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Which cloth nappy?

Deciding which cloth nappy is the right cloth nappy for you, can be a bit of tricky business. When I first started using cloth on my oldest baby, I honestly (and lets face it, pretty naively) thought that I’d just go to a shop or online store and buy some “cloth nappies” and that would be the end of it. If anything, since then, things have got far worse as there’s far more types and varieties on the market. How can you possibly find the right one for you, without going crazy? In an attempt to help a bit, here’s a break down of what those nappy types actually are:

Pocket nappies

Pocket nappies are simply a nappy which has a pocket to stuff with the absorbent bit. The waterproof cover is built into the outside of the nappy, and they are fairly straight forward to use.

Advantages of this type of nappy:

  • Easy to put on
  • Waterproof cover built in
  • Reliable

Disadvantages of pocket nappies:

  • Some people don’t like stuffing covers
  • Can sometimes struggle to hold in newborn poo explosions, as many only have one layer of elastic at the back and legs. (Others, such as ours have double gussets, or deep leg gussets to get around this).

All in one

These nappies have everything built into one nappy, a waterproof outer with an attached absorbent piece.


  • Very easy to use, just like a disposable
  • Nothing to stuff or snap together


  • Can be very slow drying
  • Difficult to boost
  • Sometimes unreliable

All in two

These nappies are also sometimes known as snap in nappies, they are similar to all in one nappies, but you can remove, usually by unsnapping, the absorbent bit


  • No pocket to stuff
  • Easy to use
  • Come apart for quicker drying


  • Can be harder to boost
  • Reliability depends on how good the outer is
  • Have to snap back together before use
  • Can be a bit fiddly sometimes

Two part nappies

Two part nappies are any nappy that has a separate cover. Fitted nappies that need a cover, prefolds and even old fashioned flat nappies are two part nappies.


  • Usually very reliable, nothing gets past the two layers of protection that makes up most two parters.
  • Easy to use
  • Economical, often a great value for money choice
  • Only have to change the inner each time, which saves on washing and is great in the newborn, have to change every five seconds because you only have to look at them an they poo stage.


  • Can be slightly more effort to put on or set the nappy up
  • Might need extra accessories such as snappi nappy fasteners
  • Can be bulkier
  • Can be a little harder for day care or people caring for the baby occasionally to use.

Which cloth nappy is right for your baby?

Choosing which cloth nappy

When it comes to choosing which cloth nappy, it can help to look at the different styles available and see which you think would be most likely to work for you. It is worth remembering that some people find that as their baby grows, the type of cloth nappy that is most suitable changes. Some people like to swap for a different style as their little one gets older. Many cloth nappies have a good resale value though, so it’s generally not a problem to sell on and buy new ones.

If you think you’d like help deciding which cloth nappy is right for your little one, then sign up for our free cloth nappy advice here.

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