Bye-Bye Odor! Mothering’s Best Diaper Pails Picks

here are the best diaper pails for all your diapering needsWe all poop and pee and babies poop and pee like it’s their job. Sort of, it is. Which means you’re most likely going to be in for a lot of diaper changes with your wee one’s bum. And where there are a lot of diapers, you’re going to probably want a diaper pail. Whether you’re choosing to use disposable diapers or cloth, we’ve found the best diaper pails to keep diapers and odors in.

Diapering…it seems like it brings all the mamas to the yard when it comes to deciding whether or not you’re going to use cloth diapers or disposable diapers. Everyone has their reasoning and opinions, and there are valid points for each camp.

But what is not usually debated is whether you’re going to need a diaper pail for whatever diaper you choose. If you are a disposable mama, you may fancy having a diaper pail just about everywhere you’re going to change diapers so you’re not leaving them in regular trash cans to stink the place up. Seriously, is there anything more pungent than a diaper that’s been forgotten about in the bathroom or nursery trash can? We think not.

Diaper pails for disposable diapers keep all the dirties together so that you’re able to more efficiently dispose of them outside, and diaper pails for cloth diapers are still very necessary parts of the cloth diapering process as you’re most likely not going to be laundering diapers after every wash.

Related: Top 5 Cloth Diapering Tips For A Tight Budget

If you’re choosing to use disposable diapers, the type of diaper pail system you use will most likely focus on being a dry system that has some method of locking the icky odor in (and maybe even freshening it up, though we caution about synthetic fragrances if there are sensitivities or allergies). If you’re going to be a cloth diapering mama, you’re going to need to decide between having a wet pail or a dry pail.

Wet Or Dry Diaper Pails?

The only reason you’d consider a wet diaper pail is if you were planning to cloth diaper. A wet-pail system is one where you have a diaper pail that has some water sitting in it. This is so that as you change baby’s diaper, you can just toss the dirty diper in the wet diaper pails and let them soak a bit until you’re ready to wash.

A dry diaper pail system is pretty much just as it sounds. You’d take the baby’s dirty diaper off and put them in the diaper pail, as is, until you’re ready to wash the diaper. Sometimes cloth diapering mamas will line a diaper pail with a large wet bag so they can then just dump the bag in the washer when it’s wash day.

There’s no set perfect system for diaper pails when it comes to cloth diapering, but it’s important to remember that a wet diaper pail means you’ve got water sitting in a pail in your house. If you have little ones, they don’t know that the water is A) gross and B) possibly dangerous in that it doesn’t take a large amount of water at all for a child to drown in. If you’re planning to use a wet diaper pail system, you may want to be sure there’s a secure closure at the top.

If you’re planning to use disposable diapers, there’s really no reason you’d consider a wet diaper pail, and a dry diaper pail will do the job just fine.

What To Look For In The Best Diaper Pails

Before we get to the best diaper pails to choose from, here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when you’re looking.

Select something that will block the odor. Some diaper pails come with odor-control and blocking systems that mask the smell and make it less of a chore. Many diaper pails are made of steel, which means they’re not as porous and may naturally contain odors better than some plastic pails will.

Some diaper pails need special diaper bags while others can just use whatever. Or nothing at all. Keep that in mind when figuring costs. Again, if you’re using a wet-pail system, a washable wet bag may be all you need.

And when it comes to bags, if it has ties to keep odor in? Even better.

Think about the size you’ll need and the space you have in the places you’d keep a diaper pail. You’ll want to be sure you have the space for whatever diaper pail you’ll choose, but you’ll also want to choose a diaper pail that will hold as many dirties as you’d like it to. That is unless you’re going to empty your diaper pail each day (many mamas do) and then you can decide based on your specific needs and desires.

Most importantly, choose a diaper pail that will be easy to use. Hands-free diaper pails are great as they allow you to keep a hand on baby at all times. We love diaper pails that have locking systems in case curious kiddos come in to play, and frankly? No mama has time for something that takes an engineering degree to figure out. We’re all about common sense and easy use, so that’s what we had in mind when looking for the best diaper pails. If you’ve got tons of extra hands and time, you may not be interested, but if that’s not you? Read on!

Related: Best Diaper Wipes Warmers to Keep Baby Bums Warm

Mothering’s Best Diaper Pails

Diaper Genie 

This baby is pretty much synonymous with ‘diaper pail’ as it’s pretty much become the term we often use when talking about a system for containing dirty diapers. They’ve sold over 4 million since 2013, and as we said, it’s what most people think of when they think of a diaper pail.

It’s not your old-school diaper pail, though. It’s hands-free and has a foot pedal for easy opening and closing. As it’s known for–it has built-in antimicrobial that stops bacteria and junk from growing inside the pail and the Double Air-Tite clamps keep the bag and odor in place.

What mamas seem to love about this is its power. When it says it stops odor, it means it. When it says it holds a lot of diapers, it means it. The refill bags can hold up to 270 newborn diapers. Sure, this is only about a week’s worth of a newborn’s diaper load (just kidding, sort of) but what it really means is that changing of the bags doesn’t need to happen too often. The hassle-free, built-in cutter makes it eas(ier) to change bags and it’s nowhere near as complicated as it used to be. And yes, we’re honest enough to say that bag twisting used to be a superior pain in the rear. The good news is that the Diaper Genie has been growing as a diaper pail too, and now serves to better meet the needs of mamas and caregivers everywhere.


Dekor Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Now, just because the Diaper Genie is popular, that doesn’t mean it’s your only option. Many mamas in our forums and focus groups believe that the Dekor Plus is a diapering mama’s dream. There’s no twisting involved. You just tap the pedal open and drop the diaper in the bucket. When they say, ” Step, Drop, Done,” they mean it. You don’t have to shove the diaper in and we love how easy it is to hold baby as you’re walking away and be done with the diaper. The Dekor has a childproof lock so that little ones can’t get in (and let odor out) and another neat feature is that liners are continuous. That means you can change them when you feel like it–or it’s convenient–instead of whenever you’re stuck with the last one. That means you aren’t wasting full bags for half-full pails.

The triple-action locks keep odors in and we like Dekor’s efforts for responsible use in designing it to be used even when your littles aren’t in diapers anymore. You just take the diaper insert out and it can be used as a regular garbage can. Some people keep liners in and use them for pet waste like kitty litter or a depository for dog poo that’s been scooped from the yard.

We love Dekor’s versatility for cloth diaper mamas too because they make a cloth liner. That means that you can use it for disposables or for cloth, depending on your choice, and that makes the versatility and affordability even better.


Munchkin Step Diaper Pail

Munchkin diaper pails are the best for cloth diapers or disposables

Munchkin wanted to get in the diaper pails game with something that would not only hold the odor in but look good while doing it. There’s nothing that says you have to sacrifice function and form for style, and Munchkin’s Step Diaper Pail proves it. It’s a sleek design that looks as nice in your kitchen as it does in your nursery. It also uses natural baking soda as an odor absorber and the patented self-sealing technology seals odors in every time the lid closes. It’s a hands-free system for your convenience and every time a Munchkin Diaper pail is bought, they donate to plant trees to help reduce gassy emissions on the planet.

Seems legit that they focus on gas and poop issues for your baby and the planet. Lots of cloth diaper mamas love this pail for their dry system too, and they love that the baking soda is natural and safe for their baby bum fluff.


Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail

Ubbi is one of the best diaper pails we've found

Check this system out! The Ubbi diaper pail achieves maximum odor control because it’s made of powder-coated steel that won’t absorb as plastic does. The rubber seals on the lid lock odors in, but what’s really neat is that the sliding lid lets you open just enough for getting a diaper in, but not taking a big whiff of stinky odor with you on the way out. It’s super easy to clean out and so honestly, many mamas don’t even use bags or liners–saving them money in the long term. There are several different patterns and colors to match wherever you’re trying to match, and it’s the perfect wet OR dry diaper pail if you’re a cloth diapering mama. It can even be both–dry in the nursery but a wet pail on laundry day to presoak.


Simple Human Stainless

The simplehuman trash can is a great diaper pail

Don’t be fooled. This *might* look like a regular trash pail, and if you think that, you’d not be wrong. BUT…many of our cloth diapering mamas love this very simple, but very effective Simple Human can. It’s an incredible eco-friendly diaper pail for cloth diapering mamas, and disposable mams love it too. Why? Simple Human is made to last–so when you’re done with diaper days, you’re still getting functionality from it as a kitchen/garage/anywhere trash can. It’s perfect if you have limited space, which is often the case in a nursery, and it’s not obtrusive. It’s small enough that you can keep it near your changing station, but if you want it out of sight in baby’s closet, it can do that too. The silent close lid is nice for no banging but what’s super easy is the removable inner bucket that just pulls out and lets you wash with ease. In fact, that’s the main reason cloth diaper mamas love it–you can line it with a wet bag if you like, but you don’t have to because you can just as easily and quickly dump and rinse it out. Oh, and fun fact? It’s engineered to last for 150,000 steps. Any guesses on how many diaper changes that is? It’s 20 diaper changes a day for the next 20 years. Yes, it’ll have you covered!



Photo: I_life/Shutterstock

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