This Alva Baby pocket diapers review contains affiliate links which means I may make a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking one of my links.
Many families choose to use cloth diapers as a way to save money. While almost any style of cloth diaper will save you money in the long run, they can be a big upfront investment. Many families are nervous about spending all that money at once.
For families that need to find the most economical way of cloth diapering, inexpensive, made-in-China diapers are a popular choice. Alva Baby pocket diapers are one of the most tried and true “cheapie” brands.
Depending on who you talk to, there are a lot of strong opinions about “China Cheapies.” Some people buy up an entire stash of cheapies and think people who opt for the more expensive brands are ridiculous and wasting money.
Others feel there are ethical concerns with cheap diaper manufacturing, like possible safety issues with the diapers (like lead contamination) and unfair labor practices in the factories.
Let’s look at Alva Baby pockets from all angles to help you decide if they’re a good brand of diaper for your family.
Style and Fit
The style and fit of this pocket is very similar to BumGenius (BG) 4.0/5.0s, but it does have some key differences. It has an outer layer of TPU, and an inner layer made from microsuede. The pocket opening is right at the back edge of the diaper, which is a little different from BGs (BGs have a flap at the back).
The wings on the diapers are designed in a way that helps you get a tight and accurate fit, and it is maybe even a little better than BG in that regard.
Alva’s come with one microfiber insert, but on the Alva baby website, you can upgrade insert materials for a bit of extra money.
They come in one-size and newborn sizes. I’ll say right now I do not recommend the newborn size for reasons mentioned here.
I know some people love them, but unless you have very, very tiny hands, it is incredibly difficult to stuff the newborn size. There are other reasonably priced newborn options that are less frustrating.
The one-size diapers are much easier to use, and they work comparably to many other pocket brands.
According to Alva Baby’s website, the outer waterproof material is TPU and the inner liner is suede. It comes with a microfiber insert, but you can get upgraded inserts made from bamboo or charcoal bamboo for an extra cost.
You can get the pocket diaper in solid colors or prints. The prints cost about $1-2 more per diaper. Their print selection is growing all the time and there are many to choose from!
Here I will share my personal experience with the quality of Alva diapers. I have had other cloth diapering moms completely disagree with me, but all I have is my experience to go off of (and I have a lot of experience with Alvas!)
First of all, I can get a great fit with my Alva diapers and they never leak. The functionality of the diapers is awesome!
However, I did have issues with seams coming undone on my Alvas, starting with a few diapers after about 6 months of use, and eventually every single Alva I owned after 12 months of use. Clearly, the craftsmanship is not as great on these diapers as other brands (my bumGenius diapers haven’t had a single seam come undone in 5 years of use! I will say that Alva elastic is better than bumGenius elastic, though).
I have had people argue with me about the quality. I’m not interested in debate. I didn’t rip my diapers apart before taking these pictures.
Many people say they haven’t had a single issue with their Alvas. Without knowing these people personally, I’m not sure how long they have been using Alvas. As I said, mine were working perfectly until all of a sudden the seams came undone, which happened after several months of use.
It was not just one or two diapers–it was every single Alva I owned. It made me wonder if they had just been using them for a few months when they argued with me and hadn’t experienced any issues yet, or if I just had the unfortunate luck to receive diapers from multiple bad batches. I will never know! All I do know is my own experience, which is as I described here.
One thing to keep in mind is that these diapers also cost 1/4 to 1/3 the price of most of these other brands. It would be silly to expect a diaper that costs $5-$6 to be the same quality as a $20 diaper. So I’m not mad at my Alva diapers for their seam issues. It’s about what I would expect for the price point.
So even in spite of the issues described, I still believe Alvas are a budget-friendly option for cloth diapering. I was able to fix all the seams on my diapers with a sewing machine, so I didn’t have to throw them out or anything. If you have basic sewing machine skills or can hand sew, then broken Alvas are not a lost cause.
Price and Where to Get
At the time of this post, solid color Alva Baby pockets cost $4.79 directly from Alva and cost just cents more than that on Amazon. One thing to consider is if you are a prime member, you will get free two-day shipping, which will save you a little money and time than if you were to purchase from Alva Baby (located in China) directly. You may be able to get free shipping from Alva Baby at times–it is worth checking to see if they are currently offering free shipping.
Alva Baby prints are between $5-$6.
You can’t go wrong purchasing from either place. The Alva Baby website will have more selection than Amazon–if you are a diaper print junkie, you may just want to order directly from the Alva Baby website for the widest variety of colors and prints available. But if you feel more comfortable using Amazon for customer service and quickness reasons, go ahead and order from Amazon instead.
One of the criticisms of Alva Baby (and similar companies) is regarding ethical issues.
Alva Baby can sell a pocket diaper for 1/4 the price of many of the American brands. Why is that?
One thing to consider is the wages paid to workers and the working conditions of the factories. This is a criticism for many made-in-China products, not just diapers.
I did some research on the Alva Baby company to see what I could find, and unfortunately, I could not find clear and reliable statements either way for this company. I do think there is a good chance that we might not be pleased about what we would find in their factory, but I can’t say that for sure. You will have to decide for yourself how you feel about Chinese manufacturing.
Another thing to consider as far as ethics goes is the quality control– I do appreciate many things about Alva Baby diapers, but it is clear that they are not as into quality control as other brands are. The materials they use are a little bit thinner than what many other diaper manufacturers use. That is just a fact. Now, I haven’t had issues with leaks or anything, but it’s a good thing to understand about the brand.
Despite what many people out there say…no, a $5 Alva is NOT the same as any other $20 diaper. Lots of people WILL say this, too, so don’t be fooled.
That doesn’t mean it’s a terrible diaper or that it’s a waste of money. It also doesn’t mean that every single $20 or $30 diaper is going to meet your expectations.
It just means that you should have realistic expectations for buying a much cheaper product.
**NOTE: Many American diaper companies do some manufacturing overseas, but most ensure ethical manufacturing and are not part of the “Cheapie” group.
Who Should Use Alva Baby Pockets?
The Alva Baby pocket diapers are a great choice for a family on a strict budget. They will get the job done and serve your family well, as well as save you a ton of money in the process. Even if you end up needing to replace some, they are pretty cheap. They are easier to get than they’ve ever been now that they are on Amazon Prime.
Out of all the cheapie brands I’ve tried, Alva is by far my favorite.
Here are a few caveats:
- I do not recommend this diaper as the ONLY type of diaper in a stash. The quality is too variable. They are great to bulk up a stash for not a lot of money, but I wouldn’t want them as the only diaper in my stash given my personal experience with the stitching.
- You will have to think about how you feel about the possible ethical issues with Chinese diaper companies.
- There are some ethically-made cheaper brands that you may want to consider if you are on a budget and have ethical concerns, such as Nicki’s Diapers brand and Imagine Baby.
Have you ever used Alva Baby pockets before? What do you think of them? If not, would you try them? Let me know in the comments.