Best Cloth Diapers
Interested in cloth diapering but overwhelmed by all the options? We’re rounded up some of the best reusable diapers, from brands like bumGenius, FuzziBunz, Kissaluvs, GroVia, and more
Types of Cloth Diapers
Flat Diapers: The originals that Grandma would recognize. Large rectangular or square fabric, like bleached or unbleached cotton, hemp or bamboo. Once used to require safety pins to hold them together (ouch!), but now can be fastened with Snappis diaper fasteners. Requires a waterproof cover (wool, fleece, or PUL—polyurethane laminate) on top. A very economical approach to cloth diapering.
Prefolds: A rectangular piece of fabric (options include cotton, flannel, hemp, and bamboo) with 6-8 layers of fabric in the middle. Needs a waterproof cover and (possibly) Snappis or safety pins. Generally come in three sizes: preemie (4-10 lbs), infant (newborn to 15 lbs), and premium/toddler (15-30 lbs). Also very economical.
Contours: Similar to prefolds, except that they’re hourglass-shaped for a closer fit to baby. Fabric options may include cotton fleece, cotton terry, bamboo, or flannelette. Can be used with or without a Snappi, inside a waterproof cover.
Fitteds: Shaped like disposables, fitted diapers have elastic at the legs and back, and close with snaps or hook and loop (e.g. Velcro or Aplix). Contain messes better than any of the above, helping to keep diaper covers cleaner for longer. Fabric options may include cotton, hemp, cotton fleece, cotton terry, and bamboo. Generally dry faster than all-in-ones, saving energy and time. Needs a waterproof cover.
Pocket or Sleeve Diapers: Hourglass-shaped with elastic in the legs and waist, pocket diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer (PUL or ProCare, fleece, or wool) and a stay-dry inner layer (usually fleece or suedecloth). An absorbent insert gets stuffed in the middle, which soaks up the pee, leaving the fleece layer dry next to baby’s skin. Fastens with hook and loop or snap closures. No additional cover needed.
All-in-Ones: Often referred to as AIO’s, these are quite similar in shape and function to pocket diapers, except that they don’t need to be stuffed—the absorbent insert (or soaker) is generally either sewn into the waterproof cover or attaches with snaps. No additional cover needed. Available as one-size AIO’s (which typically fit from about 10 or 12 to 35 pounds) or sized AIO’s, (which generally fit better, but for a shorter period of time). About as easy to use as disposable diapers, although more expensive than many other options (except pocket diapers).