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Why are cloth diapers so expensive?

This is a guest post with information provided by Mother ease diapers. Read more about the author of this post below.

I walked into my favorite local cloth diaper store the other day and noticed they didn’t have as many diapers for sale as they usually did.

“We’re downsizing our diapers,” the woman behind the cash explained. “We are actually shifting away from cloth diapers and rebranding ourselves as a kids’ store.”

I was surprised, but the woman explained people aren’t buying as many cloth diapers as they used to. Most people come to the store, ask the staff a bunch of questions and then go home to purchase cheaper sets of diapers online.

She said they often returned with cloth diapers they purchased from places such as China and wanted the staff to help troubleshoot their problems. It got to the point where the staff no longer wanted to share their vast amount of knowledge.

Later that day I went online to check on another favorite cloth diaper haunt and saw the business was for sale. It was sad to see because I remember speaking with the mother who ran the company, happy she could run her own business while staying at home with her children.

The cost of making cloth

The upfront investment for cloth diapers can seem daunting to parents – the most expensive diaper on the Mother ease site is a Wizard Uno (all-in-one) size L at $28.95 for an individual diaper. But there are ways to save through multi-packs, or choosing a different option such as a fitted one size diaper ($12.95) with a cover ($13.50), or our Wizard Duo sets. With cloth diapers from a company like Mother ease you are generally looking at an upfront investment of $500-$700. When you factor in the cost of the increased laundry, you are still saving money over disposable diapers.

I’ve seen many other brands with prices as high as $36 for an individual diaper and I have seen ads for diapers from China for just $7 each. $7 is definitely tempting, and perhaps it is all you can afford – in which case I still applaud you for choosing cloth.

However, I want to look at what you get for the price of cloth diapers manufactured in Canada and the United States, using Mother ease as the example.



Every Mother ease diaper is hand-sewn in the Mother ease shop. The seamstresses are highly skilled, but it still takes time to cut the diapers and sew each element to the high quality the company expects. Mother ease is not a large company, but it has staff in Canada and the United States and pays them a fair wage for their work. Employing people also means paying income taxes, employment insurance, and other fees to the government.


Mother ease fabric is custom knit and finished in Canada. The materials for the covers, inserts and liners are made to very high standards to ensure the company is providing the highest quality product.


Fabric, elastic and snaps used in Mother ease diapers are tested to the highest environmental and safety standards.

Energy costs

Mother ease Cloth Diapers are made using 100% green energy powered by Bullfrog Energy. Read more about it here. It costs more money, but the company is helping to displace energy from polluting sources on the grid and help ‘green’ our energy systems.


From property tax to income tax and corporation taxes – Mother ease pays a lot of money to various levels of governments. All that money goes straight to the coffers of our local, provincial or state and federal governments to do the work they do.

Local retailers

Many Mother ease diapers are sold through small, local stores. These stores employ people in your community, pay property taxes to your local municipality, and help create a community space for like-minded parents. Store owners have to pay rent, electricity and staff wages (and all that goes with that).

When you think of everything that goes into a cloth diaper from start to finish you might wonder how anyone could make a diaper for $7 at the point of sale and still make a profit.

I’m lucky enough to be comfortable spending more money for a quality system I know will work, and will also support a Canadian business and everyone who comes along with that.

hand sewn (1) hand sewn (2) hand sewn

Jennifer Madigan is a Canadian cloth-diapering, coffee-loving mother of two. She documents her adventures in parenting at www.mommystrying.ca

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Christine :

    Mother-ease diapers are great! Hoping to use them on more 🙂

    1 year ago

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