Prefold Cloth Diapers Absorbency Test – Bummis vs. GroVia

GroVia and Bummis prefold cloth diapers

GroVia and Bummis prefold cloth diapers

I like prefold cloth diapers.  They’re versatile.  They’re generally natural fibers.  They’re generally pretty cheap, even for premium cloth diapers.  Plus, prefold cloth diapers are really nowhere near as scary as they seem.  You can even fold them in a variety of ways without using pins or Snappis.

I’ve got two different types of prefold cloth diapers in my stash, and I wondered how they differed.  I have some Bummis prefolds, plus a GroVia bamboo prefold that I received for testing.

My testing method is sort of pseudo-scientific.  I did my best to manage it scientifically, but there are some flaws in my experimental process.  First, I weighed the diapers on my kitchen scale so that I could get a baseline.  After weighing, I soaked the diapers in one liter of water for two minutes.  I then gave each diaper one minute to drip out the excess and then weighed for absorbency. Weighing is effective, as one gram of weight is the same as one milliliter of water.  (No worries, my fellow Americans.  I’ll convert back to imperial measurements for you!)  Finally, I gently wrung each diaper to test for compression loss and weighed again.  My wringing out process is where the scientific aspect breaks down a bit: I tried to wring each diaper out evenly, but since I was doing it by hand, there’s no way to measure or calibrate the exact amount of effort in squeezing out the water.

Bummis prefold soaking in one liter of water

Bummis prefold soaking in one liter of water

Bummis:  Bummis prefold cloth diapers are 100% organic cotton.  I have the medium size, which are for babies up to twenty pounds.  At a dry weight, they were 89g.  During the two minute soak, they managed to absorb 336mL of water, which is 1.4 cups.  (Whoa.  That’s a ton!)  After compressing, the Bummis prefold still held 270mL, or 1.14 cups of water.  They hold nearly three times their weight in water!


GroVia prefold soaking in one liter of water

GroVia prefold soaking in one liter of water

GroVia: GroVia prefold cloth diapers are 55% bamboo and 45% organic cotton.  I have the size two, which is the infant size.  At a dry weight, they were 95g.  During the two minute soak, the GroVia absorbed 358mL of water, which is a little over a cup and a half of water.  After compressing, the diaper held 283mL of water, or 1.19 cups of water.  That’s just a little bit less than three times the weight.

The bottom line is both prefold cloth diapers are amazing at absorbing and surviving compression.  Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Where to buy?

Cloth Diaper Addicts Amazon Store

Nicki’s Diapers

Kelly’s Closet

Cozy Bums

*As of posting, none of these stores have GroVia prefold cloth diapers, but they will!



4 Basic Bummis Prefold Diapers Methods

I love my prefold diapers.  I bought my first six pack of Bummis organic cotton prefold diapers when Eudora was less than a week old.  She’d gotten a terrible case of diaper rash in the disposable diapers we’d been using and her little bum needed some fluffy relief.  I bought them after being convinced by some of my friends that prefold diapers were nowhere near as frightening as I’d thought.

It turns out that the scariest thing about using prefold diapers was all in my head.  It turns out that they are exceptionally easy to use.  Here are four of the easiest folds:

1.) The short trifold

Lay your diaper out so that it’s long way, and then fold into thirds.  Lay the folded diaper in the diaper cover and put on baby.  This keeps the thickest part of the prefold in the middle, which is great for girls.

How to fold a Prefold - Short Trifold

How to fold the short trifold, left to right

2.) The long trifold

Lay your prefold diaper out so that it’s short way in front of you and fold into thirds.  Lay the folded diaper in the diaper cover, fold down the front so that it’s in the cover.  This keeps the thickest part of the diaper in the front, which is great for boys.

How to fold Prefold Diapers - Long Trifold

How to fold the long trifold, from left to right

3.) The bikini twist

Lay the prefold diaper flat, short way.  Then turn one end.  Put the diaper in the cover and place on baby.  This is great for girls as it increases the layers in the middle.


Bikini twist prefold - How to fold a prefold

The Bikini Twist

4.) The fan fold

Lay the diaper out like you’re going to fold in a long trifold.  Place in the diaper cover and then fan out the back folds.  This is a fantastic prefold diaper method for handling those messy newborn poops!

How to Fold a Trifold - The Fan

The Fan Fold, left to right

The great thing about all of these diaper folds is that not a single one requires a diaper pin or Snappi.  It pairs great with any cover, including Bummis, GroVia, Flip, and Best Bottom.

What’s your favorite prefold?  (And if it’s not one of the ones that I listed, please share it!)

Still not sure?  You can see a Bummis Prefold Demo Video!

Why I Love Bummis Prefolds

I love prefold diapers.  They’re super versatile.  You can fold them in a variety of ways.  You can use them as doublers in your pocket diapers.  Or you can use them as cleaning cloths once your baby has outgrown diapers.  I love Bummis prefolds in particular for a few reasons.

1.) You can get them in a perfect little package.  The Bummis Beautiful Basic contains everything that you need for three prefold diaper changes.

2.) Bummis prefolds are made in Canada.  Since they’re made in Canada and not outsourced to a third world or developing nation, that means that they are made in good conditions, have emissions guidelines that must be followed, and the staff has access to medical care and is paid a humane wage.  I’m a huge fan of companies that keep their jobs in the United States and Canada.

3.) Bummis prefolds are made of organic cotton.  I like organic fibers against my baby’s bottom, just like I like organic food in their bellies.

4.) The waterproof wraps are adorable and super easy to clean. Why do you love the Bummis Beautiful Basic package?

Prepping Your Brand New Cloth Diapers

So you’ve taken the plunge.  You’ve decided that you’re going to use cloth diapers.  Now you’ve got this beautiful stack of fluff in front of you.  What next?  Prepping your cloth diapers for the first use is actually pretty simple.  It depends completely on what kind of materials you’re using, but here’s a good run down that will help you out.

The first thing that you need to look at is if you’re using natural or synthetic fibers.  I use mainly synthetic because I just like the absorbency of microfiber and microterry.

Synthetic – Wash it once using a good cloth diaper laundry routine, including a cloth diaper friendly detergent.  Dry the inserts and the shells if the manufacturer instructions recommend it.

Natural – Wash three to five times, preferably not with your synthetic diapers.  There are natural oils and such that are on your brand spanking new hemp or bamboo diapers that can impact the absorbency of your synthetics.  If you’re only looking to prepare a couple of inserts, you can always boil them for ten to fifteen minutes.  This is only if they are inserts or prefolds.  If the diaper has any sort of elastic or PUL, boiling will destroy the diaper.  So how do you prep those beautiful bamboo fitteds?  You can always wash them on hot with your towels, but use a cloth diaper safe detergent.

Will you wreck your diapers if you initially wash them all together?  No, of course not.  You may end up with repelling issues and have to strip your diapers, but that’s still fixable (albeit time consuming).  In the interest of true confessions, when I got my first bamboo diaper, I didn’t know any better and washed them all together.  I got lucky and didn’t have issues, but that’s probably because it was only one diaper.

Or, to for a quick explanation on how to prep your new diapers: wash them.  A lot.  Synthetics with synthetics, organics with organics.  After they’re prepped, you can wash them all together and they’ll live happily ever after.

Synthetics I’ve used and loved:

Flip by Cotton Babies with a microfiber insert

Best Bottom stay dry insert








Natural fiber inners I’ve used and loved:

Bummis Beautiful Basic (prefolds & cover)

Baby Kicks Joey Bunz Hemp Inserts








Amazon links are affiliate links.  I receive a small commission from those purchases, which will help support Cloth Diaper Addicts.

Bummis Prefolds Demystified