You want the best for your baby, that’s a given. Switching to eco-friendly diapers is a great way to ensure your little one’s safety and well being. It’s also a positive step towards a better future for our planet.
Here’s our guide to the best eco-friendly diapers including our top pick and overall favorite, the biobased Eco by Naty.
And if you are ready to introduce your baby to a sippy cup, check out our roundup review of the best non-plastic sippy cups.
Eco-friendly diaper reviews
Here are our top-picks of the best eco-friendly diapers on the market right now.
Specially designed to minimize the risk of allergy or diaper rash, these biobased diapers by Eco by Naty are ideal for your newborn’s sensitive skin.
Ensuring 0% oil-based plastic comes into contact with your little one’s skin, these diapers are not only a great choice for your baby, but also for the environment.
What we like:
- Certified bio and plant-based materials – These diapers are made from 80% biobased materials, which put them a cut above many other eco-friendly diapers.
- Contains no oil-based plastic – Completely free from oil-based plastic, which further increases environmental credentials.
- Breathable – minimize rashes and irritation – Breathable design encourages adequate airflow to your baby’s skin, thus reducing the potential for moisture buildup, rashes or other skin irritations.
- Multiple independent certifications – We like that these diapers back up their eco-friendly claims with certifications by independent bodies.
- Absorbent core and easy-to-use tabs – Highly absorbent core is on par with non-eco brands, while the tabs are reliable and easy to fit.
What we don’t like:
- Not the softest feeling – The biobased materials don’t feel as soft as synthetic options, but they’re certainly not uncomfortable for your baby to wear.
Unlike most other eco-friendly disposable diapers, here, even the leakage barrier is made from 80% biobased materials, making this model one of the very best disposable nappies around for the environment.
Certified by numerous independent bodies, this diaper is not only highly sustainable, but also rated Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, so you can rest assured that it really is free from harmful substances and suitable for your baby’s fragile skin.
Free from fragrances, parabens, latex, VOCs, and oil-based plastic, these disposable diapers are one of the very best eco-friendly diapers around. And while they are not the softest to the touch, their 100% FSC certified super-absorbent pulp core will help to keep your baby dry, plus the tabs hold well and are easy to fit.
Thanks to its breathable, chemical-free composition this diaper is the best disposable choice for rash-free skin as well as the planet.
2. Esembly Reusable Cloth Diaper Two-Part System
Switching to reusable diapers is the best way to cut down on the huge amounts of waste that get sent to landfill each year.
Designed with multiple positioned snaps, these diapers are designed to grow with your baby for maximum value for money. This system is a great way to get started using reusable diapers. Replace the inner with each change and rotate your clean outers, for a happy baby with a breathable diaper for less irritation and rashes.
Thanks to the highly absorbent, uniquely layered core made from 100% GOTS organic cotton, these diapers do a great job of keeping your baby dry, as well as safe from chemicals.
What we like:
- Multiple snaps for excellent adjustability – Multiple snaps make this diaper easy to fit to your baby’s unique contours.
- Made with recycled polyester/organic cotton – Soft and sustainable materials care for the environment as well as your little one’s skin.
- Highly absorbent, uniquely layered core – Thanks to the uniquely layered core, these diapers offer high absorbency levels that help to prevent leaks.
- Breathable for greater comfort – Breathability is key for happy, healthy skin. These diapers don’t limit airflow, so your baby will feel comfortably dry and have a reduced risk of skin irritation.
- Climate-neutral certified – Officially certified as a climate neutral product, so you can enjoy a clear-conscience.
What we don’t like:
- Change every 2-3 awake hours – While the absorbency levels are good, Esembly recommend changing every 2-3 awake hours, so you’ll need to buy several diapers to keep up with changes.
- Expensive initial layout – Considering how many diapers you’ll need to purchase for daily use, the initial cost of these products is quite high. However, you will save a significant amount of cash in the long run.
Like most reusable diapers, you will need to change your baby every few hours when he or she is awake, and the initial layout to build up your diaper collection doesn’t come cheap.
However, not only will you save money in the long run, these comfortable, adorable, and long-lasting diapers are one of the very best reusable choices for the environment.
Certified Skin Safe and holders of a Nordic Swan Eco Label, Bambo Nature Baby Diapers are designed to look after your baby’s sensitive skin as well as the environment.
Thanks to their top-dry three-layer design with sustainably sourced absorbent cellulose fluff, these disposable eco-friendly diapers are both a highly practical and popular choice.
Complete with easily repositionable hook tabs, these disposable eco-friendly diapers have a comfortable, close fit.
These diapers have a new wetness indicator, you can tell at a glance when it’s time to change your baby. On the downside, these diapers have a non-biodegradable polypropylene topsheet and a polypropylene and polyethylene backsheet.
What we like:
- Top-dry three-layer design – Works to pull moisture away from the skin to keep baby dry and prevent rashes.
- Flexible side panels with repositionable hook tabs – Refastenable hook tabs make it easy to adjust to get a close fit, while the flexible side panels move with your little one to prevent leaks.
- New wetness indicator – Wetness indicator changes color to let you know when your baby needs changing.
- Certified Skin Safe – Dermatologically tested and free from any harmful chemicals, allergens or fragrances.
- Nordic Swan Eco Label – These diapers have been granted the Nordic Swan Eco Label, which is given to brands that limit the environmental impact of their products through their entire life cycle.
What we don’t like:
- Polypropylene topsheet/backsheet – Topsheet and backsheet is made from non-biodegradable materials.
These eco diapers are an affordable choice that’s both dermatologically tested and free from dangerous chemicals and perfumes, these diapers are a good alternative to traditional disposable versions.
They are also a popular model for nights and long trips out or whenever you may be less inclined to rely upon your reusable ones.
If you are looking for an eco-friendly disposable diaper capable of seeing your little one through the entire night, then you may want to give Offspring diapers a try.
Marketed as lasting for between 8-12 hours between changes, these diapers are also soft to the touch and free from chlorine, latex, lead, and fragrances.
Due to their highly absorbent plant-based core, not only are these diapers capable of absorbing large quantities of urine, they are also a better choice for the environment, complete with FSC certification. Dermatest certified, they are a good choice for sensitive skin, however, the polymer spandex waistband could be an irritant and is non-biodegradable.
What we like:
- Can last up to 8-12 hours between changes – High absorbency is perfect for busy Moms and overnight use.
- Soft to the touch – Plant-based materials are super soft on your little one’s skin for ultimate comfort.
- Dermatest certified – Gentle enough for baby’s sensitive skin.
- Highly absorbent plant-based core – Highly absorbent core prevents leaks and works to keep your baby as dry as possible.
- Free from chlorine, fragrances, latex, and lead – Lack of fragrances and latex is great for sensitive skin, while the absence of lead and chlorine will put Mom’s mind at rest.
What we don’t like:
- Polymer spandex used for waistband – Polymer spandex waistband may still irritate skin if your baby is very sensitive.
Ultra-soft, comfortable, and close-fitting to prevent blowouts, if you are looking for a new disposable diaper that is better for both your baby and the environment than regular ones, then Offspring could be your new favorite go-to diaper.
Reusable diapers need changing frequently, which is fine with little ones when you’re up all hours.
However, when baby finally starts to sleep longer at night, many parents are tempted to switch to disposables to try to get a little more precious sleep time. With this ingenious Overnight booster pad twin pack by Esembly, use one or both for boosters for a dry night, all night.
What we like:
- Great booster for night time use – Perfect for increasing time between changes when your little one begins to sleep through the night.
- Eight layers of absorbent organic cotton – Multiple layers of super soft cotton offer high absorbency to prevent leaks all night long.
- Ultra-soft “stay-dry” fleece upper – Fleece upper layer is gentle on the skin, stays dry all night and is breathable to ensure comfort.
- Increases efficacy of any cloth diaper – This product is compatible with any cloth diaper, so you don’t need to purchase from a particular brand to use it.
- Climate-neutral certified – Eco-friendly claims are backed up by a climate-neutral certification.
What we don’t like:
- No information on the fleece composition – If you like to dive deep into your product research, the composition details for this item are lacking.
A must-buy for any parent using reusable cloth diapers, this overnight booster pad set can also be used for days out, or whenever you need to extend the time your baby goes between changes. Climate-neutral certified and made with eight layers of absorbent organic cotton, this booster pad’s soft fleecy stay-dry top layer is, unfortunately, lacking in composition details.
Capable of increasing the efficacy of any cloth diaper, this booster set could easily help you to keep using reusable diapers, or at least enable you to use less disposable ones.
Hypoallergenic with a good amount of plant-based materials, The Honest Company Diapers are a great choice if you are looking to minimize the negative impact on the environment caused by disposable diapers.
Thanks to their close-fitting leg cuff and secure fastening tabs, these diapers prevent blowouts, while natural citrus extract and liquid chlorophyll help to reduce odors.
What we like:
- Highly absorbent TrueAbsorb core – Constructed from plant-based materials, wetness is absorbed fast so your baby can stay dry and comfortable.
- Sure-fit leg cuffs – Close-fitting leg cuffs ensure a snug fit that effectively prevents leaks.
- Sustainably-harvested fluff pulp and plant-derived materials – Contains responsibly-sourced natural materials that limits the impact on the environment.
- No latex, chlorine processing, or fragrances – Free from any irritating substances that can be troublesome for sensitive skin.
What we don’t like:
- Sizes on the small side – Small sizing can make it difficult to get a comfortable fit on larger babies.
- Contains some petroleum-based plastics – Although they’re a better option than standard disposable diapers, they are not made from 100% natural materials.
Unfortunately, these diapers do still contain some petroleum-based plastics, although they are still a better choice than your standard non-eco-friendly versions. You may also find that they size a little on the small side, so you may want to size up if your baby is a little chunky.
However, Honest Company Diapers are still a solid choice. The TrueAbsorb core is made from sustainably-harvested fluff and plant-derived materials, which make this diaper a better choice for the planet, and for baby’s sensitive skin. A great option for those looking for a diaper that is hypoallergenic, as well as being very absorbent.
Nora’s Nursery Cloth Pocket Diapers are an affordable way to get started with reusable cloth diapers. Fully adjustable with multiple snap fastenings, they can last your baby from 10 up to 35 lbs, making them great value for money.
While there are other more eco-friendly choices out there, by opting for reusable diapers, you are helping to cut down on waste and pollution, as well as saving valuable resources.
With their highly absorbent bamboo inserts, these diapers make a good eco-friendly choice. Thanks to their pocket construction, you can add two inserts for night times or trips out.
Fully adjustable, these diapers are long lasting and can be used from 10 pounds upwards. On the whole, they’re a highly practical choice and this set of seven diapers, inserts and a wet bag would also make a great gift for any new parents.
What we like:
- Affordable reusable diapers – The price of eco-friendly diapers can be a barrier for some parents. These reusable diapers are an affordable alternative.
- Fully adjustable from 10-35lbs – Wide range of adjustability means that they will last you a long time before baby grows out of them.
- Leak-resistant leg gussets – Snug leg gussets fit closely to your baby to prevent any leaks.
- Available in a range of prints and colors – Wide range of fun print designs and attractive colors to brighten your day.
- Includes 7 cloth diapers, 7 bamboo inserts and a wet bag – Set contains everything you need to keep baby dry, whether at home or on the go.
What we don’t like:
- Lots of plastic packaging – With all their eco-friendly credentials, it’s quite disappointing to see that this product comes packaged in unnecessary amounts of plastic.
- Thermoplastic polyurethane lining – Materials are not entirely plastic-free, but this is less of a concern as this product is designed to be reusable.
On the downside, the thermoplastic polyurethane lining, while non-toxic and safe, is still a plastic. What’s more, each diaper comes individually wrapped in plastic, with the entire set enclosed in a plastic bag.
However, given the amount of plastics that using these reusable diapers will keep out of landfill, it’s still a good choice to go for and one of the more affordable sets to get started with.
A Buyer’s Guide to Eco-friendly Diapers
Choosing the best eco-friendly diaper for your baby can be tricky.
Not all brands are completely transparent and there is an ever-increasing variety to choose from. Find the best brand of diapers for your baby with our Buyer’s Guide to Eco-friendly Diapers.
What’s wrong with regular diapers?
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that 3,300,000 tonnes of disposable diapers went to landfill in 2018. It is estimated that your average disposable diaper takes around 250-500 years to break down. So your baby’s diapers will likely still be hanging around in landfill when their children’s children’s children are born.
Not only are we running out of space for disposing of regular diapers, they also use vast amounts of raw materials and their manufacturing processes generate pollution, releasing large amounts of toxic substances.
Environmental issues aside, have you ever stopped to think about all of the chemicals that you are exposing your baby to when you use regular diapers? Babies have much more fragile skin than adults.
Even if regular diapers are certified as safe for use, do you really want to expose your little one to potentially dangerous substances such as dioxins, TBT (tributyltin), and phthalates, as well as synthetic fragrances and adhesives?
In short, if you can, choosing an eco-friendly diaper over a regular one is the best option for your baby’s comfort and well-being, as well as for the planet.
Things to consider when shopping for eco-friendly diapers
When you are shopping for eco-friendly diapers, there are plenty of considerations to bear in mind and it’s all too easy to get carried away with the marketing hype.
Be sure to take the following aspects into account before making up your mind.
Not all eco-friendly diapers are created equally.
While some have an excellent degree of transparency, others seek to blind you with their environmentally-friendly claims, while omitting essential information on less positive aspects such as phthalates, oil-based plastics, and synthetic fragrances.
So take the marketing with a pinch of salt, and delve into the actual composition of your diapers. You may need to contact the manufacturer for direct clarification in some cases, or sometimes you won’t be fully aware of the complete composition until you purchase a pack.
External certifications are a great way to ensure that you are purchasing a diaper that lives up to its eco-friendly claims. The more certifications, the better.
Almost any product can be marketed as environmentally-friendly, however, without certification it’s hard to get beyond the claims. This is another reason you should buy a brand you feel you can trust (see below).
If your eco-friendly diapers come in plastic, non-recyclable packaging, then this is a big no-no. While manufacturers have their arguments about needing to protect your diapers in storage, any brand that is serious about reducing their impact on the environment will package their product responsibly.
Make sure that your diapers are packaged in plastic-free recycled packaging. If you are purchasing online or subscribing to a diaper delivery service, don’t forget to also check that any shipping packaging is eco-friendly.
You need to have faith in a brand that you will be trusting to use on your little one.
While you’ll read a lot of big claims, reading up on a brand’s ethos is an easy way to see through the hype. Check out their mission, why they started, and what they are doing to make a positive change.
Brands that are certified by external bodies are a more reliable choice, having proof to back up their claims. Link your brand marketing pitch to their diaper composition and manufacturing process. Do they match? Are they doing what they claim they are trying to achieve?
Without a doubt, if purchasing eco-friendly disposable diapers or switching to reusable diapers is an option for you, then you should definitely go ahead.
The benefits to the environment and the reduction in chemicals coming into contact with your baby’s skin make eco-friendly nappies well worth it. There are, however, a few practical considerations that you’ll need to be aware of.
Reusable, cloth nappies are less absorbent than regular ones and need changing much more frequently, which is not always a bad thing. Moisture next to your baby’s skin from sitting in a damp nappy can cause irritation and rashes, so in any case, you’ll want to change young babies very regularly.
However, when you’re out and about for long periods, you may want to switch to a disposable diaper rather than carrying about your dirty ones with you all day. Also, a lot of daycare centers insist on disposable diapers.
When your baby starts sleeping for stretches of over four hours at night, you may want to invest in some booster pads or to switch to disposable diapers for night time if you find that they frequently wake up wet.
Lastly, while disposable diapers can save you money in the long term, especially if you go on to have more kids, they are quite a hefty upfront initial investment. What’s more don’t forget to factor in detergent, electricity and water costs, as well as time doing laundry.
Eco-friendly disposable diapers
Eco-friendly disposable diapers tend to be more breathable than regular ones. This is important for your baby’s comfort, as well as minimizing rashes and irritation.
Generally free from potentially harmful substances, manufactured with less oil-based components and more plant-based ones, eco-friendly disposable diapers are understandably an increasingly popular choice – who doesn’t want the best for their child?
What’s more, as they’re disposable, you don’t have the extra hassle, not to mention increased water, detergent, and electricity consumption, laundering cloth diapers. However, almost all disposable diapers, eco-friendly or otherwise, end up in landfills.
Given the air-tight nature of landfill sites, even fully biodegradable, natural products struggle to decompose. For this reason, it is estimated that a biodegradable diaper will hang around for approximately 50 years in a landfill site. In any case, this is much better than any regular diaper, even if it’s not a perfect solution.
As they tend to use organic materials and are marketed as a premium product, eco-friendly disposable diapers tend to cost considerably more than your average diaper. While this may not look too bad on a daily basis, add it up over two years and the amount of extra money can be quite substantial.
While most manufacturers of eco-friendly diapers are out to make your life easier, providing you with a more environmentally friendly product that is better for your baby, some are less honest and simply rebrand regular nappies at an inflated price.
So, purchasing eco-friendly diapers for the first time can be a little hit and miss, take your time to decipher any claims and read carefully through our unbiased eco-friendly diaper reviews.
Choosing the best diaper for your baby and the environment is no small feat. What works for one family, may not necessarily for you, so the best option is to try out a wide range of products and see what best suits your child and lifestyle.
Our personal favorite and the best eco-friendly diaper around is Eco by Naty. This biobased diaper is a cut above the rest, providing your baby with superior absorbency levels, a comfortable fit, as well as being free from oil-based plastics. In fact, you don’t even have to take our word for it, simply compare the certifications that this diaper holds to any disposable diaper in our selection.
While this is our top pick, you can’t really go wrong with any model from our top eco-friendly diaper selection. Better for baby and better for the environment, whichever option you choose, it’s a positive step in the right direction for your child, their future and our planet. Together, we can all make a difference.