The 7 Best Cloth Diapers of 2020

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: BumGenius Freetime All-In-One Cloth Diaper at Amazon

"Because these diapers adjust they grow with your baby and provide a great fit."

Best All-In-One Diapers: Miosolo All-In-One Cloth Diaper at Amazon

"The rows and rows of snaps allow you to custom fit the diaper to your baby."

Best Pocket Diapers: Rumparooz One-Size Cloth Pocket Diaper at Amazon

"Rated at six different stages of absorbency so that you can find the perfect balance between comfort and protection."

Best Budget: Imagine Baby Newborn Stay-Dry All-In-One at Amazon

"A dependable, easy to use all-in-one cloth diaper at a very affordable price."

Best Luxury: Charlie Banana 6 Diapers Plus 12 Inserts at Amazon

"They can have disposable or reusable liners inserted, allowing parents the best of both worlds."

Best Designs: ALVABABY Pocket Cloth Diapers at Amazon

"You won't even want to cover them up as they look better than most baby clothes!"

Best For Toilet Training: Babyfriend Lovely Training Pants at Amazon

"In sizes 18 months through to age 3, they provide an effective bridge between cloth diapers and big kid underwear."

When it comes to choosing the best diapers for baby, many parents are convinced that cloth diapers are the only way to go—especially when considering how long it takes a disposable diaper to break down in a landfill.

If you are considering cloth diapers for your newborn, or if you want to switch to cloth diapers after starting out with disposables, it's important to find ones that are durable and are made with baby-safe materials.

Here are the best cloth diapers on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: BumGenius Freetime All-In-One Cloth Diaper

With a patent pending butterfly closure system which ensures they stay put on even the wiggliest of babies, these diapers provide a comfortable, snug fit. With the adjustable snap system, they are so easy to use compared to flats and prefolds that you’ll be able to confidently send them to the grandparents or a daycare provider secure in the knowledge that they will be correctly changed.

Because these diapers adjust they grow with your baby and provide a great fit. BumGenius offers a range of cloth diapers including all-in-ones and pockets styles all in vibrant bright colors making them a fan favorite among moms

Best All-In-One Diapers: Bambino Mio, Miosolo All-In-One Cloth Diaper

All-in-ones are the easiest reusable diapers and the most similar to disposables. They make a great first investment for parents who are anxious about making the change. Attached cloth liners and a waterproof cover mean the least amount of assembly for parents and keep leaks down to a minimum. Bambino Mio all in one adjustable diapers grow with your baby from newborn to the toilet training stage making them an excellent fool-proof investment. The rows and rows of snaps allow you to custom fit the diaper to your baby. Whilst the super absorbent core wicks moisture away from your little one's skin, preventing diaper rash and irritations. The fabric is so stretchy providing all-day comfort and doesn't interfere with your baby's natural urge to crawl, wriggle and play.

Best Pocket Diapers: Rumparooz One-Size Cloth Pocket Diaper Snap

Pocket diapers feature a removable liner allowing parents to customize the absorbency depending on the length of time the baby will be wearing it. For example on longer car journeys or overnight you can insert thicker inserts than for shorter periods during the day.

Rumparooz diapers offer four sizes in one, fitting most babies from 6 to 35 pounds and beyond. Patent protected dual inner gussets keep even the biggest of messes contained. The insertable liners which fit inside the pocket are rated at six different stages of absorbency so that you can find the perfect balance between comfort and protection. They come in a range of beautiful colorful designs with some highly sought after limited edition prints.

Best Budget: Imagine Baby Products Newborn Stay-Dry All-In-One

Cloth diapers can be costly as an initial investment, however as they are laundered and reused, and can be utilized by other children the cost is spread out over years, as opposed to disposable diapers which are a weekly expense. This budget option from Imagine Baby Products offers a dependable, easy to use all-in-one cloth diaper at a very affordable price. The no-pill fleece inner lining stays soft and comfortable wash after wash and keeps baby dry and comfortable between changes. The gentle leg casing prevents red marks and allows baby freedom of movement. As the liner is sewn on one side and snapped in the front these diapers conveniently dry quickly after washing. Suitable for babies weighing 5-13 pounds these diapers are an affordable choice for your first set of cloth diapers.

Best Luxury: Charlie Banana 6 Diapers Plus 12 Inserts

These premium diapers feature organic cotton designed to ensure your baby has fewer diaper rashes. The versatility of these diapers marks them out from the rest, they can have disposable or reusable liners inserted, allowing parents the best of both worlds. Parents can choose either the convenience of being able to throw out the liner on long trips or after big blowouts or the economical and environmentally friendly option to wash and reuse.

Each diaper cover comes with two absorbent and soft hemp inserts suitable for day or overnight wear. These diapers come in beautiful bright shades and patterns and make excellent gifts.

Best Designs: ALVABABY Pocket Cloth Diapers

Alvababy cloth diapers come in the most beautiful fun and colorful designs. You won't even want to cover them up as they look better than most baby clothes! Made with a super comfortable suede inner liner and a 100% polyester PUL outer layer they provide great protection and a comfortable fit in charming prints, like foxes, umbrellas, and stars.

Made with BPA free, phthalate-free, latex-free and lead-free materials you can be confident that your little one is dry and protected from environmental contaminants and skin irritants.

The double row of snaps and elasticated leg gussets offer a secure fit and added protection against leaks.

Best For Toilet Training: Babyfriend Lovely Training Pants

As your little one grows and begins to potty train, you’ll need a diaper option they can begin to take on and off by themselves to learn how to use the toilet. However, you’ll still need them to have added absorbency to cope with the inevitable accidents that will happen during this time. Babyfriend training pants are made with 100% cotton and an inner lining of waterproof cotton for comfort and protection from leaks.

The elasticated waistband makes them comfortable and easy to remove by toddlers and as they are completely machine washable they can be reused again and again. Your child will love the playful designs including a tractor, frog, and lion. In sizes 18 months through to age 3, they provide an effective bridge between cloth diapers and big kid underwear.

Cloth Diapers 101: What You Need to Know

By Jaime Rochelle Herndon, MS, MPH 

Choosing how to diaper your baby is a very personal choice, and there aren't necessarily specific health benefits to one choice over another. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not take an official position on diapers and neither does the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). So, parents are often left to decide which option best suits their family's needs and goals.

For instance, some parents know from the beginning that they want the convenience of disposable diapers. Meanwhile, other parents are convinced that cloth diapers are the only way to go—especially when considering how long it takes a disposable diaper to break down in a landfill.

Regardless of your opinion or your reasons, if you are considering cloth diapers for your newborn, or if you want to switch to cloth diapers after starting out with disposables, it's important to make a well-informed decision. Here is a closer look at everything you need to know about cloth diapers.

Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers

Cloth diapers come in a variety of designs and are often more affordable than disposable diapers. However, they do require a greater time commitment and a larger upfront investment. Cloth diapers also may require more diligence, especially while your baby is a newborn.

For instance, if you do use cloth diapers, you need to make sure you're changing the diapers regularly, to avoid chafing and diaper rash. The fabric in cloth diapers doesn't draw wetness away from the skin like disposables do.

So, in the early weeks of your baby's life, this could mean a lot more diaper changes than a baby who is wearing disposables.

Likewise, with cloth diapers, you will need to allow extra time for cleaning and sanitizing your diapers. If you had a particularly hard birth experience or if you have little help at home, this can be a significant consideration. Cloth diapers also can be really frustrating for families who have hectic schedules, especially because you may be doing as many as three additional loads of laundry each week.

You also will need to purchase plenty of cloth diapers as well as the necessary cleaning aids for your diapers upfront. So, this initial expense may take some planning in order to make it work within the family budget. Here are some additional things to consider as you make your decision about cloth diapers.

Cloth Diaper
  • Costs less over time

  • Cuts down on landfill waste

  • May help with sensitive skin

  • Contains waste better

  • Takes time to launder

  • Requires more frequent changes

  • Uses energy and water to clean

Disposable Diaper
  • Costs more over time

  • Adds to landfill waste

  • Ingredients may irritate sensitive skin

  • Causes leaks sometimes

  • Requires no laundering

  • Makes diapering convenient and easy

  • Requires no extra water use

Cost

There is no doubt about it, diapering a baby can get expensive. On average, parents go through about 60 diapers per week—and even more for newborns and young babies. On average, these diapers can cost up to $60 per month for disposables, depending on the brand you buy and in what quantity you buy them.

These costs can quickly add up especially when you consider how long your child wears diapers prior to potty training. In the long run, cloth diapers can be a much more economical alternative to disposable diapers. However, it's possible that an initial diaper stash could cost around $400 to $600.

This investment can be significant especially when you factor in other supplies you might need. But, most of the time you can use this stash the entire time your child is in diapers—and you can use them for your next child, too.

Some parents are skeptical that cloth diapers truly save money in the long run, especially if you look at some of the more expensive cloth diaper products. For instance, cloth diapers can cost up to $40 each, and some options are even more expensive.

Though you might be spending more money on a stash of 30–40 cloth diapers, you can use this supply throughout your child's diaper journey, saving money long-term.

Types of Cloth Diapers

Many modern cloth diapers do not require safety pins or plastic covers like more traditional cloth diapers required in years past. In fact, there are several types of cloth diaper products from which to choose, and some are as easy to use as disposables.

Because cloth diapers can vary in cost and ease of use, many people use multiple kinds at different points in their cloth diapering.

Flats and Prefolds

These diapers are most similar to old-fashioned cloth diapers. Although they are the most budget-conscious, these types of diapers are a bit more inconvenient. Prefolds are rectangular, so you have to fold them, fasten them with a diaper clip, and add a cover over them because they are not waterproof. When the diaper is soiled, you can put a new prefold inside the same cover if the cover is still clean.

Fitted Cloth Diapers

Fitted cloth diapers are made out of absorbent material with leg and back elastic and snaps or Velcro closures. They do not have a waterproof outside, so you need a cover over them.

Fitted diapers come in multiple sizes, so as your baby grows you will need to buy the appropriate size. Like prefolds, if the cover is still clean, you can reuse it and only replace the fitted cloth diaper when changing.

Contour Diapers

Contour diapers are a cross between fitted diapers and prefolds. They are contoured to fit your baby, meaning they fit snugly around the legs making them a good nighttime option. But keep in mind that these economical diapers do require a pin or diaper clip to secure them. They also require a cover in order to be waterproof, which you can reuse as long as it's not dirty.

Pocket Diapers

Pocket diapers are one of the first new designs of modern cloth diapers. They have a waterproof layer, which means no cover is necessary, and look a lot like a disposable diaper. Inside, you'll find a stay-dry lining with a pocket in which you place a diaper insert or a prefold for more absorbency. Of course, after the diaper is soiled, you must replace the entire diaper and take the stuffing out of the pocket before laundering.

All-in-Ones

All-in-ones (AIOs) are similar to disposables, except they are made of cloth. Like the pocket diaper, they have a waterproof outside and have multiple inside absorbent layers that you can fold for more absorbency as needed.

If you need more absorbency, there are boosters you can stick on top of the layers as well. These boosters may have Velcro or a snap. Like the pocket diaper, AIOs are used once and then once soiled, a new one must replace it.

Hybrids/All-in-Twos

Hybrids are also called all-in-twos (AI2s). They are similar to AIOs, but AI2 diapers often have detachable absorbency layers inside which allow you to customize absorbency more efficiently.

This feature also allows you to remove a soiled insert and snap in a new, clean one—as long as the rest of the diaper is clean. There are also boosters and nighttime inserts you can add for overnight cloth diaper use.

How to Begin With Cloth Diapering

If you have not yet tried cloth diapering, it can seem like an intimidating process. However, once you find the type of cloth diaper that works for you, it can be a great alternative to disposable diapers. Plus, there is a large community of support out there if this is the route you decide to take.

In fact, the cloth diaper community and many natural baby care retailers are happy to talk with you. They can answer any questions you might have and even help you troubleshoot if you are having difficulty using the diapers.

In the meantime and as you get started on your cloth diaper journey, you may want to start by purchasing just a few diapers secondhand in different styles. Purchasing secondhand will help you keep costs down and having a variety to test will give you some time to determine which style works best for you.

Additionally, you can experiment with combination diapering. In this scenario, you might use cloth diapers when you will be home and disposables when you are out and about. Or perhaps you prefer using cloth during the day and disposables overnight to cut down on the number of nighttime changes.

The beauty of diapering your baby is that you are not required to an all or nothing lifestyle. There are plenty of families who use a combination of cloth diapers and disposables.

If you do decide that cloth diapers work for you and your family, you may want to invest in a few supplies that will make the process more efficient. For instance, many people who use cloth diapers have found that using a bidet or sprayer in the bathroom to rinse the solids out of the baby's diaper and into the toilet is more helpful than other methods (like swishing the diaper around in the toilet).

You also will need a wet bag for carrying soiled cloth diapers home with you when you're out—assuming you're not going to use disposables. And some parents have found that using handmade wipes or flushable wipes to clean out any solids while out can be useful to have on hand.

Even if you plan to use cloth diapers all the time, it's still a good idea to have some disposable diapers on hand for emergencies. For instance, if you lose power for a few days and cannot use your washing machine to clean your cloth diapers, you may be happy to have some disposables on hand.

How to Clean Cloth Diapers

Once dirty, you should rinse the cloth diaper under warm water immediately. However, if your baby is not yet eating solids, this may not be necessary, especially if you are breastfeeding. If your baby or child is eating solids, flush any solid waste down the toilet.

Place dirty diapers in a cloth diaper bag or diaper pail with a liner in it. Disposable liners can be thrown in the trash or flushed in the toilet as long as the package indicates that they are flushable.

Most cloth diaper brands suggest that you wash diapers every two days, three days max. Doing so helps prevent smells and ammonia build-up in the diapers.

Keep in mind that once a smell gets locked into the fabric, it can be very hard to get out. You also will need to wash the wet bag or pail liner with each load. Just follow the guidelines provided by the diaper manufacturers. It's also a good idea to wash the diapers alone and not with other baby items.

Use plenty of detergent and run an additional rinse cycle to make sure all the detergent is rinsed off the diapers in order to avoid skin irritation. Keep it simple, and skip any extras like adding fabric softener. There are disinfectants that can be added to the wash, but these should be used sparingly and only on occasion.

A Word From Verywell

As you consider whether or not cloth diapering is right for you and your family remember that it is not an all or nothing decision. There are no wrong approaches. By trying different diapering methods, you may soon discover that cloth diapering can enhance the diapering experience for both you and your child.

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Article Sources
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  2. Real Diaper Association. Diaper facts.