Using Wool Full Time & Choosing the Right Wool Cover for Your Baby

Many cloth diapering parents are aware that it is possible to cover their baby’s cloth diaper with a wool cover, but few realize that it is possible to use wool both full-time and exclusively.

When we first discovered wool in our home, we had no intention of using it full-time.  Up until that time, we had been unable to find a diaper that would keep our baby dry at night, so we invested in a wool soaker, thinking we would use it for nights only.  The soaker worked so well that we purchased several other wool covers shortly afterward, and we quickly found ourselves so enamored with wool that we replaced all of our baby’s polyester covers with wool.  I cannot remember the last time I used a polyester cover, and the truth is, wool works so incredibly well that I don’t miss those old polyester covers- not even one bit.  And my guess is that our son doesn’t miss them either.

How many wool covers will I need to use wool full-time?

The exact amount of covers you will need will again depend on your budget, but the beauty of wool is that you can easily get by with very few covers.  This is primarily due to the fact that wool does not need to be washed frequently (at most once a month), and as long as you let the covers air out between uses, you can use the same cover again and again, rotating two covers throughout the day and night.

For a small to moderate budget, we have found that you can get by with two daytime wool covers (either pull-on or wrap style, depending on your preference), and one or two nighttime soakers  (one will work, but two is ideal so that you can rotate between the two while one is being washed and dried).  If your budget is larger, investing in a few additional wool covers can certainly make things more convenient, though it’s not necessary.

Choosing the Right Wool Cover

Like most cloth diapering products, the variety of wool covers available can be daunting.  It can be difficult to determine which wool covers will be appropriate for your baby’s needs.   The types of wool covers that you need will depend on several factors, such as the amount of time you and your baby spend outside of the home, the climate, the time you have available to care for your wool, etc.  Once you identify your needs and determine which types of covers will be a good fit for you and your baby, you may soon find yourself reaching for a wool cover every time you change your baby’s diaper.

If you’re just getting started with wool and are intrigued by the possibility of using it, either on a part-time or full-time basis, the charts below provide a comparison of some of the wool covers we carry in our store, appropriate times to use each cover, and some pros and cons of each.

We have placed the following wool covers into two basic categories: Pull-on Wool Covers, which have no velcro, snaps, or closures of any kind and can simply be pulled onto your baby like a pair of pants; and Wrap Wool Covers, which have a closure such as velcro or snaps and fit in a very similar fashion to a polyester diaper cover.  Both work well; the decision is really based on your own personal preference and needs.

Pull-on Wool Covers (No Velcro or Snaps)

Cover Knit/Fabric Use Appropriate Cloth Diaper to Use Pros Cons
Engel Nappy Pants Single-knit organic merino wool (very thin) Daytime only, Short periods of time (excluding naptime); Can be worn alone or under clothing Fitted Diapers Recommended; Tie Nappy (can be used with Prefolds or Flats with snappi, but care must be taken since wool is delicate), Trifold not recommended Most trim & lightweight cover available; Breatheable; Easy to put on baby; Can be stretched to fit over diapers with high rise; Affordable Baby must be changed more frequently (cover will soak through faster than some)
Little Beetle Wool Shorts Double layer of organic merino wool jersey (stretchy) Daytime Any diaper, (wool can be stretched to fit over diapers with high rise); Trifold not recommended Very trim, comfortable fit; Highly leak resistant More expensive than some
Engel Double-knit Cover (Soaker) Double-knit organic merino wool (very thick) All-around use (Nighttime & Daytime, including naps, car rides, carrier rides etc) Any diaper; Trifold not recommended;(Fitted diaper recommended for newborns to contain messes) Bulletproof; Lasts all night without leaks; Easy to put on baby; Breatheable;High rise keeps baby’s mid-section warm;Versatile Can appear bulky for daytime if worn under clothing
Disana Soaker Double-knit organic merino wool(very thick) All-around use (Nighttime & Daytime, including naps, car rides, carrier rides, etc)  Any diaper (trifold not recommended);(Fitted diaper recommended for newborns to contain messes) Bulletproof; Lasts all night without leaks; easy to put on baby; Breatheable; High rise keeps baby’s mid-section warm; Versatile Requires more preparation than some (should be lanolized 3-4 times); Bulky underneath clothing
Disana Merino Wool Leggings (Longies) Knitted, Ribbed Merino Wool (single layer) Daytime use when worn alone; Nightime when worn over a soaker as PJ’s Fitted Diapers recommended if worn directly under leggings; Any diaper can be used if combined with additional cover or soaker Versatile (can be used over any diaper and/or cover to keep baby more warm & to ensure dryness) Hidden elastic around waist can be too snug on some babies; Can soak through if worn alone
Little Beetle Wool Pants Double layer of organic merino wool jersey (stretchy) All-around use (night or day) Any type of diaper (trifold not recommended) Very versatile; Doubles as pants and diaper cover; very leak resistant Higher price tag

Wrap Covers (Velcro or Snap Closure)

Cover Knit/ Fabric Use Appropriate Diapers to Use Pros Cons
Disana Organic Boiled Wool Wrap Organic Boiled Merino Wool (soft, fleecy, felted wool) Naptime and night time (rise is too high for most babies during playtime; better for lying down) Any diaper; Works with trifold Very leak resistant (can be worn for long periods of time); Comfortable Knitted wool around waist and leg (no elastic) Bulky on some babies (Larger sizes 86/92 and 98/104 are very large)
Little Beetle Wrap (Little-to-Big and Regular) Organic Merino Wool Jersey (stretchy); double layer Daytime (naptime or playtime, outings, car rides, etc.- very versatile) Any diaper with relatively low rise; works with trifold Extremely versatile; Very leak resistant; Trim Low rise around waist (does not fit over diapers with high rise)
Organic Caboose Wrap (Regular & LITE) Organic Merino Wool (felted, thick) Any time (daytime or night time; long excursions) Any diaper (fitted, flat, prefold, tie nappy); works with trifold Bulletproof; Durable enough for night time; Extremely versatile More bulky than some when worn under clothing


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36 responses to “Using Wool Full Time & Choosing the Right Wool Cover for Your Baby

  1. have you tried Ruskovilla’s nappy pants? I love them! They are high rise (can cover baby’s upper body)

  2. Why is it that you recommend against trifolds for so many pull on styles?

    • In our experience, it can be challenging to trifold inside of a pull-on cover only because it is difficult to keep the trifolded diaper in its place inside of the cover once the cover is on the baby, especially when the baby is active during the day. Also, when trifolding, you would typically fold the diaper, place the diaper inside of the cover, and then put the cover & diaper on the baby simultaneously, as one piece. This is nearly impossible to do with a pull-on because the diaper moves around too much by the time you get it on your baby (especially with a wiggly baby!) With a wrap style wool cover, on the other hand, a trifolded diaper can be easily placed into the cover, just as you would with a wrap polyester cover, and then placed on the baby. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

      • You can use a snappi and it will stay in place.

      • Yes, it is absolutely true that you can use a prefold or flat fastened with a snappi with any type of wool cover, including pull-on wool covers, and the diaper will stay in its place. We were mainly addressing the issue of trifolding without the use of a fastener, in which case it would be difficult to keep the folded diaper in its place with just a pull-on cover over it. Hope this helps!

  3. I didn’t see where climate was addressed. What kinds of wool are appropriate in hot climates?

    • Wool is very versatile in this aspect, and you can really use any type of cover in a hot climate because wool is so breathable and temperature-regulating. Wool will keep your baby warm in winter and cool in summer or hot climates. If you are looking for something particularly thin and lightweight, the Engel nappy pants are ideal, and many parents choose to use these in summer or hotter climates. We use wool on our baby year round, and we have never had issues with our baby overheating or sweating while wearing wool (wool is very absorbent and pulls sweat away from your baby’s skin). Let us know if you have any other questions!

  4. Do you anticipate being in stock on the LITTLE BEETLE ORGANIC WOOL DIAPER COVER with snaps soon (size newborn)?

    • Hi Julie- Unfortunately, Little Beetle has recently gone out of business, so once our remaining inventory is gone, we will not be receiving more. We are always researching new products for our store, so we hope to have some exciting new additions this year. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  5. Pingback: Organic Cloth Diapering: Getting Started |

  6. Hi I just wanted to say thank you for writing about using wool! I was intoduced to wool with my last baby who had SERIOUS problems with disposable diapers and then even still had some with other “water prof” cloth covers (like pul). when I used wool over my cotton diapers the problems would clear up, but my wool was also leaky alot. since I did not know any one who used wool and could not find answers online as to why/ what I was doing wrong, I only used them at home. 4 years later and I am expecting again, and plan to use only cloth from day 1. ( which I havn’t done before, even though I have use cloth at some point with all of my babies ) I have spent HOURS online looking at options and hopeing to find that I could actually use wool and not have so many leaks- and be able to regular clothes over it! And now I have found all the answers in ONE place!! YEAH!! Thank you so much!!

    • Thanks for your comment, Sarah! We are so happy that you found us! Please let us know if you have any questions about wool that we haven’t answered in one of our articles.

  7. Hi,

    I am very new to wool and researching various options, styles, brands, etc. I have found several popular brands that contain wool blends with Lycra. I have read the potential benefits of the blends but in my life in general I am trying to move away from synthetics for my own clothing, my children’s, and attempting to live using as many organic, and/or natural fibers, foods, everything, etc. as possible. The main benefit of the blends I have found people claiming is that the wool stays stretchy and holds it shape better. I don’t doubt this is true but I because I would love to use as few artificial fibers as possible these blended wools pose an issue for me.

    What is your experience as a full-time wool mom? Have you found blended wool to be superior to pure wool? I would love to know your thoughts on this topic.

    • Hi Katherine,

      Thanks for your comment! We have never used wool covers that contain any Lycra on our own baby, nor do we carry them in our store. While it may be true that wool blended with a synthetic fabric might hold its shape a little better than 100% wool, we have never found this to be a problem. Just be sure that you care for your wool properly and handle it gently while washing, and it is entirely possible for the wool to maintain its shape and to stay stretchy. We feel the same way you do about synthetic fibers; we try to avoid them whenever possible, and there’s nothing better than 100% pure, organic wool for your baby’s skin. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  8. Thank you for your reply!

    I would like to know if 100% wool performs well and holds it shape as shorties and longies as well as soakers? I would like to purchase wool diaper clothing to make the transition easier to full time wool. Have you found any particular style or type that wears better for shorties/longies? (knitted, sewn, types og wool, etc.) I was advised to avoid up-cycled wool because it might contain pesticides, what’s your thoughts on that if any?

    Also what is your opinion of alpaca wool?

    Thanks again, if you have any further resources I would l love to learn more.

    • Hi Katherine,

      In our experience, 100% wool performs very well regardless of the style (soakers, wraps, shorties, longies, etc), as long as it is properly cared for. For use as a cloth diaper cover, we love longies or shorties made from thick, knitted organic wool. Organic wool fleece pants are wonderful too and can be lanolized for use over a cloth diaper. It really depends on your climate and how you plan on using the wool. If you need something for overnight use, make sure you get something thick enough that will last through the night. For daytime use, a single-knit layer of wool or a felted wool wrap is excellent. We only carry organic wool, so we are much more familiar with organic wool and its benefits as opposed to up-cycled wool, but this really depends on how important it is to you that you have something that’s 100% organic. Many parents are concerned about pesticide residue, so they choose to purchase only organic wool clothing and diaper covers. If organic is your priority, just be sure that you know the source of the wool. Up-cycled wool could certainly be a great option, but if organic is important to you, then you can just seek out up-cycled items made from organic wool.

      Alpaca wool is lovely and incredibly soft, but I don’t have experience using it as a cloth diaper cover, so I cannot offer much advice in that area. I have heard good things about it, though. Just be sure that the alpaca wool is certified organic if that is important to you (or sourced from a small farm where no pesticides are used- there are many small farms that cannot afford to be certified organic but whose livestock is raised organically).
      Let us know if you have any other questions, and best of luck with your transition to wool!

  9. Thank you! I recently purchased some items from your store and I am very excited to use them!

  10. Thank you for this post, it is very informative and the photos are so cute, really makes me want to try wool for the child I am expecting. I noticed the tops are tucked into the wool covers. Would they not draw moisture up? But it looks like the tops are from wool, too, would you lanolize them, too, then, and also air between diaper changes? Would you put on a onesie over the wool soaker? Sorry, I have no children yet and can’t really picture all this at the moment.

    • Hi Henny,

      Thank you for your comment! In these photos, the wool tops are inadvertently tucked into the wool covers- the reason they look this way is mostly due to the fact that our very active son was running around the house during this photo shoot, and since the top has a very snug fit, it made its way underneath the wool cover, which has a very high rise and fits more loosely around the waist area. However, you are right that since the top is also made from wool, it really doesn’t matter- you can simply air the shirt out between diaper changes, too. The wool shirt will not draw moisture up- since it’s made from wool, it is absorbent just like the soaker is and will absorb quite a bit of moisture before really feeling wet.

      You can certainly use a onesie over a wool soaker, but since a wool soaker can be quite bulky, especially with lots of cotton underneath it for night time, it can be tricky to fit a bodysuit over the soaker. If you were using a wool bodysuit, you could lanolize that for some extra protection in the diaper area, but it’s really not necessary to lanolize the shirt. I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  11. Pingback: Cloth Diapering a Newborn with Wool |

  12. This is a awesome blog! Thanks for posting this information. I found it to be very useful.

  13. I’m SUPER interested in using wool covers full-time over snappied/pinned GMD pre-folds and love the disana wool soakers. However, I’m on a tight budget and so I was wondering if I could get away with 3 disana soakers for full-time use (2 day, 1 night) and if so, would they be too bulky during the day to fit under clothes? My climate is hot and dry during the summer (when my boy will be born) and very cold during the winter which is why I like the versatility of the disana so much. I used pockets with my daughter (and hated all the accompanying rashes from synthetic fibers) and found that even though they were bulky I could still fit most clothes so I don’t see why the disana soakers would be too big.
    Also, if my boy is born around 8 lbs and picks up weight fast like my daughter did, would it be possible to go straight to 74/80? Because I’ve read elsewhere that it’s very possible to skip sizes because of the stretch and fit of the covers. I don’t use cloth in the first week or two because of my hubby’s preferences so he will probably be 9-10ish lbs when I start.

    • Hi Keeley! I think you could absolutely get by with three disana soakers for full time use. Some parents do find them to be a bit bulky for daytime, but I personally use them for my babies both day and night. You’ll probably end up dressing your son in either a loose-fitting romper or pants that are a size or two larger than his usual size, but if you’re okay with that, then it’s really not a problem at all. And of course you can just air out each cover between each use, so three should be enough.

      I think it never hurts to size up, even for a newborn. The newborn disana soakers are pretty tiny, so while they will fit perfectly at the beginning, if you want something that will last a while, I would go up to at least size 74/80. My youngest, now 6 months old, has been wearing his big brother’s soaker in size 86/92 since birth, and it hasn’t been an issue at all. If anything, the very high rise keeps the tummy and chest warm and cozy when they are newborns.

      I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

      • I decided on three soakers each of sizes 62/68, 86/92, and 98/104. Plus one of each size of the Engel nappy pants for washings/warm days/tight outifts. I’m hoping all that will get me from birth to potty training. I’m also getting Eucalan wool wash and a lanolin bar for spot washing. I’m just so excited for all the organic wooly goodness! Thanks for the help!

  14. Rachel Anne Arava

    I noticed all the wool covers you review are of merino wool. I am ordering wool covers made by women and sold on etsy. Some are cashmere, some are lambs wool. They are not all merino wool. Do you have experience with different types of wool?

    • Hi Rachel, I am not from little spruce organics,but I do have experience using wool. I make my own woolies from upcycled sweaters (mostly),and some I have crocheted or knitted. Merino, and lambs wool are the best and softest. sometimes I will come accross some that just say they are wool, but feel very soft,and they are great too, but If I were to sell (I don’t at this time) I wouldn’t want to say they were merino or lambs wool simply because I wouldn’t know forsure what they were. what I look for is 75% or more wool and soft feeling. That has worked great for me, I actually have one that is only 60% wool, but I Really like the color, it does feel damp a bit sooner than the others,and is alot more stretchy,and lanolin comes out faster. but it still works.

    • Hi Rachel,

      Any type of wool will work for a wool diaper cover- in our blog article, we have reviewed only covers made from 100% organic merino wool because those are the only covers we carry in our store at this time. However, any soft wool such as cashmere, alpaca, angora, lambswool, etc. should work just as well, as long as it is a high percentage of wool (ideally 100%), as Sarah also mentioned. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  15. Adding on to the question, because heard it must be interlock? Is this what you carry or do you have any knowledge about why it is preferred?

    • The majority of the wool covers we carry are made from interlock (machine knit) wool. We do have a boiled wool cover that works very well too, and we have several felted wrap covers. Interlock is most likely the most common material for a wool cover because it is so stretchy (before being felted).

  16. I was wondering if you had any experience with the One Love Diaper co Wool AI2 that you used to carry. I am loving night time wool, thinking about using it for daytime as well. I know it’s out of stock, but I was considering ordering from her website and I can’t really find any reviews online. Your input would be greatly appreciated!

    • Lau, I highly recommend the One Love Diaper products- they are functional, beautiful, and very well made. I used the newborn wool AI2, the pull-on wool cover, and the organic sherpa flats when my youngest was a newborn, and they were all very nice. The covers are too thin to be used for night time, but for light, daytime use they are perfect, and very trim. The wool AI2 is nice, too, because you can unsnap the soaker and re-use the wool cover as long as it’s not soiled. Definitely a great option for using wool during the day. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

      • In your experience, does the sherpa snap in diaper of the one love WI2 diapers contain messes, or do you usually need to clean the diaper cover when the insert is soiled? Thanks

  17. Pingback: Making the Switch – Cloth Diapering Here We Come! | Rae Clark Designs

  18. Hello. I recently decided to shift from microfiber/PUL cloth diapering to wool diapering, and I’m really excited about it. I purchased some upcycled covers and longies on etsy, and they arrived this week. My one concern was that they would be too bulky to fit under all my son’s clothes, as I don’t want to restructure his whole wardrobe. Turns out my fear was spot on. I can’t get any of his regular pants over the soakers. Also, I may have purchased too large a size (though it was the size recommended for his age). The waist and thigh holes gap significantly. So my questions are:

    Has anyone else had to solve these issues?
    Any recommendations for thin daytime covers that will fit under clothes?
    How tightly should soakers fit?

    Thanks!

    • It’s been a month since your post, but I’m just seeing it and felt the same way about wool at first. It is fluffier on the bum! Little Spruce sells the Engel nappy pants (pull on) that works great during the day under clothes; it’s very thin. I also like using One Love Diaper Co. wool wrap covers for day because they are thinner. You can find thin options for daytime use. Babee Greens has a new wool wrap cover that may be thinner then their side snap cover. I’ve found that pull-on up cycled and most pull on soakers are really thick for under clothes. We only used Disana covers at night for that reason. I also had to just size up in pants for a while and not put my son in any jeans or cargo pants…stretchy pants! What kind of diapers do you use under the wool? Soakers should be touching around the thighs and waist, but not super tight. There should be a little air circulation room (but not bagginess) between the cover and the diaper underneath (at least I think so). If it’s super tight against the diaper it’s going to soak faster into the wool. I just ordered a HumBird pull-on Euro wool cover because I read reviews saying they’re thinner and felted well for day and night use. Good luck Mama!

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