Updated August 2022
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Buying guide for Best diaper liners

Cloth diapering can help reduce environmental waste and save you money, but that doesn't mean you have to be enthusiastic about scraping out your little one’s diapers. By using diaper liners, you can avoid some of the ick factor and make cleaning up solids less of a hassle while also avoiding serious staining on your cloth diapers.

You'll need to decide whether you want disposable or reusable diaper liners — the former are best if you want to avoid rinsing and scraping solids, but the latter are more environmentally friendly and absorbent. If choosing single-use diaper liners, you'll need to consider whether you'd like options that are biodegradable or flushable.

Still not sure which diaper liners to choose? Then you've come to the right place. Here you'll find all the information you need to make your purchase simpler. We have also reviewed a handful of our favorite diaper liner products for you to consider.

Using liners with your cloth diapers might cost more than using cloth diapers without liners, but it's still likely to cost you less than disposable diapers.

Key considerations

Disposable vs. reusable

Disposable diaper liners are meant to be used just once and then thrown away when you change your baby's diaper. They're thin, lightweight, and not particularly absorbent. If your main reason for using diaper liners is to avoid getting too involved with scraping out dirty diapers, then disposable liners are the way to go. Once your baby's bowel movements become more solid, at around a year or so, it's easier to simply shake them out into the toilet and flush, so disposable liners aren't as necessary.

Reusable diaper liners are essentially fabric pads, similar to diaper inserts used in pocket diapers. They don't solve the issue of rinsing or scraping solids, as you'll still need to do this to the liner before washing, but they do help prevent the staining of cloth diapers, thus increasing their resale value if you want to sell them when you're done. Plus, they're absorbent, so they add an extra layer to help keep your baby's diaper feeling dry against the skin.

Environmental impact

Eco-conscious parents might balk at the idea of single-use diaper liners, but they're not as bad as you might think. Sure, they're less environmentally friendly than reusable liners, but they're still far better for the planet than using disposable diapers. Disposable diaper liners are no thicker than a sheet of paper, so you're not adding much bulk to your garbage can. Plus, they're often made of bamboo or other sustainable plant fibers, so they're not made using scarce resources and will break down quickly. Bamboo is one of the most eco-friendly diaper liner materials because it grows rapidly and is easy to replace once harvested.

Did You Know?
Some diaper liners, especially reusable ones, are made by companies that also manufacture cloth diapers. In this case, the liners should be a good fit for diapers of the same brand.


Size and shape

The majority of diaper liners are compatible with the majority of diapers, but you will find a few exceptions. As such, we recommend checking the size and shape of any diaper liners you're considering and comparing them to the size and shape of your most-used cloth diapers.


Some single-use diaper liners are described as flushable. This can seem like a huge benefit, since you just need to fling them in the toilet bowl and flush. The trouble is, despite the assertion that they're flushable, they don't break down in the same way that toilet paper does, so they could potentially end up blocking your pipes or causing problems in the sewer. There's nothing inherently wrong with these liners, but we recommend throwing them straight in the trash rather than flushing them.


Many disposable diaper liners are biodegradable and compostable. You might feel a bit squeamish about composting human feces, but even if you put them in your garbage can to be sent to a landfill, they'll still degrade quite rapidly.


Added scents are unnecessary and can irritate sensitive skin. The vast majority of diaper liners sold today are unscented, but there are a few outliers.

Line-drying reusable diaper liners on a sunny day can help fade stains.



Cloth diapers: Buffalo Plaid Cloth Pocket Diapers
Diaper liners are designed for use with cloth diapers. These simple pocket diapers are easy to get on and off and have a variety of cute designs featuring plaid, bears, and deer.

Diaper pail: Ubbi Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail
A diaper pail is a must-have to store used diapers after removing the liner and any solids. This one keeps odors locked in and is compatible with any bag or reusable liner of your choice.

Wet bag: ALVABABY Cloth Diaper Wet/Dry Bags
When cloth diapering on the go, you need to have a wet bag to store dirty diapers until you can get home and wash them. This wet/dry bag has two pockets to keep wet and dry items separate. The wet compartment is fully waterproof, so you won't get any leakage.

Reusable wipes: OsoCozy Flannel Baby Wipes
If you're planning on cloth diapering for environmental reasons, you might also wish to consider reusable wipes to decrease the amount of waste you're producing. The 15 reusable wipes in this pack are made from unbleached cotton flannel.

Did You Know?
Although diaper inserts are generally inserted into pocket diapers to increase absorbency, they can double as liners.

Diaper liner prices

Inexpensive: Small packs of around 100 single-use diaper liners cost between $5 and $10.

Mid-range: You can buy mid-size packs of 200 to 400 disposable diaper liners or 5 to 10 reusable diaper liners for $10 to $25.

Expensive: Bulk packs of 500 to 1,500 disposable diaper liners, or packs of 10+ reusable diaper liners, are priced from $25 to $55.


  • Use absorbent diaper liners overnight. If you find your baby is waking up in the night with a wet diaper or is experiencing leakage, placing an extra-absorbent diaper liner or two in your baby's diaper can help keep them comfortable overnight.
  • Check how many diaper liners you get in a pack. Comparing the number of liners in a pack will give you a better idea of the value. Disposable diaper liners often come on large rolls of 100 to 200 liners, whereas reusable options are more likely to come in packs of 5 to 12.
  • Don't buy too many of the same type of diaper liner at once until you've tried them out. You'll regret buying hundreds of a certain diaper liner if you then find they're of poor quality or you don't get on with them. It's best to start with a small pack and buy in bulk next time if you like them.
Disposable diaper liners may bunch up with activity, so they're best for younger babies who are not yet crawling or walking. You can still use them once your baby becomes more active, but they might not stay in place as effectively.


Q. What are the best materials for diaper liners?

A. If you're choosing disposable diaper liners, you want a material that will allow urine to pass through to the absorbent diaper below but stop solid waste in its tracks. Bamboo is a common choice because it's natural and biodegradable. If you opt for a reusable liner, it's usually also absorbent. Cotton, bamboo, and microfiber are all good choices.

Q. Why should I use cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers?

A. Cloth diapering isn't for everyone, but you'll find plenty of reasons to use cloth diapers if you look into it. Perhaps the primary concern for most parents and caregivers who choose cloth diapers is the environmental impact of disposables. The average child uses 7,000 diapers before being potty trained, which is a huge amount of waste to send to a landfill. You'll also save money using cloth diapers. The average cost of a single diaper is $0.20, which means you'll spend roughly $1,400 on diapers by the time your child is toilet trained — or more if you opt for premium brands. Cloth diapers and liners cost significantly less, even factoring in laundry costs. Some parents are also concerned about some of the substances found in disposable diapers and about their comfort compared to cloth diapers.

Q. Do diaper liners make cloth diapers less comfortable?

A. Diaper liners shouldn't make much of a difference to your baby's comfort level. However, if you find their disposable diaper liners often bunch up, you might want to switch to reusable liners.

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