Cloth Diaper Savings, Diaper Reviews, Types of Diapers

Alva Baby Pocket Diapers – Are They Any Good?

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

alva-baby-pocket-fitThe 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.

Materials

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!

Quality

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).

alvababy-pockets

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

The two best places to get Alva Baby pocket diapers are directly from the Alva Baby website or Amazon.com.

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.

Ethical Concerns

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.

Holly Lee

I'm Holly and I'm the mom of two awesome young boys with a girl due summer 2020. We have been cloth diapering for 6 years. My family and I live in Minnesota with our dog, Ruby, and cat, Gherkin. Outside of Rocking the Cloth, I am also a middle school teacher. Thank you for visiting Rocking the Cloth--feel free to email me at holly@rockingthecloth.com if you have any questions or concerns. I'd love to help!

You may also like...

Popular Articles...

22 Comments

  1. Here’s a site that is not only informative about the product (Baby Pocket Diapers), but also alerts the user of the fact that the post contains links to affiliates, and that it may make a commission for the site, if a purchase is made through one of those links.  I like tis style.  The information on the product is well presented, and well illustrated; the site presents a professional look that is hard to ignore; the product is well described and purchase options are made available.  Overall, I’d probably use this site, if I still had babies at home.  

    Well done!

    1. Holly Lee says:

      Thanks Hugo! Glad you enjoyed the article!

  2. Rick Ware says:

    This is a beautifully constructed site. The spacing is perfect. The font is perfect. The colors you chose are perfect. I like that the statement that Alva diapers never leak. The functionality of the diapers is awesome! Young, especially first time mother’s must consider this as a green alternative. I particularly like your honesty when you consider the ethics of choosing a Chinese factory, but if we pretend our actions have no consequence we are ridiculous. I’m going to send a link to my daughter who a first-time young mother. I’m going to purchase a large quantity for my new grandchild and I’m going to place a link in her wish list on line. Thanks for this green alternative. Alva Diapers are a great product. 

    1. Holly Lee says:

      Thank you so much, Rick! I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

  3. Karin Nauber says:

    Thank you for recommending the Alva Baby Pocket Diapers. I think I shared with you on one of your previous posts that I have a co-worker who is expecting her first born very soon and she is needing alternative things to help her save money. Cloth diapers are one way I have suggested to her to save money. I will take your advice and recommend the one-size diapers over the infant ones. She has small hands, but I think she might get frustrated if it takes too much time and effort and then she’ll switch to disposable.

    In spite of the ethical concerns, my co-worker is quite in need of cost effective solutions and I think she will not be concerned about if the conditions in the factory are not quite up to par. I will certainly let her know about the other brands that are more ethically made for sure.

    I just have one question about the one size diaper. If the baby is quite small, will they still fit snuggly? I just don’t want to see my friend get discouraged and quit using them without giving cloth diapers a good try first.

    About how many diapers do you think a person should have so that they always have extras without having to wash them more than once a day?

    Thanks, I look forward to your reply.

    1. Holly Lee says:

      Hi Karin! You’re an awesome friend! The one-size diapers will fit once baby reaches 10-12 lbs, so for the first month or two (depending on how big or small the baby is when born), she will want to try a different option. If she is needing to save as much money as possible, I would recommend doing disposables actually until baby reaches that 10-12 lb weight. She can purchase newborn diapers, but they can be very frustrating to work with. There are some cheap ways to cloth diaper a newborn, though, if she is interested. Here is a post with more info about that: Cloth Diapering with a Newborn – Successful Options for Your Family

      From a purely financial standpoint, unless she is willing to sell the newborn diapers to recoup some of the costs (which is an option), she might want to try a cheap brand of disposable, like Aldi’s brand or Luvs. The biggest cost savings with cloth come in with the one-size diapers because they last from 2 to 3 months all the way until potty training.

      I would recommend 18-24 diapers to start.

      Hope that helps!

      1. Karin says:

        Thanks for the info. I will pass it on to my friend.

        1. No problem!

  4. Michel says:

    Thank you for this very informative article on Alva Diapers. I love how you mention both the good and the bad points. Being such a cheap option, it is great to know that their only fault is the fact that they are made in a Chinese factory and that they do tend to come apart. Luckily nothing that a sewing machine won’t fix.

    With all the washing involved taken into consideration, how many cloth diapers do you recommend having in your stash?

    1. Holly Lee says:

      Hi Michel! I recommend 18-24 diapers to get started. That is enough for every 2 day washing or so. If you want to do every 3-4 day washing, you can always add more to your diaper stash once you figure out which work the best for your baby, then you can buy a few more of that style.

  5. Lisa V. says:

    What a thorough review!  These certainly look better than my homemade diapers from old flannel sheets.  I think the low price is appropriate and I agree with you about upgrading from the microfiber.  I really don’t think a baby should have an unnatural and perspiration-inducing fiber against their bodies like a microfiber, even if it is so soft.  I look forward to more of your reviews.

    1. Holly Lee says:

      Thanks Lisa!

  6. Jenny Hennig says:

    I love all the information you give about Alva  Baby Pocket Diapers.  I would totally try these cloth diapers, especially being new to cloth diapers, I would want to start with something that is less expensive.  I like how you give your honest personal experience as well, and  having to sew a few seams on diapers would not scare me off.  I would still be saving money.  The printed diapers look so cute too. Thanks for sharing your review and opinion.

    1. Holly Lee says:

      Thanks Jenny! Glad you found it helpful.

  7. Melissa says:

    Hi I just had to come on here and add my 2 cents worth about one thing…. I loved the post and found it very similar to my experience, I love my Alva baby pocket diapers and have used them for 14 months now. The only thing I will say is my Alvas have been perfect, all 14 mo however the elastic went on my bumgenious pocket and let me add that I’ve had the bumgenious only half the time I had the Alva baby diapers. So I say the quality of Alva is just as good as bumgenious…..? However I want people to love cloth diapering no matter what the brand, so personally I’d say, use what works for you….. Just because one person’s Alva didn’t last doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t love them!

    1. That is true! I think the issue with Alva’s overall is that their batches are inconsistent. So it is quite possible you could have an awesome, quality batch. I seem to have had bad luck both times I’ve ordered. Overall I still love them, though, they just needed some simple repairs.

  8. Carol 40 says:

    Have 2 bedwetters 7 and 5. Use Alva big baby covers with OSocosy diapers. bulletproof.

    1. Awesome!! So glad they work well for you.

  9. Carol 40 says:

    I was interrupted when I posted yesterday and didn’t get a chance to finish. Just want toad that sites such as yours provide a great deal of info on both sides. I read about Alva Big Baby somewhere else and until I had them to try I was unsure of what I would get. Luckily they were just what I needed. So sites that offer pro’s and con’s of diapers and diapering are a welcome to me. Keep up the great work.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad I’ve been able to help 🙂

  10. Thank you for your review. I found AlvaBaby diapers when doing research for my next kiddo. I haven’t diapered a baby in over 11 years!! My girls are 12 and 14 and I am starting again with a new one soon. Your review was very helpful! Their diapers are so beautiful and I really, truly, needed to know if they are good or not at that incredibly low price. When I cloth diapered 11 years ago, we used BG and it went okay until the end. They just got worn after use, but that was 2ish years with 1 kid, so hey not too bad. Still I think I will try these a bit.
    I do have one question: Do you think they are good for overnight, or is there a more overnight-friendly option? Thanks!

    1. Hello! Congrats on the baby! 🙂 Alva diapers will work just fine for your purposes. However, I would expect that at least some of them will degrade in some way after a year or so. I have found most of the degradation to be worth fixing (for me it was the seams coming undone), especially considering the low price. The PUL and the elastics have held up relatively well for a cheap diaper, so that’s awesome. Only thing to watch out for is that Alvas have a reputation for being inconsistent with their quality, but most people find at $5-$7 a piece, it’s worth the risk to them. As for overnights, these are probably not going to be the best option, however as with any sort of pocket diaper, the absorbency is only as good as the inserts you use. You could use the Alva shells and upgrade the inserts (which you may want to do at some point for daytime, too) to something more absorbent. Cotton & Hemp is often a good blend because hemp can hold A LOT, but it is a slow absorber so the cotton can absorb more quickly. Hemp is also very trim. You could pair hemp boosters with the microfiber that comes with the Alvas if you wish– may work well, or may not be quite enough. Each baby is a little different. If you really want to cloth diaper at night, picking up some good quality fitteds and using with a wool cover is a combo that works awesome for most people. Fitteds & wool covers tend to be more expensive than other styles of diapers, but if you only use them at night, you don’t need very many. You could also experiment with flats under a wool cover as a way to save money.

      Hope that helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *