8 Best Cloth Diapers for Your Baby

Taking the cloth diaper leap? Here are the very best bum covers to choose from.
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Updated August 9, 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

GroVia O.N.E Reusable Baby Cloth Diaper
Image: Amazon

When shopping for any type of diaper, you want one that will keep baby dry and prevent leaks. GroVia O.N.E. is one of the best cloth diapers for nighttime, and it’s also amongst the very best cloth diapers for heavy wetters. It’s 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: This cloth diaper 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: 10 to 35 lbs.

What We Love
  • Grows with baby
  • Customizable for boys or girls
Things To Consider
  • Pricey
  • May have a smell after overnight use

Best newborn cloth diapers

Thirsties Newborn All-in-One
Image: Amazon

For new parents who are also new to cloth diapering, choosing an on-and-off-in-one-step 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 umbilical-cord 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: 5 to 14 lbs.

What We Love
  • Available in both hook-and-loop or snap closures
  • Great wetness protection
Things To Consider
  • Will need to size up as baby grows

Best prefold cloth diapers

OsoCozy Prefolds Unbleached Pre-folded Diapers, Pack of 6
Image: Amazon

The most budget-friendly cloth diapering 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.

What We Love
  • Inexpensive
Things To Consider
  • Can shrink in the wash
  • May get smelly over time

Best cloth diapers for beginners

Esembly Cloth Diaper Try-It Kit
Image: Amazon

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

What We Love
  • Features rows of adjustable snaps
  • Cute packaging makes a great baby shower gift
Things To Consider
  • Set only contains two diapers
  • Learning curve

Best all-in-one cloth diapers

Bambino Mio Miosolo Classic All-in-One Cloth Diaper
Image: Amazon
Buying Options

Once baby weighs at least 8 pounds, the Miosolo will take you through every stage and every mess. Adjustable snaps and hook-and-loop fastenings allow you to create a custom fit that will grow with baby until the potty training days. But that’s not even our favorite feature! 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. It’s no wonder it was a Best of Baby 2021 winner!

Type: All-in-one | Size range: One size

What We Love
  • Adorable designs
Things To Consider
  • Pricey
  • One may not provide enough coverage overnight

Best pocket diapers

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 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: 0 to 36 months

What We Love
  • Soft feel
  • Brand donates one percent of their sales to support environmental causes
Things To Consider
  • Expensive upfront cost
  • Too bulky for some

Best organic cotton diapers

Cloth-eez Workhorse Fitted Organic Diapers
Image: Green Mountain Diapers

Many parents put “organic” on the tippy 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 to drape over baby’s sensitive skin. And the Cloth-eez Workhorse fitted organic diaper 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: Birth to 38 lbs.

What We Love
  • Affordable
Things To Consider
  • Too bulky for some
  • Needs a cover

Best hybrid diapers

Amazing Baby SmartNappy Blue Jeans
Image: Amazon
Buying Options

Cloth diapering, but make it cute: These Smart Nappy NextGen hybrid cloth diapers come in four sizes, two fabrics and dozens of adorable designs. The best cloth diapers balance fashion with function, and these feature two elasticized barriers and two water-resistant fabric layers to ensure leaks are non-existent. The easy-tab design means no fussing over snaps and hooks, and the diaper can either be used with a reusable tri-fold insert or a disposable (for when you’re on the go). Plus, Smart Nappy’s disposable inserts contain no plastic liner, making them more environmentally friendly than a standard disposable diaper.

Type: Hybrid | Size range: 5-10 lbs. to 12-25 lbs.

What We Love
  • Disposable diaper-like closure system
  • Good leak-proofing
Things To Consider
  • Need to buy new diapers as baby grows
  • Some babies can pull velcro straps apart

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.


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.

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