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10 of the best baby wipes

Wet wipes can be a nappy changing and meal time essential – we recommend the top picks using feedback from parent's who have been testing them with their babies

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Baby wipes are an essential part of nappy changes in the early days, with their uses stretching far beyond dirty bottoms and sticky fingers. From spilt drinks (it can happen at any age) and dribbled food during weaning, to newborn nappy explosions and milk leaks, it’s a braver mum than I who would leave home without at least a travel pack of wet wipes in their bag for emergencies. And any parent who claims not to have used them to hurriedly clean at least one surface in their home when faced with unexpected guests is, in my opinion at least, lying.

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But the baby wipe market has boomed in recent years with more and more brands now offering the products – meaning finding the right ones for you can feel overwhelming. Using feedback from our parent testers, who have tried a wide range of wipes with their babies, we’ve chosen the best ones to suit different budgets and needs.

What to look for when buying baby wipes

Age of your child – Most midwives recommend that newborns be cleaned with cotton wool and warm water only. But the latest NHS advice lists “fragrance and alcohol-free baby wipes” as a suitable alternative. Check the packet too – if the wipes are suitable for use from birth, they should say so somewhere in the small print on the packaging.

Fragrance – Older children will generally have less sensitive skin so you may want to consider fragranced wipes to mask some of the more unpleasant smells you are cleaning up. However, children of all ages can react to different products so keep an eye on them and if you see a reaction – such as dry or itchy patches of skin – make a note of the brand and avoid it in future.

Cost – This is another key consideration, especially as you could be getting through a lot of wipes. Prices of baby wipes vary wildly – from just a few pence per packet up to £4 or £5. Once you’ve found a brand that works for you, it’s worth looking out for bulk buy offers. These can offer great savings compared to buying individual packs.

Ease of use – Can you open them one-handed? Do they come out one at a time or tend to clump? This is key, especially given that nappy changes can get very messy very quickly. The seal on a packet is important too – if it’s too sticky, it’s tough to open in a hurry, not sticky enough, and the wipes could dry-out quickly.

Should I buy biodegradable wipes?

The baby wipe market has traditionally been seen as a big polluter as the plastic used in some products does not break down easily. In fact, some baby wipes containing plastic can take up to 100 years to biodegrade.

As a result of this, many brands now offer biodegradable or compostable wipes as an alternative. While these are, of course, better for the planet, it’s important to remember that just because a wipe states that it is biodegradable, this doesn’t mean it can be flushed down the toilet.

Very few baby wipes can be flushed – those that can must carry an official water industry “Fine to Flush” symbol – but the majority will clearly state on the packaging that they can’t be. It’s important to heed this warning – the biggest ever in-depth investigation of sewer blockages in the UK, carried out by Water UK in 2017, found that non-flushable wet wipes made up around 90% of the material causing sewer blockages.

For more biodegradable options check out our pick of the best eco-friendly baby wipes.

Here’s our pick of the best tried and tested baby wipes:

1. Mama Bamboo Bamaboo Baby Wipes, from £3 for pack of 60

– Best for sustainability

Suitable for newborns: Yes | Biodegradable: Yes | Scented: Slight aloe vera scent

The stand out selling point of these luxurious-feeling wipes is their sustainability – the 100% compostable bamboo fibre will break down in a home compost or food waste bin within about 3 months according to the brand. Incredible when compared to a wipe containing plastic that could take 100 years! This was a real selling point for MFM tester Katie who said: “Parents are always looking to reduce their environmental impact and this is a great way to start.”

Bamboo is stretchy, meaning the wipes feel stronger and more resilient- giving you the confidence to use less when cleaning up mess and pills. MFM Awards judge Sabrina added: “A durable, robust wipe that doesn’t rip easily. One wipe cleaned up 1tsp of food just leaving a very slight residue behind.”

Bamboo has natural antibacterial properties which reduces the chance of nappy rash and irritation and aloe vera also has soothing properties making these a great choice for newborns and their delicate skin. They are at the higher end of the price scale but their improved strength means you should use less of them at any one time meaning one pack lasts that bit longer.

Available from: Amazon, Ocado, Mama Bamboo

2. Aldi Mamia Extra Sensitive Baby Wipes, 55p for pack of 60

– Best for value

Suitable for newborns: Yes | Biodegradable: No | Scented: No

Aldi’s Mamia range of baby products has established itself as a firm favourite among budget-conscious parents and these extra sensitive wipes are no exception. Suitable for use from birth thanks to the fact they are perfume- and alcohol-free, the ingredients are 99.5% naturally derived meaning children prone to eczema and other skin conditions can also use them. And all for a unit cost of less than 1p per wipe.

MFM home tester Anne-Marie praised the texture of the wipes. She said: “Just moist enough to clean up well without spreading any dirt around or leaving the bum really wet after.”

A particularly good feature of these wipes is the lift-up plastic lid which provides reassurance that the packet is firmly shut after use, meaning the rest of the packet won’t dry out. Many similarly-priced alternatives use a sticky tape fastening which can lose its stick or tear off altogether. MFM home tester Sarah summed it up succinctly: “Easy to use, cheap with a resealable lid that’s better than just a sticker – plus the peace of mind that they’re suitable for sensitive baby skin.”

The wipes easily come out one by one too, rather than clumping together, meaning very few are wasted.

Available from: Aldi (in-store)

3. WaterWipes baby wipes, £2.99 for 60 wipes

– Best for newborns

Suitable for newborns: Yes | Biodegradable: Yes | Scented: No

WaterWipes contain 99.9% purified and filtered water and just a drop of grapefruit seed extract – a natural skin conditioner. They are ideal for newborns as they are just as gentle as cotton wool and water and have recently boosted their eco-credentials by relaunching as biodegradable. Because there is nothing added, you don’t get that soapy residue you do with some wipes and they are not too wet either.

They are fresh, have a soft texture and great absorbency, so will be useful well beyond the newborn stage – personally I can vouch for them as ideal for cleaning up spillages on furniture as they lift the liquid without taking any  colour off the fabric. MFM tester and mum-of-2 Sophie said: “It’s really reassuring to know there’s nothing in them to irritate young skin. The mini packs are great for your handbag and it’s good to know you can use them from birth. I always found cotton wool and water was ineffective on a really dirty bottom.”

Obviously price is a key consideration here – at £2.99 per packet, you’re looking at a unit cost of almost 5p per wipe. But many of our Facebook users say that while they would definitely use these on newborn children, the cost means they tend to move on to an alternative as their child grows.  Mum, Donna, said: “Would love to be able to use WaterWipes all the time but just can’t justify the price even though I love them. We used them when both kids were newborn and if they get very sore bums, we revert back for a while.” Fellow Facebook user Pooja agreed, saying: “WaterWipes while under 2 months was best for us.”

Available from: Amazon, Boots and Superdrug

4. The Cheeky Panda biodegradable bamboo baby wipes, £2.99 for 64 wipes

– Best for a vegan choice

Suitable for newborns: Yes | Biodegradable: Yes | Scented: No

With no chlorine and a make up of 99% water, these biodegradable bamboo wipes are vegan certified and cruelty-free so come with great eco credentials. They’re also compostable and you can expect them to break down in as little as 3 weeks according to the brand. Again, they come in at the higher end of the price spectrum but the strong, stretchy bamboo does mean you tend to use less wipes per change/spillage.

While they are officially scent-free, many users say how much they love the smell of them – it’s sort of clean and fruity and very natural rather than an overpowering perfume.

Although packet does close with a sticky tab, it is effective and keeps the wipes sealed in and dry. MadeForMums tester Kelly said: “The re-sealable sticky tab works and is effective in that the wipes stay moist and do not dry up once the packet is opened as some other brands do. I love that this product has no smell or fragrance and is alcohol-free – it feels great on my baby’s skin. My little one does have sensitive skin and this was like using water and cotton wool on him.”

Fellow tester Kirsty commented: “These are the best biodegradable wipes I’ve ever used by far. They are very thick and durable, this is the quality that most biodegradable wipes lack. It makes cleaning up after dirty nappies much easier and less need to double up and waste wipes. They appear to be very sensitive as I’ve used them on my baby’s bottom and face with no reaction.”

Available from: Amazon, Boots and Cheeky Panda

5. Lidl Lupilu baby wipes sensitive, 49p for pack of 64 wipes

– Best for older babies

Suitable for newborns: No | Biodegradable: No | Scented: Yes – lightly

Free from added alcohol, colour, silicone and animal products, these wipes from budget supermarket chain Lidl contain a mild lotion made up of organic olive oil and aloe vera extract to soothe baby’s skin. They are soft and absorbent and extra tear-resistant, using paper from responsible sources verified by the FSC. They also have a unit cost of less than 1p per wipe – brilliant for parents on a tight budget or for anyone with multiple children who gets through a lot.

The packet features a plastic lid with a tight seal and easily dispenses wipes one at a time – much easier than wrestling with a taped packet and ending up with 10 shooting out in one go.

MFM tester Bethanie loved these wipes, saying: “They were perfect for me and my family. We used them on everything and were never disappointed in their ability to clear up stubborn messes while also maintaining their ability to be sensitive to my son’s skin.” She was equally impressed by the price – adding that as they do not clump together, you don’t have to worry about waste. She said: “49p is a very reasonable price for these wipes considering you have complete control over the number you are using and they seal very well to retain the moisture in them.”

Due to the fragrance and lotion content, these are better suited to slightly older babies rather than newborns who you may prefer using water-based wipes on.

Available from: Lidl (in store)

6. Pampers Pure Coconut Wipes, £2.70 for 62

– Best moisturising wipes

Biodegradable: Yes | Scented: Yes – lightly

The first thing you notice about these wipes is the amazing coconut smell. It’s sweet and appealing but not overpowering. Made from 100% plant-based fibre and crafted with a touch of coconut oil, the wipes both cleanse and moisturise at the same time. They have a real luxurious feel to them – which may seem like a strange thing to say about a wet wipe – but they leave your baby smelling delicious and feeling super soft to touch.

The lift-up flap makes them easy to open and extract and while expensive, the natural moisturising properties of the coconut oil mean you’re unlikely to need to use anything else on your baby’s skin.

MadeForMums tester Princess said: “They smell nice and feel great on the skin. I used these a few times for top and tail and it made the whole process a lot quicker – the added oil meant that I didn’t have to moisturise my baby’s face afterwards. Slightly expensive, but a nice little luxury to have.” And fellow tester Kerry agreed that they are worth the extra money: “I think these are amazing and well worth the price as such good quality.”

Available from: Amazon, Ocado and Boots

7. Fred & Flo 60 Biodegradable fragrance free wipes, 52p for pack of 60 wipes

– Best for sensitive skin

Biodegradable: Yes | Scented: No

Tesco’s own brand wipes are a great option for parents on a budget but whose children might have sensitive skin. Formulated with a gentle cleansing milk which contains extracts of aloe vera and camomile and dermatologically approved, they are suitable for children who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema.

They load out of the packet well-meaning you generally only get one with each tug, reducing waste and speeding up access when you’re struggling one-handed (as is more often than not the case!).

Another great feature is the fact they are available from a supermarket so you don’t have to make a special trip to go get them – just throw them in your trolley on the weekly shop or add them to your online delivery. The biodegradable wipes, while friendly to the planet, also feel stronger than the original Fred & Flo wipes and are just the right amount of wet – not sloppy or soapy.

Writing on our Facebook page, mum Donna said: “Really good value – wet enough but not too thin – and easily picked up in the weekly shop.” Vic Brown, also on our Facebook group, added: “Cheap and cheerful – always on a three for two offer. Great for adults too.”

Available from: Tesco

8. Natracare Organic Cotton Baby Wipes, £3.99 for 50

– Best for faces and fingers

Suitable for newborns: Yes | Biodegradable: Yes | Scented: Yes

Natracare’s wipes are infused with organic essential oils of chamomile, apricot and sweet almond oil, as well as other natural plant extracts, while avoiding undesirable detergents, parabens, or nasty preservatives. As a result, many of our testers were won over by the sweet yet subtle scent.

Plastic and alcohol free, they are vegan and vegetarian friendly and even certified by The Soil Association thanks to their 100% cotton cloth formula. They are the only cotton product to make our list and stand out as a result. Even their packaging is recyclable – although you will have to check with your local council which types of plastic they collect.

Helen from MFM said: “I don’t like perfumed baby wipes but these smell nice. Good wetness and reasonably thick.” And our tester, Jessica, agreed, adding: “These wipes are beautiful – they feel so nice and are so gentle on my baby’s skin.”

These are the most expensive baby wipes on our list and so you might want to use sparingly as a result – maybe save them for cleaning up your baby’s hands and face where you can enjoy the scent afterwards rather than wasting them on a stinky bottom! They do feature an unusually-shaped tab opening too, which makes it very easy to control how many you use at any one time.

Available from: Amazon, Ethical Superstore and Big Green Smile

9. Amazon Brand – Mama Bear Ultra Sensitive Unscented baby wipes, £15.49 for box of 18 packets (each containing 60 wipes)

– Best for bulk buyers 

Suitable for newborns: Yes | Biodegradable: Yes | Scented: No

Formulated with a gentle lotion containing aloe vera and chamomile, these water-based wipes are designed to cleanse even the most delicate baby’s skin. The ultra sensitive wipes are as gentle as cotton wool and water, according to Mama Bear, so you can feel confident using them on your newborn. The sensitive version of the same brand, however, does not make the same claims so do be careful when ordering that you are getting the right product. Unlike the ultra sensitive version, the sensitive wipes are not biodegradable either.

With a plastic flip-top lid, the wipes are easy to access, unload and re-seal even if you only have one hand free. They are also just the right amount of wet – not sloppy to soapy yet not too dry.

Around 75% of customers on Amazon rated the wipes 5-stars with one shopper, saying: “These are brilliant and honestly the best wipes I have used.” Another buyer added: “Not heavily fragranced or full of preservatives or chemicals – like water wipes but they hold together for those nasty nappy blowouts.”

Available via Amazon to order in bulk, they offer good value for money and are a great option for parents who don’t drive but might want to stock up on the essentials.

Available from: Amazon

10. Huggies Pure Baby Wipes, £12 for box of 18 packets (each containing 56 wipes)

– Best for thickness 

Suitable for newborns: Yes | Biodegradable: No | Scented: No

If you’re after wipes that offer great value for money, Huggies are a great option where you can buy bulk buy a box of 18 packets (over 1,000 wipes) for just £12.

The unscented wipes are hypoallergenic too, so are suitable for sensitive newborn skin. MFM Reviews Editor, Gemma, used them regularly when her son was a baby and particularly liked how thick and strong they are: “We used when he was very little and we would normally need a lot of wipes for one nappy but with these we used fewer.”

It’s worth noting that some of our MFM users found a few wipes can come out at once when you pull on the packet, so you may have to be more careful when using them so they don’t get wasted.

Available from: Amazon and Boots 

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About the author

Amy Burns is a journalist and mum-of-1. She is the expert parent and baby reviewer for iBuys and a regular contributor to IndyBest.

 

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