We call them “cloth diapers” now because they are a prettier and fancier – and more expensive version of the traditional lampin. They are easy to use (once you get over the daunting information available to you) and allow your baby to grow into them. While the initial outlay is expensive, cloth diapers are more colorful, fashionable, economical and environmentally friendly (versus disposable) in the long run. Read more about the benefits of cloth diapers here.
The Bear is turning 2 in a few months and I’m proud to say that while we are slowly trying to introduce her to potty training, her cloth diapers have served her well since Day 1 (a few weeks after she turned 3 months old) and she continues to wear them until she can use the potty on her own.
Now, before I proceed, I have a few disclaimers:
- I was not able to try all of the major ‘brands’ as recommended by other moms online, but I will list the ones that I have tried.
- The output of a baby increases as s/he gets older, as what I discovered. What worked when she was smaller is not the same now that she is more than a year old.
- I have only used pocket type diapers and hybrid fitteds so far, therefore I’m not familiar or knowledgeable about other cloth diapering systems. Pocket diapers are diapers with a plastic outer “shell” (or PUL in cloth diaper terminology) which means you stuff “inserts” to boost a diaper’s absorbency. Hybrid fitted diapers, on the other hand, can be distinguished from pocket types since the baby’s bottom is directly exposed to the soakers and boosters, while the outer shell is usually made of cotton materials, making it more ‘breathable’ than pocket type diapers.
- I think my recommendations will be more relevant to those looking into HFs as these are more expensive and varied.
- I consulted my husband on some of the criteria since he is the one who puts on the diapers and he has his own observations, too.
- Atty. Tina , the mompreneur behind Fluffy Pwets and I were classmates in Civil Procedure and Corporation Law at the University of the Philippines College of Law – although I only found out that she was behind FP when I saw her photo on instagram at an FP event. I consider her a friend and addiction enabler (LOL).
- Fritzie, the mompreneur behind the local arm of Indonesian brand Cluebebe is a former colleague of my sister and a family friend. I also got to work with her many years ago on a marketing gig when I was still in college.
- I will not rank the pocket type diaper brands anymore since I found no significant differences in performance when it came to actual use. However, Cluebebe offers very thick and high quality inserts which you can even boost further since they also offer insert socks, which you can use to reinforce your pocket diapers.
- My goal here is to encourage fellow moms to support local WAHMs (work at home moms) by raising awareness of some good brands of locally made cloth diapers (Primm n Proper not considered when I made these lists) and other products. As many cloth diapering moms are very passionate about their preferences, I would like to emphasize, at the outset that it’s not A vs B vs C. Let’s support and love our mompreneurs and their various products.
- Mompreneurs on this list are constantly improving their techniques and upgrading the materials they use, so I may not be up to date on any design tweaks. Again, feel free to try as many brands as you to see what works for you and your baby.
Also, this is by no means an exhaustive guide – i know of other moms with bigger cloth diaper collections who will have a different ranking and set of criteria in mind.
Mompreneurs who want to clarify further why they are on the list or not on the list, or not ranked according to their expectations, feel free to email me. I do hope, however, that this post clearly articulates my own standards and preferences.
Based on my experience, let me share with you my favorite cloth diaper brands (specifically hybrid fitted diapers) and why I picked them.
For the record, I have tried the following cloth diapers and have about fifty or more cloth diapers in my stash:
- Fluffy Pwets (FP)
- Lily and Luna (LnL)
- Butt Talks
- Sassy Butts
- Little Koala Bear
- Cottonytail (CT)
- Bum Heroes (no longer making cloth diapers)
- Primm ‘n’ Proper (US brand)
- Quigle Bum
- Belle and Coco (available at SM Baby Company)
- Bum Genius (US brand)
- Baby Leaf
For FP and Butt Talks, I have matching diaper and shirt or dress sets (FP rascals for Fluffy Pwets).
For my criteria, the following are what counts for me
- Availability and Accessibility
Availability and Accessibility:
While I know carting and slot taking is a fun experience, I have limited time and not much patience for carting and I would love it if I didn’t have to fight tooth and nail for each design I like, so being able to order what I like and not waiting for it for too long is a plus for me. I also like being able to easily contact the mompreneur when I have questions and concerns.
1 – Fluffy Pwets – very easy to order and customize which is a huge plus for me. I have a number of shirt and diaper sets (FP rascals) because of this!
2 – Butt Talks – mommy Josanne regularly holds stockings with plenty of slots available. She has a very specific time frame that you can look forward to so you don’t get too impatient.
3 – Sassy Butts – while you can order a cloth diaper directly from her in the print that you like, so far I have not been able to order matching shirts or dresses due to limited cuts.
This is basically looking at the style and design of the diaper and its soakers and boosters; if there are garter marks or makes the wearer uncomfortable; if side leaks are all too common because of the design; if the placement of the soakers and boosters as well as other features are well thought out.
1 – Lily and Luna – I really like the snake style diapers of LnL and the craftsmanship is really nice – in Tagalog, pulido or meticulously done.
2 – Fluffy Pwets – easy to identify, sort and put together. The fit varies due to the different fabrics I’ve tried but regardless of style, or color, I appreciate the simplicity and effectiveness of FP’s design for its petal style HFs. I also like the idea of being able to “color coordinate” the soakers with the matching shirts I order.
3 – Sassy Butts – I super like the extra fasteners on the middle soaker which helps keep it tethered to the upper and bottom layers.
I am looking at the make and quality of the outer shell, the inner lining and the materials used for the soakers and boosters, if the quality is commensurate to the price tag.
1 – Lily and Luna and Cottonytail – both have good quality soakers and boosters, and a soft and silky outer shell (the ones I have are through group custom or group order). Props also to CT for having soft, thin and squishy inserts that are a joy to touch.
2 – Fluffy Pwets – I am partial to the soakers and boosters of the petal style diapers. These tend to stiffen over time, however, but remain serviceable. To be fair also, before my HF collection grew, I used my FP the most, so it is the most overused of my cloth diapers hence subjected to more stress than the others. On the plus side, that means I was able to make the most out of it.
3 – Sassy Butts – she is upfront about the source of her fabrics but undersells her super fluffy and very nice soakers. The outer shells of the ones I’ve ordered so far are not as soft as say LnL and FP but the soakers are really nice.
Generally, how well the diaper did in terms of absorbency for night time use and for heavy duty needs.
1 – Lily and Luna – even with my Bear’s increased output as a soon-to-be toddler (she is a heavy wetter), only the snake style HF I ordered from Lily and Luna has been able to keep up with her. This is her regular snake style HF, cotton/hemp boosters – sans Windpro, to boot
2 – Fluffy Pwets – though my FP diapers are now largely worn out and beaten, they served me very well while the Bear was easing into her first year and beyond. They are far more overworked than the other brands I’ve tried since I started out with FP.
3 – Sassy Butts – my most recent acquisition so it is not my workhorse at the moment, but the few times I’ve used it relative to the others made a positive impression.
* Note: While Cottonytail is also highly regarded when it comes to its Zonkeys, I have not been able to properly piece together the boosters and inserts of the one Zonkey that I have and use it consistently thanks to a revolving door of househelp who have either misplaced or wrongly attached the boosters/inserts to my only other CT Quokka. Therefore, I can’t claim to have used Zonkeys consistently enough to make a determination.
Value for money. Hybrid fitted diapers are more expensive than pocket types, and while one can hoard pocket types ad infnitum, stuffing can get tedious and HFs are said to be more breathable. Thus, it’s important to know which will give you the most bang for your buck.
- Sassy Butts – great value for money! For P799-P899 you get a really nice classic HF made of really nice materials. (They also offer a pocket HF type but I have not been able to try it)
- Fluffy Pwets – probably the most expensive of the lot because it is a mainstream cloth diaper brand and the biggest out there. However, on top of big sales and promos (lots of freebies!), FP is generous with its materials, offers great customer service and repairs/replacements. For example, a matching shirt might be more expensive than its counterparts, but FP is very generous with the fabric (which is usually the whole shirt or dress) for as long as the nature of the fabric itself allows it.
- Lily and Luna/Cottonytail – similarly priced on the expensive side like FP but quality and performance give them an edge. Their payment options also offer some flexibility.
I have no overall “winner” but I have different “winners” per category. We have different considerations when it comes to choosing cloth diapers, and while I am by no means an expert, the above is based on my needs and experience. We may not want or like the same things, so let’s agree to disagree. Again, I encourage fellow cloth diapering moms to try different brands and see what works for them.
There are plenty of ways by which you can acquire locally made diapers and support our mompreneurs if you can’t buy directly from the shop or are not successful in slot taking – you can buy, sell or trade diapers. You can also learn more about cloth diapers from various interest groups on Facebook.
I also encourage you to leave recommendations for brands worth checking out and your experiences with them, and I also hope to update this blog post (if I get a chance to) in the future with more finds.