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Difference Between Flatfold & Prefold Diapers

Cloth diapering has come back into favor in recent years. The cost-saving, environmental aspect makes cloth diapering attractive to many parents.

Flat diapers and prefolds are the type of cloth diapers used 20 years ago but still have advantages in today’s cloth diapering scene.

While the two diaper styles have some similarities, each has different features that may make one style more attractive than the other for your cloth diapering needs.


Flatfold & Prefold Diapers



Flatfold diapers are the largest cloth diapers available. In most cases flatfold diapers measure 27 by 30 inches and you can use the same flatfold diaper throughout the diapering of your baby, as they are large enough to diaper even a toddler.

Prefold diapers are smaller than flatfold diapers, and they come in a variety of sizes to fit your diapering needs ranging from small, 9.5 by 13 inches, to big, 15.25 by 20.5 inches. As your baby grows, you will need to purchase larger diapers.



Traditionally, flatfold diapers are made of birdseye cotton and consist of just one layer of cloth. In recent years hemp and bamboo fabric have also become an option for flatfold diapers. Prefold diapers are typically made of cotton, though you can find ones made of both hemp and bamboo as well.

Prefold diapers consist of three sections; the two side sections usually have four layers of cloth and eight layers of cloth in the middle section to help with absorbency.



Both prefold and flatfold diapers are an economical cloth diapering choice. Flatfold diapers are slightly cheaper than prefolds by typically a few dollars on the dozen.


Ease of Use

Flatfold and prefold diapers require you to fold the diaper to fit your baby. Flatfold diapers have a variety of folds ranging from simple to intricate depending on your baby’s size and comfort. Flatfold diapers wash and dry quicker than prefolds because they are thinner.

Prefold diapers are more compact and can be folded without too much difficulty.

Prefold diapers are also easy to wash, but may take more time to process and dry due to the extra layers of fabric.

Both prefold and flatfold diapers require diaper covers to make them waterproof and diaper pins or fasteners to keep them closed.


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Difference Between Flatfold & Prefold Diapers


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