The 6 Best Diaper Pails of 2022

The Playtex Diaper Genie keeps unwanted smells at bay

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Best Diaper Pails

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

It’s no secret nobody enjoys smelling a stinky diaper, so many families invest in a diaper pail to keep odors away. A diaper pail is like a uniquely designed trash can made to seal off odors. While they aren’t an absolute necessity, they’re going to keep the odor of smelly diapers away more than your standard trash can.

Reviewed & Approved

The Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Pail arrives assembled in the box with a 7-layer bag already installed, and can hold up to 270 used diapers. If you want to splurge, we suggest the Ubbi Diaper Pail.

Look for multiple seals to help trap diaper stink but remember replacement bags will be an ongoing cost. Take into consideration how many diapers your diaper pail can hold as well, and if it opens with a foot pedal or other hands-free method for easy use. We considered design, value, additional costs, and odor control when reviewing products.

Here are the best diaper pails to help keep unwanted odors away.

In This Article

Best Overall: Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Pail

5
Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Pail

Courtesy of Amazon

The Playtex Diaper Genie Complete is our top pick because of its large capacity bag and easy to use opening method. Arriving assembled in the box with a 7-layer bag already installed, this diaper pail can hold up to 270 used diapers, making it perfect for use by families with twins or more than one child in diapers.

Designed to be hands-free—the top opens by pressing a foot pedal—the Diaper Genie also comes with a carbon filter in the lid to control bad odors. The bags can be removed via a front tilt bin—the only downside is that they must be replaced with a Diaper Genie branded bag rather than a regular garbage bag. The ease of the design and the effectiveness of the odor control helped the Diaper Genie to win the 2018 Women’s Choice Award as America’s Most Recommended Diaper Pail.

Best Budget: Dekor Classic Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Dekor Classic Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Courtesy of Amazon

Like the Diaper Genie, the Dekor Classic Diaper Pail is hands-free, allowing users to open the top via a foot pedal. Horrible smells are kept under control with the spring-loaded OdorKeeper trap door, which keeps diapers sealed in tight, as well as the powder-scented Dekor Classic refill bags, which controls odors when the bin is open.

Each refill bag lasts through multiple loads of diapers. In order to change it, users cut the top of a full bag with a child-safe cutter mounted on the front-loading service door, and tie a knot on the end of the remaining bag. Many Dekor Classic fans keep their bins long after they stop changing diapers, and repurpose them to dispose of animal or garden waste. It’s no wonder that the Dekor Classic is Amazon’s #1 bestseller in diaper pails.

Best Splurge: Ubbi Diaper Pail

ubbi-diaper-pail

Courtesy of Amazon 

Although significantly more expensive than its competitors, the Ubbi Diaper Pail can be used with regular garbage bags or cloth diaper bags, saving money—and time—on having to constantly buy specific refills. The Ubbi Diaper Pail’s steel body traps odors much more effectively than plastic—odor control is maintained with rubber seals around the rim, as well as a sliding opening that minimizes air disruption.

The diaper pail’s oval shape also allows it to slide neatly into smaller spaces—although beware that the bin holds 50 diapers, far fewer than some of its competitors. As a result of its innovative design, as well as effective odor control, the Ubbi Diaper Pail has also won multiple awards.

Best Odor Control: Arm & Hammer Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered

Arm & Hammer Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered

Courtesy of Amazon

Like many of its competitors, the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail is hands-free and allows access to the lid via a foot pedal. What sets it apart is a patented self-sealing system that twists the bag completely shut each time you close the lid for complete odor elimination in the atmosphere.

Other features include a childproof locking system and an opening that is compatible with both diaper pail rings and "snap, seal, and toss" bags. Plus, each Munchkin Step Diaper Pail comes with an Arm & Hammer Puck Baking Soda Cartridge and a snap, seal, and toss refill bag, both scented with lavender.

Best for Cloth Diapers: Busch Systems Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail

Busch Systems Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail

Amazon

Made from recyclable plastic, the Busch Systems Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail is a seven-gallon container specifically designed for cloth diaper users. It has a wide opening secured by a durable lid that has two handles, making it easy to carry to a washing station. The bin can be used with cloth diaper bags, or without them—users say that the Busch Systems Cloth Diaper Pail contains roughly two days worth of diapers before it needs to be emptied. Odors are kept under control by a carbon filter in the lid. Above all, the diaper pail gets extra points for being eco-friendly.

Best for Single Diapers: One N Done The Diaper

One N Done The Diaper

Courtesy of Amazon

Some families, especially those with multiple children, eschew the diaper pail entirely and throw their diapers directly in the trash. This works if you take your trash out daily—the smell of a soiled diaper will not linger in the house as long as it is removed promptly. For extra odor control for single diapers, there is the Diaper One N Done, a product that is essentially a bucket resting on a roll of refillable plastic bags, which are pulled through a hole in the bottom.

The supporting frame can be secured to the side of a changing table, or stand alone on a tabletop. Either way, the method of disposal is easy. A diaper is thrown in the bag, the bag is sealed with a knot, and a new bag can be pulled from the bottom over the lid of the bucket. It’s also great for space-saving in a small room shared by more than one child.

What to Look for in a Diaper Pail

Capacity

Take into consideration how many diapers your diaper pail can hold before it's time to empty the load. The more diapers that can fit inside, the less often you will have to take the time to dump the pail and add a new liner. And while that might sound like a simple task, anything that gives you even a little bit more time can make a big difference while you are taking care of a baby.

Hands-Free Operation

Bending over to open a diaper pail can start to hurt your back fast, especially if you are also carrying your little one frequently. In the interest of your own comfort, search for a diaper pail that opens with a foot pedal or other hands-free method. This type of pail may also be more hygienic, though you will still want to wash your hands after every diaper change.

Odor Control

This is probably the most important feature in a diaper pail. The more diapers your pail holds, the more odor control matters. Look for multiple seals to help trap diaper stink. Some pails also use deodorizing bags or other deodorizing features.

Maintenance Costs

A diaper pail comes with a price tag, but remember to consider ongoing costs too. For example, replacement bags can really add up. Look for a pail that allows you to refill the same bag multiple times, or a pail that doesn't fill up as fast.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you clean and sanitize a diaper pail?

    You can clean and sanitize a diaper pail using a few different methods. First, rinse the pail thoroughly. Sprinkle baking soda inside and then wash your pail with dish soap before rinsing and drying completely. You can also wash the pail with bleach and powered laundry detergent. Avoid mixing cleaning chemicals because it can be extremely dangerous.

  • How long do diaper pails last?

    How long diaper pails last depends on the quality of their design and whether they are cleaned and aired out regularly. It also depends on whether your pail gets regular airflow. So, even though a sealed chamber may be good for odor control, it can create dampness inside, which means mold can grow.

  • How often should you empty a diaper pail?

    Follow the manufacturer's directions on how often to empty a diaper pail. Some pails need to be changed daily while others may last a lot longer than that. But you should also empty it if it starts to smell.

  • Where is the best place to keep a diaper pail?

    Keep your diaper pail close to where you most often change your baby's diaper. This might be their changing table, but it might turn out to be on your living room floor. Another option is to keep your pail outside or far away from areas of your home where you spend the most time. This is a good choice is the smell is a problem.

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  1. National Fire Protection Association. D.I.Y. - The dangers of mixing household chemicals.