This post is not sponsored.
Did you know that there’s a cloth diaper on the market that’s manufactured in the USA by a reputable company that meets all of my stringent requirements to be a mainstay in my diaper stash that retails for less than CAN$15?
If you didn’t know, it’s because bumGenius’s budget-friendly cousin, Elemental Joy, was launched without much fanfare in Fall 2017. I bought a few to try, and with all the craziness of being pregnant with twins, I’m only now getting around to writing about them.
TL;DR version? I liked them so much I bought more to complete my stash for the Cub Twins.
Elemental Joy is a pocket diaper which can be purchased with or without an insert. You may be seeing a bit more of Elemental Joy on social media now that they have launched at Walmart in the US, which is kind of a big deal.
Elemental Joy Pocket Diaper Cover Specs:
The pocket diaper is very similar in design and fit to the bumGenius 5.0 pocket diaper. No surprise there—both are designed by Cotton Babies CEO Jennifer Labit! (As an irrelevant side note, I met Jennifer ever so briefly at MommyCon Vancouver when the twins were in my belly and I didn’t know it … and it was a total #fangirl moment for me.)
The inner lining is soft, stay-dry suedecloth. Conveniently, my favourite pocket diaper lining!
The main difference between the Elemental Joy pocket shell and the bumGenius pocket shell is the closure tabs. The stretchy, “butterfly” closure tabs on a bumGenius diaper are iconic. I love them. But does a lack of stretchy closure tabs make the Elemental Joy a less functional diaper? Not in my opinion!
Overall, the Elemental Joy is cut slightly longer and slightly wider than the bumGenius pocket, and the pocket opening of the Elemental Joy doesn’t have a flap on top. Again, neither of these differences make the diaper’s performance inferior.
To be frank, I don’t reach for the Elemental Joy diapers in my stash any less than I reach for my bumGenius pockets. I find they fit almost identically and perform identically when stuffed with the same inserts. Aside from having fewer prints, there’s nothing not to love about the Elemental Joy pocket.
You can definitely use an Elemental Joy cover as an all-in-two if you so desire. Just place the insert on top of the pocket and then change only the insert when wet, reusing the cover for a couple of changes, or alternating between a few covers throughout the day. This creates an even more economical system, though my preference is to just use them as pocket diapers.
If you’re a die-hard Maman Loup fan, you’ll know I prefer natural-fibre diaper inserts over microfibre. So much so that I swap out the large microfibre insert that comes with a bumGenius pocket diaper in favour of a hemp insert.
Needless to say, I am thrilled that the Elemental Joy’s default insert is 100% cotton. If you already have inserts you love, you can buy Elemental Joy pockets without inserts. But to be honest, even with the insert included, the price can’t be beat.
Elemental Joy inserts are a single layer of bird’s eye cotton and are manufactured in Pakistan or the USA according to the Elemental Joy website. Bought separately, they retail for about $4. You can fold these inserts in a wide variety of ways to maximize absorbency where it’s needed most.
Because they are a single layer of cotton, Elemental Joy inserts are easy to launder (even suitable for hand-washing if necessary) and quick to dry. They measure about 26″ x 26″. When your cloth-diapering days are done, they’ll be in your house as rags for decades. (I’m pretty sure some of the rags in my mom’s laundry room were once my cloth diapers, and I’m 35 years old.)
With just an Elemental Joy insert folded into a quarter then into thirds (creating twelve layers of absorbency, all told), the Cub Twins are good for at least three hours. If you have a heavy wetter, you could add a booster. I like to use the small microfibre insert that comes with bumGenius pocket diapers directly under the pocket with the cotton insert behind. The microfibre booster quickly absorbs liquids while the cotton behind retains it and resists compression leaks. You can purchase microfibre towels at the dollar store to use in your diapers. If you want to avoid microfibre, another option is to slide a hemp booster into the pocket. You can also switch up your folding techniques depending on your little pee machine. Heavy-wetting boy or a tummy sleeper? Fold it with extra layers at the front.
“Cheap” cloth diapers can be a touchy subject. There are certainly cloth diapers being sold for $5 a piece out there, and their quality and ethics of manufacture can leave much to be desired. But many families may be unable to afford the initial investment of cloth diapers that are $35 each, and I consider this a drawback whenever I feature a more expensive diaper on my blog. It’s hard to argue with someone pointing out that one cloth diaper may be the cost of a month’s worth of disposables.
Cloth saves money over time and has a huge impact on our environmental footprint. Elemental Joy diapers have the potential to really make cloth go mainstream.
They’re affordable. They’re made in the USA. They work.
Starting soon, Americans will be able to find Elemental Joy diapers at Walmart! For now, you can check the kit out on the Elemental Joy website . Note that the kit at Walmart is an all-in-two kit, with cotton-pad inserts and diaper covers rather than pockets. Canadians, let your local Walmart know you’d like to see cloth in their diaper aisle too!