Cloth Diaper Absorbency Numbers

There are so many different ways to categorize and organize these products, and not everyone will be happy. Before you go too far into this post, the bigger a product the more likely it will be very absorbent. This post is also beginning to get out dated, and my 2022 goal will be to update it with new numbers, new products and all around awesomeness.

Absorbency is about the products weave, blend, and quality

It’s easy for cloth diaper bloggers and brands to say “hemp is the most absorbent” but that’s a broad statement that doesn’t adequately support you in finding the right cloth diaper. Every textile performs differently, and the conversation should be about finding the right product designed by brands to meet your needs as a cloth diaper family. This might mean that a cotton cloth diaper is the best choice for an overnight diaper for your family. 

What is Absorbency Testing?

Absorbency testing is a some-what controlled method of understanding how a cloth diaper absorbs liquid. It’s an unofficial measure of how a product performs using kitchen science and helps us create a scale of reference to better understand how products work together.

My Approach

I weight the product, then pour warm water over the product until the cloth diaper is soaked. I let any drips drip, and weigh the saturated product.  

I repeat three times and take an average in fluid ounces.  

Just an Estimate

This is just an estimate of the products maximum absorbency function. 

Real life results will vary and maximum absorption IRL would cause leaky diapers.


The amount of liquid is not the only indicator for successful cloth diapering – the way a material absorbs and holds onto liquid is another key performance indicator. This is not indicated here but I did chat about a bit on my youtube channel.

More Resources for Absorbent Cloth Diapers

Prefold Absorbency

Flat Absorbency

Inserts, Boosters & More

Fitted Diaper Absorbency

These numbers are a average of all three, some might not add up because I averaged the diaper amongst three trials the insert, and the total. But the difference of .1 of an ounce isn’t going to make or break a product experience.