The Snap vs Velcro Debate. How to Pick the Right One.
Should you buy diapers with a snap or Velcro (hook and loop) closure? There are many opinions out there. Some families strongly prefer snap diaper closures, while others swear by Velcro. Truth is, the best option is different for each family. It all depends on your personal preferences and needs. Read on for the pros and cons of each, so you can make an informed decision on which is a better suit for you.
Before we get too far, let’s clarify some of the terminology:
Velcro = Aplix = Hook and Loop.
I often refer to all “hook and loop” fastening material as Velcro, because everyone is familiar with the term. Technically, Velcro is a copyrighted brand name for a hook and loop fastening fabric. You may also see the term “Aplix”, which is another brand of hook and loop fastener.
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- Easier to launder.
- Tends to be more durable and last longer than Velcro.
- More difficult (though not impossible) for toddlers to remove themselves. You’ll be less likely to turn around and find a naked baby running through your home.
- More difficult/time consuming to put on.
- Less adjustable. You have to size based on snap location, so you can’t fine-tune the fit as well as you can with Velcro.
Snap diapers can have a double or single row of snaps along the top. A double row offers a bit more adjustability, because you can modify the fit around the waist and legs.
Most one-size diapers use snaps for rise adjustability, whether the closure is via snaps or velcro.
Snaps can occasionally break. Unsnapping with “gentle hands” might prevent them from breaking. I managed to bust a snap or two from my diapers after literally hundreds of diaper changes. Luckily, you can fix any broken snaps with KAM Snaps and a KAM Snap Pliers. If you happen to have broken snaps, investing in the KAM snap equipment is worth it, especially if you are crafty! You can use it for so many other things, too! For example, you could convert Velcro diapers to snaps (if you wish), repair clothing, add snaps to bibs, put snaps on hanging kitchen towels, etc.
Hook and Loop (Velcro):
- Easier to put on. Easier often means better for caregivers, daycares, and 3AM diaper changes.
- More adjustable. You aren’t limited by snap placement, and can therefore get a bit more specific tightness/fit.
- Easier to take off. Toddlers are more likely to remove their diapers themselves.
- Less durable.
- More difficult to launder. If you have ever thrown Velcro in the wash, you know that it can and will stick to everything! Not only do you ended up with a frustrating twisted mess, but your diapers can wear faster. To help with all of this, make sure you close the Velcro tabs before throwing them in your machine.
Still on the fence? Buy some of each type! Let your own experience tell you if you prefer snaps or Velcro. You might end up preferring each one for different situations.
My personal thoughts based on our experience: Hook and Loop is nice for newborns, when your sleep is limited, easy is appreciated, and a slightly more customized fit is helpful for that tiny little body. Snaps are great for older babies and toddlers, when diaper changes are more infrequent, you are probably sleeping a little better, and you want your baby to keep their diaper on. That said, some toddlers are pretty squirmy during diaper changes, making snaps a bit more difficult.
Personally, I have a handful of Velcro newborn diapers to get me through the first couple months, and a bunch of one-size snap diapers for the older baby and toddler stages. Because the one-size diapers are used for a longer period of time, I value the durability of the snaps. This system has worked well for us, but every family is different. Please share what has worked for you!