If you’ve seen fleece diaper covers in stores or shops and wondered how well they perform compared to the more popular PUL covers, read on! Fleece is a synthetic poly fabric that works by drawing moisture away from the skin (or from the diaper underneath it), through its fibers to the outer surface. It’s often marketed as an easy-care alternative to wool.
I used fleece wraps on Samuel when he was little because they fit great over his chunky tummy and legs. And when Erik was born last December, one of my favorite newborn covers was the Little Bear Bums microfleece. It was so cozy! I have it stashed away in case we have another….
If you’ve never tried fleece before, here are some of the benefits:
- Fleece is easy to clean and dries fast; you can wash it with your regular laundry (if you like) and use dryer sheets occasionally to boost its repelling properties.
- Fleece is cheap; handmade covers start at just $5 and go up from there.
- Fleece is soft and gentle; not once did it ever leave marks on Sam’s fat little legs like PUL covers sometimes do.
- Fleece has some of the benefits of wool (soft, breathable and water repellent) but without the higher price tag.
- Fleece pants can do double duty as a diaper cover and an article of clothing.
- Fleece covers can be re-used before washing if not soiled or stinky.
- Fleece has a stay-dry quality which is nice for the parts that might touch your baby (waistband, gussets).
- Fleece can be a skin-friendly option if your baby is sensitive to PUL or allergic to wool.
Fleece covers come in three basic styles: soakers, wraps and pants (either shorties or longies). Staccinator and Happy Heinys both make a popular snapping cover, and the pull-on soakers can easily be found by searching on Etsy or Hyena Cart. This style is also extremely easy to sew on your own from free patterns.
Update 2019: I made my own fleece cover pattern! Check out my No-Sew $2 Fleece Diaper Cover Tutorial.
As with every fabric, there are some drawbacks. Here’s what I learned while using fleece covers:
- Fleece (as mentioned before) is water-repellent, but it is not waterproof like a PUL diaper cover. More frequent changes will be needed.
- Fleece can result in compression leaks when the diaper underneath is soaked. The more thick and absorbent your diaper is, the better a fleece cover will work. The trade-off is that your baby is going to have a bulkier bottom.
- Fleece is synthetic so over time it might become stinky from trapped odors and detergent buildup, unlike wool. Use a good, strong detergent for thorough cleaning, and consider a good stripping if you suspect there’s buildup or detergent residue.
- Fleece is not as stretchy as wool, so you have to get the sizing right to make sure it’s going to fit over your prefolds and bulkier fitteds.
- Fleece is not typically available in the “one size” option, so you have to buy over and over again as your baby grows.
You might be wondering Can I use fleece covers overnight? The answer is yes. Many mothers do this, but remember it’s mainly the diaper underneath and not the thick fleece cover that you are relying on. You have less wiggle room with a fleece cover vs. a wool or PUL cover. It also pays to make sure there’s extra padding up front if you have a tummy sleeper, because this is where you might experience compression leaks through the fleece.
Overall, I had a good experience with our fleece diaper covers, as long as I didn’t go too long between changes. However, I still prefer PUL and wool covers for more insurance against leaks over long periods of time, a trimmer fit and the fact that they will fit a wider range of sizes.
Have you ever tried fleece covers before?