Burp cloths are a mom’s best friend when it comes to protecting your clothes (and your baby’s clothes) from smelly, messy spit-up. But we’ve tried all kinds of burp cloths, and we can confidently say that not all are created equal. It can be frustrating when regurgitated milk soaks through or runs right off the cloth that’s supposed to be keeping you clean.
So, we’ve made it our mission to find the best burp cloths for preventing those nasty stains. We’ve studied countless options, listening to what other parents have to say about each and trying out many ourselves. We’re confident that with one of these seven burp cloths, you won’t have to startle every time your baby lets out a belch.
- Durable fabric
- Cute patterns
- Very absorbent
- Provides full coverage
- Quick to absorb
- Multi-purpose use
- Variety of colors to choose from
- Made from organic cotton
- Cute, trendy prints
- Reversible fabric
- Big and absorbent
- Absorbs liquid quickly
- Easy to clean
- Impressive range of designs
- Great value for money
- Soft and gentle on skin
- Environmentally friendly
- Cute, unconventional designs
- Very large size
Are Burp Cloths Necessary?
When babies drink a lot of milk, they need to release the pressure that builds up in their digestive tracts. The best way to do that is by burping after feeding, but occasionally more than just air will come up in the process!
Spit-up can leave greasy stains on clothing from the fat content in your baby’s milk. It can also be embarrassing to walk around with stinky, milky stains on your clothes. And no one wants their sweet baby to smell like vomit all the time. This is where burp cloths come in.
Although they’re not a requirement, burp cloths can be a lifesaver and prevent messy situations — especially if your baby is a heavy spitter. Throw one over your shoulder if you burp your baby at your shoulder or in front of your baby if you burp them on your lap. The highly absorbent materials should catch any spit-up and keep it from soiling your clothes or your baby’s.
How Many Burp Cloths Do I Need?
You don’t want to skimp on burp cloths. They usually don’t cost much, but they can save you a fortune in stained clothing. One big spit-up can soak a burp cloth, so you should always keep several on hand.
We recommend keeping at least two or three in your diaper bag at all times. If your baby is a heavy spitter or you are away from home for more than two or three hours at a time, consider adding a couple more to that. You will also want to have at least eight burp cloths available at home.
10–18 Is Ideal
When Should I Start Using Burp Cloths?
You should have burp cloths on hand before you bring your baby home from the hospital. Some babies might not need them immediately — most babies don’t spit up much in the first few days — but yours might.
If you stock up before your baby is born, you can be prepared. You don’t know exactly when your baby will spit up — it’s not something you plan for, right? So it’s best to be vigilant and always have one on hand, especially when you’re wearing nice clothes you don’t want to be destroyed.
Even if your baby isn’t a spitter, burp cloths are handy for wiping milk from the corners of their mouth or keeping drool off your shoulder when your baby is napping.
How to Choose Burp Cloths
Burp cloths come in a wide range of fabrics, shapes, and sizes. The best burp cloths will take these factors into account.
As your baby ages, they may start spitting up larger quantities of milk. Longer burp cloths that fully cover your shoulder are best to keep your clothes protected. If you opt for smaller cloths for your newborn, remember to size up as they grow.
You can buy burp cloths in a wide range of colors and prints, including many themed or specialty fabrics. Be careful not to get sucked into purchasing cloths that are cute but not functional.
The best burp cloths will be made of highly absorbent fabrics like terry, flannel, cotton, or muslin. Avoid liquid-repelling fabrics like fleece. If you have a family history of allergies to certain fabrics, you may wish to avoid those in case your baby has inherited that allergy too.
You want a thick, durable cloth that can endure repeated washings. And believe me, you’re going to be washing these things a lot.
Burp cloths can be purchased for as cheap as $1 or as costly as $8 per piece. The average price for a basic set of six burp cloths is $6. However, if you’re shopping for homemade items, specialty fabrics, or trendy prints, you’ll likely have to pay a little more. Regardless, they are one of the most affordable baby items.
Some burp cloths include pockets for holding pacifiers or other small items while you burp. Others include fun add-ons such as fringes, knots, or textures for teething babies to gnaw on. Although these can be handy, they’re certainly not necessary. What’s most important is that your burp cloths are going to absorb whatever your baby spits at them.
The Best Burp Cloths of 2021
Here are 7 great burp cloths to consider.
1. Gerber Baby Flannel Burp Cloths
These adorable Gerber cloths are big enough to cover your whole shoulder so none of your clothing falls victim to a spit-up incident. They come in a package of four and are a great bargain for those watching their budgets.
The best thing about these is the cute variety of patterns to choose from, including flowers, polka dots, stripes, hearts, or charming little elephants.
They’re made of pure 100 percent cotton flannel, which is soft on babies’ skin and can hold a lot of liquid. The edges are neatly serged, so they shouldn’t fray, even after repeated washings.
- Durable, soft flannel fabric.
- Cute patterns.
- Highly absorbent.
- Colors and prints fade with repeated washings.
- Flannel doesn’t “grab” liquid as quickly as other fabrics.
2. Gerber Prefold Gauze Diaper
These gauze diapers might be one of the most versatile products you could buy for your baby.
In addition to being great diapers and burp cloths, these can also be used to protect your lap against leaks or as cleaning cloths once your baby outgrows diapers. Some moms use them as makeshift changing pads as well.
As these were made to hold diaper messes, they are one of the most absorbent options. The open weave of the gauze sucks up moisture fast and holds it. The tri-fold design with extra layers in the center allows you to spread them out across a wider range or fold them for basic shoulder coverage.
At 11.5 inches by 16 inches, they’re generously sized but still fold or stack pretty flat to fit in your diaper bag.
- Larger than many other styles.
- Made to last and don’t get pilly.
- Can be used for many other purposes.
- Very inexpensive.
- Not as soft as some other brands.
- Fabric shrinks with repeated washings.
3. Green Sprouts Muslin Burp Cloths
These hourglass-shaped burp cloths by Green Sprouts are made from organic cotton and come in a set of three. At 11 inches wide and 22 inches long, they are a full-coverage cloth.
Made with four absorbent layers of organic cotton, these cloths are a great choice for parents who are worried about their children being exposed to fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Plus, they are hypoallergenic and feel really soft against your baby’s skin.
- They come in a variety of colors and prints.
- Fabric gets softer with every wash.
- Hourglass shape fits well around necks and shoulders.
- Fabric shrinks in the wash.
- Cotton muslin can fray over time.
4. Copper Pearl Baby Burp Cloths
The outer layers of these burp cloths are made from ultra-soft cotton with a highly absorbent center layer of fleece. They suck up a ton of spit-up, keeping you and your baby clean.
Generously sized at 21 by 10 inches, they come in a range of cute prints that will both look adorable and delight your baby. For added protection, Copper Pearl also sells baby bibs in coordinating prints.
- Trendy prints.
- Fabric holds up to repeated washing.
- Absorbent enough for frequent spitters.
- Not the cheapest option.
- You have to air dry them.
5. Muslin Burp Cloths
These white burp cloths are made from six layers of 100 percent cotton muslin, one of the best fabrics for quickly absorbing liquid. They are multifunctional and can be used as diapers, cleaning cloths, breastfeeding covers, changing pads, and more.
The super-soft fabric is comfortable against your baby’s skin when you’re trying to burp them or put them to sleep.
This package includes six cloths, and at a generous 10 by 20 inches, they provide great coverage against messes.
- Muslin fabric absorbs quickly and holds a lot.
- Big enough for full coverage.
- Versatile cloths can be used as diapers, changing pads, and more.
- Fabric may not hold up to lots of washing.
6. Luvable Friends Flannel Burp Cloths
If you’ve balked at the price of some other brands and wondered how a piece of fabric could be so expensive, these burp cloths from Luvable friends will have you breathing a sigh of relief.
As one of the more affordable cloths, they come in so many lovely colors and designs. You can buy quite a few and never be without a fresh, clean cloth on hand.
The center panel includes three absorbent layers of 100 percent cotton, with two layers on the outer panels. Each package includes three ribbon-tied cloths.
- Impressive range of designs to choose from.
- Great value for the price.
- Soft and gentle on the skin.
- Cloths have a chemical smell before their first wash.
- Fabric tends to fade and pill after multiple washes.
7. Milkbarn Bamboo Cotton Burp Cloths
If you love vintage designs, rustic baby accessories, and charming old-school baby clothes, you’ll be drooling over these Milkbarn burp cloths. They’re made of 70 percent bamboo rayon and 30 percent cotton for a blend that’s soft, eco-friendly, and long-lasting.
With vintage prints in a range of earthy colors, each package comes with two burp cloths, each an ample 23 inches square.
These burp cloths look as though they could have been handed down from great-grandma, and they’re robust enough to stay strong after many washes. They even come in a cute burlap wrapper that seals with a wooden button.
- Environmentally friendly fabrics.
- Cute, unconventional designs.
- Extra-large size.
- Not absorbent enough for a big spitter.
- Material is thin and somewhat rough.
How to Make Your Own Burp Cloths
Even those of us who aren’t handy with a sewing machine can see how easy it would be to create DIY burp cloths. In fact, you can recycle all kinds of things to make these useful fabric squares, saving you money in the process.
If that seems like too much effort, there’s nothing to stop you from simply repurposing any favorite cloth as a burp cloth. Turn over the raw edges and hem either by hand or machine, or use old receiving blankets, cloth diapers, or even a thick hand or kitchen towel.