What are Fitted Cloth Diapers?

By April Duffy •  Updated: 05/27/24 •  7 min read

When I first began cloth diapering a few years ago, I had a very hard time deciding what type of cloth diaper I wanted to invest in. If I’d known then what I know now, fitted diapers would have probably been the biggest part of my budget (instead of pockets), but I just didn’t know enough about them back then.

So to help you make an informed choice, here’s the 411 on fitted diapers. Fitted diapers, sometimes called “fitteds,” are cloth diapers that look a lot like disposable diapers, but are made from several layers of absorbent material like cotton, bamboo, terry, or hemp.

Most fitted diapers have leg and back elastics to keep messes in, and snaps or hook and loop (Velcro) waist closures to hold them onto baby.  A few fitteds don’t have waist closures but have tabs that make it easy to secure them with diaper pins, Snappi’s, or Boingo clips.

GMD Fitted Diaper on a Baby

Do Fitted Cloth Diapers Need a Cover?

Yes. Fitted cloth diapers need a cloth diaper cover wrapped over them, whether it’s a regular PUL/TPU cover, a wool diaper cover, or a DIY fleece cover. This is because fitted diapers have no waterproofing of their own, that is unless it’s a hybrid fitted diaper.

What are Hybrid Fitted Diapers?

Hybrid fitted diapers are like regular fitted diapers but with two important differences:

  1. They have a hidden layer of polyester fleece, which is water-resistant. This water-resistant layer lengthens the amount of time between baby wetting and that wetness leaking out of the diaper and onto your lap, car seat, clothes, etc. Since the layer of polyester fleece is water-resistant and not waterproof it still allows air to flow through, making it perfect for airing out baby bottoms that have developed a rash.
  2. They often (though not always) have snaps inside to add extra inserts to boost absorbency. These booster inserts snap into the inside of the diaper to hold them in place, much like a traditional hybrid diaper.

Just like hybrid cloth diapers are a mix of a disposable diaper and a cloth diaper, hybrid fitted cloth diapers are a cross between an all-in-one and a fitted diaper because they offer that bit of water resistance with all of the built-in absorbency you could need.

Fitted Cloth Diapers Vs. Prefolds and Flats

As we’ve covered, hybrid fitted diapers can last a little while without a cover, but traditional fitted cloth diapers need a cover for any leak protection because they will leak almost instantly without one.

Because fitteds are used with diaper covers, there are many similarities between them and the other diaper styles that have to be covered with a diaper cover — prefold and flat diapers — but of course there are many big differences too.

Similarities Between Fitteds, Prefolds and Flats

Differences Between Fitteds, Prefolds and Flats

How Much do Fitted Cloth Diapers Cost?

Fitted cloth diapers are, in general, more expensive than prefold and flat diapers, but less expensive than all-in-one diapers and higher-end pocket diapers.

You will need to purchase diaper covers to wrap over your fitted cloth diapers, however because diaper covers can be wiped clean when not soiled (so after #1, but not #2) you don’t to change the cover at every diaper change, which can save money.

Unlike one-size all-in-one, all-in-two, and pocket diapers however, fitted diapers do often come in sizes, which means you may need one or two whole additional sets for when baby grows out of their current size. With that said, pocket diapers, all-in-two diapers, prefolds and flat diapers, and even some all-in-ones will usually require additional inserts for older children to maintain their absorbency. Because fitted diapers are sized and made to be super absorbent for the size, boosters are usually not needed.

Reasons to Choose Fitted Diapers for Your Baby

Reasons not to Choose Fitted Diapers for Your Baby

Conclusion

To sum it up, there are many reasons to consider fitted diapers. Hopefully, these will help you realize just how awesome fitted diapers are; something I wish I had known much sooner!

Without a doubt, you may want to give one of these diapers a try, especially if you plan on cloth diapering overnight, because a fitted really is best suited for nighttime.

April Duffy

April is the founder of Cloth Diapers for Beginners and author of The Cloth Diaper Wash & Care Handbook. Since 2015, April has helped well over 75,000 parents and caregivers cloth diaper their children through this website, her book, her YouTube Channel, and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Facebook Group.