With the new trend and the newer designs, comes the usage of new fabrics.
In our baby times, our moms (or grandmas if you're younger) used birdseye cotton. That's it.
Now, with the new cloth diaper industry, designers have come up with a variety never seen before.
But what is best? what do we put in our little ones' butt?
As a newbbie, I went ahead and bought whatever I found in good price, and a 2 day stash of prefolds and covers. That got me organic cotton, bamboo and 2 forms of microfiber for the absorbent core, and microfleece and cotton velour for the stay dry layer, so I can't compare all types.
I also have not tested the absorbency with a measuring cup and a scale, I can only talk about my experience dealing with them. IMHO, the answer is simple: get both.
I like organic cotton and love bamboo. They absorb fine and compress when wet. They tend to keep what they absorb. This is an advantage for leak prevention, but a disadvantage for drying. Prefolds are not expensive, but you need covers, bamboo is a little more pricey, so I only have 4 inserts, but I have never had leaks with it.
When it comes to contact with the baby, my Tiny Guy cannot stand feeling wet, so, when I was using prefolds, I needed to change them almost every hour, even less, or he would be screaming. That's why I mostly use pockets with him, he needs a stay dry feature.
Another issue I've had with prefolds (that I use now with my Big Guy) is the washing. Since they tend to retain more, that translates to ammonia pretty well. I've had horrible rashes due to ammonia buildup and it has escalated to the usage of blue Dawn in every wash. I may even bleach them one of these days.
Then it comes what I love the most: organic cotton velour. It is the only thing I use at night with Tiny Guy. He sleeps all night without any problems. He wakes up with the diaper all soaked, I change it first thing and take the soakers off. The main problem with it is the price. Oh, and the drying time, which, although not exactly slow, takes a few hours hanging in the inside.
And lastly, stains. For some reason, my main stain concerns come from the Grovia AIOs, with cotton soakers. I just hang them near the window and let the sun take care of things.
I'm not in love with microterry, but I do use it, and I do love mink. I like microfleece as well, but not as much as cotton velour. Microfiber absorbs like crazy, but just like it absorbs, it dries. That means, any contact with it will release water. Translation: LEAKS.
I may say that 95% of the leaks I've dealt with have included microfiber. The worse ones were with Fuzzibunz, that gave in to 2 explosions, one in the middle of the night, staining my blanket while I was nursing, and the other one while I was out and my beloved husband used Murphy's Oil Soap to wash it. Only one #2 leak has occured ever since (and very minor).
Changes that involve exclusive mink have to be within 2 hours, and if Tiny Guy is sitting in his bouncy chair, wetness will still come sometimes. Just squeeze a little and voilá, wet leg at 9. On the other hand, once out of the spin dryer, they are ready to use within an hour of hanging. No waiting time required!
As for the staydry of my pockets, it gets grummy after a few washes, and leaves residues all over, but it does keep him happy and moisture free (to a nice degree). The Fuzzibunz pockets dry extremely fast, so you can just keep using them.
And for stains, the question is: "what stains?" really, dump the dirty stuff in the washer and you won't have any souvenirs after they're dry. Plus: the inserts are cheaper than bamboo and the pockets cheaper than cotton velour.
So, I would say, give variety a try. You may like hemp and suedecloth as well. and yet more options for covers.....