Hemp or bamboo

Comparing cloth diaper absorbency

Where to Find Hemp Inserts

List of hemp insert recommendations and popular retailers to purchase hemp cloth diapers. 


Leaky Overnight Diapers

My tips for leaky overnight cloth diapers! Help beat the leaks. 

Which is Better Hemp or Bamboo?

This is a common question from cloth diaper users around the world in the quest to find more absorbency for leaky cloth diapers and the best cloth diaper insert for their baby.

The answer isn’t straight forward – it’s not that hemp is more absorbent, or that bamboo is more absorbent. To illustrate this construct, I have compared both the AMP inserts as they offer two similiar products of different textiles. 

Is Hemp MORE absorbent than Bamboo?

 Yes, no, maybe so. 

I really want to highlight that this conversation of absorbency is more complex than the textile itself. We cannot lump all hemp as being more absorbent than bamboo because sets parents up for disappointment. Instead, we must shape our conversations with real life experiences and comparisons. Because, in reality, there are many bamboo and cotton products that more abosrbent than the hemp products on the market because they offer a more dense textile at a more affordable price point.

Hemp excels at holding onto liquid – unlike other textiles it’s least likely to compress and leak when fully saturated. 

This is a product comparison to look at two very similar products and consider is there a notable difference between a 2 layer hemp and a 2 layer bamboo? And if so… how can this shape the cloth diaper absorbency conversation?



That Hemp & Bamboo products are not noticeably different in absorbency.

If you look at 8.7 ounce Bamboo verus 8.8 ounce Hemp, that’s not enough for me to make any claim that hemp is more absorbent than bamboo products. However, breaking down the prices of these products it’s obvious which one we should buy and which one we shouldn’t if we are purely on a cost per ounce basis.

But cost per ounce is not the entire reason to decide on an insert. Yes, the 3 Layer AMP Hemp is cheap, however it is fluffy, and kinda rough, and a little thick when prepped. I don’t typically reach for this but there are many people who do love it. That has been my personal experience with the product. I also find it small.

AMP Boosters

Boosters are smaller products designed with a purpose in mind. While it might be less product more work goes into creating these products and they are going to be a different price point compared to larger products. 

Again we see a discrepancy between the idea of a Hemp Insert holding more than a bamboo insert.  The price per ounce suggests that Hemp products with AMP are cheaper but this is only related to this brand.



2ply Hemp Versus 2 ply Bamboo is near identical absorbency results. 

It’s not that a near identical hemp cloth dipaer holds more than a bamboo product – but rather, that the performance changes. 

Bamboo is a better choice for quick absorption and hemp for slow absorption – but even that statement depends on the blend, weave, and product quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Bamboo Inserts Better than Microfibre?

Eh, this question is not a solid yes or no becuase the environmental impacts of manufacturing bamboo are less than awesome. However, the performance of bamboo cloth diapers is incredible, and bamboo inserts quickly move liquid and absorb lots. This a great go-to choice for many cloth diapering families.

Most Absorbent Cloth Diaper insert?

A high density cloth diaper textile with a tight weave is most likley to be the most abosrbent cloth diaper insert – this is typically made from blends like cotton, bamboo, or hemp.

Don’t go for the 6 layer insert, opt for mulitple thinner inserts for easy laundering and dry.

Do I have to use inserts with cloth diapers?

You have to use some sort of absorbent material – it can be flat, prefold, fitted diaper, or insert.

can hemp inserts touch skin?

Yes. Most natural fibres are fine directly agains the skin. You only want to avoid microfibre.

But Bailey, what should I buy? Hemp or bamboo?

What’s your budget?

What do you need it for?

… if you just need to improve daytime absorbency because microfiber isn’t working for you, then buy cotton or bamboo prefolds/flat diapers.

… if you need to boost an overnight diaper or daytime diaper with natural fibers, then consider hemp or bamboo inserts.

… if you don’t have any budget, look second hand and buy what you find.

Hemp tends to be trimmer and hold liquid better, but bamboo tends to be a little thicker and move liquid. 

Hemp is great boost for nights, but bamboo is a great choice for daytime. 

Try it both, I’m not the woman for simple and easy answers.