Post contains affiliate links. Pictured items were gifted, purchased with affiliate credit, or won in a giveaway. I was not asked to write, nor was I compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own. I have never personally used disposable cloth diaper inserts. While I am a huge cloth diaper advocate, I am also a huge proponent of “it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.” There may be times when you need to be able to throw a diaper away, whether it be while you’re dealing with an infection, traveling without access to a washer/don’t want to hand wash flats or whatever the reason may be. Most disposable cloth diaper inserts cost about the same as disposable diapers, but are generally “one size fits most,” so you can have some on hand without worrying about your child outgrowing a traditional disposable diaper size. Plus you have the added benefit of the containment the cloth diaper cover provides.
I’ve said before that I wanted to use cloth with my 9 year old, but had trouble finding information way back in 2004. The “modern” diapers I found were Fuzzibunz perfect size, and I mistakenly thought I’d need 24+ of XS, S, M, L, Toddler, XL etc. and the cost made me scrap the idea. I then had planned to cloth diaper my son, but couldn’t find a “safe” detergent and couldn’t justify the cost of having it shipped. I didn’t want to pay all that money for diapers and have them ruined, so again, disposables it was. By 4 months, his rashes from disposables were so bad that I didn’t care what the cost was, we were switching. After sending my husband to a dozen stores in 4 counties and 3 states, we ordered online. You know by now that after 6 months of 24/7 washing, bleaching & stripping, I bit my lip and switched to Tide. 4 years later, my diapers are perfect.
My youngest son has never been in a disposable diaper, and his skin is as sensitive as his brother’s, so I have no desire to try. These disposable cloth diaper inserts are usually marketed as “green” and/or organic/chemical-free. I would suspect that they would be more gentle to skin, but I’m sure you understand that I don’t want to use my son as a guinea pig, since I have no use for disposable diapers. In any case, I did still want to compare the inserts for those of you that might be interested.
I’ve already photographed the gDiapers disposable inserts, and I purchased a pack of Flip disposable inserts with affiliate credit, so I could show them at a cloth diaper seminar. I got really lucky and won a GroVia package (I entered in the hopes that I would win and could use the items for my class!) which included a pack of disposable GroVia inserts.
Wet gDiapers can be composted (50-150 days) if wet only, or you can rip the sides, swish, then flush. I have a septic tank so we only flush TP! The inserts contain cellulose, fluff pulp and super absorber. gDiapers has a great post about SAP that is worth reading.
GroVia inserts are one-size, biodegradable/compostable and do not contain dye, fragrance, plastic or chlorine. The core is made of biodegradable Wood Pulp fibers & 3 grams of SAP gel, the waterproof outer is a natural bio-film and the lining is certified natural, 100% Ingeo spunbound non-woven fabric. They look like a cross between a disposable diaper and a maxi pad to me.
They have gussets like a disposable, and adhesive on the rear. This adhesive won’t damage the mesh inners of GroVia shells, but check with your manufacturer before using the adhesive on other covers.
Above the GroVia insert is pictured in a small and large flip cover.
Flip inserts are dye and fragrance free, as well as Oeko-Tex certified to be free of harmful substances. The insert contents are right on the package: 9g Non-Woven Bamboo Viscose, 19-20g Wood Pulp, 2.5g SAP, 1g Starch-Based Glue. I do not see any claims that these are compostable.
The flip insert is overall longer than the gDiapers, and the absorbent portion of the flip is longer but slightly narrower.
The two look otherwise quite similar.
Here’s the Flip insert pictured in a small and large flip cover. I needed to fold it over a bit in both rise settings.
The gDiapers fits as well but is a bit wider.
The “stuffing” in Flip & gDiapers looks similar, I wasn’t able to rip open the GroVia and didn’t cut it to peek. 🙂
Both flip and gDiapers inserts can be stacked for added absorbency if needed, while the GroVia’s waterproof backing seems to eliminate that option.
To compare absorbency of the Flip & gDiapers inserts, I loosely rolled them, put them in measuring cups, and poured 12 oz of water over each. As usual, this is highly unscientific and just to see!
I wish I had videotaped this, but alas I only have the one gDiapers insert and not a full package. Both absorbed all the water, but I noticed that the Flip insert became very puffy quickly as it absorbed. I gave each insert a little squeeze.
The gDiapers insert seemed to hold all 12 oz very well, while I was able to squeeze some out of the Flip.
For the GroVia, given the waterproof backing, I laid it flat & poured the water on top. It did absorb all 12 oz, but when I pressed my fingers on the surface, it created a pool of water. I held it over a measuring cup, rolled it and gave it a squeeze.
GroVia inserts are about 40 cents each, Flip about 33 cents each and gDiapers about 33-47 cents each depending on insert size and quantity purchased. GroVia & Flip are one-size, while the gDiapers are small or m/l/xl.
I’ve been waiting to have one of each so I can do a composting experiment, so stay tuned!
Have you used disposable inserts? Which did you prefer?