What are Hybrid Cloth Diapers?


No term is vaguer in cloth diapering than “hybrid diaper.” What, does it use electricity or something? Sheesh! While the term might be more confusing than clever, I think the cloth diaper folks that named this style of cloth diapers hybrid, were possibly trying to tie in the connection to hybrid cars, which can drive in two modes: electric or gas.

So what exactly is a hybrid cloth diaper? A hybrid diaper is a diaper that can be used both as a regular cloth diaper with cloth diaper inserts, or it can be used with disposable inserts to create a premium disposable diaper.

Just like a hybrid car, a hybrid cloth diaper can be used in two modes: a cloth diaper, or a disposable diaper.

It should be noted that a hybrid cloth diaper is very different from a “hybrid fitted diaper.” A hybrid fitted diaper is a cross between an all-in-one and a fitted cloth diaper, and in no way involves disposable diapers. Because we weren’t confused enough, right?

Disposable hybrid inserts are also sometimes referred to as diaper liners online outside the diaper community; but in this post, I refer to them only as disposable inserts because “disposable cloth diaper liners” are a very different thing in the cloth diaper community (click here for info on cloth diaper liners).

Are Hybrid Diapers Better than Disposables?

Define better.

Hybrid disposable inserts are typically a bit (though not a ton) more expensive than regular disposable diapers, mostly because they are only sold in smaller packages.

Hybrid disposable inserts also tend to hold a little less than a typical disposable, but they are WAY better at containing blowouts. They are also, of course, a million times cuter. They really create a premium disposable diaper.

Are Hybrid Diapers Suitable for Overnights?

Hybrid diapers are adaptable to many situations, even overnight.

Depending on the brand, disposable hybrid inserts can be just as good for overnight as regular disposable diapers.

Hybrid cloth diaper inserts typically won’t offer enough absorbency for nighttime on their own, but pairing a hybrid diaper cover with one of the fitted options I name in this post all about overnight cloth diapering, would work great!

What Are Some Brands that Offer Hybrid Fitted Diapers?

There are several good-quality cloth diaper brands that offer disposable inserts to turn their diapers into hybrid diapers. Here’s a look at a few of the best:

1. GroVia Hybrid Cloth Diapers (Top Choice)

GroVia is very well-known for its hybrid diapers, which can be used as all-in-two cloth diapers where you snap a cloth diaper insert into the hybrid shell, or as a disposable diaper, with sticky disposable inserts that stick into the shell.

Here’s a good video showing how to use the GroVia hybrid diapers both ways:

GroVia hybrid diapers are my top choice for hybrid diapers, not only because they are the least expensive option (especially when taking advantage of their bulk discounts, more info on those here) but also because the disposable inserts are actually somewhat eco-friendly.

According to the GroVia website, the biosoaker disposable inserts are made of the following materials:

  • Lining: Certified natural, 100% Ingeo spun bound non-woven fabric. Compostable to EN13432 (EU) standard and ASTM D 6400 (USA).
  • Core: Sustainably harvested wood pulp fibers, containing a minimal amount of SAP gel.
  • Waterproof Outer: The Bio-Film used (fecula) is waterproof and 100% natural. Compostable to the following standard: EN 13432 (EU).
Our Pick for Best AI2 and Overnight AIO
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2. Charlie Banana

Charlie Banana is another longstanding hybrid diaper brand.

Unlike GroVia which pairs its disposable inserts with an all-in-two (AI2) system, Charlie Banana diapers are pocket diapers that can also be used with their disposable inserts.

Like all pocket diapers, if you choose to put the disposable inserts inside the pocket, you will still need to wash the diaper cover every time baby wets, so the advantage of using a disposable insert can be lost in that case. Laying the disposable insert on top and tucking it into the front flap is an option, but shifting is a concern, especially with active babies.

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