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Wool diaper covers are becoming increasingly popular among cloth diaper users, especially with “heavy wetters”.
After trying wool covers (especially at night), parents often report that they can finally enjoy leak-free nights.
Nevertheless, one thing keeps more parents from trying wool, and it’s usually the price.
Wool covers are generally significantly more expensive per item than their PUL counterparts. A wool cover usually costs around $30-35, while PUL covers range from $5-15.
But why is that?
Wool diaper covers are relatively expensive because they’re generally made of merino wool. Merino wool is more expensive than “regular” wool because it’s a lot softer and it doesn’t itch.
Read on to learn more about why merino wool covers cost more than synthetic covers and how to find cheaper wool covers so you can enjoy their advantages without breaking the bank.
Why Are Wool Diaper Covers So Expensive?
First, please note that you won’t need nearly as many wool covers as PUL covers, so the price difference won’t be as significant as you’re probably expecting.
Wool covers require much less frequent washing, so you’ll probably be OK with 4-5 daytime wool covers and two nighttime wool covers. But read more about how many wool covers you’ll need here because it depends on your baby’s age – you might be able to save some money and still enjoy wool.
Wool diaper covers are usually made of merino wool, which comes from the Merino breed of sheep.
Because it’s one of the highest quality wools in the world! It’s very soft and does not itch due to its fine fibers.
If you’re sensitive to wool, you might worry about making your baby uncomfortable using wool covers. In this case, please read this post where I went into more depth about what makes wool itchy and how to make sure you don’t buy wool covers that are more likely to itch.
So what makes the merino wool so expensive?
First of all, it’s completely natural, and it grows slowly (at least when compared to other fabrics), and that alone means it will take a long time for sheep to grow enough fleece to make a garment out of it.
Merino wool is also famous for having finer fibers than other wool, meaning it will take more than non-merino wool to make the same garment.
Ethical farming and trading also mean that the animals are treated with the best care (which costs money), and the workers involved in making wool fabric are paid fairly (source).
Obviously, there is a limited supply of merino wool, and because the demand is increasing, the costs are also increasing.
Wool quality depends on environmental conditions, like the changing weather, potential fires, and droughts in their natural habitats. If the sheep are malnourished due to lack of available food or water, or under a lot of stress, wool quality obviously won’t be the best (source).
Once the wool is processed correctly, the wool fabric or the finished merino garment must be shipped to their customers; therefore, shipping and importing costs will also be a part of the final price.
Here’s an example of the Disana brand that origins in Germany in Europe: it costs about $16 if bought in Europe, but the cheapest you can get Disana on Amazon is around $30. I’ve been using Disana for the last year and a half, and I love how soft and reliable it is. I highly recommend it if you can handle the cost.
Of course, the wool fabric also needs to be knitted into wool covers either by hand or machine, which also costs money.
How To Get Cheaper Wool Diaper Covers?
If you can’t afford new wool covers, I have a few ideas that might be worth exploring.
Upcycled Wool Covers
There are multiple sellers on Etsy that sell upcycled wool covers.
They usually take wool garments like sweaters and transform them into wool diaper covers. If you take a little time, I’m sure you can find something affordable. I found this seller who offers really nice covers and has a lot of great reviews.
Keep in mind that upcycled wool covers won’t necessarily be made of merino wool. Regular wool might cause itching and actually make your baby a bit uncomfortable.
Preloved Wool Covers
Another affordable option would be to keep an eye on the cloth diaper communities, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and local “Buy Nothing” groups for used wool cover listings.
You can get nicely preserved wool covers for a fraction of the cost of a new one. Wool covers generally outlast PUL covers anyway, so don’t be afraid to buy used ones.
Who knows, you might even get lucky and score a new wool cover that the previous owner just hadn’t found the motivation to start using.
Knit Your Own Wool Covers
If you’re at least a little bit crafty, this might be an idea worth trying.
I do not have a lot of DIY-ness in me, so it’s not something I’ve tried, but I know there are multiple free tutorials available on the internet and a lot of free designs to use for your project.
Merino fabric will cost you a bit more than regular wool, but you’ll likely still save some money by knitting your own wool covers.
Are Wool Diaper Covers Worth It?
There are a lot of parents that would consider trying wool covers if it weren’t for their high price and the fear of high maintenance.
My biased opinion is, of course, yes but read the above post where I compared the real prices found in online stores to show you how much wool covers actually cost compared to more conventional PUL covers.
If you do decide to try wool covers, you’ll also see they aren’t nearly as much work as people usually imagine – they’re actually pretty low maintenance once you get used to them because they only need to be washed and lanolized every 2-3 weeks.