Even before the pandemic, cloth diapers have been one of those things you most often buy online, even if you’re lucky enough to have a local shop that carries a brand or two. This created the longstanding cloth diaper community craze that is, “fluff mail.”
Fluff mail is any package of cloth diapers or cloth diaper accessories delivered in the mail (or courier). For some reason it’s incredibly exciting and satisfying to get fluff mail and share it with your fellow cloth diaper friends, who understand that excitement. Visit any cloth diaper Facebook group and you’ll see pictures of fluff mail in the feed, guaranteed.
With the community obsession around fluff mail, it’s no wonder some moms have been asking for cloth diaper subscription boxes for a long while, but it’s only now that we’re starting to see some good ones pop up.
Ashlee Davis, a member of the Cloth Diapers for Beginners community and a cloth diaper subscription box subscriber, began her Bungies Diapers subscription box before her daughter could even fit into them. When I asked Ashlee when she thought she might cancel her subscription she said, “Umm. Let’s not talk about not getting new butts every month….Maybe never? LOL.”
It’s the fluff mail excitement that’s convinced me that monthly cloth diaper subscription boxes are going to become the next big thing in cloth diapers, and so I thought it’s a good time to give you some information on what they are, what to look for when choosing one, and what subscriptions are available.
Disclosure: Content created thanks to a paid partnership with Bungies diapers.
What Are Monthly Cloth Diaper Subscriptions and How Are They Different From Cloth Diaper Services?
First, it’s important to note that a monthly cloth diaper subscription box is not the same as a cloth diaper service subscription.
A cloth diaper service is a company that will deliver to you clean, often used, diapers every week or few weeks and then pick them back up the following week soiled. The cloth diaper service does all the laundering and folding for you, but they own the diapers, you’re just renting their use. Often cloth diaper services use prefold diapers (as they are easier to clean, especially in huge quantities) and make you purchase your own diaper covers, which they may or may not launder for you.
Cloth diaper subscription boxes, however, deliver brand new diapers to you every month, that you then own. You’re responsible for their washing and care, just as you are when purchasing diapers from a regular retailer. Subscription boxes most often deliver pocket diapers (of varying quality) in cute new prints every month.
How Does a Monthly Cloth Diaper Subscription Box Work?
If you’re wondering exactly how a monthly cloth diaper subscription would work, it’s much the same as any subscription service, like a men’s razor of the month club, or even a magazine. You set it up under a credit card, and each month you’re sent a new diaper (or diapers and accessories, depending on the subscription you’re opting-in for).
Just like a magazine subscription you’ll keep being charged and keep receiving diapers until you cancel your subscription. Usually there is a deadline to cancel each month to avoid being charged and shipped that month’s subscription box.
Can You Sign Up for Multiple Subscriptions?
If you’re diapering twins or more than one baby you may be wondering if one subscription is the maximum, but I did learn that some cloth diaper subscription box subscribers do get multiple subscriptions at the same time.
“I have a few customers that have two subscriptions,” Ysora Waugh, the owner of Bungies Diapers, a monthly cloth diaper subscription box, confirmed. “I know of one specific customer who signed up for herself and her sister. It’s actually the cutest story, both sisters delivered their babies the same day and minutes apart in the same hospital!”
Is a Monthly Cloth Diaper Subscription Worth It?
So, now that we know how it works, is a monthly cloth diaper subscription box commitment worth it?
As with any purchase, everyone will have their own needs to consider, but for many folks a cloth diaper subscription box is worth it because the model gives the subscription box seller a guaranteed quantity of sales, which for good boxes means the quality of diapers offered can be a bit better, while the price can be kept low.
As Ysora explained, “My main goal when starting Bungies was developing a cloth diaper that encompassed everything I loved while still ensuring [I was able] to keep the price down. The subscription model assists a bit in being able to offer the low prices. Keeping to our promise and bringing to market a quality cloth diaper that won’t break the bank is most important of all.”
Here’s a quick list of benefits and drawbacks to a cloth diaper subscription box for you to think about when considering if it’s the right choice for you and your needs:
- Let’s you build up your cloth diaper stash slowly, stretching out that initial upfront cost
- Better pricing and/or quality of diapers for the money, thanks to benefits of the subscription model
- Gives you that fluff mail excitement every month!
- Adorable new prints, and/or seasonal prints that no one else has yet delivered monthly (Depending on the box, see below) Your cloth diaper stash will be cohesive
- Very giftable for those who don’t know much about cloth diapers (Put it on your universal registry, like myregistry.com)
- Less resistance from partners who are less on-board with multiple cloth diaper purchases
- Don’t get to pick and choose every print
- Takes a while to build a full stash of diapers if not starting with a small lot already
- Not a lot of options yet (More on that below)
How to Choose a Monthly Cloth Diaper Subscription Box
When it comes to choosing a specific cloth diaper subscription box, there are a few more things to consider when it comes to your purchase than when buying from a regular retailers, including:
- Does the subscription box give clear subscription terms?
- Does the subscription box have easy to use subscription management tools or is it difficult to make changes to / cancel your subscription?
- Does the subscription box offer good quality products?
- Does the subscription box offer their own products, or are they offering multiple brands?
It’s pretty clear why you’d want to know the first three points above, but why am I bringing up a single brand vs. multiple brands? Here’s why, a subscription box that’s offering their own brand of products made just for that subscription box will be able to offer good quality products and/or lower pricing on their products because of the subscription model they are working within.
On the other hand, a subscription box that gathers multiple brands together to offer new products every month, is working with those brands to get a deal on their made-for-retailer products. That means what you’ll get is usually discontinued products that didn’t sell at retail, or products made for the subscription box as a one-off, which are usually of lesser quality than the regular products that the original brand would offer because the brand is not set up to manufacture under those cheaper subscription model prices.
Best Cloth Diaper Subscription Boxes
At the time of publishing this article, my job in choosing the best cloth diaper subscriptions out there for you is REALLY easy for two reasons:
- There’s only one available; and
- It’s awesome!
Currently, the only monthly cloth diaper subscription box is Bungies Diapers. I’ve written a full, in-depth review of their diapers, which you can read here, or watch on YouTube here, but suffice it to say they were the very first diaper to get a five-star rating from Cloth Diapers for Beginners.
As more cloth diaper subscriptions become available I’ll add them here, but for now, let’s take a look at the one that is, Bungies diapers, so we can get a better understanding of why it’s working while others have failed in the past (and I’ll get more into the failed ones in a bit).
Bungies Diapers was started in December 2019 as an Etsy store selling individual diapers with, but Ysora, the owner of Bungies Diapers, said the ultimate goal in her mind was always to begin the monthly Bungies subscription box by May 2020, which she did.
Ysora explained that she was always a fan of subscription boxes herself, and belonged to more than she wants to admit to.
“I love surprise mail and love the idea of giving up a little control and being forced to try something that I traditionally wouldn’t have purchased. My favorite subscription is Decocrated. It’s a quarterly home décor box that sends me a slew of goodies influenced by the season. I am also signed up for the Ipsy makeup subscription, Pura Vida Bracelet subscription and KiwiClub, and Nike Adventure club for my kids.” she said.
But, despite her love for subscription boxes, there weren’t really solid cloth diaper options available.
Cloth Diaper Subscription Boxes Barely There
As I’ve learned while scouring the web for traces of other cloth diaper subscription boxes, there have been a few in the past, but not many of note. One, called Cotton Booty, delivered one diaper and cloth diaper accessories every month, offering different brands and types of accessories at random. Cotton Booty seems to have died off in 2018. Cotton Babies (the BumGenius maker) offered a monthly subscription briefly as well in 2017, delivering one “collector’s club” BumGenius diaper per month in a new print, but that seems to have lasted for only eight months.
Keep in mind that I’m no business expert, but if I had to guess, their failure was probably due to the fact that either they were trying to offer multiple brands, meaning they had to somehow score cheap products from cloth diaper brands every month (and as I discussed above, that means crummy product offerings), or doing something outside of their usual, very different, business.
That’s part of why I’m so excited to be seeing monthly cloth diaper subscription boxes like Bungies, who only does cloth diaper subscriptions of their own brand, finally emerging.
I asked Ysora why she decided to jump into a subscription box model given the lack of proof-of-concept.
“When I decided to start Bungies, I knew from the get-go that I did not want to just have a large storefront with hundreds of different diapers. I really wanted to focus on seasonal patterns. There were no other subscriptions that achieved this,” Ysora explained. “I wanted to bring a little bit of fun and lightheartedness to the poopiest job as a parent and what better way than with seasonal fluff!”
Ysora definitely did that, one look at her past subscriptions will give you a sense of her amazing ability to choose perfectly unisex but still adorable prints. It’s clear people love her choices because old prints don’t last in the store long.
“Choosing the prints for each month is the best part of running Bungies. I normally see something that sparks an idea and I fine tune it from there. For example, the October Monthly Bungies was inspired by our own black cat, Binx.” Ysora explained. “Our May print which was inspired by Mother’s Day and was also our ‘debut’ print sold out after three months. It featured a sweet momma sloth holding her babe. We had just launched the subscription and sold quite a bit through the store. Our September print “Forest Friends” sold out by the end of September.”
Quality Becoming the New Standard
Prints aren’t the only thing Bungies has going for it of course, it is their quality covers and very high quality inserts for the price that earned them our five star review.
Ysora is a cloth diaper mom herself and wanted to create a diaper that would hold up based on what she learned first-hand.
“The reason we started cloth diapering was because my daughter was a super heavy wetter. We couldn’t make it past 3 a.m. without her waking up drenched. We also suffered with many diaper rashes so microfiber was out of the question,” she explained. “Struggling to place inserts through one pocket opening was also a huge point of frustration for us, as well as the inserts wiggling around. I used all those points of contention to make Bungies what it is today.”
Bungies always comes with two natural fiber inserts, the inserts have a snap on them to keep them in place and snap unto each other for extra absorbency. The inside of the diaper also has a snap so you can snap the inserts directly to the diaper and prevent them from shifting around.
Again, you can check out our full review here to read about all the other details that make Bungies diapers so good, like double pocket openings, really good suede cloth lining, etc., but suffice it to say that quality was top of mind for Ysora, and she continues to make improvements to Bungies based on customer feedback.
The most recent improvement was a second subscription option. Prior the October 2020 subscription, all Bungies subscriptions came with one diaper (including the two natural fiber inserts) and a matching wet bag. But beginning in October, Bungies subscribers got a second option.
“I love wetbags. I use them for everything. Dirty diapers, clean diapers, bathing suits, change of clothes, toys and snacks. However, after listening to what our customers had to say, I realized we weren’t being flexible enough with the options. I decided to introduce a second subscription option which features a seasonally inspired diaper, a coordinating solid colored diaper and a total of four natural fiber inserts,” Ysora explained. “The best part was working out a way with our billing system where the customer had complete control. The customer can swap between subscriptions, pause or skip months all on their own through the account portal.”
Ashlee was one of the about 30% of subscribers that switched her subscription when she was given the option.
“If they hadn’t offered the new option, I would have canceled after my October order came in,” she said. Ashlee now has no current plan to cancel.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bungies subscription options, you can check out their website here, or read our recent review of their diapers here.
Special note: Bungies diapers was kind enough to offer us a special coupon. It’s not an affiliate offer or anything, they just offered to give Cloth Diapers for Beginners readers 15% off their first purchase with the CDFB15.
To use the coupon, just enter it when making a purchase on Bungies.com:
Monthly cloth diaper subscription boxes deliver brand new diapers, most often pocket diapers in cute new prints, to their subscribers every month, much like a magazine subscription.
Now that really good diaper subscription boxes, like Bungies, are popping up, I predict that they will soon be really big in the cloth diaper community. No cloth diaper parent can resist the allure of new fluff mail every month, especially in this time when budgets matter, and online deliveries are the norm.
I’m really excited by cloth diaper subscription boxes, and can’t wait to see how they continue to evolve, especially as I’m sure other companies will want to piggyback on the success and awesome quality of Bungies diapers. The only question is, will they be able to?
Keep checking back here for updates!