You are currently viewing Types of cloth diapers

Types of cloth diapers

I was originally planning to post about a few other topics before I wrote about cloth diapers again. There seems to be a lot of interest in the first cloth diaper blog I posted. Today we are learning about different type of cloth diapers. If you have ever talked to me about cloth diapers you know that I always tell people that there is a cloth diaper for everyone. Since there are so many different styles to choose from.  There are 8-9 different types of cloth diapers on the market today, it just depends who you ask.


A prefold is a rectangular diaper with layers that is sewn together. Usually made of cotton but can also be found in other materials such as bamboo and hemp. Prefolds get their name from the way they are made, they are stretched, folded and sewn in a way that they can be folded in various ways. They may seem complicated at first if you are new to cloth diapers. You can use various folding techniques. They are easy to use, durable, inexpensive, and absorbent. In my option prefolds are the best option. I saw this because I find that they wash better. They come clean with less work than some other diapers that I own. Cotton is exceptionally clean, and you can customize absorbency. You do have to use a leak-proof cover with prefolds. These are great for any stage of cloth diapering. They make the newborn stage extremely easy. If the cover is not completely soiled, you may reuse it more than once through the day.


Flats also known as flour sack towels-These are large squares of fabric that you fold. Most are made of cotton, there are some called stretchy flats on the market as well. Again, with these you need a waterproof cover. They can seem complicated to fold but I promise nothing is that complicated. Flats are also a more inexpensive option, easy to wash and care for. The best way to learn how to fold a flat is YouTube videos. Here you can find different fold styles. These are also great for any stage of your cloth diapering journey. Like prefolds, you must use a leak-proof cover with flats.


Fitteds are also made of various materials. They are usually made of cotton, bamboo, hemp or fleece. These diapers are just like they sound, fitted. They look just like a diaper in shape, are vary absorbent and do require a leak-proof cover. There is no folding required for fitteds, they usually have snaps or Velcro/hook and loop type closures. Super easy to use. I hear lots of parents like to use fitted diapers overnight because they are very absorbent. The downfall is that they can be on the more expensive side. You would use these in place of a prefold or flat.


Contour diapers are similar to fitteds, they lack closure snaps. You must use a snappi or pins to close the diapers. Again, these can be made from various materials. I have seen lots of mamas sew their own contour diapers using receiving blankets, something we always seem to get a million of at baby showers. I personally have yet to use these, I have not found any available in my area.


These are a diaper cover, just like it sounds. A leak-proof cover. You use these covers over flats, prefolds, contours and fitted diapers. They are leak-proof and the inside material is usually made of PUL. They can be found with a snap or hook and loop closure. Pull on type covers can also be found, they are usually made of wool. Diaper covers can be found in a few different sizes depending on the brand you use. Most can be found in Newborn and OS (one size). OS covers have rows of snaps so they can be adjusted small to large.  Covers can also be found in various cute prints.


Pocket style diapers are extremely popular. They can easily be found in all the cute little prints. Most parents who cloth diaper use these because they are so easy. Pocket diapers are great for dads and other caregivers. If you stuff the insert in ahead of time you can use them just like a disposable only you wash and reuse. These diapers require no cover, as they have a leak-proof cover made with PUL. You must stuff each diaper with an insert and remove the insert before washing. The inserts are made of various materials, most are microfiber. Microfiber inserts should never be placed next to or against baby’s sensitive skin. Most pocket diapers have a fleece liner between the cover and insert, this liner gives the baby a stay dry feel. The fleece allows the urine to pass through to the insert which is very absorbent. One downfall with microfiber inserts is compression leaks, onesies or other tight clothing may cause leaks. I stuff our pocket diapers with a cotton prefold. Inserts can also be found in bamboo, bamboo charcoal, hemp, and other materials.


These diapers are just like they sound, all in one. AIO’s are the complete diaper, no stuffing, folding, added inserts or covers needed. The best thing about them is that putting the diaper on is the only step. These diapers are babysitter and dad approved. The absorbent material inside can be made of various materials. Most commonly found in cotton, hemp, bamboo and are usually lined with fleece inside. These are defiantly not my favorite. We own 4 bamboo charcoal super soakers. The dry time is long and I always feel like I cant get these diapers as clean as my prefolds, even with a good wash routine. All the layers in these diapers make them very absorbent.


All-in two diapers are like a pocket because you must use an insert. You snap the insert into the diaper instead of stuffing it in like a pocket. I do not down any of these. Dad and babysitter approved if you place inserts in diapers ahead of time. These require no extra cover or folding. All-in-two’s can be found made of various materials as well.

Sleeve diapers

Sleeve diapers are just like pockets, they work in the same way. You stuff an insert into the diaper before use. These would also be dad and babysitter approved, just stuff ahead of time. When using these diapers you don’t need to un-stuff the dirty diapers, they have an opening on both ends and in the wash cycle the Insert comes out. I have never used one, or even found one. The idea behind it sounds great though!


Hybrid diapers are similar to a disposable diaper. They are a leak-proof diaper cover in which you place a biodegradable, disposable one-time use insert or they also have reusable inserts available. I honestly don’t know much about this type of diaper, we don’t have any and I’ve never used one.


After writing this, I realize there are a lot of opinions in this blog. With that being said, we don’t have to agree on the best cloth diaper or which one works best at night. Because when it comes down to it, what works best for my family will not be what works best for yours!

Hope you found this highly informative, and don’t forget to like and subscribe!

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Leave a Reply