Choosing the Perfect Cloth Wipes: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents

by Bailey Bouwman

In the world of cloth diapering, the options for cloth wipes can seem as extensive as the diaper selection itself. Each brand has their own wipe because it's a natural extension of their collection.

As a parent, finding the right cloth wipe is a personal journey influenced by various factors. Here, we'll delve into key considerations to help you make an informed decision based on your preferences and priorities. Because how one brand designs their wipe isn't always the best way for your family.

I had favourites when I was cloth diapering - many of these products are no longer available in Canada, and many new products have emerged that could easily be better.  *cough* Lunapaca Cotton Wipes

Cloth Wipe Material Matters

From the familiar touch of cotton to the allure of bamboo and the durability of polyester blends, cloth wipes offer a diverse array of fabric options. Beyond the materials themselves, the unique ways in which these blends are woven create distinct textures and weights.

  • Organic Cotton: If sustainability is at the forefront of your choices, wipes crafted from  organic cotton might be your ideal pick. They offer a soft touch against your baby's skin while aligning with eco-friendly values. Cotton holds up well, and washes up well. It's been a staple for centuries.

  • Bamboo Blends: For those inclined towards a terry cloth like material (the little loops of a towel for example), wipes incorporating bamboo, either in a single or double layer, provide an alternative that balances softness and some scrub.

  • Polyester Blend: Wipes with a polyester blend can bring durability and practicality into play. The combination of materials aims to enhance absorbency and ease of use. It might be concerning long term for microplastic shedding, and holding smells.

Understanding Textures: Finding the Perfect Feel for Your Cloth Wipes

When it comes to cloth wipes, one key aspect that really impacts experience is the texture. And by that I mean the feel of the wipe and how it was knit because all the materials above can be presented in different forms.   Here's five commonly seen cloths, you might find others and different variations depending on the weight of the weave.

Textile Style Texture Reference Characteristics
Birdseye Cotton Lightweight, breathable
Quick-drying, versatile, provides a textured surface
Terry Cloth Soft and plush
Excellent absorbency, thicker and heavier. Think bathroom towel or face cloth
Flannel Cloth Soft and warm with slight nap
Gentle touch, generally quite thin, and a touch fuzzier than knits
Velour Cloth Luxurious and velvety
Upscale and soft feel
Jersey Knit Smooth and stretchy
Soft, can be rigid depending on the knit, and present just as 'regular fabric'


Remember, the texture not only affects the feel but also influences factors like absorbency, and abiltiy to clean up a mess. Birdseye cotton and terry does a great job, but I find velour too soft, and flannel too thin.

Single or Double Layer: Finding the Right Thickness for Your Cloth Wipes

  • Double Layer: Opting for double-layered wipes adds an extra dimension of thickness and absorbency. If you appreciate a wipe that feels substantial and provides thorough cleaning in a single pass, double-layered options are worth considering.
  • Single Layer: For those who prefer a thinner and more flexible cloth wipe, single-layered choices offer a lightweight alternative. These wipes can be particularly appealing for parents who prioritize maneuverability and ease of handling.

Not all single layer material needs to be double layer, I think of heavier terry cloths. Like you wouldn't sew two face cloths together.

That said, some brands will mix and match textures to create wipes that give you a little of both, where one side is terry and the other a knit. This fancy approach can provide you with a luxurious cloth diapering experience.

Size Matters: Choosing the Right Dimensions for Your Cloth Wipes

Most baby cloth wipes are about 8" square, these days. That said their used to be a lot of variation and quite small wipes back in the day.

Consider the dimensions of the wipes. Some parents prefer larger wipes for ample coverage and easier cleanups, while others might lean towards more compact options for portability and convenience.

Finding Your Perfect Cloth Wipe Match

At the end of the day, you do just have to commit to buying a set of baby cloth wipes and starting your cloth wipe journey. We can analyze every wipe forever, but truly you don't' know until you try. And cloth wipes are definitely worth it.

And as I tell my daughter at dinner, sometimes we have to eat things we don't love. Sometimes we use products because it's what we got. And that's okay, not everything is going to be the best, or perfect wipe. Sometimes it just is. 

Consider your preferences in terms of material, weave, layers, texture, and size. Whether you opt for the soft luxury of velour or the practical absorbency of terry cloth, the decision ultimately rests on what aligns with your priorities and lifestyle. 

Happy wiping!

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