Best Baby Washcloth
At first glance, Bamboo Organics Viscone Washcloths may look like an ordinary piece of fabric, but as soon as you lay your hands on one, you can feel the difference. These soft and supple washcloths come in a pack of 6 and are composed of 100% bamboo. The viscone fabric is super-absorbent and soft to the touch. They are spongey enough that you are able to squeeze excess water on baby for a quick rinse during bathtime, and they will quickly and easily absorb spills in other areas of the home as well. Fabric made from bamboo material is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, and odor-resistant, so you don't have to worry about dealing with gross bathtime accessories. They do not shrink very much after the first wash, and the cloths are about 10 inches square. We feel this is the ideal size to use with a small baby — not too big and not too small. We also appreciate the thickness of the cloths. They are substantial, but still thinner than an adult washcloth, allowing you to reach into all the various tiny wrinkles and creases of baby skin.
Our only real complaint with Bamboo Organics is durability. With a cloth this soft, it is inevitable for it to be a bit more delicate. The terry-cloth fabric snags more readily than some other products. Some users also note that the cute pastel colors can fade with use. This does not affect the functionality of the cloth, but it is a bit disappointing that the colors don't last. Despite these flaws, the Bamboo Organics washcloths were our favorite option for bathtime, and we think they would be perfect for babies of all ages, or even older children and adults with sensitive skin.
We are giving Burt's Bees Organic Washcloth a top spot in our round-up without hesitation. These cute cloths come in a pack of 3 and are 100% organic cotton. Our favorite part about this set is that it offers different textures for cleaning baby. There is a soft jersey knit side for more sensitive areas such as the face and neck and a more textured terry-cloth side that offers more vigorous scrubbing. We like that both textures are found in one cloth, so you won't have to choose between the two. Even though the terry-cloth side is more coarse, both sides are still soft enough for delicate baby skin, and we do not feel it is too aggressive. These organic cloths have quality fabric and stitching, and we think that they are relatively durable.
Burt's Bees Washcloths are baby-sized from the start, and they shrink about one inch after the initial wash, so you end up with a smaller-than-average surface area. We do not mind this, but if you are looking for something larger cloth to drape over your baby during bath time, this is probably not the one for you. Burt's Bees cloths also have a thick border sewn around the edge that often shrinks differently from the rest of the fabric. It may cause the edges to curl up or warp the overall shape of the cloth. This irregularity does not affect how well the material will cleanse baby, but they do not lay nice and flat for folding and storing. If you do not mind these few drawbacks, Burt's Bees Organic Washcloths are among the best bathtime options out there. We recommend them especially if you are hoping to keep your baby products as natural as possible.
Kyapoo Washcloths are some of the softest washcloths we have ever come across. These plush microfiber cloths feel like touching a cloud when they are dry and like a sleek seal when they are wet. They are so soft that our 18 month old tester did not want to let them go! Their velvety texture, large size, and high absorbency make them a perfect choice to drape over small infants to keep them warm during bathtime. Kyapoo cloths have cute embroidery around the edge that prevents them from fraying over time, and there is no shrinkage after washing, so the large size is here to stay. Also, unlike some others, these retain their softness through multiple wash cycles and do not pill or stiffen. These are some of the most affordable cloths in our review, and we love that we found all of these great features in a product that will fit into almost any parent's budget.
Ironically, the most common complaint about these baby washcloths is that they are almost too soft. If you have an older baby or toddler that gets into some sticky situations, there is simply not enough texture in these cloths to grab and remove the mess. They are also thick enough that it can be difficult to manage small baby creases. These cloths tend to drop a lot of lint, especially when they are brand new. While it is slightly annoying to see a mess on the skin that you just cleaned, it is nothing a good old rinse cup can't handle. Kyapoo baby washcloths may not be for everyone, but we appreciate their softness and budget-friendly price. We recommend them for use with younger babies or toddlers with extra sensitive skin.
If you are looking for cute muslin bathtime accessories, but don't want to shell out the big bucks, BabyBliss Muslin is one of our favorite budget options. These cloths are comparable to other muslin products, but they are about 1/3 of the price. Multiple layers of cotton muslin make BabyBliss very absorbent and also adds a bit of cushiness to the cloth. A handy little cloth loop allows you to hang the product to dry, rather than leave it balled up in the corner of the tub. These sizeable cloths can be useful for various purposes, such as a burp cloth or mealtime wipe. The muslin fabric gets softer with each wash and is suitable for tender skin.
While we enjoyed these cloths, the overall quality of the BabyBliss Muslin is not up to par with more expensive options we tested. The fabric is not quite as soft, they are a tad smaller, and the stitching and assembly are less than impeccable. As is the nature of muslin products, these cloths had the most significant shrinkage after the first wash, reducing the size by over an inch in both directions. However, at 10"x10" post-shrinkage, they are still on the larger side for a baby washcloth. Despite the slightly lower level of quality, we think that BabyBliss Muslin washcloths work well enough to suit most parents' needs and may be the perfect adorable addition to your baby bathing routine.
You guessed it, GroVia Cloth Wipes are designed for cloth diapering use. However, they also work great as washcloths. We love the Grovia cloths for their versatility and find them useful for occasions away from the changing table. These soft and absorbent terrycloth towels utilize a blend of polyester and cotton that offers a highly efficient scrubbing power. With absolutely no shrinkage after the initial washing, what you see is what you get. We love that these cloths keep their malleable feel over time and lay perfectly flat for folding and storing, wash after wash. We evaluated these cloths as a bathtime accessory for this review, but many parents love them as cloth wipes, mealtime face wipes, and later, kitchen rags. They are that durable; you can count on them to last for years. When we held a brand new cloth next to one that had been used for years, there was little difference aside from a touch of softness lost.
The texture of the GroVia Cloth Wipes is not as cushy as some of the other products in our review. The thickness that provides a high level of absorbency also inhibits your ability to get to hard-to-reach places while cleaning baby. The bulky size of these wipes can make it less appealing to toss a few in the diaper bag for on the go cleanups because they do not fold up in a tiny package, and will take up quite a chunk of space. While the cloth itself is very durable, the stitching sometimes comes unraveled, leaving the fabric's outer edges to fray over time. However, we feel that these small inconveniences are not deal-breakers. If you value durability, versatility, and longevity in your baby products, we think this one-and-done solution is perfect for every baby mess.
The Natemia Bamboo Washcloth is the one of two bamboo options included in our review. Overall, both bamboo options we tested are very soft, but this texture may come at the cost of durability. Natemia terry-cloth fabric is a blend of bamboo and cotton, making it a bit more durable than our Editors' Choice award winner, but not nearly as soft. However, we think these are the ideal size and thickness for use with infants. We also appreciate the option to purchase an all-white 6-pack, which can be beneficial for babies who are sensitive to dyes or chemicals. The bamboo blend fabric makes these cloths extra-absorbent and offers some natural antibacterial properties.
There were multiple complaints of the terry-cloth snagging on things such as Velcro or jewelry, or other clothes during a wash cycle, so you will have to be conscious of how you launder them. We like the simplicity of a clean white cloth, but also worry that they may stain and start to look dingy with time. It is also a bummer that you are missing out on fun prints and patterns. Natemia does offer some other colors, but they are all light pastels that keep within the simple theme. Lastly, due to the addition of cotton, the terrycloth is not as soft as some of the other top baby washcloths and may be too rough for highly sensitive skin. That being said, they are still much softer than your average adult washcloth. Some parents feel that it is worth the tradeoff for the added durability. We like the Natemia Bamboo Washcloths overall but think that there may be better options out there to consider.
Aden + Anais is known for producing high-quality muslin products, and the Classic Washcloth lives up to that standard. These extra-large cloths come in a variety of adorable prints and have multiple layers of pliable, absorbent muslin that gets softer with each wash. They are machine washable and keep their shape well over time. While there is significant shrinkage, the Classic Washcloth starts with such a large surface area that even after the first trip through the machine, it is still one of the biggest in the group. The stitching around the border and the small hanging loop both show attention to detail. We think these cloths are durable enough to last through multiple children and versatile enough to be handy almost anywhere in the house. We love that the tight weave increases absorbency and adds a bit of heft to the fabric.
While there is so much to love about Aden + Anais, their Classic Washcloth is almost prohibitively expensive, especially compared to the price of many other top contenders in this review. Muslin is known to get softer and softer after each round through the washing machine, but it may be unpleasant to use the washcloth initially, as the fabric has not loosened up enough to reach its ultimate softness or absorbency. Some may even find the texture a bit scratchy in the beginning. Rest assured that this is a temporary issue, but it is something to be aware of. If the price is not an issue, and you are looking for the best of the best for your baby, we recommend the Aden + Anais Classic Washcloth.
The OsoCozy Flannel Wipe is another crossover product that, in reality, is a cloth wipe, but we like to think we're using it to its full potential and beyond when we use it for bathtime and mealtime as well. This wipe is about as close as you can get to a paper towel without the paper. Just like a paper towel, there are a million and one uses for it while your baby is young. It is functional as a bathtime washcloth for baby, but we love to use it as a mealtime face wipe. The flannel is velvety soft, wet or dry, and gentle enough to use for wiping snacks from sensitive baby cheeks. We appreciate the thin fabric when reaching into small creases around the baby's neck and face. The lightweight material is not as absorbent as terrycloth, but we think that this is an advantage in a face wipe when you only need a touch of water anyway. The cloths fold up nice and small, and you can easily stash a few in your diaper bag for on-the-go cleanups.
If you are looking for a rag to soak up spills or clean up baby during bath time, the OsoCozy is probably not the best option. This cloth is so thin that it cannot carry much water, and it is soft enough that it does not have much scrubbing power. It is on the smaller side compared to many of the products in our review. While this is another advantage for use on the face, it can feel puny for bathtime. Lastly, some users complain that the border stitching comes unraveled quickly. However, these cloths are very durable in our experience, and it does not affect the performance of the fabric itself. If your goal is to reduce waste and be as green as possible, OsoCozy Flannel Wipes are the perfect replacements for disposable paper towels and napkins, at home or on the go.
The DermaFrida Bath Mitt is a glove-like scrubber with tiny silicone bristles that gently massage the skin to keep baby squeaky clean. The mitt is large enough for an adult to fit four fingers inside but also small enough for an older toddler to fit their entire hand inside while still maintaining some dexterity. An opening on either side serves as a thumb hole that provides a better grip for little hands. There is a suction cup hanger at the base and three small holes at the tip of the glove allow excess water to drain out and stop mildew in its tracks. Our tester was fascinated by the texture, and we think that a cool bathtime tool like this will encourage older toddlers to take scrubbing into their own hands.
This glove fits snugly on an average-sized female hand but maybe too small for people with larger hands, such as dad. We also noticed that the silicone tends to grab hair or lint and trap it within the bristles. It is possible to remove these things, but it takes a bit of patience and effort. Our biggest concern about using the DermaFrida Bath Mitt is that it is fairly aggressive for a baby product. We feel it would be better suited to toddler and big-kid skin and would even consider using it ourselves for gentle exfoliation. But, if you are looking to transition away from washcloths and hoping for less bathtime laundry, the Derma Frida Bath Mitt might be your perfect product.
The JJ Cole Washcloth and Bath Mitt is a combo set with two cloths and one mitt style scrubber. All three items are made of a cotton terry-cloth that is only slightly softer than your average adult washcloth. These average-sized cloths do not shrink very much after the first wash, and the stitching around the edges is solid, leading us to believe that this is a very durable set. Near-instant absorption and the ability to retain a large amount of water are perks we appreciate during bathtime.
Aside from the cute animal prints and colorful lining, we feel that these cloths are not very baby-specific; the fabric is not particularly soft, and the size and thickness are average. The border is a jersey knit fabric that shrinks differently from the rest of the material, causing the cloths to curl up at the edges after the first wash and prevents them from laying flat. We like the idea of having a variety of scrubbing options in one pack, the mitt included with this set is not much different from the other two plain towels. It features a triangle of fabric sewn over one half of the cloth to create a small pocket for your hands, but not much more. Altogether not very impressive, the JJ Cole set may be a way to add some color to your bathtime routine, but we think that there are better, softer, options out there for your baby.
An AmazonBasics Washcloth is your typical bath cloths. The cotton terrycloth fabric is relatively soft, and gets even fluffier after washing. The towels are very absorbent and are large enough to hold a fair amount of water. Amazon advertises the lighter weight terry cloth as having quick-dry capabilities that could reduce mildew growth. Everyone in the household can use these cloths, and they are very affordable, making them an economical choice for families on a budget.
These cloths are not special for baby. They are not particularly soft or thin, so you may find it more cumbersome to clean infants with a cloth this big. For babies and toddlers with sensitive skin, this fabric may be too aggressive and could potentially cause irritation. We also noticed that these washcloths leave behind a lot of lint, both on baby and in the wash. Although this is an issue that may lessen with time, it can be irritating to have to clean up a mess made by the item that is supposed to do the cleaning. While AmazonBasics Washcloths are not our first choice, they do have some perks. They might be the right choice if you are a minimalist momma that doesn't want to have a baby this and baby that in every room of the house. These washcloths are also a great household staple that can be used by the entire family and will last beyond your baby bathing days.
Gerber Washcloths are a classic bathtime staple for many families. These thin square cloths come in a pack of 6 and are handy for a multitude of scenarios. Many parents feel that the size and thickness of these lend themselves better to a mealtime or morning time facewash, rather than bathtime scrub session. We appreciate the fabric's dual texture feature, sporting a smooth jersey knit on one side, and delicate terrycloth on the other. These have some of the thinnest material of the cloths in our review, which makes them perfect for reaching into small creases around the face, neck, or between fingers.
While these baby washcloths will do their job adequately, there is nothing exceptional about them. They are only averagely soft, their durability is not excellent, and they are not especially cute. Gerber Washcloths are one of the more affordable options out there, but we included other products in our review that cost less, and do a better job. OsoCozy Flannel Wipes have similar capabilities but work better. After the first wash, these towels tend to curl a lot on two edges, resulting in a burrito cloth when you try to use it in the tub. While they are undoubtedly capable and handy to have around for quick cleanups, we think other products offer more advantages at a better price.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our lead tester, Abriah Wofford, has been chasing babies around trying to keep them clean for more than ten years as both a nanny and big sister to 5 siblings. Playing a significant role in product selection, our pediatrician founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier, has had much hands-on experience with a multitude of baby washcloths, using them first with her two children, and then for a variety of household purposes afterward.
For the washcloths in this review, we carefully examine the range of situations where you need a washcloth and consider what features we appreciate most. We then used each cloth with our 18-month-old tester, Annie. After using them in the lab and on real babies during bath and mealtimes, we developed a clear sense of how each product performs, and which washcloths we prefer to reach for in practical day-to-day use.
Analysis and Test Results
We chose to evaluate the baby washcloths in this review based on three primary performance metrics: softness, durability, and absorbency. We think these features are what parents will appreciate most during bathing or mealtime cleanups.
Babies have skin that can be up to 30% thinner than an adult's and is, therefore, much more sensitive and prone to irritation. So finding a cloth that is textured enough to clean the skin effectively, while still being gentle is essential. To achieve this happy medium, a variety of fabrics and textures are available. Some products, such as GroVia Cloth Wipes, are a soft and finely looped terry cloth that is more delicate than your typical adult washcloth. The BabyBliss Muslin Washcloth and Aden + Anais Classic Washcloth are both cotton muslin that takes a few cycles through the washing machine to reach their maximum coziness. The DermaFrida Bath Mitt is the only product in our review that is not fabric. Instead, it uses small silicone bristles to cleanse your baby's skin gently.
Our favorite cloths use a supple fabric that is thin enough to reach in between the creases of all of baby's adorable fat rolls, with enough texture to grab any dirt or grime stuck to the skin. We found that the Bamboo Organics Viscone Washcloths strike the perfect balance, keeping down the bulk, but still feeling relatively sturdy and "scrubby." The Kyapoo Washcloth is an uber-soft synthetic microfiber and is the cushiest of the bunch. However, some feel that it is almost too soft, and doesn't cleanse the skin as thoroughly as others. The AmazonBasics Washcloth has the roughest textured terry cloth out of the group.
Ideally, your washcloths will last until your baby grows out of them, but you may find that you appreciate these cloths for more than baby washing. That is when real durability and longevity come into play. We examined each washcloth brand in our review up close to see if the fabric had any snags after use, or if machine washing loosened any stitching. Aden + Anais Classic Washcloths show great attention to detail and quality. These cloths also get softer and softer with time, making them a favorite for long term use. Unfortunately, some long-lasting options achieve their durability by sacrificing softness, as is the case with the Natemia Bamboo Washcloth. These cloths are still very soft but do not compare with some of the other top-ranking options.
We have used the Grovia Cloth Wipes for years. We find them perfect as baby wipes, washcloths, and kitchen rags. Impressively, these cloths do not seem much worse for the wear even after extensive use. When comparing a new set with a well-loved wipe, the older ones lost a smidgen of softness, but otherwise have held up well. The Burt's Bees Organic Washcloth is another option we feel confident will last for years.
Absorbency comes in handy no matter how you intend to use your baby washcloth. During bathtime, we like to use the cloth to gather water and squeeze over the baby for a mini waterfall rinse. During mealtimes, it can be helpful to wipe baby's face and clean up any accidental spills that may occur. Generally, thicker cloths are more absorbent, but the thickness may be more challenging to manage when bathing a tiny squirmy baby. The microfiber Kyapoo Washcloths and bamboo terrycloth Bamboo Organics Viscone Washcloth are two of the most absorbent options reviewed.
Baby washcloths are an essential part of your nightly bathtime routine, but once you have them, we think you'll find yourself using them in other areas of your household because they are just so darn handy. Little messes are inevitable when you have a new baby, and having a supply of baby washcloths hand can make your life that much easier. Each cloth in our review has its advantages, and we hope our testing and insights can help you find just the right cloth for your needs.
— Abriah Wofford