Managing diapers is quite a big problem. Until your baby grows out of them, you will go through thousands of diapers. Buying diapers is one thing, but disposing of them is a whole another story. You might have noticed a strong odor coming from your trash bin after a diaper sits in it for a while. An obvious decision would be to just throw your trash away instantly, but what if you go through dozens of diapers per day?
The answer is diaper pails. They’re basically a trash can that seals off the odors of the diaper, allowing you to not worry about frequently throwing trash away. Seeing how such a device needs to be of highest quality to function properly, we’ve compiled a list of the best diaper pails on the market to help you find the best one.
Top 6 Best Diaper Pail Reviews
1. Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail Review
The Ubbi Diaper Pail is a product that is loved by many parents. Ubbi also claims that their diaper pail has won 9 awards from different babycare organizations, which attests to its reliability and quality. In fact, you could find that this product is the best diaper pail out there, depending on your needs and budget.
The biggest advantage of this diaper pail is that it doesn’t require you to install proprietary bags as most other diaper pails do. Diaper pail refills are quite costly, and buying brand refills, in the long run, could amount to hundreds of dollars. On the other hand, regular trash bags are exceptionally cheap, so Ubbi Diaper Pail will allow you to stay incomparably low in the long-run costs. This is a decisive benefit of Ubbi Diaper Pail, which is why many parents favor it.
Another big advantage of Ubbi Diaper Pail is its ease of use. Proprietary refills are usually quite uneasy to install, but Ubbi Diaper Pail only requires you put a trash bag over the dedicated rim and close the lid.
Ubbi Diaper Pail is quite good in terms of trapping in odor. Firstly, its lid and rim feature rubber sealing to keep in the odor. Secondly, this diaper pail is made from stainless steel, which, unlike plastic, doesn’t absorb odors. You can be sure Ubbi Diaper Pail won’t bother you with odors while sitting in your nursery. The rubber sealing is rather delicate though, so you would need to make sure to use the diaper pail carefully.
Unfortunately, this diaper pail isn’t operated with a foot pedal for lid opening, as it mostly is with diaper pails. Ubbi equipped their diaper pail with a sliding lid, which could make things less convenient, albeit it is quite easy to slide it open even one-handed. The lid can also be locked via the onboard childproof lock.
In terms of diaper capacity, Ubbi Diaper Pail is quite good for its size: it is designed to fit up to 50 newborn-size diapers. Some diaper pails usually fit less than you would expect because a part of their interior is occupied by complex odor-trapping systems, which isn’t the case with Ubbi Diaper Pail. Ubbi also offers their Diaper Pail in several color options, which allows the product to fit the nursery better.
As great as it is, Ubbi Diaper Pail isn’t free of downsides. Regular trash bags aren’t very good at keeping odors in, meaning that could catch smells when emptying the diaper pail While Ubbi Diaper Pail has good odor insulation, it isn’t always able to keep the smells in a regular trash bag. Bear this mind if you want a diaper pail with spot-on odor protection.
And besides, while Ubbi Diaper Pail is very economical in the long run, it costs more than other pails up-front.
- Doesn’t require special bags
- Offers significantly reduced costs in the long run
- Good diaper capacity
- Equipped with a childproof lock
- Several color options
- Doesn’t always keep the odors in when emptying
- Delicate rubber sealing
- No foot pedal
- Higher price up-front
2. Munchkin Step Diaper Pail review
Munchkin Step Diaper Pail is pretty much the opposite of Ubbi Diaper Pail: it is a bit cheaper but only works with proprietary refills. But how does it impact the performance of the Step Diaper Pail?
Well, the first obvious advantage of the mandatory use of brand refills is that you won’t have to worry about the odor when removing the bag from the diaper pail. That takes Munchkin Step Diaper Pail a step ahead of Ubbi’s solution in terms of odor control. However, as we already said, proprietary refills cost much more than regular trash bags, which could amount to hundreds of dollars over several years of diaper use. Unfortunately, that’s the price you need to be ready to pay if you want as little odor as possible.
What also puts the Step Diaper Pail ahead of Ubbi Diaper Pail in terms of odor control is its patented sealing system that twists the refill tight each time the lid is closed, allowing for excellent odor elimination. This system requires you to push the diaper through the pail’s opening, which could be a bit gross. It also requires you to carefully wrap the diapers so that their content doesn’t spill out. Finally, it makes installing refills a bit tricky.
You could go a bit further with this diaper pail and get scented refills for better odor neutralization. Alternatively, you could get the Puck Baking Soda Cartridge and install it onto the lid of the diaper pail. You could also combine all the methods for maximum effectiveness.
Interestingly, Munchkin Step Diaper Pail works with both ring and snap-seal-toss refills. There is a good range of refills available for this diaper pail, though they are quite pricey, as you already know. A sad thing about the refills is that they don’t take more than 30 newborn diapers at a time, part of the reason for that being the limits of the interior space of the diaper pail.
Another nice feature of the Step Diaper Pail is that its lid is operated with a step pedal, hence the product’s name. The lid is opened when you step on the pedal and closed when you release it. The Step Diaper Pail is equipped with a childproof locking system as well, so you can be sure that your baby won’t open the lid out of curiosity.
So is Munchkin Step Diaper Pail a good product? If you want to lock in the odors completely, it indeed is. Be prepared for significantly increased maintenance costs of operating this product though!
- Superb odor control
- Equipped with a patented sealing system
- Works with both rings and snap-seal-toss bags
- Operated via a convenient pedal
- Includes scented refills
- Has a childproof locking system
- Low diaper capacity
- A bit inconvenient to install refills
- The diapers need to be pushed into the pail
3. Dekor Classic Hands-Free Diaper Pail review
Dekor Classic Hands-Free Diaper Pail is a more suitable product for those who want an affordable diaper pail. However, it is also a rather fine diaper pail, standing right beside Ubbi Diaper Pail in terms of odor trapping. It has its intricacies though. But before moving onto that, let’s see what it has got.
Firstly, Dekor Classic has a spring-loaded trapdoor to lock in odors: its tension is just enough to allow you to throw the diaper in and then elevate the door back up to close the opening. Like Ubbi Diaper Pail, this diaper pail doesn’t have a convoluted odor-locking system like that of Munchkin Step Diaper Pail, meaning that Dekor Classic locks in odors as well as Ubbi Diaper Pail. Add to this the rubber lining of the closing lid, and you get a pail very similar to the Ubbi’s product.
Dekor Classic diaper pail is designed to be used with Genuine Dekor liner refills. Fortunately, it is quite easy to install the refills with this diaper pail as you just need to wrap them around the top lining. Emptying the diaper pail is also quite easy: it features a rather large side door to help you with accessing the bag. This door is also equipped with a child-proof refill cutter to help you cut out the used refill. Then, you just pull a new layer out of the refill for use. By the way, it takes about 45 newborn diapers to fill this diaper pail, which is quite a good number.
Dekor Classis is also operated via a foot pedal. In case the baby decides to see what’s inside the diaper pail, the childproof lock on the flap comes into play. The side door also has a childproof lock, so you could be sure that your baby won’t be able to get the diaper pail open.
Dekor also allows for the removal of the trapdoor insert, which converts this diaper pail into a trash bin. This could make Dekor Classic a pretty good investment as you would be able to find a use for it even after you are done with diapers.
So what about the intricacies we mentioned earlier? Well, this diaper pail can technically take in regular trash bags, though it isn’t designed for it. In fact, some number of users try to use this diaper pail with standard bags. This could save you a lot of money, but we would discourage you from that. Regular trash bags don’t keep smells in as well as diaper pail refills. And if the odors escape the bag, they could be absorbed by the plastic body of the diaper pail. Though Dekor claims the ABS plastic is odor-proof, numerous users found it to intake smell. This could be because they used regular trash bags, but we can’t tell for sure.
The main reason Ubbi Diaper Pail can work with regular trash bags is that it is made of steel. Even though standard trash bags may be unable to keep the odor in, steel doesn’t absorb odors. This all means that if you use genuine Dekor refills with Dekor Classic, you should avoid the issue with odor absorbing.
- Affordable up-front
- Locks in odor well
- Allows for convenient removal of the refill
- Has childproof safety locks
- Can be converted into a trash can
- The plastic could absorb odor
4. Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail review
Diaper Genie Diaper Pail is highly praised by many parents. You might have even heard about this diaper pail. Unsurprisingly, this diaper pail features a rather effective odor-locking design, which just slightly falls behind that of Munchkin Step Diaper Pair in terms of performance.
So how does this diaper pail work? It has an antechamber with a double trapdoor system that addresses the issue of strong odor when the lid is open, unlike Dekor and Ubbi diaper pails. It makes sure that the contents of the bag never get exposed when you put in another diaper. A very small amount of the odor could escape through when you open the lid: that’s because the antechamber isn’t fully isolated from the contents of the bag at all times. When you open the lid, the odors concentrated under the trapdoor could escape.
However, Playtex Diaper Genie Diaper Pail also has an interesting feature that helps it eliminate the odor that managed to get out of the bag. Its lid is equipped with an activated carbon filter to catch odor as it tries to escape. The carbon basically absorbs the odor thanks to its porousness.
The fact that this diaper pail comes preassembled is a big advantage because it isn’t a very convenient diaper pail in terms of assembly. You could experience some discomfort in the future though when replacing the refills because you have to unroll them down through the dual trapdoor system.
Playtex Diaper Genie Diaper Pail has quite an interesting and, more importantly, convenient bag removal system. Diaper Genie has a large front door that allows you to easily remove the used section of the bag by cutting it via the inbuilt cutter.
Another notable advantage of Diaper Genie Diaper Tail is its height: it is noticeably taller than the rest of the diaper pails we’ve reviewed, which allows it to be used with no bending. Playtex Diaper Genie Diaper Pail is a great product indeed, but it has some downsides. Firstly, though it is affordable, the long-term costs are high because it only works with proprietary refills.
Secondly, this diaper pail is made from ana average-quality plastic, which results in its overall flimsiness. This won’t really be an issue if you do well with delicate items, but it could pose some problems in terms of aesthetics.
And the last con of Diaper Genie is that it takes in fewer diapers than many other pails, despite its height. That’s because about the quarter of the height of this diaper pail is taken by the top antechamber. Unfortunately, Playtex doesn’t specify how many newborn diapers the Diaper Genie takes in exactly, but user reviews tell us that it takes much less than the Diaper Genie expressions, which fits 50 newborn diapers.
- Attractive price
- Has a carbon filter to fight off odors
- Comes pre-assembled
- Exceptionally easy bag removal
- Foot pedal-operated
- Allows for non-bending use
- Somewhat flimsy
- Changing the refills isn’t very easy
- Low capacity
5. Dekor Diaper Plus Diaper Disposal System review
Dekor Diaper Plus Diaper Disposal System is the bigger and more expensive brother of the Dekor Classic we examined a bit earlier. Dekor Plus doesn’t differ too much from Dekor Classic, so we won’t cover the features they share again. However, Dekor Plus has an advantage that could become a crucial factor for some people to consider buying it. The thing is that it is compatible with the reusable Dekor liner, which can be used with cloth diapers.
In fact, the reusable diaper pail liner has been made specifically for the Plus diaper pail, the reason being the size constraints of the smaller pails. Cloth diapers are usually larger than regular diapers, and only the enlarged trapdoor of Dekor Plus can easily take them in. That being said, the reusable liner was also designed with the capacity of the Plus in mind.
Speaking of the capacity, Dekor Plus can accommodate up to 60 newborn diapers, which is the highest capacity among the reviewed diaper pails. It would thus be quite a good choice if you have two kids or simply want to empty the diaper pail less often.
As for the rest of the features, Dekor Plus and Classic are identical. The choice between one or the other will depend on whether you need reusable liner compatibility or not.
- Good odor-trapping performance
- Compatible with the Dekor reusable liner for cloth diapers
- Fits up to 60 newborn diapers
- Has two childproof safety locks
- Can be converted into a trashcan
- Again, same as with the Classic model, the plastic may be prone to absorbing odors
6. Playtex Diaper Genie Expressions Customizable Diaper Pail review
And the last diaper pail on our reviews of the best diaper pails is Playtex Diaper Genie Expressions. This diaper pail is a bit simpler than Diaper Genie Complete, but it is easier to use. Apart from that, it is compatible with brand designer fabric sleeves that allow you to customize the appearance of the diaper pail to suit your nursery well. That isn’t a very crucial feature when it comes to odor trapping, but it will be decisive for those who care about the looks of their diaper pail.
The Expressions diaper pail has an odor-trapping mechanism that is similar to that of the Dekor diaper pails. To put a diaper into the bag, you need to push it through the trapdoor. In terms of performance, this diaper pail is thus quite close to Ubbi Diaper Pail and the Dekor diaper pails.
A solid advantage of the Diaper Genie Expressions over the Diaper Genie Complete is that it is much easier to use when it comes to installing refills. However, it is less convenient when you have to remove the used section of the refill, mainly because you have to pull out the bag from the top of the diaper pail.
Diaper Genie Expressions doesn’t have a foot pedal. Instead, it employs a button right by the lid, which won’t be as convenient for one-hand diaper disposal. The Expressions diaper pail, like the Complete, works only with proprietary refills, which increases the cost of the diaper pail’s operation in the long run. By the way, the capacity of this diaper pail is very nice: it can take in up to 50 newborn diapers.
All in all, Diaper Genie Expressions is a good choice for those who want an easy-to-use diaper pail and who also worry about how it will look in the nursery.
- Good price
- Can be customized with designer fabric sleeves
- Good odor-trapping performance
- Easy to use
- Holds up to 50 newborn diapers
- The designer sleeves are sold separately
- No foot pedal
- You have to push the diapers through the trapdoor
Why Should You Buy a Diaper Pail?
Why not just stick to regular trash bins, you might think? Because diaper pails have a number of solid advantages over them! And that’s expectable as people wouldn’t be willing to spend any money on diaper pails otherwise.
So what are the advantages of diaper pails over standard trash cans? Well, there are two crucial benefits of diaper pails.
Diaper pails keep the odor in
Unlike trash bins, diaper pails (to be precise, most of them) work only with proprietary refills, which are specifically designed to trap in odors. Trash bins can only accept regular trash bags, which aren’t able to hold the bad smells in as well. Apart from that, trash bags typically aren’t equipped with special lids to prevent the escape of odors.
Diaper pails are convenient
Diaper pails are very convenient. They are meant to be installed in your nursery so you don’t have to go to the kitchen to throw away a diaper every time. Even if you did so, you would still have to throw the trash away more frequently because of the odor. As you know, diaper pails are designed to keep the nursery smell-free, allowing you to think about emptying only when the bag is full.
If you don’t have even a minute to spare, a diaper pail would be a great time-saver. And even if you just want to make your life a bit more convenient, a diaper pail is a handy item to have in the nursery.
What To Look For In Diaper Pails
Finding the best diaper pail isn’t an easy task. In fact, many people go through several models before finding the one. This obviously could amount to large sums, so you probably want to avoid that and buy the best diaper pail on your first try.
There are a lot of factors that impact the odor-trapping performance of diaper pails. Unfortunately, not all of them are connected to the diaper pail directly: the diet of your baby, the diapers, whether or not you empty the diaper before disposal, and how well you wrap them play a big role in how effective the diaper pail will be. That’s entirely up to you, but what we can indeed help you with is understanding the features of diaper pails themselves to help you distinguish the best ones.
What you actually need from a diaper pail will strongly impact the set of features you need in your diaper pail. Our needs vary, so a diaper pail may be excellent for one family and horrible for the other. So, there is a number of features of diaper pails you need to consider and evaluate, though you may need one of them more over the other.
The performance of a diaper pail is its most important characteristic. After all, you want to buy a diaper pail for its odor-eliminating capability. Otherwise, you would just stick to a regular trash can. The odor-trapping performance is determined by the lid mechanism of the diaper pail. Some lids are better in keeping the odors in than the others. Apart from that, the materials a diaper pail is made from play a crucial role. Ideally, you want a diaper pail that doesn’t emit any odors when sitting in the nursery.
Another factor that impacts the overall performance of a diaper pail is how well it keeps the odors in the bag during its removal from the diaper pail. While removing the bag and throwing it out mostly lasts only minutes, not everyone will tolerate a strong unpleasant smell when getting rid of the diapers. A perfect example of a diaper pail that keeps odors in both when standing and during emptying is Munchkin Step Diaper Pail.
It is not easy to evaluate the performance of the diaper pail by just reading its specifications. They probably won’t allow you to spot design flaws that strongly impact how well the diaper pail works. The best way to learn about the flaws of a diaper pail is going through its user reviews.
Manufacturers of diaper pails employ many odor-catching systems to make their products work, and it isn’t really possible to describe them all. In general, the more convoluted they are, the better they are at trapping odor in. Conversely, a diaper pail with a single trapdoor isn’t going to keep in all the smells, though it still will work well.
Your tolerance to odor determines what kind of a diaper pail you should look for. If you can’t stand bad smells at all, such diaper pails as Munchkin Step Diaper Pail and Playtex Diaper Genie Complete would be just right. Otherwise, any of the other diaper pails we reviewed are good.
Bear in mind though that there are no diaper pails that can trap in 100% of the odor. Some amount will still be able to get out.
Many people are concerned about the costs of owning a diaper pail. And we do not mean merely the costs of buying a diaper pail. Most diaper pails are only compatible with proprietary bags, which are quite costly when compared with regular trash bags.
Unfortunately, good cost-efficiency doesn’t positively correlate with good performance. In the context of diaper pails, cost-efficiency means using trash bags instead of genuine refills. Trash bags aren’t capable of keeping odors in as well as proprietary refills, so a cost-efficient diaper pail that can use trash bags doesn’t always keep the odors in during the removal of the bag.
You can’t really get a cost-efficient diaper pail that also never lets any odor out. You could find something in the middle, however, like Dekor diaper pails or Diaper Genie Expressions.
Ease of use
A diaper pail that is easy to use is a great thing. Generally, the simpler the diaper pail, the easier it is to use. However, an exceptionally good diaper pail in terms of features and quality isn’t always a convenient diaper pail.
Take Munchkin Step Diaper Pail as an example – it is an outstanding yet a bit inconvenient diaper pail. Changing the refills and driving them through the twist mechanism isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Pushing the diaper through the opening isn’t either. In fact, the need to squeeze the diaper into the bag might be a huge reason for some to not buy the Step Diaper Pail.
Overall, we think that performance is much more important than convenience. After all, what would you like to have, a convenient diaper pail that doesn’t keep odors in very well, or a not so convenient pail that never lets any odors out?
But if you want as much convenience as possible, look for the following features:
- Foot pedal – Most diaper pails are operated via a foot pedal, which allows you to avoid bending to reach the lid. A foot pedal would be very nice if you want to be able to dispose of diapers hands-free or if you don’t want to bend that much.
- Inbuilt cutters – Those allow you to quit worrying about looking for something sharp to cut the bag with. This feature is only useful if the diaper pail supports ring refills, which they mostly do. For example, you shouldn’t look for an inbuilt cutter in such a product as Ubbi Diaper Pail since it doesn’t support ring refills.
- Access to the bag – Some diaper pails allow access through their top, while others have side doors for you to pull the bag out of the diaper pail. The bags can get quite heavy due to the numerous diapers in it, so if you don’t want to be pulling heavy bags out of the diaper pail, get one with a side door. Otherwise, if you want to avoid bending, find a diaper pail with a top access to the bag.
Capacity and Size
Generally, you would want larger capacity in a diaper pail. A more capacious diaper pail will allow you to empty it less frequently. If you dispose of a lot of diapers in a day, get a more capacious diaper pail so you won’t have to empty it twice a day.
Manufacturers typically indicate their diaper pail’s capacity with the number of newborn diapers they can fit. Obviously, they will fit far less large-size diapers, so the product descriptions aren’t always that useful. Instead of fully relying on them, use them as a reference to compare different diaper pails.
The size of the diaper pail can be rather important, but not for everyone. The bigger the size, the more diapers a pail can take in before it is required to empty it. On the other hand, you might not have enough space for a wide diaper pail. And on the other hand, if you have issues with mobility, a short diaper pail wouldn’t be a very good choice for you.
The appearance will in no way impact the performance of the diaper pail, but it is rather important for some people. Not everyone wants to have an ugly diaper pail in their nursery. Apart from that, you might want to get a diaper pail that complements the room. However, you shouldn’t buy a diaper pail for the sake of its looks: cost-efficiency and performance are much more important than aesthetics
Read user reviews!
Numbers won’t always tell you everything about how a diaper pail will perform. There are so many factors impacting the effectiveness of diaper pails that anticipating all of them and taking measures isn’t always possible. You thereby need to learn about the product as much as possible before you make the decision to buy it.
One of the best ways to get an idea of how a diaper pail performs is reading user reviews. They can provide you with an objective point of view on any diaper pail. Make sure to read as many reviews as possible, and pay special attention to the content and amount of negative reviews. They contain invaluable bits of information that could determine your final choice, so why not take advantage of that?
Q: Do diaper pails work with adult disposable diapers?
A: If the diaper pail’s trapdoor is large enough to let an adult diaper pail through, it will work with it. If that’s what you want, look for a larger diaper pail.
Q: Can you use diaper pails for cat/dog litter?
A: Yes, they can be perfectly used for disposing of pet litter.
Q: Is it possible to use regular trash bags with diaper pails that don’t support them?
A: You could find a way to do that, but we wouldn’t recommend you to try it. Ubbi Diaper Pail can work with standard bags well because it is made from steel, which doesn’t absorb the odor that could escape from the trash bag.
Most diaper pails that are only compatible with proprietary diaper pails are made from plastic, which does absorb smells. If you don’t use odor-proof proprietary refills, you could end up with a permanently stinky diaper pail.
Q: Do diaper pails work with cloth diapers?
A: They do not unless there are reusable refills available for them like it is with Dekor Plus Diaper Pail. Regular refills are disposable, so you can’t use them with cloth diapers.
Picking the best diaper pail isn’t the easiest thing in the world. In fact, there are probably no diaper pails out there that could 100% satisfy anyone. One diaper pail could work for someone but not for you. Apart from that, many factors like the diet of the baby, whether or not you empty the diaper, and how well you wrap the diaper up before putting it into the diaper pail impact the product’s performance.
The solution? Firstly, determine your needs so you know what kind of a diaper pail you want. Secondly, do as much research as possible to understand what diaper pails are and what kind of hidden features and flaws they might have. Then, apply your knowledge, and you will surely find the best diaper pail!
How do you choose the best diaper pail?
The “best” isn’t the same for everyone. While some people may like Ubbi Diaper Pail for its striking advantage in long-run costs, others might not wish to tolerate any odors and stick to Munchkin Step Diaper Pail instead, even though it is much costlier to operate.
The point is that your final choice should be based on your requirements. The best diaper pail should have the perfect balance between performance, convenience, and cost-efficiency for your specific situation. But again, the ideal combination of features depends on your requirements, so try to carefully understand what you need before spending money.
Our top pick
We reviewed 6 great diaper pails, but we have to pick our favorite nonetheless. And that is Munchkin Step Diaper Pail! Why did we choose that diaper pail exactly? Well, it delivers the best odor-trapping performance thanks to its sophisticated odor locking system that exposes the insides of the bag as little as possible when you throw in another used diaper. And it also keeps the smell in when you empty it!
You may wonder why didn’t we choice Ubbi Diaper Pail as our top pick. It is a much better choice in terms of long-run bag maintenance costs! We didn’t select it as the top diaper pail because it isn’t as effective as the Step Diaper Pail. While Munchkin’s product is costlier long-term, it does what a diaper pail should do perfectly.