Don’t let anybody tell you different! Cloth diapers are much easier to use than disposables, and even offer tremendous benefits (Read our 10 benefits of cloth diapers below). Given the plethora of options, buying the right cloth diapers can be overwhelming, but in this guide we aim to demystify cloth diapering and present you with the best cloth diapers systems available to you.
After putting 20 cloth diapers to the test across 80 hours of research, we’ve concluded that the best cloth diaper is the Rumparooz G2 by Kanga Care.
Our Pick – Rumparooz One Size Cloth Pocket Diaper
Conceived in 2006, Kanga Care developed the patented Rumparooz cloth diaper with the revolutionary inner gusset leak proof technology.
Now into its 9th years of providing products that are both environmentally friendly and a healthy way of diapering children, the Kanga Care product portfolio today includes the Newborn all in One Cloth Diaper, Ecoposh Recycled Organic Fitted Cloth Diaper, Lil Joey, Rumparooz One Size Cloth Diaper and a vast range of pail liners, wet bags, changing pads, washable liners and more.
Available in two different enclosures – snap and aplix, and in 32 cute designs/colors, the Rumparooz cloth diaper is crafted of high quality, plush, soft materials and delivers an excellent performance.
Runner Up – BumGenius Freetime
BumGenius is an award winning cloth diaper lineup and is designed to make parent life a whole lot easier.
Cotton Babies, the makers of BumGenius bills themselves as the leading supplier of cloth diapers in the world and started out with a $100 worth of product in their kitchen, then to the bedroom and finally to the commercial stage.
Located in St. Louis, Missouri, all Cotton Babies products are manufactured in the USA in their manufacturing facility in Denver, Colorado and apart from online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon also retail from their brick and mortar store located in the Town & Country, Missouri.
Upgrade Pick – FuzziBunz Elite
It all started in 1999 when a young mother set out on a mission to solve her son’s chronic diaper rash, and during this ordeal tried every ointment and diaper available with no success.
She started by researching the latest waterproof and breathable textiles similar to those used to make foul weather and mountain climbing gear, and innovated a product that was able to keep her son’s skin dry and get rid of the rash for good aka the FuzziBunz® pocket diaper.
Since their inception, FuzziBunz cloth diapers have received several updates and today are tried and tested products, and the Elite cloth diaper is no different.
Budget Pick – GroVia Hybrid
GroVia first started out as The Natural Baby Company, helped by its founder Kim has today create an extensive lineup of eco-friendly parenting products that are designed to solve daily parenting issues.
GroVia is a natural cloth diaper diapering system that has received a surge of appeal and has changed many lives ever since its inception.
This is one of the systems we reviewed that performed brilliantly in several departments including leakage, fit, comfort and ease of use.
Also Great – Bambino Mio, Miosolo All-In-One Cloth Diaper
Bambino Mia is founded in 1992 and on the principles of convenience, quality, style, comfort and value for money.
Now almost 20 years later, the company is still hell bent on creating products that are better for your baby, you and the environment, and the Miosolo is one such great example.
This one size pocket style cloth diaper is easy to use and is designed to fit kids from birth to potty training (one-size), and can be fastened with aplix (Velcro style tabs).
Bambino Mio – a company originating from the UK has found fame in the US rather quickly, perhaps for the excellent quality of their entire product portfolio, which includes diapers, accessories, swim and other potty training products.
Table of Contents:
- 10 benefits of Cloth Diapers
- Why you should trust us
- How we picked
- How we tested
- Our pick
- Flaws but not Deal breaker
- The Competition
- Final Thoughts
Why you should trust us:
We spoke with leading pediatricians and cloth diapering parents who first explained the plethora of benefits cloth diapers have to offer and then educated us on what to look for and a few brands we should pay more attention to in order to determine our best picks.
We scoured through online reviews from several marketplaces including Amazon, and noted the qualities of each cloth diapers and what buyers want.
We already have an independent guide on the best pocket diaper (link to relevant guide) so we were well aware of the trusted brands in the market, and with our wealth of experience were able to spot quality construction and safety among other features of a cloth diaper.
10 benefits of Cloth Diapers:
1. Your baby will experience less issues of diaper rash.
2. Cost savings of approximately $3000 per child compared to disposable taking in account the average family uses roughly 8000 single use, disposable diaper per year.
3. There will be no chance of skin reactions caused by sodium polyacralate, a harmful chemical linked with disposables.
4. You will not contribute to the 1 ton of disposable diaper waste that goes into landfills, and in terms of numbers that’s 10,000 tons of disposable diapers every day.
5. Your family will put less diaper trash out on trash day.
6. The emissions from disposable diapers can trigger asthma in children.
7. Research indicates that it takes over 1 million metric tons of wood pulp and 60,000 tons of plastic every year to manufacture disposables so you will significantly reduce the resulting carbon footprint by using cloth diapers.
8. Using cloth diapers helps accelerate potty training.
9. Cloth diapers are just as easy to use as single use diapers.
10. And lastly, less trips to the store when you’re out of disposables. With cloth diapers, you simply wash them and you have instantly fresh diapers.
How we picked:
There are four main types of cloth diapering systems namely the all in one system, fitted with cover system, pocket with insert system and prefold with cover system. Each system offers its fair share of benefits, which for the most part solely depends on personal preference and whether you’re new to cloth diapering or experienced with using them.
For this guide, we did not include any prefold with cover system cloth diapers because although they are the most economical to use, do also have the biggest learning curve.
We mostly chose all in one systems because just as the name suggests are one step diapering systems that are easy to use.
The shapes of these types of diapers are similar to disposable diapers, and are outfitted with a waterproof outer layer mated with absorbent layers.
To have a good mix of the best cloth diapers, we also included the latest addition to the cloth diapering word – a pocket with insert style system, a great example of which is the Rumparooz One Size Cloth Pocket Diaper.
And lastly, we picked cloth diapers that were free of any types of chemicals, meaning all our diapering systems are baby safe.
How we tested:
We tested 20 of the best cloth diapers, comparing their performance alongside to determine the best.
Over a 6 month period, we tested each cloth diaper in regular, everyday use.
Throughout the testing process, we carefully observed the performance of each diaper in terms of performance, and consequently noted the subtle and non-subtle differences that made them better or worse compared to the competition.
We also performed lab tests, which included inspection of closure systems, materials and manufacturing quality, again comparing each product side by side and with the competition.
The absorbency test was probably the most comprehensive of all, which not only helped us gauge the absorbency of each cloth diaper with the competition, but even its performance in that department compared to single use diapers aka disposables.
With regards to scoring, we rated each diaper across 5 metrics – absorbency, fit/leakage, comfort, ease of use and eco-health.
To test our cloth diaper picks for absorbency, we tested how well they absorbed liquid, and kept it away from the surface layer of the diaper.
The reason for this was twofold –
1. To see how much liquid the diaper could absorb.
2. To see how well it kept moisture away from the skin.
Regardless of the size or type of cloth diaper, it went through identical testing with the same amount of liquid that would be dispersed in an average overnight leak situation, same amount for absorption into the internal layers of the diaper and same amount of weight for compression caused when a baby sits down with a diaper.
If a diaper doesn’t fit right, it will not perform effectively and eventually you will have leaks, etc.
In order to check the fit/leakage metric of each cloth diaper, we first read the manufacturers page on their fit recommendations, meaning some diapers are designed for infants, others for toddlers and some for both.
We then put the baby in the diaper to see if a nice seal was created around the diaper legs and waist, which meant less changes of leakage.
For comfort, we compared thickness and overall design of the cloth diapers, and even looked at materials used to create the diaper covers and their inserts.
As a result of this we found some fabrics to be much softer than others and hence deemed them most comfortable for a baby.
And after all said and done, you will have to wash cloth diapers regularly so we did a couple tests to see how well they held up in regular wash cycles.
Some didn’t showcase high quality craftsmanship to begin with, while others began pilling or unraveling. These factors do not just affect the overall comfort level of the diaper, but also provides a good idea as to how they will last over time.
It goes without saying that some cloth diapers will be easier to use than others, and we tested this element based on how user friendly the design was i.e. sizing, closures, laundering up until the diaper was ready to wear.
We checked the snaps for durability yet ensured they were impossible to get undone. Next, we counted the number of steps were involved in washing, drying until the diaper was ready to use again.
We also looked at how easy/hard it was to fold the insert or stuff the pocket until it was ready for next use.
We wanted to check which diapers retained odors or stained easily and if the one sized diapers fit a baby easily as he/she grows.
When you choose to use cloth diapers, you are making an eco-conscious decision as long as the diapers perform well.
Common to all cloth diapers is the absence of lotions, fragrances and Super Absorbent Polymer, but are seen in mostly all disposables.
All in all, we found that cloth diapering is significantly more economical than disposables, with a little bit more work such as fitting, washing and drying.
Our Pick – Rumparooz One Size Cloth Pocket Diaper
Kanga Care the makers of Rumparooz was founded in 2006 by mom Julie Ekstrom, who on a mission to find a leak free diaper first began sewing her own diapers.
During that time, she developed a revolutionary dual gusset that solved the leak issue and later became a patented feature of the Rumparooz line of cloth diapers.
Our detailed testing of 20 of the best cloth diapers in the market proved that Julie’s innovative technology was like no other, and was the only cloth diaper system that scored a perfect 10 in fit/leakage and comfort as well.
Adding to this, the Rumparooz all in one cloth diaper performed exceptionally both in our hands on testing and lab testing as well, and we found it to be a great absorber, extremely comfortable and easy to use.
The Rumparooz is a pocket diaper, meaning that it features an opening at the end of the cover, into which you stuff an insert similar to stuffing a handkerchief into your pocket.
Furthermore, its customizable setting of between 6lbs-40lbs means that this cloth diaper system is good from birth right to potty training.
Another noteworthy feature about the Rumparooz cloth diaper is the high quality of fabrics used in its construction combine with its skillful stitching and seams.
The icing on the cake would have to be the plethora of colors and designs it’s available in including solid colors.
The Rumparooz cloth diaper scored really well in our absorbency tests, for which we included the 6r soaker and newborn inserts.
Both the inserts can be snapped together easily, and adjusted for optimal absorbency where it is needed the most. Kanga Care does offer 2 additional insert options for the Rumparooz –
1. A hemp 6r soaker insert
2. Bamboo 6r soaker insert.
Although we did not test the two additional insert options, we do know that natural fibers offer superior absorbency, and are a great option for heavy wetter or to use at night.
A nice touch to the Rumparooz is that it can be matched with other brand accessories such as inserts, giving you more diapering options to suit various needs.
In the fit/leakage department, the Rumparooz took home the gold for several reasons. First, it is equipped with 4 rows of snaps for the top and 2 rows at the waist.
The newborn configuration starts at 6lbs, small at 10lbs, medium at 15lbs, and large at 20lbs, which is a perfect fit for a 35lbs to 40lbs size child.
We used the Rumparooz across several of these ages and sizes to test leakage, and had just one instance of a leak, with a 3 year old boy at nighttime when only the one size soaker was used.
The best feature of the Rumparooz cloth diaper is definitely its inner gussets design, which are fitted on the internal fleece layer, and serve as an initial shield to keep leakages away from the edges.
In terms of comfort, we have just one word to describe the Rumparooz – Soft! Everything from the plush inserts to the fleece inner layer is a joy to touch, and stays that way even after several washing cycles.
The elastic at the waist and leg openings is extremely soft and stretchy so its snug yet comfortable against your baby’s skin.
The Rumparooz with all this plush padding does tend to be a bit bulky, but on a brighter note serves well when your baby begins to walk. It’s a joy to use, with its wide pocket that makes it easy to stuff the insert.
Further, it can be machine washed on a delicate cycle and dried in a low setting, which is great for those with limited clothesline space.
However, it is worth mentioning that line drying cloth diapers is great for longevity, but it’s also much easier to throw all your baby’s clothes and diapers into a single load albeit with baby safe detergent.
And lastly in terms of Eco health, Kanga Care promotes only eco-friendly and natural cloth options.
The Rumparooz inner cover is 100% hypo-allergenic micro chamois, while the other is crafted of 100% polyester and laminated with TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) for waterproofness.
What’s even better about this synthetic material and TPU composition is that Kanga Care claims that this ensemble will be biodegradable in 4-5 years.
The Rumparooz is however a pricier option compared to other cloth diapers we’ve tested, but if you want a cloth diaper that delivers a remarkable performance in quality, comfort and performance, this is it!
Flaws but not Deal breaker:
The Rumparooz cloth diaper is one of the best in its segment but is not perfect. For starters, it is a bit pricey at between $20 and $25 but does also offer the best in performance and quality in its segment.
Next, the rise is a bit short meaning that for bigger build kids probably won’t last until potty training.
In terms of numbers, when the rise is completely unstretched and unsnapped, it measures 13.5 inches in total length of the Rumparooz pocket cloth diaper.
One peeve we have with any pocket diaper is the extra time needed to stuff the insert into the diaper prior to use so this task may seem a bit inconvenient if you’re not used to it. The Rumparooz does have a wide opening so it is quite easy to insert the inserts.
Runner Up – BumGenius Freetime
The BumGenius Freetime is an all in one cloth diaper, meaning there are no inserts to stuff like the Rumparooz, making it a great choice for new cloth diaper users.
It is well comfortable and offered little or no disappointments during our testing. Created by Cotton Babies, BumGenius is a diaper line that makes cloth diapers easily accessible to families with a mix of different needs, preferences, lifestyles and budgets.
It is designed to fit kids between 8lbs and 35lbs and is well built with great fabric, quality seams and no loose threads.
The inserts of the Freetime all in one cloth diaper is made of 20% nylon and 80% polyester fabric, which collectively offer a decent absorption power.
To increase absorbency levels, the Freetime cloth diaper is also fitted with an extra layer of microfiber fabric right into its shell.
One thing we liked about the layout of the insert layers is that they are semi-attached, giving you the opportunity to fold or overlap a few different ways for optimal absorption in the right spot.
We tested several other cloth diapers, but the Freetime is one of the few that can be used right from infancy to toddler years with no major issues.
During our testing, this diaper never leaked thanks to the slender fit, firm and less bulk of the diaper.
Speaking of comfort, the BumGenius Freetime has elastic tabs that can be secured at the waist and two rows of snaps set along the waistband.
Collectively, these features offer your baby’s utmost comfort as they are able to move around without gaping or bunching at the waist like some other cloth diaper we tested.
The BumGenius Freetime is easy to use, where you simply snap it on your baby and you’re ready to go.
It easily repels stains owing to its synthetic material construction, and if you’re looking to steer away from the extra steps with cloth diapers, the BumGenius Freetime is worth a second look.
Upgrade Pick – FuzziBunz Elite
The FuzziBunz Elite comes with one small and one medium/large 100% microfiber insert so you can use the one you need as your baby grows.
This pocket cloth diaper scores high for comfort, trimness and absorbency and is a bit easier to stuff than the Rumparooz owing to its wider pocket opening.
For a perfect fit in the waist, you can adjust the inner elastic and buttoning to the correct hole, which needless to say is a fairly easy task by simply turning the diaper inside out.
The FuzziBunz Elite is crafted of high quality fabrics where the buttons and snaps are durable and strong. We tested both inserts of the FuzziBunz Elite cloth diaper system for absorbency, even when it was at its largest size.
The results were impressive and two slots below our top pick – the Rumparooz. Because the FuzziBunz Elite is extremely slim and trip, it looks the same as a disposable when worn under clothing.
The included sizing guide will help you adjust the size of the internal elastics of the waist snaps and leg casings.
With fleece lining the entire cover, it works great to absorb the moisture into the insert and away from the baby’s skin. Adding to this, the lining is extremely soft and stays in place after several washings.
The FuzziBunz Elite rungs in with several nice features that moms and dads will truly appreciate starting with the ability to machine dry all the inserts and cover.
Next, it comes with a weight chart that helps guide you through determining the right setting for the elastic and the rise.
The old version of the FuzziBunz did come with an extra elastic, but that is no longer the case. Instead and in the event yours goes out, you can simply buy one from the FuzziBunz website or Amazon.com.
If you need help with changing the elastic, FuzziBunz’s got you covered with a detailed instructional tutorial on their official website.
Budget Pick – GroVia Hybrid
Regarded as the best green cloth diaper, the GroVia Hybrid uses 55% hemp in the stay dry soaker pad combined with TPU waterproofing.
This one size cloth diapering system delivers great results when it comes to fit, leakage, absorbency, comfort, and ease of use.
This is an All in Two cloth diapering system, meaning you have a choice of three different types of insert options to place into the cover and are namely the organic cotton soaker, stay dry soaker pad and disposable Bio Soaker.
The GroVia Hybrid boasts a few unique features such as snaps integrated into the front covers to keep the cloth soakers intact, and allow the inner gussets to help preserve solids.
It is worth mentioning that this is the only cloth diaper system that uses all eco-friendly material combinations from the hemp to cotton to TPU waterproofing laminate.
The cover of the GroVia Hybrid diaper can be had with either hook, loop or snap enclosures, and the company has a unique program where they will convert hook and loop enclosures into snap enclosures for a small fee.
This is especially great in the event the hook or loop has worn out or your baby has learnt to release the hook and loop system.
All the components of the GroVia Hybrid i.e. the shell and soakers are extremely soft and are neatly stitched with no threads or fraying.
This one size cloth diapering system excelled in absorbency tests, and is designed to fit kids between 8lbs and 30lbs.
Further, there are several sizing options, with three rows of snaps to adjust the top and a single row of twelve snaps for a nice wide waist.
The elastic leg openings of the shell aka cover do not have a gusset, but the company integrates them into the soakers themselves.
The GroVia cloth diapering system is easy to use all through infancy until potty training, but the cover can only be line dried so you will have to separate the covers from the soakers when it comes to maintenance.
For those looking for a natural, earth friendly cloth diapering system, the GroVia Hybrid should definitely be on your wishlist.
Also Great – Bambino Mio, Miosolo All-In-One Cloth Diaper
The Bambino Mio’s Miosolo is a one size, all in one cloth diaper that is slim fitting yet absorbent. The diaper is easy to put on and take off and works just like a disposable diaper, making it a great choice for those just getting their feet wet with cloth diapering.
The insert is stuffed into the glove of the diaper, which is fitted with loops to make it easy to remove the insert at the time of washing.
It is designed to fit babies right from birth to potty training, and the rise can be adjusted by simply snapping together the poppers on the front of the cloth diaper.
If you’re looking for a slim fitting cloth diaper albeit a highly absorbent one with Velcro straps, you should check out the Bambino Mio, Miosolo.
Angel Love Cloth Diapers – This cloth diapering package includes 6 diapers, 6 inserts and a bonus waterproof wet bag. This set of one size fits all diapers feature three rows of adjustable snaps, and a strong absorbent material for superior breathability.
AngelicWare Cloth Diapers – this set of adjustable cloth diapers comes with 5 layer inserts and 4 nappy covers with bamboo inners.
Alva Baby Pocket Cloth Diapers – this all in one size set of pocket cloth diapers is completely waterproof and comes with leg gussets to protect against leaks and dual rows of snaps for a great fit.
Cloth diapers offer several benefits when compared to disposables. But with so many different types and brands to choose from, buying the perfect one for your needs might be overwhelming. However, with my detailed research and my best picks, you should be able to get the right cloth diapering system for your baby and you.