Note: This review was updated in 2016
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When Nicki (the owner of Nicki’s Diapers) created Best Bottom Diapers, she strived to combine all the best features of different diapers into one great system.
Best Bottoms are an All-in-Two system which fit from birth to 35+ pounds. They consist of reusable waterproof shells and coordinating inserts that snap inside.
With 3 snap settings on the rise, you get 4 different sizes with Best Bottoms, which I would describe as newborn, small, medium and large.
I’ve been using Best Bottom covers for years. Here are the reasons this system might appeal to you:
- It’s simple. If cloth diapering seems complicated to you, then give Best Bottom a try. There’s nothing to fold. Nothing to pin. Nothing to stuff.
- It’s economical. Because the inside of a Best Bottom cover is wipeable PUL, you can re-use shells several times before laundering, so you don’t have to buy such a large stash. To save even more money, you can buy just the shells (like I do) and use with cheaper diapers like flats and prefolds. Each Best Bottoms cover is $16.95 each (limited editions are $19.95).
- It’s durable. Our Best Bottom diapers have lasted for a really long time and continue to perform well. The PUL is very thick and sturdy and the elastics have remained good and snug. Update: Still using our Best Bottoms in 2016; beyond typical wear and tear and some loosening of elastics, they are still quite usable. We’ve also added lots of new prints and colors. 🙂
- It’s cute: Best Bottom Diapers has a HUGE selection of colors and prints, and they are constantly adding more to make things fun.
The backbone of the system is a waterproof PUL diaper cover made of two sturdy layers of fabric. There is a second (inner) gusset around each leg opening and front and back snaps which hold the inserts in place.
Here’s a quick diagram which shows how the Best Bottom system works. There is a snap at the front and back for you to fasten the inserts onto. However, you can use the covers with many other types of diapers and inserts as well.
Best Bottom Inserts
There are four sizes of inserts available – S, M, L, XL – in three different fabrics – Microfiber, Hemp/Organic Cotton and Bamboo. They start at just $3.95 each, and several of the inserts are available in a stay-dry version with a fleece top layer. Overnight inserts are also available in each fabric.
Ingrid is wearing the medium size right now. As you can see when the inserts are lined up side by side, they are pretty much identical in terms of shape. They also have two snaps on the back side, which you use to attach to the Best Bottoms shell (you can fasten one snap or both).
Here are the inserts snapped inside the Best Bottom cover. These are the mediums again and the cover is on the largest setting (completely open). You might wonder if the large inserts stick out of the front, because they are pretty long at 13.75 inches. They don’t. When you stretch the cover up to fit on your baby, it just covers the large insert.
In the picture you can see how the hemp insert shrinks a little unevenly around the edges.
A quick rundown of the inserts, and their pros/cons:
Stay Dry is 4 layers of microfiber with a white microfleece topper. The fleece is soft and cuddly and is the easiest of the 3 types to keep stain-free. This is insert is thicker than the other 2 types. Microfiber is great for babies who flood their diaper very quickly because it sucks up moisture so fast. However, microfiber can hold onto odor more readily than bamboo or hemp; you can generally avoid this with a thorough wash routine. These inserts start at $3.95 each.
Bamboo is 6 layers of rayon from bamboo viscose fiber. It’s super silky and my favorite of all the inserts because of how nice it feels and the fact that it’s also very absorbent. It’s also very trim, comparable to the hemp insert. I washed mine 2 times before first use. These inserts start at $5.95 each.
Hemp/Cotton is a blend of 5 layers of hemp and organic cotton. This fabric is not as soft as the fleece or bamboo but it seems to be the most absorbent of all 3. It’s also very trim, about the same as the bamboo insert. If you have a baby that wets super fast (floods the diaper all at once), hemp may not be the best option as it absorbs very slowly. I washed mine 4 times on hot with detergent before first use. These inserts start at $5.95 each.
All 3 types of inserts should hold an average wetter 2 or 3 hours.
The overnight inserts are thicker. Microfiber has 6 layers and hemp has 8. Plus, there is another set of snaps on the top so you can attach a second insert if you like.
Speaking of attaching inserts, one combo that works really well is to put a Best Bottom stay dry insert on top of the hemp insert. You get the benefits of both that way.
The medium inserts are a very versatile/universal size and may save you from having to buy all 3 sizes as your baby grows.
Best Bottom inserts are limited in that you can’t fold them like you would a prefold or flat to get more absorbency up front or in the back. However, the contoured shape the inserts does help to give you more coverage inside the shell, both at the front and back.
Here are the measurements of the inserts, and the stitching color at the edge. You will notice some fraying at the edges over time, but that’s normal, and they are serged very well for durability.
|Small||11.00″||Birth – 14 lbs.||Green|
|Medium||12.75″||11 – 22 lbs.||White|
|Large||13.75″||16 – 35 lbs.||Blue|
|XLarge||15.25″||26 – 45 lbs.||Yellow|
If you are still unsure which insert you’ll like best, buy 1 of each and see what you think.
Here are some other diapers we’ve used with Best Bottom covers:
The Best Bottom system can work on a toddler because of the extra set of snaps on the rise. Erik is a slender 3-year-old and I can still squeeze one on him, though the rise is pretty low. You might not be able to make it work on a chunky toddler, though. I use a toddler prefold in the cover on its largest setting.
Any other drawbacks? You may or may not like the thick PUL material. Yes, it’s sturdy and durable and great for leak protection and overnight, but it’s not as soft, pliable or lightweight as other covers.
Best Bottoms are also available with velcro closure, but after trying it for a while, I much prefer the snaps. The hook and loop is SUPER strong, so much that I get frustrated pulling it apart from the waistband and the laundry tabs. One time I pulled so hard to get it unstuck that I actually pulled a corner of the velcro tab loose.
The fit is really trim and I like how the cover “dips” just a bit in the center. There’s a little bit of front elastic in the waistband; just enough to “give” a little when your baby is sitting or bending over.
They are so cute from any angle!
We were able to use Best Bottom covers on newborn Ingrid. The rise is pretty high and covered her belly button, but we didn’t have any leaks thanks to the snug double leg gussets. You can read more of my newborn diaper reviews here.
You can find the entire line of Best Bottom diapers at Nicki’s Diapers. You get free shipping when purchasing just the covers.
Have you tried the Best Bottom system yet? If so, what do you use for the inserts?