All-in-One (AIO)

An AIO diaper comes either with all the pieces sewn together as one complete unit or with pieces that partially detach with snaps (for faster drying). An AIO is used once, then washed. The waterproof layer, the absorbent layer, and the layer against the skin are all sewn together in one diaper. It’s diaper shaped, and it fastens with velcro or snaps. Pros

  • Very easy to use – essentially a “reusable disposable”


  • Most expensive
  • Hardest to clean
  • Will not last as long when tumble dried as the PUL will wear faster (of the ones all sewn in together)
  • Can take long to dry if absorbent layer is sewn in


A pocket diaper is a 2 piece system consisting of a waterproof outer shell sewn together with stay-dry lining with openings on one or both ends. The sleeve or pocket that is created is used to stuff the included absorbent insert. Pros

  • Convenient
  • Adjustable
  • Daycare and sitter friendly (when inserts are pre-stuffed)
  • Absorbent


  • Bulkier than other diapers
  • Need to stuff inserts into diaper after laundering/li>


Fitted diapers are made from absorbent fabric that is tailored to fit, providing complete coverage around your baby. Fitted diapers require the use of a diaper cover to make it waterproof. The use of the fitted diaper and a cover provides two elastic barriers at the legs and waist to prevent leaks. Pros

  • Ultra absorbent
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Can be paired with insert for additional absorbency


  • Bulky
  • Long dry time
  • Higher cost
  • 2 piece system that must be paired with absorbent layer

Prefold and Flat

Prefold and flat diapers are what most people think of when cloth diapering is referenced. Prefolds are popular for their affordability and are the most common diaper supplied by cloth diaper services. Using prefolds or flats requiring folding the diaper and then covering it with a waterproof diaper cover. Snappis are a popular closure used to secure prefolds and flats. Pros

  • Very absorbent
  • Durable and soft
  • Versatile
  • Affordable


  • Takes extra time to fold

Covers and Wrap

Covers and wraps are waterproof barriers that are used over fitteds, prefolds, specialty inserts, or flat diapers. The laminate inside of the diaper can be wiped clean between uses, allowing you to use the cover for 3-4 diaper changes before washing. Pros

  • Light and pliable
  • Double leg gussets
  • Easy to use


  • 2 piece system that must be paired with absorbent layer

Hybrid System

Consists of two parts. Outer waterproof and absorbent insert. The insert can either be cloth or disposable (e.g. Flip disposables). Pros

  • You can re-use the cover a few times before needing to wash it (if needed you can just wipe it clean)
  • Takes less space in nappy bag (great for travel)
  • Cloth inserts dry quicker than say an AIO diaper


  • Disposable liners can still take long to decompose.
  • Two part system