Best Diaper Pail

Best Diaper Pail to Seal the Stink

Dirty diapers don't smell terrible at first, but the scent becomes stronger as they grow. Here is our pick for the best diaper pail to contain the stink.

Baby’s Journey independently conducts research to find products that help families navigate life’s journey.
We may earn a commission from purchases through links on this page.

Whether it’s your first baby or your fourth, you never forget the smell of a freshly removed diaper. Using a diaper pail to contain odors is the best way to avoid foul smells polluting your home.

Fortunately, there are plenty of purpose-built diaper pails that can keep odors at bay. This can help you separate diapers from your regular trash.

We’ve compiled a list of the best diaper pail products on the market. Our guide will help you choose the perfect diaper pail for your family.

Too busy loving your little one? Here’s our top pick.

The best diaper pail out of those we reviewed is the Playtext Diaper Genie Complete. My family purchased the Diaper Genie after our first son was born and it was used extensively for every dirty diaper.

We’ve had our second child and it has been either sitting next to our changing table or near the regular garbage almost from his first day home. This diaper bail is easy to use, provides great odor control, and is great for long term use over multiple babies.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Diaper Pail: Playtex Diaper Genie

Best Diaper Pail for Small Spaces: Dekor Mini Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Best Budget Diaper Pail: Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail

Best Steel Diaper Pail: Ubbi Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail

Best Diaper Pail for All Bag Types: Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer

Reviews of the Best Diaper Pails

Best Overall Diaper Pail: Playtex Diaper Genie

Best Pail for Diapers

If you’re looking for a diaper pail that has it all, the Playtex Diaper Genie is our top choice. This premium diaper pail provides a range of convenient features and tools that will help you manage your baby’s diapers. Its large bags can handle up to 270 diapers at once.

This diaper pail requires the use of 7-layer Playtex Genie bags. These bags provide added layers of protection from leaks and odors. At the top of the pail is a carbon filter that offers additional odor prevention.

When you close the lid of the diaper pail, a clamp closes the bag to prevent any odors from escaping. This clamp, combined with the 7-layer bags, makes us confident that you won’t need to worry about unpleasant smells.

One of our favorite features in this diaper pail is the antimicrobial benefits that prevent the growth of bacteria. This can reduce harmful growths from occurring in your home – and it will also help prevent additional odors from spreading.

Lastly, the Playtex Diaper Genie also includes a foot pedal that opens the disposal unit. This means that you won’t need to bend over when you’re throwing away your baby’s diapers.

WHAT WE LOVE

  • Uses 7-layer bags that prevent the escape of smells
  • High-quality clasp that blocks odors from escaping
  • Pail has a carbon filter to contain smells
  • Built-in odor-controlling antimicrobial in the pail to stop bacteria growth
  • Can hold up to 270 diapers at a time

WHAT COULD BE BETTER

  • More expensive than other options on our list
  • Need to use Playtex Genie bags
  • No motion sensor available in the pail

Best Diaper Pail for Small Spaces: Dekor Mini Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Foot Activated Diaper Trash Can

If you’re searching for a small diaper pail that can fit in the corner of any room, the Dekor Mini Hands-free Diaper Pail is our top choice. These mini-sized diaper pails have all the features of a premium product packed into a much smaller unit. While the size of this diaper pail is much smaller than other options on our list, the opening foot pedal at the base of the pails means you don’t need to lean down to throw away diapers.

This diaper pail uses scented bags and will automatically close the lid quietly to prevent smells from escaping. The company uses a special closed-cell ABS plastic that doesn’t retain smells. This means you can convert it into a regular trash can once your baby matures.

While we believe this is the best compact diaper pail on the market, there is one noticeable downside. It can only hold up to 25 diapers before you need to change the trash bag. If you want a diaper pail that can handle hundreds of diapers, this option isn’t suitable.

WHAT WE LOVE

  • Compact design means it can fit in almost any space
  • Comes with a hands-free foot pedal that opens the pail
  • Scented bags help prevent smells from escaping
  • Has an internal lid that opens and shuts – offering extra protection from odors.
  • Extremely easy to switch bags quickly

WHAT COULD BE BETTER

  • Can only handle up to 25 diapers at a time
  • Have to purchase refill bags from the manufacturer
  • No motion sensor included in the product

Best Budget Diaper Pail: Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail

Plastic Diaper Bin

If you’re searching for a reliable diaper pail that won’t break the bank, the Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail is our top budget choice. While this product doesn’t have the same premium features found in other diaper pails on our list, it still conceals diaper odors much better than a traditional trashcan.

The compact design of the Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail can fit in almost any space. You can use any regular trash bags, which we find convenient for parents that don’t want to source brand-specific pail bags.

The top of the pail has a deodorizer that helps mask the smell of diaper odor. Owners can change the deodorizer discs to ensure that the odors remain masked.

This is also the best cloth diaper pail since you can use either a wet or dry bag of just about any variety. The size gives you the option to use it either way and does a great job at containing the smell that gets absorbed into the cloth diaper.

The main downside is the lack of hands-free opening options. You have to use one hand to open the lid on the pail – there’s no foot pedal or motion sensor.

WHAT WE LOVE

  • Comes at an extremely affordable price
  • Great pail for cloth diapers due to the size and trash bag choices
  • Can open the lid on the diaper pail with one hand
  • Pail comes with a deodorizer that helps shield odors
  • Able to use any type of plastic trash bag
  • Can fit in small spaces due to its smaller size

WHAT COULD BE BETTER

  • No hands-free motion sensor or pedal
  • Not as many odor control options included in the pail
  • Have to lean down to put dirty diapers in the pail

Best Steel Diaper Pail: Ubbi Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail

Slide Lid Diaper Pail

If you’re searching for a steel diaper pail that won’t retain odors, our top choice is the Ubbi Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail. This unique steel design not only provides a beneficial aesthetic and can hold up to long term use, but it’s also less likely to retain diaper odors than a plastic diaper pail. The Ubbi diaper pails can hold up to 55 dirty diapers at a single time.

This pail uses a sliding door – which provides an easy mechanism for opening and sealing the pail. There are also rubber seals installed around the lid to prevent odors from escaping. This diaper pail can use any regular trash bags – you don’t need brand-specific diaper bags.

The primary downside of the Ubbi Diaper Pail is that it doesn’t have a motion sensor or foot pedal for hands-free access. If you don’t want to touch your diaper pail when you open the lid, this isn’t a suitable option.

WHAT WE LOVE

  • Made of high-quality steel which prevents scents from seeping into the pail
  • Steel design will hold up well to long term use over many years
  • Comes in 13 different colors and patterns to match any home decor
  • Less likely to leak when you close the lid and is great for odor control
  • Easy to use sliding door that allows you to toss the diaper one-handed
  • Has a child lock to prevent them from playing with it
  • Able to use regular trash bags instead of a proprietary refill bag

WHAT COULD BE BETTER

  • No motion sensor, foot pedal, or hands-free opening mechanism
  • Doesn’t hold as many diapers as some premium options
  • More expensive than other products on our list

Best Diaper Pail for All Bag Types: Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer

Munchkin Diaper Pail

If you’re searching for a diaper pail that uses any bag type on the market, the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer is our top choice. While you can also use regular trash bags for this diaper pail, the Arm & Hammer Snap, Seal, and Toss bags make it easy to throw away your baby’s diapers. These bags are great for odor control and locking in the unpleasant scents.

The Munchkin Step Diaper Pail has a patented self-sealing mechanism that ensures odors won’t escape from the pail. We also enjoy how the pail includes a lavender-scented baking soda puck that helps mask unwanted smells.

While we believe the Munchkin Step does an excellent job of masking dirty diaper smells, it doesn’t have a hands-free opening option. This means you’ll have to touch the pail when you throw away your baby’s diapers.

WHAT WE LOVE

  • Has an easy to use and self-sealing trap door mechanism for odor control
  • Bags included with the product allow you to easily throw away diapers
  • Lavender-scented baking soda puck comes with the pail and helps to mask soiled diapers
  • Compatible with multiple types of refill bags for dirty diapers
  • Sleek design that can complement any type of nursery

WHAT COULD BE BETTER

  • No hand-free option included with the pail
  • More expensive than other options on our list
  • Works best with its own refill bags

Best Diaper Pail Buyer’s Guide

If you’re considering buying a new diaper pail for your baby’s diapers, it’s essential to choose the best product for your needs and budget.

We’ve compiled a short buying guide that will assess a few key factors to consider when buying a diaper pail for your family. We also go over some of the benefits of using a diaper pail to dispose of your baby’s dirty diaper.

Do you need a diaper pail?

A diaper pail isn’t absolutely necessary if you’re short on space. However, a diaper pail can mean a world of difference when it comes to odor control and preventing unpleasant smells from dirty diapers spreading throughout the house.

Dirty diapers in the early months for babies generally don’t smell terrible, but the stink will rapidly get worse as you begin to introduce a wider variety of solid foods. A diaper pail is designed with a tight seal to keep those bad smells sealed in the pails.

What are the main types of diaper pails?

Plastic: This is what the classic diaper pail was made of when they first hit the market. Plastic is still the most common since it’s cheap and durable enough to handle either cloth or disposable diapers.

Steel: Pails made of steel are built to last and don’t retain the smell like many plastic varieties will. These are often larger and can accept most standard garbage bags.

Separating Dirty Diapers from Regular Trash

The primary benefits of diaper pails come down to odor and bacteria growth. When you throw your dirty diaper away with the regular trash, it will cause foul smells to leak into your home or kitchen. By using well-designed baby pails, you can seal these odors in a designated space that won’t impact other areas of your home.

Additionally, many of the top diaper pails can prevent bacteria growth and other issues that can create harmful conditions for you and your family.

Do you need a special diaper pail if you’re using cloth diapers?

The quick answer is that it depends. When it comes to cloth diapers, you’ll need to get the diapers out of the pail liner rather than just throwing the bag in the garbage. So you may want one with a wider lid and opening for dumping or retrieving the cloth diapers.

When it comes to the pail, the big thing is to find a pail that allows you to either use it as a wet pail or dry pail. A dry pail is one where you’ll put the cloth diapers in a reusable waterproof liner so they can be washed later.

With either style diaper pail, it’s critical that you dump or rinse the poop out of the dirty cloth diapers beforehand so you don’t toss it in the washing machine.

Features to Look for in a Diaper Pail

While there’s a wide selection of pails to choose from, consider the following factors to help you determine which is right for you:

Focus on Smell: When you’re buying a diaper pail, we believe it’s essential to focus on smell prevention tools. Unlike regular trash cans, which slightly conceal odors, the best diaper pails on the market provide complete concealment of bad smells.

Keep an eye on the type of odor reduction techniques your diaper pails use. For example, many diaper pails use clamps and other sealing techniques that prevent the odor from escaping the pail. Many allow you to use baking soda or other scented odor reducers to mask the dirty diaper smell.

Easy Cleaning is Essential: While most of the best diaper pails on the market have secure trash bags to hold used diapers, mistakes can still happen. We believe it’s best to find diaper pails that are easy to rinse out and clean.

By periodically washing out your diaper pail, you can rest assured that it will remain a clean and odor-free place to dispose of your diapers.

Easy to Use & Hands-Free Access: While many people focus on eliminating smells when they buy diaper pails for their nursery, few prioritize diaper pail access. If you want to open the lid on your diaper pail without bending down, it’s a good idea to purchase a product with a foot pedal or motion sensor.

Not only does this make it easier to throw away diapers when you’re in a hurry, but it also means you won’t have to touch any unsanitary surfaces when you’re using your diaper pail.

If you get one that doesn’t have a foot pedal, make sure the lid is designed so that you can open it one-handed. Remember, you’ll be carrying a dirty diaper in the other hand.

Bag Compatibility: If your diaper pail uses regular trash bags to store used diapers, it’s essential to consider bag compatibility. Some diaper pails will only be compatible with a specific type or brand of bag, so it may not work with regular trash bags.

So, is it bad to purchase a diaper pail that is only compatible with one type of bag? Not necessarily. If the bag offers good odor concealment and other features, it can be a benefit, but it’s also essential to consider the price and availability of the trash bags.

Size & Diaper Capacity: If the diaper pail is able to hold more diapers and effectively conceal the smell, you will need to make fewer trips to the trash can. With more than one child in diapers, you’ll want one that has even bigger capacity since you’ll have twice the diapers. Convenience is king when you’re searching for the best diaper pail for your family.

Also, when it comes to size, you may want to consider how much room you have available next to the changing table or anywhere you plan to place to the diaper pail. You may not have a lot of space next to the regular trash can, by the changing pad, or in the nursery.

Extra Features: While we believe that eliminating smells and keeping diapers secure is the primary function of a diaper pail, there are other premium features included in many of the top products in the industry.

For example, some diaper pails have antimicrobials that can prevent the growth of bacteria in your diaper pail. This will stop harmful growths from occurring from within your home – and it will also prevent bacteria from creating unpleasant smells in your nursery or diaper changing room.

Brand and Warranty Matter: Lastly, it’s essential to consider the brand and warranty of your diaper pail. We recommend buying diaper pails from brands that have a good reputation with consumers. While it can be tempting to buy cheap diaper pails from lesser-known companies, this can often lead to disappointing results.

It’s also a good idea to search for a product that offers a warranty or product guarantee. If you want to ensure your investment lasts for its entire usage period, a warranty will allow you to replace your diaper pail if there are any manufacturing issues with the product. Make sure to double-check any warranty terms and conditions before you purchase a diaper pail – you need to be aware of any exclusions.

Keeping these factors in mind, you can choose a suitable unit from our list of top-rated diaper pails.

Conclusion

While we like all the diaper pail products on our list for different reasons, there’s no doubt that the Playtex Diaper Genie Complete is our top choice for its ease of use and functionality. The hands-free operation, odor minimizing trap door lid, 7-layer bags, and sleek design make it a clear favorite in our books.

Still, there are other excellent options to choose from if the Playtex Diaper Genie doesn’t have what you’re looking for. For example, if a steel design is a must-have feature for your diaper pail, the Ubbi Diaper Pail is our favorite option. It won’t absorb the smell like a plastic diaper pail would and you don’t need to use special bags.

Explore the various choices on our top five list and choose the diaper pail that fits your needs and budget!

Related Articles

Share this post

Send this to a friend