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Cloth review - Mamia by Aldi

When I saw that Aldi had brought out their own reusable nappy under their Mamia brand for £4.99, my interest was piqued. At last! A large supermarket had seen value in producing a cloth nappy, even if seemingly only as part of their baby and toddler “season”. It comes in 3 very nice prints; stars, lions and woodland. Sometimes cloth nappy prints can be either “too plain” or “too busy”, but the gentle colourways were very appealing. Considering that reusable nappies are meant to reduce single use plastics, it was a little disappointing that the nappies came wrapped in non-recyclable film.

So, onto the nappy itself. It’s a one size (or birth to potty) all in one (AIO) and goes down reasonably small, but still not to newborn size. This is fairly standard for BTP nappies. The rise is adjusted with poppers and the waistband uses some very sturdy Velcro. What’s unusual about this nappy is that, instead of the velcro tabs being able to wrap on top of one another to take the waist size down small, there are poppers at the hips. I didn’t get to test this but poppers usually hold well. There may be a comfort issue with fabric bunching at the hips for rolling babies, however, but I suspect minimal risk.

The outer material is a very soft PUL. Inside the nappy is lined with a polyester layer and has a microfibre insert for absorption, sewn in at one end and Velcro at the other. This allows the insert to lift away from the nappy for drying. The drying time on a clothes horse indoors was about 24hrs. At its low price point, microfibre is probably the only material within budget. Microfibre is thirsty and features in a lot of nappy inserts. Where this nappy falls down (and it’s a major falldown) is that the microfibre has been left exposed without a protective wicking layer on top. This is a BIG NO NO. Microfibre is NOT suitable directly against a baby’s skin – rashes abound!! As a single unit used as sold this nappy is, sadly, not fit for purpose. It’s not a deal-breaker as most people use some form of liner. I don’t think a disposable paper-style liner would be good enough as they bunch up easily (especially when wet) and could leave skin in contact with the microfibre. A fleece (or microfleece) material liner would be best.


There’s a simple hack that saves the day. Remember the polyester inner lining I mentioned? Cut a slit in this (obviously being very careful not to nick the outer PUL!) above the sewn join with the insert. This will allow you to tuck the microfibre in between the lining and the PUL like a pocket nappy.

NOW we’re back on track! I would still suggest a liner because the polyester doesn’t feel like it would wick moisture away from skin that well, so baby would feel wet skin when they wee, but the potential rash disaster has been averted if you don’t use a liner. Phew!

The nappy isn’t bulky and wears quite snugly. The leg elastics are strong and soft to give good containment without pulling at skin. I had concerns as microfibre can be known for compression leaks (i.e. if baby wees when sitting on it, the microfibre struggles to absorb). I must admit to being pleasantly surprised when I road-tested this. The containment was excellent over a 3-hour period. I didn’t want to leave any longer on a test run. Good job, too - my son did a wee and sneaked a poo in. I didn’t realise it was there until I changed him.

This made me wonder if I could use the nappy overnight for my eldest, who is largely dry at night but occasionally wets. She’s nearly 3 but very tall for her age. The nappy fit her fine. I wondered if someone coming to the end of nappy use could pick a few of these up to ditch single use night nappies. Alas, it didn’t stand up to that test and leaked. If I slipped in a highly absorbent booster to counteract the compression leak issue, perhaps, but this negates my hope for a direct switch from single use with no extras required.

The overall impression I get from this nappy is that the team designing it did their research into existing cloth nappies but didn’t fully understand what they were doing. Exposed microfibre is a big error, but fortunately easily hacked. I feel this nappy would work for families already using cloth as a cheap stash-builder. When hacked and used with a liner, it’s a decent daytime nappy. What I like most, however, is that it represents a large supermarket taking interest and making efforts to bring cloth nappies to an easily accessible price point for all. This is a good thing, but Mamia need to do some work before their cloth nappy is a finished product in its own right.

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14 jul 2022

Great review - I purchased two to test and the design appears to have changed. It seems they may have listened to feedback as they have now cut a pocket into for the insert to go!

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