The Best Diapers Part #2: Hybrid Diapers

Hybrid diaper systems are positioned within the marketing as being the best of both worlds. They give you options to use both cloth diapers and disposable (biodegradable!)without having to double your investment. There are two major brands here in the US: gDiapers and GroVia. While there is some difference, they are basically selling the same thing.

Major Brands

gDiaper sells the outer shell in three sizes. These shells come in a range of color patterns. The biodegradable pads can be trashed OR flushed down the toilet.This alone is a huge advantage of disposable diapers. The cloth inserts come in two sizes, one for the small shells and one for the medium/large size. Both inserts slide into a inner pocket. Biodegradable pads get dumped and both inserts get stored for later cleaning. You can use the same shell several times before it needs to get changed (unless it gets soiled).

GroVia work in an almost identical fashion. The big advantage with this brand is that you do not need to buy shells in different sizes. They use a shape system similar to modern cloth diapers to adjust the size of the waist and leg holes. Like the cloth diapers we will be talking about in the next post, these use a button system to change size as the baby grows. GroVia also sells biodegradable disposable inserts, but they seem to put more of an emphasis on the cloth inserts.

Price

Head to head the price for gDiapers and GroVia are pretty close. The big difference is the cost comes from the disposable inserts. gDiapers Biodegradable Diaper Refills cost 34¢. This makes them just as expensive as Earth's Best Tender Care. GroVia disposable inserts are even more expensive. They cost a whopping 75¢ each and are only sold in packs of 20. They really want you to use them primarily as a cloth diaper system. Either way, a mix of both biodegradable inserts and cloth are still going to end up saving you thousands of dollars in the long run while also easing your eco-conscious brain.

Hybrid Disposable Insert Cost

Brand Type Size Package Size Cost/Unit Cost/Month Cost/Year
gDiapers Biodegradable Diaper Refills Hybrid Small 160 $0.34 $102.00 $1,224.00
GroVia BioSoaker Pad Hybrid n/a 20 $0.75 $225.00 $2,700.00

This is what tripped us up when we began doing the research. We looked at them in terms of disposable diapers. They aren't. Hybrid diapers are really a cloth diaper system that gives you an additional option that, we think, makes real lives easier. We see the biodegradable inserts as being the perfect solution for traveling-- whether to a park for the day, or on vacation, they are easier than carrying around soiled cloth inserts since you can just flush them. So we cannot really compare them on price with traditional diapers. Instead, we are going to break the price down working under the assumption that you are going to be using them primarily as cloth diapers.

Hybrid Shell Cost

Brand Type Size Pack Count Cost
gDiapers Shells (Small) Hybrid Small 6 $80.00
gDiapers Shells (Medium) Hybrid Medium 6 $80.00
gDiapers Shells (Large) Hybrid Large 6 $80.00
GroVia Snap Diaper Shell System Hybrid n/a 12 $203.40

Hybrid Cloth Insert Cost

Brand Type Size Pack Count Cost
gDiapers Cloth Inserts (Tiny/Small) Hybrid Tiny/Small 24 $95.92
gDiapers Cloth Inserts (Medium/Large) Hybrid Medium/Large 24 $101.96
GroVia Certified Organic Cotton Soaker Pad 2 Pack Hybrid n/a 24 $201.60
  • gDiapers recommends buying 6-8 shells in each size. Amazon sells 6 packs for $80. The downside—and the focus of most negative reviews—is there is no wiggle room on size. If your baby has big legs and a narrow waist, you are going to have leaks. gDiaper cloth inserts come in sets of 6, and the company recommends having a total of 24. There are two sizes, a infant/small and a medium/large. So cloth inserts comes to about $200. Recently, gDiaper started selling flushable cloth liners as a way to help keep solid waste under control, and they are about 8¢ each. Total Cloth Investment: $437.88

  • GroVia costs about the same. The biggest difference is in how you buy. GroVia does not offer bundles, so unless you have a Costco membership or go to a local independent retailer (we have Be By Baby here in Chicago), GroVia has to be bought piece by piece. Grovia recommends having 12 shells (they are one size fits all) and 24 cloth diapers. Total Cloth Investment: $405