This is our simple breakdown of the different types of cloth diapers. We are providing this for your general information, to help clarify cloth diapering terminology.

NOTE – This list does not reflect our current service offerings. Please visit our Service Packages page, if you are interested in learning more about our service diapers and packages.

FLAT DIAPER

Needs a cover.
The original one-size cloth nappys our great grandmothers used.

Usually made of birdseye weave cotton, this one-ply diaper is folded in various ways to create the absorbency.  Flats can be secured with pins, Snappi, or folded into a diaper cover.


PROs

• Easy to clean dry. Great for travel

• Durable and trim fitting

• Economical, birth to potty for under $50

• Versatile. Flats can be used as a diaper, insert, bib, nursing cover, burp cloth, light blanket, and when you are all done with diapers, a cleaning cloth


CONs

• Needs to be folded to create absorbency

• There is a slight learning curve to master a good fit

• Simple style may be intimidating

PREFOLD DIAPER

Needs a cover.
A simple diaper that has been “pre-folded” so that it has more layers and absorbency in the center panel than in the side panels.

Prefolds can be folded and closed with pins, a Snappi or tri-folded in a cover.


PROs

• Easy to clean

• Quick changes. Minimal folding needed

• Soft and absorbent

• Durable, no elastic to wear out

• Available in sizes from preemie to toddler for a more custom fit

• Economical. Birth to potty for under $100

• Versatile. Prefolds can be used as a diaper, insert, burp cloth, changing pad, and when you are all done with diapers, a cleaning cloth


CONs

• Need to be folded

• There is a slight learning curve to master a good fit

• Multiple layers cause longer drying times

• Simple style may be intimidating

FITTED DIAPER

Needs a cover.
Fitteds have wings and are contoured and fitted with elastic around the legs and back.

They are made of all absorbent material and can be secured with snaps, hook and loop, pins, or a Snappi.


PROs

• Easy to use, no learning curve

• Quick changes, no folding

• Great containment of messes due to leg and back elastic

• Soft and absorbent

• Available in sizes from preemie to toddler for a more custom fit

• Very breathable, great nighttime option paired with a wool cover


CONs

• More expensive

• Multiple layers cause longer drying times

• Still needs a cover to be 100% moisture-proof which may be confusing to some

DIAPER COVER

This is the cover.
Covers are made of either polyurethane laminate (PUL), wool, or polyester fleece.  All three of these materials are moisture-proof and breathable to varying degrees.


PROs

• Easy to clean

• Makes an economical all-in-two system

• Can be wiped down, if not soiled, and used repeatedly between laundering

• Some brands are available in sizes from preemie to toddler for a more custom fit

• Some brands are available in one or two sizes from birth to potty to save parents money

• Can come in showy colors and prints

• Easy to fasten with hook-and-loop or snap closures, no learning curve


CONs

• Requires an extra step in diapering

• The two pieces (cover + absorbent diaper or insert) may be confusing to some

POCKET DIAPER

No cover needed.
These diapers closely resemble disposable diapers in shape and application.

They have wings and are contoured and fitted with elastic around the legs and back.

Pocket diapers have a moisture-proof outer layer of polyurethane laminate (PUL), wool, or polyester fleece, sewn to one layer of man-made moisture-wicking fabric (mico-fleece, suedecloth) or one layer of a natural absorbent material (bamboo).  These two layers are sewn together with an opening  or pocket to allow for adding more absorbency.


PROs

• Easy to clean

• Can customize absorbency (good nighttime option)

• Easy for daycare, baby sitters, and those new to cloth to use

• Stay-dry inner keeps baby drier and more comfortable

• Some brands are available in sizes from preemie to toddler for a more custom fit

• Some brands are available in one or two sizes from birth to potty to save parents money

• Easy to fasten with hook-and-loop or snap closures, no learning curve


CONs

• More expensive because one-time use before laundering

• Requires an extra step in stuffing after laundering

ALL-IN-ONE DIAPER

No cover needed.
These diapers also closely resemble disposable diapers in shape and application.

They have wings and are contoured and fitted with elastic around the legs and back.

All-in-one diapers are just that, the absorbent layers are sewn completely to the moisture-proof layers, so the diapers are all one piece.

They are available in sizes from preemie to toddler, but can also be one-size.


PROs

• Multiple layers cause longer drying times

• Easy for daycare and those new to cloth to use

• No stuffing or folding, no learning curve

• Some brands are available in sizes from preemie to toddler for a more custom fit

• Some brands are available in one or two sizes from birth to potty to save parents money

• Easy fasten with hook-and-loop or snap closures, no learning curve


CONs

• More expensive because one-time use before laundering

• Multiple layers cause longer drying times

• Absorbency is fixed and may not be enough for some babies