The Ultimate Guide To Buying The Best Diaper Pail In 2020

Best Diaper Pails

The Best Diaper Pail Shopping Guide For Busy Parents

It’s finally nap time and you sit on the couch to relax. You notice the pile of diapers in the corner that you were just too tired to take outside to the trash, and you decide it’s maybe time get a diaper pail. But how do you pick the best diaper pail when there are so many options out there?

It’s exhausting to think about, especially since you’ve already washed marker off of the living room walls for the third time today, unclogged the toilet after your toddler managed to flush the entire roll of toilet paper down, and cleaned up all of the pots and pans which were thrown around the kitchen. It’s been a busy day and it’s only 1:00 in the afternoon. Who wants to think about diaper pails when you should really be taking a nap?!

Never fear, we’re here for you.  Below you will find some helpful information which will hopefully assist you in your quest to find the best diaper pail for your toddler.

Best Diaper Pails Reviewed

The award-winning Ubbi Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail is the editor’s choice for diaper pails because it is easy to use, controls odors, you use regular trash bags, and is a time and money saver for moms. The stylish and functional design has won at least eleven awards.

Made from powder-coated steel with rubber seals, the Ubbi diaper pail keeps odors locked in; the steel is not porous and does not release unpleasant odors into the nursery. The diaper pail is made airtight with rubber seals around the pail rim and the sliding lid. The nursery stays odor-free and fresh smelling despite the diaper pail filled with baby’s dirty diapers.

An innovative sliding lid design reduces air disruption, preventing the escape of unpleasant odors. Open the lid with a slight push on the lid handle; drop the dirty diaper into the opening, and slide the door closed. The childproof lock on the lid keeps the lid securely closed against curious little ones and prevents potential injuries.

The diaper pail does not require unique diaper pail bags. Instead of paying extra for diaper disposal bags or wasting time searching for available stock, the diaper pail works with tall kitchen trash bags or a cloth liner. When the diaper pail full, lift the lid and bag holder, tie the bag, and slowly lift it out of the diaper pail. Replace it with a fresh bag by inserting the bag’s top edges around the bag holder and close the lid; it snaps into place.

The sleek oval design fits into tight spaces, which is ideal if you have limited floor space. However, the diaper pail is large enough to hold up to 55 dirty newborn diapers and 20 of the largest pull-up diapers. With thirteen color options and trendy designs, the diaper pails may complement any nursery or bathroom décor. Wipe it clean with a dry cloth, no water or detergent necessary. 

The Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail is one of the best diaper pails for maintaining a fresh smelling room by controlling dirty diapers’ stench. As a #1 seller, they claim over 1.5 million moms trust in this diaper pail to keep the nursery smelling fresh. The newer version of the diaper disposal system comes with 3 Max Fresh Refills, and not just 1.  

With seven layers to the Diaper Genie refill bags, Double Air-Tite clamps, and a carbon filter, no smelly odors may escape, and discharge smells in your baby’s nursery. The Complete Diaper Genie diaper pail system includes built-in odor controlling features. The diaper pail comes with an antimicrobial feature that inhibits bacterial growth, and the Max Fresh refills also have built-in odor control. A fresh, clean laundry aroma neutralizes any strong dirty diaper odors. The Diaper Genie clamping system and special layered refill bags also help to contain odors. When you open the lid, no stink bomb surprise awaits you.  

The new diaper pail’s refill bags are opaque so that you do not have to look at dirty diapers when emptying the diaper pail. A refill bag can hold up to 270 newborn diapers, which is about 5 times larger than other diaper pails. It also means you need to empty the diaper pail less often. If you have twins, you may appreciate the Diaper Genies’ larger capacity.  

The Playtex Diaper Genie system is designed for odor-control. You need the special bags; its odor protection feature does not work well if you use garbage bags instead of the unique Diaper Genie essentials made for the system.

Step, drop, and done. The Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail is one of the best diaper pails designed for convenience and effortless use. These diaper pails are 100% hands-free making it one of the easiest diaper pails to use. The Dekor Refill System creates less waste; you use only what you need.

The diaper pail has a long term use too. Regular trash bags fit in the diaper pail, which means that it can be used as a regular trash can in your bathroom, kitchen, or even the garage when you no longer need a diaper pail. Some families transform the diaper pails into pets’ waste trash cans; the odor protection feature minimizes the smells emitted from cats and dogs’ waste. The benefit of using a kitchen trash bag means there are no additional expenses in buying a custom bag.  

No wastage of half-empty trash bags either. The bag change is fast and easy. Open the access service door and pull out the continuous refill liner far enough to remove the content.  A child-safe cutter is conveniently mounted on the inside of the service door, out of reach of your baby and inquisitive toddlers’ prying hands.  Cut the continuous refill liner at the top and tie a knot before removing the content. After removing the bag, tie a not at the bottom of the continuous refill liner to form a new bag. You may empty the diaper pail at any time. You can empty the pail after disposing of one dirty diaper or wait until the pail is full; there is no wastage.

The hands-free feature means pregnant moms do not have to bend to push a dirty diaper through the trap door. Moms can dispose of diapers one-handed, allowing them to hold their baby in the other hand. By stepping on the foot pedal, the lid opens to drop the baby’s diaper into the opening, and by removing your foot, the lid closes quietly again.

The Dekor Plus works with cloth diapers too. Washable and reusable Cloth Diaper Pail Liners are sold separately. 

Why Buy A Diaper Pail Anyway?

In short, they keep your house from smelling like used diapers! If you don’t know, a diaper pail is basically a receptacle that is specifically designed to collect soiled diapers until they are able to be taken care of. Some diaper pails are for cloth diapers only, while others can be used for either cloth or disposable diapers. Depending on the size of the pail and how many diapers your toddler goes through, these bins can sometimes collect up to a week’s worth of diapers or more! Diaper pails were created as a convenience for parents of young children, and many say that a diaper pail is a must-have in their homes

The Munchkin Step Diaper Pail received the Good Housekeeping Institute 2020 Best Overall Diaper Pail Award.  We agree that this pail is a fine choice.

The diaper pails set comes with a step pail, a snap, seal and toss bag, a starter ring refill, a toss disposable diaper pail, and a lavender-scented baking soda puck. Its modern, sleek look may blend into any nursery décor.

If you were looking for a diaper pail that does not assault your nose with the smell of dirty diapers, then the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail is one of the best diaper pails. The patented self-sealing system is designed to seal odors, irrespective of whether the lid is open or closed. Each time you close the lid, the refill twist tight and prevent any nasty smells when you open the lid.

The Hands-Free Diaper Pail measures 27 inches high by 12 inches deep. A step pedal conveniently opens the lid with your foot keeping your hands free. You’ll need both hands to lift the full bag out; a diaper pail trash bag filled with dirty diapers can be heavy. Kids can also use the foot pedal to learn hygiene and dump the dirty diaper one-handed into the diaper pail. However, the childproof locking system prevents a curious baby from accidentally injuring themselves. The child lock keeps little hands safely out of the diaper pail. 

Baking soda neutralizes odors. The baking powder automatically sprinkles into the trash bag every time you deposit a dirty diaper. The bag also seals shut and stays closed, trapping the smells inside. The opening is compatible with diaper pail rings and snaps, seal, and toss trash bags.

Munchkin company plants trees for all the diaper pails they sell. Therefore, every parent who buys a diaper pail contributes to their baby’s future environment. Extra baking soda cartridges and diaper refill liners are sold separately.  

The Munchkin Toss Portable Disposable Diaper Pail makes road trips fun. Pack the empty folded diaper pail in a purse, diaper bag, or suitcase to have it always handy. The diaper pail works well in the car, hotel rooms, or small spaces at home. It is one of the best diaper pails for disposing of dirty diapers while traveling, camping, visiting, or staying in a hotel room.  

Diaper changes happen at the oddest times and sometimes at the most inconvenient places. The portable diaper pail helps mom dispose of soiled diapers anywhere and anytime. No embarrassing moments of holding your baby’s dirty diaper while desperately searching a place to dispose of it and ending up stuffing it in the diaper bag, hoping the odors will not permeate the car. Carry the compact diaper pail with you to expand at your convenience. The portable diaper pail holds 30 dirty newborn diapers. A viewing window helps you track when the pail is full.  

A resealable lid and odor catching panels contain wetness and odors inside the diaper pail. No refills are needed; dump the diaper pail when full into the nearest garbage bag.  

It takes only 20 seconds to change the bag of the Dekor Mini Hand-Free Diaper Pail. If you were looking for a secondary pail to keep at grandma’s house or next to the changing table, then the Dekor Mini is one of the best diaper pails for such a purpose. It has the same features as the larger sized products but is a compact size for holding less diapers.

The ABS plastic the diaper pail is made of is a closed-cell plastic, which means it does not absorb odors and avoids leakage of odors into the air. This premium material maintains its color and does not yellow over time. The Dekor ABS plastic is safe to clean and sanitize with bleach and household cleaners if messes accidentally spill into the diaper pail.

When you no longer need it for disposing of soiled diapers, the diaper pail can be changed into a regular trash can for a powder room, bathroom, or bedroom. The ABS plastic does not rust, providing a durable product. No special refill bag is needed; you can use regular trash bags.

With a foot pedal, moms can dump the soiled diaper into the diaper pail with one hand while holding their baby in the other. Despite the smaller size, you do not need to bend or twist to open the trap door. The hands-free feature provides a more ergonomic and hygienic procedure.

The compact size disposes of up to 25 newborn diapers. Emptying and refilling the diaper pail works like the bigger models. Open the easy-access services door, pull out the refill bag to remove the content, cut the liner, and tie a knot before disposing of the full bag.

The diaper pail is baby and toddler safe. A childproof lock on the flap ensures no tampering, and the lid closes slowly, preventing fingers from getting caught. The refill cutter is mounted on the inside of the service door where your baby cannot reach it when the door is closed. The access door also has a childproof lock preventing the baby from accidentally opening the service door.

If you were looking for an eco-friendly cloth diaper pail, the Busch Systems Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail is one of the best choices. The diaper pail is made from recycled plastic and is designed for moms and dads who prefer a cloth diapering system.  

The cloth diaper pail features a lid with a wide opening for effortless disposing of bulky cloth diapers. The durable lid has two handles to carry the container to the laundry. It takes about two days to fill the 7-gallon diaper pail, which amounts to about 20+ diapers.

A carbon filter in the lid eliminates odors—the Teddy Bear filter cage screws together through a hole in the lid. Fresh air seeps into the pail, but foul odors stay trapped inside and do not escape to taint the room’s air. The anti-odors features make the cloth diaper pail preferable to using a trash can that cannot contain odors like the Busch system.

You can find extra filters here – they are reasonably priced.

Advantages and Disadvantages Of Using A Diaper Pail

As mentioned before, many parents would highly recommend using a diaper pail. However, there are others who believe a diaper pail is just a more expensive garbage can and would rather use a trash bin with a lid. There is no right or wrong method of collecting dirty diapers, and a regular garbage can would work just fine. However, there are some great benefits and advantages to using a diaper pail over a normal trash bin.


  • Built to hold soiled diapers, so they contain the smell very well.  If you purchase a quality made pail, you shouldn’t smell the used diapers at all once they are packed away.
  • Only needs to be emptied when it gets full, which means less trips out to the dumpster or the laundry room (if you live in an apartment) or trash can (if in a home).  Either way, you only have to make a trip once in awhile instead of every time your child soils a diaper.
  • Can be stored in any room of the house.  I keep mine in the child’s bedroom next to the changing stand, but that’s only for convenience’s sake.  If you are living in tight quarters, you can store it anywhere.
  • You can get washable liners – really this is only sensible if you are using cloth diapers, though I have heard of people using them with disposables.  Not me, sister!  The little free time I have is more valuable than that. But to each their own.


  • Cost.  The pail does cost some money upfront versus using a trashcan you have lying around.  You can get a quality one for a good price, so I wouldn’t let price stop you.
  • You need to plan a little ahead to make sure you have an extra liner at hand at all times.  If you forget, the pail is now useless – the liner is really the stink-barrier.

What Qualities Should I look For In A Diaper Pail?

Okay, you are now sold on the need in your life for a diaper pail.  Congrats!  I’ll give you the information you need to make a great selection.  Keep in mind, there really is no “perfect” pail, so please don’t spend hours researching this purchase.  If a product ticks off these features, you are good to go:

  • Odor-battling Technology
  • Ease-of-use – What Features Does It Have
  • Pail Capacity vs. How Many Diaper Age Children You Have
  • Diaper Pail Lock-in – Can You BYOL (Bring Your Own Liner)

It may seem like there is a lot to think about, but most of this is common sense.


When you boil it right down, you are looking for the best diaper pail you can find for one reason:

You want to keep poop-filled diapers in your house as long as possible without anyone being able to smell them.

So it makes sense that the pail does this job adequately, right?

Luckily, “Big Diaper Pail” industry isn’t dumb either, and they know that odor control is entry stakes to get into this business.  I won’t bore you with the jargon, but in general if the diaper liner isn’t torn or ripped, most pails will keep the smell in – and out of your house.


You will want to make sure the diaper pail has some form of odor control.  This comes into play when you have a tear in the liner, or you go just a little too long without making a run to the trash.  Whether it uses a scented liner, an air filter, or you manually add odor-fighting materials, make sure it’s a method that you can live with.

I personally have used scented liners over the years. They tend to work fine, though I would be a properly-maintained carbon air-filter would do the job better. The only time I have noticed any smell was when the pail was full – which meant it was time to hit the garbage run anyway.


You are likely to be surprised when you start shopping for a pail at just how many different features there are available.  Here’s my recommendations for MUST-HAVE features:

1. Foot-Pedal.  The foot pedal is essential.  It allows you to operate the pail without hands – and considering you don’t want to leave your child on the changing table by his or herself, you’ll have a baby in one hand and a diaper in the other most of the time you are using it.

Trust me – you want a foot pedal.

2. Childproof lock.  This might not seem very important, and at the beginning you will have no need for it.  But as your infant grows into a toddler, you’ll be happy you picked a pail with this feature.

Kids are curious.  Imagine how enticing the diaper pail looks when they see you using it numerous times a day, and the diaper magically disappears into the plastic hole.

They will want a piece of that action.

The childproof locks are your defense from army men or dolls ending up inside, ripping the bag and leading to a smell-saster. 

There are other features, mainly the height, what material it’s made of or the color.  While these are important, it will depend on your personal tastes.  I’m a little taller, so I like a taller pail so I can use it without bending down as much.



I am going to go against some advice I’ve seen and tell you – get the largest capacity diaper pail you can.  It’s probably not for the reason you think though.

When you first bring your little bundle of joy home from the hospital, their used diapers will squish down to the size of an apple.  At this point, you’ll never even notice capacity issues because it will take a while to fill the bad-boy to the brim.  So whether it holds 30 or 60 newborn diapers, you won’t really care.

But your baby will get older.  And Size 5 diapers are more like a mushy-softball in size. 

At this point, you’ll notice the capacity issue.  If you get one with too little holding area, you and your significant other will be fighting over who has to empty the pail again. 

And deep inside, a voice will say “Mary told me – why didn’t I listen!?!”

Keep that voice at bay. Plan for the future and get a larger capacity diaper pail.

This capacity issue will really hit home if you end up having more than one child in diapers at a time.  You might not think that is in your future, but if it’s even a possibility GET A LARGE CAPACITY DIAPER DISPOSER!


The manufacturers of most diaper pails learned a great deal from Gillette.  They rely on the razor/razor-blade model of selling a relatively-inexpensive razor/pail, and then making most of the profit off of the razor blade/liner. 

In the long run, you’ll spend multiple times of money on the liners than the pail itself.  So before you hit buy on your favorite pail, check out how much the liners cost.  See if you can use other brands of liners in the pail.

Some companies allow you to use any bag you have lying around in their system.  I don’t recommend this because of the smell issue, but it does give you an idea that the company isn’t trying to lock you in.

There are legitimate reasons for a company wanting you to use thier bags.  If you use poorly made ones, the bags might not hold the smell as well.  Then the manufacturer will get blamed for a poorly-made pail.  So it’s not just about squeezing out more money.

Tip – buy your liners in bulk and you can usually save some money.  It’s not always the case though, so check the price.  Amazon has a subscribe and save program that can be helpful here as well.

Diapers are just one of those things that inevitably come with a toddler. So, if you are looking for a solution for those piles of stinky diapers that your toddler produces, a diaper pail may be a great purchase for you. They will give those diapers a place to go, all while leaving your home smelling better and lessening your trips to the laundry room or dumpster out back. Using the information above, you should be able to find a diaper pail that suits all of your needs at the price that is right for you. The good news in all of this is that one day your toddler WILL grow out of the diaper phase, despite how far away that day may seem at the time. Until then, a diaper pail very well could help you enjoy those moments with your toddler a little more. The next time you are scrubbing permanent marker off of the wall, take a second to notice the absence of that “used diaper” smell. It may just change your life!