Yes if you wash your diapers yourself you will know that there are no chemicals in the diapers. The diapers are not contaminated with things and you know if your baby develops a rash you know why. As with disposable diapers there are chemicals that could irriate the babies bottoms.
Yes, I think that cloth diapers are better than disposables, because a baby would rather have cloth wrapped around their bottom than plastic. For a mom who is highly motivated, cloth diapers are more natural for the child. The child doesn't have diaper rash or other irritations because of the plastic.
I believe cloth diapers are better than disposables. The convenience of disposable diapers is what makes them so popular. Cloth diapers are difficult to deal with, messy, and sometimes considered gross. However, they are far better for the environment. Imagine what three years worth of disposable diapers looks like in a land fill. It would be quite the pile! Cloth diapers are also a huge financial savings when comparing them to the costs of disposables.
Cloth diapers might be better cost wise, but what mother with a new infant has the time to try and find out? Cloth diapers have to be rinsed by hand immediately when removed if they're soiled, then they need to be stored in a bin until you have enough to wash a load, and you have to try and find a deodorant that will cover the urine odor of the dirty diapers in the bin until they can be washed. Disposables win hands down.