Elemental Joy Review: My Favourite Low-Cost Cloth Diaper

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.

Cub Twin B, 3 months

TL;DR version? I liked them so much I bought more to complete my stash for the Cub Twins.

Can you believe it, bro?!

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.

Cub Twin A, 10 months

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.

Insert Specs:

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.

Cub Twin A, 3 months

Overall Appreciation

“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.

Shop Elemental Joy:

7 responses to “Elemental Joy Review: My Favourite Low-Cost Cloth Diaper”

  1. Caitlin

    I’m curious. I remember reading on an old post that AWJ was your favourite lining material. What changed your mind?

    Speaking of AWJ, do you know anything about MiniHip diapers? I’m curious if it’s a similar situation to LPO or if they fall into the cheapy ripoff category (the cut is strikingly similar to Funky Fluff and their newer styles have AWJ)… I use their bamboo inserts in Elf diapers (which I’m pretty sure is a china cheapy but dang it I just haven’t found anything I like as much as them, even in the $34/diaper range… Honestly they’re the most similar to bumGenius pockets but I find the Elf stretch tabs to give a superior fit. Sorry, I know praising a China diaper here is like blasphemy haha…. Ummmmm I exclusively use Mother Ease Wizard Uno with a Thirsties hemp for overnight and they’re awesome? Am I repented? Lol. I do have a very mixed stash, of mostly brands you’ve featured here though! And always buy through Canadian sites at least, so that makes it less dirty, right? Lol)

    1. Lindsay

      I know the company MiniShack which has the MiniHip diapers, but haven’t tried them! It’s probably similar to LPO. Elf I don’t know a ton about in terms of their ethics but I know there’s probably a patent issue with the stretchy tabs. It’s hard to keep track!

      1. Caitlin

        So before I got super off track with my comment… What made you change your mind re: microsuede now being your favourite interior fabric instead of AWJ? I’ve always kinda felt “meh” about my microsuede interiors… And depending on the brand I find that sometimes they pill if washed on hot 🙁

        1. Lindsay

          There aren’t any diapers on my radar right now that HAVE athletic wicking jersey (aside from WAHM-made ones), so I guess I’m saying favourite between the only other two options of fleece and microsuede. I was on hot and have microsuede diapers that are as old as my oldest, so over 6 years old, and I wouldn’t say they’ve gotten pilly at all, surprisingly. Definitely fleece gets pilly but I think all the diapers currently in rotation for the twins are either a natural fibre inner or else microsuede!

          1. Caitlin

            Mother Ease Wizard Uno/Duo have AWJ as an option, and some of the newer MiniHip ones do (along with front and back pocket openings) off the top of my head, but yeah, it’s pretty scarce! I’ve been considering buying it by the yard/metre and making liners out of it (rather than the Walmart fleece blanket trick) because I just keep thinking of how sweaty diapers would be in the summer…

          2. Lindsay

            Oh man, talk about twin brain! I forgot about MotherEase … even though we use them every day. #facepalm

  2. […] enough, we switched quite quickly over to one-size diapers, our favourites are bumGenius 5.0s and Elementals as well as Thirsties Natural AIO and Elemental […]

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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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