Prefold Cloth Diapers – Why We Should Love Them

Prefold cloth diapers.  Just the mention of them can bring a shudder.  When I was a cloth diapering newbie, the mere suggeston of prefold cloth diapers would be quickly shot down.  I wasn’t interested in those.  I didn’t want to use gigantic safety pins and rubber pants.  While I knew that modern cloth diapers had come a long way since my mother used cloth diapers on me, I didn’t realize that even the “old fashioned” cloth diapers had come a long way since then, too.

Prefold Cloth Diapers are CheapPrefold Cloth Diapers - Why We Should Love Them (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

If a family decides to use prefolds, they’ll save a whole heap of money.  Let’s play the game.

What You Need:

24 newborn prefold cloth diapers ($30.00)

4 newborn covers

24 infant prefold cloth diapers ($35.10)

4 infant covers

18 toddler prefolds

3 toddler size covers

Prefold Cloth Diapers are Versatile

You can do a lot of different things with prefolds.  I no longer use prefold cloth diapers as prefolds, myself, but I find them to be an absolutely crucial part of my cloth diaper stash.  Because Norton is such a heavy wetter, I often stuff his overnight cloth diapers with a Thirsties hemp prefold cloth diaper behind the microfiber insert we also use.  This is the closest thing to bulletproof we’re currently using.  (There’s no such thing as truly bulletproof with that kid.  I think he holds all of his pee until he’s sleeping and then lets it loose.)

If you’re out and about, prefold cloth diapers can be handy things to keep in the diaper bag.  A Bummis prefold would double as a changing pad if I forget mine.  They also make a handy, super absorbent method of cleaning up spills in the car and catching baby barf.

Prefold Cloth Diapers Can Be Repurposed

When you’re done with using prefold cloth diapers as prefolds, you can use them for cleaning.  They’re super soft, so they make excellent dust cloths for your high quality electronics and furniture.  They are also just the right size for a baby doll’s stroller blanket.

Prefold cloth diapers have endless potential.  What do you do with your prefold cloth diapers?

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. If I did not love my Best Bottom inserts so much, I probably would use covers with prefolds. All the burp cloths that I have were actually flats that my grandma used with my mom. I love repurposing!

  2. Quiana White says:

    I’m gonna use prefolds on my second child. Is there a good absorbent/affordable brand of prefolds? Thanks, and love the blog 🙂

    • Bummis are a super affordable brand, made in Canada, and are a fantastically absorbent diaper. Thirsties will hold more, but they are more than double the cost.

  3. i was a big wimp and used disposable. i hope by the time my grandchildren are born, they have banned disposable diapers.

  4. I have developed a love for prefolds over the past few months. I don’t do any fancy folds or put them on with pins or snappis, but I do trifold them and lay them in a cover or use them as a pocket insert. I love them! They are so much more absorbent than microfiber and with an almost 3 year old, that’s a must!

  5. I padfold them and love them! I had mircofiber inserts in my pockets, they stank and caused my son to rash, switched to prefolds in them and haven’t looked back

  6. Shannon Taylor says:

    I use prefolds in my pocket diapers! They are a blessing in disguise for sure.

  7. I love using prefolds in pocket diapers also! Especially for nap time when I want a stay dry layer but lots of absorbency, they’re perfect 🙂 I’m always an advocate for prefolds – thank you for sharing, Suzi!

  8. I use prefolds when we have a rash because they can take a beating in the wash. I also use them as change pads, perfect for that.

  9. Betsy (Eco-novice) says:

    Prefolds are my absolute favorite for everybody but a newborn (when I like fitted to help contain runny poop). Here is what I consider the EASIEST way to use a prefold:

  10. I love my prefolds. I use them mostly around the house, usually without a cover. They are so easy to care for and wash really well!

  11. Kimberley Lynn says:

    I’ve never used prefolds with a cover but I do use them folded up and placed inside a pocket diaper (over the inner rather than in the pocket) for overnights with a couple of bamboo inserts in the pocket. I’ve found that when paired with a fleecy, the setup works great for my heavy-wetter daughter.

  12. Zaneta McKoon says:

    I love the thought of pre-folds. I’m really trying to switch to cloth diapers, but I’m on a tight budget and initially I was against pre-folds, but this review is making me think twice.

  13. Melanie Wade says:

    I love that cloth diapering can be affordable. Making good choices should not break the bank. And really what is cuter than a itty bitty prefold?

  14. amykathryn says:

    I’m working on our stash for baby #1 (due the beginning of December) and we’ve gotten about a dozen newborn prefolds, a dozen larger size prefolds, and two dozen flats, as well as some pockets and covers. I do think that the prefolds and flats will get used quite a bit as I’m learning that microfiber doesn’t last as well, especially with hard water and a HE FL washer!

  15. Heather Fantasma says:

    I love prefolds. No matter what kind of fancy diapers I accumulate, my go to is still a trifolded prefold in a yoke cover. Trim and nearly bulletproof.

  16. Our first baby is due in December. Originally, like you, I was not at all interested in using prefolds. After researching them more and seeing how versatile they are and the many uses after they don’t fit we are definitely going to use them at least in the beginning because we plan on using cloth right from her first diaper. I will have a few of each in preemie, newborn and small sizes to ensure the best fit. And even if she outgrows the 6 preemie prefolds right from the start I know they won’t go to waste!

  17. I plan to give prefolds a try. I’m a little intimidated by the different folds, and have heard they’re pretty bulky, so we’ll see how it goes!

  18. we tried prefolds recently….I think I’ve found a new fav. I also had an easier time of finding a perfect fit for my super chunky baby! HUGE fan!

  19. Shannon says:

    I think it’s funny that there was so much fitted dislike the other day, and so much prefold love today! I see a prefold as being like a fitted (needs a separate cover, not stay-dry), but less soft/stretchy, poorer fitting, fussier, and more likely to leak. They are definitely cheaper, but for me, flats sometimes win out over prefolds (mostly with smaller babies who don’t need as much absorbency — for heavier wetters, I find a prefold better). I’m using mostly prefolds and flats for my nb diapers.


  1. […] These will provide you with about half a day's worth for a newborn.  When your newborn outgrows that size, you can use those same prefolds for a ton of different things. […]

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