AppleCheeks is a very popular cloth diaper brand that hails from Canada. The core components include an “envelope” cover (in sizes 1, 2 and 3) and inserts made of either microterry or bamboo. There are other AppleCheeks accessories like wet bags, training pants, flushable liners and boosters.
The diapers I’m highlighting in today’s review are from my personal collection and include size 1 covers in Figgylicious and Lemon Zest, a size 2 cover in Riptide, and both types of inserts.
If you shop for AppleCheeks in Canada, I highly recommend Cozy Bums (oh, and right now the exchange rate and 15% sale are great for American customers, too!). In the United States, you can find AppleCheeks at many of my affiliates including:
Size 1 – fits 7 to 20 pounds
Size 2 – fits 18 to 40 pounds
Size 3 – fits 35 to 65 pounds (a more recent addition to the AppleCheeks line, for older and special needs children; a portion of the sale proceeds go to the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.
AppleCheeks diapers are adjusted a bit differently from other cloth diapers. There are 3 sizes available, and you might have noticed there aren’t rise snaps to shorten or lengthen the diaper. So how do you adjust it? The first step is to choose the right cover for your child’s size range (1, 2 or 3). And then when putting the diaper on your baby, snap the leg closed first and then the waist.
Here’s a look inside. The AppleCheeks envelope cover is so called because the opening is right in the middle, and one flap slightly covers the other (like an envelope). The entire diaper is lined inside with white microfleece, so it’s not a “wipe clean and re-use” type of cover.
As you may have already guessed, AppleCheeks diapers can be used as a cover or pocket system. Here are the insert choices:
AppleCheeks microterry inserts have a stay-dry fleece topper. You can stuff in the pocket or lay in the diaper cover; the red serged side is the one that should not touch your child’s skin directly as it is microfiber.
AppleCheeks bamboo inserts are either 2 or 3 layers thick, and are made of 70% rayon from bamboo/30% organic cotton.
The most popular way to use them is folded in thirds, either stuffed in the pocket or laid in the cover. You can also fold it in half for a baby who needs a wider area of coverage, or try this boy fold for more absorbency up front.
The 2-layer insert is ideal for daytime use (when folded in thirds it makes six layers altogether). The 3-layer insert is something you can try at night (when folded in thirds there are nine layers total). There are also bamboo and stay-dry boosters, which are smaller and thinner, but can add a little bit of absorbency to the diaper.
These photos show just a few of the ways you can use the AppleCheeks system.
Here are my thoughts on the AppleCheeks system, which we’ve had quite a long time to try out because Erik wore them as a newborn (3 years ago), and Ingrid has worn them off and on for her first 18 months.
FIT: Size 1 started to fit Erik after he reached 9 pounds. Ingrid first started wearing them after the newborn phase. I like the trim, cute fit and soft fleece, especially around their legs. We had a minor dilemma around the 11 month mark (she was about 17 pounds) when neither size one nor size two fit correctly. The size one waist was too tight and the rise was too low, BUT the size two was too big in the waist and too high in the rise. I tried all the recommended “tricks” but just couldn’t get a good fit with either the 1 or the 2. So we had to wait for size 2 until she grew bigger and her body changed.
Here is a picture showing the size difference between 1 and 2:
The microterry insert is longer than the bamboo and so to fit it inside the size 1 cover, you’ll need to fold it under to shorten it. This does create a little extra bulk. Also, when using the size 2 cover (since it’s bigger and longer), the bamboo insert does not quite cover from front to back. For a boy, you can slide it more to the front, but then you’ll have some empty space in the back. You can get around this by adding a booster/doubler.
AppleCheeks diapers have a wide pocket that’s easy to stuff; it also means a fuller cut across the crotch.
The ruffled elastics are cute and help the diaper not only to fit snugly but also to contain messes from the back and front and legs. I usually do not like front elastic on a cloth diaper because it tends to pucker or roll in at the waist. But with the way AppleCheeks elastic is sewn it doesn’t do this. Instead, it “gives” as your child moves. Much to my surprise, it’s been one of my favorite features because Ingrid has a round tummy, and sitting up without her diaper digging in means more comfort for her.
If I could change on thing about AppleCheeks, it would be to make the wings slightly longer. They are very short compared to our other diapers.
PERFORMANCE: After trying different ways of using AppleCheeks, my little ones haven’t had any leaks. For newborn Erik, I did not like the extra bulk of the microterry insert when folded under, so I used either the bamboo trifold or a newborn prefold inside. When Ingrid was an older infant, both the microterry and the 2-ply bamboo worked great during the day. Both she and Erik can wear AppleCheeks size two at night with the bamboo insert underneath and microterry on top.
If used as a pocket, you have to wash the whole thing after one use.
If used as a cover, your baby will need to be changed more often if your goal is to try and re-use the fleece lined cover again before washing. This can save you having to buy more covers overall. In reality, we aren’t able to re-use covers that much. Either they feel too damp for my liking or some poo has gotten on the fleece.
I have discovered that the inserts do not always agitate out in the wash on their own. We have a top-loading HE machine. Because the inserts are multi-layered I worry about them getting clean enough when they are still stuck in the pocket. So I will usually pull it out and launder again. Also, since the pocket opening is right in the middle, that means poo will sometimes sneak inside the pocket. It can be tricky to get out whether you are dunking or spraying. Using a flushable or disposable liner can help to negate this drawback. I prefer a pocket opening in either the front or back of a diaper.
DURABILITY: The only thing I’ve noticed is the white fleece starting to get pilly and dingy after many months of regular use and washing. This is what I consider normal wear and tear. Everything else (PUL and elastic) still looks fine. AppleCheeks diapers include an 18 month warranty on snaps, 12 months on the (waterproof) PUL components and 60 days for elastics. There is also a 30-day warranty on sewing defects on the covers and inserts.
VALUE: AppleCheeks are priced on the higher side. If using as a pocket, you’ll need $25 to $29 for one diaper and insert. If using as a cover, you’ll spend about $20 each and they may often be “single use only.” There are diehard AppleCheeks fans everywhere, so you’ll be glad to know that the re-sale value for these is very good.
Now let’s see AppleCheeks on the babies!
Here’s newborn Erik in his AppleCheeks size 1. You can read more about our experience using AppleCheeks covers on a newborn here. He was around 8 pounds in this picture.
This is Ingrid in the size 1 at about 5 months. I love the way her AppleCheeks size 1 fit at this stage (from about 3 months to 10 months).
And here she is in size 2 now at 18 months and about 22 pounds. The diaper is snapped at an angle, because the leg and waist are adjusted separately.
The front and back and leg ruffles on AppleCheeks diapers are really adorable. The only issue I have with the appearance is that the wings don’t stay flat on the sides and they curl back soon after putting on the diaper, revealing the white fleece underneath.
I can still squeeze Erik into the size two at age 3 and about 28 pounds. But the rise is really low. For us, this diaper will not fit up to 40 pounds and would be more like 30 pounds.
US and Canadian residents can enter to win an AppleCheeks Envelope Cover in the newest color: Kiss ‘n Teal, plus a 2-ply bamboo insert! And don’t forget Cozy Bums is having a big 15% off AppleCheeks sale until February 13th as part of “We Love Canadian Made” month.