The 15 Best Cloth Diapers for Every Situation (2018 Reviews)

Are you considering cloth diapers but are overwhelmed by all choices out there? Do you currently cloth diaper, but are in need of some new solutions for your heavy wetter, chunkster, or sensitive-skinned baby?

I know cloth diapers seem daunting at first. When I got started, I couldn’t make heads or tails of what I was supposed to do. But once I tried out a few different types and brands, I quickly learned to love them, and I can’t imagine myself ever going back to disposables now.

Sure, there’s going to be a learning curve with all the new lingo and fits that come with cloth diapers. But once you’ve finished reading my guide, I’m confident that you’ll be able to find the best cloth diapers for your baby’s bottom.

Quick Comparison: Our Top Picks

Jump to the full reviews

ProductAwardOur Rating
1. OsoCozy UnbleachedBest Prefolds5
2. Lil Joey AIOBest for Small Babies5
3. GroVia O.N.E.Best for Heavy Wetters4.75
4. Smart Bottoms AIOBest for Sensitive Skin4.75
5. Bambino MioEasiest to Use4.5
6. Blueberry CoverallsBest for Chunky Babies4.5
7. Alva BabyBest Cloth Swim Diapers4.5
8. Best Bottom ShellBest Velcro4.25
9. BumGenius 4.0Best Pocket Diapers4.25
10. Cloth-Eez WorkhorseBest for Newborns4
Use the links above to check the latest prices on Amazon or read our in-depth cloth diaper reviews below.

Reasons to Consider Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are often thought to be a thing of the past, but with how much they have evolved in the past few years, more and more parents are choosing cloth today. Here are five reasons why many moms and dads are considering cloth for their baby (source).

  1. Easy on the wallet: Stop throwing away your money with disposables and save big with cloth. You could easily pocket over $1,300 with cloth if you plan to reuse them for multiple children, and even more if you resell them after you’re done.
  2. Healthier for baby: Cloth diapers lack the harmful chemicals that most disposable diapers are filled with and can lead to health problems, like diaper rashes, endocrine disruption, and potentially even cancer.
  3. Better for the environment: 27.4 billion disposable diapers are ending up in U.S. landfills each year, and they will stay there for over 500 years until they degrade. By using cloth, you can help reduce landfill waste, protect our waterways, and save resources.
  4. Promotes early potty training: Because cloth diapers don’t have those absorbent chemical polymers, your child will be able to feel the wetness against their skin, giving them an incentive to begin using the potty.
  5. Your baby will look adorable: The cuteness factor of cloth will have you hooked in no time. With all the designs and prints that cloth diapers come in, your baby will look stylish for any occasion.
Are you losing sleep over the environmental state of the world today and you’re wondering how you can be a better steward of the Earth? Click here to learn more about 10 incredible financial, environmental and health reasons to switch to cloth diapering! #diapers #cloth #baby #motherhood #momlife #parentingtips
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Different Types of Cloth Diapers

Before you whip out your credit card and log into Amazon, you might want to be able to decipher all the new cloth diaper jargon, so you don’t end up purchasing the wrong thing.

These are the seven most popular types of cloth diapers, with the pros and cons of each. Keep in mind that many moms opt to use more than one kind of cloth diaper. After all, you don’t enter a war with only one weapon at your disposal.

1. Prefolds

OsoCozy - Prefolds Unbleached Cloth Diapers, Size 1(7-15lbs), 6 Pack - Soft,...

Ease of Use

Cost

These are what most people think of when they think of cloth diapers; A rectangular piece of cotton divided into three sections, with the middle being the most absorbent. Fold them into thirds and lay them inside a diaper cover or get creative with your origami folds and secure it with a Snappi or diaper pin. Prefolds also work well as burp cloths, changing pads, and cleaning rags.

PROS:
  • Extremely cost effective.
  • Easy to care for.
  • Versatile.

Read Prefolds Review

2. Flats

Flip Hybrid Reusable Cloth Diaper Cover with Adjustable Snaps and Stretchy Tabs...

Ease of Use

Cost

These are probably what your grandma used when she diapered her babies. Flats are a square or single rectangular layer of cotton that you can be fold in many different ways around your baby. They hold in messes well when used with a cloth diaper cover.

PROS:
  • Cost-effective.
  • Trim.
  • Dry quickly.

Read Flats Review

3. Covers

Blueberry One Size Coveralls Cloth Diaper Cover, Bundle of 2, Made in USA (Bugs)

Ease of Use

Cost

These are an outer waterproof diaper that covers an inner absorbent diaper, such as a prefold, flat, or fitted. Some parents even use these over disposable diapers to prevent nighttime leaks. Diaper covers are available in a wide variety of styles and fabrics, such as wool, fleece, or PUL (Polyester Urethane Laminate) (source).

PROS:
  • Can be reused multiple times before washing.
  • Don’t need as many to complete your diaper stash.
  • Excellent leak protection.
  • Snap or velcro closures.

Read Covers Review

4. AIO (All-in-one)

Bambino Mio, Miosolo All-In-One Cloth Diaper, Onesize, Bumble

Ease of Use

Cost

All-in-ones go on in one simple step and are the closest to disposables in form and function. AIO’s are a one-piece system that includes all components of a diaper: waterproof exterior, absorbent interior, elastic around the waist and legs, and a closure mechanism.

PROS:
  • No stuffing or folding involved.
  • No separate cover required.
  • Daycare friendly.
  • Snap or velcro closures.

Read AIO's Review

5. AI2 (All-in-two)

Imagine Baby Products All-In-Two Shell Hook and Loop Diaper Cover (Raccoon...

Ease of Use

Cost

All-in-twos consist of an outer waterproof shell and a removable inner absorbent layer that is typically snapped in and sits right against your baby’s skin. A soiled insert can be changed out and the outer shell can be wiped down and reused a few times before washing.

PROS:
  • Super simple.
  • Dries quickly.
  • Can use cover with other inserts if necessary.
  • Snap or velcro closures.

Read AI2's Review

6. Fitteds

Cloth-eez Workhorse Fitted Diaper White Snap (Newborn 6-pack)

Ease of Use

Cost

Fitteds are an absorbent fabric that has elastic around the waist and legs and come with closures.

In other words, they are just like an all-in-one diaper, minus the built-in outer waterproof cover.

PROS:
  • Super absorbent.
  • Great at containing leaks and blowouts.
  • No pins or folding required.
  • Snap or velcro closures.

Read Fitteds Review

7. Pockets

Best Bottom Inserts, Hemp/Organic Cotton, Small, 3-Pack

Ease of Use

Cost

Pocket diapers are a two-part system, consisting of an outer waterproof shell that has a pocket sewn in, plus absorbent inserts that are to be stuffed into the pocket. Most of the time, pockets are sold with inserts, but if they are sold separately, you can always just use prefolds, flats, or even microfiber towels to “stuff” your pockets (source).

PROS:
  • Adjustable absorbency.
  • Velcro and snap closures.
  • Stay dry layer between inserts and your baby’s skin.
  • Pre-stuffed diapers are easy for daddy and other caregivers.

Read Pockets Review

What to Look for When Buying Cloth Diapers

Once you’ve decided on what type and materials you prefer, you’ll need to start asking yourself some other questions to find the right diaper for you and your baby.

  • Price: Prices of cloth diapers can range anywhere from $5 to $35 per piece. If you’re on a super tight budget, you will want to stick to the inexpensive options, but if you have extra money to spare, it’s always nice to splurge on high-quality diapers or exclusive prints.
  • Snaps or velcro (hook & loop): Snaps are more durable and will help prevent your baby from taking their diaper off when they get older, but they can be difficult for people with arthritis and confusing for caregivers. On the other hand, velcro is an excellent option for alternative caregivers, but may not last throughout your entire cloth diaper journey.
  • Sizes: You will need to decide if you want to invest in a newborn stash or not. Some people forgo this and use disposable diapers until their baby is big enough to fit into the one-size diapers (OS). Typically, newborn diapers (NB) range in size from 6-14 pounds and one size will fit from 8-35 pounds. There are also some diapers, such as Applecheeks and Thirsties Duo Wraps, that have several size range options to cover a broader size range compared to the OS diapers.

The Best Cloth Diapers of 2018

We’ve rounded up the 15 best products for every situation to help you in your cloth diapering journey.

1. OsoCozy Unbleached Prefolds

OsoCozy - Prefolds Unbleached Cloth Diapers, Size 1(7-15lbs), 6 Pack - Soft,...

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, then prefolds used with covers are an excellent choice. You can reuse covers multiple times before washing by replacing the soiled prefold with a new one and wiping down the cover. When searching for prefolds, you’ll want to look for ones that offer different sizes so that you can get a better fit for your baby.

OsoCozy prefolds come in two different sizes – size 1 (7-15lbs) and size 2 (15-30lbs), creating a better fit when folding around your baby. The even better news is that you can trifold them and stuff them in your baby’s pocket diapers or lay them in a cover when they grow out of the sizes for the origami folds.

These unbleached prefolds come in a convenient 6-pack and are made with 100% pure Indian cotton, which is fantastic because they are super soft and comfortable and suitable for babies with even the most sensitive of skin. Because they are made with natural fibers, you will need to wash them 2-3 times before using. Otherwise, you’ll have absorbency issues.

Because these prefolds are so durable, they tend to have great resale value for when you’re done with your cloth diaper journey. They could also be used for other multiple purposes for baby and around the house, like spit rags, burp cloths, changing pad liners, and cleaning rags.

PROS

  • Easy to care for.
  • Super absorbent, soft, and durable.
  • A budget-friendly option.
  • Excellent leak protection with a fastener and cover.

2. Lil Joey All-in-One Cloth Diapers

Lil Joey All in One Cloth Diaper, Orchid

For a preemie, you will need a cloth diaper that fits well around those tiny legs and comes with an umbilical cutout. Choose a hassle-free all-in-one diaper, as you already have lots of other responsibilities and stressors that come with having a preemie. Plus, they can go through 20 diapers a day. That’s a lot diaper changing.

This cloth diaper is pretty much the only one out there that will fit preemies and smaller newborns. It fits from approximately 4-12 pounds and is designed to fit well around those tiny legs. It also features a snap down option to keep the diaper from rubbing against and irritating the umbilical cord.

These all-in-ones come with a double inner gusset for extra protection against leaks and blowouts. However, some parents, including myself, have had trouble getting the poop and stains out of these inner gussets. I ended up being able to remove the poop stains by using Buncha Farmers Stain Stick and lots and lots of sun.

PROS

  • Easy to use.
  • Slim fitting.
  • Great at containing leaks and blowouts.

3. GroVia O.N.E.

GroVia O.N.E. Reusable Baby Cloth Diaper (Abalone)

For heavy wetters, you need a diaper that is super absorbent, has a good fit around the waist and legs, and is good at dealing with leaks without being too bulky. Choose diapers made from porous fabrics such as cotton, hemp, and bamboo, and ones that allow you to adjust the number and placement of absorbency inserts easily.

The GroVia O.N.E. includes everything you will ever need to cloth diaper from birth through toddlerhood. It is designed to fit babies from 10-35 pounds, and also comes with snaps and a removable velcro option. I love this feature because I preferred the velcro when my little one was a newborn or when someone else was watching her, but loved the snaps when she got old enough to take her diapers off.

This diaper is excellent for heavy wetters because it has a custom super soaker system. It even works great as a nighttime solution for moderate wetters. It comes with small and large cotton blend soaker pads that are easily snapped together to create a double insert for optimal absorbency. The larger soaker pad has grooves in it, which helps catch all the liquids, maximizing the diaper’s leak protection.

PROS

  • Exceptionally soft and durable.
  • No extra prepping.
  • Incredibly absorbent.

4. Smart Bottoms 3.1 Organic AlO

Smart Bottoms Smart 3.1 OS Organic All-in-one Cloth Diaper (Rocket)

Cloth, in general, is better for sensitive skin, but if your little one is super sensitive, you’ll want to be sure to have a good wash routine down with extra rinses and suitable detergent for your baby. You’ll also need to avoid diapers with synthetic fibers, like microfiber, and stick with natural fabrics, such as organic cotton.

With Smart Bottoms 3.1 organic all-in-one, you won’t have to worry about your baby having any harsh chemicals against their skin, as the inside of this diaper is made of 100 percent certified organic cotton. The organic cotton is super soft and helps prevent diaper rash, even among the most sensitive of skin.

These diapers are designed to fit babies from 8 to 35 pounds and consist of four rows of rise snaps, allowing for a perfect fit. An extra-long insert is sewn into the diaper itself, so there’s no stuffing required – a great feature for busy parents.

You can fold this insert according to where your baby tends to soak their diaper the most. For instance, for a boy, you’ll want to fold it so there’s more padding in the front and for a girl, you’ll want to fold it so there’s more padding in the middle.

PROS

  • Super trim.
  • Organic cotton is soft and ideal for sensitive skin.
  • The insert can be folded to suit absorbency needs.

5. Bambino Mio, Miosolo AIO

Bambino Mio, Miosolo All-In-One Cloth Diaper, Onesize, Bumble

If you’re trying to get your daycare on board with your cloth diapers, you’ll want to make it as simple as possible for them by providing them with the closest thing to a disposable. Take an all-in-one diaper with velcro to your potential daycare and show them just how easy it is. Explain the only difference is they will be putting your diapers in a wet bag instead of their diaper genie.

This stylish all-in-one diaper is just as easy to use as a disposable, making it an excellent choice to send to daycare. The Miosolo is designed to fit from birth up to potty training and comes in 18 adorable designs. The rise snaps and hook and loop closure make it simple to get a good fit for your baby. It also comes with fold back laundry tabs to protect the velcro when it’s in the wash.

Unlike many other all-in-ones, this one features a unique tuck-in pocket where you can stuff the attached insert. I love this feature because it keeps the moisture away from your baby’s skin and you can even add additional inserts to the pocket for more absorbency.

PROS

  • Incredibly soft and stylish.
  • Super simple to use.
  • Dry quickly.
  • Designed to keep moisture away from baby’s skin.

6. Blueberry One Size Coveralls

Blueberry One Size Coveralls Cloth Diaper Cover, Bundle of 2, Made in USA (Bugs)

If you have a chunky baby, then you’ll need a cloth diaper that won’t leave red marks around that thick waist or those thunder thighs. You’ll need something that won’t be so tight that it will cause compression leaks and a headache. Prefolds, fitteds, or flats used in conjunction with Blueberry covers make an excellent option for your little chunkster.

Blueberry coveralls are one of the larger one-size covers on the market, designed to fit babies from 10-40 pounds. They work great with any prefold, flat, or fitted diaper. This cover is 100 percent polyester, making it completely waterproof. It also has double leg gussets, which do a great job at preventing leaks.

My baby was a preemie, but once she hit four months, she skyrocketed to the 96th percentile for weight. It was suddenly hard to find a diaper that didn’t leave red marks around her chunky legs, until I found these. I was able to use these Blueberry covers with my OsoCozy prefolds and they did a great job at keeping my rolly polly comfy.

PROS

  • Extremely durable.
  • Plenty of room for growth.
  • Great at preventing blowouts.
  • Can be reused multiple times before washing.

7. Alva Baby Swim Diapers

ALVABABY Swim Diapers Boys & Girls One Size Reuseable Adjustable 2pcs SW18-21

Disposable swim diapers are expensive. If you’re already cloth diapering, and even if you're not, why not purchase a few reusable swim diapers and save yourself even more money? When looking for swim diapers, you’ll want to choose ones that are durable, 100 percent waterproof (duh!), and are designed to hold in solids.

Alva swim diapers will save you loads of money if you’re a pool fanatic like my baby and I. These diapers come in a convenient two-pack, with three different sizes, and variety of irresistible prints. They’re so cute – there’s hardly any need for you even to bother buying swim trunks.

The interior of the diaper is a mesh netting, which does a great job of containing the poo, makes clean up easy, and is soft against your baby’s skin. The outside is made of 100% waterproof polyester PUL and includes a ton of snap options, which allows the diaper to grow with your baby. The sizes do run a little small though, so you may want to go up one size when purchasing these swim diapers.

PROS

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Trim fit.
  • Comfortable for baby.
  • Durable material.

8. Best Bottom Hook & Loop Shell with Hemp/Organic Cotton Inserts

Imagine Baby Products All-In-Two Shell Hook and Loop Diaper Cover (Raccoon...

Velcro is an ideal option for cloth diaper beginners, babysitters, people with arthritis, and even husbands. You’ll want to be on the lookout for “hook and loop” diapers that come with laundry tabs to prevent velcro damage. All-in-twos are a great option because you can reuse the shell multiple times before having to wash it, cutting down on the wear and tear of the velcro.

Best Bottom diapers are an all-in-two system with a waterproof cover and snap-in inserts. The OS cover fits from approximately 8 to 35 pounds, while the inserts come in three different sizes (small, medium, and large), so you can get the best fit for your growing baby. The hemp/organic cotton inserts are thin, but yet super absorbent, making this a trim-fitting option even for heavy wetters.

Best Bottom Inserts, Hemp/Organic Cotton, Small, 3-Pack

To use these diapers, all you have to do is adjust the rise settings, snap the insert into the diaper, and put it on your baby. You can even reuse the outer shell multiple times and just replace the soiled insert with a clean one.

The velcro on the outer shell makes this an easy-to-use option for all caregivers, but is available in snaps as well. Oh, and did I mention, that these diapers have some of the cutest gender neutral prints around? Vibrant solids, raccoons, giraffes, barnyard animals, and my personal favorite, hedgehogs.

PROS

  • Easy to use.
  • Double leg gussets prevent leaks and blowouts.
  • Diaper and all materials made in the USA.
  • Cover and a pack of inserts give you three diapers in one.

9. BumGenius 4.0 Pocket Diaper

BumGenius 4.0 Pocket Cloth Diaper - Snap - Dazzle - One Size

Pocket diapers let you customize the absorbency of your diaper by adjusting the number, type, and placement of your inserts. Pocket diapers do require stuffing, but your baby will be comfortable, as the inserts won’t be sitting directly against their skin. To make your life easy, choose pocket diapers that come with inserts.

BumGenius 4.0 is a pocket diaper designed to fit babies from 7 to 35 pounds. This diaper comes with two microfiber inserts — a newborn insert and a one-size insert. You can use either one of these inserts or double them together to maximize absorbency. You can even add in or stuff this diaper with other inserts you may have. I’ve had great luck using this as a nighttime diaper when adding a hemp insert.

The soft lining of the pocket wicks moisture away from your baby, keeping him/her dry and comfortable even if the inserts are soaked. This helps prevent diaper rashes as well. The outside of the diaper has snap closures and three rows of snap-downs, making it easy to adjust the diaper to your baby’s height and leg thickness.

PROS

  • Extremely durable snaps.
  • Customizable absorbency.
  • Cute colors and prints.
  • Gentle elastic prevents red marks.

10. Cloth-eez Workhorse Fitted Diapers

Cloth-eez Workhorse Fitted Diaper White Snap (Newborn 6-pack)

If you’re planning on investing in a newborn stash, then you’ll need to be on the lookout for diapers that will fit around your baby’s tiny body and have a cutout for the umbilical cord. You will want something that’s low maintenance, but also contains all the newborn blowouts.

This six-pack of fitted diapers is super convenient for overwhelmed new parents. They’re even user-friendly for your hubby or the sitter.

Workhorses are designed to fit newborns from 5 to 12 pounds. They are made of 100 percent pure cotton, so they’ll be sure to be super soft against your newborn’s delicate skin, keeping them happy and diaper rash free.

Since fitted diapers don’t have an outer waterproof layer, you will need to use these in conjunction with newborn covers that also come with an adjustment for the umbilical cord, such as the Thirsties Size One Duo Wrap Cover.

PROS

  • Super absorbent.
  • Don’t require any special folding.
  • Great at containing leaks and blowouts.
  • Durable snap closures.

11. Thirsties OS AIO Hook & Loop

Thirsties One Size All In One Cloth Diaper, Hook & Loop Closure, Aqua

If you are completely clueless about cloth diapers and wish to start with the most comfortable method out there, then a velcro all-in-one diaper is just what you’re looking for. They work just like disposable diapers; only you can reuse them and even resell them. Choose all-in-ones that come with the insert sewn in, so you won’t ever have to worry about folding, stuffing, or snapping it into place.

Cloth diapering doesn’t get much easier than the Thirsties one size all-in-one hook and loop. With the ease of this diaper, you’ll be able to get your hubby on board with cloth diapering in no time! They are even great to use at nighttime and simple enough for the babysitter.

These diapers are designed to fit babies from 8 to 40 pounds, so you’ll be able to use them pretty much throughout your entire cloth diaper journey. The inner soaker is sewn in, making it convenient and stress-free for those new to cloth diapering.

The insert is comprised of microfiber and microfleece, which absorbs well for most babies. If this material isn’t enough for your heavy wetter, then there is a pocket inside the diaper where you can stuff another insert of your choice.

PROS

  • Goes on in one easy step.
  • No folding or stuffing required.
  • Trim fit.
  • Dry quickly compared to other cloth diapers.

12. BumGenius Freetime AIO

bumGenius Freetime All-In-One One-Size Snap Closure Cloth Diaper (Grasshopper)

If you’re hesitating to try cloth diapers, then you may want to start with some easy peasy all-in-ones that don’t require any stuffing or origami folding. All-in-ones are the closest you’ll get to a disposable, making them an ideal option for sitters and family members.

The BumGenius Freetimes are an all-in-one system designed to fit babies from 8 to 35lbs. This diaper is available in a variety of colors and prints and comes with a custom butterfly closure system, making it easier for parents to get a good fit around their baby’s waist and legs.

Because the inserts are sewn in, this diaper is ready to go, making it hassle-free for busy parents and caregivers. All you have to do is fold the flaps the way you want them and put it on. Adjust the insert to accommodate where your baby tends to soak their diaper the most.

PROS

  • Properly gusseted for leak protection.
  • Quick drying.
  • Sewn-in inserts save you time and stress.
  • Available in hook and loop and snap closures.

13. Flip Diaper System with Organic Cotton Inserts

Flip Hybrid Reusable Cloth Diaper Cover with Adjustable Snaps and Stretchy Tabs...

If you want to minimize your environmental footprint, then choosing organic is the way to go. By using organic cloth diapers, you will help reduce toxins in our air, waterways, and soil that will eventually make their way back to you. Be sure to look for diapers with fabric certification to be sure they are free from harmful substances.

Flip organic cotton inserts are flats designed to be used with any Flip cover. These are one-size fits all and will fit from approximately 8 to 35 pounds. When you invest in a box of inserts and one cover, you’ll essentially have three diapers in one.

These square inserts are to be folded and placed in the cover, or you could even stuff them into any of your pocket diapers. Some parents find the folding to be a hassle, but I find them quite versatile and like the fact that you’re able to use them with pretty much any cover or pocket you have.

PROS

  • Incredibly soft.
  • Trim fitting.
  • Great for sensitive skin.
  • Oeko-Tex certified organic cotton.

14. Alva Baby One Size Cloth Diaper 6 Pack

ALVABABY Baby Cloth Diapers One Size Adjustable Washable Reusable for Baby Girls...

Even though cloth diapers can save you loads of money in the long run, the upfront costs can be overwhelming for parents on a super tight budget. If you’re trying to minimize your initial cloth diaper costs, then an inexpensive brand that comes in a bundle will give you the best bang for your buck.

This bundle of Alva Baby diapers comes with six pocket diapers and 12 microfiber inserts, making it an excellent deal. These diapers are designed to fit babies ranging from 6.6 to 33 pounds so that you can use them from birth up until potty training.

The suede cloth that makes up the interior of this diaper does an excellent job at wicking moisture away from your baby’s skin, which is fantastic because even if the inserts are drenched, your baby will be dry. This helps prevent diaper rashes as well.

Because these are pocket diapers, you can stuff them with any insert you choose, should the microfiber ones they come with not be absorbent enough for your heavy wetter. Even if you do use other inserts, this is still a great deal.

PROS

  • Gets the job done while being affordable.
  • Comes with a one-year warranty.
  • Can customize absorbency.

15. Disana Wool Overpants

Disana Organic Merino Wool Cover-Blue-62/68 (3-6 mo)

For overnight, you need a diaper that will keep your baby dry all night long. Wool covers are an ideal nighttime option even for the heaviest of wetters because they can absorb up to 30 percent of their weight, while still allowing for air circulation. They can be used over just about any diaper, including disposables, to prevent nighttime leaks.

These overpants are made of 100 percent organic soft merino wool and feature a high knitted waistband to help prevent leaks and keep your baby’s tummy warm. This natural fiber doesn’t just make an ideal nighttime diaper though — it’s also great for babies with sensitive skin.

Disana overpants come in 11 colors and 4 sizes, designed to fit your child from 3 months to 3T. This wide size range is great, as you can continue to avoid leaks with your stubborn toddler who wants nothing to do with potty training.

As with any wool cover, proper care is critical to maintaining its quality. But don’t be frazzled, wool covers are quite easy to care for. The covers must be lanolized before first use and about once a month with regular use to prevent absorbency issues, but only have to be washed every so often due to their antibacterial and antifungal properties.

PROS

  • All-natural and breathable.
  • Excellent leak protection.
  • Great for overnight, heavy wetters, and babies with sensitive skin.
  • Can be reused multiple times between washes.

Best Fabrics for Cloth Diapers

When picking out cloth diapers, there are several synthetic and natural options to choose from, each with its own unique features, pros, and cons.

Click to read more about each fabric:

If your cloth diapers aren’t 100 percent wool, hemp, or cotton, then they’re produced from human-made polyester-type fabrics that wick away moisture. Microfiber is often used to make inserts for pocket diapers, while suedecloth and microfleece are favorites for inner layers of pockets, all-in-ones, and fitteds.

PROS:
  • Durable.
  • Stay-dry quality.
  • Tend to be less expensive.

Cotton is one of the most commonly used natural fibers in cloth diapers. It’s very absorbent, easy to care for, and soft against your baby’s skin. To guarantee that your cotton diapers are GMO and pesticide-free, be sure to check for organic certification of the fabric (source).

PROS:
  • Great for sensitive skin.
  • Easy to keep clean.
  • Baby can feel wetness, promoting early potty training.

Bamboo is another hot natural fabric in the cloth diaper world right now. While bamboo plants are sustainable and grow quickly without the use of pesticides and fertilizers, the process to convert it into a diaper is often harsh and requires chemicals (source).

PROS:
  • Antibacterial.
  • More absorbent than cotton.
  • Super soft.

Hemp is a natural fiber that is grown without the use of pesticides and chemicals. While super absorbent, it tends to absorb slowly, so it’s often paired with another porous fiber to make an insert, such as a hemp/cotton blend.

PROS:
  • Thin, but super absorbent.
  • Durable.
  • Antibacterial.

While wool can be a good choice for “all-natural” covers due to its antimicrobial and absorbent nature, it does raise concerns about both the ethics and sustainability of the product. Common practices within the wool industry include castration, tail-docking, and ear-punching. Industrial wool farming is also energy-inefficient, land- and water-intensive, and highly pollutive. (source).

PROS:
  • Breathable.
  • Anti-bacterial and odor resistant.
  • Only needs to be washed when soiled or smelly.

How Many Cloth Diapers Will I Need?

How many diapers you will need will depend on your budget and how often you’ll be able to do laundry. Some moms choose to do diaper laundry every day, while others can go up to a week without washing.

In general, a newborn goes through about 12-18 diapers a day, an infant will go through about 8-10, and a toddler will go through about 6-8.

Based on these numbers, most moms invest in approximately 24-36 cloth diapers for their little one. But don’t be surprised if you find yourself buying more because you just can’t resist all those cute prints.

What Else Do I Need to Cloth Diaper?

To make your life easier and your cloth diaper journey more successful, you may want to consider investing in the following:

  • Diaper pail with liners to store your dirty diapers.
  • Wet bags for dirty diaper storage when you’re on the go or for daycare.
  • Cloth wipes to save you even more money.
  • Spray bottle to wet down your wipes at the changing station.
  • Diaper sprayer to rinse off formula or solid poop.
  • Diaper cream that is cloth diaper safe, such as Grandma Els or Bordeaux’s Butt Paste.
More On This Topic
How To Organize Your Cloth Diapers

Cloth Diapering FAQs

Still have questions? Here are some answers to help you understand the basics and be successful at cloth diapering. (click to read more)

It’s best to change your baby’s diaper as soon as she soils it or gets it wet, but on average you should be changing your baby’s cloth diaper about every two hours during the day. At night, let your baby sleep and just change her when she wakes up.

If your baby is exclusively breastfed (EBF), there is no reason to rinse off the poop before throwing it in the washing machine, as EBF is water soluble. Just make sure you do a pre-rinse cycle before the main wash. If your baby is formula fed or on solids, you’ll want to rinse the poop off beforehand by simply plopping it into the toilet, dunking and swishing, or using a cloth diaper sprayer that hooks right up to your toilet.

How you wash your cloth diapers will depend on what type of washing machine you have, if you have hard or soft water, and if you’re using plant-based or synthetic detergent. You may have to do a little experimenting first to find out what works for you, but here are three basic steps of all wash routines:

  1. Dry the diapers on a line or in a machine.
  2. Run a main wash with detergent on the heavy setting.
  3. Run a pre-rinse or short cycle so that your main wash isn’t full of soiled water.

Surprisingly, many eco-friendly and cloth diaper specific detergents do not have enough cleaning power to clean your cloth diapers properly. Some recommended synthetic detergents include Tide Powder, Gain, and Purex, and some eco-friendly options include Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus, Kirkland Environmentally Friendly, and Ecover. Check out the Fluff Love University detergent index for even more options.

How you prep your diaper will depend on what kind of fabric they are. While most diapers just require one or two washes before use, others (such as organic cotton) require up to 5-8 washes before first use. You can always opt out of some of these extra washes, just know that the absorbency of the diaper may not be up to par until then.

If your baby has a diaper rash, you’ll want to be sure to change her more frequently and give her plenty of diaper-free time. Use a diaper cream that is safe for cloth and consider adding some fleece liners to her diapers to help keep the wetness away. You may also need to try switching detergents or try washing your diapers a few times. If your baby’s rash ends up being yeast, you will need to do a bleach soak on all your diapers (source).

If your diapers constantly stink like ammonia or barnyard, you might be dealing with some build-up of bacteria or urine residue.You will need to start tweaking your wash routine to get your diapers clean and prevent the smell from coming back. If that doesn’t work, you may need to reset your diapers back to square one by stripping and bleaching them.

If your cloth diapers are leaking, you may be dealing with a simple fit or absorbency issue, or you could have a pesky repelling issue on your hands. Make sure your baby’s diaper fits snug around the waist and legs, but it’s not too tight that it’s causing compression leaks. If the fit is good, try adjusting the amount and placement of absorbency. If your diapers are leaking, but the inserts aren’t soaked, repelling is probably your issue, and is often due to improper care.

Stripping is the process of removing mineral and oil build-up from your cloth diapers. While it’s a great tool to help rejuvenate your diapers, you should only do it when necessary, as it is not a gentle process. You may need to strip your diapers if they’ve repeatedly been washed in untreated hard water, have been repelling, or have been washed with a detergent that contains fabric softener.

Don’t be afraid to travel with your cloth diapers. All you need is a wet bag or two to store your dirty diapers and wipes until you get home. If you’re going on a long trip, you’ll only want to take your cloth if you have plenty of storage space and access to a laundry facility and cloth-safe detergent. You could even consider using a diaper service while you’re away.


The Bottom Line

My favorite cloth diapers on the market right now are the OsoCozy prefolds. I love these prefolds because I feel they are the best bang for your buck. Money is super tight around our house, so I liked using these and being able to reuse the covers multiple times. I also found these super handy for spit rags, burp cloths, and changing pad liners. My baby had reflux, so we used these a lot.

I love that these are unbleached and made of 100% pure cotton, because it makes them so soft. My baby was super comfortable in them.

The folding did seem daunting at first, but with a little practice, my husband and I quickly became pros. And when my baby “outgrew” the sizes, we would simply tri-fold them and place them in the covers like a pad, and they worked just as well.

But remember, no matter which types or brands you go with, by choosing cloth you’re doing your best for your baby, the environment, and your wallet. And that makes you an awesome mom!

6 Reader Comments

  1. Kim

    Which covers do you like to use with the OsoCozy prefolds?

    • Jenny Silverstone

      There are several covers that I like. My favorites would have to be ones made by Thirsties and Rumparooz. Do any other mama’s have diaper covers you would like to recommend?

  2. John belton

    My kids bought reusable diapers for their newborn. The newborn is 2-years-old now. Sorry folks but disposable diapers beat these for absorbing…hands down. Even as a newborn, she’d leak through them the first pee. Cheaper to use? Not really, you have to buy new rugs and furniture after they get wet on, sometimes minutes after new diaper was put on. I used old school cloth with my oldest son, then came disposables with my younger kids. So I have lived the changes. Disposables last hours where cloth won’t last one pee from any aged child. That’s the reality. If you want to be eco-friendly, you will pay dearly to do so.

    • Jenny Silverstone

      Hi John,
      Thank you for your comment. With the issues you are mentioning, it sounds like the problem could have been one, or a combination of several, possible issues. Correct fit, correct prepping, and a good wash routine based on your water’s hardness all come into play with the absorbency of cloth diapers. Some brands are also better than others. Do you know what they did to troubleshoot and try to fix their problems?

      Best,
      Jenny

  3. Heidi B

    I have tried a few different brands of cloth diapers such as bumkins, Lil Helper, and AppleCheeks. My favorite by far is Lil Helper! They are the easiest for me, and you do not need to insert liners in pockets which always seemed impossible for me.

    The Lil Helpers also snap easily, and you can use both charcoal or bamboo, you also don’t have to change the cover if it’s not wet!

    They also have the best customer service and a super helpful facebook group full of ama’s using the same diapers.

    • Jenny Silverstone

      Hi Heidi,

      Thank you for sharing your experience! I’ve used AppleCheeks, but I’ve never used Lil Helper. I’ll have to look them up! Has anyone else used this brand of diaper?

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