The Advantage of Buying Cheap Cloth Diapers

I’ve had someone call me a “diaper snob” once just because I have mostly premium brands in my stash.  Here’s a dirty little secret, though: I hardly knew anything about the “cheap cloth diapers” when I was building my stash.  Had I known that I could find reliable cheap cloth diapers, I may have been willing to try them.  Or at least treated them like a cute little accessory.

When you’re paying $20 to $30 for a premium cloth diaper brand, you tend to shop for longevity.  You’ll want a diaper that will be good for all seasons, a diaper that will fit your child from birth to potty training.  With a cheap cloth diaper, there is a different advantage altogether:

At five bucks, who cares if the diaper isn’t good all year around?

It’s not painful to the pocketbook to buy a couple of cute diapers with jack o lanterns or witches for Halloween.  (Of course, I’d buy a diaper with little flying witches on them all year round.  But that’s just me.)  It’s not a big deal to get a few diapers that have Santa or Christmas trees or Menorahs for the round of winter holidays.  It’s five bucks.  Big deal.

With a premium diaper, though, I’d flinch over the concept of spending $30 on a diaper that would only realistically be worn for a month a year when we’re in diapers.  At best, I’d get two months use of one diaper for one kid.  Which means that if I washed diapers three times per week and had that diaper for two years, it would be used maybe two dozen times.  I hate the idea of basically spending a dollar per use on a diaper.  It’s not terribly cost effective.

I liken it to the concept of spending $300 on a pair of shoes I’d only wear once.  No thank you.  It’s just not practical for me.  If I spend $300 on a pair of shoes, I expect them to be good, classic shoes that will last until I die.  If I’m going to buy some funky, trendy shoes that will only be in style for the season, I’d rather go cheap.  And that’s pretty comparable to how I feel about seasonally appropriate diapers.

But if I’m getting two dozen uses out of a five dollar diaper?  Well, gosh, then I’m right back down into disposable prices of roughly 21¢ per use.  Now that’s a pretty reasonable price.

Most of my cloth diaper stash is comprised of premium cloth diapers.  But believe you me, I’ll be busting out some cute as pie holiday printed cheap cloth diapers just to have fun.

Have you ever bought any “fashion diapers” for an event?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I bought a maple leaf diaper for Canada day but I will wear it on my son all year long. It was not a cheap diaper either, made by a WAHM so it is really good quality. I have found that the cheaper brands just don’t seem to fit my son as well so I have mostly brand name diapers in my stash.

    • I have a maple leaf training pant/swim diaper (Charlie Banana) and I’ll use it all day every day. I do agree that the “China cheapies” can be a mixed bag.


  1. […] like a fair and balanced approach.  Previously, I’d looked at the pros of cheap cloth diapers.  There are also plenty of […]

  2. […] the inexpensive cloth diapers made overseas (also known as “China Cheapies”).  There are pros and cons to going in either direction, but today, a cyber buddy posted about a brand new diaper […]

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