Monday, October 31, 2011

Pros and Cons of Microfiber Cloth Diapers


There are so many materials available for cloth diapers, it's hard to make a decision on what to use. I usually advise cloth diapering newbies to at least try different materials before committing to just one. Something you may have thought you'll love you may end up disliking and vice versa. Microfiber was our first experience with modern cloth diapering, not really by choice. Back then I wasn't even aware of what's out there, it just so happened that Fuzzi Bunz and Thirsties were the most noticeable companies on the market. We've had our battles, but microfiber is a keeper. Here are some reasons we both love and hate microfiber!

Pros

  • Price: The price tag for microfiber cloth diaper inserts is hard to beat, they are the cheapest you'll find. In general the pocket and all-in-one microfiber diapers are also cheaper than natural alternatives such as bamboo or organic cotton. They are however not all equal, I probably have about eight different microfiber inserts, some are more absorbent than others, some are clearly better quality. 
  • Stay Dry: My favorite thing about microfiber is that my baby's bum is always dry. Keeps rashes at bay and there is one less thing to worry about. I have never needed any creams or powders on my baby with microfiber. Some like to mix it up and use a stay dry pocket diaper with a natural fiber insert (bamboo/hemp), the best of both worlds.
  • Absorbent: It is a thirsty material for the amount of space it takes up. I find it the least bulky, great for a trim fit with pants and jeans. Again, not all inserts are the same. I find some brands super absorbent, others not so much. I often mix inserts and put my favorite ones into my favorite pocket diapers. There is not wrong way of doing it, whatever works for you!
  • Fast drying: Hard to beat the dry times of microfiber. Since I air dry them and do not use a dryer though, I have to wring them out well. They are always the first to dry out of all the inserts I have.
  • Soft: Stays soft wash after wash, will never be stiff no matter how you dry it. I don't really like that it is a synthetic kind of soft, but I can't really complain because of all the positive properties.

Cons

  • Stink: This is the biggest turn of with microfiber. The way the fabric is made, it has a ton of little channels that make it super absorbent. The channels are also a great place for bacteria, ammonia, etc. to hide and it can be tough to get it out - especially if you're against using bleach. We have had the stinkies and still have them on and off. But that wouldn't stop me from using microfiber. It's just a matter of finding the right wash/strip routine. 
  • Synthetic: It is after all synthetic and if you're going the green and healthy route, it is certainly not the healthiest material around. It is man made. Something to consider if you really want the most natural things next to your baby's skin. It may even give some sensitive babies a rash considering it isn't natural. 
Perhaps we missed something? Do you use microfiber and what do you love or hate about it?

6 comments:

  1. It's bulky, frays easily, not very absorbent for the bulkiness, did I mention bulky? You can't put it against baby's skin, gets dingy quickly....

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    1. I agree on the dingy part, but I don't think it is bulky at all. Although, I find that not every microfiber insert is the same. There have been some I really like and some I dislike. Some get dingy faster too.

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  2. I love out microfiber. We CD to save money as our number one reason so it fits the budget. Ours are super trim but absorbent. At least all the ones from our BG 4.0's. I hate our microfibers from our TIny Tush diapers. I have had issues with fraying except on the towel insert from a Tiny Tush diaper. No stinks yet either even after a year worth of using them!!! *knocks on wood!*

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    1. We've had stinkies take over after 6 months, so you're good! Yes, it's true that some brands seem to be better than others.

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  3. I can't stand microfiber myself. Compression leaks, icky feeling to the fabric, bulk since a single insert won't do for my heavy wetter. I had all but given up on my Fuzzibunz until I started stuffing with organic cotton prefolds. As for trim absorbency, give me hemp any day of the week.

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    1. I love hemp too! It's my new obsession - after having used nothing but microfiber for about two years. :)

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