Cloth Swim Diaper Comparison

Cloth Swim Diaper Comparison - Maman Loup's Den

Cloth swim diapers are a source of intrigue in the parenting community. Do they absorb the pool water? Do they absorb pee? Do I need to buy swim diapers at all?

The main purpose of a swim diaper is to contain poop. No one likes floaters in the pool, but all parents know that the pool is full of pee. Obviously, if a swim diaper (cloth or disposable) absorbs urine, then it’s also going to absorb pool water. (If you’ve ever put your baby in the pool with a regular diaper on, you’ll know all about that saggy bum.) If you’re at a lake or in your back yard and you’re not fussy about an accidental deuce in the sand, you don’t need a swim diaper at all … bare bums will do the trick. You can also just use a cloth diaper cover without an insert (I’d recommend one that has an inner lining rather than just PUL against the bum) as a swim diaper, but lots of moms prefer a dedicated swim diaper, and I’ve tested six of the most popular cloth swim diapers on the market to help you choose the one that’s right for you!

cloth swim diapers graphic comparison

Bummis One-Size Swimmi

Bummis Swimmi Specs

The Swimmi is the only swim diaper with a full blog review which you can check out here. It’s got a double gusset and is lined with a soft polyester.

Bummis Swimmi

It’s a one-size option with sturdy snaps. The waist and leg elastic casings are soft and don’t dig into leg and tummy chub. Like all Bummis diapering products, it’s made in Canada. I love the value of this one-size diaper, since you don’t need to buy a new one as baby grows!

Bummis Swimmi on Little Miss Cub

The Bummis One-Size Swimmi retails for $25.95

Omaïki One-Size Swim Diaper

The Omaïki swim diaper has the largest weight range of all the one-size options in this post. It’s huge! With its rise snaps and side snaps, it definitely adjusts to be tiny. There are a bunch of reasons why it’s one of my favourite swim diapers. Firstly, the light absorbent layer of bamboo terry behind an athletic wicking jersey lining is awesome to catch a little tinkle before you jump in the pool. It’s not so much absorbency that the diaper gets heavy with pool water, just enough so your hip doesn’t get pee on it.

Omaiki Swim Diaper

The diaper snaps up at the sides for easy removal in emergencies, but you can also pull the diaper on and off like a swimsuit. There are also double gussets at the legs for poop containment. Because of the vast size range of this one-size diaper, it can be bulky at the rise when at its smallest. The waist elastics at the front and back are thick and, frankly, seem bullet proof. Bonus points for being made in Canada!

Omaiki Swim Diaper on Little Miss Cub

The Omaïki swim diaper retails for $25.95.

Nuggles One-Size Swimsees

Nuggles Swimsees Specs

The Nuggles Swimsees has such a cool design! Most public pools I’ve visited require a double diaper: a waterproof pant on top of a disposable swim diaper to create a force field against poop. If they knew about the Swimsees, I hope they’d recommend it instead!

Nuggles Swimsees

The inside of the PUL cover contains a mesh sling with an adjustable elastic so you can create a snug fit for extreme turd containment. The diaper has crossover snaps, so it will fit even a tiny 10-lb baby waist.

Nuggles Inner Mesh Sling

I adore the fit on Little Miss Cub!

Nuggles Swimsees on Little Miss Cub

The Nuggles Swimsees retails for $19.99.

AppleCheeks Swim Diaper (two sizes)

AppleCheeks Swim Diaper Specs

The AppleCheeks swim diaper, like their envelope covers, comes in size 1 and size 2. Little Miss fits in both sizes right now. You can see the two sizes compared at the bottom right of this image:

AppleCheeks Swim Diaper

The AppleCheeks swim diaper is lined with a polyester jersey and has leg and waist ruffles. As adorable as it is, I find the AppleCheeks swim diaper droopy on the bum, and the front waist panel sags down below the wings. (I have the same observation for the AMP swim diaper, too.) AppleCheeks’ diapers are made in Canada.

AppleCheeks Swim Diaper on Little Miss Cub

The AppleCheeks swim diaper retails for $19.99.

AMP Swim Diaper (two sizes)

The AMP swim diaper, like its Duo diaper, comes in size small and size large. I don’t have a size small to compare, but the size large fits great on Little Miss at 20 lbs. The inner and exterior of the diaper are the same mesh polyester.

AMP Swim Diaper

As with the AppleCheeks, I find the AMP gets a bit droopy on the bum. It’s the only swim diaper I reviewed that comes with its own little storage bag.

AMP Swim Diaper on Little Miss Cub

The AMP swim diaper retails for $16.

GroVia Swim Diaper (three sizes)

The GroVia swim diaper comes in three sizes, making it a pricier investment if you need all three sizes. The benefit of a sized swim diaper is that there are no folds or bulk from rise snaps. The GroVia is just like a pair of swim trunks on the bum!

GroVia Swim Diaper

It is lined with a bamboo terry layer, which is absorbent enough for a small leak, plus it’s nice and soft against baby’s bum. The side panels of the diaper are stretchy so you can easily pull the diaper up and down, but you can also use the snaps. I should note that my GroVia swim diaper came apart at the back waist seam after a few uses, but I am confident this will be dealt with by their warranty. However, it would totally be a bummer if this was your only swim diaper and you were on vacation. (Update: We received our replacement diaper without any issue!)

GroVia Swim Diaper on Little Miss Cub

The GroVia swim diaper retails for $18.95.


There are two swim diapers I evaluated that have a light layer of absorbency: the Omaïki and the GroVia. I really think this sets them apart from the other options. I also love that they have side snaps and can be pulled up and down just like a swim suit. In terms of expense, the sized options obviously require a bigger investment, but the upside is a smooth and trim fit. I’ve been lucky so far and haven’t had to deal with any poops in the pool, but all of the swim diapers I evaluated seem to fit well enough to contain a renegade turd. I’d feel the safest using one of the double-gusseted options if I thought a poop was imminent. In terms of fit, I was surprised to find I liked the fit of the AMP and AppleCheeks the least, as they both became droopy when wet. I also worry that their exterior material is more fragile than the others in my collection and would snag easily on the pool deck or a picnic bench. I honestly liked all of these swim diapers, but I am definitely reaching for the side-snapping, slightly absorbent Omaïki and GroVia when we are hitting the public pool. (I wish that the GroVia, one of my faves, didn’t have the holes at the waist, and I hope to receive a replacement quickly!) In terms of my favourite fit on Little Miss Cub at this point, I’d give that to the Nuggles Swimsee. (And I am almost hoping to try out that inner sling on a number two … almost.)

Update / March, 2017

Little Miss is now 19 months old and weighs about 21 lbs. We have started going to the indoor pool on weekends, and they require a pair of plastic pants on top of a swim diaper. Their pictures all show a disposable swim diaper with a pull-on plastic pant on top. What I’ve been using is our Size 1 AppleCheeks swim diaper inside our Bummis one-size swim diaper. I figure this combo is just as much protection (if not more) than the option presented by the pool. That said, no one has ever checked what kind of diaper my daughter has on at the pool!

Which one do you like best?

20 responses to “Cloth Swim Diaper Comparison”

  1. While I haven’t had to deal with any poops with either kid and it’s worked well enough for us, I definitely agree with your points on the AppleCheeks swim diaper. It’s comfy…but that means it gets droopy when wet and ours is snagged all to hell on the bum from playing at public places with concrete/cement. Hopefully I can try the Omaiki or Nuggles one next summer when Little Bit will be on the loose. 😉

  2. Rebecca

    We love love love our grovia! It was our one and only swim diaper for a 10 day road trip with probably 12 trips into the water. It held in both times poop was an issue and washed super easy, too!

  3. Oh my gosh, little Miss Cub is SO DANG CUTE! Emily and I kept smiling back at all of her photos 🙂 Anyhow, I noticed that a few of the swim diapers you reviewed I’ve never seen before – do you know if the Omaiki, AMP, or Nuggles are sold in the US? The only OS swim diaper I knew of was the Bummis Swimmi (but that wasn’t sold in too many places when I was buying a swim diaper a few months ago, probably because it was so new). My current favorite swim diaper is the Blueberry Freestyle because it has the light layer of padding and is side snapping but you can pull it on and off if your toddler doesn’t want to lie down for public diaper changes, but it’s sized. The Omaiki sounds like my new dream swim diaper if it’s similar but OS!

    1. Lindsay

      Very few Canadian retailers carry Blueberry anymore due to the crappy Canadian dollar… hence why I didn’t snag one to try! But now I want to!

  4. Lara

    Great article, thank you so much! I personally have used both the Bummis Swimmi and the Apple cheeks in both infant and toddler sizes on my girls. The Bummis Swimmi models we had were not the one-size, and had Velcro, which I like. The apple cheeks, unfortunately, didn’t perform as well, in my opinion, as they seem to have only a one-child lifespan, as the elastic disintegrated prematurely (again, my opinion). But the fabric is easy to clean and seems more comfortable on the bum than the meshy interior of the Bummi. The Bummi Velcro has ceased to be sticky nearing the end of the second child’s worth of use, but so it goes with Velcro, I guess. I would say it would be easier to deal with and/or replace the Velcro than to have to deal with the structural integrity loss thanks to the elastic disintegration.

    1. Lara

      Oh and I forgot to add, we have had LOTS of poo events whilst using a swim diaper, and can report with great confidence, both the Bummi and the apple cheeks performed admirably, even when the poo was, well, let’s say easily mobilized 🙂

      1. Lindsay

        I love this! I don’t WANT her to poop in the pool, but at least if she had I could give first-hand experience…. I’m glad you’ve tested it and not me!

  5. What a great review! Of all the swim diapers here, I have the Bummis swimmi (thanks to your giveaway!!) and while I’ve only used it once so far, I really love it! The Bummis prints are adorable, it’s nice and soft on the inside, and the double gusset is great. Now after reading your review, I’d love to try the Omaiki swim diaper for the AWJ and second layer of protection for catching small tinkles! We went swimming with my mom and she was holding my baby on her lap and then she peed and it got on my mom’s swim cover up – oopsies (this was a different brand of swim diaper, not the Bummis)!! I also like the Omaiki’s side-snap feature to make it a pull-on type of diaper 🙂

  6. Shannon O’C

    Just curious if you can clarify the weight range for the Omaiki. You mentioned up to 45 lbs, while the Gentle Nest has up to 40 lbs, and the Omaiki website has up 35 lbs.

    I realise this is a minor detail for most people, however I have a 34 lbs 2 year old who loves the water but is not so keen on the potty. Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      Heya! So that’s a typo on my part, I’m fixing it as we speak! It should be 40 lbs. I am confident, however, that most 40 lb kids would still be very comfortable. My son is 40 lbs and doesn’t need a swim diap, but could wear this.

  7. josh dillard

    oh no the only one i have for my vacation in 2 week is that exact same grovia ha, looks like im hitting up bummis

  8. Jessica

    Thank you for this!!

  9. alyssa

    We used iPlay, and they were so small! I’ll need to check one of these out. Thanks!

  10. Lexy Overstreet Broome

    Awesome helpful comparisons! I haven’t tried a cloth swim diaper but want to! Thanks for this!

  11. Krystal Finhert

    Very informative as I’m still new to clothe and just had my baby recently

  12. Molly

    Thanks for this! We have an iplay that is getting small. I sometimes use our grovia hybrid shell, which works well, but I’d rather not use it in the pool

  13. Dalla Baba

    Very informative and helpful for parents thinking of using cloth swim diapers for their babies during swimming lessons

  14. Darlene W

    It is great that they fit 10 to 35 pounds, so by next summer my grandson who is due in December will fit into them

  15. […] the weather was beautiful! Although I didn’t write many sponsored posts, I finally published my Cloth Swim Diaper Comparison post, which has been a work in progress for months. I really wanted to have it up before swim-diaper […]

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Welcome to my Wolf Pack!

My name is Lindsay and I am a 40-year-old mama of four trying to live an eco-friendly, budget-friendly life! I am a substitute teacher and Child Passenger Safety technician in Calgary, Alberta. Join me on my adventures!

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