Difference Between Cloth Diapers and Disposable Diapers
By Claire Miles - May 13, 2022

In the few months leading up to the arrival of a baby, it is paramount to make a horde of decisions, including how to deal with the infant’s bodily wastes. Despite their diminutive sizes, It is common knowledge that babies tend to come with an avalanche of body wastes, and it is essential to make the best decision. Diapers are the go-to shields from the said avalanche, but there is still a decision to make as to what kinds of diapers you need for your child, when you need them and what quantity.

Table Summary

Cloth DiapersDisposable Diapers
Convenient maintenance and easy to changeCumbersome to maintain or change.
Higher AbsorbencyLower absorbency 
Not biodegradable but conserves waterBiodegradable but doesn’t conserve water
Likely to cause allergies and diaper rashLess likely to trigger allergies

Definitions

Disposable Diapers are diapers made of various materials such as wood pulp, tissue paper, and a non-permeable film usually made of polypropylene or polyethylene. Major disposable diaper brands also use a heavily absorbent chemical substance known as sodium polyacrylate in powder form. This compound can absorb over 300 times its weight in water. The name implies that they are used once and then disposed of once soiled.

Cloth Diapers are diapers made from cotton (and sometimes flannel), which means they are reusable. The diaper cover or shell is made of waterproof plastic material, while the absorbent material stays on the inside. Some also come with disposable liners.

Cloth VS Disposable

The two diaper types differ significantly in more than just material and the number of times used. For example, cloth diapers may make potty training more straightforward for the child as it would let them feel wet as they are not as absorbent. In contrast, disposable diapers spare them of that sensation. Disposable diapers are also not considered as healthy as cloth as a baby might be allergic to some components, whereas cloth diapers reduce the occurrence of diaper rash. Cloth diapers are not as easy to change as disposables. They are also believed to be more budget and eco-friendly but lead to much higher water and electricity consumption during maintenance.