A few days ago, I decided to do an absorbency comparison between some of my cloth diaper fabrics. For some reason, I've assumed that a cotton prefold stuffed into a pocket diaper just won't absorb as much as a microfiber insert. (I don't have a source that tells me this, just what I had come to believe.)
So, I took my digital postal scale, some water and my fabrics and started measuring. The point at which I decided the fabric could not hold more is when there was no water standing in the tray, but the fabric would drip just a little bit. I measured by weight instead of fluid ounces, but for water, it's pretty much the same either way.
Here are the results of my absorbency test:
BumGenius one-size microfiber insert: 11.2 ounces
Green Mountain Diapers organic cotton prefold (red-edge): 14.2 ounces
BumGenius newborn microfiber insert: 5.5 ounces
Hemp Babies little weeds: 6.6 ounces
An interesting note about the bumBenius one size insert - the website says it holds 15 ounces. Perhaps this is true when they are brand new. However, my experiment suggests that after nearly a year's usage, the absorbency is less.
The advantage of microfiber is that it is less bulky than a cotton prefold. However, if I can get similar (or better!) absorbency, and if this doesn't leak as a night time diaper, I may have a working alternative to stinky microfiber for night time.