Cloth Diapering Made Simple: The Ultimate Guide to Diaper Inserts

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Best Cloth Diaper Inserts

Parents are turning to cloth diapers more frequently now than ever before. Our family has used them for over seven years! When you first start off, you are full of questions like what is the best cloth diaper inserts or what the best covers are. Cloth diapers have a large variety offer than disposables, and it is a new territory for many parents.

Luckily, I am here to help you on your new quest to cloth diaper. Don’t worry; they aren’t disgusting or hard to keep clean. Surprisingly, your washing machine does all the work, and cleaning is a breeze. These aren’t our grandmother’s diapers; the industry has vastly expanded and developed over the last few decades. 

Why Should I Cloth Diaper?

When you are on the fence about using cloth diapers, you probably wonder about the benefits. Most people immediately assume all of the work outweighs the possible benefits. These people would be wrong. 

I spend an average of an hour washing and folding my cloth diapers every week, and that is a maximum estimate. They are just another load of laundry. Babies create tons of it anyway, why not add another load?

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to cloth diaper, but I will tell you why our family uses them exclusively for all three of our children and any future babies as well. 

  • They are cost effective. Children can be expensive, depending on the type of lifestyle you live. We are on a serious budget, and diapers are costly. We could easily spend $25 to $30 a week on diapers. Our family doesn’t have the extra money each month.
    I spent close to $600 on cloth diapers. It sounds like a lot of money, but it only is around six months of disposables. Cloth diapers last until potty training, so our family is saving serious money. Cloth diapers are reusable; any future children can use the same diapers we used for their siblings. 
  • Cloth diapers are environmentally friendly. Did you know the first disposable diaper ever used is still sitting in a landfill somewhere? Introduced in the 1940s, disposable diapers take centuries to degrade. They are one of the top reasons why landfills are so jam packed. We are doing our part by reducing our output to landfills each month. 
  • They are gentle on sensitive skin. Do you have a baby with sensitive skin? Our daughter reacted to most disposable diapers, which is why we initially sought out cloth diapers. Every option left her red, sore and uncomfortable. Cloth diapers, especially ones using natural fibers, are gentle on their delicate skin. Rashes are less likely as well. 
  • They are adorable! Cloth diaper manufacturers use the brightest colors and prints they can find. You can get a diaper in any print imaginable. They are cute, fun and exciting. Plus, they look so cute peeking out under their dresses or pants! 

Understanding the World of Cloth Diaper Inserts 

There are so many different types of cloth diapers and inserts. It can be overwhelming at first. Take some time to read websites and articles (like this one) to help you navigate. 

First, it is important to understand when you would need a cloth diaper insert. There are multiple types of cloth diapers such pockets, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, covers with prefolds, and fitted diapers. You typically don’t need inserts with all-in-ones and fitted diapers. 

Inserts are used to absorb the urine produced by your child. Most of them are washable, but you can purchase disposable inserts. They are commonly utilized in the all-in-two systems. 

If you are on a budget, purchasing a variety of covers and inserts to use inside of them is the cheapest option. Some parents use prefolds, flats, or inserts; it just depends on the type of cover you may own. 

Inserts also can be used to boost the absorbency of the diaper. For example, at nighttime, you would want the diaper to be able to absorb and hold more urine without leaking than you need during the daytime. Pocket diapers allow parents to add extra inserts, creating a solid choice for bedtime. 

Criteria for Cloth Diaper Inserts

So, what do you need to look for when it comes to inserts? They are easy to pick, but there are dozens of choices. I have tried so many options, and I have a few features I look for in my purchases. 

  • Size: Inserts are different sizes. Some are adjustable with snaps, allowing parents to use them from newborn stage up through toddlerhood. If they aren’t adjustable, you need to have a general idea how large the diaper is that you plan to use with the insert. You want to make sure it will fit before you buy it! 
  • Material: The most important feature is the material used for the insert. Microfiber is a popular choice. It is ultra-absorbent, capable of absorbing urine for hours. However, the one downside is that microfiber is so absorbent it can be hard to get fully cleaned. Some parents prefer natural fabrics. Cotton, hemp, and bamboo are common materials you will see listed. Bamboo and hemp are more absorbent than cotton. However, all of them make great choices.
  • Disposable or Not? Do you need disposable inserts? It will depend on the style of diaper you use and what purpose the disposable inserts will serve. You may want them for vacations, trips or the babysitter. The downside to disposable inserts is you need to continue to buy them. Luckily, most cloth diaper companies use biodegradable ingredients. 
  • Liners: You may not want to use a disposable insert, but many parents love the convenient of disposable liners. Once your baby is past the stage of exclusively breastfeeding and start solid foods, their poop becomes rather disgusting. Liners flop right into the toilet, so you can flush away the solids before washing day. 

The Top Choices for the Best Cloth Diaper Inserts

Natural Fiber Inserts

Alva Baby Cloth Diaper 4 Layer Antibacterial Bamboo Viscose Inserts 

If you want one of the best-selling natural fiber inserts, the Alva Baby inserts receive some of the highest ratings by parents. Parents love the comfortable material and craftsmanship of the products by Alva Baby. Their products are BPA, phthalate, latex and lead-free. 

These inserts use 71.3% Bamboo and 28.7% polyester. There are two layers of bamboo viscose fiber and two layers of microfiber inner layers. Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial, comfortable, and highly absorbent and has little static electricity. You purchase these inserts in a pack of 12. They measure 13 inches long and 5.32 inches wide, making them an excellent choice for pocket diapers when you need more absorbency. 

Naturally Natures Cloth Diaper Inserts 

If you want inserts with natural fibers but are on a budget, the Naturally Natures Inserts are affordable. They have a stay dry feel. Bamboo charcoal is porous and helps to wick away moisture away from your baby’s bottom. 

The Naturally Natures inserts have five layers creating maximum absorbency, capable of holding up to eight ounces of liquid! There are three layers of microfiber sandwiched between two layers of charcoal bamboo. Parents love that the inserts are hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial that helps to prevent rashes. 

You can use these inserts into one size diapers. They are a one size fits all insert, measuring 13 inches long and 5 inches wide. You get 12 inserts with each pack that you buy. They are easy to wash and dry, and they are stain resistant. There is no reason not to purchase these best cloth diaper inserts! 

Thirsties Hemp Inserts 2 Pack 

Thirsties is one of the leading companies in the cloth diapering world. I have used their covers for years; they are some of the most durable covers. They come in adorable colors. Their Duo covers come in size one and size two, and they are meant to be used with their Thirsties Hemp Inserts. Just like the covers, you can purchase the inserts in small or large. 

These inserts are made with six layers of soft hemp and cotton blend knit jersey. I love how soft these are on my baby’s bum. The absorption of hemp is slow and stable, reducing the possibility of compression leaks. 

They only measure .25 inches thick, giving your diapers a trim fit. You can add these inserts to your pocket diapers for an ideal overnight solution. They work perfect for any Thirsties pockets as well. The trimness of the inserts means, even if you add them to a pocket diaper, they won’t make the diaper too bulky. 

One obvious downside to the Thirsties Hemp Inserts is the price. They come in packs of two, but they are close to the same cost as a diaper cover. However, you are paying for top quality inserts made in the USA! 

Bamboo Cloth Diaper Inserts from Nora’s Nursery 

Do you love the buttery soft feeling of bamboo? If so, you will love these highly rated inserts by Nora’s Nursery. The price is affordable, and ten inserts come in one pack. Bamboo viscose layers keep your baby feeling dry and comfortable, letting everyone sleep longer. Every parent needs more sleep! 

These inserts have a total of four layers. There are two layers of extra soft bamboo that touch your baby’s skin. On the inside of the inserts, there are two layers of microfiber for increased absorbency. 

Parents love that the inserts are a one size fits all design with a measurement of 13 inches long and 5 inches wide. Despite the slim design, they offer ideal absorbency, and you can put it into any pocket or cover cloth diaper! Bamboo material resists stains. Durable thread prevents fraying, so you can reuse these inserts for years to come. 

Baby Tooshy’s Cloth Diaper Inserts – Bamboo 

We have another choice for the best cloth diaper inserts made of bamboo! If you are hesitant to give bamboo a try, they are worth it. Bamboo is a natural fabric that is breathable, antibacterial, hypoallergenic and antifungal. These qualities mean your baby is less likely to experience rashes or infections, and the diapers won’t stick. 

Baby Tooshy made super absorbent liners, even for heavy wetters. The bamboo charcoal inserts are made of five layers that can hold up to eight ounces of liquid. As you can imagine, these inserts are thick, but not so thick that it will make your diaper too bulky. One unique feature to these inserts are the double gussets that mold around your child’s bottom. Leaks are less likely to happen.

If you are looking for an overnight option, some parents opt to use two of these inserts together. The material will naturally wick away moisture from your child’s bottom. These inserts are one size fits all so that you can use them on your baby or toddler. They fit into most cloth diaper systems measuring 16.7 inches x 5.2 inches x 2.1 inches. 

HappyEndings Heavy Wetter 4 Layer Hemp and Organic Cotton Inserts 

Some babies can flood a diaper no matter what inserts you use. If your child is like that, you need an insert designed for heavy wetters. HappyEnding inserts are four layers of hemp and organic cotton fleece. It is a combination of 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton fleece. 

Hemp is the perfect fabric for a doubler. It is an absorbent, natural material, but it absorbs the liquid slowly, reducing the possibility of compression leaks. It also has antimicrobial qualities and is naturally hypoallergenic.

HappyEnding inserts fit into most one size diapers, measuring 13.5 inches x 5 inches. They aren’t prewashed, so you can expect up to 1.5 inches to shrink. Shrinking is expected during the first washing. It is important to remember that because of the natural oils in hemp, you need to wash these inserts multiple times to reach maximum absorbency. 

Flip Organic Cotton Day Time Inserts – 3 Count 

If you are using the Flip diapering system, you need to decide which inserts you want to use. Of course, you could always use a blend of all four choices they offer to parents! The first one to consider is their organic cotton daytime inserts. These inserts are soft, absorbent and Oeko-Tex certified organic cotton.

Because of the organic cotton, these inserts are thinner, giving a trim fit for day time or days when your kid wears jeans. They are fast drying with single layers. It is important to note that these inserts are not stay dry, so your baby can feel moisture against their skin. However, many children respond to the wetness by potty training earlier than normal. 

The Flip Organic Inserts are one size fits all. You can adjust from small to large by changing the direction in which you fold it. Each pack comes with three day time, organic cotton inserts. You are going to need an average of 18 to 24 inserts for a two day supply of diapers. 

Flip Organic Cotton Night Time Inserts – 2 Count

Our next choice for the Flip diapering system is their organic cotton night time inserts. A single day time insert won’t last you all night. You need something absorbent that can last 8 to 12 hours before changing. Cottonbabies created these inserts as an option for parents with a heavy wetter or as an overnight solution.

Each set includes two night time, organic cotton inserts. They are made of soft, ultra-absorbent, Oeko-Tex certified organic cotton. Cottonbabies added more layers to make these inserts thick and more suitable for night time. 

Just like the daytime variety, these inserts are one size fits all. Depending on how you fold the insert, you can change the size from small to large. You can use these inserts in other covers besides the Flips. They are excellent for heavy wetters! 

GroVia Organic Cotton Cloth Diaper Booster – 2 Count 

Do you need a booster for your toddler? Or, do you need to add some absorbency to your diapers? GroVia offers a fantastic booster. Ideally, GroVia planned for them to be used with their diapering system. Parents can use it with any diaper they want! 

The boosters are made of three layers of unbleached, natural, organic cotton. They are perfect for naps, nights or long car rides. You can add absorbency to your diapers without adding unnecessary bulk. If you are using them with a GroVia diaper, you just lay these boosters on top of the soaker pad. 

So, if you need a booster, these are a soft and absorbent choice. Each pack has two boosters included. 

Smart Bottoms Too Smart Inserts – 3 Count 

Smart Bottoms are a favorite brand of diapers, making covers, inserts, and all-in-ones. Each pack contains three inserts that need to be washed five to six times before maximum absorbency is reached. The inserts are made of 100% organic cotton and made in the USA. 

Parents love how buttery soft these soft, organic interlock cotton inserts are! Your baby’s bum won’t be irritated or against the stiff fabric. All you have to do is lay the insert inside a Smart Bottoms Too Smart Cover, tuck the insert under the flaps and snap the cover on your baby. However, you can use these inserts with any cover or pocket diaper that you love! 

The only negative to these inserts is the amount of prepping that needs done. Washing the inserts five to eight times is an annoyance. There are a lot of inserts that require fewer washings before reaching maximum absorbency. However, if you love Smart Bottoms products, you will love their Too Smart inserts as well. 

AppleCheeks One-Size 2-Layer Rayon from Bamboo Inserts – 2 Pack

AppleCheeks offer adorable diaper covers for parents to use on their children. While you could use anything you want in their covers, they specifically designed their one-size rayon inserts to be used inside of their diapers. Rayon comes from bamboo, and it is perfect for heavy wetters. It can retain twice as much moisture as cotton! Also, bamboo has antimicrobial properties. 

AppleCheeks inserts have two layers of absorbent rayon. 70% is bamboo rayon and 30% is organic cotton, giving your maximum absorbency. Measuring 12 inches x 15 inches, parents can fold the insert into thirds for six layers of rayon in the soaker zone. 

Most of the options on our list don’t use bamboo rayon. It is exceptionally soft and absorbent. If you have a heavy wetter, AppleCheeks makes one of the best cloth diaper inserts. 

Thirsties Cotton Doubler

Sometimes, you need extra absorbency for your diaper covers or pocket diapers. Thirsties make an excellent choice for one of the best doublers. I use these doublers for heavy wetters and nighttime use; they can absorb a lot of liquid.

Each doubler is made with four layers of soft 100% organic cotton. You can purchase the Thirsties doubler in three sizes for the right fit. The newborn size measures 8.5 inches x 3.5 inches. Small measures 11.75 inches x 4.5 inches. Large measures 13.5 inches x 5 inches. In each pack, you receive three doublers, making them well worth the money! 

Best Bottom Inserts – 3 Pack 

Best Bottom diapers are made in the USA and are a popular choice for parents. They offer multiple options for parents that snap into the shell. You can mix and match your needs with the inserts. Their inserts are available in three sizes. Size small is used for birth to 14 pounds. Size medium is used for 11 to 22 pounds. Size large is used for 16 to 35 pounds. 

The hemp and certified organic cotton inserts are made with five layers of the hemp and organic cotton. On the top, Best Bottom added a soft layer of hemp and organic cotton fleece that lets your baby feel dry when using them. 

The only downside to these Best Bottom inserts is that you need to wash them four to five times before they are fully absorbent. You can use them before this period, but they may not absorb as well. However, they work great paired with other inserts or with a doubler as a nighttime diaper. 

Microfiber Inserts

See Diapers 6 Pack 100% Microfiber Inserts

Now, let’s take a look at options for microfiber inserts! One of the cheapest and top rated choices is for inserts by See Diapers. You get six inserts in each pack, listed under $15! These are reusable inserts, so they have to be washed. 

Each insert is made of three layers of 100% unbleached microfiber. They are soft and super absorbent. It is important to remember not to put microfiber directly against your child’s skin. It will pull moisture out of their skin, resulting in rashes and irritation. 

You can fit the See Diapers inserts into most cloth diaper brands. The large ones measure 14 inches x 5 inches. There are so many reasons to want to give microfiber a try, and these are priced cheap enough for you to try without losing a lot of money. Microfiber is 40 times more absorbent than cotton! Because the inserts have only three layers, you won’t struggle to get them clean, and they won’t take forever to dry. Why not give them a try? 

Flip Stay-Dry Inserts – 3 Count

Do you use the Flip diapering system? Created by Cottonbabies, Flips are one of the top selling diaper covers. You have a variety of options to use inside of these covers. Some parents opt for prefolds or flats. Others use one of the inserts designed for the Flip diapers.

The Flip inserts are made of three absorbent layers of microfiber. On the top of the insert, there is a smooth, stay dry suede lining that wicks away moisture from your child’s skin. They feel dry during naps and bedtime. Because of this lining, some parents opt to use two of these inserts together for a nighttime option. 

The stay dry layer is made of 100% polyester. The absorbent layers are 80% polyester and 20% polyamide. Cottonbabies crafted these inserts to be BPA, phthalate, latex and lead-free. Not only can you use these inserts with Flip covers, but you could also use them in any other cover on the market. They are a one size insert with lines indicating where you fold over to allow them to fit newborn babies. However, Cottonbabies does offer a newborn size of these stay dry inserts with the same features. 

SoftBums Cloth Diaper Large DryTouch Pods – 6 Pack 

SoftBums are an all-in-two system with snap-in pads and reusable diaper covers. When you use these systems, there are a variety of inserts available for use. Their large DryTouch Pods are an ideal choice if you like microfiber. Even though they are designed for SoftBums products, you can stuff them into pockets. 

Each pod contains four layers of absorbent microfiber. On top, SoftBums added soft microfleece that wicks moisture away from your child’s skin. These inserts are economical, priced so you can afford them. You can use one for daytime, or you can add a Minipod for older babies or nighttime. 

SoftBums One Size Cloth Diaper DryTouch Super Pods – 6 Pack

Here is another excellent choice for parents who use SoftBums diapers. These are specifically designed for SoftBums. You could probably use them for other diapers, but they may not fit right because of their unique design. Each pack contains six inserts, and each insert is a two-piece pod. 

There are two pods, a larger one that can be folded over. There is also a smaller sized pod for newborn babies or as a doubler. You can use them together or separate. DryTouch microfleece on the top of the inserts wick away moisture, leaving your baby with a dry feeling. 

The One Size Inserts by Softbums are an ideal choice for a nighttime insert and heavy wetters. Your baby will feel dry and comfortable. However, these won’t work well in other cloth diaper systems. 

Thirsties Stay-Dry Duo Insert 

Here is another great product by Thirsties. If you use their Duo Covers, you may want to use their Duo Inserts as well. When paired together, they are a trim, absorbent diaper system. Each insert is two combined.

The first insert has two layers of fast absorbing microfiber terry, topped with a stay dry and stain resistant microfleece. The second insert snaps to the underside of the microfiber insert. It has five layers of super absorbent hemp – 55% – and organic cotton jersey – 45%. 

You get the benefits of both microfiber and natural fibers when you use the two part insert system by Thirsties. If you want to use the Duo covers, they combine for an absorbent and trim diaper. 

Disposable Inserts 

Before we start on disposable inserts, it is important to note that there is a difference between disposable inserts and diaper liners. Liners go on top of reusable diaper inserts. Typically, liners are meant to make the removal of solids easier for parents. Disposable inserts aren’t liners; they are made to absorb urine and any solids. It is easy to get the two confused because they are both disposable. 

Flip Disposable Diaper Inserts – 18 Count 

We have already mentioned a few other choices for Flip inserts. The last option created for the Flip diapering system is their disposable inserts. Personally, I have tried them a few times because I use Flip diapers from time to time. They are a convenient choice if you are out and about or going on vacation. 

The Flip Disposable inserts are one size, meant for newborn babies and older infants. They are easy to use, dye free, fragrance-free and achieved the Oeko-Tex Certification. Parents love these inserts for traveling, daycare and just when they want something disposable. 

One thing to note is that these inserts are trimmer than the cloth options. You may have to adjust the settings on your covers to hold them in the proper place. These inserts are flexible and comfortable against your child’s skin. 

In each set, you get 18 inserts. They are more expensive than typical disposable diapers. However, they are a great option if you need to add absorbency to your nighttime diapers, but you don’t want to add more bulk. Just put a disposable insert with your common reusable one for an excellent bedtime choice. 

GroVia Bio Soaker Pads – 50 Count

GroVia users have an option for a disposable insert in their all-in-two system. When traveling or on the go, you can opt for Bio Soaker Disposable Pads rather than the reusable pads. Each package contains 50 biodegradable and compostable pads. However, GroVia didn’t test the elastic used in the pads for biodegradability and compostability, so always remove the tabs before composting. 

You can feel confident that these disposable inserts are safe for your baby. They are Oeko-Tex 100% certified. GroVia used fragrance and dye free, G.E. free, plastic and chlorine free products. If your child has sensitivity issues, you don’t have to worry that they will have reactions. 

Parents just lay the Bio Soaker Pad in any GroVia shell, diaper cover or even in cotton underwear as trainers! There are sticky tabs that let you stick them to underwear with ease. 

Diaper Liners 

Bumkins Flushable Diaper Liners – 100 Count

If you are worried about what to do with soiled cloth diapers, diaper liners will save your life. Bumkins sells one of the most popular choices for diaper liners. One pack contains 100 liners; most parents will need one or two packs each month. 

Bumkins’ liners are the easiest cleanup solution for parents. Against your baby’s skin, they feel like soft cloth, but they are flushable. After your child has a bowel movement, just dump the liner right into the toilet and flush it down. It is important to remember these are not recommended for septic tanks, so put them in the trash! 

They are compatible with most cloth diapering systems. Liners provide convenience to parents and prevent stains from developing on your diapers. You will love the Bumkins Flushable Liners! 

Heart Felt Bamboo Cloth Diaper Liners – 100 Sheets

If your baby has sensitive skin, they can significantly benefit from the use of diaper liners. The Heart Felt liners are made of 100% Bamboo fiber, which is a natural, breathable and soft material. It reduces the possibility of irritations and diaper rashes. All of the sheets are unscented. 

Heart Felt liners are a straightforward and eco-friendly solution to scraping solids off of the diapers. Parents can flush, compost or toss the liners away. They are 100% biodegradable because they are made of a renewable and sustainable fiber. Remember, all of these liners are not recommended for septic tanks. 

Bamboo is a very absorbent material, and it can hold up to three times its weight in water. The Heart Felt liners are perfect for overnight diapers or heavy wetters. Measuring 7.5 inches x 12 inches, you can fit these liners in most baby cloth diapers. Heart Felt offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee with their flushable liners. 

Dandelion Diapers Biodegradable Flushable Eco-Friendly Natural Diaper Liners – 200 Sheet Roll 

If you are looking for a bargain, the Dandelion Liners off per more sheets per roll than other brands for a very similar price. Instead of the typical 100 sheets per pack, you get 200 sheets! They are 100% Ingeo fiber liners, an environmentally friendly and renewable resource. 

Using the Dandelion Liners are just as easy as any other brand. The liners are placed between the diaper and your baby’s skin. When they are soiled, parents can flush, compost or toss the liners away. These are biodegradable and flushable.

You can feel confident using these liners on your baby. They are free of any harsh, synthetic chemicals, dyes, fragrances and preservatives. Measuring 12 inches x 7.5 inches, you can fit them into most diapers comfortably.

Wegreeco 100% Bamboo Flushable Diaper Liners 

Babies with sensitive skin benefit from the use of anything bamboo. It is soft, reduces irritation, and it wicks away moisture from your child’s skin preventing diaper rashes. The Wegreeco bamboo flushable diaper liners are made from 100% bamboo viscose. Eco-friendly parents appreciate that these liners are made with a renewable resource, and they are fragrance and chlorine free. 

The Wegreeco liners work the same as all of the other choices. You can flush them down the toilet or toss them in the trash. Parents have noted that these liners feel thicker than other options and more durable. They also are shorter than other liners, measuring 7.1 inches x 4.7 inches. They are wider than some other options, so you may have to tuck them. However, nothing will escape them!

GroVia BioLiners – Unscented Diaper Liners – 200 Count 

GroVia is one of the most famous makers of cloth diapers! Their all-in-two system is a common choice made by parents. If you want a newborn diaper that can fit tiny babies, they have an excellent choice!

GroVia unscented diaper liners are a highly rated choice by parents. You receive 200 unscented, 100% natural liners. They are made from ingeo fibers, which are a renewable fiber. Ingeo contains no harsh synthetic chemicals or preservatives that could irritate your child’s skin. Also, the liners are fragrance and dye free. 

You use the BioLiners just like any other ones. These are flushable, but avoid using them if you have a septic tank. Instead, toss them into the trash. Also, if you want a lot of liners for a small price, these are the cheapest on the list! 

Picking the Best Cloth Diaper Inserts

The world of cloth diapering can be overwhelming for new parents. You aren’t sure what the best choice is for your child. There are so many choices for the best insert. We listed 25 options, from microfiber to natural fibers. There is something for every family. It is best to try a few of different choices to find the option that works best for you.

Do you have a favorite cloth diaper insert? Let us know in the comments. 

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