Cloth Diapering — All Microfiber is Not the Same

A microsuede liner in a pocket diaper

A microsuede liner in a pocket diaper

One of the great things about modern, high-tech diapers is microfiber technology. They absorb urine really well and they help babies feel dry. Now, personally, I prefer to diaper Emily in cotton (and hemp too!), but microfiber is very useful with nighttime diapering and with naps. There are three kinds of microfiber that are used in diapering, and I’ll explain the difference amongst them.

Microfiber terry

Microfiber terry is the kind of cloth most of us are now drying our windows with when we wash them(unless we’re using our recycled prefold diapers, LOL!). This fabric is soft and very absorbent. It can absorb eight times its weight in liquid in just two seconds, yet it dries quickly. It’s a favorite for nighttime diapering. It shows up in most of the inserts for pocket diapers. Microfiber terry should never be placed against baby’s skin because it pulls moisture from the skin, leaving baby feeling chapped and dry. Not so good! When I’m stuffing Emily’s night diapers, the microfiber immediately makes my hands feel dry. I hate touching it, really. It should always go inside the pocket of a pocket diaper or be sewn into the inside layer of a diaper. For babies who are super soakers at night, this fabric will keep the sheets dry!

Microfleece (or Polar Fleece)

This is the perfect fabric for wicking moisture away from baby’s skin and keeping their bum dry. Microfleece is soft, fluffy, and feels great against the skin. Think about a fleece jacket and how nice and fuzzy that feels. This is used on FuzziBunz Elite pocket diapers as the stay-dry layer. Microfleece doesn’t develop stink issues, and poop doesn’t stick to it. Gotta love that!!! The single-layer diaper liners that you can buy from BumGenius and BabyKicks are made from microfleece. Malden Mills reportedly makes the most coveted of all of the fleece fabrics used in diapering. I was gifted a hand-me-down Stacinator diaper cover, which isn’t even made anymore, but comes from the Malden Mills fleece. It’s a little big on Emily right now, but I think it will fit in the summer. Microfleece (and microsuede, for that matter) helps baby feel dry, and is great for babies who wake up whenever they feel wet.


Microsuede, on the other hand, is another stay-dry, moisture-wicking fabric that’s kind of like chamois cloth. It’s not so cuddly soft, and can stink like crazy if your diapers have detergent build-up or you’ve been using creams or ointments on your baby’s bum. Microsuede reminds me of going to the gym in a polypropylene workout shirt and having to hand-wash the stink out of the armpits of the shirt. BumGenius 4.0 uses microsuede in their pocket diapers, and Emily can certainly smell like a barnyard in the morning! But even with the stink, the microsuede keeps her dry and she doesn’t develop diaper rash. I’m contemplating stripping my BumGenius 4.0 diapers, sun-bleaching them, selling them, and converting over to the FuzziBunz Elite diapers just for the microfleece instead of the microsuede.

There you are! Happy diapering!

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