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Cloth nappy types

There are heaps of cloth nappy types on the market, and getting your head around them, and the differences between the cloth nappy types can be one of the hardest aspects of starting out with cloth nappies. If you’re keen to start using cloth, then read on. Or check out our shop.

Here is a quick round-up of the main types:

What are Pocket Nappies?

Pocket nappies are made up of a waterproof outer, a stay-dry inner and a big pocket to stuff with an absorbent fabric.
They are easy to use, being similar in shape to a disposable nappy, and fasten with plastic poppers or velcro.
It is easy to add extra padding or boosters to pocket nappies, to make them more absorbent.
They tend to dry quickly as the absorbent insert separates from the shell or outer of the nappy.

Pocket nappy style of cloth nappy


  • All-in-one nappies are similar in shape to pocket nappies but have the absorbent fabric built-in.
  • They may be slightly less reliable and may take longer to dry, but are a very easy to use option.
  • It is usually harder to add extra absorbency to all-in-one reusable nappies.


  • All-in-two cloth nappies are also known by other names. You may see them referred to as snap in two or snap-in nappies.
  • This type of reusable nappy tends to have an absorbent layer that fastens into the nappy with snaps.
  • They are generally quicker drying than an all in one nappy, as the absorbency separates out.

What are Pre-fold nappies?

  • Pre-fold nappies are flat squares or rectangles. These are folded into pads and placed into shaped over-naps or wraps.
  • The nappies have been ‘pre-folded’ and then sewn. This then gives them a thicker area through the centre.
  • This central area is the most absorbent part of the nappy.
  • You don’t have to change the whole nappy at every change, just the inner. You can reuse the cover each change.
  • They tend to be a cheaper alternative and are most like the types of nappies your parents used.
  • They are a great option for newborn babies as they are quick-drying and you only need a few outers.
Prefold style reusable nappies

Flat Nappies

  • Flat nappies are another great choice.
  • These are used with covers in the same way that prefolds are used.
  • You can fold them into a rectangle and place in a cover, or fold them around your baby.
  • They don’t just make great nappies, but are also really helpful for spills, wiping up and other jobs around the house.

Shaped two-part nappies

  • Shaped two-parter nappies are made up of a shaped absorbent inner nappy, and a separate waterproof wrap.
  • They are probably one of the most reliable nappy types available, although they take slightly more effort than a pocket nappy.
  • They can be ideal for night-time use.
  • These nappies tend to be bulkier than many of the other washable nappy varieties that are available.

4 thoughts on “Cloth nappy types”

  1. Hi there,
    I am trying to sell my cloth nappies, mostly fudgey pants, do you buy the second hand nappies? I can send the pictures if you like.
    Thanks, Guri

  2. Hi I,M looking for old fashioned coton nappies flat weave not flanallete, non fluffy, what of your products qould you suggest, bamboo?

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