Mothering’s Picks for Best Diaper Pails

We've found the best diaper pails for cloth diapers and the best diaper pails for disposable diapers

It’s a fact of life; everyone poops. Whether you cloth diaper or use disposables, you most likely need a diaper pail. We’ve put together Mothering’s best diaper pails of 2019. We’ve included the best diaper pails for cloth diapering as well as disposables, so mamas, get to sniffing (or not, since they contain the odor so well)!

When I was deciding whether I’d cloth diaper or use disposables, as natural-minded mamas know, there were two pretty distinct camps: VERY pro-cloth and VERY-pro disposables (eco-friendly, bleach/chemical-free, of course).

And no matter which camp you’re in, the need for a diaper pail to throw those (not-so) sweet little nappies in exists in a pretty big (often blowout) way. Many mamas who use disposables like to have a diaper pail on every floor if they have multiple floors because there is nothing that says, “Pee-ewwww” more than a dipe that’s been tossed in the regular bathroom/nursery trash can and forgotten about. Diaper pails help keep all the diapers contained for easier and more efficient disposal into outside garbage (for disposables) and diaper pails for cloth diapers are hangouts until you’re ready to toss those babies in the wash.

Which brings mamas who cloth diaper to another dilemma…wet pails or dry pails?

So many questions, and we’ve got the answers! We’ve talked to our mamas in our forums and groups, and found their recommendations for the best diaper pails of 2019. Disposable or cloth, wet pail or dry, we’ve got you covered, mama, and these will help keep your baby’s bum covered nicely too!

Best Diaper Pails of 2019

1. Dekor Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Dekor diaper pails are the best diaper pails for cloth or disposable diapers

This hands-free diaper pail is pretty much the bee’s knees to so many mamas. There’s no twisting, just a tap on the pedal and a drop in the bucket, literally. No shoving the diaper in and getting your hands all messy and super easy to use if you have baby in one arm and the diaper in the other. It has a childproof lock so little ones can’t get in and the liners are continuous so you can change when you want/feel like it’s time. Can we get an ‘Amen!’ for not wasting full bags for half-full pails? It’s got a triple-action plan to lock odors in until you empty the pail and we love that Dekor advocates ideas for use even when baby isn’t in diapers anymore. You can take the diaper insert out and use as a regular garbage pail or you can continue to use them and even use for your kitty’s litter too.

Dekor also makes a cloth liner that you can use with this pail, so if you do cloth and a dry pail, it’ll work just as well, making it a truly versatile pail that mamas love.

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2. Munchkin Step Diaper Pail

Munchkin diaper pails are the best for cloth diapers or disposables

So it used to be that diaper pails were pretty ugly. Particularly ones that were so good at holding odor in. It seemed that you had to sacrifice smell for style, and no mama we know wants to do that if they don’t have to. That’s why The Munchkin Step Diaper Pail has really ‘stepped’ up to the style plate (see what we did there?). It’s design is really sleek and modern and it’ll look as great in a nursery as it will in your kitchen. It uses baking soda as it’s odor absorber (and it works!) and the patented self-sealing technology literally seals odors in while the lid closes. It’s a hands-free pail as well, and what we love most is that Munchkin gives back with every purchase. Yep, for every Step Diaper Pail sold, Munchkin plants a tree to help reduce gassy emissions. In essence, they focus on poop problems in and out of the nursery, and we can’t help but love a product that works to keep the earth green while it takes care of the brown stuff. Many cloth diaper mamas say they use this for a dry pail for their fluff as well.

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3. Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail

The Ubbi diaper pail is made of powder-coated steel to achieve maximum odor control. Plastic is porous and will hold smells, while steel fights and contains. The rubber seals on the lid lock the odors in and we love the sliding lid that lets you open just what you need to get the diaper in but not open the whole thing for a big whiff. It has a childproof lock and to keep prying fingers out, and the best part is that you don’t even need to use bags or liners if you don’t want because it’s so easy to wash out. Its sleek design comes in several different and fun colors so you’re sure to match it wherever you’re looking to put it–nursery, kitchen, garage. Cloth diaper mamas love it too because you can use it as a wet or dry pail, depending on your needs. Some mamas say they use it as a dry pail in their nursery and then as wet in the laundry room for presoaking until wash day.

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4. Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail by Busch Systems

The odor-less diaper pail is the best diaper pails for cloth diapering because it uses a charcoal filter

This diaper pail is made from recyclable plastic and is recyclable, but that’s not surprising becasue Busch Systems is a recycling company focused on products that maximize the earth’s resources and help the earth’s recylcing program. Their mission statement is beautiful–they work to reach higher standards of sustainability in their products so as to encourage others in business to do the same, and their diaper pail does that at the same time it makes diaper odor disappear! The lid is lockable so littles can’t get in to it and it has activated charcoal filters that keep the stink of the diapers in the pail but lets moisture out so you don’t have a mold issue. It’s great for either disposable or cloth (cloth mamas love it as a dry pail) and we especially love that they give back to their community in such huge ways. 

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5. Simple Human Stainless

The simplehuman trash can is a great diaper pail

Okay, okay, yes…this is a ‘regular’ trash pail. But it works awesomely as an eco-friendly diaper pail for cloth mamas (and disposables too, if you chose, though cloth mamas particularly love this option). And it’s easy to see why. It has a 10-year warranty. You easily can use this for several kiddos and then keep it after for a bathroom or garage or kitchen if you like. It’s especially great if you have limited space, which is why a lot of mamas love it in the nursery because it’s not super obtrusive and can even hang out in the closet. It has a silent close lid, so no lid banging and waking baby should you magically have been able to change her diaper and then get her to sleep and dumping it is easy because the removable inner bucket just pulls right out. That’s another reason cloth mamas love it–you can use it as a wet or dry pail, and it’s hands-free, engineered to last for 150,000 steps. That’s 20 diaper changes a day for 20 years!

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6. Diaper Genie 

Diaper genie has always been one of the best diaper pails on the market

So tons of mamas love this diaper pail. It’s been updated so that it also is hands-free and uses a foot pedal for easy opening and closing. It has built-in antimicrobial that will stop bacteria from growing inside the pail, has Double Air-Tite clamps that hold the bags and odors in as well, and a carbon filter as the odor-blocking cherry on the top. Have we mentioned that it’s an odor-blocking machine? That’s the number one thing that mamas tell us, it stops odor and the refill bags hold up to 270 newborn diapers…which is approximately the baby’s first three days. No, we jest, not really, but sort of, and mamas know what we mean–babies go through a lot of diapers, and this Diaper Genie makes changing the bags not needed for quite a while. When it is time, it’s hassle-free with a built-in cutter to make it easy. And, we have to brag on it’s little sister, the Diaper Genie Caddy.

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7. Diaper Genie Caddy

The Diaper Genie Caddy is a portable diaper pail and caddy that has all your changing must-haves nicely put together in a portable changing station. Just like it’s big sibling, it has built-in antimicrobial and you can store about a day’s worth of diapers in the portable pail, which is pretty much magical if you’re taking road trips to the grandparents. Its compartments are spacious for such a portable thing, and let you organize diapers, wipes, creams and whatever else you might need for a portable station, making it sort of like a diaper bag and disposal system for the road/travel/day-trips or even play-dates.

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