What’s a good-quality cloth diaper brand? I get this question all the time.
To answer it, I plan to highlight several long-standing, tried-and-true cloth diaper brands that I’ve come to rely on in my seven years in the cloth diaper space.
The first brand I’m going to profile is Green Mountain Diapers.
Please note, Green Mountain Diapers has never sponsored us, and we are not an affiliate for them, we’re just committed to giving you the best cloth diaper information possible.
About Green Mountain Diapers
Green Mountain Diapers (GMD) is a cloth diaper store, however, it’s also the maker of Cloth-eez diapers. To put it another way, you can purchase several curated brands of cloth diapers on the GMD website, including its own Cloth-eez brand.
Green Mountain Diapers’ Origin
A few years back I reached out to Karen the founder/owner of Green Mountain Diapers to tap into some of her cloth diaper experience and ask her some questions about the brand and its beginnings.
Karen explained the company was founded in 1998 following her own struggles with 1990’s contour cloth diapers made worse by her son’s sensitivity to polyester.
Finding prefold diapers to be the answer, and easier than those 90’s contour diapers, Karen soon hit another roadblock. At around four months old, her son hit 20 pounds and standard size prefolds didn’t fit him well.
Cutting and stitching together some shorter and wider prefolds that worked, the seeds of the Cloth-eez brands were sewn.
In 2009 the company moved out of her home and into a cotton mill, where it still is today making it one of the longest-operating American-made cloth diaper brands at a time when most other cloth diapers are made in China.
“The Cotton Mill in Brattleboro, VT was the first cotton mill in New England to use electricity which was generated from the Vernon Dam, which is still in operation, on the Connecticut River. It was a very cutting-edge cotton mill in its day,” She said. “The Cotton Mill now serves as the home to over 60 small businesses and artists’ studios. Green Mountain Diapers occupies four of the spaces within the mill. As we grew, we were able to annex neighboring spaces to create a lovely and larger space to accommodate our needs. All the fluff takes up a lot of space.”
In the year 2000, the first in-house product was born – a flannel and terry prefold diaper with stretchy knit cotton sides and snaps.
“Flannel and terry were fabrics that my sewer had available,” Karen explained. “They worked and it was a good start.”
A few years later, their first custom-sized prefolds were created, and shortly after that, their products were given the Cloth-eez branding.
GMD was the first to bring prefolds made of organically grown cotton into the US.
Why Natural Fibers?
I dug in deeper and asked Karen about her struggles with polyester and her choice to create cotton prefolds.
“Polyester is difficult to rinse so that seems to be why it is a problem for some people,” She said. “It is hard to know what is a fabric sensitivity and what is a laundry product sensitivity. With MIT [Methylisothiazolinone] in so many liquid laundry products and other ingredients, sometimes reactions can occur.
“Cotton cleans and rinses so much more easily that even if there is a problem with MIT, it usually rinses out well enough to be less likely to cause issues, although not always.”
Karen hears from many experienced parents, as do I, that after starting with pocket diapers, or even AIO’s, eventually they find themselves wishing they had built a stash of prefolds and fitteds.
Karen again pointed out just how much easier they are to wash being a big reason for the regret.
“It’s hard to really understand that synthetics are harder to wash until you experience it. AIOs and pockets do have a place and they do work well for a lot of people and that is great. The cute prints and ease of putting on a one-piece item does have some advantages,” She said.” It’s ok to start with what interests you and to progress from there as your interests and needs change.”
Budgeting for Change
In an odd twist for a diaper retailer that really showed me where her heart lies – in helping her customers – Karen also stressed the importance of keeping to a budget.
“Diaper purchases should always be within your budget. We encourage people to consider [their] budget. To do that, you actually have to plan and have a budget in the first place. Don’t get caught up in the frenzy of the latest print if it is not within your budget to do so. If the diaper fits and works that is all you need.”
GMD and Cloth-eez Today
Today, GMD sells many cloth diaper brands and styles.
Karen said that Cloth-eez prefolds are GMD’s biggest seller, but the Cloth-eeze brand has many natural-fiber products that make it a favorite among cloth diaper users looking for natural, highly absorbent diapers. Their products are available in different fabric types and many come in both bleached and unbleached options.
Here’s a quick overview of Cloth-eez products available at the time of posting:
- Cloth-eez Prefold Diapers
- Cloth-eez Workhorse Fitted Diapers
- Cloth-eez Flat Diapers
- Cloth-eez Insert
- Cloth-eez Doublers
- Night Stay-Dry Doublers
- Cloth-eez Sherpa Diapers
- Malden Mills Fleece Stay-Dry Liners
- Cloth-eez Wrap (Diaper Cover)
- Cloth-eez Wipes (several varieties and sizes)
- Cloth-eez Mini Wipes
- Clotheeze Muslin Swaddle Blanket / X-large Diaper
Other Cloth-eez, non-diapering items:
- Cloth-eez Paper Towel Alternative
- Cloth-eez Baby Washcloths
- Receiving blankets
What to Look for in Cotton
Karen has been refining her cotton diapers for such a long time, I asked her what parents should look for when buying cotton diapers for the first time.
“Look for OEKO-TEX 100 standard certifications,” She said. “That means that the product has been certified to be free of a huge list of harmful substances. Have you ever smelled brand new socks or other textile items and noticed bad smells? Yuck. Not all cotton is pure cotton in today’s age of technical fabrics. Our Cloth-eez brand cotton fabrics in our diapers are all free of optical brighteners, silicone finishes, formaldehyde and such things and certified to prove it.”
If you browse the GMD website, aside from a lot of cotton diapers, you’ll also notice a good amount of wool cover options.
I love wool covers for their naturalness and amazing ability to prevent leaks, even at night, but I do know their care can be scary for cloth diaper beginners (see my guide to wool care here).
Karen encourages anyone thinking about wool to try it, saying,” If someone is interested in wool, go for it. Wool is fantastic. But I wouldn’t push wool onto someone who doesn’t want to hand wash once in a while or for someone who desires trim diapers. Wool is bulkier. You have to want to do wool to really enjoy it. If you enjoy natural fibers and are ok with occasional hand washing your woolies, then you will love it and enjoy it.
“If that’s not you, skip it. Regular waterproof covers do the job just fine and are really cute, too.”
For those who are interested in wool, Karen said that anything that’s a good diaper wool will work well, but cautioned about upcycled covers.
“I’m not a fan of some “upcycled” wools because you never know if someone had the wool dry cleaned in the past. I suggest only new wool to minimize the exposure to strong cleaning chemicals.”
The last area I had to ask Karen about was wipes. With six different kind or wipes and even a sampler cloth wipe pack, I had to ask why GMD has so many options.
She explained that it’s nice to try different kinds to see what works for your preferences. Some like thin and others prefer thicker or bigger or smaller sizes.
At the time we spoke, the most popular cloth wipe option among GMD customers was the Cloth-eez made of organic birdseye.
Cloth Wipe Solution
What’s Karen’s favorite wipe solution?
“I like using a simple homemade solution with water with a little jojoba oil and a squirt of witch hazel for disinfecting and preventing a funk,” She said.
“The Diaper Lotion Potion Spray is nearly that but already made. Some babies need something stronger or a gentle soap to really clean the skin and some are ok with just water alone.. It is very unique and personal to the skin of each baby. Every baby is unique so different things work differently for different people.”
Wrapping up my chat with Karen I asked her what last piece of advice she had to share with cloth diaper beginners and I found her answer surprising and true to my own beliefs.
“Stay on budget. Be careful and cautious about reading too many opinions and reviews online. The cloth diaper manufacturers, especially the USA-made brands, and the small retailers like us who have been doing this for years, actually do know what we are talking about. There is no one right way and no one best product. Choose what works for you within your budget,” Karen said.
Green Mountain Sales and Specials
I often get asked about Green Mountain Sales and Specials. Green Mountain often doesn’t participate in sales, BUT it does have a great sales and specials page it keeps updated, which you can find here.
This page often has some great deals on cloth diaper bundles.
For information on current deals and specials, you can check out the Cloth Diapers for Beginners sales, deals, and coupons page here as well.