Pocket Diapers as Diaper Covers? (Diaper Advice)

“Can I use pocket diapers as diaper covers?”

People who are just starting out with cloth often wonder about using pocket diapers as diaper covers.  After all, pocket diapers are cheap and plentiful and available in some really super cute patterns… but if we don’t have to use a new cover, then that can make using cloth diapers even more cost effective.

Simply put?  Yes, you can use pocket diapers as diaper covers.  Some cloth diapers, like AppleCheeks, AMP, and Thirsties, market themselves as being “duo diapers,” meaning you can use them as either a pocket or a cover, so there’s a duo-purpose.

But there’s a catch.Pocket Diapers as Diaper Covers? (Diaper Advice) - Cloth Diaper Addicts

If you want to use your pocket diapers as diaper covers, you need to either use a natural fiber or an insert topped with microfleece.  AppleCheeks sells two layer and three layer bamboo inserts, as well as a stay dry insert with a microsuede topped side to go against baby’s skin.  (While I love it for a size two AppleCheeks, I find it to be too small for a size one AppleCheeks cover.  I dislike folding inserts when there’s no yoke style all-in-two cover to hold it into place.)  AMP sells bamboo and hemp/cotton blend inserts that can be either stuffed in the pocket or placed on top to go directly against baby’s skin.  Thirsties Duo diapers have a two piece insert system with a microfiber side and a hemp/cotton blend side.  You can also purchase Thirsties Duo Stay Dry Inserts that have microsuede covering the microfiber side of the insert so that it can go against baby’s skin.

You absolutely can not put microfiber directly against your baby’s bottom.  Think about how dry your hands can feel after stuffing microfiber inserts.  Now think about how delicate your baby’s skin is.  Do you really want to have that much drying action against the bum?  (Short answer: no, you don’t.  It can chap your baby’s bottom because it’s so efficient at wicking away moisture that it will leach the moisture right out of your baby’s skin.)  And while I love microfleece liners, they are not an adequate substitute for an insert that is made with a microsuede layer against the skin.  Microfleece liners can shift around in the diaper, and that means that your baby will end up with patches of skin that are not protected from the drying effects of the microfiber.

Other things to keep in mind: you will most likely have to change your pocket diaper more frequently than a cover with exposed PUL, or at least have pocket diapers as diaper covers that you switch between during diaper changes.

Have you used pocket diapers as diaper covers?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I use my Best Bottom inserts inside my pocket diapers that I use as covers.

  2. Megan Milstein says:

    We have two bumgenius 4.0s that we use as a cover with a regular prefold at night. It helps soak up anything the prefold misses while our LO sleeps. So far we haven’t had any leaks, and we aren’t using it with an insert either!

  3. I’ll have to share this with my CDing mom friends 🙂 I admit I don’t know much about Pocket Diapers, but sounds cool!

  4. Kylie Worthington says:

    I was JUST thinking about this the other day – great idea.

  5. laniebugzlikes says:

    great idea

  6. Mama to 5 Blessings says:

    love cloth diapering, just wish I had the time to wash cloth diapers for 2 little ones. Unfortunately I have been using disposables more than cloth 🙁

    • Boo! 🙁 Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have to take forever. Just throw them in the wash and go about your day. You might find AI2 diapers like Flip or Best Bottom to be your best bet with two in cloth.

  7. I have only used my AMP and Applecheeks as AI2 but I actually prefer to stuff them.

  8. I am not a big fan of using diapers without PUL as covers. They, frankly, never make it through 2 changes.

    • I’m not a fan of using diapers without exposed PUL covers for the same reason. But some people are, and it’s definitely a FAQ.

  9. Interesting idea. I haven’t come across it yet because baby #1 will not be here until December but in a pinch it might be necessary! We have already started building our stash so we should have everything we need when she gets here

  10. Ashley Weber says:

    Ive used a pocket as a cover.. but I prefer not to. I really want to try applecheeks!

  11. Krystal Rivera says:

    0ha very clever i would so try it why not right

  12. Ashleigh Swerdfeger says:

    Generally, I just use my Alvas as pocket diapers. I didn’t even think about the effect of microfiber inserts against my toddler’s skin. I will often put an insert in the pocket and lay one down in the diaper to catch poop. This is definitely interesting to think about . I don’t use them as diaper cover though, I use Rearz covers

  13. I have a fitted diaper on order. When it arrives, I was going to try one of my pockets as a cover for nighttime.

  14. I was just reading the other day about a diaper company that has microfiber inserts for their AI2, but I can’t remember who it was.

  15. Julie Ghrist says:

    I think that they may work as covers but i have never tried. I do love my prefolds tho 🙂 I have so really cute pockets i just can’t let go of b/c i love the print but i don’t use b/c i dislike pockets. I think I may just try them as a cover with a prefold so i get use out of them!

  16. I’ve never really considered using my pockets without inserts as covers. I have a hard time imagining that the lining would stay clean and dry enough to reuse, but I suppose if you don’t have a heavy wetter or a very active baby it might work.

  17. I have always used my AMP pocket diapers as covers. Yes, it has fleece inside, and no, it DOESN’T get messed up just from baby wetting. I usually re-used the cover for multiple changes- and only threw it in the diaper pail at night, and used a fresh cover overnight, OR if baby poops, and then I’d get a new cover. I LOVED them as covers, and will def. be using them as covers only. I really do not like exposed PUL, so thats the reason of using covers with covered PUL. I microfleece stays dry, even with a wet prefold. Sometimes, if the prefold is VERY wet, i’d have to get a new cover. And the greatest part? You can use it as a cover, and as a pocket when you want to! What PUL ‘cover’ can do that? Plus, most pockets are pretty darn cute! Granted, I’ve only used applecheeks and amp pockets as covers, but want to try the bumgenius and blueberry pockets for my next baby. I just love those prints!
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  18. I got curious about the no microfiber and did some digging. No microfiber against baby’s skin is a big misconception, or rather preference. Micro anything is drying and a synthetic fiber. This is why it keeps baby dry and is usually cheeper than cotton. The biggest difference is the size the polyester thread is spun too and then how it’s woven. Microfiber is an extremely tiny thread and that’s what makes it so soft. I personally don’t like fleece. If you do worry about drying, whichever micro you use, add some cold pressed coconut oil to you diapering routine. It’s moisture rice and cloth diaper approved. We’ve never had a chapped/too dry bottom. I can’t wait to try pockets without stuffing! Love our BB, but not the price.

    • Actually, it’s totally not a matter of preference. MicroFLEECE is wicking without being too wicking. For many of us, we find that microfiber on our hands wicks away moisture so efficiently that our hands are dry just after. Many babies do end up with a rash from their bums being so dried out. If you have to put something on your child’s bottom to protect them from your choice of diapering… well, I don’t want to say “you’re doing it wrong…” but I can’t think of any other way to put it.

  19. Ive used all my pockets this way with either prefolds or bamboo inserts. i change my insert often and i usually can change the inner atleast 3 times before the pocket diaper is damp and needs to go into the bucket for washing. I rarely stuff my pockets and I love the designs and price the pockets i buy offer. Such as Alva, Jc trade and I have a few romparoos. but i found out immediately microfiber couldnt be next to babys bottom. I also really like alva bamboo inserts.

  20. Samantha says:

    Couldnt you use prefold just as easily same as you would in a cover?

    • I suppose you can, but the fleece will get wet faster than a wipeable cover… so I wouldn’t use it that way. That being said, AMP and AppleCheeks do market their diapers as all-in-two, and they’re pockets with fleece.

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