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Styles of Modern Cloth Nappies

Isn't it confusing? The huge range of styles and types and brands of modern cloth nappies out there?

We're trying to make it easier for you, so we've put together the following summary to try and help you out. We've started with an overview with links to video demonstrations, and there's more information on this page for those who like more detail! If you're still confused after having a look through the information here, please feel free to email us with your questions. We're here to help.

Here's a playlist of several short videos demonstrating each of the styles of modern cloth nappies:

Nappy Cover Summary Recommended for...

Prefold or Flat

prefold flat nappy

PUL/TPU, Fleece or Wool

cloth nappy cover

Waterproof cover goes over prefold/flat

As the nappy doesn’t have elastic in the legs to hold in leakage, we recommend a cover with gussets like Thirsties.

A Sized (eg Small, Medium or Large) cover (rather than an adjustable onesize cover) offer the best leak protection

The least absorbent option but the most economical & quick drying

A bamboo or hemp prefold can also be used for stuffing Pocket Nappies later on

Newborns & a great way to economically increase your stash

Fitted Nappy

fitted nappy

PUL/TPU, Fleece or Wool

wool nappy cover

Waterproof cover goes over fitted nappy

More absorbent than prefolds/flats and also more leakproof

Best protection against leaks, but less convenient as the cover must be put on as well as the nappy

Everyday - great for nights (since the whole nappy is absorbent) & babies prone to poosplosions

Pocket Nappy

pocket nappy

Not required

Has a waterproof outer and staydry inner with a 'pocket' between them accessed at the back or front of the nappy and absorbent inserts are placed into the pocket

Customisable absorbency - you can add as much absorbency as the nappy will take

If 'prestuffed' is very easy to use for babysitters

The outer shell dries quickly

Everyday – especially for active older babies and toddlers

All-in-One (AIO)

all-in-one AIO cloth nappy

Not required

One piece, put on like a disposable

Takes longest to dry - though most are now designed to open up for faster drying time

Most convenient

Easiest to put on a wriggling baby

Everyday – especially easy for babysitters, childcare & convenience when out

All-in Two (AI2) or Snap-In

all-in-2 snap in cloth nappy

Not required

The inner absorbent part can be taken out and replaced by new inners if the shell is unsoiled - you can buy extra inserts for most brands

They are faster drying


Prefold Nappy

A prefold is a pre-folded (and sewn down) layered cloth nappy square. It often consists of three panels of fabric varying in their thickness, with the middle section offering the most absorbency. You can fold them into a rectangular shape and pop them into a cover as an absorbent pad or fan out the back and secure at the front with a Snappi. They can be used in the "old fashioned" way with pins or as a stuffer for a pocket nappy or a heavy duty booster for overnight nappies. We have the great  Bubblebubs Prefolds (which are bamboo) and basic and affordable Seedling Baby Diversifolds, which are great for newborns.

Our Prefold Cloth Nappy Range

Fitted Nappy

This modern cloth nappy is can be made up of layers of terry or cloth, bamboo or hemp and is shaped to fit the baby (similar in shape to that of a disposable) so that all you have to do is snap, velcro or Snappi it up, no folding or pinning. These nappies vary in their absorbency, and all of them will need a cover to be waterproof. There are One Size options as well as nappies that are sized to fit according to age/weight. If you are looking for a fitted nappy which covers your baby from birth until they are toilet trained you can try the Baby Beehinds Bamboo Fitted Nappy.

Some great sized fitted nappies include the Bubblebubs Bam Bams - great for newborns!
In terms of absorbency, bamboo is the best - but bear in mind it will also take the longest to dry. Try extra boosting in a bamboo fitted nappy and a great woollen cover like the Baby Beehinds for long naps or night time solutions.

Our Fitted Cloth Nappy Range

All-in-One (AIO) Nappy

An All-in-One cloth nappy is exactly that: it is a "shaped" nappy (like the fitted nappy) but already has a waterproof cover built into it. It literally goes on like a disposable so it is very easy to use. These nappies are often a little dearer, but then you don't need a cover, and you just can't beat them for convenience, especially if you are out and about and want a quick nappy change (or for squirmy babies!) They are also great for babysitters who need something simple and easy. .
We have a great range of AIO's just for newborns. The Bubblebubs Pebbles are gorgeous, with a supersoft minky lining inside and velcro closure. We also have the very cute GroVia Newborn AIO which has an fleece inner, and some super cute prints. We also have the Seedling Baby Mini Fit, which are so cute and so divine! The Seedling also have the advantage of the  gussets, which help to contain leaks.
If you are after a ONE SIZE AIO - then why not try Thirsties Natural AIO? The Gro-Via One Size AIO (which has an organic cotton inner) is a super trim fitting nappy.
Peekaboo AIO are also very popular, and so easy to use! They are my hubby's favourite! Good for childcare too!

Our AIO Cloth Nappy Range

Pocket Nappy

Pocket modern cloth nappies are made from of a waterproof outer layer and a microfleece or suedecloth inner forming a pocket inside. You insert your own choice of absorbent insert. You can add a prefold or booster, a folded up terry flat as well as inserts that come with the nappies or can be sold separately. You can customise the absorbency to suit your baby. The fleece or suedecloth inner wicks urine away from baby's skin into the insert so baby effectively stays dry. They velcro or snap up at the front and are so easy to use! They make for a good night time nappy too as you choose how much absorbency you need.
Popular choices today are the One Size Pocket nappies that will last from birth to toilet training!  Baby Beehinds Multifits are a great choice as are the Thirsties One Size Pocket nappies which have gussets in the leg!
We also stock Seedling Baby Multifit Pocket nappies. If you haven't tried their One Size, it is a fantastic nappy. It comes with a bamboo trifold and a microfibre booster which are very thirsty, and great for heavy wetters! It has leg gussets which help prevent leaks and blowouts!

Econaps Convertible Nappies are also a great one size option, they can be both  a pocket nappy and an All in 2. So handy! 

Our Pocket Cloth Nappy Range

All-in-2 Nappy

All-in-2 cloth nappies (also known as snap-ins or AI2s) are similar to an All-in-One nappy except instead of the absorbent layer being attached or incorporated into the body of the nappy, they "snap out". This allows for faster drying times, and the ability to re-use a shell multiple times if not soiled, by "snapping" in a new insert, or simply by using the waterproof shell of the nappy as a cover over another nappy or prefold. They are truly adaptable nappy system.
We have a fantastic range of these super popular nappy style!
For a great value for money nappy try the Bambooty Basics nappy! 
Bubblebubs Candies are also very absorbent, and side snapping option that we love! Side snapping nappies allow you to get a better fit around babies legs. These also come in super soft minky fabrics.

We also stock that GroVia All-in 2 which are Hybrids. Hybrid nappies can either be used with cloth inserts, or with disposable, biodegradable inserts, which can come in handy if baby is sick or if you are traveling.

Another One Size nappy that is proving popular, is the EcoNaps Convertible Nappy. You can stuff the inserts in the pocket of these nappies, or snap them in. 

Our All-in-2 Cloth Nappy Range

Nappy Cover

Essentially a nappy cover is the same concept as those plastic pants that your Mum probably used to use on you when you were a baby. BUT...these days there are much better ones available! Nappy covers are needed over flat, prefold or fitted nappies to make a waterproof system.
Choose your covers carefully as you want a cover that is well made, fits well to avoid leaks, and is breathable for baby's bottom. Covers can be used in many ways, you can use them with terry squares folded up, or with the more modern and less bulky option a prefold or, of course, they also go over a fitted nappy. Covers generally snap up (better for older babies who have figured out how to undo their nappy) or velcro up - nice and easy for newborns and the most adjustable! We stock Thirsties sized PUL covers, Baby Beehinds PUL, and the Thirsties DUO WRAPS are super popular!
ONE SIZE PUL COVERS now include the Seedlings baby and Baby Bare Covers!
We also stock some great wool and fleece covers, which are great for overnights (as well as daytime!), and humid environments. Try Baby Beehinds wool for daytime or the perfect combo with your night nappy!


Sometimes people refer to boosters/inserts as Nappy Liners but they can also be literally a liner that is used to keep the nappy clean (and makes cleaning up the messy nappies much easier). You may want to check whether they have absorbency or not depending on what you are looking for. We stock disposable liners as well as microfleece liners to help keep baby's bottom dry.