#protip: All cloth diapers are not created equal.
We see hundreds of adorable babies every month who are ready to start their cloth diapering journey. Caregivers come to our boutique looking for education, take our classes, and at some point always end up asking, ‘but which cloth diaper is the BEST?’ Although we cover cloth diaper styles, washing techniques, environmental impact and general cost at our Cloth 101 classes, we try to keep these educational opportunities broad in order to cover as much information as possible.
So, which cloth diaper is the BEST? While our answer will change given the age and weight of your baby, we’re going to share our top 5 favorites as well as some tips for finding the perfect diaper to fit your family. Although the baby industry evolves rapidly, this is our must have list for 2018.
The Top 5 Cloth Diapers of 2018
Top Natural Fiber Diaper: Thirsties Natural All In One
A trim fit, top quality fibers and plenty of absorbency make the Thirsties Natural All In One our top pick for natural fibers!
Thirsties Natural All In One cloth diapers have 11 layers of natural fibers (yes, 11!), 3 layers of organic cotton inners and 2 soaker pads with 8 layers of hemp/organic cotton. 11 layers of anything seems overwhelming, but Thirsties NAIOs are also one of the trimmest all in ones on the market.
Because the 2 soaker pads are only sewn in at one end, you can also fold these indepently to fit the needs of your baby. Natural AIOs are very absorbent and the organic cotton/hemp blend makes them even easier to clean.
Trim for smaller babies, but with absorbency that accommodates toddlers as well, they are one of our most popular cloth diapers and their new prints are so chic. We love the Thirsties Natural All In Ones for all ages and stages.
Honorable Mention: bumGenius Elemental (E3) One Size All In One
The bumGenius Elemental (E3) One Size All In One has organic cotton inners, trim fit, fits babies 8-35+ lbs. Newly redesigned, the bumGenius E3 gets our honorable mention for Top Natural Diaper.
Top Newborn Cover: Rumparooz Newborn Cloth Diaper Cover
Rumparooz Newborn Cloth Diaper Cover makes our Top 5 list because it answers the most common questions of expectant parents who are nervous to start their cloth diapering journey: ‘What if my baby is only 5 pounds? Will these covers fit?’ and ‘What if my newborn is actually 10 pounds? Will these covers fit?’
Yes. And yes. Do you see why we love Rumparooz?
Rumparooz Newborn Cloth Diaper Covers fit babies between 4 and 15 pounds, covering the entire range of newborn needs. Preemie parents can feel comfortable being able to size down their cover to fit smaller babies, and all parents can feel comfortable knowing that they won’t have to size up until baby hits 15 pounds!
Rumparooz Newborns have 3 rise settings that make these covers so adjustable and double gussets to prevent leaks.
These covers are also offered in both snap and hook & loop closures, making them easy to use, even for caregivers who aren’t familiar with cloth diapers.
A perfect size range, simple adjustability and a leak proof solution means Rumparooz get our vote for Top Newborn Cover, hands down.
Honorable Mention: Thirsties Size One Duo Wrap
The Thirsties Size One Duo Wrap fits babies 6-18 lbs, has a double gusset design and is our best selling cover. Available in gorgeous prints and colors and made in the US, the Thirsties Size One Duo Wrap gets an honorable mention for Top Newborn Cover.
Top All In One: GroVia All In One
New to our store in 2018 and one of our absolute favorite choices is the GroVia All In One (AIO). The GroVia AIO is a one piece diaper with completely stretchy tabs, organic cotton inners and is the trimmest of the trim.
The rise snaps on the front of the diaper allow you to size it small enough to fit a baby of 10 lbs or large enough to fit a baby over 35 lbs. The Spandex tabs help you get the perfect waist fit and can even be snapped smaller toward the leg elastic to customize your fit. This AIO also includes an additional snap in insert to give you more absorbency when diapering a heavy wetter or toddler, but can easily be removed when diapering a younger or smaller baby.
The design and fit of the front panel makes for a flatter diaper which makes dressing baby easier and eliminates a gap in the belly.
This cloth diaper was designed so thoughtfully and provides the solution to so many possible cloth diapering issues. We can’t ever say enough good things about AIOs and this is one is our favorite!
Honorable Mention: Thirsties Natural Newborn All In One
The Thirsties Natural Newborn All In One has an organic cotton and hemp blend inner, making it extremely absorbent, even for older babies. Because newborns often outgrow the absorbency of newborn diapers before they actually outgrow their newborns, the Thirsties Natural Newborn All In One gets the honorable mention for Top All In One.
Top Fitted: Sloomb Overnight Bamboo Fitted
There’s something inherently nostalgic about fitteds. They always feel to me very special and sweet, and picking out cute woolies to match for the day is just the best.
Sloomb Overnight Bamboo Fitteds (OBFs) are absorbent, soft and made in the US from bamboo and organic cotton.
OBFs are a sized fitted diaper and have a double length, snap-in inserts that can be folded to fit your baby’s needs. They are also sold with a doubler included to boost absorbency and help you customize your diaper even further.
The bamboo/cotton blend is easy to clean, easy to prep and easy to use. Wool covers are a must with Sloomb OBFs and the two combined create a leakproof diapering system.
The absorbency and quality of Sloomb OBFs are the best on the fitted market and we have been personally using them to cloth diaper for over 5 years. And if you love Sloomb fitteds, you absolutely have to try Sloomb wool covers, longies and playwoolies. But that’s a ‘Best in Class’ list for another day…
Honorable Mention: Thirsties Natural Newborn Fitted
The Thirsties Natural Newborn Fitted has seven total layers of bamboo cotton, and includes an umbilical cord snap down which may be used while cord stump is present or belly button is healing. Because it’s super absorbent and has such a thoughtful design, the Thirsties Natural Newborn Fitted gets the honorable mention for Top Fitted.
Top Overnight Solution: GroVia O.N.E.
Is this ‘the ONE diaper to rule them all?’ Maybe…
The GroVia O.N.E. is THE go-to overnight diaper. Stay dry microfleece on top, waterproof TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) outer and two cotton/microfleece snap in soaker pads inside to create O.N.E. incredible diaper.
The O.N.E. is estimated to hold 24 fluid ounces and can be tailored to your little one’s needs. Infants can forgo the extra soaker pad to make a trimmer diaper, while the Outlast closure provides a hook & loop closure option or a snap closure option all in one. No more choosing a style!
In addition to the Outlast closure, O.N.E.s are also No-Prep and super Easy to Use, accommodating babies 8-35 pounds. However, we have tested this diaper on babies much larger, and depending on your little’s body shape, you could possibly use this diaper well beyond the 35 pound recommendation.
Quite honestly, the GroVia O.N.E. is one of our most popular cloth diapers, and our top recommendation for overnight cloth diapering.
Honorable Mention: Ecoposh OBV One Size Fitted
The Ecoposh OBV One Size Fitted has an outer layer, which gives the Ecoposh OBV the various colors, that is made from recycled water bottles. The inner layer is a plush OBV (organic bamboo velour) for a luxurious cushion against your baby's bottom. This diaper requires a cover, but eco-conscious manufacturing and an ultra absorbent insert means Ecoposh OBV One Size Fitted gets the honorable mention for Top Overnight Solution.
Tips for Finding THE Cloth Diaper
Consider the caregiver first.
This sounds counter intuitive. Isn’t cloth diapering all about your baby?
It’s important to consider the caregiver first. That means thinking first of exactly who will be changing baby, what their lifestyle is like and which style of diaper will help them get excited about cloth diapering.
Lifestyle aspects that may sway your diaper choice include:
- the activity level of your family
- whether or not your child attends day care
- the specific friend or family member that will be doing the majority of the changing
- how often you plan to go between washing your diapers
Your goal should be to choose a cloth diaper that will be the most convenient for your lifestyle, your family AND your baby.
Choose an all in one style if you are in search of convenience above all else. Prefolds and covers are a favorite of families who need an easy to clean and financially conscious solution. Fitteds are for those who need extra absorbency while caregivers who needs a more customizable option will choose pockets. No matter which style you choose, select your cloth diapers with your caregivers in mind and you will have a much better chance at cloth diapering success!
Identify the aspect of cloth diapering most important to you.
It’s impossible to choose the right cloth diaper if you aren’t sure of your priorities first.
Aspects to consider:
- A simple laundry routine
- The most cost effective option
- Synthetic and natural fiber options
- The age of your child
- The number of children you plan to cloth diaper
- The developmental stages of each child you are cloth diapering
Once you can identify your top cloth diapering priority, you will have a much easier time choosing the best cloth diaper for your family.
Choose the right style for your current stage (‘Room to grow’ is not always best)
Our instinct as parents is to select products that can be ‘grown into’ and will ultimately last your child for several months or even years to come.
Almost everyone is familiar with the world’s most boring trip to the shoe store that somehow always ends in your mom buying shoes three sizes too big (while you trip over your own feet) because “you’ll grow into them!”
This is not the ideal method for choosing cloth diapers.
Your mom probably wasn’t overly concerned with whether or not you could successfully navigate oversized shoes, but you will absolutely be frustrated with oversized cloth diapers and the resulting leaks that come with choosing the wrong size and style.
If you are hoping to select one style and one style only, one size all in one cloth diapers is our recommendation. We always encourage all parents to begin with newborn sized diapers, but Thirsties Natural All In Ones adjust down to 8 lbs and can be used through 40 lbs.
On a different note, choosing a Thirsties size 1 cover, which fits babies 6-18lbs, would not be the best choice for a heavier baby who is growing fast.
When choosing the right diaper for your family, make sure that you know your baby’s current weight and the recommended weight range for the diaper of your choice!
The breakdown: We are continually excited to see the baby industry grow and change and with that, the constant innovation of modern cloth diapers.
Remember, no matter which diaper you choose, you will have a much better chance of a seamless, successful cloth diapering experience if you consider your caregiver, identify which aspect of cloth diapering is most important to you and choose the right style for your current stage of diapering.
Many of the styles and brands included in this post can be found here on our site. You can shop by style or brand and even create an account and a wishlist to save all your favorites. You can also visit us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog for more cloth diaper tips and tricks!