Why are cloth diapers so bulky?
Cloth diapers are so bulky because they are comprised of several layers of fabric that make the diapers absorbent. You need all these layers and absorbency to prevent the diapers from leaking.
Disposable diapers, on the other hand, contain a chemical called sodium polyacrylate, a chemical polymer that is able to absorb several hundred times its mass in liquid. When this chemical is dry, it is in tiny crystal form. This layer of tiny crystals is, of course, going to be much trimmer than the several layers of fabric in cloth diapers.
The sodium polyacrylate changes into a gel as it absorbs the urine in a diaper. When the disposable gets saturated, the gel will fill up the diaper and begin to look just as bulky as a cloth diaper.
If you’re looking for the least bulky cloth diapers, you’ve come to the right place. I have reached out to several different cloth diaper companies, in order to find out which cloth diapers are the trimmest on the market.
So here it is! The solution to beat the bulk. The Top 6 Trimmest Cloth Diapers.
Smart Bottoms Smart One 3.1
I have been using Smart Bottoms diapers on my 2 year old and 6 month old for several months now and I love them! They are super trim and absorbent enough for both of my children. Even my 2 year old can wear them overnight without leaking.
The Smart One 3.1 is manufactured in the USA. It is a one size All-In-One diaper that features a patent-pending design that allows for a quick dry time.
An All-In-One diaper, also known as an AIO, is a one-piece diapering system. The absorbent inner part of the diaper and the outer waterproof cover are sewn together. Simply put a clean AIO on your baby, and then take it off once soiled, and throw the whole thing into the diaper pail. No stuffing, folding, pinning, or covers needed.
The Smart One 3.1 is comprised of 10 layers of 100% organic cotton on the inside and 100% PUL on the outer. The wide elastic around the legs decreases the chance for red marks and prevents leaks. This diaper has snap closures.
Diapers made with natural fibers such as cotton and hemp will need to be “prepped” before use, in order to make them fully absorbent. Check out this great How To Prep guide over at smartbottoms.
This is a one-size diaper that fits most babies from 10 to 35 pounds.
You can purchase the Smart One 3.1 here.
Smart Bottoms Dream Diaper 2.0
I currently use both the smart one 3.1 and the dream diaper 2.0. The Dream Diaper 2.0 is definitely trimmer. It is also the only natural fiber diaper that you don’t have to prep. This is my favorite cloth diaper in my stash right now.
Check out this side-by-side comparison of a disposable diaper vs the dream 2.0 cloth diaper. Can you tell a difference? I think it’s the trimmest All-In-One I have ever seen.
The Dream 2.0 diaper is made of a no-prep natural fiber interior, whereas most natural fiber diapers need to be washed and dried several times before achieving maximum absorbency (prepping).
The Dream 2.0 comes with a snap-in insert that can be detached and replaced with the dream Diaper Overnight Insert. It also has a reinforced pocket that can fit all insert options.
The inner layers are made of a blend of 55% Hemp and 45% organic cotton, and the outer is 100% PUL. The Dream 2.0 also has snap closures.
This is a one-size diaper that fits 10 to 35 pounds.
You can purchase the Dream Diaper 2.o here.
Imagine 2.0 Bamboo All-In-One
I bought a dozen of these a few months ago when some of the prints were being retired. The bamboo material is SO absorbent and soft. They fit and work great on both of my children. This is another great option for a trim fitting AIO, especially if you like bamboo.
These diapers are budget friendly as well!
The Imagine 2.0 Bamboo AIO is lined with 100% bamboo viscose fabric and comes with a 5 layer bamboo soaker pad that snaps into the back of the diaper. This diaper is available in both snap and hook & loop closure. The outer is 100% PUL.
This one-size diaper fits most babies 8 to 35+ pounds.
For an even trimmer fit around your newborn, check out Imagine’s 2.0 Newborn Bamboo All-In-One that fits newborns 5 to 13 pounds. This diaper has an umbilical cord dip that can be snapped down to keep the diaper from touching the cord.
You can purchase the Imagine 2.0 here.
Best Bottom Diapers
The Best Bottom Diaper is an All-In-Two system made in the USA. The waterproof shell is adjustable from birth to 35+ pounds. The shell is available in both snap and hook & loop closure and it can be wiped clean between uses. Absorbent snap-in inserts complete this system.
There are several fabric options for the snap-in inserts, including a stay-dry microfiber, hemp/organic cotton, bamboo, and a stay-dry bamboo. The bamboo insert is the trimmest insert option.
The outer shell is a double layer of PUL.
The inserts come in three different sizes. The small fits birth to 14 pounds, the medium fits 11 to 22 pounds and the large fits 16 to 35 pounds.
You can purchase the Best Bottom System here.
Thirsties Natural One-Size All-In-One
Are there any cloth diapering mommas out there who don’t love Thirsties? The answer is no. You can’t go wrong with this company. They have amazing customer service and make some of the best quality cloth diapers on the market.
The Thirsties Natural One-Size All-In-One is another super trim fitting AIO diaper, available in both snap and hook & loop closure. Thirsties products are proudly made in Colorado.
Thirsties Natural AIO is comprised of 11 layers of natural fibers. The inner liner is 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. The inner absorbency is 2 layers of the same 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. The two soaker pads are 8 layers of 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton. The outer is 100% polyester with waterproof TPU laminate.
This diaper is a one-size that fits babies 8 to 40 pounds
Thirsties also has a Newborn Natural AIO that fits 5 to 14 pounds with an umbilical cord snap down.
Check out their adorable new collection “Nature’s Canopy” here.
Thirsties Duo Wrap Diaper Cover
A diaper cover is simply a waterproof cover that is worn over some kind of cloth diaper, such as a prefold, flat, fitted, or insert.
The Duo Wrap is the cover you’ll want to keep things as trim as possible. I have used these covers with prefolds and flats on all three of my babies. They have been washed hundreds of times, and are still in great condition.
The people over at Thirsties boast that this is a “very trim fitting cover.” It is wonderful for use with trifolded prefolds, and trim fit diapers. I love that the Duo Wrap is manufactured in the USA. Some other awesome features are the leak-proof leg gussets, and the option of both snap and hook & loop closures.
Pair the Duo Wrap with the next product on this list for a super slim fitting diaper system.
The Duo Wrap is made of 100% polyester with waterproof TPU laminate.
The Duo Wrap Cover has an adjustable rise, and comes in two different sizes to cover your baby from birth, to potty trained. Some people see the different sizing options as a drawback, but if you are looking for a trim-fitting diaper, this is really an awesome setup. It allows for a perfect slim fit and cuts out all that excess bulk.
Size one fits babies 6 to 18 pounds, and size two fits from 18 to 40 pounds.
You can purchase the Duo Wrap here.
Geffen Baby Quick Absorbers Insert
If you are unsure of what a cloth diaper insert is, and how to use one, here’s the gist. Cloth diaper inserts are made of several layers of absorbent material and designed to lay inside of a waterproof cover, or more commonly, to stuff into a pocket diaper.
Geffen Baby has many different types of inserts available, but I reached out to them personally, in order to find out which ones are the trimmest. The answer, their line of Quick Absorbers.
Another made in the USA product, Geffen Baby Quick Absorbers are universal inserts that can be used in any brand or style of cloth diaper. They also work great as doublers, to increase the absorbency of any cloth diapering system. Quick Absorbers are so trim, that you can layer them for added absorbency, without a lot of bulkiness.
The Quick Absorbers are comprised of 5 layers of 60% hemp and 40% organic cotton jersey. The jersey gives it more of a soft, stretchy, t-shirt like feel.
Hemp is a wonderful fabric for diapers, as it is antimicrobial, durable, and extremely absorbent. Most hemp companies have a 55/45 blend, but Geffen Baby uses a proprietary blend of 60/40.
Sizes & absorbency:
Quick Absorbers come in three sizes, newborn, regular, and plus.
Newborn size inserts measure approximately 3.75″ x 9.25″ after prepping, and absorb 2oz.
Regular size inserts measure approximately 4.5″ x 12.5″ after prepping, and hold 4oz.
Plus size inserts measure approximately 4.75 x 16″ after prepping, and hold 5.5oz.
If you opt for a larger size you can always fold the insert to fit into a smaller diaper.
A note on absorbency – Geffen Baby also has a line of inserts called Super Absorbers. These inserts are made of 5 layers of 60% hemp and 40% organic cotton fleece, and they are more absorbent than the jersey. The fleece is still a trim insert, just not as trim as the jersey. Fleece fabric will have some pilling. If you’re looking for a lot more absorbency, check out their prefolds.
You can purchase Quick Absorbers here.