How absorbent are your cloth diapers and inserts? Are you getting the best value for your money? Looking for something to solve overnight diapering disasters? Here are a few lists I've compiled to help you make the best decision for your specific circumstances!
Ranked by Absorbency**:
Ranked from highest volume of water absorbed to lowest volume of water absorbed:
What do these numbers mean when it comes to choosing a diaper or insert? The higher the Absorbency Ranking (1st list), the more liquid the diaper can absorb in relation to its own weight. A higher number generally indicates a diaper with the ability to absorb more water with less bulkiness overall. This is the ranking list to refer to if you're looking for a trimmer, more absorbent diaper -- choosing the appropriate sized diaper will also affect overall bulk. Diapers at the bottom of the list generally have more bulkiness to them.
Does this mean that a FuzziBunz insert absorbs more than a Sandys diaper? Absolutely not. Not all diapers or inserts are created equal. They use different materials and have differing numbers of layers. Just because a diaper ranks low on the first list does not mean it doesn't absorb more liquid overall -- it means that it requires more bulk to do it.
The second list will tell you how much water each diaper can absorb. For example, you would need 4 small microfiber inserts to equal one large Sandys diaper. This would be incredibly bulky. When bulk is not an issue and the need for more absorbency is the primary concern, the 2nd list is the one to which to refer.
For folks more concerned with the overall cost of a diaper in relation to its soaking power, here is a third list with the diapers and inserts ranked by cost/ml absorbed -- I have indicated the base cost for each item next to it to compensate for price variation between retailers:
Ranked by Cost per ml Absorbed (ranked lowest cost to highest cost):
*Clean, dry diaper or insert thoroughly soaked in water and then allowed to hang until no more water dripped from fabric.
**Total amount of water absorbed divided by the dry weight of the item.