Sized vs One Size Cloth Diapers

Sized vs One Size Cloth Diapers

Trying to decide between sized vs one-size cloth diapers? They differ in cost, bulk, and fit. Read on for a review of each, followed by my personal opinions and experience.

This post may contain affiliate links for convenience. Please read my disclosure for more info.

One-size diapers/covers:

One Size Diaper
An adjustable rise offers flexibility as your baby grows. This is a popular option for many diaper and cover styles.
  • One-size diapers are adjustable to fit your baby throughout most, if not all of their diapering life.
  • Most diapers will come with a weight range (i.e. fits 8-35 pound babies). In my experience, even one size diapers that claim to fit down to 7-8 lb babies don’t really fit that well until 10-12 pounds.
  • These diapers have an adjustable waist (snaps or velcro) and adjustable rise (2-4 rows of snaps down the front). Some brands also have adjustable elastic in the legs.
  • Pro: A more economical option. Only having one set of diapers is much cheaper than purchasing a whole set of diapers in each size.
  • Con: Can be bulky and harder to get a snug fit, especially when your baby is small.

I have one helpful tip to share in regards to the extra snaps found on many one-size covers (see photo). These are meant to size-down for newborns and teeny babies! Had I known the purpose of these snaps for my first born, I could have used these covers earlier!

Cloth diaper one size cover with extra snaps for small baby.
Many one-size covers have extra snaps to fit smaller babies.

Examples of one-size diapers (all-in-one, all-in-two/hybrid, pocket, and covers) can be found here.

Sized Diapers:

Sized Cloth Diapers
Brands label their sizes differently. Some use a numerical system, others use S/M/L. Each size will provide a weight range at which the diaper will fit best. The provided ranges are for example only – each brand is different.
  • Sized diapers are less adjustable and will fit your baby for a shorter timeframe than one-size diapers. Each diaper size will provide a weight range that it’s intended to fit. Some sized diapers have rise adjustability.
  • Pro: They tend to have a more snug and trim fit. You gain simplicity in that you don’t have to worry about snapping/adjusting the rise (in most cases).
  • Con: You need to purchase bigger sizes as your baby grows. More costly.

Examples of sized diapers: Thirsties, Bambino Mio, AppleCheeks, Nicki’s Pull On Cover, Newborn-specific Diapers

My opinions:

Not all one-size or sized diapers/covers fit the same. Depending on the shape of your baby, some brands may work better than others. Because I’m frugal as all get-out, I purchased one-size diapers in preparation for my daughter. I took the approach of ordering a few different brands, and luckily each of them fit well at a different stage of my daughter’s growth.

I love one-size options for a variety of reasons – primarily the cost-savings and to appease my minimalist mindset. Sometimes, however, they do not achieve that snug fit you would like in a diaper. I had particular difficulty in the first couple months of my baby’s life. When the rise was snapped to it’s smallest setting, the extra bulk/folds created in the leg loops made it near impossible to fully seal the diaper along the thighs (a little worrisome for those messy newborn poops).

Many one-size diapers do not fit well during the newborn stage. If you suspect you might have a large baby, one-size diapers/covers may be appropriate from the start. However, if you have a “smaller” newborn (<8-9 lbs), you might consider buying some smaller sized diapers/covers (possibly newborn-specific sizes) to get you through those first few months. Or, there is no shame in using disposables for a month or two while you are waiting for you baby to grow into the one-size diapers.

In terms of PUL one-size covers, the Flip brand fit my baby best as an infant. It actually held in some surprising messes when she was only about 10 pounds.

I found the adjustable rise on one-size covers handy when altering the absorbent material underneath. For example, I sometimes lengthened the rise to accommodate a bulky double-prefold overnight diaper.

Hope you found this helpful! Please feel free to contact me with any cloth diapering questions. We all have different experiences, so please share any tips that worked well for you. Thank you for reading!



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