Best Burp Cloth
Initially, the Copper Pearl cloth did not catch our attention. However, after researching and using it alongside the competition, we fell in love. It has a simple 3-layer construction, making it a bit thinner than average. However, it offers bulletproof protection thanks to a core fleece layer that absorbs and wicks away everything baby can throw your way. The outer material is a soft cotton jersey knit that is smooth against baby's face. The extra-long and thin shape of this cloth comfortably fits your shoulder and provides extra coverage down your back without leaving a bunched up fabric on the side. This shape also helps it stay put and avoid slippage.
While the overall performance of this cloth impressed us, there are a few things we weren't so pleased with. The different fabric types tend to shrink unevenly, and it looks a bit rumpled and disheveled right from the beginning. It is average when it comes to absorbency time, meaning that it will take a few seconds longer to soak in any spit up it catches and may let some liquid roll-off. However, cotton generally gets more absorbent with use, so this problem may self-correct with a few trips through the wash. Overall, we love the Copper Pearl cloths. The cute patterns and excellent performance make these our favorite.
The Burt's Bees Baby Burp Cloths feels like your favorite perfectly worn-in t-shirt, but softer and thicker. These are some of our favorite cloths to keep stashed around the house, as they come in handy almost everywhere you can imagine. Although comprised of only two layers, the thick and heavy organic cotton jersey is highly absorbent. Our favorite part is the plush quality of the fabrics. The supple fabric is the perfect weight and texture. The stitching feels durable, and these cloths wash well and shrink minimally. We also appreciate that they are organic, making them ideal for eco-minded parents.
In the beginning, the Burt's Bees absorbed very slowly. However, this problem quickly faded with time and 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 their first use. We would also prefer the cloths to be a touch longer. As is, they are one of the smallest in the review, and we like a little more coverage. These few drawbacks are not dealbreakers to us. 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 fold it to customize absorbency. The light and fluffy feel of the fabric is pleasant to the touch and soft enough for baby's sensitive skin. The material absorbs liquids almost instantly and will not let a single drop of spit-up roll onto unwanted 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 comes to absorbency and preferred to double it over. Right from the get-go, the Comfy Cubs appeared to be one of the least durable products we tested. We found several threads coming loose from the border stitching, and the loosely woven muslin snags more quickly 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 a more affordable muslin option.
The Hudson Baby Flannel is a soft and pliable cloth composed of two panels of fabric sewn together and overlapping in the center. It 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 the option to either have extra coverage or fold it for double absorbency. 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 there were a few loose threads around the edges. While very soft and malleable, the weave of the flannel is not very tight. There is also a fair amount of shrinkage after the first wash, about 1-2 inches in both directions, but the cloth is extensive, to begin with, so we did not miss the extra surface area too much. Overall, we enjoy using these, and if you are parenting on a budget, but still want something cute and functional, then 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 in mind. The cotton muslin cloth has a contoured shape that perfectly fits mom's shoulder and has a discreet snap that allows it to turn into a bib. 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 an initial investment. The Aden + Anais is on the longer side and offers a lot of front and back coverage without bunching around the neck. There are four layers of fabric, but the weave is much tighter than some other muslin options, making these much thicker and more absorbent overall. The absorbency time is one of the fastest in the group, and 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 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 are looking for a product that will be useful for many years, we recommend the Aden + Anais Burpy Bib.
The Gerber Prefold Gauze Diaper is an excellent product and a multi-purpose cloth that parents can use a burpy, a cleaning rag, or cloth diaper. The multilayered cotton utilizes a gauze fabric similar to muslin, but a bit more coarse, giving it extra absorbency abilities and excellent durability. Despite the coarseness of the weave, the material retains its softness and gets better with use. It is one of the thickest cloths 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 shrinkage of all the 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 other products. 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 is a bit rough from the get-go, 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 baby is small, then continuing their use for years to come as a kitchen or 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 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 and fold very well into convenient shapes. 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 baby's face or our own for that matter. We have high hopes that it will soften up over time, as most 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 simple square cloth of organic muslin fabric that comes 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 only a single layer to begin. You must fold it multiple times to offer adequate absorbency, but this allows you to tailor the size and thickness to perfections. Also, due to the thin nature of the fabric, it is exceptionally fast-drying. The large size offers greater versatility and comes 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. 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.
The large cut and thin fabric add versatility to this product, but it is not as easy to use as other more specifically designed products. 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 the Milkbarn Organic and enjoy having them around the house. If you are looking for a less-traditional item for all-around home and baby use, this is your best bet.
Green Sprouts Muslin is an organic cloth 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 time. 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 other options in the review. Topping off the list, the price of this cloth is still relatively high, despite having lower quality and functionality. We like the use of organic materials and appreciate the simplicity of the Green Sprouts, but think that there are better options.
Why You Should Trust Us
Senior Review Editor, Abriah Wofford leads this review of the best burpies. 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 grew up with our extensive field testing process and helped us explore each cloth's performance in real-world situations.
Analysis and Test Results
We broke down our testing into four main metrics absorbency, coverage, softness, and durability. Examining these factors helped us select the best cloths 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 after feeding your baby. Therefore, absorbency is very important to the selection process. Both the type of material used and the number of layers in a single cloth 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 cloths on our list. 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 extra absorbency is needed, 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 extra folds built-in. These cloths have numerous layers of fabric sewn together in the center, similar to a cloth diaper. This type of construction offers more absorbency in the place you need it most while keeping the bulk down around the edges.
The amount of coverage you want from a burp cloth is mostly personal preference. Some people feel that more coverage is better, as you are never sure how far the mess will travel. Others do not like the feeling of lots of fabric and prefer only to have what they need to do the job. We tried to find 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, items such as the Aden + Anais Burpy Bib and Green Sprouts Muslin provide more fabric for chest and back areas, without bunching around your neck.
The Milkbarn Organic is the largest burper on our list. However, it is only a single layer of thin muslin, so you must fold it if you want it thick enough to avoid leaking. Folding decreases the size significantly but may increase versatility. It allows 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 one of our favorites. It is wide enough to cover our shoulder up to the neck but does not leave a bunch of loose fabric hanging off the edge.
Burp cloths are items that will touch baby's skin multiple times a day, often for extended periods. Cozy soft fabric can help prevent irritation or rashes. While all the products we tested are more comfortable than your 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 of these options are soft enough for us to feel comfortable resting a baby's face on these protective cloths.
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 offer slightly lower quality materials and may not last as long, but they have a price tag to match. For parents looking for an item to use only as a burp cloth, this is perfectly acceptable. Any item in this review will last long enough to serve that purpose. However, if you are on a budget, you can still find a cloth built to last. The Gerber Prefold is one of the most durable things we tested on our list, as well as one of the most affordable, so you don't have to compromise.
While most any burp cloth will work in a pinch for a spit-up prone baby, we found in our test that they aren't all equal. We hope our testing and review analysis can help you find the right product for your needs. And that might mean choosing more than just one. As you'll want a pretty hefty stash of burping cloths, so you can always have one on hand, you can mix and match styles to suit your needs. Each choice has its perks and will work best in a different situation.
— Abriah Wofford