Best Cloth Baby Wipes
GroVia Wipes earned a top spot in our review, performing well in all three of the most critical metrics: cleaning ability, softness, and durability. Doubling up two layers of polyester/cotton terrycloth creates the ideal texture and thickness for a cloth baby wipe. They come in a plentiful 12-pack and are soft, yet durable, at an excellent price point. We love that the double-layered construction creates a thick surface for cleaning messes without letting anything soak through. The 8" square cloth is an ideal size, sufficiently large to protect your hand, but not so big as to be unmanageable. The terry cloth texture is grabby enough to achieve a squeaky clean baby bum but is also soft enough to use multiple times a day on sensitive skin. We also love that these cloths are super versatile. Many parents like to use them during bathtime as a baby washcloth.
We have very few complaints about the GroVia Wipes, but some things could be better. These wipes have an 88% polyester content, and we generally prefer to stick with natural materials when possible. It is better for baby's health and the environment. We also noticed that after a few washes, the stitching around the cloths' edges starts to come undone. It does not affect the overall performance of the fabric itself, but the edges may fray over time. Despite this, GroVia makes some great multipurpose cloths that you are sure to love for many years.
OsoCozy Flannel is an unbleached cotton flannel wipe with a fuzzy soft texture. Although very thin, these wipes are perfect for a final once over on baby and for reaching between little chunky thigh rolls. They are a great budget option, coming in a 15-pack, and are among the most affordable options out there. OsoCozy wipes offer a level of versatility and durability that is hard to match. We like to use them as diaper wipes, mealtime face wipes, and washcloths for bathtime. We have personally used them in our homes for many years.
These flannel wipes start on the larger side, but you can expect nearly an inch of shrinkage after the initial wash. We also do not like to use these them for messier situations, or anytime there is something caked on the skin. They just aren't substantial enough in thickness or texture to get the job done. However, we think you will find OsoCozy Flannel Wipes come in handy in just about every room in the house, and are affordable enough to keep a little stash wherever it's convenient.
Buttons Cotton Flannel wipes are the closest thing we could find to a disposable. They are lightweight, thin, and easily fold up to fit into a travel case for on-the-go diaper changes. Despite being able to fold up very small, these wipes are large enough to offer good coverage for your fingers. The flannel is very absorbent and the already soft texture just gets softer when it is damp. Because they are so thin, it is easy to reach into small nooks and crannies. If you feel they are too thin, there is enough surface to fold the wipe in half and double the thickness. We think that caregivers will appreciate their likeness to disposable wipes as they feel more familiar and manageable in hand.
Our main complaints with Buttons wipes have to do with durability. We noticed right away that there were some threads coming loose from the stitching around the border. Over time, these threads pull loose and unravel further, luckily this does not affect the performance of the wipe as a whole. The durability of the cloth itself is not as good as some others. Some users note that the flannel started to show signs of wear after a few months, and held up for about a year before the fabric started tearing and became unusable. However, with such a low initial cost, we think it is manageable to periodically purchase a replacement pack. If you are cloth diapering on a budget, and don't want to invest a large sum on accessories, the Buttons Cotton Flannel wipes may be the perfect choice.
Prince Lionheart Warmies are ultra-soft terrycloth wipes composed of bamboo rayon and cotton. The plush terrycloth texture has large loops that give it excellent scrubbing power, and we feel we get a cleaner clean with these wipes. Although there is only one layer of fabric, the cloth has sufficient thickness to wipe and absorb messes without anything seeping through to the fingers. The Warmies wash well, and many users report that they are very durable, maintaining softness through many months of use. We like that bamboo has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, as well as absorbency superpowers. We think these could be a good option for bathtime use as well.
The most common complaint about these wipes is the size. While not the smallest in this review, they use less fabric than average, and some parents feel that there is not enough fabric to clean a baby with a single wipe. Luckily, there is no shrinkage after washing, so you can count on these cloths to maintain their size and shape throughout their use. The thickness of the material also has its downside, as it may make it more challenging to clean small folds and creases in baby's thighs. However, when cleaning bigger, stuck-on messes such as blowouts, we love the texture and absorbency found in the Prince Lionheart Warmies.
Thirsties Organic made from a soft jersey knit cotton that is GOTS certified organic. The fabric of these large wipes is thick and absorbent, and Thirsties doubles up the wipes to ensure tip-top performance. There is no risk of liquids seeping through to the finger side of the cloth. The cotton is tightly woven, resulting in a durable material that is long-lasting and retains its softness through multiple washes. Although they are on the pricier side of the scale, these wipes are highly versatile and will outlast other products of lesser quality. We find them useful for face, hands, bum, or anywhere else that needs a good wipedown.
We love the double-layer construction but feel that Thirsties missed an opportunity to offer multiple textures in their wipe. The cotton knit is very soft and gentle on sensitive skin, but the textureless material may slide right over messes, rather than grabbing and removing them. Some users have also found that the colorful border stitching may start to unravel after a while. However, we found that there are many more pros than cons to this product, and recommend Thirsties Organic wipes to anyone who wants a long-lasting organic diapering product.
Spasilk Baby Washcloths are really for baby bathtime, but we find that the size, thickness, and texture also lend themselves to diaper duty. They have a looped terrycloth texture on one side and a smoother knit on the other, allowing you to choose from two different options depending on how big the mess is or how sensitive your baby's bum is. The cotton and polyester blend cloths only have one layer to them, allowing greater dexterity and a better chance at reaching the bottom of those small creases. We appreciate the versatility of these wipes and find them useful in the changing room, bathroom, and kitchen.
Unfortunately, the quality of these cloths is significantly lower than some of the others in this review. The terrycloth texture is not the softest, and the stitching around the border feels loose and flimsy. The large-sized wipes do not shrink after washing, but the edges roll like crazy, meaning you will have to fiddle with them before every diaper change so you can get full use of the cloth. However, you will be hard-pressed to find wipes at a price lower than this. Coming in a 10-pack, Spasilks are some of the most affordable cloth wipes on our list. We think they are perfect for parents who are working towards more eco-friendly choices but don't want to invest too heavily.
Charlie Banana Double Sided are dual-textured wipes with a 100% organically grown cotton upper, and a bottom that is 100% polyester fleece. The roomy 8.5" square cloths are some of the largest wipes post-wash and have minimal shrinkage. The fleece side stays plush and feels like brushing a feather over the skin because it is just so soft. The cotton side has slightly more texture and offers more absorbency for the initial cleanup. Charlie Banan wipes are durable and well-made. The tidy stitching and embroidered monogram in the corner add a swanky feel to your nursery. The double-layer construction and water-repellant fleece fabric of these wipes will ensure that the mess is contained within the cloth and will not seep through to your fingers.
One of our chief complaints is that the two layers shrink at different rates. After the first wash, the cotton side ends up being a touch smaller than the fleece, causing the wipe to curl up at the corners, and leaving extra fabric and wrinkles in the fleece side. Many users also report that the clean white cloth does not stay that way for long, and tends to hold stains even after washing. While Charlie Banana makes a quality product, these are also some of the most expensive wipes in our lineup, and in our opinion, they do not offer much more than some other options. However, if the price is not an issue, and you are looking for plush softness above all else, then these wipes may be for you.
BabyKicks Natural & Organic come in a 10-pack of cloth wipes and are one layer with each side having a different texture for more thorough cleaning. The fleece side manages to be textured and soft at the same time, and the smoother knit offers a bit more absorbency. The fabric is a blend of hemp and organic cotton, which is more eco-friendly and has the added benefit of antibacterial properties, which is a good thing for diapered skin. The single layer of fabric is thick enough to keep moisture from seeping through to your fingers and thin enough to maneuver around all the small creases. After one wash, we experienced about a half-inch of shrinkage with these oval-shaped wipes, and after years of use, post-wash measurements are 7.5" x 6.75", taking on a more narrow oval shape with each wash. The colorful border stitching holds up well after heavy use.
After a few years of use and many cycles through the wash, the fleece side of these wipes tends to get a bit matted. It is not as soft as in the beginning. We are also not pleased with the amount of shrinkage that happens over time. However, for the amount of use they went through in our homes, we feel that they held up quite well aside from these things. Also, due to the natural materials, you must prep them before they reach full absorbency. A minimum of 3 cycles through the wash should do the trick, but some parents don't like signing up for more work than is absolutely necessary. However, this is not a deal-breaker for us, as we simply throw them in with the rest of our laundry. We think that any parent or baby would be happy adding BabyKicks wipes to your cloth stash.
Babygoal Bamboo Wipes are an ultra-soft blend of bamboo rayon and polyester. Bamboo brings both antibacterial properties and extra absorbency to these wipes. The two-layered wipes have a supple feel to them and retain their downy surface after washing, never feeling stiff or scratchy. They hold their shape well and have minimal shrinkage. We especially love the texture of these wipes and feel it is a happy medium between soft and scrubby. We are comfortable using these cloths on the most sensitive skin multiple times per day, and still feel confident that you will end up with a clean bum at the end of every change.
In case you missed the dimensions above, Babygoal wipes are 4.5" square post-wash, which is almost half the size of most standard wipes. We feel they are almost too small to be useful as a baby wipe. Alternatively, many parents like to use them as a cover to keep baby boys from becoming a pee fountain once their diaper is off. Others prefer to use these as a baby washcloth, or even a makeup remover for mom. The possibilities are endless, and we do appreciate the feel of these wipes. We just wish they were a little (or a lot) bigger as we feel they are much too tiny for their intended purpose.
Why You Should Trust Us
The cloth vs. disposable diaper debate is one close to our hearts and your wipe preference goes right along with it. We have been personally using and experimenting with various brands of cloth baby wipes for more than ten years, comparing them to one another as well as seeing how they measure up to their disposable counterparts. Our founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier guides product selection and testing metrics and draws from her experience as a pediatrician and mother of two. Senior Review Editor Abriah Wofford leads the hands-on testing in this cloth wipes review, performing hours of research as well as using the wipes hands-on with baby testers. Drawing from our experience in real life and in the Lab, we chose 8 of the best cloth baby wipes available today and compared them side-by-side to see which ones we prefer to have handy for daily diaper duties.
Analysis and Test Results
We evaluated and ranked each cloth baby wipe in this review, primarily based on three metrics: Cleaning Ability, Durability, and Softness. We took into account where and when you are most likely to use each wipe to bring you specific recommendations tailored to your lifestyle.
The #1 most important task of a cloth wipe is to get baby clean. To evaluate this most critical metric, we examined the texture, size, and absorbency of each wipe to gauge how well it does its job. Terry cloth wipes, like the Prince Lionheart Warmies, utilize the looped texture to latch on to unwanted matter with more gusto. Thinner and smoother textured cloths, such as the OsoCozy Flannel Wipes, have less bulk and feel more dextrous in hand. With these, you are better able to reach into all the small nooks and crannies that are inaccessible to thicker wipes.
Double-sided wipes with multiple textures are some of our favorites. BabyKicks Cloth Wipes have a smooth side and a grabby side, and we found ourselves reaching for this brand time and again. The finely looping terrycloth of the GroVia Wipes also does a great job at swiftly scrubbing away the most stuck of dried-on messes, but these wipes don't have the softer side we like to use for a final soothing wipe.
Baby bums are sensitive areas, and most parents (including us) will do a lot to prevent painful rashes. That is one of the many benefits of using cloth wipes; you can avoid agitating synthetic perfumes and chemicals. However, finding the balance between texture and softness can be a tricky task. The softest wipes in this review are the BabyKicks Cloth Wipes and the Charlie Banana Double Sided Wipes. Both have an uber-soft fleece side that feels like a cloud against the skin. If your baby has extra sensitive skin, these may be perfect. However, we generally prefer a bit more "latch" to our cloth baby wipes. The terrycloth of the GroVia Wipes is gentle enough for most infants, yet offers enough scrubbiness to clean a baby's bum thoroughly.
Prince Lionheart Warmies are a little more abrasive but are great for tackling the stickiest of messes. We think that they are plush enough for daily use in most cases, but may not be suitable for uber-sensitive skin. One of the least soft options in the group is the Spasilk Baby Washcloth. Although a far cry from your average terrycloth towel, these wipes didn't have the type of lux texture that makes you want to rub the fabric against your face.
Durability comes into play when you begin to add up the number of cloth baby wipes you should buy and how many children they will have to last through. You never want to find yourself short on wipes (yikes!), and we recommend having a stash of at least 40 wipes to start. Wome brands will make that number last through years of diapering, and others will require multiple purchases as the wipes wear out. The thickness of the fabric, the quality of the border stitching, and how well each product takes a cycle through the washing machine are all factors we considered for this metric.
GroVia Wipes are hardy and well constructed, having lasted through years of daily use in our homes. OsoCozy Flannel Wipes are another option that we find highly durable. Although thin, the flannel fabric stays soft over time and can withstand various tasks without tearing or wearing thin.
Cloth diapering isn't for everyone, we know. But even if you choose to bypass the cloth diapers, we recommend taking a look at cloth wipes. It is one of the most straightforward steps you can towards a more eco-friendly home without piling too much extra work on your plate. It eliminates chemicals and perfumes from your diapering routine and reduces the amount of overall waste you produce. We thoughtfully chose the best available options and analyzed the unique qualities of each, bringing you specific recommendations. But even with all this knowledge behind you, we think it is a good idea to test out a few different styles, as it can be handy to have multiple options available. We are sure you will find one or more that is perfectly suited to you and your baby's needs.
— Abriah Wofford