Best Burp Cloth
Copper Pearl isn't an eye-catching burp cloth, but upon viewing in comparison with the competition, we fell in love. This basic 3-layer cloth is a bit thinner than average, but the fabric offers bulletproof protection. A core fleece layer absorbs and wicks away liquids, while the outer material is a soft cotton jersey knit that is smooth to the touch. The extra-long shape of this cloth comfortably fits your shoulder without slipping and provides extra coverage down your back without creating bunched fabric.
The different fabric types on this cloth tend to shrink unevenly, and the material can look rumpled and disheveled early on. Also, it is only average when it comes to absorbency, meaning that it will take a few seconds longer to soak up spit-up and may miss some when cleaning. However, the cotton generally gets more absorbent over time, so this problem might self-correct the more the cloths are used. Overall, we love the Copper Pearl cloths and think parents will like the cute patterns and excellent performance.
The Burt's Bees Baby Burp Cloths feel like a perfectly worn-in t-shirt, but softer, thicker, and super absorbent. These are some of our favorite cloths to keep stashed around the house, as they come in handy almost everywhere. Although comprised of only two layers, the thick and heavy organic cotton jersey is highly absorbent and great at catching spills or spit-up. Our favorite part is the plush quality feel, as the supple fabric is the perfect weight and texture. The stitching feels durable, and these cloths wash well over time with minimal shrinkage. We also appreciate the organic material, making them ideal for eco-minded parents.
During the initial testing, the Burt's Bees had subpar absorption. However, this issue quickly faded after multiple trips through the wash. If you want full absorbency right away, we recommend tossing them in with your regular laundry 2-3 times before use. Also, we wish these rectangles were a touch longer. As is, Burt's Bees makes some of the smallest options in this review, and more coverage is good just in case. All things considered, these few drawbacks are not dealbreakers, and we love using these burp cloths and think you will too.
The Comfy Cubs Muslin is a simple rectangular cloth that combines muslin's comfy feel with a budget-friendly price tag. It has a whopping six layers of fabric sewn together, and the extra-large size means you can layer and fold it to further customize absorbency. The light and fluffy feel of the fabric is pleasant to the touch and soft enough for a baby's sensitive skin. The material absorbs liquids almost instantly, so you do not have to worry about a single drop of spit-up rolling off the cloth onto other surfaces.
Although it boasts 6-layers of muslin (two more than Aden + Anais), the weave of the fabric is so loose that the combined layers still do not feel very thick. Due to this, we found the cloth to be somewhat lacking when it came to absorbency and preferred to double it over to provide better coverage. The Comfy Cubs appeared to be one of the least durable products we tested right from the get-go. We found several threads coming loose from the border stitching, and the loosely woven muslin snags more easily than other fabrics. However, if you are looking for an affordable option and are not as concerned about the longevity of a product, Comfy Cubs is the best choice for any parent searching for an affordable muslin burp cloth.
The Hudson Baby Flannel is a soft and pliable rectangle composed of two panels of fabric sewn together and overlapping in the center. Its texture is cozy straight out of the package and gets even softer after washing. We appreciate that it is one of the larger cloths in the review, allowing more versatility in its use. You have the option of extra-large coverage or double absorbency if you choose to fold it. One of the best parts about the fabric is the lightning-quick absorbency time. You can be sure that it will catch and retain any liquid as soon as it touches the cloth, no more worries about where the goopy mess may trail off to behind your back.
Unfortunately, we found this burp cloth is not the most durable. Right away, some of the stitching started to unravel, and we found loose threads around the edges. While very soft and malleable, the weave of the flannel is not very tight, so it is less absorbent than some others. There is also a fair amount of shrinkage after the first wash, about 1-2 inches in both directions. However, the cloth is extensive, to begin with, so we did not miss the extra surface area too much. Overall, we enjoy using these. If you are parenting on a budget but still want cute and functional accessories, the Hudson Baby Flannel is the perfect option.
While we do not have a hard time thinking of different ways to use our burping cloths, the Aden + Anais Burpy Bib is the only product in this review with an intentional dual-purpose construction. The cotton muslin cloth has a contoured shape that perfectly fits a parent's shoulder and has a discreet snap that allows it to turn into a bib for older babies and toddlers. The high quality of the materials and the simple addition of a snap closure ensure that the Burpy Bib will be a long-lasting product well worth the initial investment. The Aden + Anais is longer than much of the competition and offers a lot of coverage on both front and back without bunching fabric around the neck. There are four layers of muslin, but the weave of the fabric is much tighter than some other options, making these feel thicker and more absorbent overall. After a few washes, the absorbency time is one of the best in the group we tested, as is typical of muslin. The fabric quickly distributes liquid, so you aren't left with a single sopping wet spot on your rag.
When you first get these, you may be amazed by the large size. However, muslin is notorious for shrinking, so plan to have a cloth that is about an inch smaller in each direction. We recommend prepping the fabric by running it through 2-3 wash cycles so it can reach its full absorbency potential before using it. One key consideration when looking at the Burpy Bib is the price. It is one of the most expensive options in our review, but we think that the high-quality construction and the multipurpose ability of this cloth make it worthwhile. If you like the classic muslin feel and value one-and-done products that will be useful for many years, we recommend the Aden + Anais Burpy Bib.
The Gerber Prefold Gauze Diaper is an excellent multi-purpose product. In addition to being a cloth diaper, parents can use it as a burpy, a cleaning rag, and more. The multilayered cotton utilizes a gauze fabric similar to muslin but a coarser weave. We find this gives an extra level of absorbency and excellent durability. Despite the coarseness of the weave, the material retains its softness and gets cushier after each wash. It is one of the heftiest products in our review, piling on six layers of fabric. We found that liquid is absorbed almost instantly into the material and very little soaks through to the other side.
Gerber Prefolds have the most significant amount of shrinkage compared to other options in our review, losing nearly 3 inches of length after the first wash. The overall size ends up being slightly smaller than average, so it does not offer as much coverage as you may expect. While these cloths are handy and functional, you don't get the same cuteness factor from the plain white fabric. It is first and foremost a cloth diaper, and that is how it looks. But if aesthetics are not your priority, and you are a fan of multitasking products, then this may be the best choice for you.
The Gerber Flannel Burp Cloth is the most durable but least soft cloth on our list. The flannel a bit scratchy, but the material feels like it will last forever. The fabric is extra thick, has a tight weave, and the stitching around the edges is solid. Shrinkage is very minimal, and these large cloths offer great burping coverage. We can imagine using these for burps or as an impromptu changing pad while the baby is small. Later, their use can be continued for years in the kitchen or as a cleaning rag. They are also one of the most affordable options on our list, and the impressive durability increases their overall value. The cute patterns are great for a baby but neutral enough to have around the house for other uses.
Straight out of the package, and even after the first wash, these Gerber cloths are very stiff. They will likely loosen up over time, but in the beginning, they are almost awkward to use because they are so impliable. They don't mold very well to contour the shape of your shoulder, and when folded, they are even stiffer. We do not appreciate the texture of the flannel and would describe it as borderline abrasive. It is not something we would use to wipe a baby's face or our own, for that matter. We have high hopes that it will soften up over time, as many fabrics do. However, we did not reach that point in the duration of our testing. Although not perfect, we can't pass up a hardy and functional product that we know will last. We recommend Gerber Flannel cloths to anyone who values durability above all else.
The Milkbarn Organic is a large square cloth of organic muslin fabric that is available in cute and unique prints. Although it is lightweight, the tight weave feels durable and does not snag or tear easily. While other muslin products on our list are pre-layered and shaped, the Milkbarn cloth is comprised of only a single layer. You must fold it multiple times to offer reasonable absorbency, but this allows you to tailor the size and thickness to perfection. Also, due to the thin nature of the fabric, you can unfold it, and it is exceptionally fast-drying. The large size offers greater versatility, and the cloth can come in handy as a light blanket or a car seat/stroller sunshade. Many babies get attached to the cloth's lightweight and malleable familiarity and use it as a lovey later on. The high-quality feel makes this an excellent choice for all-around home use. In addition to all the baby-related functions, we find it works well as a dish towel, hand towel, or reusable napkin, and the prints are neutral enough to be used as more than a baby item.
The large cut and thin fabric add versatility to this product, but it is not as easy to use as some other products that are pre-layered. You must take the time to fold and arrange the fabric before throwing it over your shoulder, and for some parents, this is an extra step for which they just don't have the patience. Another downside is the price. Milkbarn makes high-quality muslin products that come with a price tag to match. While not for everyone, we love the style and feel of Milkbarn Organic cloths and enjoy having them around the house. If you are looking for a less traditional but highly functional item for all-around home and baby use, this is your best bet.
Green Sprouts Muslin is an organic burpy with four layers of cotton muslin sewn together in a dogbone shape that contours the shoulder and provides extra coverage on both ends. As is typical of muslin products, the cloth will get fluffier, softer, and more absorbent with more trips through the wash. Even after the initial shrinkage, this cloth remains above average in terms of size, and it has a long and narrow shape that fits perfectly on the shoulder.
Like the Aden + Anais, the Green Sprouts has four layers of muslin; however, the weave is looser, and the cloth feels much thinner because of this. It seems to be of slightly lower quality overall and does not feel very durable compared to most other products we tested. Topping off the list, the price of this cloth is still relatively high, despite being of lower quality. We like the use of organic materials and appreciate the simplicity of the Green Sprouts, but we think that there are better options for you to consider.
Why You Should Trust Us
Senior Review Editor Abriah Wofford leads this review of the best burpees. With 6+ years of professional childcare experience and many more years as the oldest child in a family of 6 kids, she uses her baby knowledge to inform testing processes and product selection. Abriah has been a Senior Review Editor at BabyGearLab since 2015, and during that time, she has extensively tested and analyzed hundreds of baby products. Expert help from 6-week old Noah was key to our burp cloth testing process. He helped us explore each cloth's performance in real-world situations.
Analysis and Test Results
We tested four main performance metrics: absorbency, coverage, softness, and durability. Examining these factors helped us select the best products for burping babies.
While burping cloths can be fantastic for multiple uses, their primary purpose is to catch and absorb spit-up and keep it from reaching your clothing. Therefore, the ability of the cloths to absorb liquid is very important to the selection process. The material type and the number of layers of each product contribute to the overall absorbency level. Our favorite for absorbency, the Copper Pearl, has a fleece inner core that makes it one of the most absorbent options in our review. Built for the sole purpose of being absorbent, the Gerber Prefolds is also a top performer, letting hardly any liquid through the numerous layers of gauze weave fabric.
If you need extra absorbency, some cloths, such as the Milkbarn Organic, are large enough to fold repeatedly. Others, like the Burt's Bees and Hudson Baby Flannel, have the folds built-in with numerous layers of fabric sewn together in the center. This type of construction provides more absorbency where you need it most while reducing bulk around the edges.
The coverage type you want from your burp cloth is a personal preference. Some feel that the more coverage the better, as you never know how bad a mess can get. However, some parents don't like excess fabric and prefer only to have what they need to do the job. For a happy medium, we discovered that cloths with a contoured shape offer more coverage in the right areas and less bunching and folding. When placed over your shoulder, options like the Aden + Anais Burpy Bib and Green Sprouts Muslin provide more fabric for chest and back areas without excess crowding your neck.
The Milkbarn Organic is the largest burper on our list. However, it is only a single layer of thin muslin, so you'll need to fold it if you want something thick enough to prevent leaks. Folding significantly decreases the size but may increase versatility, allowing you to double up certain parts of the cloth to offer the best coverage for you. Although not contoured, the long and narrow shape of the Pearl Copper is another favorite. It is wide enough to cover your shoulder up to the neck but doesn't leave loose fabric hanging off the edge.
Burp cloths will touch your baby's skin multiple times a day. Cozy soft fabric can help prevent irritation or rashes. While all the products we tested are more comfortable than the average dish towel, we love the organic cotton and smooth jersey knit of the Burt's Bees. The fuzzy soft flannel of the Hudson Baby is another favorite. Both towels are soft enough for comfortably resting a baby's face on while burping.
The Aden + Anais is the coziest muslin option in our test, getting softer and fluffier with each wash. The muslin on this cloth has a much tighter weave than others, providing a smoother surface and higher absorbency to boot.
Durability and Longevity
How much use do you like to get out of your baby products? If you are looking for a multipurpose workhorse that you can use through multiple children and various tasks, we've got the cloth for you. The Gerber Flannel, in particular, uses heavy-duty fabric, has tight stitching around the edges, and is generic enough to fit into many areas of the home. We also love the Aden + Anais Burpy Bib for its multitasking abilities. The small snap closure allows it to become a drool or mealtime bib after the baby has outgrown the burping stage. The high-quality muslin does not wear thin over time, making it an excellent choice for those who would like to reuse baby items through multiple children.
Some options are slightly lower quality and may not last as long, but they also sport lower prices. For those looking for only a burp cloth, this is probably fine, as any product in this review will likely last long enough to meet this need. However, if your budget is tighter and you need a cloth built to last, the Gerber Prefold is one of the most durable and affordable options we tested, which means you don't have to compromise.
Any towel can work in a pinch for a spit-up prone baby, but we discovered during testing that a great burp cloth can work better if you have the right option for the job. We believe our tests and analysis can help you find the right burp cloths for almost any need, but it might mean investing in more than one type. We think it's a good idea to have a good stash of burp cloths on hand for life's little messes. By mixing and matching cloth styles, you can find a solution that best suits your needs and lifestyle.
— Abriah Wofford