to move around freely. While this will not be as noticeable for newborns, it will be easy to tell if your child is crawling or walking.
- There's no leaking around your baby's legs and you can't see any liquid coming through any part of the nappy.
- You don't have to change the nappy too often, which means that it holds a good amount of liquid.
- Your baby doesn't react to the material.
How to wash cloth nappies
Washing cloth nappies is a relatively simple process, but it can be overwhelming thinking of all that extra washing to do as well as the risk of smell getting around the house in between washes.
So you can get rid of solids straight after changing, use paper liners that can be put straight into the bin. Then you can rinse the cloth in cold water and throw them into a bucket filled with water that has a lid. You can keep adding dirty nappies into this bucket until you are ready to do a load, then simply pour out as much water as you can into the laundry sink, tip the nappies into the washing machine, add detergent or washing powder and then start the cycle.
3 things to consider
- Be prepared to try a few different options. The first pack of nappies you buy might not be quite right for your baby so try a few different brands until you find something you are happy with.
- Don't immediately discard the idea of cloth nappies. Even though they take more work, you may find that the modern versions are easier than you think.
- Leaving your baby in a dirty nappy for too long can lead to rashes and irritations, no matter what type of nappy you have used. Make sure to change regularly and always have nappy rash cream on hand just in case.
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