I think this is probably the most common question I get asked. I wish it were a simple "x is the best" type of answer, but like everything else in life, it isn't that simple.
The "best" style of diaper really depends on your baby and your families' needs. Are you looking at the bottom line? Then you will likely want to go with prefolds, snappis and diaper covers. If you are looking for something just a bit more convenient, you could use fitted diapers with diaper covers. Fitted diapers are a bit more absorbent and easier to use than prefolds but are more expensive. You could make that choice more economical by using the Growing Green One Size Fitted diapers (coming next week). I have to admit that I have never been a big fitted diaper fan past the newborn stage, UNTIL I tried these fitted diapers. I LOVE them! They fit well, are easy to put on and take off, come in either a cotton/hemp mix or 100% organic cotton. Pair them with an Imse Vimse diaper cover and you can't beat them!
Perhaps you are looking for hands-down, the easiest system out there. If that is what you are after, go with the all-in-one diaper. Cloth diapering truly does not get any easier than this. If you can put a paper diaper on a baby, then you can put an AIO on a baby. The all-in-one diapers have the absorbent insert built into the waterproof outer shell. You fasten them with a hook and loop closure (like velcro), take them off and put them in the diaper pail.
There is also the one size diaper option. One size cloth diapers are diapers that grow with your baby. They generally have a series of snaps in the front of the diaper for you to adjust as your child grows. The main advantage to these diapers is obvious - they grow with your baby so you don't need to buy different sized diapers as your child grows. However, there is a disadvantage. Since your baby is using them for such a long period of time (every day from birth to potty learning), many of them will likely need to be replaced if you have subsequent children. Having said that, spending just $400-500 on one size diapers for one child is pretty amazing compared with ~$3000 or more with paper diapers!
Many of the one size diapers are pocket diapers. Pocket diapers have a waterproof outer shell sewn to a fleece layer creating a "pocket" where you stuff the absorbency. The main advantage of pocket diapers is that the fleece wicks the moisture away from your baby so that the wetness is held in insert. This greatly helps your child to not ever feel wet. This also means that you can customize the absorbency. Say you have a super heavy wetter - you can stuff the pocket with a super-do insert. Or perhaps your child is a relatively light wetter - just use a microfiber insert. The adjustability is great and if you stuff them when they come out of the dryer, they are just as easy as an AIO!
Do you have questions? Email me at info (at) simplewondersdiapers.com. I'll be happy to answer any questions you have!