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All About Cloth Diaper Inserts And The Top 7

Cloth diaper inserts play a very important role in using cloth diapers. All diapers are not the same, some provide more protection than others. There are various ways to protect your baby, and one of those ways involves using cloth diaper inserts.

These are exactly what they sound like. They are used to protect cloth diapers. This is the simplest explanation, but there’s more to know.

In this post, we will discuss the basics of cloth diaper inserts, review the top 7 inserts and answer the most frequently asked questions.

cloth diapers and insert

What is a Cloth Diaper Insert?

Some people might think that cloth diapers are just a diaper made out of cloth, but there’s more to the story.

Many parents use inserts with cloth diapers. These inserts help absorb pee. If there is no insert, the cloth diaper will get soaked whenever a child urinates unless it’s an all-in-one type of cloth diaper. This makes the diaper useless.

Inserts are usually made by sewing together about five to eight layers of cloth or fabric. Most of the time, the inserts are cut into a rectangle shape that fits perfectly into a cloth diaper.

The type of fabric used varies from company to company, but some are made out of cotton or bamboo, while some use synthetic materials. You could make a diaper insert out of all sorts of things, like the following:

  • Flats
  • Blankets
  • Prefolds
  • Shirts and t-shirts
  • Flour sacks
  • Hand towels or just towels
  • Microfiber cloths

Types of Cloth Inserts

There are a few types of cloth diaper inserts that you should know about. The following are the most common types:

  • Hemp
  • Bamboo
  • Cotton
  • Microfiber

Pay attention to the way the list was formed. Hemp is the most absorbent fabric, and it’s also the most expensive. Bamboo follows that fabric, and cotton is after that. Microfiber is last. Microfiber absorbency is quite low, but it is the cheapest option.

What are Cloth Diapers Made Of?

As mentioned earlier, inserts can be made out of all sorts of materials. There are more common ones, but you might find others.

You should know that some fabrics are sewn tighter than others. If you want more absorbency, the fabric should be sewn as tightly as possible.

If you notice large holes, you should keep looking. On top of that, the fabric’s weight or GSM matters. Anything 500 GSM or more is quite absorbent because it weighs a little more.

How to Prep Cloth Diaper Inserts

The next thing that must be addressed is prepping the inserts. This is something people don’t always talk about, yet it’s important. If you want your inserts to last and reach their full absorbency, you’ll need to prep them.

It does require some work, but all good things take a little work. Synthetic fabrics are prepped differently from natural fabrics; that’s important to point out.

When you’re going to prep something synthetic like microfiber, you want to wash the insert with detergent. It needs to be completely dry before you use it.

Natural fibers, on the other hand, have to be prepped differently. These include hemp, bamboo, charcoal bamboo, or whatever natural fabric you use. The inserts should be washed separately from cloth diapers the first time around.

Cloth diapers can contain natural body oils, and this can get into your inserts. If the diapers require a second wash, you can wash them together at this point. Be sure to not use fabric softener when you wash the inserts. It’s wise to wash these inserts between eight to 10 times before you use them, though many companies don’t require this as you’ll see later on.

You can use them before you reach the suggested number of washes, but the absorbency will not be as good as it could be. It does seem like a lot of washes, but this ensures that the internal layers of fabric fluff and pull apart to absorb as much as possible. Prepping your inserts means you’ll have to change them less, which is ideal.

How to Use Cloth Diapers With Inserts?

Cloth diapers that use inserts have a small inlet or pocket where the inserts need to be placed. They should be flat. If you feel like the material isn’t flat, try to flatten the insert using your fingers.

Once your baby uses the inserts, all you have to do is replace them with clean ones. Yes, you read that right. You’ll need to add more than one insert per diaper change.

Most of the time, people use about two inserts per diaper change. When the baby is sleeping, the little bundle of joy will use about three to four inserts per diaper change. You should have more than 40 inserts to be safe. This way you still have some available when you’re washing.

If you’re using high-quality inserts, you’ll probably need less. When you begin to use your cloth inserts, you’ll get a feel for what you need.

Top 7 Cloth Inserts

The following are the seven best cloth diaper inserts out there:

1. Charlie Banana Reusable Fleece Inserts

These are reusable diaper inserts that are soft and easy to clean. Now, these are sold in sets of three, so you can’t buy them individually. Most folks use them as nighttime inserts. These are topped with fleece to make sure your baby’s skin isn’t irritated.

The following are some pros and cons you should know:


  • One percent of sales goes to environmental causes
  • OEKO-TEX Certified
  • Maximum absorbency
  • Tumble dry on low
  • Fleece lining for extra softness
  • Relatively inexpensive


  • Mostly microfiber
  • Comes in two sizes, small and medium

Purchase on Amazon

2. OsoCozy Charcoal Bamboo/Microfiber Inserts

OsoCozy inserts are made using charcoal, bamboo, and microfiber. The combination of these fabrics makes these inserts pretty effective. The materials are soft and will stay that way after numerous uses. The charcoal helps fight bad smells since it’s antibacterial. Plus, they hide stains.

The following are some pros and cons you should know:


  • Charcoal prevents odors
  • Charcoal hides stains
  • Maximum absorbency


  • Contains only five layers of fabric
  • Are a little expensive
  • Only comes in small and medium sizes

Purchase on Amazon

3. Buttons Nighttime Cloth Diaper Inserts

These cloth diaper inserts come with a snap-in feature that helps keep the inserts in place, which is pretty useful. It gives you peace of mind, and that’s important for any parent. These are quite absorbent, and they were made for nighttime use, hence the name.

Since microfiber diaper inserts cannot be placed next to your baby’s skin, you must place a daytime insert on top.

The following are some pros and cons you should know:


  • Comes in various sizes
  • Stitched-on-size indicators
  • Snap-on feature


  • Must use skin-safe inserts on top
  • Only five layers available

Purchase on Amazon

4. Best Bottom Hemp Cloth Diaper Inserts

Best Bottom hemp and cotton inserts are quite the find. These are 100 percent natural and biodegradable, which can’t be said about other inserts here. It’s all certified organic. This is the insert for eco-friendly parents. It’s best paired with a bamboo diaper insert or a pure cotton one.

To prep hemp and cotton cloth diaper inserts, you should wash them three to five times before use. Then, allow the inserts to dry completely between each washing.

The following are some pros and cons you should know:


  • Natural
  • Biodegradable
  • Organic


  • More expensive
  • Only five layers of fabric
  • Needs to be washed numerous times before use

Purchase on Amazon

5. KangaCare Rumparooz Microfiber Cloth Diaper Insert

KangaCare microfiber inserts are another great option to consider. These need to be paired with bamboo, hemp, or some other absorbent material. It is pure microfiber, so you need a softer insert on top to keep it from touching your baby’s sensitive skin. They are designed to be used in both directions, so gender doesn’t matter.

The following are some pros and cons you should know:


  • Very inexpensive
  • Gender neutral
  • Small enough for newborns


  • Only microfiber
  • Not soft enough for baby’s sensitive skin
  • Only has three layers of fabric

Purchase on Amazon

6. Thirsties Stay Dry Duo Cloth Diaper Insert

The Thirsties cloth diaper inserts come in four sizes, which is better than other inserts out there. Yes, one of those sizes is for newborns but also for toddlers who are potty training. These use microfiber, hemp, and microfleece. The trims are quite absorbent to prevent leaks. The inserts snap together to make them easier to use and prevent bulkiness.

The inserts are a unique duo combination designed, especially for the Thirsties Duo Wrap.

Thirsities Stay Dry inserts require one to three washes before using for maximum absorbency. It is recommended that you hang dry these inserts, but they can be tumbled dried on low if needed.

The following are some pros and cons you should know:


  • More than two sizes
  • Absorbent trim
  • Inserts snap together


  • Must be washed numerous times before use
  • Designed specifically for Thirsties Dua Wrap

Purchase on Amazon

7. Nicki’s Diapers One-Size Bamboo Cloth Diaper Inserts

Bamboo is quite absorbent, natural, and safe on your baby’s skin. There are no chemicals in Nicki’s Diapers one-size bamboo inserts; you’ll find no dyes or plastic either. These are 100 percent biodegradable, too. These come with snap-on covers to boost their absorbency.

The following are some pros and cons you should know:


  • Natural
  • Biodegradable
  • Super soft


  • Costs a little more
  • Only comes in one size
  • Newborns might not be able to use these

Purchase on Amazon


It’s vital to cover some of the following frequently asked questions:

How many cloth diaper inserts do I need?

Two per diaper change minimum.

How often do you change cloth diaper inserts?

Every two to three hours.

How to layer cloth diaper inserts?

The softest layer on top to keep your baby’s skin safe.

How to dry cloth inserts?

Tumble dry is usually best, but air drying is best.

How to get stains out of cloth inserts?

Presoaking in vinegar works. Sometimes, the insert must be washed in bleach. Drying in sunlight helps.

How long do cloth diapers last?

As long as they are washed often and taken care of, they could last two years

Here’s more useful information about Cloth Diapers