Premium Cloth Diapers versus “China Cheapies” – The Warranty

I’ve already done some looking at the benefits of choosing your premium cloth diapers versus 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 (one of the China Cheapies) having a snap break.

A brand new diaper… with a snap broken in less than two weeks. Will your diaper manufacturer cover that? Or will they give you the runaround?

I’ve had snaps break.  I’ve had elastics fail.  With the snaps that broke, the diapers were heavily used in my cloth diaper stash rotation.  Really, it was disappointing, but it’s not like they hadn’t been work horse diapers.  (And now I have friends who have snap pliers, so I can get them fixed!)  With the elastics that failed, I’ve had three outcomes.  1.) It was a FuzziBunz one size diaper, so I didn’t have to worry about it because the diaper comes with extra elastics that can be fixed without sewing.  And it had been used for a couple of years, so it’s not like it wasn’t due to get a little TLC.  2.) It was a diaper that I’d had for at least a year, so elastics wearing out wasn’t unreasonable.  There are people in my area who can fix them (like Pearl at Cloth for a Cause).  3.) It happened with a brand new GroVia shell.  Actually, it was my very first GroVia shell, and I’d used it twice before an elastic actually broke in the washing machine.  Cozy Bums, my local cloth diaper retailer, replaced the diaper for me and took care of the warranty stuff.  (Best customer service ever.)

With the vast majority of my diapers, I have a one year manufacturer’s warranty.  That’s the warranty on GroVia diapers, Swaddlebees and Blueberry, and Cotton Babies products – Flip, Econobum, and BumGenius.  Happy Heinys has a different warranty depending on what it is, but elastics have a six month warranty and they’ll send you the materials to replace the elastics after that.  (Snaps are lifetime.  Hmm.  I really should have been better about keeping my receipts for my diapers!)  Rumparooz has a variable warranty similar to that of Happy Heinys.  Fuzzi Bunz now has lifetime warranties.

I don’t mind paying twenty dollars or more for a diaper when I know that the manufacturer stands behind what they make.

Some of the China Cheapies brands don’t have that same guarantee.  Sunbaby has a thirty day guarantee.  AlvaBaby (and its rebranded diapers) don’t have a date deadline.  I haven’t heard of people having great luck with getting anything repaired or replaced by other China Cheapies brands.  In fact, I tried a China Cheapies that I bought off of a daily deal site once as an experiment.  The diaper didn’t work.  I messaged the diaper company on Twitter and was ignored.  Fortunately, it was cheap, so I shrugged it off as “no big loss.”

I like knowing that my diapers are made to last.  I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the same quality or support from a diaper that I buy for five dollars as I would expect from a diaper that I buy for twenty-five dollars.  It’s where that old adage of one getting what one pays for comes in.

Have you ever had any warranty issues with a diaper company?  How was it resolved?

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. Giggle life has a gret warranty, no time limit. I had a broken snap, emailed a pic and my order number and they immediately sent out another cover. They are made in China but are a Canadin company out of Ontario.

  2. I have had about 4 BumGenius diapers replaced for a few things – holes in the PUL for a couple of them after about 6 months of use and also velcro issues (fraying of the landing strip in two cases). All were purchased at our local retailer CozyBums so that awesome service we know and love came in very handy – Kerri just replaced them with new shells and sent the damaged ones back on my behalf!

    • LOVE Cozy Bums. They don’t just have the best cloth diapering customer service ever. They have the best customer service ever, period.

  3. When I first started cloth diapering I bought 20 “Happy Flute” aka China Cheapie Diapers for $80…. For $4 a diaper I couldn’t beat it. I went this route because I didn’t start cloth diapering my baby until she was 13 months old. At that point I did want to invest a huge amount of money because she was already 13 months old and I didn’t know if I would like it… 5 Months later I am completely obsessed with cloth diapers and have expanded my collection of diapers to include many brands… I justify spending more on a diaper know that I will be able to use them on future babies 🙂 I honestly have no complaints with my China Cheapie diapers, they have held up great 🙂 But, now that I have expanded my collection I can appreciate a more expensive diaper. Cheapie diapers only have basic snap settings, they don’t have double openings to allow the inserts to agitate out, they don’t have double gussets, the list goes on…. Could I do without those things? Of course, but it is nice to have those features 🙂

  4. I’ve been thinking about purchasing cheap cloth diapers mainly because I want to build my stash. But I see that it’s not really a good investment..

    • I have a few China Cheapies. I like to get the funky seasonal prints that I won’t use much that way. But, no, they are definitely not investment pieces.

  5. I have had some grovia diaper shells have the elastic go out of them. It was under warranty but they wanted me to mail them back to them in the US and then they would fix them, they were not willing to cover that postage. I do have an issue with that, if the diaper is under warranty I should not have to pay more money to ship it back to them for them to fix their mistake. I ended up just finding a tutorial online and doing it myself.

  6. We are huge cloth diaper fans at our house. I never realized there were “china cloth diapers”! We’ve been using Thirsties & Rumparoos since the start. I think that they both have warranties, but I don’t know. We’ve had some velcro fail after many washes. I gave them to a friend who was more sewing savy than I.

  7. I just wanted to add that if you buy your Sunbaby from Alberta there is a 3 month warranty on snaps.

  8. I have bought from Sunbaby and I have had 2 snaps break on 2 seperate diapers, I e-mailed a picture and they sent me an entirely new diaper the first time, I just placed an order for more liners and mentioned the 2nd snap breaking, requesting they send me a replacement snap (we will see what happens). I will only order Sunbaby diapers, the price is right, they do their job, and they are adorable. You have to put some effort into getting some customer service as their website is a working progress, but I will buy no other.

  9. I had PUL separation on 2 out of 20 China cheapies. It was after a year of use. At $4 each with free shipping, I wasn’t too broken up about it. The microfiber soakers are thinner. I have all sorts in my stash. I prefer Fuzzy Bunz, Flips, or Econobums. My favorites are ones I made myself to accomodate her curves. I had to switch to disposables at night because nothing could contain my super soaker daughter, and I couldn’t reach the crib sheets while pregnant with the second ;).

  10. Jennifer says:

    My whole stash is made up of cheapies… mostly Kawaii baby diaoers , but a decent number of Alva diapers, too. I haven’t had quality issues with any of our diapers. We love our cloth diapers 🙂 and as inexpensive as they are, if something does happen that is not fixable, I could easily order another diaper or several more 🙂

  11. Yes! I have 5 kids, so a lot of diapers have gone on in my house. I’ve come to love the china cheapies! I’ve had several random named, and then the kawaii baby ones… and *never* had a snap break. I did however have a snap break on a fancy organic fitted diaper… and the hassle of having to pay for shipping to have it fixed was a total turn off. Even if I could get it fixed, it was a hassle. I got my cheapies off of ebay, with free shipping. And they were between $4 and $2 per diaper.
    Since a lot of diapers are made in china, there is a whole lot of mark up going on there for it to cost $20 bucks! I’d rather keep my dollars. And I love the quality of the Kawaii baby diapers. Seriously!

  12. Lindy Benson says:

    Honestly, I hated my Bumgenius diapers. I know that it also really depends on the baby. I bought a sampler pack to start, and it included a Happy Flute. I loved the pattern, I loved the fit of the diaper, and honestly I just loved them period.
    I will definitely buy more brands, but I just adore my Happy Flutes no matter if they’re China Cheapie or not hah:)


  1. […] from Cloth Diaper Addicts wrote a GREAT post about why investing a little more money into a quality diaper can make a huge […]

  2. […] She only carries higher end, premium diapers from a wide variety of manufacturers with good warranty support.  In the case of ethical WAHMs who craft diapers, they will not send out second rate diapers.  […]

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