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Sunday, June 2, 2013

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What's in Your Pocket?

Spare change! Lunch receipt! Barbie shoe! Instead of pants pockets, let’s focus on diaper pockets. After all, this is a diaper blog.

We are a pocket diaper family. Pockets offer the simplicity of an all-in-one without the lengthy dry time. The beauty of pockets is you can adjust absorbency by stuffing them with just about anything. With so many choices on the market, where do you start?

I decided to compare 4 popular pocket stuffins; flour sack towel, Thirsties Hemp Prefold size 1, small Microfiber insert and small Minky insert. I rated each item on a scale of 1 (worst) to 4 (best) in 5 categories; Cost, Trimness, Absorbency, Cleanliness and “Stuffability”. All 4 stuffins were evaluated with a 2011 Fuzzibunz Elite (One Size).

  • Microfiber- Many pocket brands come with a microfiber insert so I have to give this a 4 for cost because it’s free. And you don’t get any cheaper than free.
  • Flour Sack Towel (FST)- FSTs get a 3 for cost, as you can pick up FSTs at your local Walmart or Target for as cheap as $1/piece.
  • Minky- Minky inserts came standard with the 2011 Fuzzibunz Elites. If you want to get your hands on them now, they come in a 3 pack for $11.95 or if you are lucky, you can find some used. Score: 2
  • Hemp Prefold- These stuffins are the most expensive of the group, coming in just under $8/prefold. I personally find this pretty expensive; therefore Thirsties gets a 1.
All of these options are pretty trim, but Minky was the trimmest by a slight margin, then the prefold, followed by microfiber with the FST being the bulkiest.

This is when the science nerd in me gets excited. For those of you that snoozed through high school science class, 1 gram of water = 1 mL of water. Therefore, one can conclude that the weight of an insert is directly proportional to the amount of water it absorbs. I weighed each stuffin dry to get a starting weight and then left them in a bucket of water for 10 minutes. I then weighed each saturated stuffin to determine how much water each was able to absorb.

The results were interesting:
Thirsties prefold: 297 mL, score 4
FST: 295 mL, score 3
Microfiber: 254 mL, score 2
Minky: 198 mL, score 1

To me the most important factor in anything diaper related is how easy it is to clean. Drying time is a big factor in any wash routine. I chose to evaluate the different materials in relationship to dry time. After washing all 4 stuffins, I hung them on the line outside and evaluated dryness every 15 mins. The FST was dry within 30 minutes, earning a 4. The minky insert came in a close second, getting a 3 for dry time. The microfiber insert took about 3 hours to dry, so it earns a 2. Lastly, I took the prefold down after 4 hours and it was still damp, coming in last with a 1.

Lastly, I wanted to evaluate ease of stuffing. I am getting ready to return to work and I would like to spend the shortest amount of time stuffing diapers as possible.

  • Minky- I love the feel of minky. Soft to the touch and it glides into the pocket effortlessly. Add the fact that it is designed for this diaper and requires no folding and minky gets a 4.
  • Microfiber- This is a personal preference but the feel of microfiber gives me the willies. This friction also makes stuffing the pocket slightly difficult, so I gave microfiber a 3.
  • Thirsties Hemp Prefold- I love the jersey feel of this prefold. To fit in the pocket, the prefold must be trifolded before stuffing. Although this takes less than a minute, it is more labor intensive than the other two inserts, so it receives a 2.
  • FST- The flour sack towel comes in at 1 because it requires so much folding.
Final totals:
Minky: 14
Microfiber: 13
FST: 12
Prefold: 10

I believe each of these stuffins have value in different circumstances, that’s why I have a variety in my stash. What is your favorite pocket stuffin?

Lindsay is a first time mom to a 2 month old little girl and a crazy dog. She lives with her quiet husband in Illinois and is slowly navigating the journey of motherhood one cloth diaper change at a time. Follow her adventures at


Carrie in AZ said...

Great post! I may have to try the FST! I was really surprised at the findings. And I'm SO glad to know that I'm not the only one who shivers at the feeling of microfiber. Blech. I NEVER use them as inserts. I replace all them with CBI or hemp.

Angelique said...

Wonderful post! I was curious how many layers the FST was when folded? Thanks! :)