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5 Best Cloth Diaper Inserts [Brands to Get in 2023]

5 Best Cloth Diaper Inserts [Brands to Get in 2023]

Switching from disposable diapers to cloth diapers can be challenging for many parents. 

Along with this change comes UNDERSTANDING how to use liners, boosters, and cloth diaper inserts. 

Learning about these cloth diaper essentials ensures that you don’t end up with a leaky bottom, and diaper inserts are necessary to increase absorption

But the question is, what qualities should you look for in a good cloth diaper insert?

You’re about to find out as you read through this article! I will tell you everything you must know about diaper inserts, plus my top 5 picks so you make the right choice.

Ready? Let’s go!

5 Best Cloth Diaper Inserts [Making the Right Choice]

Many brands are already manufacturing inserts that go with their cloth diapers, giving you a pool of options to choose from. 

So, if you’re having difficulty selecting the best among the ton of brand recommendations, I’m here to help!

I tested and reviewed several brands to come up with my top 5 cloth diaper inserts. Allow me to break them down for you one by one.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

1. Enfant Cotton Inserts - Editor's Choice

Enfant Cotton Inserts

PREMIUM CHOICE

2. Alva Baby Bamboo Fiber Insert - Premium Choice

Alva Baby Bamboo Fiber Insert

BUDGET CHOICE

3. DaPandy Cotton Nappy Insert - Budget Choice

DaPanda Cotton Nappy Insert

1. Enfant Cotton Inserts – Editor’s Choice

Features:

  • Layers: 4 layers
  • Material: 100% cotton fabric
  • Quantity: 3 inserts per set

Cotton is a quick-absorbing material. That’s why I Iiked Enfant’s cotton reusable cloth inserts. This material is gentle and soft, which helps minimize the likelihood of rashes. 

It’s thoughtfully sewn to prevent irritating my baby’s skin too. Plus, it’s fashioned with 4 layers of fabric for maximum absorption.

Another thing I love is the fact that it’s easy to wash and maintain. And with every wash, it gets softer, like how cotton inserts should be.

PROS

  • Soft and delicate on baby’s skin
  • Quickly absorbs liquid
  • Sewn to prevent irritation
  • Easy to wash and maintain

CONS

  • Needs to be layered with other fabrics for heavy wetters

2. Alva Baby Bamboo Fiber Insert – Premium Choice

2. Alva Baby Bamboo Fiber Insert - Premium Choice

Features:

  • Layers: 4 layers
  • Material: 80% bamboo fibers, 20% polyester
  • Quantity: 5 inserts per set

As you might already know, bamboo fiber is one of the most eco-friendly materials used in baby diapers, inserts, and other fabrics. However, it’s not the cheapest. 

Yet, I still love the quality of Alva Baby’s bamboo fiber insert. It’s highly absorbent and efficiently locks moisture to keep your baby’s bottom dry and comfortable. 

It is also durable and easy to clean, so you know it’s long-lasting. The material also helps deodorize the inserts so your little one will stay fresh. 

This diaper insert is designed with 4 layers; 2 bamboo fiber layers on the surface and 2 ultrafine fibers inside.

PROS

  • Highly absorbent
  • Helps deodorize the inserts to keep your baby fresh
  • Delicate on baby’s skin
  • Has ultrafine fibers to increase absorption speed

CONS

  • Must be layered with fast-absorbing fabrics 

3. DaPanda Cotton Nappy Insert – Budget Choice

DaPanda Cotton Nappy Insert - Budget Choice

Features:

  • Layers: 3 layers
  • Material: 100% cotton
  • Quantity: 10 inserts per set

Like most tipid moms, I know you also want budget-friendly options. That’s why I made sure to find low-priced yet high-quality, diaper inserts to include in this list. 

Luckily, I came across DaPanda Cotton Nappy Inserts. It’s sold in packs of 10 pieces, which makes it super sulit! 

It’s made of 100% cotton fibers, so you’re sure it can absorb and disperse liquid quickly. The material is also soft and breathable, which helps with heat build-up and minimizes irritation. 

DaPanda’s insert is machine washable, making it easy to clean and maintain. 

However, it CANNOT hold too much urine. I recommend layering it with boosters and doublers that are meant to absorb a large amount of liquid to prevent leaking.

PROS

  • Budget-friendly
  • Soft and gentle on the skin
  • Machine washable
  • Quickly absorbs liquid

CONS

  • Not as absorbent as other brands
  • Must be layered with boosters and doublers to increase absorbency
  • Only has 3 layers

4. PatPat Microfiber Insert

4. PatPat Microfiber Insert

Features:

  • Layers: 3 layers
  • Material: Microfiber
  • Quantity: 10 inserts per set

Inserts made from microfiber are cheaper than their counterparts, making PatPat an affordable choice for parents who want to try cloth diapering. 

Its material is also fast absorbing like cotton. However, it’s weak when it comes to holding liquid for long periods. 

It’s best paired with other fabrics like hemp and zorb to prevent compression leaks. This also helps protect your baby’s skin from developing rashes.

PROS

  • Quick absorbing
  • Best paired with slow-absorbing fabrics 
  • Comes in packs of 10

CONS

  • Might irritate baby’s skin
  • Fabric is thin

5. Ellyfun Organic Cotton Insert

5. Ellyfun Organic Cotton Insert

Features:

  • Layers: 3 layers
  • Material: Organic cotton
  • Quantity: 1 per pack

You already know how I feel about cotton and organic cotton fabrics. So you know I had to include this in my top picks. 

Similarly, Ellyfun’s organic cotton inserts will work great for your baby’s delicate skin. It’s super soft, comfy, and breathable, which prevents irritation.

Additionally, it absorbs liquid quickly so your baby can stay dry and fresh. I also like how it’s BPA-free, which means it’s generally safe for your little one’s use. 

However, you must layer it with boosters to maximize its absorbency, just like with other cotton-based materials. I also find its fabric quite thin compared to other brands.  

PROS

  • Soft and gentle on skin
  • Fast-absorbing

CONS

  • A bit pricey
  • You will need up to 3 layers for overnight use

Things to Consider When Buying Diaper Inserts

Things to Consider When Buying Diaper Inserts

Switching from disposable to cloth diapers is a big leap for most parents. It can be quite difficult to master the ins and outs of cloth diapering.

Don’t worry! I’ve been through this change with my pamangkins, so I can share what you should consider when buying diaper inserts. 

This way, you can also select the best products even if you consider brands different from the ones I suggested.

Material

Material is probably the most important factor in cloth diaper inserts. It will determine absorbency, price, durability, and whether it’s gentle on your baby’s skin or not. 

You must also look at this in relation to your baby’s needs. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does my little one have sensitive skin?
  • Are they a heavy wetter?
  • Will I give my baby cloth diapers for overnight use?
  • Can I afford different fabric materials for layering? 

From here, you can decide which material meets you and your baby’s needs

Refer to my discussion below on the different materials used in diaper inserts as a guide.

Layers

The number of layers in a diaper insert also affects its absorbency and bulkiness. 3-6 layers is the standard for most inserts. 

You also have to consider whether you want your baby’s cloth diaper to be lightweight or extremely absorbent. 

3 layers of fabric in diaper inserts should be good enough for light wetters. However, if you have a heavy wetter or intend to use the inserts overnight, get inserts with 6 or more layers.

Size

Inserts don’t really come in different sizes. However, some brands make smaller ones. Not all insert sizes will fit in specific cloth diapers. 

Hence, it’s important to look into the diaper’s size to get the appropriate inserts for it. The style of the insert will also determine its dimensions, especially when folded. 

I suggest getting diaper inserts from the SAME BRAND as your baby’s nappies to ensure a more compatible fit.

Style

Style determines the absorbency and weight of inserts. You might also see terms like “bulk and trim” when looking for diaper inserts. 

Bulk is a good choice for heavy wetters. However, it tends to be less flexible for the baby to move freely, and air can’t easily pass through. 

Trim is usually a more comfortable option, but it’s best used for light wetters because they are less absorbent than bulk inserts.

Types of Diaper Inserts

Types of Diaper Inserts

There are several diaper insert styles to choose from based on your child’s needs and preferences. Its shape can also determine how much liquid the fabric can absorb and hold over time. 

Find out the best diaper insert type you need in this section:

  • Pad – This is the most common type of diaper insert. It’s designed to have multiple layers of fabric sewn together to create a thick, rectangular pad. Pad inserts can go with any size and style of cloth diaper, making it a versatile option for parents. 
  • Prefold – Aside from being used as a diaper cover, prefolds can also be used as a liner and diaper insert. This is basically a flat fabric folded and sewn together to create a padded shape for added absorption.
  • Trifold – These are wide inserts folded into thirds to triple the absorbency. Hence, it’s a good choice for parents with heavy wetters. Trifolds are typically used with pocket diapers, but can also go with hybrid ones or act as added layers for flats and prefolds. 
  • Flat – This is basically a large, flat fabric you can fold and sew together to create a padded layer for your baby’s diaper. You can use flats with a diaper pin and waterproof cover or simply as an added sheet for maximum absorption.
  • Petal Style – This type of insert has two or more layers of absorbent fabric sewn together. It’s called a petal style because its layers can peel open, allowing it to dry quickly. 
  • Snake Style – This has three or more layers of fabric sewn together to create a long strip. You can use it by folding the fabric in half or accordion style. Like the petal, it’s also an uncommon type of insert, but you can definitely make a DIY cloth snake insert
  • Soakers – These inserts are commonly attached to a hybrid or all-in-one diaper. Since they’re mostly placed directly onto the baby’s skin, manufacturers tend to use gentle and hypoallergenic materials. However, some inserts have microfiber sandwiched in between the layers to make it more absorbent. 

Common Diaper Insert Materials

Common Diaper Insert Materials

Fabric is the MAIN FACTOR that determines a diaper insert’s absorption. This is the first thing you must consider when looking for a good insert.

There are several types of fabric used in diaper inserts, but I’m going to list down the most commonly used by manufacturers in this section:

Microfiber

Microfiber is one of the cheapest materials used for inserts, and it’s also used in making pocket diapers and boosters.

This makes it easier to mass produce, making them WIDELY ACCESSIBLE, not to mention more affordable.

Additionally, this material is made of polyester or man-made fibers, and can quickly absorb liquid

However, while it’s designed to be cost-effective, it’s difficult to wash and maintain. Plus, it’s prone to compression leaks; it can blow out under too much pressure. 

Microfiber is bulkier than other diaper insert materials. I also DON’T RECOMMEND placing it directly onto your baby’s skin, as it may lead to skin dryness and irritation.

Bamboo

Many parents swear by bamboo for their baby’s cloth diapers, inserts, and other essentials. It’s soft, lightweight, and super absorbent too!

But, despite being absorbent, it takes in liquid slowly, so you might need to pair it with microfiber or cotton liners to reinforce absorption. 

Bamboo inserts COST MORE than cotton inserts, but I assure you it’s worth the price.

It can hold more weight efficiently, and it’s also less bulky. Plus, it’s gentle on your baby’s skin and hypoallergenic too. Hence, it’s ideal for little ones who have sensitive skin. 

Cotton

Cotton is one of the most affordable options on the market, and is also commonly found in cloth diapers, liners, sheets, and similar baby essentials. 

Besides being budget-friendly, you’ll also appreciate how fast-absorbing and easy-to-wash cotton inserts are. 

Not to mention they’re super SOFT and DELICATE on your baby’s skin; they even get softer with every wash. 

Cotton is also known to be a durable material, making them last longer with proper use and care.

Hemp

Hemp inserts are designed for heavy wetters because of their extremely absorbent properties. They can hold loads of liquid and lock in moisture to keep your baby’s bottom dry.

On top of that, hemp is thin and lightweight, plus it’s ANTIMICROBIAL. Layering it with microfiber liners or inserts can be a smart choice, especially if you want your baby to use a cloth diaper overnight

However, the thing about this material is that it needs to be pre-washed a couple of times so it becomes extremely absorbent. Plus, it’s a more expensive option compared to other inserts.

Zorb

Zorb might be a new word for you, but it’s basically a fabric made with a blend of cotton, bamboo, and polyester fibers, specifically designed to go with cloth diapers. 

This is EXTREMELY ABSORBENT, plus it can hold large amounts of liquid and lock the moisture in. 

This means zorb is a great fabric for heavy wetters and overnight use, and you’ll definitely have less diaper changes.

This is not usually produced commercially, so its supply is very limited. However, some parents like to DIY zorb inserts for their babies.

How to Layer Diaper Inserts

How to Layer Diaper Inserts

I have already disclosed all the related information you’ll need to choose the correct inserts for your baby. But it doesn’t end there; here is how to layer them properly!

This way, you’ll be able to maximize the absorbing properties of the inserts and increase their ability to hold liquid. 

When layering, you want to place the fastest absorbing inserts at the top, while the fabric holding the most liquid should be at the bottom. 

The fastest-absorbing materials are microfiber, cotton, and zorb. To be more specific, here’s an ordered list of cloth diaper inserts based on their absorption speed:

  • Microfiber
  • Cotton
  • Zorb
  • Microfiber and bamboo blend
  • Bamboo
  • Hemp

On the other hand, zorb, hemp, bamboo, and cotton can hold large amounts of liquid. Here are the same materials arranged by their absorption capacity:

  • Zorb
  • Hemp
  • Bamboo
  • Cotton
  • Microfiber and bamboo blend
  • Microfiber

Differences Between Inserts, Liners, Boosters, and Doublers

Differences Between Inserts, Liners, Boosters, and Doublers

Inserts, liners, boosters, and doublers are other terms you’ll encounter once you switch to cloth diapering. These are even interchanged and confused by other parents and caregivers, especially those who are new to cloth diapering.  

But allow me to clearly define these four terms:

  • Insert – This is the fabric that does most of the absorbing. It’s stuffed inside the pocket of cloth diapers, snapped on all-in-twos, or laid in diaper covers. If the baby is a light wetter, a diaper insert’s absorbing properties will suffice to hold the liquid in.
  • Liner – Unlike inserts, liners are not absorbent at all. It only acts as a barrier between the skin and the insert to prevent stains. If the fabric is made of fleece, it can also help keep your baby’s bottom feeling comfy and dry.
  • Booster – As its name suggests, a booster is paired with liners and inserts to increase absorbency. It’s usually thinner and more lightweight than a liner because it has fewer layers. However, it’s made with highly absorbent material like cotton and hemp, so it can hold liquid efficiently without being too bulky.  
  • Doubler – Similar to a booster, doublers are meant to increase the absorbency of cloth diapers. It’s added at the top layer of inserts to double its absorbing properties, and it doesn’t add to the bulkiness and weight of your baby’s nappies. 

FAQs

There is lots of information to keep in mind about cloth diaper inserts, but I’m pretty sure learning about all these is worth it!

In case you have more questions about diaper inserts, I’d be glad to help! I answered a few frequently asked questions in this section for your convenience.

Can I Use Prefolds as Inserts?

Yes, there are parents who choose to use flat sheets and prefolds as diaper inserts

Simply fold them into thirds so it fits pocket diapers before putting them in. You can also use diaper pins to secure them in place.

How Many Cloth Diaper Inserts Do I Need?

If you’ve just started using diaper inserts, I suggest getting 24 sheets for newborns. For older babies, on the other hand, you can get 14-24 sheets. 

Remember that the number of cloth diaper inserts you should get differs from one baby to another. 

It still depends on your little one’s bowel movement and feeding routine. You also need to consider if they’re a light or heavy wetter.

Do I Really Need to Use Diaper Inserts with Cloth Diapers?

Diaper inserts are what absorb and hold the liquid in cloth diapers, so, it is an essential you can’t skip

It will be responsible for keeping your little one dry, comfortable, and away from bacteria that might cause them to get sick.

Can I Make a DIY Cloth Diaper Insert?

Making a cloth diaper insert can be your next DIY project! Grab your sewing kit and choose the most absorbent and gentle fabric you have to make one. 

Unleashing your creativity and basic sewing skills will surely cut the cost, plus you can customize it to your own liking.

Conclusion

Cloth diapering may be new for many Filipino parents, especially if you grew up seeing disposable diapers at home. You’ll ask yourself, “How many cloth diapers do I need?” and similar questions.

Yet, it’s definitely worth the try since it’s eco-friendly and more cost-effective than disposable nappies in the long run. 

This article will serve as your guide as you start your cloth diaper journey, so feel free to revisit it for tips and recommendations!

Sky Bustillo
Sky Bustillo

Hi, I’m Sky!
As a Filipina in her mid-20s, a sister to young ones, and a tita to my nieces and nephews, I somehow share the same sentiment as other parents. I have a growing aspiration of becoming a mom someday!
But there also comes a worry that you won’t be able to give the best to your children, especially with the food they eat, the products they use, and the new habits and hobbies we introduce to them.
Your kid’s safety and welfare are your top priority, that’s why I always make it to a point to learn from the stories and experiences of other moms.
It’s a delight to share what I learned and know to help the moms close to my heart, and this time, I’m writing to relay advice to you from the insights of other moms and my experience around kids, too.
I’d love to be a part of your journey, and I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful for you and your young one!