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Best baby wipes 2023: Keep your little one clean and comfortable

Our pick of the best baby wipes for every budget to help keep your little one clean no matter the situation

As any parent of an infant can attest, baby wipes are essential for cleaning bottoms, hands, and faces, even some unfortunate pieces of furniture. We simply can’t do without them and, in the UK alone, we use 11 billion wet wipes each year. They live in nurseries, kitchens, handbags, changing bags, bathrooms, and the bottom of pram baskets. They are the unsung heroes of life with a baby.

The main considerations when choosing baby wipes are skin type, cost, and whether they’re environmentally friendly. Whereas once the mere mention of baby wipes was enough to conjure images of fatbergs clogging sewers, it’s now widely understood that you don’t simply flush baby wipes down the loo. Water UK estimates that there are approximately 300,000 sewer blockages a year, costing the country £100 million, with 75 percent of those blockages due to people flushing wet wipes down the toilet. In line with this, the market is changing, with many more biodegradable or sustainable options becoming available.

Indeed, the government announced this year that they’re planning to ban the sale of plastic wet wipes as one of their initiatives to tackle water pollution problems. A number of large retailers, such as Boots, have already stopped selling plastic wet wipes and, as the proposed ban is likely to come into force in early 2024, you can be sure other companies will follow suit. Of course, fully biodegradable wet wipes will still be available to buy.

Since baby wipes are something any parent or caregiver is going to reach for – multiple times a day, for a likely minimum of two years – it’s worth doing at least some rudimentary mathematics to work out what you can afford month on month.

Best baby wipes: At a glance

How to choose the best baby wipes for you and your baby

Should I buy disposable or reusable baby wipes?

Disposable wipes are by far the easier option, but there are certainly advantages to investing in reusable wipes. Firstly, the cost – yes, you’ll have to pay more upfront, but they will last for years, making reusable wipes more cost-effective overall than any of their disposable counterparts. Secondly, you’re not contributing to landfill or any potential plastic pollution.

The main downside of reusable wipes is that they need to be carefully and thoroughly washed. Many parents, despite all their best intentions, simply don’t have the time.

Do baby wipes have an impact on the environment?

As we mentioned, baby wipes cause chaos in wastewater pipes, which leads to sewage overspill. Not only this, but the wipes can generate plastic pollution as they find their way into rivers and oceans, damaging ecosystems and harming aquatic life. Even wipes that are put into the bin can take up to 100 years to disappear from landfill if they aren’t biodegradable.

It’s important to understand that there’s a certain amount of fiscal privilege required to live in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. For the most part, these items cost more, potentially a lot more, and certainly when it comes to single-use wipes. That said, with an impending wet wipe ban and there now being so many biodegradable options on the market, some at very low price points, there isn’t really an excuse not to use them. As a result, you’ll find that all of the wipes included in our roundup are biodegradable.

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How affordable are baby wipes?

It’s difficult to overstate quite how many wipes you will need on a daily, even hourly, basis. Until your child can confidently use the loo and, potentially, beyond. You will never have enough. This means that, along with nappies, you’re going to spend a small fortune on them. As we mentioned above, the most cost-effective solution overall will be the reusable wipes, while the most immediately cheapest will be the disposable wipes that can’t claim to be environmentally friendly. As with most consumables, buying in bulk or taking advantage of supermarket or subscription deals will help to bring costs down.

What if my baby has sensitive skin?

All baby skin is sensitive, but some infants are particularly susceptible to soreness and nappy rash. This can be down to a variety of factors, including diet (acid-heavy foods can cause nappy rash), tightness of nappies, and conditions such as eczema. Baby wipes can play a part in either soothing or exacerbating this, although you’ll need to consider your cleaning technique and the use of a barrier cream too.

Fragrance-free products seem to be regarded as synonymous with care, sensitivity, and purity, especially where skin is concerned. Of course, for many people, fragrance is an important part of being and feeling clean, especially when poop is involved, which is why so many parents welcome fragranced wipes. But if your baby has particularly sensitive skin, it might be worth avoiding wipes with fragrance.

You’ll also want to consider the softness and how moist the wipe is, as a rough texture or a lack of moisture can both have a negative impact on baby skin.

How easy are they to use?

Given how many times you’ll be using wipes each day, it’s really important that they’re easy to use. Does the packaging allow for quick access? And do they dispense freely? You will find that some wipes have an irritating habit of clumping together, so you either get none or seven in one go. Does the packaging have a lid? And can that lid be replaced easily and neatly?

If you’re going the reusable route, will the washing process be something that is manageable for you?

How we test baby wipes

We put wipes to the test with babies and kids of different ages, to see how well they fared. What we want from a wet wipe is something that is up to the task, so cleaning ability was important, as was robustness and flexibility – wet wipes that tear are a parent’s nemesis, after all.

We also looked at how easy it was to get the wipes out of the packet one-handed, as this can be crucial when you’re wrestling with a wriggling toddler during a nappy change. Naturally, we were big fans of wipes that came out singularly, rather than all at once in a massive wodge. Of course, we compared fragranced and unfragranced, along with how kind the wipes were to delicate young skin. And, as you might expect, we looked at brands’ eco credentials to ensure they passed muster, with minimal impact on the environment. Lastly, we factored the price into our assessment too.

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The best baby wipes to buy in 2023

1. Cheeky Wipes Premium All-in-One Kit: The best reusable baby wipes

Price when reviewed: £58 | Check price at Amazon

Opting for reusable wipes is no small undertaking, but this kit makes it as simple as it possibly can be. In this case, they’re cloth wipes and come as part of a comprehensive set, with all the components needed to wash them to a sparklingly hygienic standard.

In it are 25 wipes (you choose between cotton, organic cotton or bamboo); essential natural oil solution for both clean wipes and for dirty wipes; two storage boxes – one for fresh wipes and one for used, plus two storage bags for when you’re out. Lastly, there’s a cotton laundry bag for washing the dirty wipes in.

Everything has been considered to make this easy. If you’re worried about, well, uncontained poo being at large and not being able to toss it in the bin – there’s no need! The Mucky box is your “bin” and has a hole in the top so it’s easy to dispense of dirty wipes without any mess.

Prepping the wipes for use is also easy: you just soak them in water in the fresh container with a little bit of the relevant essential oil. You’ll have to go through a little trial and error to work out what moistness works for you.

The cotton cloths are square, which is novel but neat and so soft. It is so gratifying when you get into the rhythm of reusable wipes – not least because you’re saving money, saving the planet and using gentle materials on your little one.

2. Aqua Clean Wet Wipes: The best wipes for softness

Price when reviewed: £6.49 for 3 packs of 72 | Check price at Amazon

Biodegradable, fragranced and made without plastic, they tick all the boxes as far as environmentally friendly and skin-kind go.

These feel noticeably softer than the others, like brushed cotton, and are super light to touch. In fact, they feel almost silky. The lightness of these made them really lovely to use, while they cleaned effectively, smoothly and quickly.

Made from 99% water, they are moist but not wet and there is consistent moisture throughout the packet. They are also a little larger than the others, which is always appreciated.

3. Kit & Kin Biodegradable Baby Wipes: The best biodegradable baby wipes

Price when reviewed: £2.80 for a pack of 60 | Check price at Boots

It might sound silly, but lids are a big deal when it comes to baby wipes. This one is thick and rigid, and it won’t bunch up over time. This is important because it means you can open the packet easily with one hand, which is something of a bonus. Each wipe is interleaved carefully and precisely so you won’t get unwanted wads coming out.

The lid flap closes neatly, which is really important for keeping moisture in and bits of dirt and fluff out. The moisture was evenly distributed throughout each wipe and they’re 100% plant-based material with no nasties like parabens, chlorine or alcohol. These work hard on bottoms but are gentle enough to use on baby faces. Each wipe feels soft and moist, but they’re strong and sturdy enough not to fall apart during use.

It leaves skin feeling so fresh that there’s no doubt some mamas will borrow these for make-up removal!

Check price at Boots

4. Fred & Flo Biodegradable Fragranced Wipes: The best fragranced wipes

Price when reviewed: 65p for pack of 60 | Check price at Tesco

You might think that fragranced wipes are less likely to be good for baby or the environment, but these are proof that this simply isn’t the case.

Not only are these biodegradable and made from 100% plant-based fibres, they include extracts of healing plants such as aloe vera and camomile to help clean as well as soothe. With this said, we might not use these on a baby’s face, simply because the fragrance might literally leave a bad taste.

The smell is lovely – really fresh but in no way overpowering in a way that some chemically powered perfumes can be.

Check price at Tesco

5. Mamia Extra Sensitive Wipes: The best wipes for sensitive skin

Price when reviewed: 62p for a pack of 60 | Check price at Aldi

It’s so commendable how many benefits these wipes pack in for such a low price point. These are 100% perfume free, comprising more than 99% water, are plastic-free and gentle enough for use on newborn babies.

These felt moist and fresh – they did a great job of quickly cleaning without having to do too much wiping, and they were noticeably strong. It will take an awful lot of elbow grease to cause tearing or disintegration within the fibre. These are a great all-rounder wipe, with hands, faces and bums are all gently taken care of.

The packaging was also really lovely: lots of cheaper brands tend to have a garish design, but this packet is as simple and pure as its contents.

Check price at Aldi

6. Waterwipes: The best wipes for newborns

Price when reviewed: £2.95 for a pack of 60 | Check price at Sainsbury’s

These wipes are completely plastic free (except for the packaging, natch), which makes them a good eco-friendly choice. The fabric of the wipes is 100 percent viscose, which is a renewable, plant-based material that feels incredibly soft, and they’re also incredibly kind on newborn skin as they contain 99.9 percent purified water with just a drop of grapefruit seed extract, which purports to moisturise the skin. Waterwipes are vegan friendly and cruelty free, as you’d hope. They’re also hypoallergenic and fragrance free, and for this reason they’d be the wipe we’d use on very new skin, particularly if you’re out and about and can’t use cotton wool and water.

Under testing, they performed well – they’re easy to get out of the packet one-handed, and they didn’t tear under stress. We did find they held a lot of water – so much so that the packet sometimes leaked in our change bag, and we would advise you keep them in a water-tight bag, if you can. They’re a touch more expensive than most other disposable wipes, but you can buy them in bundles to reduce the cost-per-wipe a bit.

Check price at Sainsbury’s

7. Mama Bamboo: The best eco-friendly wipes

Price when reviewed: £7.50 for three packs of 60 | Check price at Mama Bamboo

Mama Bamboo is of the few brands on this roundup that’s Certified B. This means it’s meeting the highest ethical standards in production and materials, and we just love to see it. These wipes are made from super-soft bamboo fibre, which is not only sustainable, but also hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, meaning that, in theory, there shouldn’t be any irritation to delicate young skin. In our testing, we were impressed with how flexible and durable the wipe is, and how well it held moisture to lift even dried-on mess.

As well as 94 percent water, Mama Bamboo infuses their wipes with aloe vera and coconut extract. The intention is to make them as soothing as possible, and certainly aloe vera has healing properties, but in the strength it’s present in these wipes? We remain unconvinced, but we didn’t notice any rashes or irritation and our kids’ skin is pretty sensitive. We liked that these wipes are compostable – they will break down in three months in your compost bin – a vast improvement on sending plastic wipes to landfill.

Check price at Mama Bamboo

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