Updated June 2022
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Buying guide for Best baby wipes

If you’ve ever taken care of a baby, you know how helpful baby wipes can be. In fact, even if you don’t have a resident infant in your home, a supply of baby wipes can serve you well when you need it most.

Prepackaged wipes with snap-top lids retain moisture and can serve you well when cleaning a baby bottom or another mess at home. For many, these wipes are the best way to go. But there are other choices, as well. If you’re getting ready to purchase baby wipes, you may be wondering which brand would serve you best. It’s not as simple as it may seem; there are multiple choices, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Babies are more sensitive to the chemicals found in fragrances and preservatives than adults, and what may be harmless for an adult could be the origin of a painful diaper rash for an infant. You want the best for your baby, so you'll want to carefully consider which baby wipes will work for your infant.

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A baby’s skin has a soft down on it. This increases the amount of absorbent surface area on their skin, which leads to increased problems with allergies and rashes.

Key considerations


Some people think they’re helping the environment (and their plumbing situation) by using baby wipes that are labeled as flushable. Although flushable wipes may be biodegradable, the degradation doesn’t happen instantly. These wipes are still strong enough to clog your toilet and pipes. If regular toilet paper can do that, then baby wipes, which are considerably stronger than toilet paper, can also do that.

Long story short: flushing baby wipes is undesirable. That said, you may still want to purchase biodegradable wipes. And if you purchase “flushable” wipes, we encourage you to dispose of them in the trash. 

Container size

Some baby wipes come in giant tubs with several hundred wipes in them. Potential buyers should note that the wet weight tends to make the sheets on the bottom stick together. When you get down that far, you may find yourself having to peel apart the wipes like layers of an onion. That said, a bigger tub may be convenient when you’re at home. 

When you’re traveling, a large tub of wipes can be cumbersome and unnecessary. If your baby travels with you a lot, consider purchasing a smaller travel container that you can easily slide into a coat pocket, purse, or diaper bag.


Thin baby wipes might sound like a good idea at first, but they may not be sanitary for the person using them. In many instances, you’d end up having to use two or three wipes at a time to protect yourself. At that rate, you could burn through a package in no time. Thin baby wipes also tear easily, which can be unsanitary.

Thick baby wipes are more sanitary, but they can be a problem when you’re trying to pull them out of the package. They tend to stick together or become stuck in the opening. You might pull too hard and end up pulling out too many — or tearing them to pieces. Overall, thicker baby wipes tend to be better, but be advised that you may occasionally have problems getting them out.

Sensitive skin

Babies have more sensitive skin than adults. Their skin can be irritated by almost anything. This is particularly true in the first few months and often results in a diaper rash. The fewer chemicals contained in baby wipes, the better. Alcohol of any kind, despite its cleaning power, is a known irritant.

Look for wipes that are pH balanced, meaning they’re neither too alkaline nor too acidic. The higher the water content, the better the wipes will be for your baby’s delicate skin. Purified or distilled water is best.

Some baby wipes are marketed as “hypoallergenic.” However, the Food and Drug Administration says on its website that no federal standards or definitions govern the use of this term. 

Notably, there is one allergen that seems to be cropping up in baby wipes lately. "MI" (methylisothiazolinone) is a preservative found in many water-based products: liquid soaps, laundry detergents, cosmetics, sunscreen, and baby wipes. The rash it produces has been described as the equivalent of a bad case of poison ivy.

If you or anyone in your family develops a poison ivy-like rashes, check the label of your baby wipes and related products. If MI is listed, you may be having an allergic reaction to it. Check with your doctor.


Biodegradable material

Some cotton-based baby wipes are biodegradable, but this doesn’t apply to all of them. In fact, many baby wipes are “biodegradable” only in the sense that, after thousands of years, they’ll finally break down and be gone. Until then, you should assume that most of the baby wipes you use will wind up in a landfill. 

If you really want baby wipes that break down quickly, check the information on the packaging, bearing in mind that this type of wipe is rare indeed.

Scented vs. unscented

A baby frankly doesn’t care what their bottom smells like after a changing. The scent, or lack thereof, is mainly for the adults around the baby. The only time baby wipe scent might affect a baby is if the ingredients that create the scent irritate baby’s delicate skin. Often, the only way to know this is by trial and error. Consider trying different scented and unscented wipes to see how your baby is affected. 

Liquid ingredients

Chemicals are needed in order to create the various scents that are available, help the wipes retain moisture, provide cleaning action, and sanitize. Even the purest wipes with the fewest number of chemicals may still contain up to 12% of their ingredients as cleansers, preservatives, and pH balancers. Since an infants’ skin is much thinner and more absorbent than adult skin, this could lead to allergic reactions.

Aside from MI, other problematic chemicals in baby wipes could be parabens, 3-diol, fossil fuel-based propylene glycol, and tocopheryl acetate. Any of these could trigger an allergy. The younger your baby, the more you’ll want to be on the lookout for these potential allergens.


The average size for most wipes is 8 x 7 inches. When choosing wipes, you undoubtedly want something big enough to shield your hands from the mess without being wasteful. 


Baby wipes aren’t woven fabrics like shirts or blue jeans. They are a loose mass of fibers pressed together to form a single sheet of material. The process squeezes the fibers together to create a sheet that is soft but relatively weak compared to woven sheets of the same fibers and thickness.

Like all manufactured products, baby wipes are put through a series of quality control tests at the factory, including strength tests. All baby wipes have to meet uniform requirements known as tear-strength, but each manufacturer will have its own standards.

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Did you know?
Baby wipes make up an estimated 30% of all non-biodegradable landfill content.

Baby wipe prices

The box price on baby wipes is one thing, but if you really want to figure out the cost, you need to do some math. Divide the price by the number of wipes in the container. This gives you the real price per individual wipe.

  • The low price range is around $0.02/wipe.
  • The medium price range is from $0.02/wipe to about $0.04/wipe.
  • The high price range is anything over $0.04/wipe on up to $0.05 or $0.06/wipe.

Unlike other products, the price of baby wipes rarely has much to do with quality or usability. It mainly comes down to a matter of personal taste.


  • Some snap-top lids don’t always lock unless you press hard. If you don’t close them properly, the wipes will dry out and become scratchy and irritating.

  • Baby wipes are wonderful for cleaning high chair trays and grubby little hands and faces after a meal.

  • You’ll probably use about 30 wipes per day per baby, which means baby wipes are something you’ll want to stock up on. You probably already know this, but you don’t want to run out at the worst possible time!

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The last few wipes in each pouch will always be the wettest because of the moisture settling to the bottom of the pouch. They might even be dripping wet.


Q. What are the best wipes for newborns?

A. Newborn babies have super-sensitive skin. Any chemicals or essential oils could be irritating to them. For the first few months, use wipes that are as close to 100% water-based as possible.

Q. Could I be allergic to wipes that my baby isn’t allergic to?

A. Absolutely. Your baby could easily be immune to things that you’re allergic to, and vice versa. Don’t keep using a particular brand if they cause itchiness or redness on your hands. Find a brand that’s safe for both of you.

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