I have tried a lot of cloth diapers in my now five-year parenting journey. With the twins due to arrive next year and Miss Cub not ready to potty train, being on the verge of having three in cloth has led me to go through my stash and keep only the most reliable diapers we own. Of course, I am also adding to the stash since I cannot yet imagine how many diapers we are going to through in a day. But, I am only adding the diapers I love the most … no getting sucked in by cute prints in a brand I find more prone to leaks!
My criterion for a reliable cloth diaper is simple: I can leave the house without worrying about having to change a diaper (unless there’s a poop) for four hours. If I’m on my game I typically change Miss Cub closer to every two to three hours, but when we’re out and about I like to avoid public washroom change stations when possible, and I don’t like to drag around extra pairs of pants.
Without further ado, here are the four one-size cloth diapers that make up 99% of our stash:
Note that prices vary between retailers and are in Canadian dollars.
Funky Fluff ($24.95)
I am placing Funky Fluff at the top of the list because it provides the most bang for your buck. Both the bamboo-inner and athletic wicking jersey-inner versions come with two super-absorbent bamboo terry inserts. Using both of these inserts, I can confidently leave Miss Cub in her Funky Fluff for four hours. Note that I specifically prefer the Funky Fluff diapers that were manufactured after Bummis bought the company and were first released in February 2017. For some reason the change in manufacturers eliminated a problem with leaks at the seams that I experienced with the previous version.
Other benefits of Funky Fluff are that they fit newborns quite well, often as early as 7 or 8 lb, and that even with both inserts, they are quite trim. They have a tall rise and easily fit my tall and larger-than-average son until potty training. A downside of Funky Fluff would be that they are manufactured overseas, but that contributes to the low price point.
Read my Ultimate Guide to Funky Fluff.
Shop for Funky Fluff using my affiliate links:
bumGenius 4.0 & 5.0 ($24.95) + Öko Creations hemp insert ($9)
This pocket diaper is the brand I have been using regularly for the longest. The changes made from version 4.0 to 5.0 were minimal, and I am still confident buying 4.0s second hand. The vast majority of retailers do not sell bumGenius diapers without their microfibre inserts, and when I buy a new bG I systematically replace the long microfibre insert with a trifolded Öko Creations hemp insert. Therefore, the total regular price for this combo is about $34. That’s why I often buy my bumGenius pockets second hand! I place the small microfibre booster that comes with the bumGenius pocket diaper on top of the Öko insert, and slide that combo into the pocket. The microfibre acts like a sponge to quickly absorb urine, while the Öko hemp insert has massive absorbency and prevents compression leaks, which can occur when using 100% microfibre inserts.
This is the diaper combo that Cub wore at daycare for two years and also what Miss Cub uses at daycare. I hoard Velcro-closure bumGenius diapers because they are discontinued … and I love sending them to daycare! Neither of my kids has ever had to change pants due to pee leaks, and I don’t expect daycare to be as diligent about bum changes as I might be.
The funny and impressive thing about bumGenius pockets is how durable they have been for us. I have some that are about four years old, and have been regularly used on both of my children. Most definitely the elastics have loosened, as they would on any garment washed and worn so many times. And yet, even with loose elastics, and in the case of a couple, even with inner PUL that is starting to crack, my bGs are still leakproof!
The one drawback of bumGenius pockets is that they don’t fit well right from birth. Usually at about 12 lb you will get a decent fit. They do tend to fit most children until they potty train!
Read my full bumGenius 5.0 review.
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bumGenius Elemental – OBGE & BGE 3.0 ($30.95)
Just to confuse you, there are actually THREE versions of the bumGenius Elemental floating around out there. The most recent iteration that will most likely be what you encounter at your favourite retailer is known as the BGE 3.0. The Original BGE, usually abbreviated as OBGE, is my favourite version of the Elemental, but the 3.0 is a close second. Unless you want to use it for my overnight combo, I would suggest skipping the bumGenius Elemental that came between the Original and the 3.0. You may see it referred to as the “NBGE” (New bumGenius Elemental), but you’ll be able to recognize it as it is the only version that does not have an inner cotton lining: it has exposed PUL.
You can actually still buy OBGEs in Canada at one location, Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot. They are in limited supply and are currently marked down to $24.95. I highly recommend them. The Elemental is an all-in-one diaper, meaning you do not need to stuff or snap anything into it when pulling it out of the laundry. It is one of the only all-in-ones I have ever tried that does not need additional boosters. The main difference between the OBGE and BGE 3.0 is a few extra layers of absorbency in the former, which is why I like it the most.
The downfall of the Elemental is probably that it takes a while to fit most babies. Although marketed as a newborn through potty-learning solution, I find it doesn’t fit babies well until between 12 to 15 lb. This is also a 100% cotton diaper, so there is no stay-dry layer if your baby is sensitive to wetness.
Read my bumGenius BGE 3.0 review.
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GroVia ONE ($30.95)
While I have added more Funky Fluff and bumGenius to my diaper stash since learning of my twin pregnancy, I do not expect to add more GroVia ONEs to the pile. However, I cannot deny that I do not hesitate to grab one of our ONEs when we’re about to head out the door. The main reason I wouldn’t add more ONEs to my stash is that it took the longest of all my favourites to fit well on my daughter. I would say she was closer to 15 to 18 lb before I was happy with the fit. I use both inserts with it, and even though she’s over two years old, we are still able to use the ONE on its lowest rise. I’m not crazy about diapers with a single row of closure snaps, but I would rather have a ONE than a leaky diaper with a double row of snaps!
Read my GroVia ONE review.
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What is your most reliable cloth diaper?