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Absorbency test | Alcmena Inserts

Ever wondered just how absorbent our super thirsty inserts are?  Wonder no more!  Today I put all of our current inserts to the test to see just how much liquid they could hold.

All inserts used in this test have reached maximum absorbency. We recommend soaking new inserts for 4 hours prior to their first wash, this step 'preps' the insert to increase capacity.  An insert will reach its full potential around 8-10 washes.  If you have a super heavy wetter, we recommend boosting your nappy or changing the nappy more frequently until this max level is reached.

Aim:  To measure relative absorbency of current Alcmena inserts.

Inserts tested:

  • v1.5 5-layer bamboo insert
  • v1.5 5-layer hemp insert
  • v3.5 3-layer bamboo insert
  • v.3.5 5-layer bamboo insert
  • v3.5 5-layer hemp insert
  • Newborn 5-layer hemp insert
  • Newborn 5-layer bamboo insert

My Method: 

  1. I weighed each dry insert individually before immersing them in a bucket of warm water for two minutes.
  2. I hung each insert out and waited until the inserts were no longer dripping wet and weighed them individually.
  3. I repeated this process twice to allow for variation.  Variation did occur and was >10gms.  I have chosen to post the median measurement.


  • Combined absorbency of a V1.5 Night Nappy set: 346g
  • Combined absorbency of a V3.5 Heavy Night Nappy set: 550g
  • Combined absorbency of a Newborn Nappy set: 282g

V1.5 Inserts

DRY Weight

WET Weight


V1.5 Bamboo



Holds: 167g

V1.5 Hemp



Holds: 179g



Total Absorbency



V3.5 Inserts

DRY Weight

WET Weight


V3.5 Nap



Holds: 124g

V3.5 Bamboo



Holds: 192g

V3.5 Hemp



Holds: 234g



Total Absorbency



Newborn Inserts

 DRY Weight

WET Weight


Newborn Bamboo





Holds: 136g

Newborn Hemp





Holds: 146g



Total Absorbency


*Note: Newborn insert sets are not sold individually, however Newborn bamboo inserts can be found here!

I also tested 3x size 4 (10-15kg) Huggies Ultimate Disposable Nappies as a comparison for absorbency.  

Disposable Nappy DRY Weight WET Weight   Absorbency
Huggies Ultimate Sz4 Nappy




Holds: 396g



What are some features of bamboo and hemp fibres?

Absorbs quickly - fantastic for flooders*
Has the capacity to absorb 20% of its weight before feeling damp
Softer fabric
Tighter fibre, trimmer insert
Reaches full absorbency quickly

* A 'flooder' is a child who holds his/her urine for a period of time and releases it in one go, thus flooding the nappy. 

As our inserts are completely interchangeable within our nappy shells, many families customise their insert set up based on their little ones changing output. The only rule is there are no rules! 

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for what you'd like to see next on the blog, please leave them below!


  • Hi Shannon!
    Thank you for reaching out, and for your recent purchase! As our v3.5 Snap & Wipe nappies are designed to be worn overnight, it is totally fine for you to reuse the shell 2-3 times provided it is not soiled. With all night nappies, it is recommended to pre wash the shell and inserts first thing in the morning to remove the heavy urine load. This increases the life of your nappy while preventing smells and ammonia development. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require more information! If you are yet to join our Facebook V.I.P group, we welcome you to join our community. Our wonderful members are always on hand to share their wealth of experience. Have a lovely day!

    Nicky O'Brien
  • Hey. I have just ordered 3 × 3.5 nappies to serve as overnight nappies. I hope to use each nappy for 5-7 hours twice per night and then our day nappies for the rest. Is it hygienic to leave a nappy on this long?


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