12 Best Prefolds for Cloth Diapers (2022)

Prefolds are busy parents staples: easy to use, doesn’t require fancy folds, and extremely versatile. You can use it to stuff pockets or even as cleaning rags.

Best prefolds for cloth diapers are made from cotton or cotton blend as it has the best absorbency at doesn’t shrink in washing. For nighttime double the cotton or use hemp/bamboo boosters.

PS! Make sure to wash your prefolds every other day to keep poop from staining.

Our Favorites

Best Prefolds
Grovia

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Best Organic Prefolds
Osocoozy

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Best Bleached
Osocoozy

Best Prefolds for Cloth Diapers

1. GroVia Prefold Cloth Diaper

GroVia prefolds are economical prefolds for cloth diapers. They are versatile in the GroVia Shell, cover, or pocket diaper with three per pack. They are one of the most absorbent prefolds due to the bamboo and cotton blend. 

The prefolds can also be folded in various ways to increase absorbency and cater to the changing needs of your baby. 

The fabric blend is also soft, making these prefolds gentle on your baby’s skin. Prepping is required, and GroVia recommends washing and drying the prefolds six times before use.

Some cons are that the prefolds shrink, so the labeling and sizing should be considered. The packaging is plastic, and for an earth-friendly brand, this could be changed.

What We Liked

  • Four sizes offer a versatile selection for growing babies.
  • They have other uses apart from a prefold, such as a burb cloth.
  • They are easily customized to suit the baby’s needs and size.
  • The bamboo/cotton blend offers great absorbency.
  • Extra prefolds can be added for toddlers sleeping through the night.

Sizing: 4lbs – 25+lbs
Size Type: Traditional; Newborn, Infant, Infant Long, Toddler
Material: 55% bamboo, 45% organic cotton
Bleached: No
Layers: 2x6x2 (infant); 4x8x4 (infant,toddler)

2. Osocozy Bamboo Organic Cotton Prefold Diapers

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Osocozy prefolds are suitable for babies and toddlers and are absorbent enough to use at night with the right fold. The blend of bamboo and cotton is luxuriously soft, making these prefolds some of the best newborn prefolds. 

With traditional and better-fit sizing, you can adjust the pre-folded cloth diapers to suit your baby. These organic prefolds can be folded with a fastener, used with a tri-fold in a cover, or used as an insert in a pocket diaper. They should be prepped with 3-5 washes before use.

Some cons are that they don’t provide great moisture-wicking, so an extra layer or more frequent changing might be required. They need a gentle wash with low temperatures, so a separate wash routine is required.

What We Liked

  • Eco-friendly, meeting the SKAL International Standards for Sustainable Textile Production.
  • Versatile and easy to customize to suit changing needs of your baby.
  • Affordable and offers good value for money while being long-lasting.
  • Not as bulky as other prefold cloth diapers, offering absorbency and comfort.
  • It can be used as an insert or burb cloth after shrinking.

Sizing: 7lbs – 30lbs
Size Type: Infant and Premium (Traditional; Better Fit)
Material: 50% rayon (bamboo) 50% organic cotton
Bleached: No
Layers: 4x8x4

3. Osocozy Indian Cotton Bleached Prefold Cloth Diapers

prefolds

Bleached prefolds like the Osocozy Indian Cotton ones are easy to use and keep clean, making them perfect for parents new to cloth diapering with prefolds. 

Made in India, these cotton prefolds are softer and more textured, making them ideal for newborns. Bleached prefold cotton diapers wash well, making them convenient for busy families. 

They are absorbent, and the thinner, gauze-like weave allows for quick air drying. Being bleached, they only require a one wash prep before use.

Some cons are that these prefolds do shrink drastically, making the sizing confusing. The twill weave should fluff up when washed, making the cotton more absorbent, but this isn’t always the case.

What We Liked

  • These prefolds make great burp cloths once your baby has outgrown them.
  • These reusable prefolds get softer with each wash.
  • They are affordable and offer excellent discounts on bulk buys.
  • There is a large sizing and layering selection to suit any child.
  • Larger sizes can be folded and used at night for extra absorbency.

Sizing: 4lbs – 45lbs
Size Type: Traditional (long) and seven sizes – preemie to toddler
Material: 100% cotton
Bleached: Yes
Layers: 2x6x2;4x6x4; 4x8x4

4. Osocozy Indian Cotton Unbleached Prefold Cloth Diapers

prefolds

The Osocozy Indian Cotton Unbleached is one of the best brand prefold cloth diapers if you are looking for value and quality.

They are one of the most absorbent prefolds and paired with unbleached cotton, they are the most popular option. Softer than other prefolds, they make good newborn prefold diapers and are durable for prolonged use. 

For the best prefolds, they need to be prepped with 3-5 washing cycles to remove the natural oils and increase absorbency. With traditional or better fit options, these prefolds are versatile.

A con is that if not prepped correctly, they lack absorbency, and they can shrink more than the average 5%-10% leaving an irregular shape and fit.

What We Liked

  • They increase in softness and absorption with washing.
  • They are thick enough to accommodate varying diaper needs and growing babies.
  •  Wide range of sizing options to suit babies at every age.
  • It can be tested for absorbency before use.
  • Can be used as prefolds, prefold diaper inserts, or burb cloths.

Sizing: 4lbs – 45lbs
Size Types: Traditional (long) and Better Fit; Preemie to Toddler
Material: 100% cotton
Bleached: No
Layers: 2x6x2; 4x6x4; 4x8x4

5. Osocozy Organic Prefold Cloth Diapers

prefolds

These are some of the best organic prefolds available and are made with 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. This makes them softer than unbleached prefolds. 

Cotton is ultra-absorbent, making these the best prefolds for newborns with sensitive skin. Traditional and better-fit sizing options mean they can be folded and pinned, tri-folded in a diaper cover, or used as a cloth insert in a pocket diaper. 

Osocozy is committed to a quality product and great value, and they provide this with six diapers in a pack and comprehensive care instructions.

Some cons are that sizing can be tricky due to shrinkage, and it can become scratchy when air-dried.

What We Liked

  • The traditional and better fit prefolds have different color edging for easy differentiation.
  • Osocozy offers traditional and better fit options to suit each family.
  • The prefolds are made from twill and not gauze, increasing absorption.
  • They have good layering (4x8x4) for maximum absorption all day and night.
  • They are durable and hold up well to multiple washes.

Sizing: 7lbs – 30lbs
Size Type: Traditional (long) and Better Fit; Infant and Premium
Material: 100% organic cotton
Bleached: No
Layers: 4x8x4

6. Nicki’s Diapers Bamboo Prefold Cloth Diapers

prefolds

These budget-friendly, cheap prefolds offer maximum absorption with effective layering in their three-panel design. This makes them suitable for heavy-wetters or babies sleeping longer at night. 

When paired with a diaper cover, they offer a waterproof solution, keeping your baby dry and happy. The cotton/bamboo blend makes them soft and anti-microbial for your baby’s sensitive skin. 

Use prefolds with covers or with a fastener. They need to be washed and dried on a hot cycle 4-5 times before use, and you can expect 5-15% shrinkage.

A con is that they will shrink with every wash, and you need to use a liner rather than nappy cream.

What We Liked

  • The quilted fabric offers higher absorption rates.
  • The bamboo fabric promotes healthy skin and is easy to clean.
  • These prefolds have good layering without being bulky.
  • They are shorter and wider than other prefolds making them more versatile.
  •  If you are unhappy with the absorption, you can increase it by using a hot wash and dry cycle.

Sizing: 4lbs – 30lbs
Size Type: Better Fit; XS, S, M, L
Material: 55% bamboo 45% cotton
Bleached: No
Layers: 4x8x4

7. Nicki’s Diapers Unbleached Cotton Prefold Cloth Diapers

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These are some of the best prefold cloth diapers for sensitive skin with gentle, unbleached cotton. 

They are designed to fit any budget, making them great value for money. The 100% certified organic unbleached cotton is durable, easy to keep clean, and is known for quick absorption. 

These prefolds must be washed 4-5 times before use on a hot wash and dry cycle. They can then be folded using the tri-fold method or fastened at the waist with a clip.

Some cons are that the natural oils inhibit absorption if the prefolds are not correctly prepped. Excessive heat can also cause the cotton to wear and result in shrinkage.

What We Liked

  • The organic cotton and layering make these prefolds good for nighttime.
  • The soft cotton is gentle on the skin, allows airflow, and helps protect against heat rash.
  • Cotton is lightweight, making them non-bulky and comfortable.
  • These are the best cloth diaper prefolds for the price in terms of quality.
  • The unbleached fabric fibers are durable and hold up to constant washing and drying.

Sizing: 4lbs – 30lbs
Size Type: Traditional; XS, S, M, L
Material: 100% certified organic cotton
Bleached: No
Layers: 4x8x4

8. Imagine Smart Fit Bamboo Prefold Cloth Diapers

prefolds

The combination of bamboo and cotton means a higher absorption rate, perfect for heavy wetters. These are some of the best bamboo prefolds available. They are quick and easy to use, ideal for beginners.

The fabric blend means these prefolds are very soft, ideal for sensitive skin and newborns. They will need to be prepped with 4-5 washes in a hot wash and dry cycle to manage shrinkage and help the fabric quilt up.

This also helps release the natural oils in the fabric and increase absorption. In addition, bamboo has anti-microbial properties, helping to keep your baby healthy.

A con is that you can expect shrinkage of up to 5-15%, and they can be a bit bulky for daytime.

What We Liked

  • Supplier tips are always helpful, and they recommend tri-folding and inserting into a cover for best results.
  • You can use these prefolds as pocket inserts.
  • The soft fabric is good for your baby’s skin and is easy to work with when folding.
  • The ultra-absorbing fabric blend and layering make these prefolds great for nights.
  • They wash well and don’t require harsh stripping.

Sizing: 4lbs – 30lbs
Size Type: Better Fit; XS, S, M, L
Material: 55% bamboo 45% cotton
Bleached: No
Layering: 4x8x4

9. Imagine Smart Fit Unbleached Cotton Prefold Cloth Diapers

prefolds

With a soft fabric and super absorbency, these are some of the best prefolds for diapers. They are also affordable and have good value for money.

They are simple to use, making them ideal for beginners. These prefolds are shorter and wider than other brands. That allows for different folding options, making them more versatile. 

They will need to be prepped with 4-5 washes on a hot cycle, including drying. Washing helps the fabric quilt up and become softer and absorbent.

A con is that the natural oils in the cotton need to be stripped before use, or the fabric will repel water rather than absorb it.

What We Liked

  • These are the best cheap cloth prefolds while still being good quality.
  • The customer service is outstanding, and you can approach them with questions.
  • Depending on your needs, they can be used as prefolds, in covers, or with pins and fasteners.
  • The sizes are seamed in different colors for easy differentiation.
  • They are versatile and can be used as burb cloths.

Sizing: 4lbs – 30lbs
Size Type: Better Fit; XS, S, M, L
Material: 100% certified organic cotton
Bleached: No
Layers: XS 3x6x3; 4x8x4

10. Gerber Birdseye 3-Ply Prefold Cloth Diapers

prefolds

This ten-pack of prefolds is excellent value for money. Made from Birdseye muslin cotton, it allows your baby’s skin to breathe, minimizing rashes and irritation.

They are large prefolds that cater to preemies through to toddlers. The lightweight fabric means they dry quickly. Like most cotton prefold cloth diapers, they must be washed before use. 

The thin material makes for a great insert and handy burp cloth. As it is a standard size, different fold methods can be used to suit the changing needs of your baby.

There are some cons as they shrink considerably and are not as soft as other brands. The bleached fibers don’t last as long as their unbleached counterparts.

What We Liked

  • The size is versatile enough to suit different children and accommodate various folds.
  • They work well with many diaper shells.
  • They are nice for crafting, and you can embroider them as burp cloths.
  • They are white, so they can be bleached to remove tough stains.
  • They can be used as prefolds, burp cloths, changing mats, and cleaning rags.

Sizing: Up to 5lbs – 43lbs
Size Type: 14” x 20” Traditional Long
Material: 100% cotton
Bleached: Yes
Layers: 3 Ply

11. Kanga Care Bamboo Prefold Cloth Diapers

prefolds

Bamboo prefolds like these are popular in the cloth diapering community. They are Diaper Service Quality prefolds that are a cotton and bamboo blend. 

This blend allows for maximum moisture absorption and makes them very soft. They are one of the best prefold diaper options if you like unbleached blends. 

They need 2-3 hot cycle washes and time in a hot dryer to be prepped for use, but up to 10 washes to reach full absorbency. The fabric blend makes for easy cleaning and quick drying.

There are some cons to these prefolds as they need a cover to be fully waterproof, and the prepping can be tedious.

What We Liked

  • Great for boys and night times due to the extra layer of folded fabric in front.
  • It is eco-friendly as it is unbleached and follows CPSA and CPSIA rules for cloth diapers.
  •  Budget-friendly and good value.
  • There is an accurate sizing chart for easy purchasing.
  •  Each size has a different color seem for easy differentiation.

Sizing: 4lbs – 3-lbs
Size Type: Best Fit; Newborn, Infant, Baby, Toddler
Material: 70% Bamboo 30% cotton
Bleached: No
Layers: 4x8x4

12. Humble Bebe Prefold Cloth Diapers

prefolds

These prefolds are chemical-free, making them gentle on your baby’s skin. They come with comprehensive care instructions that ensure you get the best out of your prefolds, and beginners can try them with confidence. 

They offer great absorption without being bulky. Washing increases absorption, and a high heat keeps them soft. Prep them for use by washing them 6-8 times on a hot cycle. 

They can be folded with fasteners for newborns and are one of the best prefold inserts for toddlers.

One con is that it seems some batches have been less absorbent and have started pilling while drying, but the supplier was aware.

What We Liked

  • They are pre-washed twice and have been pre-shrunk.
  • They can be gently stripped with ½ cup distilled white vinegar.
  • They are 16 layers thick when used as an insert providing good absorption.
  • These prefolds were developed by a mom who was frustrated with the cloth diaper options.
  • The reusable closure polybag can be used as a travel wet bag.

Sizing: 10lbs – 30lbs
Size Type: Traditional; Newborn to Toddler
Material: Cotton
Bleached: No
Layers: 4x8x4

Prefolds vs. Flats

One of the first decisions you will make on your cloth diapering journey is using flats or prefolds.

Flats are toweling or muslin squares folded in various ways and secured with fasteners or pins. They need a waterproof cover and are only one layer of fabric. They are quick-drying, easy to clean, versatile, and cost-effective but more challenging to use.

Prefolds are rectangle layers of fabric that are seamed in three sections. These seams are used for folding the material, and it is then fastened or placed into a cover. Prefolds come in different sizes and fabrics, are more expensive, but are easier to use.

Prefolds are easier to use when out, while muslin flats are better for packing and traveling.

Bleached vs. Unbleached Prefolds

Bleaching is when the cotton is bleached in the factory before weaving, using a chemical process to remove the natural oils. The strength of the fibers is reduced, and the fabric becomes less durable.

Unbleached prefolds are beige rather than white and are softer because the natural oils are intact. They need to be washed 2-3 times for flats or 6-8 times for prefolds to remove the natural oils and increase absorption. 

You can bleach cloth diapers to strip any build-up and remove stains and odors. For a medium-size washing machine, soak the diapers in ½ cup of bleach for 30min. Rinse them with hot water and then wash them on a hot cycle.

How To Choose Prefold Cloth Diapers?

Material, sizing type, and layering are three points to consider when choosing cloth diapers. The most important thing is to weigh up overall value and quality.

Material

You get bleached cotton, organic cotton, unbleached cotton, bamboo/cotton blends, and hemp prefolds. The fabric will affect absorption, bulkiness, washing procedure, cost, and overall comfort.

  • Bleached prefolds are white and can stay that way using bleach. They wash well and require little prepping.
  • Unbleached prefolds are softer but require more prepping and are the most popular option.
  • Bamboo/Cotton blends are soft and absorbent but require prepping.
  • Unbleached natural fiber prefolds tend to shrink 5-15% on washing.

Sizing

Traditional fit wrap around the body and are fastened with a clip before being covered by a waterproof cover. They are versatile and can be used for different-weight babies.

Better fit prefolds are shorter and fold into a rectangle or trifold. If you are using prefolds as inserts, then this fit is better. They come in different sizes based on your baby’s weight.

Natural fiber, unbleached prefolds shrink 5-15%, so you want to take that into account and buy a bigger size.

Layering

Layering affects absorbency. Flats are one layer, whereas prefolds have three panels of multiple layers. The “wet zone” has more layers than the outer folds—for example, four layers on the outer folds and eight layers in the middle (4x8x4).

Bamboo/cotton blends absorb the most, whereas birdseye cotton is thin and absorbs less. You want to choose a more absorbent fabric with layers for heavy wetters and nighttime.

FAQ

What are prefold diapers?

Prefold diapers are three-panel rectangular cloth diapers made from layers of cotton or bamboo. They are reusable diapers that are eco-friendly and cost-effective.

What’s the difference between prefolds and flats?

Prefolds are cotton or bamboo fabric rectangles layered and pre-seamed for easy folding. Flats are toweling or muslin fabric that are one-layer squares.

What’s the difference between bleached and unbleached prefolds?

Bleached prefolds are white and have had their natural oils stripped in a factory using chemicals. Unbleached prefolds are natural fibers that still contain their natural oils.

How to use prefold cloth diapers?

Find the fold that works for you and your baby and decide if you should use fasteners, covers, or pocket diapers.

Do you need a diaper cover with prefolds?

Yes, a cover will help waterproof your prefold and prevent the mess from leaking out. You can also add an insert to your prefold and cover for extra absorption.

Which prefolds are the most absorbent?

Osocozy Toddler Cotton Prefold is the most absorbent prefold.

Which are better, prefolds or flats?

Prefolds are more convenient, versatile, and easier to use. They are simple to fold and can be used as prefolds, inserts, or burp cloths.

What are prefold cloth diapers made of?

They are usually made of natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo, and hemp woven together and layered. These can be bleached or unbleached.

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