All diapers (except All-In-Ones like or Pocket diapers) need covers to keep the wetness of the diaper away from baby's clothes.
To make covers easy to understand I divide them into four types: wrap-type covers, waterproof covers, fleece covers, and wool covers.
I like wrap-type covers best for use with prefolds and flats or contour diapers. They are convenient because no Pins or Snappis are needed, the cover holds the diaper on the baby. For those who pin or Snappi a prefold, flat or contour any cover can be used. Some wrap-type covers (like the Polar Babies Original) do not have the thigh coverage to work well with fitted diapers. But all other covers can be used nicely for the fitted diapers.
Most waterproof covers these days are made of PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric, usually polyester). This is a very durable material and will be a very waterproof and easy to care for cover. PUL actually benefits from being heated in the dryer and works better when heated from time to time. It is theoretically more breathable then other waterproof material like vinyl and coated nylon and other materials plastic pants and covers used to be made with. However it is not nearly as breathable as fleece or wool covers. You can test this yourself by trying to breath thru various covers to see which is most breathable. The more breathable a cover the cooler and more comfortable your baby will be and less prone to rashes. For a basic workhorse waterproof cover try the extremely durable and loved by many Bummis Super Whisper Wrap. For a waterproof cover without elastic to leave red marks on skin try the Stacinator SoSimple cover.
Fleece covers are my favorite! They are cool and comfortable and so easy to care for. I just wash them with my diapers (although do not wash them with new diapers or they will get covered with diaper lint!) I have lots of choices in fleece now! But not all fleece covers are the same. Some are more breathable then others and some are trimmer then others. Which you need depends on what you will be using the cover for. Fleece comes in a variety of thicknesses from 200 wt to 300 wt to double layer covers. The thicker the cover the less likely it will wick wetness thru but it will be bulkier. Fleece also comes in uncoated which is most breathable to waterproof coatings to resist water. WindPro is a coated fleece and WindBlock is even more water resistant. The coatings also reduce breathability. So a coated cover is less breathable then an uncoated cover. For around the house when I will be changing my baby as soon as I know he wets I prefer the most breathable cover (untreated 200 wt) for his comfort. It is the next best thing to going coverless which I love to do in the summer. Diapers are waste catchers not waste storers in my mind. But mothering is a busy job and we are frequently on the go. When we are busy or going out (I rarely change diapers during outings) I put a more absorbent diaper on and pick a fleece cover with a coating. It is not as breathable as uncoated but still more breathable then waterproof covers. For overnights I prefer the breathability of untreated fleece but opt for the bulky two layer cover because comfort is most important as well as a cover that I know will not leak no matter what my babe does!
Bummis Polar Bummi is a laminated fleece that is very waterproof and the least breathable fleece cover around, but it is still more breathable then waterproof covers.
For a breathable cover in a natural fiber nothing beats Wool! They do require hand washing but it is not needed very frequently usually only every week or two and very easy to do. We have two types of wool covers: hand knit soakers and felted fabrics.
For hand knit soakers see Little Turtle Knits for individually hand crafted one of a kind hand dyed soft yarn knit wool soaker made in the USA by a great WAHM. For a more economical option try the handknit very soft and naturally beautifully colored Alpaca/ Peruvian sheep blend Llamajama Soakers and Longies knit in South America.
Felted wool covers can be made from a variety of fabrics.
And wool pants like the Wool Interlock pants made by Holden's Landing make diapering easy by eliminating the need for a separate cover. The pants do the job!
Babee Greens, Baby Kangas, Baby Soft Wraps, BabyKicks, Bamboozle, Berry Plush, Blueberry, BumGenius!, Bummis, Dancing Bears, DryBees, EcoPosh, Ella's Diapers, Full Moon Baby Gear, FuzziBunz®, GENY, Happy Heinys, Happy Tushies, Holden's Landing, Imse Vimse, JamTots, Kissaluvs, Llamajama,Loveybums, Mommy's Touch, Mum's Bums, Planet Wise, Polar Babies, Precious Dignity, Rumparooz, Sloomb, Stacinator, Starbunz, Sustainablebabyish, Sugar Peas, Super Undies, Swaddlebees, Swaddlebees Fitteds, Swaddlebees Pockets and AIOs, Thirsties, Organics, Wahmie , Weehuggers,
Contact me at Inge at DiaperWare dot com!