In a nutshell

A great all-rounder, this budget option is ideal for parents wishing to try reusable nappies. Just make sure you use two pre-fold inserts for leak-free night-times

What we tested

  • Ease of use
    A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
  • Ease of washing
    A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
  • Absorbency
    A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
  • Quality
    A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
  • Durability
    A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
  • Worth the money
    A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
Overall Rating
A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.


  • Easy to shape pre-folds, easy to adjust size of wrap, no soaking soiled nappies, easy to wash, not a bulky fit, unisex wrap colour, excellent value for money


  • Need to use 2 pre-folds at night tto avoid leaks, poppers can be fiddly to fasten with a very wriggly baby, pre-folds need ironing

From the makers of bumGenius comes Econobum, the budget-minded alternative for mums and dads keen to give reusable nappies a go, but put off by some of the prices other nappies have.


Having a baby can be quite expensive and one of the ways parents often look to save money is through buying reusable nappies. However, most mums and dads are put off by the high price point or initial outlay and can end up buying disposables every week because they feel it spreads the cost.

With this in mind, nappy manufacturer Cotton Babies, which has won several awards for its well-known brand bumGenius, has launched the new budget Econobum range of unbleached cotton pre-folds and white polyester wraps to get more parents to forego the landfill. The Econobum Trial Pack (one soft One Size cover and one unbleached cotton pre-fold insert) is £9.99. The Econobum Starter Kit (three Econobum covers and 12 pre-folds) is £44.95, and it's suggested that you buy two of these to have a whole birth to potty system. You can also buy the covers individually, for £8.99 each.

The idea behind the one-size-fits-all Econobum is the same as other 2-part nappy systems. You shape a pre-fold into a simple rectangle, pop in either a washable or disposable liner to catch any solids and then tuck it into the waterproof wrap. The wrap has two rows of poppers running down the front to make a small or medium size or you can leave all the poppers undone for a large size. The nappy is fastened by a row of poppers across the top, with two popper clasps on either side of the wrap, so you have control over the tightness of the nappy around your baby.

What we love

With such an affordable price point I felt sure that the Econobum nappies wouldn't be able to compete with my usual brand of reusable nappies. And they didn't – they won hands down!

The Econobum pre-folds were very easy to quickly shape with a liner inside and the wrap was a cinch to popper up to the right size. I found it much easier to make up the nappies before I needed them, rather than doing it while my 6-month-old son Nathaniel lay on the changing table. And, once on, the nappies didn't look bulky at all.

When Nathaniel needed changing I found that, for the most part, the wraps stayed dry and didn't need to be washed.

I was very dubious about the fact that the instructions said there was no need for soaking in a stain remover or bleach after they’d been soiled, but you’re advised to keep them stored in a bucket with a lid on. The pre-folds can be washed in a cycle from 30 degrees up to 60 degrees, but I decided to put them to the test and run them with other cotton clothing on a 40-degree wash. I was really amazed that every stain came out and I wasn't running up a huge electricity bill.

Econobum nappies would work well not only for parents on a budget. They’d be ideal if you wanted to try washable nappies for the first time or if you’ve had your last child and won't get the benefit of a more expensive, reusable nappy system that could be handed down. Secondary carers, such as grandparents or childminders, who look after children who wear reusables at home, could also find these useful.

What to watch out for

The only leak Nathaniel experienced was overnight and it was so bad I had to change the under sheet. However, the instructions with the Econobum nappies clearly state that at night you should use two pre-folds to make the nappy more absorbent. On the second night that's what I did, and Nathaniel slept through, with his bedclothes and nightwear completely dry.

I found that the poppers were a bit fiddlier to manage than the Velcro strips I’m used to. You should button up the poppers to help prevent damage in your washing machine.

Lastly, I found that leaving the pre-folds to dry naturally can make them quite wrinkly, so I needed to run a quick, hot iron over them before they’d fold easily.

Who are the Cotton Babies Econobum reusable nappies best for?

Parents seeking a budget-friendly, eco-minded option for little bottoms.


MadeForMums verdict

A unisex and affordable reusable nappy option, Econobum perfectly mimics all the benefits of a more expensive brand if you follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Product Specifications

BrandCotton Babies
ModelEconobum reusable nappies
Available sizesOne size
Suitable for
Child age (approx)Birth to 3 years
Component parts (excluding liner)2
Made fromCotton pre-fold, polyester wrap
  • Poppers to increase/decrease waist and height size
  • Waterproof layer inside the wrap
  • One size fits all and lasts from birth to potty
Optional extrasThrowaway or washable liners, extra wraps