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Hooks and Loops or Snaps? What works for you?

Posted by Becca on 4/11/2010 to Cloth Diaper How-To
We love cloth diapers in my house—both my husband and I, but the types of cloth diapers we prefer is a different story altogether. I prefer diapers that snap and he prefers hook and loop diapers. Talking with fellow cloth diapering bloggers and also friends who cloth diaper, the different preferences, even within one household, isn't a new story. People either love their Velcro/applix closures, or they can't do without their snaps. Why? Let's take a look at both and try to decipher this great mystery together. We originally started cloth diapering with bumGenius! One Size Cloth Diapers. I loved them because the transition from disposables to hook and loop diapers was extremely easy.

Hook and Loop Diapers are Fast and Convenient

The bumGenius go on our daughter the exact same way as disposables and with much more style! I also love hook and loop diapers because you can get an exact fit with them, and let me tell you, with a tiny newborn who is fed with nothing but breast milk, a close fit is extremely important or you will find yellow poop all up the soft skin of their tiny, little backs. Not so fun. In addition, hook and loop diapers are fast. You don't have to spend any time trying to line up snaps while your baby wiggles and tries to roll over or crawl away. Finally, since they are so much like disposables, introducing the grandparents, babysitter, daycare, or church nursery to these types of diapers takes very little instruction. "Oh, we use cloth," I tell my sitters before leaving," and before their faces can crumple into worry I pull out one of my cute bumGenius!, Gro Baby, or Happy Heinys diapers and continue, "But don't worry. They're just like disposables. You'll be fine." and I watch the stress lines leave their faces as they enter a night of cloth diapering quite willingly because they're using something familiar to them even if they've never laid eyes on cloth diapers before.

Over time, however, I started noticing the hooks and loops of my cloth diapers were starting to wear and the laundry tabs were no longer holding the tab closures in place during the wash. I'd pull out one diaper to find a string of them all hooked together by open tab closures. Very disconcerting. But what can you expect? No matter how sturdy your Velcro or aplix is, being worn and washed every one to three days is going to be hard on tabs. I started stashing up on more snap diapers just in case my hook and loop diapers weren't up to the task of longevity.

Snap Diapers are so Durable

The great thing about snapping diapers is they are so durable. They aren't going to fall apart as easily as some hooks and loops might over time. Some snapping diapers, such as FuzziBunz, Knickernappies, and Tweedlebugs are able to give a unique type of fit that hook and loop diapers cannot simply because of the placement of many snaps.

FuzziBunz, for instance, have the hip snap which is great for adjusting the fit around the leg and belly all at the same time. Knickernappies have two rows of side snaps that are horizontally placed, making it easy to adjust the fit around the hips and thighs in a way that is generally difficult to do with hooks and loops. Tweedlebugs, likewise, have two horizontal snaps that allow for a wider fit than hooks and loops. Finally, snaps aren't going to stick on your other cloth diapers in the wash so you won't find excessive and unnecessary pilling on the fleece linings. But no matter how great the snaps are or plenteous or scarce they are, snapping diapers are never going to be quite as easy as hook and loop diapers and though they may come close, they'll never have a precise fit all the time either.

A Final Word on Cloth Diaper Closure Types

There are positives to each negative side. Personally, what I love about hook and loop closures is their fit, which is where I find snapping diapers lacking. However, snapping diapers such as FuzziBunz have gone above and beyond to make sure their diapers have a snug fit - not only because they have three snaps on each side, but also because there are adjustable elastics inside the waist and the legs. And what I love about snapping diapers is that they are durable, where hook and loop diapers may not last as long, but Cotton Babies, the manufacturers of the bumGenius! cloth diaper line, have done everything in their power to make sure that their diapers will continue to do their job long after the applix and elastics have breathed their last. If you go to their website you can buy "bumGenius refresher kits" that include new elastics, new tab closures, new laundry tabs, and instructions on how to make your diapers as good as new. So should you have exclusively one type of cloth diapers are in your stash? Well, that's up to you. Some people won't allow a single hook and loop diaper to taint their diaper collection and others just can't stand snaps. My husband and I have decided that both types of diapers have benefits that greatly outweigh their shortcomings and so we keep both styles in our stash - using each diaper to serve the purpose for which they are greater suited: hooks and loops for when she's wiggly or we're half awake, and snaps because we want her diaper stash to last forever, or for as long as humanly possible.


Becca is a part time Spanish Teacher, a part time Stay-at-home-mom, and the wife of the best husband imaginable. Becca's absolute favorite thing to do is to spend time with her little family. She also enjoys doing anything crafty - from making jewelry, to writing, to sewing, to photography. You can read more about Becca at her blog, Becca's Cloth Diaper Blog.