Are Pocket Diapers Better than Prefolds? A Five Point Ode to Pocket Diapers

#1  One set lasts throughout baby’s diapering.  Pocket diapers like bumGenius and Happy Heiny’s have adjustable snaps that make it possible to use the same diaper for any baby from eight to thirty five pounds.  While prefolds are far cheaper overall, you may have to buy different sizes as baby grows whereas with a few dozen pocket diapers, you’re set! 

#2  They’re easier to put on than prefolds—especially at three in the morning when you’re diapering your colicky baby and haven’t had more than three consecutive hours of sleep for days on end.   All you need to do is snap or Velcro them into place and you’re set to go. 

#3  Once they’re stuffed, you’re set.  After you launder pocket diapers, the inserts just need to be gently tucked into the diapers.  That’s it!  Prefolds have to be folded and then arranged a bit in the cover before they’re on.  It may be just a ten second difference but when you have a squirmy toddler like mine, ten seconds counts!

#4  They’re cuter—hands down.   Even skeptics can’t help but gasp with admiration when they see Roscoe in his cow-print Happy Heiny’s.  For friends and family who are a bit critical of cloth, seeing your baby’s tush in adorable cloth diapers may just win them over.

#5  Less bulk.  Pocket diapers fit more like disposables, which means that your child will fit in their clothes more easily.  I would presume that they’re also more comfortable for baby since they allow more movement and are less binding.


  1. We use pocket diapers. I tried using prefolds and covers, but in the end I went with pocket diapers. They really are convenient, easy, and cute.

  2. I actually prefer prefolds and fitted diapers with covers since they don’t leak. Now that my baby is no longer wanting a diaper on I’ve tried pockets and AIO’s and none of them seem to fit her right. Every day we have leaks. I’ve tried 8 different types! Not sure which is better wrestling her diaper on or having her diaper leak all over everything twice a day.

  3. We use the Bum Genius 3.0 pocket diapers as covers for our prefolds. We really like both their fit and the fact that they are one-size. Also, since we don’t use them as pocket diapers, we reuse the cover throughout the day, simply swapping out the dirty prefold for a new one. I’m super happy with them. We only have leaks when we wait too long to change his diaper and it is super soaked…
    The only problem we have now is that Liam knows how to open the velcro tabs and does so with relish!

  4. I started out using BumGemius 3.0s. I really like them, and they are the only pockets that have never failed us. However, I am wishing I had discovered flats a long time ago. Yes, they are a bit more work, but not much. And they are so cheap! You don’t have to buy different sizes, either, you just fold them differently. Obviously, they aren’t for the faint at heart, and I really appreciate the pockets for breaking me into the cloth diapering scene gently, but now that my son is growing out of some of the smaller AI2s and pockets that I bought him, I’m just buying a couple larger covers and using the BG pockets for nighttime. That’s going to keep our diapering costs down a lot. Oh, and covers can be just as cute as pocket diapers. I’m actually having a couple custom made with a submarine embroidered on the butt. His daddy is going to love it.

  5. I totally agree with all of the things you wrote. I have BumGenius 3.0s and absolutely love them after struggling with prefolds the first few months. I wish I had shelled out the money for these sooner. And they’re super easy to wash too.

  6. here’s my question: if they are sized to fit from new babes through toddlers, aren’t they *huge* on the little babies? that’s what I don’t understand.

  7. Emily, the adjustable pocket diapers have a series of snaps on the front. When they are all snapped up, they make a tiny diaper that will fit a newborn. When they are all unsnapped, they can fit a two-year-old. Now, you’re right that they will be bulky on a little baby, but technically they will fit. BumGenius made a newborn sized all-in-one (so it doesn’t adjust and it is also not a pocket diaper) for people who don’t like the bulkiness of the adjustable pocket diaper on their newborns.

    That said . . . I prefer prefolds. I have a rebuttal post coming up soon!

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