Inserts Comparison

What Types of Absorbent Material Are Used?

Cloth diaper inserts are often made of cotton, hemp, bamboo, or microfiber. For soakers, the absorbent material is sometimes topped with microfiber, or cotton or bamboo velour.

Bamboo Microfiber

Cotton is one of the oldest and most familiar fabrics used in cloth diapers. This natural fabric is affordable, absorbent, and available everywhere! Fitted diapers and some all-in-ones use knit cotton, but prefolds and many other inserts are made of woven fabric. Infant prefolds can be folded into thirds to make good cloth diaper inserts for your pocket diapers, too.

Bamboo Charcoal

Bamboo fleece is a popular option for cloth diapers. It is super soft, wicks moisture away quickly, and can keep your baby comfortable even when wet. There is, however, some misunderstanding about the eco-friendly nature of bamboo fabrics. Bamboo fleece is essentially a synthetic, not a natural fabric. Our article on bamboo fleece will give you more information so you can make an informed decision.


Hemp inserts are a real work-horse in the cloth diapering world – they are durable and super thirsty! You won’t find much 100% hemp fabric, it is usually blended with cotton (45% cotton, 55% hemp), which makes it softer and more comfortable.


Microfiber is a man-made, absorbent material. Made of a polyester/polyamide blend, they are light and fast-drying. You should use a barrier, such as fleece liners, between a microfiber insert and your baby’s skin, because microfiber can dry out and irritate their sensitive skin. Microfiber is also a little like a sponge – since it’s fluffy, moisture may “wring out” of it when subjected to compression.