Which cloth diapers should I buy?

Cloth Diaper Overview: Which cloth diapers should I buy?

Row of Babies in Cloth Diapers
Photo © Digital VIsion/Getty Images

Choosing cloth diapers can be a great way to save money, make an ecofriendly statement and pamper your babe. Below you will find some of the most common types of diapers. Some families choose to go with all of one type of diaper and some families mix and match depending on the occasion. Be careful, though: picking cute diapers can quickly become an addiction!

  • Prefold Cloth Diapers
  • Fitted Cloth Diapers
  • Cloth Diaper Covers
  • Pocket Cloth Diapers
  • All-in-One Cloth Diapers
  • Hybrid Diapers

Prefold Cloth Diapers

Prefold cloth diapers often evoke memories of diaper pins.
Prefold cloth diapers often evoke memories of diaper pins. Photo © PhotoDisc

This is the type of diaper your grandmother used. The difference is that now prefolds are much more absorbent and you no longer have to fuss with diaper pins or pull on rubber pants. Many people now recognize prefolds as burp cloths. The prefolds that you buy in your big box baby store may not be the most absorbent out there. I recommend families look for a quality Indian prefold or Chinese prefold from a diaper company. They come in sizes, so you’ll want to purchase a selection of each size. You may also want to purchase a Snappi to use instead of pins but prefolds can be trifolded and placed inside a cover. This is the most economical diapering option because it has a bit of a learning curve on how to use them correctly. You will need to purchase a separate waterproof cover to go over your prefolds.

Also known as:

  • Prefolds
  • Chinese prefolds
  • Indian prefolds

Fitted Cloth Diapers

Kissaluvs is one type of fitted cloth diapers.
Kissaluvs is one type of fitted cloth diapers. Photo © Price Grabber

Fitted cloth diapers are a step up from prefolds in convenience. A fitted diaper is made from cotton, bamboo or another absorbent fabric. Fitteds are not waterproof, however, and require a cover over top of them. Fitteds can have snaps or hook and loop closures. These diapers look more like a disposable diapers and just require the extra step of putting a cover over them. Some fitted diapers have the option of adding additional stuffing. Most fitted diapers come sized but you can also find multi-sized fitteds. Next to prefolds, this is one of the most economical options for cloth diapering.

Fitted Cloth Diaper Reviews

Cloth Diaper Covers

Bummi Super Whisper Wrap
Photo © Price Grabber

The diaper covers that are available today are a long way from your grandmother’s plastic pants. Most are made from an outer fabric and lined with soft PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric) to make it waterproof. You can buy covers that are closed with snaps, hook and loop closures or pull-on covers. Some have leg gussets to help keep in those messy breastfed baby poops. Some covers are sized and some are multi-size, meaning you can continue to use them as your baby grows. There are all kinds of patterns and colors available, making this a very cute diapering option. You also have the option of purchasing or making wool diaper covers. Many are available on www.etsy.com or you can knit your own covers or upcycle a sweater you already own. Keep in mind that wool covers require a bit more maintenance, as they need to be lanolized about once a month.

Pocket Diapers

Fuzzi Bunz Pocket Diaper
Photo © Price Grabber

Pocket diapers are a convenient way to cloth diaper. In a pocket diaper, the waterproof cover is sewn on the outside of the diaper. There is an inner layer of a soft fabric next to baby’s skin and between those is a pocket where an absorbent pad is placed. This means that you’ll need to fill that space with your choice of absorbent material (called a stuffer or a soaker) before you use the diaper each time. It is also recommended that you remove this before laundering so that the shell and the diaper are not together as one piece in the washer. Many diapers come with a pad that specifically fits in the diaper. You also have the choice of stuffing a pocket diaper with a prefold. One of the benefits of pocket diapers is that you can add stuffers to increase the amount of absorbency for heavy wetters or through the night. Pocket diapers come in different fabrics both on the outside and inside. They have either a hook and loop closure or a snap closure. They also come in different colors, patterns and sizes (including the multi-size style of diaper.) Some pocket diapers have soakers that are partially sewn into the diaper to help with the stuffing and sorting process. Pocket diapers are a bit more of an investment but are great for babysitters and cloth-leery parents. A prestuffed pocket diaper works just like a disposable.

  • Fuzzi Bunz (Compare Prices)

All-In-One Cloth Diaper

Bum Genius is one type of all-in-one cloth diaper.
Bum Genius is one type of all-in-one cloth diaper. Photo © Price Grabber

An all-in-one (AIO) diaper is just what the name says: a diaper with all of the pieces in one. The inner layer, soaker and waterproof outer are all attached to the diaper. This is a one-step process. There is no stuffing, pinning, etc. This is the easiest and most expensive of all of the cloth diapers. Some families who choose other cloth diaper options will choose to keep a few of these on-hand for babysitters and grandparents. All-in-ones come in lots of different styles, colors, patterns, fabrics, sizes, multi-sizes and closure types.

Pocket Diaper Reviews

Hybrid Diapers

gDiapers are one brand of hybrid diapers.
gDiapers are one brand of hybrid diapers. Photo © Price Grabber

Hybrid diapers give families the option of using cloth full-time or part-time. Most consist of a fabric outer that can be filled with either a fabric insert for cloth use or a disposable or flushable insert. This can be a great option for those who are either cloth leery or those who love their cloth diapers but want another option for outings or traveling. Some of the hybrid diapers allow you to snap in the fabric inserts and stick in (with the use of a sticky tab) the disposable inserts. Purchasing disposable inserts can significantly drive up the cost of these cloth diapers. Hybrids are available in different fabrics and styles and come in sized or multisize styles.

Hybrid Diaper Reviews


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