Prefolds or AIO’s…Which Should I Choose?

It’s no wonder that when new parents first come to us for diaper service, they ask a LOT of questions. How does the service work? How much will it cost? How many diapers will I need? Should I rent or buy diapers? Which kind of diapers are best?

Well, the only way to begin answering all of these questions is to explain the differences between prefold and all-in-one, or AIO, diapers. Let’s start with a rundown of each.


When most people think of cloth diapers, they think of prefolds. These are rectangular pieces of cotton divided into three parts, and they can be folded a variety of ways. These cloth diapers simply fit into a diaper cover, and you just take out the wet or soiled diaper and reuse the diaper cover each time you change your baby.

Here are some key things to note about prefold diapers:

  • They’re affordable. The prefolds themselves are economical to rent. The only other expense you have is buying diaper covers, but that’s the fun part since you can choose from a variety of adorable prints and colors. Or if you use our Wraps for Life service to rent 7 covers in each size over the cloth diapering life of your little one.
  • They’re absorbent. Cotton acts as a sponge, so if you find that you need additional absorbency such as at night or during a longer outing, you can just insert an extra prefold or a cotton or hemp insert in the diaper cover.
  • They’re useful for other things. Need a burp cloth? Grab a prefold. Forgot your changing pad? Grab a prefold. Your preschooler just sneezed and is covered in snot? You get the picture.

All-in-one (AIO’s)

An AIO is similar to a disposable diaper because the cloth insert is sewn into the diaper cover (Get it? All in one.). Therefore, when your baby pees or poops, you simply take the whole thing off, wrap it up and throw it in the laundry pail.

Here are a few key things about AIO’s:

  • They make changing easier. Nannies, daycares, and even mommies and daddies who don’t like to deal with grossness like them because they allow for a cleaner change and are easier to transport.
  • They’re more expensive than prefolds. And because they can only be used once before washing, you have to buy more of them.
  • You can be sure to get your same AIO’s back when you use a diaper service like ours.

How Our Prefold and AIO Diaper Services Differ

Whether you decide to put your baby in prefolds or AIO’s, your baby will go through a lot of diapers at first – like, over 70 diapers per week. The reason our service and prices differ between the two types of diapers is because, well, they’re different.

How Prefold Service Works

We rent a pre-determined amount of prefolds to you, you put them in the pail we provide, and once a week we pick them up and deliver a batch of fresh, clean diapers. Since the prefolds are more affordable, this service is more affordable.

How All in One Service Works

We rent bumGenius Freetime or Elemental AIO’s to you, and we number each one. We pick up your pail each week just as we do with prefolds, but we ensure that you’ll receive the same AIOs back each week. Since these diapers cost more upfront, this service is more costly. It all just depends what you’re looking for in a diaper service.

We Also Offer a Little Bit of Both

If you like the idea of having some prefolds and some all-in-ones, we offer a hybrid service in which you get half prefolds and half AIO’s. That way if you use prefolds at home and AIOs at daycare, you have both.

Still Confused? Just Ask!

We’re used to answering a lot of questions, and we don’t mind. Know why? Because we were once new parents too. So just give us a call or shoot us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.