Cloth diapers are all the rage these days, and rightfully so. Compared to traditional disposable diapers, they're more cost-efficient and eco-friendly. They also come in different kinds, like prefold and hybrid. Moreover, you'll find them in various sizes, so whether you need one for a newborn or a slightly older baby, there's surely a suitable pick!
However, choosing the correct cloth diaper for your child can be daunting. No need to worry, though! In this article, we'll be providing you with some recommendations, and we'll also discuss the different types of cloth diapers, the fabrics used, as well as a few tips and tricks to help you master the art of cloth diapering. We asked pediatrician Dr. Joanna Cuayo-Estanislao to review and fact-check the contents of our buying guide.
Dr. Joanna Pamela Cuayo-Estanislao is a pediatrician and child health specialist based in Metro Manila. Doc Joey is passionate about health education and empowering families to become informed advocates of their children's health and wellness. She uses social media to educate and raise awareness about important issues and topics in the field of pediatrics and child care.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
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While disposable diapers are more convenient to use, cloth diapers actually have more benefits than you might think. They're more than just a great way of reducing your carbon footprint. We've listed down the benefits of using cloth diapers below.
The most significant advantage of cloth diapers is that they're eco-friendly. Unlike disposable diapers, you don't throw them out after they get soiled. This means that you're not adding to the waste in landfills since it takes at least 500 years for a diaper to decompose, so there's a chance that the diapers you used as a baby still exist in a landfill somewhere.
It also takes fewer resources to produce cloth diapers. Disposable diapers are made of different polymers, films, chemicals, and plastics that add to our waste, while cloth diapers use fabrics like bamboo, hemp, or cotton, which naturally wick out moisture. These fabrics don't have many chemicals in them, so you're not adding to chemical pollution or contaminating water sources either.
Investing in cloth diapers is also marginally cheaper than buying a new pack of disposable diapers every week. While the upfront costs may seem a little expensive, it's best to remember that your cloth diapers will last for a long time. The cost you'll spend buying 10-20 pcs of cloth diapers is still way less expensive than the cost you'll spend on disposable diapers in a year.
Cloth diapers also save you time as you don't have to run to the grocery every time you run out of diapers! Plus, they're possible to be used as hand-me-downs for younger babies as long as they're still of good quality.
The best thing about cloth diapers is that they're also quite comfortable for the baby. The fabrics used in cloth diapers are soft and breathable, compared to the plastics used for disposable ones. They're gentle on the skin, and they don't feel hot. Plus, they can prevent diaper rash and UTI from occurring, given that the parents change them as often as needed.
Cloth diapers are available in several cute prints, so there's no need for shorts or underwear to cover the diaper. Some of them even come with a matching top or sando. Cloth diapers are also a good investment since these can be used as early as your baby's newborn stage up to his toddler years because they're adjustable. A set of cloth diapers can be used for 2-3 years.
For more information, read through our buying guide below.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed by all the terms and categories in choosing a cloth diaper, parents should get familiar with the components or parts of a cloth diaper. To help you with that, continue reading and learn more about them below.
While there are many different types of cloth diapers to choose from, it's easier to begin with the five most popular types. These are the prefold, hybrid, all-in-one, all-in-two, and pocket cloth. There also other attachments needed for some of these types, which we'll discuss below.
With an all-in-one cloth diaper, the cover and the soaker pad are attached together. They're basically the cloth version of disposables. They have a waterproof outer layer, an absorbent inner layer, and fasteners that usually close at the baby's hips. These are a crowd favorite among parents since there's no need to separate the parts to clean them.
You simply have to throw them in the wash, and then they're good for another use. However, AIOs take a lot longer to dry because the middle layer and the outer layers are all attached together. If you want to add another layer to it, you will also need to add a separate insert to adjust its absorbency.
An all-in-two (AI2) diaper has a removable insert or soaker pad. Since its pad is separate from the waterproof outer layer, you can reuse its cover multiple times and only replace the insert every time it gets soiled. Like All-in-Ones, they also have the fit of disposable diapers and the same closures that ensure a snug fit.
Whether your family is always on the go or if you simply want more flexibility, hybrid cloth diapers are a great choice. With these, you have the option to use disposable or cloth inserts. Their shape is also similar to disposable diapers, so the fit is more precise.
These inserts absorb the wetness, and you can choose between the cloth one, which you have to wash, or the disposable one, which you can throw away after every use. Unlike disposable diapers, however, the disposable inserts of hybrids contain less chemicals and can usually be composted.
Pocket cloth diapers are a combination of hybrids and All-in-Ones. If you're worried about leakages, this type allows you to customize the absorbency since it has a pocket where you can add more inserts. Like All-in-Ones, they are also shaped like disposable diapers, so you don't have to worry about the closures or the fit on your baby's bum.
Aside from being all-natural and very absorbent, prefold diapers also dry very quickly. And like other cloth diapers, they are long-lasting as well. Besides functioning independently, they can be used as inserts for pocket diapers, too.
But its primary edge is that its folding can be customized for your baby's size, making them ideal for newborns who usually don't fit into usual one-size diaper options. The only drawback is that they require a waterproof cover since they are not waterproof on their own.
Cloth diapers' outer layers are usually made of cotton or PUL. Cotton is known for its breathability and softness due to its natural fibers. However, it is more prone to leaks. On the other hand, PUL (polyurethane laminate) is waterproof, but it's not remarkably breathable. To take your pick, it is best to weigh which one would suit your baby's nappy needs best.
Making the switch to cloth diapers is usually done in the name of comfort. The fabrics used can help ease the heat on your little one's skin, and with babies, comfort is key. We've listed some of the most used fabrics in cloth diapers as well as their benefits.
This type of fabric is commonly used for locally-available cloth diapers. Although it is the least absorbent among the fabric types and can last for 2-3 hours only, it is an excellent pick for daytime use because it's presko. It especially comes in handy during sweltering hot days. Parents won't also have a hard time cleaning it since it has a thin material that dries faster.
Since cotton can soak up moisture well, it is one of the key fabrics used in cloth diapers. Cotton is a plant-based fiber that's been around for a very long time. It's naturally absorbent, thick, and great for all types of cloth diapers, even inserts. In fact, additional inserts are usually made of cotton to increase the absorbency of a diaper. It can also refer to the ordinary lampin that most of us are familiar with.
Nowadays, bamboo fibers are becoming more popular and widely used in cloth diapers. An advantage of using bamboo fabrics is that they are naturally resistant to bacterial growth. Like cotton, bamboo is naturally absorbent, breathable, and light, too, so your baby wouldn't experience any discomfort due to the heat.
One common type of bamboo fabric you can encounter is Bamboo Charcoal. It can be placed directly on the baby's skin since it's anti-bacterial. Plus, it has the capability to neutralize odor. However, it takes time to dry after washing. Aside from that, there is also the Bamboo Viscose type known to be presko and very absorbent, making it perfect for overnight use.
Although polyester isn't organic, it's commonly used in cloth diapers because of how absorbent and durable it is. This type of fabric is often used in inserts and can last the wear and tear of washing after it's been soiled. While it's great at wicking out moisture, it should be used in moderation as it can irritate the skin.
The number of cloth diapers you will need to buy will mainly depend on your budget. Some moms begin with 5 to 10 pieces just to test how cloth diapers work. And once you get the hang of it and have become more comfortable with handling cloth diapers, your baby's age and routine then become the deciding factors.
On average, newborns use around 8 to 12 diapers in a day. But since this number decreases with age, at around 3 to 6 months old, they'll use about 6 to 8 diapers in a day only. Then, at 6 to 12 months old, they'll use between 4 to 6 diapers. Lastly, at 18 months and older, they can use between 2 to 4 diapers in one day.
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Mama Bear PH
Adjustable Charcoal Washable Diaper
A Bamboo Charcoal Lined Diaper That Helps Prevent Odors and Toxins
Plain Cloth Diaper
Keep Your Baby Dry With Its Waterproof Diaper Exterior and Moisture Wicking Inners
Elite Ai2 Cloth Diaper
Cloth Diaper That Stays in Place No Matter How Your Baby Sleeps
AIO Velcro Baby Cloth Diaper
Has Double Gussets and 3 Types of Fabrics to Prevent Leakages
Posh Cloth Diaper
Breathable, Durable, and Highly Absorbent
All-In-One Cloth Diapers
The Diaper That Grows With Your Baby
One-Size Pocket Cloth Diaper
Snug and Comfortable Fit to Give More Room for Baby's Movements
Reusable Cloth Diaper With Adjustable Snap Buttons
Stretchable Leg Cuffs and Breathable Fabric for a Happy Baby
Ai2 Cloth Diaper
Double Inserts for More Absorbency
Gauze Cloth Diaper
The Softest Lampin for Your Newborn
This cloth diaper from Mama Bear PH is a hit for many reasons. For starters, the outer layer is made from a waterproof PUL or polyurethane laminated fabric, which ensures no wet spots on the diaper. On the other hand, its insert is made of bamboo charcoal, a natural anti-bacterial and odor-absorbing material.
These two fabrics ensure dry and comfortable wear for your baby when combined. It also has double-row snaps, so you can adjust the closures to fit your baby better. Lastly, it comes with double-leg gussets that prevent leaks.
This product is an excellent pick for first-time cloth diaper users because it has all the essential features that you need in a cloth diaper. Moreover, it also comes in many cute designs, which is always a plus!
Feeling bad for your baby who always ends up whining because of a messy pool of leaks? Give this cloth diaper a try! It is safe to say that it's designed to keep your baby's bum dry, as it features a breathable yet waterproof PUL outer layer that is guaranteed to prevent leaks while ensuring your baby remains comfortable.
Apart from that, it also has a moisture-wicking suede cloth inner. It is able to repel moisture because its material allows the liquid to just pass right through the cloth and go straight to the inner absorbent layers of the insert. Moreover, it is also a one-size style cloth diaper that your baby can use from birth to potty training!
Enjoy leak-free nights with this All-in-Two cloth diaper from Ecobum! Made with a unique snap-in insert or soaker, this diaper ensures that the inner layer which absorbs your baby's mess doesn't budge, no matter how your baby sleeps.
The soaker is made of three layers of organic bamboo velour, ensuring maximum absorbency. This product also comes with other excellent features like waist-tab snaps and gussets for a secure fit, as well as a waterproof outer layer to keep your little one dry.
It's specifically designed for heavy wetter babies because the insert can perfectly hug your baby's bottom, leaving no gaps around the waist or thighs. You can also purchase additional 3-layer soakers if needed.
Never worry about leaks, thanks to this cloth diaper! This All-in-One cloth diaper uses three different types of fabrics for various purposes. It features an outer layer made of TPU for waterproofing, an inner layer of soft brushed cloth that's gentle on your baby's skin, and three layers of microfiber for the built-in insert.
Another great thing about it is that it has another two layers of bamboo fabric for added absorbency. Thus, you can be assured that this diaper doesn't just keep your baby's bum dry but also protects your little one from bacteria!
Moreover, it also has adjustable velcro straps to ensure a secure fit around your baby's waist, as well as double gussets to prevent leaks. It also comes in a variety of colors and prints that would surely keep your baby looking cute and fashionable!
Breathability, durability, and high absorbency are some of the most critical factors to look for to ensure you're buying a good cloth diaper—and this one ticks the boxes for all of those. To ensure your baby is comfortable and dry, it comes with a soft suede cloth inner that wicks moisture away, and it uses microfiber inserts that feel presko even during hot days!
You can be assured it's sturdy, too, since its outer layer is made of durable PUL fabric. Adding to features that ensure your little one's comfort, it also comes with a stretchy tab that allows easy snapping and prevents garter marks. Plus, it has tummy sleeper protection that blocks the snap buttons from poking your baby's tummy as he sleeps.
Nothing beats a product you can use for a long time, and this cloth diaper certainly fits the criteria. This diaper is fitted with snaps around the waist and front area that you can adjust to fit your baby no matter their age, allowing you to use it even when they start growing.
This product is not only adjustable but also easy to clean because it's the All-in-One type. Simply get rid of any solid waste, pre-soak the diaper in water and soap, and either handwash or use the washing machine to get rid of stains.
As a bonus, it is made of bamboo fabric that is also anti-microbial and stain and odor resistant, which means cleaning takes little to no time at all. It also comes in assorted colors and designs for your little bundle of joy!
Apart from the material, the cloth diaper's fit also affects its overall comfort feel. Thus, it's essential to choose one that provides a comfortable fit that allows your baby to move freely, like this one by Baby Leaf. It is equipped with snap buttons that let you adjust the sizing to fit small, medium, and large babies.
It also offers a snug and comfortable stretch that provides a custom fitting to give more room for your baby's movements. Besides good fit, you can count on it to deliver in terms of leak-protection, too. Its outer layer is waterproof, and its inner material is made of microfleece that keeps your baby dry.
Looking for a cloth diaper that won't restrict your baby from moving freely? You'll love this nappy from Little Steps. It is armed with a unique pocket that allows the absorbent cotton pad to stay in place, even if your baby moves. It also has stretchable leg cuffs that wrap neatly around your baby's thighs, facilitating free movement without any worry.
Another great thing about it is that it features multiple snaps on the waist and front that you can adjust according to the needs of your growing baby. Thus, they can use it from birth to when they start walking. Since the product is also made from breathable and hypoallergenic fabric, it's sure to feel comfortable and soft against your baby's skin!
All-in-Two diapers are perfect for nighttime use, and that's because they have two types of inserts: sewn-in ones and detachable ones. This product specifically comes with a sewn-in insert that has three layers of bamboo fleece, along with a detachable insert that has four layers of bamboo fleece.
This means your little one has seven layers of protection against nighttime leaks, but rest assured that the layers won't be uncomfortable because the inner lining is made with bamboo velour, which is soft and breathable.
Another great thing about having two types of inserts is that you can customize the absorbency. Hence, if your baby isn't a heavy wetter, you can simply use the built-in insert and just adjust for nighttime use.
On the hunt for a super soft lampin that will make your little one comfortable? Look no further than this one by Enfant. It is made of gauze fabric known for being soft and the lightest of all diaper cloths. Thus, you can be assured that it is highly breathable and comfortable for your baby.
The material is also more absorbent than the traditional bird's eye, so you can rely on it to keep your little sunshine dry. Since it features a porous weave, it allows air to move freely, eventually reducing the occurrences of irritation and diaper rash. Busy parents will love it, too, as it is easy to clean and fast-drying!
It's hard to say which kind of diaper is actually more environmentally friendly. Both disposable and cloth diapers do have a negative impact on the environment, especially when taking into account the full life cycle of a diaper, from production to eventual disposal (whether the disposable or cloth diapers).
This would factor in how much energy, water, and raw materials are used, as well as the atmospheric emissions, and the waterborne and solid wastes are created. So while disposable diapers use more raw materials and produce more solid wastes, cloth diapers potentially consume significantly more water, detergent, and energy and produce more waterborne wastes.
Ultimately, the choice of diaper would really depend on the family and their lifestyle — it can definitely be a mixed-use or even a hybrid of both!
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
The frequency of diaper changing would highly rely on your baby's age and routine. If a diaper is soiled, it's best to change it out as soon as you can to avoid skin irritation. It is best for babies under one month to change their cloth diapers every 2 hours during the day and every night feed. On the other hand, changing every 3.5 hours during the day should be enough for those under six months.
Surface irritation is the main cause of diaper rash, and it can happen with cloth diapers, too. In fact, some studies are saying that since some cloth diapers are not as absorbent, there are instances that they can cause diaper rash. It is especially possible if the protective covers used aren't very breathable and if they're not cleaned properly.
It's just really best practice to change babybaby's diaper as soon as it is soiled, whether disposable or cloth.
Generally, it's good to follow a 3:1 ratio if you're using a reusable cover. This means you should have at least three clean inserts to use with every cover. However, do note that this would still highly depend on the type of cloth diaper you're using.
Parenthood has many hurdles, and changing diapers is one of them. There are a few things that you need, which include wet wipes, baby powder, and a set of baby clothes. Check out our other articles on diaper changing essentials below!
Author: Chloe Gian S. Jundez
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：Mama Bear PH｜Adjustable Charcoal Washable Diaper
No. 2：Alva｜Plain Cloth Diaper
No. 3：Ecobum ｜Elite Ai2 Cloth Diaper ｜Version 2
No. 4：Happyflute｜AIO Velcro Baby Cloth Diaper
No. 5：Booldeet ｜Posh Cloth Diaper
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When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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