9 Best Cloth Diapers to Keep Baby Covered

Taking the cloth diaper leap? Here are the very best styles to choose from.
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Updated October 23, 2023
best cloth diapers for babies
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Cloth diapers have been a go-to choice for environmentally conscious parents for decades. But cloth diapering has come a long way from the safety pins and cotton pads of your grandparents’ generation; the technology has advanced over the last few years, making it easier than ever to swath your bundle of joy in a diaper you can wash and reuse. There are even different types of cloth diapers, giving parents plenty of options.

Want to dive into the world of cloth diapers? Here’s what you need to know about the various styles you’re likely to come across, as well as how to use these washable diapers. While you’re at it, check out our top picks—there’s bound to be something in the mix that’ll be a great fit for your growing family.

Types of Reusable Diapers

There are a lot (like, a lot!) of cloth diapering options out there, but we’ve narrowed the playing field down to four of the most popular cloth diapering categories:

  • All-in-one cloth diapers. These diapers are considered the easiest, least-fussy option. They’re ideal if you’re asking others, like grandparents and babysitters, to change baby’s diaper too. Here, an absorbent pad is sewn directly to a fastener-free waterproof cover. When baby soils an all-in-one, you remove the whole shebang and toss it in the laundry. You’ll pay more ($15 to $25 a pop) for the convenience, and you’ll want to note that these generally take the longest to dry.

  • Hybrid diapers. Also known as all-in-twos, these have a removable pad insert that can either be washable or disposable. Because of this, parents have added flexibility. Plus, hybrid covers can withstand several uses before getting tossed in the laundry. Like all-in-ones, all-in-two cloth diapers can be purchased sized or as a one-size-adjusts-to-all diaper, and they generally cost between $20 to $25.

  • Pocket diapers. These consist of an attached waterproof cover, a stay-dry lining and a pocket within the lining to insert an absorbent pad. (You can switch out pads depending on the absorbency you need.) When baby dirties the diaper, you slide out the insert and wash them both. They come in both a one-size option and sized varieties, but know that parents say these diapers are on the bulkier side. Pockets run between about $7 and $20.

  • Prefold cloth diapers. This is simply layered cotton fabric folded to mold to baby’s bum, like what your grandma or her mom may have used. A cover is worn over it to keep the diaper in place. When baby poops or pees, remove the prefold and replace with a fresh one. The same cover goes right back on. This is the least expensive option (roughly $1 to $3 per diaper), but they have the steepest learning curve and you’ll need to continue to size up as baby grows.

When it comes down to it though, “the best type to choose is really very much a personal preference,” says Gina Posner, MD, a board-certified pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.

How to Use Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapering does require a little more work than their disposable counterparts (and many daycares won’t use them). But they’re not as difficult or intimidating to use as they seem. Keep these notes in mind when using cloth diapers:

  • They’re usually easy to secure. The cloth diapers of your grandparents’ generation would often be held in place with a safety pin, which is an obvious safety hazard. Today’s cloth diapers are usually secured with snaps or Velcro, Posner says.

  • Care instructions can vary. It’s always important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cloth diapers, but there are some general things to keep in mind. “If there is poop, most people will dump that in the toilet, flush that down and then throw the diaper in the wash,” says Posner. Wet diapers can usually be rinsed and tossed in the washing machine. There are diaper cleaning services available in some areas, but it’s much more cost-efficient to simply wash them yourself, notes Posner.

  • You’ll need to buy several cloth diapers. There is no exact science to this, and a lot depends on the stage, says Posner. “In the newborn stage, getting about 36 is good because you can wash them every couple of days,” she says. “Later on, you may only need 24 and then maybe 20 in the toddler stage.”

  • Cloth diapers are an investment. Cloth diapers require an upfront investment, with many costing $20 or more each. That means spending hundreds of dollars to get started, and potentially (but not always) swapping them out as baby grows. While going the cloth diaper route may save you some money in the long-run (disposable diapers add up!), Posner cautions that it’s not guaranteed.

The Best Cloth Diapers

Now that you’ve got the quick-and-dirty basics (pun intended!), it’s time to delve into the best cloth diapers and brands for you.

Overall best cloth diapers

bumGenius Freetime 2.0 All-in-One Cloth Diaper
Image: bumGenius
Buying Options
bumGenius|From $24.95
What We Love
  • Super-absorbent and gentle on sensitive skin, according to our product tester
  • Durable plastic snap closures that grow with baby
  • Features adjustable, soft layers
Things To Consider
  • Shipping may take 8 to 10 weeks

First up on our list of the best cloth diapers is this all-in-one design from bumGenius. The one-size-fits-all style is complete with adjustable, super-absorbent layers to keep your little one comfy for many days (and nights!) to come. Each cloth diaper contains an ultra-soft, moisture-wicking interior and a waterproof outer cover to prevent leaks. What’s more, they feature snap closure, so they’ll grow with baby. “The outer diaper cover material was very soft and smooth. The diaper leg cuffs had a great fit, since I was able to adjust the fit with the snaps. They weren’t too loose or too snug,” raved our product tester, the mom of an 8-month-old. She also was a big fan of how gentle these cloth diapers were on her infant’s sensitive skin. It’s no wonder that they earned a spot in our Best of The Bump diaper roundup!

Type: All-in-one | Size range: OS (8 to 35 lbs.) | Materials: 100% polyester (outer); 74% polyester, 15% nylon, 11% spandex (tabs); 100% polyester (inner); 100% cotton (absorbent layers) | Care instructions: Machine wash; tumble dry

“The effectiveness of the bumGenius all-in-one cloth diaper was outstanding. We didn’t experience any leakage from anywhere while wearing the diaper. We tested it out for nap- and bedtime and it held up really well. The all in one insert was very absorbent and didn’t leave my baby’s skin wet.”

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Best all-in-one cloth diapers

Bambino Mio Miosolo Classic All-in-One Cloth Diaper
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Our product tester loved how gentle the material is
  • Adjustable fit grows with baby
  • Available in a variety of cute prints
Things To Consider
  • May not fit small infants snugly at first, according to some reviewers

Once baby weighs at least 8 pounds, the Miosolo will take you through every stage and mess. Adjustable snaps and hook-and-loop fastenings allow you to create a custom fit that will grow with baby until they start potty training. We love how easy this cloth diaper is to clean; a pull-out tab system allows you to easily retrieve the soiled core from inside the diaper and toss it in the laundry. Another highlight that our product tester, the mom of an 8-month-old, pointed out was how smooth and comfortable the diapers were. “These diapers were perfect for my little one’s sensitive skin and I’ll definitely be getting more in the future,” she commented. What’s more, she praised the cloth diapers’ fit, saying “my baby was able to move around freely without the diaper restricting her movement.” We’re sold!

Type: All-in-one | Size range: OS | Materials: 100% polyester (outer); 100% polyester, core: 85% polyester, 15% nylon (inner) | Care instructions: Machine wash

“When it came to using the cloth diapers, we didn’t experience any leakage or any other problems. I found that the Bambino cloth diapers were very absorbent and it kept my little’s skin very dry. The fitting of the diaper was amazing. I love that I was able to adjust the fitting of the diaper for my baby’s preference. The diapers held up great for naptime and bedtime.”

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Best prefold cloth diapers

OsoCozy Prefolds Unbleached Pre-folded Diapers, 6 Pack
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Reviewers say they get softer with every wash
  • Affordable price point
Things To Consider
  • Can shrink in the wash
  • May smell over time

The most budget-friendly cloth diaper option will always be a prefold, which is used with a separate cover. OsoCozy’s version is unbleached and made from 100 percent pure cotton, making it one of the softest and best prefold cloth diapers around. And because it’s got four layers of absorbent fabric on the sides and eight in the middle, it doesn’t lack in the soaking-up-wetness department either. (Tip: Wash these about three times prior to diapering to remove natural oils and ensure maximum absorbency.) You can also triple-fold these and use them as inserts in pocket diapers.

Type: Prefold | Size range: 7-15 lbs. to 15-30 lbs. | Materials: 100% cotton | Care instructions: Machine wash; line dry

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Best newborn cloth diapers

Thirsties Newborn All-in-One
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Available in both hook-and-loop or snap closures
  • Designed with umbilical cord healing in mind
  • Great wetness protection
Things To Consider
  • Will need to size up as baby grows

For new parents who are also new to cloth diapering, choosing a straightforward, all-in-one option to start with is often the wise move. These shrunk-down Thirsties are trim-fit and include an umbilical cord snap down and adjustable rise, allowing plenty of customization and room for postnatal healing. And with four layers of super absorbent terry, a microfleece liner and a waterproof exterior, our top pick for the best cloth diapers for newborns offers lots of wetness and leak protection. Score!

Type: All-in-one | Size range: OS (5 to 14 lbs.) | Materials: 100% polyester microfleece (inside liner); 100% polyester microfleece (inside absorbency); 100% polyester (inside soaker); 100% polyester with PUL (outside) | Care instructions: N/A

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Best overnight cloth diapers

O.N.E. Reusable Baby Cloth Diaper
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Super absorbent, making it a great overnight option
  • Removable hook-and-loop closures
Things To Consider
  • Machine wash and dry at least three times before use

When shopping for any type of diaper, you want one that will keep baby dry and prevent leaks—just like this design. It’s one of the best cloth diapers for nighttime, and it’s also among the very best cloth diapers for heavy wetters. The cloth diaper is extremely absorbent, thanks to an inner poly microfiber layer, a cotton and poly microfleece soaker and another liner of 100 percent polyester microfleece—plus, it’s all sealed in with a water-resistant poly-based material outer layer. Another perk: It has both a (removable) hook-and-loop closure and snap closures, and is available in a range of lovely patterns like dinosaurs and dandelion seeds, giving you plenty of adorable options.

Type: All-in-one | Size range: OS (10 to 35 lbs.) | Materials: 100% polyester microfiber (hidden inner layer); 100% water resistant polyester TPU (outer); 100% cotton topped with 100% polyester microfleece (soaker); 100% polyester microfleece (body lining) | Care instructions: Machine wash; tumble dry

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Best hybrid diapers

What We Love
  • High-quality construction, according to reviewers
  • Hybrid style means less frequent washing
  • Available in two closure styles and several patterns
Things To Consider
  • Just a shell; needs prefold diapers or snap-in pads

Cloth diapering, but make it cute: These hybrid cloth diapers from GroVia come in several earth-toned hues and adorable patterns. They’re also available in two different styles—one-step hook-and-loop closure and snap—so you can choose the type that best meets your needs. Pair these cloth shells with snap-in pads or prefolds for diapers that are equal parts stylish and, most importantly, functional. What’s more, thanks to the hybrid design, they can be worn a few times before needing a wash; that’s one less thing to add to your daily to-do list!

Type: Hybrid | Size range: OS (8 to 30 lbs.) | Materials: 100% polyester mesh (inner body); 100% polyester (outer) | Care instructions: Machine wash; tumble dry

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Best pocket diapers

What We Love
  • Soft, high-quality feel
  • 1 percent of sales donated to support environmental causes
Things To Consider
  • High price point upfront
  • Too bulky, according to some reviewers

Charlie Banana diapers have a fluffy fleece lining to keep baby comfortable all day, and an adjustable fit to help prevent leaks. A wide back elastic, inner leg elastics and snaps at the waist will help you get that just-right fit for baby. The diapers come with reusable inserts, and you use one or two for extra absorption. A nice perk of these diapers is that they can be used for up to 36 months, so you can get plenty of mileage out of your investment!

Type: Pocket | Size range: OS (0 to 36 months) | Materials: Polyester | Care instructions: Machine wash; tumble dry low

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Best cloth diapers for beginners

Esembly Cloth Diaper Try-It Kit
Image: Amazon
What We Love
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Comes with laundry products and diaper cream
  • Available in two sizes and several fun prints
Things To Consider
  • Only comes with two diapers

Equally overwhelmed and intrigued by cloth diapering? Esembly Baby is a great place to start. The one-stop cloth-diapering shop provides everything novice parents need, from diapering materials to clean laundry products to organic (and cloth-safe) diaper creams. A handy quiz helps determine the best fitting bundle for your needs, and the products are all incredibly simple to use. Composed of a two-part soft organic cotton inner layer and a waterproof outer shell, these Esembly Baby diapers make cloth diapering as easy and accessible as disposables.

Type: All-in-one | Size range: 7-17 pounds to 18-35 pounds | Materials: 100% cotton | Care instructions: Machine wash

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Best organic cotton diapers

Green Mountain Diapers Cloth-eez Workhorse Fitted Organic Diaper
Image: Green Mountain Diapers
What We Love
  • Newborn style is designed with umbilical cord healing in mind
  • Made from 100% unbleached, organic cotton
  • Available in five sizes
Things To Consider
  • Too bulky for some
  • Needs a cover

Many parents put “organic” at the top of their cloth-diapering must-haves list. Why? Organic cotton is grown sustainably and sans pesticides or chemicals, which makes it a safe choice for baby’s delicate skin. That’s why we’re fans of the Cloth-eez Workhorse fitted organic diaper, which definitely lives up to its name. It’s made of 100 percent organic, unbleached cotton and features up to eight layers for maximum absorbency, meaning this diaper works overtime. Plus, all of the snaps are covered in cotton, ensuring nothing rough touches baby’s skin. It’s as close to au naturale as your little one can get—without being totally bare bottomed, that is!

Type: Prefold | Size range: Newborn to XL | Materials: 100% cotton | Care instructions: Machine wash

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How We Chose the Best Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers can be an environmentally-friendly option for diapering baby, but they’re definitely an investment. To help you choose wisely, we spoke to a board-certified pediatrician for insight on what to look for in these diapers, as well as what parents can expect when they use them. Then we leveraged our familiarity with the most popular options on the market, and narrowed the field based on elements like ease of use, quality of materials and value. We also analyzed reviews from real parents to get the best sense of how these perform for a range of families, making sure to avoid products that have an average review under four stars.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.


Gina Posner, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. She has spent more than a decade volunteering with a number of organizations in both the US and the Dominican Republic, educating both parents and children on topics of health.

Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial process.

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