Cloth Diapering Leads the Way!

A Cost Comparison of Prefolded Diapers, Mother-ease® One Size™ Diapers and Disposable Diapers

The graph below compares the costs of Prefolded or Contoured diapers and Velcro Wraps with the costs of Disposable diapers and the costs of the Mother-ease® One Size™ Diaper System consisting of 24 One Size™ diapers, 12 Snap In Liners and 12 Air Flow™ covers (4 covers in 4 sizes) This includes the cost of laundering.


Costs will vary:

Wraps and prefolds - When purchasing contoured or prefolded diapers, costs will vary according to the quality and the amount of diapers purchased. These also usually need to be purchased in more than one size. The amount of wraps purchased will vary between  4 - 8 wraps per size. Most Velcro wraps come in 5 sizes.

Disposable diapers - Costs will vary according to the amount of diapers used per day and the period of time over which a child is diapered. 


Following are sample calculations:

Practices, supplies and utility costs vary. You can insert your own costs for a personalized total. 6,500 diaper changes over 2 ½ years represents an average of 7 - 8 changes/day (10 - 11 for newborns; 5 - 6 for 2 year olds).

For the minimum supply (flannelette square diapers and vinyl tie pants): about $100.

Home Laundered: $550 to $800.

A cloth diaper layette with fitted diapers, waterproof covers, absorbent liners, staydry liners and cloth wipes may cost $230 - $330. Diaper pail(s) and deodorizers may bring the total to $260 - $360.

SavingsLaundry (based on 6,500 diaper changes, 24 changes/washload = 271 loads):

  • Detergent (@. 27/load x 271 loads) $73.17;
  • diaper pail additive (8oz. of vinegar @ .15/load) $40.65;
  • water and sewer (for 4 toilet flushes, 16 gal; 1 normal wash cycle, 45 gal;
  • rinsing and filling pail, 7 gal. Total of 68 gal. @$.0067 = .46/load) $124.66;
  • natural gas to heat water (20 cu.ft. of natural gas @$.0015 =.03/load) $8.13;
  • power to run dryer (5.76 kw/hr. for 1 hour., 5.7kwh @. 07 = .40/load) $108.40;
  • power to run washer (.76kwh @. 07 = .05/load) $13.55;
  • depreciation on washer and dryer (.16 for washer .09 for dryer = .25/load) $67.75 
    = $436 ($1.60/load).

$436 for laundry + $100 for square diapers, etc. = $536. (average .08/change).

$436 for laundry + $360 for fitted diapers, = $796. (average .12/change).

Disposable Diapers:

Disposable diapers get more expensive as they get larger, but the average cost is about $.35/diaper. Based on 6,500 changes (average 7 - 8/day), cost would be $2,275. for 2 ½ years.  However, babies diapered in disposables tend to be changed less often than babies diapered in cloth. Based on an average of 5 - 6 changes/day, cost for 5,019 diapers would be $1,757. Cost of 1,500 disposable wipes would be about $100., making the totals $1,857 to $2,375. (average .37/change)



Initial investment is highest for home laundered cloth; however, long term savings are substantial.

To calculate labor cost for home laundering, allow at least 40 hours over a 2 ½ year period. Disposable diapering also involves labor (i.e., purchasing regularly and emptying the garbage daily).