When I say easy to wash cloth diapers, I don’t mean that all the other cloth diapers are hard to wash. What I’m talking about is when you need true simplicity. I’m talking about cloth diaper flats!
Who should use cloth diaper flats?
They aren’t just for our grandparents and people beating their laundry on rocks. Flat cloth diapers are great for any family looking for fit and absorbency customization as well as those looking for simple wash routines. Any washing machine should have no issues easily cleaning any flat cloth diaper.
What Makes Cloth Diaper Flats Easy to Use?
Cloth diaper flats or simply flats, are large squares (although some aren’t perfect squares) of single-layer material. Until a few years ago, flats were typically made from Birdseye woven cotton. Now you can find them in an assortment of fabrics as well as a huge variety of colors and prints.
Flats wash and dry incredibly easily because they are only a single layer. This allows water and detergent to easily and quickly reach the entire diaper. Anyone can use this style of diaper. But flat cloth diapers really shine when you are hand washing, using a laundromat, or have a washer that doesn’t work all that well.
Flats are made of natural fibers (i.e. cotton, hemp, and bamboo). You can use very hot water or bleach (even though I prefer not to) when needed and not worry about any damage. *DISCLAIMER* Don’t go above 130 degrees and be sure you follow the directions for using bleach.
Just because they are a single layer that doesn’t mean they aren’t absorbent. You can fold cloth diaper flats in many different ways to fit any baby and you can also adjust where the bulk of the absorbency is. That is great if you are using these at night or need to adjust due to where the baby wets the most.
Finally, flats can be very affordable. For example, you could be very budget-minded and go with something like Flour Sack Towels or even old cotton t-shirts. If you need something more absorbent you might like to try Geffen Baby Hemp Jersey Flats.
I received a Geffen Baby Hemp Jersey Flat to review. All opinions expressed are honest and true.
The Geffen Baby Flats are SOFT (but all of their stuff is!). They use an innovative fabric that they created which has the highest content of hemp on the market; 60% Hemp / 40% Organic Cotton. This makes it incredibly absorbent. Hemp is also naturally antimicrobial. That means it will help even more if your cloth diapers have any sort of stink.
Flats are often held together by tension due to the way they are folded or with the use of pins, diaper belts, boingos, or snappies. Geffen Baby recommends the use of boingos or simply using the diaper itself as discussed before.
Geffen Baby Flats are 26.5″ x 26.5″. If you find you’d like a slightly larger flat for more absorbency or if you have bigger babies/ toddlers, try the Geffen Baby Hemp Fleece Fladdle. They measure in at 30″ x 30″.
The website notes to expect 10 – 15% shrinkage for both the Flat and Fladdle due to the natural fibers used in the fabric.
You can use any kind of cover with flats. PUL/TPU, wool, or fleece will all work fine. I personally like covers with double-leg gussets such as Thirsties or Little Mount Cloth as they are easy to get a good fit and also great at keeping messes in!
Have you ever used flats? Do you have a favorite brand or fold you like to use?
Jenn is a long-time cloth diaper educator and a passionate small business advocate. She has worked in the reusable diaper industry for over a decade, helping millions of families via her websites All About Cloth Diapers, Thinking About Cloth Diapers and Cloth Diaper Geek as well as hundreds of small businesses during that time. Her goal always to provide simple, reliable information.