Best Baby Wearing Wraps and How to Choose the One You’ll Love

Simple pieces of cloth are probably the oldest form of babywearing; many cultures still carry their children the way they have for centuries. Wraps were re-introduced in Western culture in the 1970s when a German mama found that using wraps helped her better care for her twin infants – the wrap company Didymos was born. Now, almost 40 years later, there are dozens of wrap brands and patterns and styles to suit all tastes.

Why Wraps?

Wraps are the most versatile baby carrier. The same wrap can be easily used by multiple wearers, can be used in multiple positions, and has plenty of other uses beyond baby carrying (hammocks, swings, blankets….). Because a wrap is literally wrapped on wearer and baby, it provides a custom fit every time.

While there is a slight learning curve with wraps, most wrappers will tell you it’s actually quite easy with just a little practice.

Woven wraps can be used for high back carries which allows for even young infants to be back carried.

Looking for info on woven wrap sizes and how to choose a woven wrap? Check this guide.

New to babywearing?  Check out my Babywearing Guide.

Have a newborn?  Check out newborn safety basics and my guide to newborn carriers!

Types of Wraps

There are three main categories of wraps.

Stretchy Wraps

As the name implies, these wraps have quite a bit of stretch to them. Most are made of cotton jersey knit or a stretchy bamboo/cotton blend. Stretchy wraps are best for the newborn phase when support isn’t an issue. They are easy to “pop” baby in and out of – handy if you are wearing baby a large part of the day. Stretchy wraps are best for front carries, but can also be used for hip carries. They should not be used for back carries.

Gauze Wraps

These wraps are made of lightweight cotton gauze and are great for warm weather and hot climates. They are thin so best used in multi-layer carries. They can be used with babies and toddlers, but careful wrapping is required with heavier children to avoid discomfort. Gauze wraps can be used for front, hip, and back carries.

Woven Wraps

Woven wraps are the largest and most diverse category of wraps. German Style Wovens (GSWs) are a large sub-set (most commercially purchased wraps are GSWs). Wovens come in a variety of lengths and can be used for front, hip, and back carries; and single and multi-layer carries. They are available in a wide variety of blends and styles – something for everyone.

Source (btw, this is one of my favorites – Girasol wrap)

Which Baby Wrap to Choose? Woven or stretchy?

If you want a wrap that will grow with your baby and offer more carrying options, a woven wrap is a good choice. Woven wraps provide excellent support for both newborns and older babies. But take into account that using a woven wrap takes practice and learning different wrapping techniques to get comfortable with using them.

If simplicity and softness for newborns are your priorities, a stretchy wrap may be the better option. Stretchy wraps are generally easier to use, especially for beginners. Also they provide a snug and cozy fit for newborns, creating a womb-like environment. As your baby grows and becomes heavier, the stretchy fabric may not provide enough support.

Wrap Brands

During the last 10 years the wrap market has exploded. Lots of new companies out there. The ones I’ve listed here are wraps that should be easy to obtain (no stalking required!) new or used. And most of them are brands that I’ve personally used and feel are quality.
That doesn’t mean brand X isn’t good quality; if you are interested in a company not listed here, I’d encourage you to check out the wrap reviews on 

Here are the major wrap brands with a brief description of each.

Best Stretchy Wraps

Wrapsody Bali Baby Stretch: Batiked, cotton jersey wraps; these are less stretchy and slightly thinner than most stretchy wraps and are the only brand of stretchy listed here that can be safely used for back carries.

Moby Wrap: The most readily available cotton jersey wrap, the moby comes in a variety of solid colors.  Another version, the Moby D, has a decorative fabric panel in the middle.

Boba Wrap: Similar to the moby but a bit less stretchy; a basic cotton jersey wrap. Made of soft French terry and made from 5% spandex so it’s stretchy yet snug. Not the best choice for a warm climate.

Top Picks for Gauze Wraps

Calin Bleu: Solid color cotton gauze wraps.

Wrapsody Bali Baby Breeze: Batiked cotton gauze wraps.

Solly Baby: Perfect summer wrap. It is a bit pricey, but it’s much more lightweight than other wraps and keeps the baby and the wearer much cooler than in Boba or Ergo. Takes a bit of time to figure out how tight to wrap. The fabric is a bit stretchy but not in the traditional way of a cotton/spandex wrap.

Best Woven Wraps

Universal woven wraps for beginners

Didymos: The grand dame of wrap brands, Didymos wraps are more expensive than most but also have the highest retail value.  They are available in many blends (cotton, silk, wool), weaves (indios, stripes, jacquards), and thickness – something for everyone.  Didymos releases limited edition wraps on a regular basis in addition to their regular line.

Girasol: Girasols are a medium thin wrap available with or without fringe; they have a more blanket like feel than some brands.  In addition to the standard line, many shops carry their own exclusive colorways.  Girasols are soft and easy to wrap with without any breaking in.

Storchenwiege:  Another workhorse wraps, Storchs are known for durability and support.  Most are medium thick (the Louise Bio wraps are thin).  Storchs do require breaking in when purchased new.

Hoppediz: Hopps are medium to thick wraps depending on the colorway.  They are sturdy and supportive – great workhorse wraps.  They will require some breaking in when purchased new.

Budget wraps of high quality

Colimacon & Cie:  These are sturdy wraps in all cotton and a linen blend (there’s also a thinner version called First Spring).  C&Cs have a lower retail price tag making them a good budget option.

GuGaSling Woven Wrap: Comfortable and breathable quite thin but sturdy natural cotton fabric wrap available in 8 sizing options.

Daiesu: Soft woven wrap, good quality material that gets even softer in time with wear and washing. Also very supportive, does its job very well.

Best for summer & hot climate

Bara Barn:  Bara Barn shawls are short, rebozo length wraps.  They are thin and great for summer or as a wrap for the car or diaper bag when you want something that folds down small.  Bara Barns are not tapered.

Ellaroo: Ellaroos are very thin wraps so a good choice for warm weather; all come with fringe.  With a little use, they become quite soft and easier to wrap with.

Ellevill: Ellevills are currently offered in three main lines – Zara, Jade, and Paisley.  They have all cotton, silk, linen and bamboo blends.  They are on the thin side (Paisleys are quite thin, Zaras are thinner while Jades have more bounce) and come in a beautiful array of colors.  Ellevill wraps have longer tapers than most brands.

Vatanai: Vatanais are among the thinnest wraps, so a great choice for summer or warm climates.  They are also very soft and easy to wrap with – nice for learning to wrap.  Vatanais come in jaquards and stripes; the stripes tend to be a bit thinner.  Vatanais have longer tapers than most brands.  Oh, and then there’s that Pamir guy (a $$ handwoven wrap also produced by Vatanai).

Best for toddlers & older babies

BB Slen: Sturdy and wide, BB Slens are great wraps for older babies and toddlers (but they work great for newborns too!).  Most are on the thinner side (solids tend to be thinner than stripes).  BB Slens are also the least expensive woven and make for a nice wrap for beginners.

Chimparoo:  This Canadian company produces a variety of carriers including woven wraps.

A few super stylish options

Diva Milano:  Diva’s are elegant wraps …with a price tag to match! A Russian/Italian collaboration, they are produced in the same factories as some high end Italian clothing; the result are wraps that are super soft right out of the box and thin but supportive.  Diva has produced cotton as well as wool, linen, and silk blend wraps in a “collection” format (limited editions that are seasonal).

Natibaby: Natibaby wraps come in a variety blends and patterns – cotton, bamboo, silk and wool. They range from thin to medium thick depending on the pattern and blend.

MekishikoMx: Mexican style woven wrap with lovely vibrant colours.

My favorite linen wraps

Oscha:  Another new player in the wrap world, this Scottish company began by offering beautiful grads on 100% Irish linen. They now offer wrap “collections” (limited editions built around a theme) in all cotton as well as silk, linen, and wool blends. Oscha has created quite a sensation for their high quality wraps and attentive customer service. Although there is variation among Oscha wraps, many are quite dense and lean medium to thick; some are very textured. The 100% linen wraps are quite thin.

These seem awfully expensive – Can I just make a DIY wrap?

You can absolutely DIY a wrap, especially with a small infant.  If you love wrapping, you will probably find it worthwhile to invest in a German style woven as your baby gets heavier.  It is difficult to find commercial fabric (especially at a good price!) that will have the same wrapping qualities and comfort level as a GSW will with a heavier infant.  Also keep in mind that used wraps sell for below retail and wraps have a great re-sale value.

But DIY can be a great way to start!  Just a few helpful tips:

  • Cotton jersey knit makes the easiest DIY and is great for a newborn – you don’t even have to hem the edges as the fabric won’t ravel!  Like all stretchy wraps, a DIY cotton jersey wrap is best used in multi-layer carries; it should NOT be used for back carries.  5 yards is a good length to start with (you could go shorter if you are very thin or longer if you are fluffy).  The wrap should be 25-28 inches wide.  You may find a DIY cotton jersey wrap will begin to sag sooner than a store bought one unless you use heavy weight material.  Still, this is a great and very inexpensive way to get a snuggly newborn carrier.
  • Cotton gauze is also an easy way to DIY.  This will give you more support than a stretchy wrap and will allow you to do back carries.  It should be used for multi-layer carries.  Gauze is thin and requires careful wrapping with heavier babies to avoid pressure points.  But, its thinness makes it a great choice for summer.  Again 5 yards and 25-28 inches wide is a good size to start with.
  • Osnaburg (a type of muslin) is the closest thing to a German Style Wraps according to many veteran wrappers.  Osnaburg isn’t much to look at, but it’s a great blank canvas if you like dye projects.  It is also relatively cheap so a great way to try a different length.  Osnaburg can be used for any length wrap, so it’s a good choice if you want to try some single layer carries with a DIY.
  • Table cloths can also make good short wraps.  If you want to do a RUB (rucksack tied under the bum), you will need about 2.5 meters (so about a 100 inch table cloth); for rebozo carries, you can get away with less.  You will probably want to hem the width and may find these a bit thicker than many German Style Wraps.  Still, it can be a cheap way to experiment with a short wrap.
  • For safety reasons, you should avoid sewing together two shorter pieces to make a long wrap.  Even a strong seam can fail under the sort of pressure it will be under when wrapping.  Experienced seamstress, baby-carrier making mamas are quite adamant about this precaution.

More information on DIY carriers here.

Which brand should I choose?

The best advice for choosing a wrap is to browse the available options and choose a colorway that is beautiful to you; if you love the way your wrap looks, you are more likely to learn to use it!

There really is no “best brand;” each brand has its fans.  If you find that you don’t like the wrap you are using, talk to an experienced wrapper (or a wrap retailer) who should be able to help you figure out what brand may be a better fit for you.

That said, you may also want to take in to consideration things like the climate you are in (you would likely want to avoid something thick if you live in a hot region) and the age of your wearer (a stretchy wrap would not be a good choice for an older baby or toddler).

Some wraps take some work to “break-in”; if you don’t want to deal with this stage, buy a used wrap or a brand that it “soft out of the box.”  All wraps will wrap more easily after a few washes and some use.

What size wrap do I need?

Most people start with a long wrap that can be used for carries with multiple layers. For an average-sized woman, a size 6 is usually a good fit as a long wrap. If you’re a larger person, you might find a size 7 more comfortable, while smaller individuals can likely use a size 5.

Check more details about woven wrap sizes here.

How To Choose a Woven Wrap

Woven wraps are definitely far more high profile and more readily available in greater variety than they were even five years ago when I started babywearing.  The question “how do I choose my first woven wrap?” pops up frequently.   And with good reason!  With so many brands, so many blends, so many styles, it can be truly overwhelming to figure out what’s what.  So I thought I’d throw in my two cents on what to look for and why when selecting your first woven wrap!

Buy an all-cotton, thin-medium weight wrap that’s in your price range and that you think is beautiful!

That’s the short answer 🙂  For more details, keep reading!


The #1 rule in choosing the right woven wrap (or any baby carrier) is to be wise with your dollars.  While it is often true that the cheapest available carrier isn’t going to be “as nice” as a more expensive brand (in terms of materials, etc.), the same doesn’t quite hold true for woven wraps. Some wrap companies do use higher quality materials (say organic cotton vs. conventionally grown) which means a higher price point. Some companies use US based mills (or European based mills) which means their operating costs are higher than those who say manufacture in India – so their product is likely to run higher. Certainly if those things are important to you, vote with your dollars!

But don’t be fooled into thinking “higher price tag” = “better wrap.”  It’s just not always the case. There are very good “bargain” wraps (Colimacon & Cie Miel et Malice wraps spring to mind as a good example) that wrap just as well as wraps with a much higher price tag. In fact, you may end up like me and actually prefer the wrapping qualities of a less expensive brand. Now of course if you have the cash and fall in love with wrap X – go for it 🙂

There’s a HUGE second hand market for woven wraps, which like the wrap market in general has evolved a lot in recent years. It’s gotten a bit harder to “flip” a wrap (that is sell quickly for nearly what you paid) than it used to be; however, you can still get a 50-75% return on your wrap on the second hand market fairly easily. Consider a $150 wrap that you use for a few years – even if you sell for $50, that’s not bad given the use you got out of it!  See below for more tips on navigating the second hand market.

If even the less expensive wovens or buying used are more than you are up for paying, fear not! There are great DIY options. Osnaburg is the most popular DIY “woven” wrap choice. You will want to be cautious and avoid picking up any old fabric at the fabric store. One reason wovens run more than the typical fabric store yardage is that the weaving/production process for making that type of fabric (with the right sort of give that makes for a good wrap) costs more (and you aren’t likely to find that type of fabric for less than a woven would cost). For more information on DIYing, check out my DIY guide.


When new wrappers ask the “what should I buy” question, inevitably they get “oh, you must have brand X” or “brand Y for sure!”  We all have our favorites. And if you get into trying out different wraps (“churning” in wrap speak) you may fall in love with some favorites too. But here’s the real scoop – if you’ve never wrapped, you don’t know what you like. And if you were to only want ONE wrap in your life (and that’s totally ok!), and if that wrap were an all cotton thin-medium weight wrap, you’d likely be totally happy and never give a second thought to brand X, Y, Z.

So again, go with what’s in your budget and what you like the look of. Don’t get caught up in the “it” brand of the moment as somehow being better than the brand no one is hyping.  There are lots of lovely wraps that get very little chatter and I can’t think of a single major brand I wouldn’t recommend.


So I’ve told you to get an all cotton wrap.  But Sally and Mary Sue insist that you for sure want linen/hemp/unicorn hair because your baby is hot/heavy/a toddler. Blends are great. I have blends. And it is true that you – if you decide to try many wraps – may decide that blend X is totally your favorite. But if you are just starting out or just aren’t sure, all cotton is the way to go.  Why? It’s easy to care for (requires no special washing); takes a beating and keeps on ticking; handles spit, poop, pee with grace; and it’s easier to learn to wrap with.

Many blends are sort of love/hate; they change the wrapping qualities of a wrap making them in most cases harder to get a good wrap job with.  Doesn’t mean they are bad; just different. If I were to have a one and only wrap, it would totally totally be all cotton.  It’s just as cool as linen (if you are worried about heat), and it’s just as supportive as hemp or linen.


Hopefully I’ve convinced you to stick with all cotton for your first wrap. Great!  Now on to weight.  There’s a lot of buzz these days about the grams/meter measurement of a weight which tells you something about how “thick” a wrap is. Some worried about support think “thicker = better.”

Granted I’m not a thick wrap fan in general, but I think trying to learn to wrap with a thick wrap is an exercise in frustration. One, a thick wrap generally needs quite a lot of breaking in before it’s manageable. If you want to buy your first wrap, you want to get rolling right away and not spend hours beating a beast into submission (although if you do…go for it!). More importantly, a thinner wrap teaches you to wrap well.  And…

The key to a supportive carry is a tight, snug wrap job!

I can’t stress the above enough.  If you have a wrap that allows you to get snug passes, to feel where you’ve over-tightened or under-tightened, you are going to get a good wrap job.  You may have heard rumors about wraps getting “diggy” or uncomfortable if they are thin and baby is heavy.  Diggy means you haven’t tightened evenly and that means you need to fix your wrap job – not buy a new wrap!  Learn to wrap well with a thinner wrap and you will be comfortable in anything – true story!

Now, I fully recognize that some people like thicker wraps – maybe they like the weight.  Maybe they like having a wrap forgiving of sloppy wrapping.  Maybe they just like the challenge.  Totally cool.  But if you are buying your first woven, I’m assuming you want to learn to wrap.  And to learn to wrap well, you want a thinner wrap.So, get a thin-medium weight wrap (if you are paying attention to grams/meter, somewhere in the 180-220 range give or take a bit).


As for the most important part of the question…this one is easy.  Choose something YOU think is amazing! Don’t worry about what the resale value will be or what’s popular.  Take some time to browse what’s out there and then go for it!

Buying Used Woven Wraps

Buying used can be a great money saver or a way to get the wrap that you fell in love with that’s out of stock everywhere.  A few quick pointers:

  • Check the price of the wrap you are buying used against the new price. Used doesn’t always = bargain.
  • Be aware that some wraps are being sold at “market” value and not retail – meaning they are currently highly sought after for one reason or another and come with a price tag to match. This doesn’t mean they are “better” wraps; it means they are currently “hot” collector’s items.
  • Ask questions about the wrap if you have them.  If you have say allergy concerns, ask the seller if she has pets, uses scents, etc. Often this is included in the listing, but if not, it’s on you to ask.
  • Have realistic expectations.  You are buying a USED item.  That means it may have flaws.  Sellers should disclose major flaws (say lots of pulls or other cosmetic damage) but it is normal for wraps (even new ones) to come with nubs, small pulls, or small broken threads. If these sorts of things worry you, buy from a vendor with a solid return policy instead of buying used.

So there you have it.  You are all set to find the perfect first woven wrap! If you haven’t already, pop on over to the babywearing guide for more information on wrapping (including information on choosing the right size wrap for you) and babywearing in general.

Got your first baby wrap and ready to proceed in your babywearing adventure? Read how to wear a baby wrap.