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Best Absorbent Materials for Cloth Diapers

One of the most important factors in cloth diapering is absorbency. Let’s look at the best absorbing fabrics and which are the best absorbent materials to use with cloth diapers.

white cloth diapers stacked with text best absorbent materials for cloth diapers

Parents will surely agree that having the right materials for their cloth diapers is a necessity. It’s a lifesaver. Imagine watching your baby get uncomfortable with the diaper you use that will probably break your hearts. For you to avoid this type of discomfort for you and baby, you must use absorbent fabrics for your cloth diapers.

It’s difficult to find the right one with so many materials available on the market, which is why I have compiled a list of the best absorbent fabrics for your cloth diapers. I hope it takes out some of the guess work when trying to find the best cloth diaper material to use and helps you select the one that provides the most benefits to you and your baby!

The most widely used absorbent materials in cloth diapering are:

  • Hemp
  • Bamboo
  • Microfiber
  • Cotton
  • Wool
  • Zorb

Let’s examine all of those closer to help you understand how each of these absorbing fabrics work in cloth diapering.


Hemp is a natural fabric from the hemp plant, with many advantages such as warmth, lightness, breathability, longevity, eco-friendliness, and great absorbency, and that it is a natural fabric. The arrangement of hemp fibers allows moisture to be readily extracted from the body.

The fabric is very appropriate for clothing because it is hypoallergenic and comfortable on the skin, which is perfect for your baby’s cloth diaper.

stack of cloth diaper inserts with text why you should use hemp cloth diaper inserts

There are a couple of small downsides to using hemp materials in cloth diapering. The cost is usually higher than a traditional cotton material. It is also a bit slower to absorb liquids. If you have diaper leakage problems with hemp, you can always put a faster absorbing fabric on top of the hemp.

Even with those cons, hemp has and will always be my top recommendation fabric for cloth diaper inserts. I even wrote a blog post sharing 4 reasons you should use hemp in cloth diapering.


Choosing the right cloth diaper fabric for your babies is truly a patience test, but it is a test that most parents would happily take for their children’s welfare.

Bamboo, since it is one of the most adaptable materials, is another material that you can trust when you talk about the best absorbent materials. It’s super-absorbent, and it’s soft, great for your kids.

cotton and bamboo liner of cloth diaper

In addition to that, the bamboo fibers do not undergo much chemical processing to manufacture it, which is why you can wear them easily without causing any allergic skin irritation that is more prevalent with highly processed fabrics.

Bamboo is an excellent choice in cloth diapering. It tends to be less expensive than hemp and performs just as well. You’ll also see lots of bamboo and rayon blends available in cloth diaper inserts.


Microfibre is a polyester and polyamide synthetic cloth, or polyester, polyamide, and polypropylene conjugation. In other words, they’re made of plastic. These plastic fibers are 100 times thinner and tightly packed to create absorbent fabrics.

Because of that reason, microfiber is the most widely used absorbent material in cloth diapers. It is absolutely a quick-absorbing material and is very affordable.

But, it’s important to keep in mind that certain microfiber insert brands tend to have a shorter life than other content material. You will find at that stage that it does not absorb the same as it did, and you may begin to have leaks from around the legs. You will need to check for it once in a while.

DIY Reusable Cloth Diaper Liners

You also need to keep in mind that microfiber can never be laid against baby’s skin. Be sure to use a reusable diaper liner on top of microfiber.


Cotton is a natural fiber with a great ability to absorb moisture immediately and the best thing is that it almost dries instantly. Cotton knit fabrics are more absorbent than woven cotton.

It is one of the earliest fabrics used in cloth diapers and one of the most popular. It is cheap, absorbent, and accessible everywhere.

stack of cloth diapers and text Types of Cloth Diapers

There are a lot of so-called cotton cloth diapers on the market, which is why you need to really research the brand of cloth diapers your looking at before buying. I share a lot of tips on different types of cloth diapers to buy in this post.

If you’re a DIY-er at heart, you can always make your own cloth diapers. Be sure to buy your fabrics from a trusted shop if you want to make your own cloth diapers.


Wool and other fabric such as cotton are naturally hydrophilic, which means it absorbs moisture very readily and makes the body feel warm at the same time. It gives you warmth when it’s cold out, cool when it’s warm out, breathable, and wool is also antimicrobial.

front loading washing machine with clothes and text How to Prep Wool Diaper Covers

Wool isn’t used in cloth diapering as the absorbent material itself. It’s most commonly used as a diaper cover and it works amazingly well for nighttime cloth diapering.

Keep in mind that you cannot wash wool with your regular cloth diapers. You’ll need to use a special wool wash for cloth diapers and hand wash your wool. I share some amazing tips, plus a video on how to wash wool here.

wool cloth diaper cover and baby wearing wool pants with text how to lanolize wool soakers for cloth diapering

Zorb fabric

Zorb fabric is a newer addition to the cloth diapering scene and one I never tried personally. But it definitely has some amazing advantages as an absorbent material that can be used in cloth diapers.

This material was specifically created by Wazoodle Fabrics for cloth diapers. Zorb fabric can absorb 10 times its weight in under two seconds – making it super absorbent and fast at that. It absorbs 10 times faster than other materials like bamboo, cotton or hemp knits. 

Here’s a great extensive article to learn even more about zorb fabrics and how it’s used in cloth diapering.

Cloth diapers are an easy, cost-effective, and eco-friendly way to take care of your children, but only work as good as the absorbent material that they are made of.

colorful cloth diaper inserts stacked

It’s important to know and understand the different materials used for cloth diapers, and choose the one that will give you the most benefits. You can find all of these materials available online, for easy delivery and shopping, at Yorkshire fabric shop or your local fabric shop.

I hope this list helps you with your search for the best absorbent fabric for your cloth diapers and shopping for the brand of cloth diapers that works best for your family.


Thursday 31st of March 2022

I clicked on the Yorkshire fabric shop to see about the zorb and my return answer was, "item not found". Where else can I find this fabric for diapers?


Friday 1st of April 2022

I found a few options for Zorb fabric on Amazon -