My Search for the Perfect All-In-One

I love prefolds, but I wanted something easier for daycare, something so easy that it would require no explanation whatsoever. Specifically, what I wanted was a true all-in-one (not an all-in-two or a pocket) with hook-and-loop (Velcro, aplix, or touchtape) closures, a PUL outer, a 100% cotton inner, and an absorbent soaker sewn externally for easy washing and quick drying. And I wanted it to be affordable, too. It was hard to find exactly what I wanted, so I decided to test any diaper that came close. Here is the process of my test, with the results.

Notes: Prices include doubler (some diapers include doublers; I assumed preemie prefolds for diapers that did not include doublers). If a different size cost more, I went with size large. I actually prefer snaps for a lot of reasons, but Velcro is easier for people who are used to disposables, which is why I prefer it for daycare diapers. 100% cotton is the easiest fabric to clean, a quick-dry soaker makes laundering much easier, and it's easier still if the soaker is sewn on rather than snapped on, so there's nothing to match. Flannel is soft and absorbent but it pills and wears quickly, so diapers with flannel inners get points taken off even if they are 100% cotton. Colors are optional but nice to have since if you're going to change 3000 diapers a year, you might as well have some fun doing it.

Final note: I do not recommend AIO's for newborns. Or prefolds, or disposables. In my experience, a fitted plus cover is the only thing that will stand up to newborn poop. But that phase only lasts a month or so, and a cheap combination like Snugglebottoms plus Dappi nylon pants will work fine.

Diapers are listed in order of how much I like them, with my favorite first.

Very Basic All-in-one from Tallulah Baby

Price: $23.00
Pros: Can be custom-made with birdseye inner and quick-dry sewn-in soaker; includes doubler
Cons: Limited availability; expensive

Sposoeasy Fleece All-in-one

Price: $24.30
Pros: Meets all specifications; soft inner fabric
Cons: Expensive

BumGenius Elemental All-in-one

Price: $23.62
Pros: One-size design is a potential moneysaver in the long run
Cons: Long drying time; snap fastening (discontinued aplix version is available on a limited basis)

Prorap All-in-one

Price: $13.85
Pros: Inexpensive; durable; utilitarian
Cons: Vinyl-backed outer; no laundry tabs; industrial-feeling; only comes in white

Bottombumpers All-in-one

Price: $21.50
Pros: Good quality material for the price
Cons: Soaker is snap-in; soaker contains bamboo (so not 100% cotton)

Bumkins old-style All-in-one

Price: Varies
Pros: Soaker is sewn in on both ends; our caregiver's favorite diaper
Cons: Flannel inner; model has been discontinued

Sposoeasy Flannel All-in-one

Price: $20.05
Pros: Meets basic requirements
Cons: Flannel inner

Bum-ware Original Quick-dry All-in-one

Price: $22.00
Pros: Aesthetically pleasing design; good customer service; comes with doubler
Cons: Flannel inner; snap-in soaker; soaker needs to be tucked in before diaper is put on baby; doubler is hard to tuck under soaker; expensive

Bumkins new-style All-in-one

Price: $18.33 at some sites although MSRP is much higher
Pros: Soaker is sewn in on both ends
Cons: Flannel inner; strange and frustrating laundry tabs; MSRP is ridiculously high

Kushies All-in-one

Price: $14.04
Pros: Inexpensive
Cons: Vinyl outer; flannel inner

ComPly All-in-one

Price: $13.88
Pros: Inexpensive; durable
Cons: So disgustingly microfiber-y that I could not even bear to try it on my baby; not a true AIO; only comes in snaps and the snaps have a strange configuration; only comes in white