Different Types of Cloth Diapers
All-In-Ones (AIOs): these are covers with attached inserts. There is nothing to remove. You throw it all in the wash in one piece and hang to dry. What you see is what you get. Sometimes you have room to add other inserts but sometimes there isn’t room.
Pockets: these are covers that have a pocket, there is a built in liner that keeps baby’s skin dry. They come with inserts that you stuff inside but offer the option to stuff with virtually anything: hemp inserts, prefolds, microfiber, etc. They can be as trim or thick as you make them. In general though, they tend to be thicker than AIOs, but not always.
Flats: a large square of fabric that can be folded and pinned to baby – used with a cover to make waterproof.
Prefolds: rectangular fabric diapers that are stitched into three sections and pinned. The center third is extra absorbent. Also used with a cover.
Fitteds: these are also fabric but you don’t fold and pin these – they are already in “diaper” shape. They are very absorbent but you still need a cover to make them waterproof.
Here are the last 3 together:
Hybrids: these are a cross between a cloth and a disposable diaper. The outer layer is washable and the inside can be biodegradeable or washable.
What you use is a matter of preference, ease and price. AIOs and fitteds seem to be the most expensive. Flats and prefolds are the cheapest but the covers can range in price. Pockets tend to be the most popular because of their variety.
You can find most of these styles in natural fibers like organic cotton and hemp if that’s important to you. *Because each type of diapers can vary so much in price – you’ll have to do your research to find the best deal.