Are disposables draining your bank account or hurting your baby’s tush? Are you now searching desperately for the best cloth diapers? Cloth diapers are better for your baby and your wallet—you only need 20 to 24 pieces.
If you’re already set on buying cloth diapers and don’t want to read through our buyer’s guide, here’s our favorite: One Size Pocket Cloth Diapers By Mama Koala.
Here is our top rated list for the best cloth diapers of this year:
Why You Should Consider Cloth Diapers
We can argue all day about the benefits, so we went ahead and found five prominent reasons:
- Better for baby.
- Helps when potty training.
- Better for the environment.
- More aesthetic.
Better for Your Baby
Disposable diapers are often filled with polymers to prevent leaks and enforce absorption. However, some manufacturers utilize chemicals to minimize odors, which are a greater danger. Often culprits of persistent diaper rashes, asthma, skin diseases, among others, they’re best avoided.
Cloth diapers, on the other hand, don’t contain any of this. Even those you buy from larger brands are safer to use.
Encouraging Potty Training
Although there’s no study proving this, many parents and experts still believe that cloth diapers encourage potty training. The thought surrounding this is based on how powerful the polymers are in disposable nappies. They’re so efficient at absorbing moisture that little one doesn’t realize they’re wet.
Cloth diapers are washable—you reuse them, avoiding the need to purchase more, which saves hundreds of dollars each year.
To put this into perspective, around 7.4 million U.S. babies wear disposables. A rough estimation concluded that those families spend approximately $750 a year. That’s almost $5.6 billion every year or 23.1 billion disposable diapers.
Easier on the Environment
The 23.1 billion disposable diapers end up inlandfills across the U.S. Here, it takes one diaper anything between 250 to 500 years to degrade. Eventually, they end up leaking into the ground and pollute our water.
Because you’re reusing cloth diapers, fewer disposables end up in landfills.
Adding to the Cuteness
Babies are adorable, that’s why we love them. But, believe it or not, adding a cloth diaper only makes them appear cuter. They come in different patterns and colors to customize your little one’s tush.
Various Types of Cloth Diapers
Buying cloth diapers isn’t precisely the same as disposable diapers. There are various types that you should be aware of:
Flat cloth diapers are basic, consisting of a large, squared, single-layered piece of fabric, which you fold how you like.
The fabric is usually cotton, and they’re probably the most budget-friendly diaper you can find. However, they can be challenging to use and require a cover.
Prefolds are a bit more advanced. They consist of a rectangular cloth, which you fold in three sections. You wrap it around your baby’s bum and fasten it with a pin or snappi (a specialized “pin”).
The middle layer is the most absorbent, but you should always use a cover. Most will recommend using prefolds with newborns.
These don’t require any folding—everything is ready to go on your baby. They’re even fitted with either an aplix or velcro closure or simple snaps.
These are very absorbent. However, fitteds aren’t waterproof. They don’t have an outer fabric keeping it all in so you should still use a cover.
4. All-In-One (AL1)
These are the closest you get to a disposable diaper in terms of functionality and shape.
All-in-ones are a simple one-step system that consists of all the essential diaper components. These include a waterproof exterior, elastic waist and leg openings, absorbent interior, as well as a type of closure.
5. All-In-Two (AL2)
All-in-twos are similar to all-in-ones, except that they have an additional component. On the inside, they have a removable absorbent layer that you snap in nearest to the action zone.
When changing, you remove it and throw it in the washer. Depending on the damage, the exterior can easily be rinsed off and reused before requiring a full wash.
As the name suggests, these are an outer diaper covering the cloth on the baby. Covers are essential for cloth diapers without an outer waterproof cover such as fitteds, prefolds and flats.
They come in a variety of fabrics ranging from wool to fleece and even polyester.
Pockets consist of an outer diaper with a sewn-in pouch where you place an absorbent insert. The inserts are generally sold together with the diaper. However, if they aren’t included, you can buy them separately or use a prefold or a flat.
How to Choose the Best Cloth Diapers
Before we get to our favorites, we’d like to discuss some points on how to choose the best product for you.
Even though cloth diapers are cheaper long-term than disposable, they do come at a higher initial price. For the most straightforward types, you can expect to spend around $5 to $10 per piece.
However, if you want something a bit more practical, higher quality, or exclusive prints, you have to spend a bit more. These can go for as much as $35 per diaper—more if you’re choosing a high-end brand.
2. Hook or Loop
The closure mechanism is an essential factor to weigh in on before deciding on a diaper. You can choose between velcro and snaps.
If you and your partner are the only ones taking care of the baby, we recommend snaps. They’re a little harder to figure out, but once you got it, it’s pretty straightforward. Snaps are quite durable and will last longer than velcro.
On the contrary, velcro is less durable, but it’s easier to use. If your baby spends time with alternative caregivers, we recommend this option.
3. The Size
In the world of cloth diapers, there are generally two types of fittings to decide on: sized and one-size-fits-all.
Sized diapers offer a broader range of sizes. These diapers are similar to pieces of clothing—you have to pick the right size and buy new as your baby grows.
One-size-fits-all work using snaps—as your baby grows, you undo them to increase their size. They fit babies ranging from 8 to 35 pounds. Newborns have a particular category that ranges from 6 to 14 pounds.
To ensure your baby is comfortable, whether wet or dry, it’s essential to choose a diaper with high absorbency. Leaving your baby in a wet diaper can lead to rashes, irritation and chafing. Cloth diapers do have an advantage here, but you can level the playing field by choosing the right material:
- Cotton: This is an excellent material. It has a high absorbency and is soft as a cloud for little tushies. It’s also affordable and easy to find.
- Hemp: Another great material with high absorbency. It’s usually mixed with 45 percent cotton for a softer texture. Off the shelves, it’s quite stiff, but a quick turn in the dryer should soften it up.
- Minky: This is a man-made fiber with high absorbency. It’s a great pick since it’s impervious to stains and won’t hold on to smells. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to find.
- Microfiber: Made from a blend of polyester and polyamide, microfiber is super absorbent. It dries quickly and is light to handle. That said, it soaks up liquids like a sponge, expanding quite a bit, and can cause irritation as it dries.
- Bamboo fleece: Sounds fancy and works wonders. It absorbs quickly, keeping your little one comfortable at all times. It’s also super soft. However, bamboo fleece is not a natural fabric.
5. Fit and Leakage
It’s best to choose varieties with elastic around the legs to ensure a no-leak service. This will prevent anything from seeping down onto your carpet, but it will also be more comfortable for your baby.
Most AL1 and AL2, as well as waterproof covers, have elastic around the legs. It’s essential, however, to ensure that the elastic doesn’t sit too tight around the legs. If you spot any marks on your baby, find another size.
6. Ease of Use
How good are you at folding a cloth diaper? The best thing is to choose something easy to figure out. Flats, for example, require some thought and how-to knowledge on folding. AL1s, however, are straightforward.
As we learned earlier, cloth diapers are the way to go if you want to be better for the planet. In saying this, it’s essential to find a durable material. Purchasing something that deteriorates after first wash won’t benefit anyone as you’d have to throw it away.
How to Wash Cloth Diapers
Washing cloth diapers is a lot easier than you might think. Here’s a video with some helpful tips:
The Best Cloth Diapers of 2020
Here are the nine best cloth diapers for you to choose from!
1. One Size Pocket Cloth Diapers By Mama Koala – Best Overall Cloth Diapers
Kind to the environment and easy on the bums, this six-pack of cloth diapers from Mama Koala is impressive. They are pocket-type diapers, and alongside them, you get six three-layer microfiber inserts.
Mama Koala designs its diapers using breathable and waterproof thermoplastic polyurethane as the exterior and suede cloth for the interior. The inner material is velvety smooth, ensuring a comfy bottom. This would’ve been useful when my little one was in the diaper age!
The microfiber inserts are superbly absorbent and will make sure that no leaks occur. For extra protection, Mama Koala made sure to include gentle elastics around the legs, tight enough to seal in moisture with an ample amount of flexibility for comfort.
The diapers are one-size-fits-all and suitable for babies weighing 8 to 35 pounds. They’re fitted with three-by-three snaps, which you undo as your little one grows.
Mama Koala is all about convenience, and these diapers are super easy to use. Adjust the size to fit your baby, place an insert into the pocket, and put it on your little one.
- Smooth and comfy materials.
- Strong absorbency and great fit.
- Easy to use for busy moms.
- There are no hip snaps, which means you can’t adjust the waist.
2. Baby Double Snaps Pocket Cloth Diaper By LBB – Best Cloth Diapers for the Growing Baby
Babies are always growing, and it’s a process we’d sometimes like to stop. However, since that isn’t possible, it’s essential to have cloth diapers fit for a developing baby. This six-pack of pocket-type diapers from LBB will do just that.
The diapers include extra snaps to adjust the size, giving you a longer window to use them in. They can accommodate babies weighing anything between 8 to 35 pounds.
The size is easy to adjust. Use the three vertical rows of snaps to arrange the height and the hip snaps for a comfortable fit around the waist.
Another excellent feature of these diapers is the material. LBB utilized organic cotton, which is incredibly soft and super absorbent. On the outside, the company used natural bamboo fibers that are smooth and comfortable.
Each diaper in this six-pack has a different color. They range from neutral white and grey to the colorful hues of blue, orange and green.
Furthermore, LBB included six washable inserts for the diapers. When cleaning, however, it recommends that you wash the inserts and covers separately.
- Fits a broad range of sizes thanks to the extra snaps.
- Organic material that’s ultra soft.
- Adorable neutral colors.
- Leaks occur if you don’t fit them right.
3. Six Pack of Boys and Girls Reusable Cloth Diapers By Alvababy – Best Cloth Diapers for Newborns
With a highly adjustable size and cuter than cute design, these diapers from AlvaBaby are excellent for the new family addition. They’re adjustable down to a size fit for a 6.6-pound baby and will accommodate them comfortably until 33 pounds.
In this package, you get six covers and 12 inserts. The exterior is made from waterproof, breathable polyester, and inside, super-soft suede cloth. AlvaBaby fitted flexible, soft elastic around the legs.
To prevent any potential runaways, the inserts are constructed from three-layer microfiber fabric.
On the hips, there are both crossover and hip snaps for extra adjusting around the waist. To change the length, use the vertical snaps along the back. Undo one each time your nugget outgrows the size.
Moving on to the design—these are adorable. They’re designed with attractive colors and patterns perfect for a summer baby. You get a big-eyed night owl, friendly monsters, pineapples, sporty robots, bathtub duckies and tiny popsicles.
- Can accommodate newborns comfortably with adjustable hip snaps.
- Twelve inserts included.
- Adorable designs.
- Not great for larger babies.
4. 6pcs Boys Pocket Cloth Diapers + 6 inserts + 4 Bamboo Inserts By Babygoal – Best Cloth Diapers for Baby Boys
Cute dinosaurs and a rocket landing on the moon are two of the designs you get in this six-pack from Babygoal. They’re so adorable; you’d wish your little one would never outgrow them.
The diapers are one-size-fits-all and grow with your baby from 7 to 33 pounds, about two years. They’re made from a suede cloth on the inside and a mix of polyester and waterproof PUL on the outside. They’re super soft and comfy for your little one.
Furthermore, with the six-pack, you get six microfiber inserts as well as four three-layer bamboo pads.
Babygoal recommends that you wash the inserts at least six times before use. This will ensure that they’re ready to soak up as much liquid as possible—we all know how much little ones can pee! This would’ve been appreciated when my eldest was little.
Both the exterior and interior are breathable and guarantees that the tushies aren’t suffocating during the summer. This is especially crucial for little boys.
What’s more, the polyester material on the outside is entirely waterproof. Although it’s not designed for swimming, it ensures no liquids can seep on to your carpet or other surfaces.
- Cute boyish designs.
- Six microfiber and four bamboo inserts included.
- Breathable material, essential for boys.
- The seams aren’t as durable as you’d like.
5. GroVia O.N.E. Reusable Baby Cloth Diaper – Best Luxurious Cloth Diapers
Sometimes we like to splurge on a product that has everything. And if you’ve got money to spare, we recommend having a look at this cloth diaper from GroVia.
GroVia is a luxury brand. Founded in 2009, it’s renowned for high-quality materials. And this example is no exception.
GroVia calls this diaper O.N.E because everything you need is in one little package. It comes with a 100 percent cotton insert covered with a fine layer of polyester. This combo is soft, yet absorbent enough to use overnight without boosters or doublers.
The exterior is made with a busy baby in mind. Made from water-resistant polyester, TPU, it’s durable and ready for a crawl across the carpet.
With that said, the feature I appreciate the most is the two different closures fitted on one diaper. Instead of having to choose which one, GroVia included both velcro and snaps. Perfect if your little one spends time with grandparents or other alternative caregivers.
This diaper, however, is not for newborns. It can fit your baby from 10 pounds up until 35 pounds, give and take.
- Made from sturdy material, and feels substantial when you handle it.
- Highly absorbent cotton insert.
- Two closures in one diaper.
- Leg openings are wide and won’t fit thin legs.
- Perhaps too heavy for a daytime diaper.
6. Best Bottom Cloth Diaper Shell-Snap, to The Point – Best Cloth Diapers for Busy Parents
Being a busy parent can sometimes be a determining factor between choosing cloth diapers and disposables. Thankfully, Best Bottom had active parents in mind when producing this diaper.
Although there are several options for the fittings, it’s pretty straightforward to figure out. There are snaps all over the diaper to ensure a good fit. You adjust at the front around the waist, and your little one is ready to go.
The inserts are also snap-ins. After a soil, open up the diaper, undo the snaps and remove the dirty insert. Then, grab a new one, and snap it into place.
What’s more, the inserts are wide and long, covering the interior. All it requires you to do is wipe down the cover before replacing the pad.
Elastics are fitted around the legs as well as extra fabric, ensuring a snug fit. They suit babies ranging from 8 to 35 pounds.
Best Bottom emphasizes that all their cloth diapers are 100 percent made in the U.S. The cover is conveniently produced from waterproof polyurethane laminate (PUL) and everything is PVC-free.
- Super-easy to do a quick change.
- Snap-in inserts and wipeable shell.
- Excess fabric around the legs for further protection.
- Not suitable for chunkier thighs.
7. 4 Pack Adjustable Size Pocket Cloth Diapers and Wet Bag By Anmababy – Best Cheap Cloth Diapers
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly cloth diaper option, this package from Anmababy is perfect. With it, you get four adjustable pocket diapers along with four inserts, and a wet bag.
These cloth diapers are 100 percent chemical free. They’re incredibly soft and super-absorbent. The shell is waterproof, helping the cloth inside hold the liquids for longer.
Anmababy ensures a perfect fit from the newborn stage through to the toddler age. On the back of the diapers, there are three rows of snaps that you can undo to accommodate a larger bum.
Another excellent feature is the cute designs. They’re down to earth and gender-friendly. My favorite has to be the blue giraffe—it’s adorable.
Everything is eco-friendly, and if you’re displeased with the product, Anmababy guarantees your money back.
- Great budget-friendly alternative.
- Waterproof shell and comfy interior.
- Fits large and small babies.
- May leak with heavy front-wetters.
- Not optimal for night time.
8. Reusable Cloth Pocket Diapers 6 Pack + 6 Bamboo Inserts By Wegreeco – Best Cloth Diapers for Sensitive Bottoms
To the general public, babies are known for having really soft bottoms. But, as nearly all parents know (raising hand), they’re also sensitive—some more than others. Our example from Wegreeco is excellent for babies requiring a softer lining.
The inner material is suede cloth—soft, gentle and doesn’t retain moisture. This means that after a go, the liquids seep straight through to the insert, minimizing the amount of dampness touching your baby.
What’s more, the inserts consist of four layers—two made from microfiber and two are bamboo. It’s a superbly absorbent mix, capable of holding liquids for longer. On the exterior, you have 100 percent breathable and waterproof polyester PUL.
In this bundle, Wegreeco supplies you with six diapers and inserts, plus a wet bag. The diapers fit any baby ranging from 8 to 33 pounds.
- Soft material and highly absorbent.
- Suitable for sensitive skin.
- Breathable material.
- Large bundle of diapers, inserts and a wet bag.
- The inserts are prone to pilling.
9. Prefolds Unbleached Cloth Diapers Indian Cotton Natural By OsoCozy – Best Cloth Diaper Prefolds
Simplistic yet effective, these prefolds from OsoCozy are excellent. They’re available in two sizes: 1 and 2. Size 1 fits babies weighing 7 to 15 pounds, whereas size 2 is from 15 to 30 pounds.
Although they’re prefolds, absorbency is high. The middle sections have eight layers, backed by a four-layer outer fabric.
The best feature, however, is the material—it’s natural and soft. OsoCozy used 100 percent unbleached Indian cotton. Although, it’s recommended that you wash and dry them two to three times before use. This will ensure optimal absorbency as well as softness.
Another thing to note about these prefolds is that they shrink in size approximately five to ten percent after the first wash.
OsoCozy also highlights that, after your baby has outgrown them, you can reuse them as burp cloths.
- Natural material that’s ultra soft.
- Excellent absorbency.
- Multi-purpose cloths.
- They shrink after first use so remember to buy a larger size.
Today’s clear winner is One Size Pocket Cloth Diapers By Mama Koala. Out of the products on this list, Mama Koala utilizes the best materials that are soft and absorbent. And, they fit well—they’re suitable whether your little one is larger or smaller.