AIO Cloth Diapers - Combining Convenience and Reliability

It doesn't get any easier than AIO cloth diapers! Even if you plan to buy another style of diaper, you may want to consider adding a few AIOs to your stash for those times when convenience is important, or for when others who are uncomfortable with cloth diapers may be caring for your baby!



All-in-ones, also known as AIO cloth diapers, are the ultimate in convenience. They are super-easy to use, and are the closest type of diapers to disposable diapers. AIOs are closely related to all-in-two diapers, which we will cover off in another article.


aio cloth diapers


Convenience

No Extra Work Necessary

AIOs are fitted, with a waterproof shell and a built-in absorbent layer all in one piece. They do not require any unstuffing for laundering or assembling before use.  You can see the easy and intuitive design of the Smart Bottoms 3.1 all-in-one, shown below.

Our Guide to All-in-One Cloth Diapers | Thinking About Cloth Diapers


The only step that is necessary is to rinse any solids off if your baby is eating anything more than breast milk. Otherwise, the whole diaper is thrown into the wash and replaced with a complete new diaper.



Great for Daycares!

Because they are so easy to use, many parents buy a few all-in-ones to have on hand for babysitters and grandparents. AIOs are great daycare diapers, too. If you're thinking about using cloth diapers when your little one is in daycare (and you should!) read this article for more information on introducing cloth diapers to your daycare.



Cost

You do pay a price for the convenience they offer since, for the most part, AIO cloth diapers are also one of the more expensive cloth diapering options available.

Most all-in-ones are $20+ per diaper, since the insert is included. All-in-twos (where shells can be reused with multiple inserts) can work out to be lower cost options with comparable overall ease of use.


Note: One potential downside you may hear about AIO cloth diapers is that they typically do not hold up as long as other diapers.  I have had good luck with all of the all-in-ones I have used - they have all lasted through more than 1 baby.  But, because they are all one piece, the cover and insert take more of a beating during the laundry, and so you may find that they break down more quickly than pockets or covers and inserts. 



Absorbency

The simple one-piece design of all-in-one diapers means that it's a little harder to add in extra absorbency.  If you find that you need more absorbency, you can always lay a doubler inside the shell.  (For more information about doublers and other absorbency options, read this article.)


Some all-in-ones (such as Tots Bots Easy All-in-One and Blueberry Simplex All-in-One) also have a pocket to allow you to tuck in extra absorbency, while keeping with the "one-piece" style.



Looking for a Night-time Diaper?

All-in-ones may not be the best night-time option for two reasons:

  • The absorbency of AIO cloth diapers will not compare to the extra inserts you can add to a pocket a prefold diaper.
  • They may be more prone to urine residue.  Over-night urine is more highly concentrated. When multiple layers are sewn together, getting your diapers to rinse clean can be harder, especially if you use a front-loader washing machine.  I have been very impressed with my Smart Bottoms, and wouldn't hesitate to use one overnight with a doubler, but my little one wasn't the heaviest wetter out there.


This article has more on overnight diapering if you're looking for a night-time diaper.



Drying Times

Up until a few years ago, AIOs were a challenge because they were made up of many layers of fabric sewn together and took forever to dry. The bulk and tight layers also sometimes made AIO cloth diapers prone to detergent and urine residues.


These days manufacturers have continued to introduce design improvements and fabric updates to improve drying times and all but eliminate stink issues with better ability to rinse clean.  Getting your diapers truly clean doesn't need to to be a concern if you choose diapers that incorporate natural fibers and designs with a fold-in absorbent pad.


The bumGenius Freetime, for example, uses stay-dry fabric that is "semi-attached" meaning it is sewn in flaps that fold into the diaper for use, but open up for better rinsing and faster drying.  The Smart Bottoms 3.1 is another design that incorporates a "snake style" organic cotton fold-in soaker pad that agitates well in the washer.



Sized vs One-Sized

There aren't a lot of sized diapers available on the market today, but some brands still offer sized all-in-ones.  While sized diapers mean that parents need to purchase more than 1 set of diapers to fit baby from birth until potty-training, the benefit is that they are generally much trimmer than one-size diapers, providing a more reliable fit, especially on the lower and upper ends of the weight ranges (under 15 lbs, over 30 lbs). With all-in-ones, the folding required for a one-size diaper with a snap-down rise can mean that the insert and the cover can create a lot of bulk.


Some brands have created effective one-size options, while others have chosen to offer sized options that provide a more stream-lined fit at each stage of baby's life. Note: I haven't found any one-sized AIO cloth diapers that fit newborns right up to potty-training. Usually one-size all-in-ones are too bulky for newborns, meaning they don't fit snuggly enough to be reliable!


BumGenius elemental

The bumGenius Elemental adjusts with snaps down the front (called rise snaps) that allow it to fit from approx 8-35 lbs

The RagaBabe Easy All-in-One is a trim option that comes in 4 sizes (newborn to Large) and features a clean front



Our Favorite AIO Cloth Diapers

For quick and easy diaper changes, especially on-the-go, the convenience of all-in-ones just can't be beat.  We've tried lots of different AIOs, and below is a list (in no particular order) of some of our favorites!


Favorite All-in-One Cloth Diapers | Thinking About Cloth Diapers



Featured All-in-Ones

  1. Smart Bottoms Organic Cotton All-in-One
  2. Blueberry Simplex
  3. Tots Bots Easy Fit
  4. Gro-Via Organic Cotton All-in-One
  5. BumGenius Elemental
  6. BumGenius Freetime
  7. RagaBabe Easy All-in-One



Smart Bottoms All-in-One

smart bottoms aio cloth diaper
  • One of my favorite all-in-ones! In addition to being downright adorable (check out their prints at Nicki's Diapers!), Smart Bottoms is everything a beginner to cloth diapers could want - simple to put on, easy to wash, great fitting, absorbent, and organic too! Read my full feature of this diaper for more photos, including some action shots!
  • The inside of the shell is lined with 2 layers of heavy organic cotton, and the soaker, which is sewn into the diaper at one end and is made up of 4 layers of heavy organic cotton.  The soaker is longer than the diaper and needs to be folded to fit, which then makes for 10 layers of absorbent fabric - and just where you need it!
  • The snake-style soaker makes for faster drying times (and is much faster than the Elemental since the end of the soaker is not stitched down) and still require no assembly
  • 2 rows of rise snaps provide 3 settings to fit from 8-35+ lbs (not recommended for newborns)
  • Available only in snap closures
  • Made in the USA
  • Cost - $25 from Nicki's Diapers


Blueberry Simplex All-in-One

  • The newborn Blueberry Simplex was one of my favorite newborn all-in-one diapers, so I had to try the one-size diaper once my little guy got a bit bigger.  The stay-dry flap is not available in the newborn diaper, but is a nice addition to the one-size.
  • The unique design of this all-in-one features pocket openings at both the front and the back, making it easy to add extra absorbency as required while keeping with the one-piece design
  • This diaper incorporates a soaker area made up of 10 layers of birds-eye cotton, with a fold-over flap topped with stay-dry microfleece.  The flap can be laid on top to use the stay-dry feature, or tucked inside the tunnel pocket to ensure that only natural fibers are in contact with your baby's bottom
  • Available in both snap and hook and loop (Velcro) closures
  • Made in the USA
  • $28.95 from Nickis Diapers (US), $30.95 from Lagoon Baby (Canada)


RagaBabe Easy All-in-One

Ragababe easy all-in-one cloth diaper
  • This is our favorite sized all-in-one, which is available in 4 sizes (Newborn through Large)
  • This incredibly trim diaper is also very absorbent.  It is made up of a sewn-in 3-layer bamboo rayon soaker that absorbs quickly - and dries quickly too!  In fact, this is my fastest drying all-in-one, despite the fact that it is the only sewn-in soaker I own.  And it's still just as absorbent as many of the other diapers I own!
  • Hypoallergenic suede-cloth inner
  • Sturdy, effective hook and loop with trademark Star design
  • Premium leg elastic known as "Last-Ever", which they advertise as not needing replacing
  • Made in the USA
  • Cost - about $40, available only from RagaBabe (please note, these diapers are only available for purchase on stocking days, and only one size of AIO stocks at a time.)


Tots Bots Easy Fit AIO Cloth Diaper

Tots bots easy fit v4 transport print
  • Available in both snaps and hook and loop, the Tots Bots Easy Fit is my favorite day-care diaper.
  • The 4th version (referred to as V4) features bamboo and bamboo minky soaker that folds in behind itself, and comes with an added snap-in doubler that attaches to the tongue of the soaker.  (The V3 features minky, which wasn't as absorbent but was more stain resistant - these came without a doubler.  I have some of both versions and they fit the same, but the absorbency of the V4s is much higher).
  • Suggested to fit from 8-35 lbs, with 2 rows of rise snaps, resulting in 3 sizes
  • Cost - $24.95 from Nicki's Diapers (US), $26.95 from Lagoon Baby (Canada)


bumGenius Freetime AIO Cloth Diaper

bumgenius freetime all-in-one interior
  • I'm not a huge fan of microfiber, and so this is the only all-in-one that isn't made with natural fibers that makes my list.  bumGenius' stretchy wing tabs provide a nice fit, and the stay-dry layer makes it an excellent option for babies that are sensitive to moisture.
  • This diaper will keep your baby feeling dry, with 2 fold-in semi-attached, stay dry soaker pads made with thirsty microfiber topped with suedecloth to wick moisture away from baby's skin
  • The fold-out doublers make for faster drying times and still require no assembly
  • 2 rows of rise snaps provide 3 settings to fit from 8-35+ lbs (not recommended for newborns)
  • Choose from either snaps or hook and loop (Velcro) closures
  • Cost - $19.99 from Diaper Safari (US) around $23.95 from Lagoon Baby (Canada)



BumGenius Elemental One-Size Organic All-in-One Diapers

bumgenius elemental interior
  • Absorbent unbleached smooth organic cotton fleece interior, with 2 boosters tacked down on both ends of cotton inner, for 6 layers of absorbency
  • 2 rows of rise snaps provide 3 settings to fit from 8-35+ lbs (not recommended for newborns)
  • Made with either snap or hook and loop (velcro) fasteners, with BumGenius's patented stretchy tabs that help provide a snug but comfortable fit
  • One-size diaper fits from 8-35 lbs, thanks to a snap-down rise adjustment
  • Made in the USA
  • $26.95 in the US from Nicki's Diapers or Diaper Safari, $29.95 in Canada from Lagoon Baby



GroVia One-Size AIO

  • Organic cotton interior with fold-out cotton flap design for faster drying times.
  • Comes with additional snap-in soaker for extra absorbency when needed
  • One-size with front snaps to adjust rise, fits 10 to 35 lbs
  • Stretchy side panels with snaps that fasten at the sides, not the front, leaving a smooth, clean-looking front design
  • Comes with a snap-in soaker
  • Cost - $23.95 from The Natural Baby Co (US)



Note: If you are looking for diapers specifically for a newborn, you may also want to check our page on newborn cloth diaper options for a more complete list of recommended products.



Conclusion

Learn more about other types of cloth diapers by continuing on to Overnight Cloth Diapers.  To access all of the other articles in our series on Types of Cloth Diapers, go back to Types of Cloth Baby Diapers.



Links Within This Article

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Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own, and your experience with the product may differ from mine. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, see our Disclaimer and Copyright.



More in Our Types of Cloth Diapers Series

  1. Introduction
  2. All-in-Ones
  3. All-in-Twos
  4. Pockets
  5. Hybrid Fitteds
  6. Fitteds
  7. Cloth Diaper Inserts
  8. Prefolds
  9. Flats
  10. Covers
  11. Swim Diapers


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