Are real nappies really cheaper? Ethical Superstore explores.

If you’re expecting your first child and wondering whether to ‘go real’ and opt for reusable nappies, then there has never been a better time.

If the shocking fact that 3 billion disposable nappies a year get trashed in the UK – that’s 8 million a day – isn’t enough to win you over to the benefits of a soft, cotton-covered bottom, then the fact that using real nappies can cost you less than half the price of disposables, might just tip the balance.

And the difference is quite substantial. Opting for real nappies can save you between £500 and £600 until your little one is two and a half – and hopefully toddling to the pot themselves. To demonstrate just how, we sort the sums for you in a celebration of Real Nappy Week.

So, just what are the costs of using real nappies?

First, you need the kit.

Based on one of our best sellers Bambinex, 34 cotton nappies (a mixture of size 1 and size 2) plus 10 wraps, will set you back £188. This will take you through till your little nipper is out of nappies.

Then there’s the cost of laundering.

Here we had some expert help from our friends at the Women’s Environmental Network who have done rigorous tests on washables. Based on their detailed study, the laundering expenses ring in at around £133 over the two and a half year period. This includes detergent, energy usage as well as washing machine depreciation. Take a peek if you want to see the nitty-gritty analysis.

So, that’s £188 for the kit, plus £133 for laundering. A total cost of £321 for real nappies.

And what about the cost of disposables?

Defra’s most recent study (updated last year), suggested an average use of 3796 nappies over the two and a half year period. That’s 4.3 nappies per day. Basing calculations on an average nappy cost of 17.1p, you’ll have to fork out a whopping £650 on disposables.

So, already you can see disposables can cost you twice as much as real nappies.

And if you follow the advice of paediatricians such as Dr. Miriam Stoppard, and change six times a day (instead of Defra’s 4.3) that’s even more money wasted on disposables – giving you a total disposable nappy outlay of £903 – almost £600 more expensive than using real nappies.

Even based on using an own brand ‘budget’ supermarket variety costing 12p per nappy, using real nappies still ring in at over £130 cheaper.

And we believe in making real nappies cheaper still – our bundle kits can save you a further 25 per cent for starters. Not to mention that by taking proper care of your nappies (not tumble drying or using intense heat such as radiators or ironing), they will be ready to pass on to baby number two, three – even more – or over to a friend, spreading the costs further still.

That’s a good reason to get real.

Read are real nappies greener than disposables too as part of our celebration of Real Nappy Week

Any questions on using real nappies, or if you have managed to cut the costs even more, let us know your tips and suggestions by commenting below.

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