When little baby Ezra surprised us 3 years later, I assumed I would build another stash of the old reliable. Only I remembered how I hated the microfiber inserts and stuffing. Oh, the dreaded stuffing. I was amazed at how many new brands of diapers were on the market and more importantly the variety of All-IN-ONES and ALL-IN-TWOS.
My first few purchases, out side of of newborn diapers, was for a set of Best Bottom covers and inserts and 10 OBGE (Original Bum Genius Elemental). The OBGE were a total steal because they were new in package on Craigslist for $10.00 yeah. I also purchased a whole variety of affordable pockets from companies like Diaper Safari, Nicki’s and Imagine Baby.
Only, after a couple of months I hadn’t found the Best Bottom love (I changed my mind about this, read the post here) and I realized the hubs and I were putting those 10 OBGE’s through a workout. That is when I splurged on 8 Tots Bots. These are perfect for an everyday person. They work almost identical to disposable diapers and the fit is really easy to come by. This past fall, I was selected to be a SmartBottoms Ambassador. I was REALLY green to to this brand, only owning ONE diaper but now I am now a huge fan.
So, that brings to this post. Today, a friend and I were doing work for Cloth Diaper Connection and chatting about our favorite diapers. We were both talking about the various brands of AIOs. She is a huge Tots Bots fan and I was trying to sell her on SmartBottoms.
I decided it would be a great to write quick comparison of three popular AIO brands; Bum Genius Elemental, Tots Bots 4.0 and SmartBottoms 3.1.
As you can see in this picture above, each AIO is very different.
- The Bum Genius Elemental is a layer of PUL with a sewn in organic cotton insert. There is no pocket for this diaper, although they do say extra absorbance can be placed beneath the sewn in insert.
- The SmartBottoms organic cotton diaper is a sewn in soaker with an extra long insert that can be folded for added absorption where you need it most. SB’s do not have a pocket but boosters can be placed right on the diaper as well.
- The Tots Bots diaper has a folded bamboo insert with a soft cotton layer beneath the insert and a pocket that can be used for added absorption.
Another obvious difference that you can see in these diapers is the size. I would say that the Tots Bots is by far the slimmest the AIO’s that I have. It fit GREAT from about 8 months to 18 months. He has been off all the rise buttons for several months now. One negative is that I can’t really get the fold where I, um, need it to be. If you get my drift. He doesn’t typically leak but they are only good for a couple of hours or I need to use a booster. However with he aplix, they are still my go to diaper for sitters, church and the diaper bag.
You can see that the BG Elemental is very wide. At 7 inches this diaper is almost an inch larger than the other two. And the insert doesn’t fill the whole space. I don’t love this style. I am a HUGE fan of the OBGE’s that I mentioned before but I am craving a print, I try to stick to natural fibers and this is my main choice.
Lastly, you can see that the SmartBottoms is very narrow at 5.5 inches. The insert on the diaper is also very narrow but because of the length you can get a nice fold and it is still a trim fit.
Finally a great side by side shot of the diapers with a measuring tape to see the length of the diapers. Now we know that the elastic can skew this measurement, it still however gives you a good idea of how the diapers compare.
You can see here that the SmartBottoms is by far the longest of the 3 diapers by almost 3 inches. The TotsBots and BG Elemental are about 12 inches. The big difference with these two diapers is that the Bum Genius has their patented 4 button rise, while the Tots Bots has only a 3 button rise. The interesting thing about the BGE is that I still have it on the last rise snaps. The waist of the diaper is significantly wider, allowing it to lay a little bit flatter than the Tots Bots. The Tots Bots will sometimes roll down.
My overall opinion is that I like all three diapers for different reasons but for my larger, longer toddler, I am finding that I reach for my few SmartBottoms more than my Tots Bots these days. I am just not getting the same fit I did when he was smaller. However, I will always like the ease of aplix for my squirmy toddler.
I know this post isn’t all inclusive of every AIO diaper but I hope it gives you a good idea of how these diapers might work for your little one.
Let me know if this post helped you at all. Leave me a little sunshine in the comments section.
What is your favorite AIO and why?
Great comparison! I never really got into Elementals mostly because they are too wide for my liking. I love my Smart Bottoms and my Tots Bots for all in ones. I have mostly the older Tots Bots, which have a longer minky insert and I like them because they are stain resistant, but they aren’t nearly as absorbent as my Smart Bottoms. The newer Tota Bots with the bamboo are a bit more absorbent, but I found the insert also is too short for my boy.
Jean Marie C says
I haven’t yet had the chance to use other diapers. I do like covers and prefolds, but at the moment we have a lot of pocket diapers. Thank you for reviewing these diapers!
katie m says
So far I have a Grovia All-In-One but it works great. I’m wanting to try Smart Bottoms because I’ve read plenty of great reviews on them.
I have never used AIO CD before. I might have to invest in few to try and see if I notice a difference between AIO and covers with prefolds/inserts. I imagine it would be harder to strip AIO since the PUL is always there.
Theresa Hover says
This is a great review, I appreciate how you’ve measure the length and width of the diapers, and that you choose to compare AIO’s that use natural fabrics. I’ve been considering both smart bottoms and BGE for our mini AIO stash, but now I’ll have to add TotsBots to the table as well!
Melinda Williamson says
With my last LO I loved the OBGE..but they got holes in them quickly and didn’t make it to potty training 🙁 . I hated Grovia on her. This go around 6 years later, I LOVE Grovia and Smartbottoms on my newest LO. I think everyone likes Smartbottoms now though, o it’s hard to get ahold of some of the prints I want…so that is leaving a sour taste in my mouth.
I do understand that feeling. Have you tried the new Grovia ONE? I hated Grovia the first time around but the ONE has me using cloth overnight again.
Sarah Elyce says
I love SmartBottoms. I haven’t tried Tots Bots. I like bumGenius pockets but not their AIOs. As some others mentioned, the GroVia AIOs are nice too.
Chelsea Macnab says
I love Smart Bottoms, they are great quality and nice and trim. I haven’t tried the others
Heather Johnson says
I would love to try Tots Bots sometime. I love my Smart Bottoms and Freetimes!
Heather Johnson recently posted…Preschool Homeschool Curriculum: Letter Y Lesson Plan