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How Do Alva Baby Cloth Diapers Hold Up Over Time?

Alva Baby #clothdiapers - How do they hold up long term - via @chgdiapers

I was curious about how Alva Baby cloth diapers compared to other diapers that are also made in China and appear identical, but cost much more.

So, I bought one, posted photos of it, and have been washing it constantly for the past 5 months. Even if it hadn’t been used, I threw it in with every load of diapers I washed, and I also dried it in the dryer every time, while I typically hang my diapers to dry. Despite the instructions not to exceed 95 degrees F, I haven’t had any damage or delamination of the PUL.

Alva-Baby-clothdiapers-via-chgdiapers-9-insert_thumb alva baby #clothdiapers after 4 months insert

However, I only bought/tested one diaper. Had I done this with two dozen, 23 may have been damaged, I really don’t know.

Alva-Baby-clothdiapers-via-chgdiapers-6-inner_thumb valva baby #clothdiapers after 4 months inner

The disappointing thing was how quickly the design washed away. The Mickey design was embossed in the minky and colored red, which disappeared in just a few washes.

Alva-Baby-clothdiapers-via-chgdiapers-5-rise-snaps_thumb alva baby #clothdiapers after 4 months
alva baby #clothdiapers after 4 months pattern

No judgement or commentary on what diapers anyone chooses to purchase, I just wanted to share my findings. :-)


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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her toddler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
41 Comments
  • Paula
    April 11, 2015 at 8:31 pm
    Reply

    I have had my 24 alvas for about 2.5 years and I loved them. I had broken a few snaps, but they were easily fixed. They fit my baby great after about 12lbs. They never delaminted or had really relaxed elastic. They were also more resistant to staining than my other diapers. No pilling on the lining. I used charcoal bamboo inserts, or whatever else I could fold up and stuff in them. Toward the end they leaked, but I attribute that more to my 3yo holding his pee for so long before flooding the diaper. They held in EBF poo way better than disposables. They were all in really great shape, so I passed them on to a new mama. I have no doubt I could have sold them for at least what I paid for them.

    • April 11, 2015 at 9:13 pm
      Reply

      Sounds like you made a good investment! :-)

  • Alicia
    February 12, 2015 at 1:29 am
    Reply

    Thanks for your sharing. I want to purchase some Alvas from co-op, could you please tell me more info about co-op? Thanks.

  • Christine
    December 2, 2014 at 9:00 am
    Reply

    Thann you for your honest opinion & all the advice in the comments! I have been using detergent sold on etsy &
    it’s been great & cheap! http://www.etsy.com/shop/greensheepsudz
    It has a wee bit of tea tree essential oil in it that works great. I’ve also heard free & clear detergents work great too!

  • Sarah
    November 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm
    Reply

    We have a stash of 32 Alvas that we have used for 16 months. I had 3 of them delaminate within the first 3 months, so Amazon replaced them for free. Today, I had 3 more that were delaminated after washing, and had to be pitched. We have had some issues with leaks, as the microfiber inserts they come with have thinned with age. I am now layering a 4 ply bamboo fleece on top of the microfiber for daytime, and using one bamboo and one hemp at night. This has pretty much stopped the leaks in their tracks, as long as I change her every 2 hours or so. We have had the stinkies too lately, so I’ve been doing a pre-rinse cycle and then soaking them overnight in Rockin’ Green ammonia bouncer, plus a 50/50 mix of washing soda and borax. It has helped a lot, but there is still a faint smell sometimes.

    • November 10, 2014 at 7:36 pm
      Reply

      Sounds like you’ve gotten your money’s worth! Hemp is fantastic for heavy wetters. What detergent are you using and how much? You might consider switching up your detergent or wash routine.

  • Lyndsey
    June 26, 2014 at 2:06 am
    Reply

    I’m new to the whole cloth diaper scene. I’m due any day with my first baby, and I just got my first order of alva baby diapers. A lot of you ladies have listed great advice. I’m just curious on what some of you mean by your diapers getting delaminated. Just so I know what to watch out for.

    • June 26, 2014 at 7:48 am
      Reply

      The diapers are waterproofed by applying a film to the outer. If they delaminate, you’ll see big bubbles or sections where the film has detatched. Hope that helps!

      • Klecia
        July 12, 2014 at 3:23 am
        Reply

        You’ll see it inside the pocket.

  • Lacy
    June 19, 2014 at 2:49 am
    Reply

    hi I was wondering how they fit on a chubby legged baby my 13 month old daughter isn’t fitting in her
    Kawaii bamboo minky

    • June 19, 2014 at 7:12 am
      Reply

      My little ones are slender so I’m not sure. It would be a great question to ask other moms on my Facebook page!

  • Tarah
    June 18, 2014 at 12:56 pm
    Reply

    I have to say that I am new to cloth diapering. I bought several Alva Baby diapers for my first son and he refused to wear them. So I recently started with my second son. I went to far as to buy the same exact print from several retailers, from Alva Baby to the boutiques who charge twice as much for the same print, because people who had never used Alva Baby tried to tell me that the boutique diapers were much higher quality. I found them all to be identical, except with different logos sewn onto them. I can not tell any difference and I never reach for one over the other. I was mine and then dry them all on low heat and I have not had any problems yet. I am sure some handmade diapers that cost more are high quality. But I found the ones that are the same print (I bought the Spiderman looking print) are really all the same. So far we have no damage problems, no leaking (I usually only use one insert) and they have just been overall incredibly easy to use. I wish I had started cloth diapering sooner and I thank Alva Baby for making the diapers so easily accessible or I probably never would have tried it.

  • Chasity-83
    April 2, 2014 at 2:53 pm
    Reply

    Hi I’m new to this and was wondering is it ok to use the one size diapers on a newborn or should I buy up a newborn stash? I am thinking of using the alvas as they are cheep and seem to have good reviews.

    • April 2, 2014 at 3:16 pm
      Reply

      People seem to have mixed results with these inexpensive diapers. I recommend buying quality diapers from a reputable retailer – some have “test drive” periods so you can see what you like best. One-size diapers don’t typically fit well until 8-10 pounds so you may need newborn diapers if you have smaller babies. Several shops offer newborn rentals!

    • Willow
      April 10, 2014 at 4:01 pm
      Reply

      I bought 30 newborns from Alva 10 have delaminated around the waist we put in a complaint and we will see what they say:( I only used them a month and now they are almost to small on my 10 lbs baby. I previously used Gogreen champs which were from the same manufacturer but their website is empty of product. I had no problem with Gogreen.

  • Amanda
    February 20, 2014 at 12:24 am
    Reply

    We’ve been using the same Alva diapers (20 of them) since my son’s birth 23 months ago. We just now ordered some more to put off our washing cycles another day or so. Our Alva diapers are in great condition after all this time. I wash them every 2-3 days in a hot cycle without soap, then a wash cycle in hot, with soap and an extra rinse, then dry on high heat.I highly recommend these cloth diapers for anyone who cloth diapers on a budget! My 23 month old is 27lbs and wears the diapers on the medium snaps.

    • February 20, 2014 at 8:34 am
      Reply

      I was just thinking about this post this morning. Too funny! Thanks for your feedback!

    • Stephanie Trout
      January 13, 2015 at 10:54 pm
      Reply

      Hi! I”m genuinely curious. The high heat doesn’t cause problems with the PUL? I have found some leakage around some of my color snap diapers around the legs and am wondering if i need to use dryer instead of line dry…

      • January 14, 2015 at 8:51 am
        Reply

        My goal with this post was to really put the diaper through the wringer and see what happened. I do not dry any of my other shells/diapers on high (only inserts) but this did fine. I think it becomes a real issue when you either stretch the elastic while still hot, or if a diaper gets stuck somewhere in the dryer vs. tumbling freely.

        The above poster isn’t the only person I’ve heard to dry everything on high for a long period of time with no issues!

        To have really done this experiment properly I should have bought a dozen diapers (I didn’t want to spend that much money on diapers I don’t actually want) because feedback I’ve heard is that it is really a shot in the dark as to whether these inexpensive diapers will work fantastically or delaminate immediately. People seem to get a really mixed bag.

  • Sheryn
    December 14, 2013 at 12:09 am
    Reply

    Man! I’m really getting disheartened with my alvas. I bought 20 colored snap diapers and I have had to return 10 already because they completely delaminated and that was only after four months. now not even 6 months old the other 8 have tiny little holes. They leak so bad my sitter refuses to use them so now I have to buy disposables. They are telling me the pull looks fine in the photos. What a waist of money. Only 2 work. And I’m very gentle, soak over night in rock n green wash in cold n line dry every time. ….. :(

    • January 2, 2014 at 10:46 pm
      Reply

      Oh no. :-( I’ve heard they are pretty good at replacing them, I’m sorry you’re stuck with ones that are bad.

  • Amanda
    October 3, 2013 at 10:37 am
    Reply

    I love my alvas. And they do have a guarantee! If a snap breaks or if the diapers start to fall apart or delaminate, they’ll send you a replacement! All they ask for is a picture of the diaper. I had an issue with my pail liner bag and my sister in law had issues with 5 of her diapers. We sent in pics of the problems, and they sent us out replacements free of charge. They answered in less than 24 hours as well. They have great customer service. :)

  • Dayna
    August 12, 2013 at 11:28 am
    Reply

    I personally have this diaper and have washed it plenty of times. I wash on warm and line dry and have not noticed the design fading at all. That’s very strange that this happened to you. Also I’m curious with you washing it on such high heat how did the pul hold up?

    • August 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm
      Reply

      The diaper was absolutely perfect aside from the faded embossing on the minky!

      • Melissa
        September 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm
        Reply

        Hi,
        I am having trouble getting the ammonia smell from urine out of my liners and am using vinegar in the rinse cycle to try to combat this. My kids wake up in the morning with red skin under the diaper. I change them in the middle of the night too. I am rinsing them with warm water, then putting vinegar in the second rinse cycle and then washing them on warm with ERA detergent and more vinegar for the rinse cycle. My husband read that ammonia is a base and you need an acid like vinegar to neutralize the ammonia from the urine. Aside from buying the more expensive cloth diapering detergent, do you have any suggestions?

        • September 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm
          Reply

          How much detergent are you using? Vinegar can do more harm than good in harder water. Personally, I’d start by upping the amount of detergent you’re using. Use at least as much as you’d use for a similar size load of clothing. Add extra rinses if you are seeing lots of bubbles in the rinse cycle. I also recommend washing on hot (carefully follow mfr instructions, I’m not responsible for damage to your diapers.)

          • Angela
            May 6, 2014 at 11:03 am

            Could be the vinegar giving LO redness. I was making my own wipes and would add just a tiny bit of vinegar to them. Made my LO breakout. Took that out and haven’t had a problem since

        • Klecia
          July 12, 2014 at 3:16 am
          Reply

          Use raw silk liners (I got mine off etsy for a good price). I have a variety of nappies in my stash – it didn’t matter what I used, my toddler got ammonia burn overnight (I tried microsuede, microfleece, bamboo, organic cotton). But I found with the microsuede (usually an alva colored snap) with a raw silk liner on top solved the problem. You must hand wash the raw silk liners in warm water and woolwash so the wax doesn’t wash off too soon, but this was not that difficult for us at all.

    • Jakkii
      November 17, 2014 at 2:43 pm
      Reply

      You’ll find that if you machine dry any embossed material over time the embossing will fade or peel off. Best bet is to hang them on the line if you want the pattern to last

  • Julie
    March 4, 2013 at 3:59 am
    Reply

    I have several Alvas. Some I bought in a co-op and others I won in giveaways. The ones I won were mainly re-branded Alvas. I think I have about 16 total. They are holding up pretty well. My absolute favorite Alvas are the bamboo. They’re so trim and cute. The ones I like the least are the color snap. They’re really bulky and difficult to find the right snaps to use because of the funky fit. Plus one of the snap-in soakers’ snaps broke. :/ I want to mention that with my co-op order I also ordered two wet bags. One of the zippers broke immediately. Thankfully it was for the extra pocket that I don’t use anyway. I’ve had a few leaks with them but I threw them in the dryer for 20 minutes and the leaks sealed right up no problem. Normally I hang them on the line to dry. The basic Alvas are my husbands absolute favorite. Overall they do perform well. I’ve had more trouble with my few GroVias than my Alvas. I’m really disappointed that I finally got to splurge on expensive diapers and I reach for the Alvas more often. Oh well, at least I saved money overall and many of the Alva prints are very cute. I think if I had to do it again I wouldn’t do the co-op. I’d buy the Alvas directly from a WAHM that sells for a good price. I won a couple of Lovely Pocket Diapers and they’re nice. The Raves are re-labeled Alvas and they’re designed like the color snap but with a much better fit. I think like any other diaper it’s hit and miss. I don’t think I have any brand of diaper that doesn’t have one flaw or other. IMO Alvas are fine. They perform just as well as everything but my itti bittis. Nothing comes close to itti bittis.lol. Alvas are a good way to stretch your dollar especially for those of us who have to watch every penny. :)

    • Alicia
      February 12, 2015 at 1:32 am
      Reply

      Hi, Julie. I want to purchase some diapers from co-op, too. Where can I find it and what’s the price? Thanks.

      • Julie
        February 16, 2015 at 12:32 am
        Reply

        Alicia, I bought my Alvas through a local facebook cloth diaper page. One of the ladies there organized the co-op so unfortunately, I can’t help you with that since the group was only for people local to my area.

  • February 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for the update. I have not {yet} purchased an Alva, but would be open to purchasing a few.

  • Raquel Beaty
    February 5, 2013 at 7:56 pm
    Reply

    I have a few Alvas and I have to say they have held up just as well (or in some cases better) than some of my more expensive diapers. I have had them for 2 years now, and I have had to replace elastic on a few of them (and I think almost everyone has been sewn in a different way, some easier than others :-P) but I have also had to replace elastics on other “expensive” diapers I have had for the same amount (or less) time, so it’s just something that isn’t going to last forever. I also use the dryer more often than not, especially in the winter, and my water is probably a bit hotter than recommended, so I “abuse” the poor things and they still perform! :-)

  • Beth
    February 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm
    Reply

    To be fair, embossed fabric usually wears over time, not just on diapers, but embossed fabrics in general. I made my son a blanket with embossed dog paws, and the sales lady at the fabric store informed me that over time embossing will fade.
    I don’t personally own any alvas (I make my own diapers) but I have no problem with “cheep” diapers. I have friends who have bought cheep ebay diapers and have had no problems with them at all, no they are not as well constructed as my diapers, yes, doing any maintenance on them is much harder (ie replacing elastic) but when it comes to doing diapers for cheep, sometimes you just have to take what you can get, especially if you are unable to make your own and don’t participate in co-ops to lessen the prices.

  • Amanda
    February 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm
    Reply

    I have a lot of alvas in my stash since they were my best financial option to test out and see if i even liked cding at the time. Ive been using them regularly for the past 9 months, washing every 2-3 days, with approx 20 in my stash of 40 dipes now. I havent had one delam on me either and i machine dry mine on low. The few minky alvas I have have all faded like this diaper and I notice wicking to the legs almost all the time with them. Their reg pul diapers I havent had any issues with and love them. They hold up over night well and the suedecloth still doesnt have any stains either.

  • Chrissy
    February 5, 2013 at 11:58 am
    Reply

    I had a stash of about a 18 Alvas for daytime use to share between my two boys, because personally, I could not afford to spend $20 per diaper for 2 children. I used 2 inserts each and never had problems. I did not use them at night because my guys wet so much during the night.

    I also had about 35 diapers total to share between them, so my Alvas got quite a bit of washing. Not a single one suffered from delamination or fell apart, didn’t wick, and are still being used today after a couple years of use. I do not have any of the embossed ones though, so I could not confirm the fading issues.

  • February 5, 2013 at 11:41 am
    Reply

    I have three alvas. One I won in a giveaway, two I bought because I couldn’t resist the prints. I almost never reach for them. If the inner was fleece instead of suedecloth I might grab them more often, but it’s not super soft inside. They seem to fit well, but I do tend to get a little wicking around the rise snaps. If you’re really needing to spend very little they’d be a good option, but I wouldn’t personally make up my whole stash of them. =)

  • Brooke B
    February 5, 2013 at 11:24 am
    Reply

    I have a few Alva diapers that I bought through a co-op. They have been used in constant rotation and washed every 2-3 days for 5 months also. I have not had the fading issue and mine are still in near perfect condition (minus interior staining). I would nor say they are my favorite diaper but they are definitely a great economical option and I would buy them again.

    • Brooke B.
      February 5, 2013 at 11:50 am
      Reply

      I should also mention that I do not typically dry mine in the dryer (except to fluff up a bit sometimes after hanging dry). I think the major thing with buying diapers that are this inexpensive is consistency in quality. While one family may have a great experience with these, another may have a totally horrible one. To my knowledge, there is no quality guarantee with these and if you have a problem, customer service may be an issue.

      • Breanna
        July 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm
        Reply

        Actually, alva baby has a lifetime warranty. Also, they replied to my emails within several hours rather than days or weeks. We are VERY pleased with the company along with the quality of the diapers.

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