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The best baby bibs for mess-free mealtimes

Keeping babies happy at mealtimes can sometimes feel like a Herculean task — they are, after all, our most brutally honest food critics — so it’s important to have the right tools at hand to keep things running smoothly. You have the high chair, the baby food, and the patience of a saint, but what about a bib? From keeping that lovely little outfit stain-free (at least long enough for Grandma to see them in it) to guarding against uncomfortable wet patches next to their skin, there’s a lot a good bib can do.

So how do you find the right one? Our list of the best bibs is a good place to start. But first, some home truths to consider...

First of all, it’s widely known that for such tiny humans, babies can produce a surprising amount of icky stuff. We won’t go into detail here, but anyone who’s had the good fortune to spend a lot of time around them knows it to be true. Therefore, it might be a good idea to go for a bib that’s comfortable to wear throughout the day, not just at mealtimes, if your mini-me is a master dribbler. Look for soft-on-skin neckbands, cotton or neoprene construction, and good thickness to keep their clothes dry and troublesome rashes at bay.

Secondly, size is an important consideration: all that adorable baby pudge can often manifest itself in multiple chins, so go for something that will cover their clothes but not sit too tightly around the neck and be uncomfortable. Bibs with adjustable necks are perfect for this, and have the added bonus of growing with them.

Then there’s the best value bib, the best bib for teething, the best for packing light and the best for play... put simply, no matter your little one’s particular set of needs, we’re sure to have found something that’ll step up to the challenge.

1. Bibetta Ultrabib Baby Bib

The very best for everyday use

Best for: Everyday Feeding | Material: : Neoprene | Machine Washable: Yes

Catches food when dropped
More to put in the washing machine 

The neoprene material of this all-round winning bib, immediately recognisable to anyone who’s worn a wetsuit, makes it waterproof, machine washable and tumble dryer safe, meaning it’s capable of handling punishment from even the most determined babies. Its soft fabric, which comes in a number of cute and colourful designs, means no discomfort, and the well-designed scoop pocket at the end catches all manner of debris. All in all, the best bib for everyday. 

2. Baby Bjorn Eat & Play Smock

They can make mess to their heart’s content in this full-coverage smock

Best for: Messy Play/Eating | Material: : Polyester | Machine Washable: Yes

Complete outfit protection
Multi-purpose (playing and eating)
Large for babies 

The Eat & Play Smock does exactly what it says on the tin: perfect for messy play and messy eaters alike. Its full-body design covers clothes completely, and its soft and breathable fabric is liquid-proof, providing an admirable line of defence against food, paint, and all manner of other messes. Its construction and soft-on-skin elastic openings make it comfy to wear, but the all-over design might feel overwhelming for very little ones at first. 

3. Baby Bjorn Soft Bibs

A super-soft durable bib that grows with them

Best for: Growing Kids | Material: : Plastic | Machine Washable: No (but dishwasher safe!)

Ergonomic design
Adjustable neck for growing babies
Rigid, uncomfortable if leaning 

The second Baby Bjorn offering in our top three boasts an equal, but very different set of charms to its forerunner. It’s a great all-round eating bib, with a variety of cheerful colours to choose from and, most importantly, a super adjustable neckband. The soft beaded ring has an adaptable fastening (for when you can’t believe how fast they’re growing) and the bottom of the bib ends in a handy scoop (for when they “accidentally” miss). 

4. Brother Max Catch and Fold Bib (2 Pack)

The best bib for on the road

Best for: Travel | Material: : Cotton (bib), Plastic (crumb catcher) | Machine Washable: Yes (bib only)

Perfect for holidays
Detachable crumb catcher
Neck not adjustable 

This two-in-one bib easily folds down for minimum fuss on holiday or on the go. It’s ideal for throwing in a changing bag for eating out, or a suitcase for trips away, especially when cutlery can be stored inside the crumb catcher for simple transportation. The soft cotton bib is machine washable, and while it’s unfortunately not adjustable, the side velcro opening — like the handy crumb-catching scoop — is suited to one-handed clean-up after messy mealtimes.

5. Tommee Tippee Comfi Neck Catch All

Colourful, comfortable, and excellent value

Best for: Value | Material: : Plastic | Machine Washable: No

Good value
Variety of colours
Not very high chair compatible 

Our little ones have a lot of requirements, and ticking off the seemingly endless list of buys for baby can prove expensive. So it’s especially comforting to know that bibs like Tommee Tippee’s Comfi Neck Catch All exist, offering excellent comfort and performance for a small price. It does the job superbly, offering durable and low-maintenance support (it’s tough and dishwasher-safe) while surprising us with premium features like a soft-lined neck for sensitive skin.  

6. Ana Wiz Premium Baby Bandana Bibs

Keeps them dry and comfortable

Best for: Dribbling | Material: : Organic Cotton, Polyester | Machine Washable: Yes

Contains organic cotton
Good thickness
Polyester may irritate sensitive skin 

These sweet bandana-style bibs are as strong on substance as they are on style. Perfect for active dribblers, the organic cotton construction is not only soft on baby’s skin, but is thick and sturdy enough to prevent dribble soaking through to their clothes, reducing the risk of rashes and discomfort. Great for teething, reflux, or weaning. However, the interior contains some polyester, and may not be suitable for very sensitive or eczema-prone skin. 

7. Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew

A two-in-one that takes the pain out of teething

Best for: Teething | Material: : Cotton, Plastic (safety approved) | Machine Washable: Yes

Machine washable
Bobbles after a few washes 

Put simply, this is the ultimate teething bib. The nautical look of the soft and comfy Neckerchew itself is adorable — although there are plenty of other cute designs available, if your baby’s more of a dino devotee or farmyard fan — and it’s machine washable even with the clever teething add-on. The attachment is made of safety tested plastic, so they can chomp on it to their little heart’s content, and catches rogue dribble at the same time. Win-win.