Mama Koala Cloth Diaper Inserts Review: You Won’t Believe Their Score!

By April Duffy •  Updated: 07/05/24 •  10 min read

Mama Koala offers a wide selection of affordable cloth diaper inserts to help you customize your cloth diapering system. In this extensive review, we’ll examine seven of their insert options to evaluate how they perform for absorbency, fit, durability, and more.

Each insert was tested by a parent volunteer on their 35 lb 3-year-old during normal daytime use and was put through an absorbency test.

Read on for detailed feedback, star ratings, absorbency test results, and recommendations to determine if Mama Koala’s inserts are the right choice for your cloth diapering needs, but first here’s the essential info for those of you not interested in reading all the details:


At a Glance

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

  • Best Absorbency: Double Fold 3-Layer Hemp/Bamboo/Cotton Insert, and 6-Layer Hemp/Bamboo/Cotton
  • Best Value: 4-Layer Bamboo, and Double Fold 3-Layer Hemp/Bamboo/Cotton Insert
  • Most Versatile: 4-Layer Bamboo
  • Softest Against Skin: Bamboo Blends

Exclusive Discounts for the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Community:

  • Amazon US: Use code CDFB10MK for 10% off everything! No minimum purchase, one-time use per account. Can’t be combined with other offers. Expires on 08/10/2024.
  • Mama Koala’s Website: Enjoy 15% off (excluding trial packs) with code CDFB15MK. No minimum purchase, one-time use per account. Valid only on mamakoala.com. No expiration!

Once Mama Koala 3.0 pocket diapers are launched in November, those coupon codes can be applied to this new product as well. 


Materials:
Two layers of bamboo (80% bamboo viscose fiber, 20% polyester), Two layers of microfiber (89% polyester, 11% nylon)
Materials:
Two layers of bamboo (80% bamboo viscose fiber, 20% polyester), Two layers of microfiber (89% polyester, 11% nylon)
Materials:
Four layers bamboo (80% bamboo viscose fiber, 20% polyester) Two layers of hemp (45% hemp, 55% cotton)
Materials:
Two layers of bamboo (80% bamboo viscose fiber, 20% polyester) and one layer of hemp (45% hemp, 55% cotton)

Absorbency and Effectiveness

To quantify absorbency, we conducted some basic tests on all the inserts. 

Each insert was weighed dry first. Then it was fully submerged in a bucket of water until saturated. The insert was removed and allowed to drip until there were 3 seconds between drips. Finally, it was reweighed in the soaked state. This gave us the total weight of liquid absorbed when the insert was completely saturated. We did this before the inserts had been washed or dried (“prepped”), and then again after they’d been washed and dried three times using a washer and dryer.

Absorbency measurements of the Mama Koala Double Fold 3-Layer Bamboo Hemp Cotton Cloth Diaper Insert, after prepping.

While not extremely scientific, these tests help provide a useful comparison between inserts. The weights only reflect total capacity when fully soaked, which could lead to leaking in actual use. However, the numbers are helpful for relatively gauging the absorbency of each insert type. 

In addition, our reviewing mom also used each of the inserts during the daytime on her 35 lb, 38” tall 3-year-old. Real-world testing showed actual performance may require additional boosting for some heavier wetters.

Here is a summary of how each type performed:

Absorbency Testing Performance

InsertMaterialPreprepped Absorbency*Prepped Absorbency*Boosters Needed for a Toddler?
Mama Koala 3-Layer Hemp Cotton Cloth Diaper Inserts45% hemp, 55% cotton4.86 oz6.11 ozYes
4-Layer Bamboo Cloth Diaper Inserts2 layers bamboo, 2 layers microfiber9.45 oz10.84 ozYes
Mama Koala Newborn 4-Layer Bamboo Cloth Diaper Inserts2 layers bamboo, 2 layers microfiber7.17 oz7.68 ozYes
Mama Koala 5-Layer Snap Bamboo Cloth Diaper Inserts80% bamboo, 20% polyester7.87 oz9.03 ozYes
Mama Koala 5-Layer Bamboo Cloth Diaper Inserts (Without Snaps) 80% bamboo, 20% polyester8.28 oz8.49 ozYes
Mama Koala 6-Layer Bamboo Hemp Cotton Cloth Diaper Inserts4 layers bamboo, 2 layers hemp10.66 oz10.64 ozNo
Mama Koala Double Fold 3-Layer Bamboo Hemp Cotton Cloth Diaper Inserts
2 layers bamboo, 1 layer hemp11.32 oz11.40 ozNo

The Double Fold 3-Layer Hemp/Bamboo/Cotton Inserts were the tester’s favorite. They provided excellent absorbency for daytime use without boosters even for a 3-year-old “normal wetter”. The regular 5-layer bamboo is similar to other bamboo inserts on the market. It can work well when paired with an additional booster.

The 3-layer hemp/cotton, 4-layer bamboo, and 5-layer bamboo inserts each receive 0.5 stars for absorbency due to needing boosters to reach full daytime capacity. The extended hemp/bamboo/cotton and 6-layer hemp/bamboo/cotton get full stars for having sufficient absorbency when used alone.

Star Rating for Absorbency and Effectiveness: Varies, See Above

Adjustability and Fit

All of the inserts fit the tester’s 3-year-old well in a size medium cover (Read our review of Mama Koala diaper covers here). There was room to snap the rise up even more, indicating ample room for the child to grow.

The snaps on the 5-layer bamboo make it easy to customize the fit by changing the rise settings. No adjustments were needed to get a good fit with the snapless inserts. They fit smoothly into the cover.

Based on the fit testing, these inserts should accommodate most babies nicely within the recommended weight range. The snaps provide added adjustability, but the snapless versions fit great as well.

Star Rating for Adjustability and Fit: 1/1

Prints and Fabrics

Both the reviewing mom and I found the fabrics to be high quality with no issues. After washing, there was very slight pilling around the edges, as could be expected, but no abnormal wear, pilling or distortion.

The natural fiber inserts stayed soft, and who doesn’t want soft against their baby’s skin. Our tester said would be glad to buy more Mama Koala inserts in these fabrics in the future.

Mama Koala states on their website that all their products are fully CPSIA compliant, are tested by a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved lab, and are free from phthalates, lead, and other harmful substances.

Star Rating for Prints and Fabrics: 1/1

Support and Warranty

As you know, the 90-day satisfaction guarantee is provided by Amazon rather than our company.

Mama Koala is always standing behind our products and our company provides a 365-day warranty, and customers can contact Mama Koala anytime with any issues.

In my experience, the company has been highly responsive to questions on social media, email, and their website.

Mama Koala appears dedicated to improving their products and launching new options. There can occasionally be a slight language barrier, but Mama Koala’s customer service team makes an evident effort to resolve problems and ensure satisfaction.

It is clear through their attentiveness that Mama Koala places priority on delivering a positive customer experience. They actively solicit product feedback and are continuously working to upgrade designs and launch new offerings.

Considering their responsive support and satisfaction commitment, we award Mama Koala’s covers a full 1-star rating for excellent overall warranty and customer service

Star Rating for Support and Warranty: 1/1

Price and Availability

These inserts offer incredible value at very affordable prices, below many competitor brands. Buying in packs of 6 or 12 inserts gives even more cost savings.

On Amazon, you can currently get a great deal on a 12-pack of the 4-Layer Bamboo inserts in a mixed pack of one-size and newborn/booster sizes:

Our Pick for Best Budget Cloth Diaper Insert
Mama Koala 4-Layer Bamboo Microfiber Cloth Diaper Inserts, 12-Pack (6 One-Size, and 6 Newborn)
$22.99

Exclusive Amazon Discount for the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Community:

Amazon US ONLY: Use code CDFB10MK for 10% off everything! No minimum purchase, one-time use per account. Can't be combined with other offers. Expires on 3/20/2024.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
07/23/2024 08:48 pm GMT

The inserts are sold on the Mama Koala website with free shipping to the US on orders over $50. They are also available on Amazon in the US, Canada and internationally.

The combination of low pricing and wide availability makes these inserts accessible for most families using cloth diapers.

Star Rating for Price and Availability: 1/1

UPDATE: After reading our review Mama Koala generously gave our readers an exclusive discount!

Exclusive Discounts for the Cloth Diapers for Beginners Community:

  • Amazon US: Use code CDFB10MK for 10% off everything! No minimum purchase, one-time use per account. Can’t be combined with other offers. Expires on 3/20/2024.
  • Mama Koala’s Website: Enjoy 15% off (excluding trial packs) with code CDFB15MK. No minimum purchase, one-time use per account. Valid only on mamakoala.com. No expiration!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Additional Considerations

Eco-Friendliness:

Mama Koala states their insert products comply fully with CPSIA safety standards and are tested by a CPSC-approved lab. This helps validate they are free from concerning chemicals such as phthalates and lead.

The company mentioned they aim to use more organic, sustainable materials where possible moving forward. This indicates a commitment to reducing their environmental impact over time.

Additionally, Mama Koala has created a Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook group to enable reuse of their inserts among customers. This helps extend the usable lifecycle and further cut waste.

While Mama Koala currently uses typical manufacturing methods and materials, they seem to have sustainability on their radar for future improvements. Their statements suggest eco-friendliness is an area of increasing focus.

Comparisons:

The 5 layer bamboo inserts perform similarly to leading bamboo brands like Kawaii and Grovia. When paired with a booster, they provide great absorbency, especially for the price point. 

For their price, the Double Fold 3-Layer Hemp/Bamboo/Cotton Inserts deliver remarkable absorbency. They stacked up well against premium hemp inserts from Thirsties, Smart Bottoms, and 

other high-end companies.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Extremely affordable pricing, great valueSome inserts may require boosting for heavy wetters
Highly absorbent Hemp/Bamboo/Cotton InsertsCurrently limited organic material options
Soft, high quality fabrics
Snaps on some versions for adjustability
Excellent company support and warranty

Frequently Asked Questions

How many inserts are included in a package of Mama Koala Inserts?

You can buy Mama Koala inserts individually or in packages of 6 or 12 inserts. Buying a larger quantity pack will maximize your savings, especially when you consider their free US shipping over $50 offer.

Can I use Mama Koala inserts in pocket or all-in-one diapers?

Yes, these inserts can be used with pocket diapers, or any diaper style that allows customized absorbency.

What is the difference between the hemp, bamboo and microfiber inserts?

Hemp and bamboo are very absorbent fibers that can retain a lot of liquid. Microfiber absorbs quickly but can not hold as much and can leak when compressed. Often using a blend of fibers balances their properties. You can learn more in our post about insert fabrics.

Which Mama Koala insert is the most absorbent?

The Double Fold 3-Layer Hemp/Bamboo/Cotton Inserts had the highest unprepped absorbency in our testing.

Final Recommendation:

Mama Koala inserts provide unbelievable value for the money. The XL hemp/bamboo versions are incredibly absorbent for just a few dollars per insert. While some types may need boosting, the quality is fantastic considering the budget-friendly price. These are absolutely worth trying for any cost-conscious cloth diapering family.

Boasting quality fabrics and ultra-low pricing, Mama Koala’s inserts can help customize your cloth diaper system on a budget. The exceptionally absorbent XL hemp/bamboo options truly stand out as a great value. Give Mama Koala inserts a try if you want an affordable cloth diapering solution with customizable absorbency.

If you’re looking for a quality diaper cover or pocket diaper to put these inserts into, Mama Koala options are also worth having a look at.  You can read our review of Mama Koala diaper covers here. 

Materials:
Two layers of bamboo (80% bamboo viscose fiber, 20% polyester), Two layers of microfiber (89% polyester, 11% nylon)
Materials:
Two layers of bamboo (80% bamboo viscose fiber, 20% polyester), Two layers of microfiber (89% polyester, 11% nylon)
Materials:
Four layers bamboo (80% bamboo viscose fiber, 20% polyester) Two layers of hemp (45% hemp, 55% cotton)
Materials:
Two layers of bamboo (80% bamboo viscose fiber, 20% polyester) and one layer of hemp (45% hemp, 55% cotton)

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.