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?

What’s the Best Cloth Diaper Ever?

Whenever I’m preaching the gospel of using cloth diapers, the potential convert always has one question that’s just really, really hard.  Invariably, I get asked “Which one is the best cloth diaper?”

That’s always a tricky question.  You see, the answer is “It depends.”

That’s so not helpful, right?

I know.  I really, really get it.  I remember having that same question three years ago when I first decided that I wanted to use cloth diapers.  I was just barely pregnant with Norton and was researching like mad.  I couldn’t understand why on earth there was no cut and dry answer to the best cloth diaper question.

What does it depend on?  Well, there are a variety of different issues that can impact the answer.

Price point.  If you can’t afford to spend $30 on a diaper, then telling you how much I love a particular premium brand won’t help you at all.  If anything, it’ll just make it seem like cloth diapering is completely and utterly out of your reach.

Style.  There are several styles of cloth diapers.  All in ones, pockets, all in twos, hybrids, fitted, contours, prefolds, and flats.  Then once you get into those styles, you’ll have a billion different brands to choose from.  Before you can even tackle the brand, knowing the type will be super helpful.  Then you start getting into styles of closures, like Velcro vs. snap and front snap vs. side snaps.  There isn’t one that’s inherently better or worse.  It’s all a matter of personal preference, as each has its own pros and cons.

Your baby.  This is the most crucial, individual thing of all.  Babies are delightfully squirmly, wiggly creatures that come in all different shapes.  Some are born chunky with little Michelin man rolls and larger thighs.  Others are born with little scrawny chicken legs.  Sometimes your baby’s shape will change enough that you may not prefer the same diaper from birth to potty training, even if it does technically fit.  A diaper that might work amazingly well on one child (or even one of your own children) may not work as well on another child (or your next child).  Plus, as your own proficiency level changes, you may be more interested in experimenting with other diapers.

Be careful, though, because that’s what happened to me.  And now, I’m a total cloth diaper addict!   Hopefully you’ll find answers to all of your cloth diapering questions on this site.


What I’ve Learned about Buying Cloth Diapers

I love cloth diapers.  I have a minor cloth diaper addiction.  Buying cloth diapers is just plain fun.  But now, I’m at the point where it’s time to start destashing a bit.  There’s no reason in the world for me to have over 80 cloth diapers.  Right now, I can have a load of cloth diapers in the wash, another basket already washed that’s waiting to be folded, and still have enough cloth diapers to hold me over for a couple of days.  Of course, with my addiction (and thanks, Kerri at Cozy Bums, for enabling me!) comes a lot of experience with buying cloth diapers.

As soon as you start looking at cloth diapers, you realize that there are millions upon millions of options.  Okay, maybe not literally millions, but there are certainly more brands, types, and patterns of cloth diapers than one can ever reasonably use.  So, here are the conclusions that I’ve come to:

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Using Cloth Diapers – Giving Prefolds a Chance

I am no stranger to using cloth diapers.  After all, I’ve been using cloth diapers for over two years now.  While I wouldn’t call myself an expert, I’ve definitely done more than my fair share of experimenting with different brands and designs.  There was, however, one type of cloth diapers that I’d always shied away from.  They always seemed too hard, too old fashioned, and just plain intimidating.  I’d skipped out on prefold cloth diapers.

At least, I’d always skipped out on them until now.

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