Which diaper cover is best?
Increasing numbers of parents and caregivers are turning to cloth diapering as a more eco-friendly option, but there’s a lot to buy and consider. Unless you choose all-in-one diapers, you’ll need diaper covers to contain leaks.
However, you may still be wondering what to use inside and what to look for in a diaper wrap or cover. If you’re looking for something reliable with a cute design, the Thirsties Duo Wrap Reusable Cloth Diaper Cover is a good choice.
What to know before you buy a diaper cover
Options for use
If you’re new to the world of cloth diapers, it can seem daunting. There’s a lot of lingo and a variety of diapering options, but it’s quite simple once you know what’s up. You have three main options for what to use under a diaper cover: flats, fitteds or prefolds. Some covers also work with compatible inserts.
- Flat diapers: These are simply squares of absorbent material, usually terry cloth or similar. They’re inexpensive, but you need to learn to fold and pin them on your baby correctly.
- Prefold diapers: Prefolds are similar to flat diapers, but they come already folded, so they’re easier to put on.
- Fitted diapers: Fitted diapers are ready to use with no folding necessary. They snap into place or have hook and loop closures, so you don’t need to pin them. They aren’t waterproof, however, which is why a cover is needed.
- Inserts: Some diaper wraps are compatible with inserts from the same manufacturer. These absorbent inserts snap into place inside the cover, effectively creating a two-piece diaper.
Most covers are adjustable to fit infants and toddlers between a given weight range. Some come in two or three sizes, with the smallest fitting young babies and the largest fitting toddlers. Others come in just one size fitting any baby or toddler from around 7-35 pounds. One-size options save money as you won’t need to buy new wraps as your baby grows, but they can be bulky on newborns.
What to look for in a quality diaper cover
Although it isn’t integral to performance, one of the bonuses of cloth diapering is the adorable designs that some of them feature. Along with solid colors, you’ll find all kinds of prints, from geometric patterns and florals to woodland creatures and space rockets.
Wipe clean interior
With a wipe-clean interior, you can simply wipe up minor leaks that come through the inner diaper, so you should only need to change the cover a few times a day.
Double leg gusset
The leg gusset helps prevent leaks when the inner part of the diaper simply can’t contain the situation. A double-leg gusset is even better at containing leaks than a single one.
Snap closures are quick and easy to fasten and stand up to washing and repeated use better than hook and loop fastenings.
How much you can expect to spend on a diaper cover
You can spend as little as $3-$5 per cover if you buy in a multipack. Individual wraps can cost as much as $15-$20 each, especially those with cute designs.
Diaper cover FAQ
Are diaper covers necessary?
A. If you’re using an all-cloth diaper, such as a fitted diaper, prefold or flat diaper, you always need a cover. These types of cloth diapers aren’t waterproof, so without a waterproof cover, the contents of a baby’s diaper will gradually leak through.
However, diaper wraps aren’t needed for all-in-one or pocket diapers, since these already have waterproof exteriors. There’s also no need for covers when using disposable diapers.
How many diaper wraps will I need?
A. Newborns go through around 15 diapers a day, but you’ll usually only need to change the inner diaper, not the cover. You can usually wipe the inside when changing — it’s only when there’s a significant leak through the inner diaper that the outer wrap needs changing. Assuming you wash diapers every other day, around six to eight wraps is plenty for a young baby.
Older babies need around four to six covers, while you’ll only need two or three for a toddler.
What’s the best diaper cover to buy?
Top diaper cover
Thirsties Duo Wrap Reusable Cloth Diaper Cover
What you need to know: This quality wrap has well-designed leg gussets for leak protection.
What you’ll love: You can choose from 19 plain colors and designs, including floral print, stars and planets, ice cream cones and hot air balloons. The snaps are adjustable to suit a range of sizes. It’s compatible with Thirsties inserts for an “all-in-two” diaper.
What you should consider: The gussets can stretch over time so they may not last long enough to pass on to younger siblings.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top diaper cover for the money
What you need to know: With six in a pack, this set is a great choice for anyone just starting a cloth diaper stash.
What you’ll love: You have a choice of various designs or solid colors. You get a free wet bag to stash soiled diapers when out and about. They’re highly adjustable to fit babies and toddlers from 7-33 pounds.
What you should consider: You can’t wipe them clean on the inside, so you’ll need to change them more often than most covers. You’ll need more as a result.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
OsoCozy One Size Reusable Cloth Diaper Covers
What you need to know: These adjustable covers fit little ones from 8-35 pounds so they should fit your infant until they’re out of diapers.
What you’ll love: They work with flats, fitted diapers and prefolds, plus OsoCozy inserts. The inside can be wiped clean and each cover has double leg gussets to reduce leaks. There’s a choice of 22 colors and designs, including bears, dragons, unicorns and sea creatures.
What you should consider: They’re slightly bulky when used on newborns and won’t fit babies under 8 pounds.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.