The 8 Best Diaper Pails of 2023

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8 Best Diaper Pails of 2022

Amazon

A diaper pail is a uniquely designed trash can that is made to seal off odors. While not an absolute necessity, it is a lot more efficient at keeping the odor of smelly diapers away than your standard garbage can. If odor control is a priority for you, consider purchasing or adding one of these diaper pails to a baby registry recommended by parents and caregivers.

Reviewed & Approved

The Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Pail arrives assembled in the box with a pre-installed seven-layer bag that can hold up to 270 used diapers. If you want top-notch odor prevention, the Munchkin UV Diaper Pail uses UV lights to disinfect and eliminate bacteria.

When choosing the right diaper pail for your nursery, look for multiple seals to help trap diaper stink. Take into consideration how many diapers your pail can hold and whether 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.

Best Overall

Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Pail

5
Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Pail

Amazon

Pros
  • Large capacity

  • Pedal for easy hands-free access

  • Carbon filter

Cons
  • Must use Diaper Genie branded bags

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 seven-layer bag already installed, this diaper pail can hold up to 270 dirty diapers, making it perfect for use by families with twins or more than one child in diapers.

The Diaper Genie is designed to be hands-free—the top opens by pressing a foot pedal—and 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.

Price at time of publication: $48

Dimensions: 12.06 x 9.38 x 27 inches | Capacity: 6 gallons, or 270 diapers | Material: Plastic | Opening Mechanism: Step-on

Best Budget

Dekor Classic Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Dekor Classic Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Amazon

Pros
  • Hands-free opening

  • Child-safe bag cutter on door

  • Powder-scented refill bags

Cons
  • Only Dekor brand refills can be used

Like the Diaper Genie, the Dekor Classic Diaper Pail is hands-free, allowing users to open the top via a foot pedal. Bad smells are kept under control with the spring-loaded OdorKeeper trap door, which seals diapers in tightly, as well as the powder-scented Dekor Classic refill bags, which control 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.

Price at time of publication: $35

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 21 inches | Capacity: 45 diapers | Material: Plastic | Opening Mechanism: Step-on

Best Splurge

Ubbi Diaper Pail

Ubbi Diaper Pail

Amazon

Pros
  • Slim oval shape

  • Steel body

  • Can be used with regular garbage bags

Cons
  • No foot pedal opening mechanism

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—but 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.

Price at time of publication: $90

Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.4 x 11.4 inches | Capacity: 55 newborn diapers, or about 20 larger-sized diapers | Material: Steel | Opening Mechanism: Sliding door

Best Odor Control

Arm & Hammer Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered

Arm & Hammer Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered

Amazon

Pros
  • Self-sealing system

  • Baking soda cartridge

  • Childproof locking system

Cons
  • Lid is noisy/difficult to close

  • Can only be used with Munchkin refill products (ring and bags)

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 total 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.

Price at time of publication: $68

Dimensions: 12.44 x 27.5 x 11.5 inches | Capacity: 180 (newborn diapers when used with refill bags) | Material: Plastic | Opening Mechanism: Step-on

Best Space-Saving

Skip Hop Nursery Style Diaper Pail

Skip Hop Nursery Style Diaper Pail

Amazon

Pros
  • Slim design

  • Built-in storage compartment

  • Fits standard trash bags

Cons
  • Diapers don’t drop every time

For a diaper pail that doesn’t take up too much space, parents and caregivers will appreciate the slim design of the Skip Hop Nursery Style Diaper Pail. It features a childproof lock to keep tiny hands out and a unique, built-in storage compartment to hold diaper-changing essentials. The storage compartment is also interchangeable with the Skip Hop Nursery Style Wipes Dispenser (sold separately) for easy access to wipes. 

Thanks to a dual airlock system and steel disposal bin, the diaper pail easily traps odors. While the Skip Hop diaper pail fits standard kitchen trash bags, the actual fit of each bag may be different. The company recommends smoothing all wrinkles around the top edge of the bag before closing the lid, to ensure a proper seal.

Price at time of publication: $70

Dimensions: 14 x 8.7 x 28 inches | Capacity: 30 diapers | Material: Steel | Opening Mechanism: Release button (one hand required)

Best With UV

Munchkin UV Diaper Pail

Munchkin UV Diaper Pail

Amazon

Pros
  • Four UV lights

  • Self-sealing system

  • Childproof door

Cons
  • Must be plugged in

  • Lid difficult to close when pail is full

Say goodbye to germs on the spot with the special ultraviolet (UV) lights built into the Munchkin UV Diaper Pail. The four UV lights disinfect and eliminate bacteria inside the diaper pail and along the rim each time you close the lid. A self-sealing system keeps the bag sealed when the lid opens and closes to keep odors trapped inside. 

The diaper pail requires Munchkin refill bags (UV Snap, Seal & Toss bags are recommended, but also compatible with refill rings and Nursery Fresh refills) instead of standard trash bags, but they hold up to 272 newborn diapers. Bonus: The company plants a tree for each UV diaper pail sold.

Price at time of publication: $130

Dimensions: 12.75 x 27.25 inches | Capacity: 272 (newborn diapers) | Material: Plastic | Opening Mechanism: Step-on

Best for Cloth Diapers

Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Amazon

Pros
  • Cloth diaper liner is machine washable

  • Odor-trap door

  • Foot pedal opening mechanism

Cons
  • Liner is sold separately

  • Liner features drawstring opening (rather than zipper)

No, you’re not seeing double! The Dekor Plus is the larger version of the company’s classic diaper pail (our Best Budget pick above). It’s the only Dekor diaper pail compatible with the company’s waterproof cloth diaper liner (sold separately). The machine washable liner comes in a pack of two, so you have backup when one is in the wash. 

The Dekor Plus features the same quiet self-closing lid, dual rubber seals, and odor-trap door as the classic version. There’s also a hidden childproof lock to keep curious kiddos out and a foot pedal for hands-free diaper disposal.

Price at time of publication: $50

Dimensions: 9.63 x 14 x 21.5 inches | Capacity: Not listed | Material: Plastic | Opening Mechanism: Step-on

Best With Standard Bags

Creative Baby Tidy Diaper Pail

Creative Baby Tidy Diaper Pail

Amazon

Pros
  • No special refill bags required

  • Wipes clean

  • Unique opening mechanism

Cons
  • Loose wipes may jam rotating lid

Instead of purchasing separate refill bags, the Creative Baby Tidy Diaper Pail is compatible with standard trash bags. You only need one hand to operate the unique rotating lid design. Simply toss a diaper into the lid’s opening, and pull the handle to shoot the diaper into the bottom. Once you rotate the lid fully, odors stay trapped inside without leaking into your baby’s nursery.

Price at time of publication: $50

Dimensions: 16 x 15 x 11 inches | Capacity: Not listed | Material: Plastic | Opening Mechanism: Rotating lid (one hand required)

How We Selected the Best Diaper Pails

We chose the best diaper pails by studying the design and features of more than a dozen diaper pails on the market. We also researched reviews from customers and competitors while monitoring shopping trends to bring you the best and most up-to-date offerings on diaper pails. When reviewing products, we considered dimensions, size, ease of use, capacity, material, features, odor control, and value. 

We also reviewed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the proper disposal of dirty diapers. We chose diaper pails that are easy for parents and caregivers to use while trapping odors effectively.

What to Look for in a Diaper Pail

Capacity

Consider how many diapers your 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. While that might sound like a simple task, anything that gives you even a little bit more time can make a big difference while taking care of a baby. As your little one grows, the size of their diapers will, too (taking up more space inside the diaper pail).

Hands-Free Operation

Bending over to open a diaper pail can be inconvenient and unhygienic, and even hurt your back, especially if you're also carrying your little one. Diaper pails that open with a foot pedal or another hands-free method, such as the Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Pail, are the easiest and most convenient. This type of pail may also be more hygienic, though you will still need to wash your hands after every diaper change.

A diaper pail with a different opening mechanism doesn’t mean that you must sacrifice comfort to throw away diapers. For example, the Ubbi Diaper Pail features a sliding door for its opening mechanism, but thanks to its height, you can still throw away diapers at a comfortable distance.

Odor Control

This is one of the most important features to look for in a diaper pail. The more diapers your pail holds, the more odor control matters. Look for multiple seals to help trap diaper smells. Some pails also use deodorizing bags or other features, such as the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer and the Munchkin UV Diaper Pail, which uses UV lights to kill germs and bacteria.

Maintenance Costs

A diaper pail comes with a price tag, but remember to consider ongoing costs, too. For example, replacement bags can add up, especially for diaper pails that don’t accommodate standard trash bags. Look for a diaper pail that refills the same bag multiple times or uses regular kitchen trash bags to lower your overall costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it worth getting a diaper pail?

    Diaper pails are fancy trash cans to hold dirty diapers rather than your standard trash. Unlike regular trash cans, most diaper pails feature special sealing systems to trap odors and keep unwanted smells away with additional odor control features. Whether they’re worth it for your family will depend on your preference and your family’s budget. For example, some diaper pails require special refill bags rather than standard trash bags, which can increase your monthly costs. They’re also going to take up space, so you’ll want to consider the design and where the diaper pail will be placed.

  • 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. That 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 if the smell is a problem.

  • What can I expect to pay for a diaper pail?

    The upfront cost of a diaper pail ranges from $30 to $150. Our most affordable pick is the Dekor Classic Diaper Pail, which costs $35. The higher end of the price range will get you additional features and odor-control capabilities, such as the Munchkin UV Diaper Pail, with a price tag of $130. While this is a one-time purchase, consider whether the diaper pail requires special trash bags, as that will be an additional cost each month.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Katrina Cossey is a commerce writer for Verywell Family with nearly eight years of experience under her belt. Katrina’s background in journalism began at an Emmy Award-winning news station in Oklahoma before she obtained her B.A. in professional media. Her love for service journalism, helping others, and becoming a parent led to her commerce writing role, which allows her to research and recommend the best products for families, pregnant women, and kids of all ages. She used the Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Pail when her son was born, and loved it. However, the main downside was the cost of buying refill bags instead of using standard trash bags.

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. UV light can aid hospitals’ fight to wipe out drug-resistant superbugs. ScienceDaily.

  2. CDC. Diaper changing steps at home. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.