The Best Diaper Pail Review – Most Honest Review By Our Experts

The Best Diaper Pail Review – Most Honest Review By Our Experts

All babies require diapers, the question you’ll need to answer is what to do with the dirty diaper. We researched more than 15 pails and narrowed the options for testing and review to 10 competitors. Let us find out best diaper pail reviews of 2020.

A diaper pail can be a handy day-to-day option for the temporary storage of dirty diapers and keeping the odours at bay. While some parents want to place diapers in a bag and then carry the diapers to the dump, this approach will not work for everyone.

Odour control and ease of use are critical factors, so we checked the pails to discover all the sordid smelly information. Each product has advantages and disadvantages with variations in odour control, bag shifting problems, and the continuing ownership costs.

Read on to find out which option will work best for your family and best diaper pail reviews.

Best Overall Diaper Pail

Munchkin Step

See Now


The Munchkin Step is a sleek pail with features designed to prevent odours from escaping and to restrict odours. The pail is a step-to-open style, requiring only one hand to deposit the diaper.

This comes with a lavender-scented bag refill ring that stays sealed when you open the door to reduce the stench blasts that occur with each new deposit.

If it’s not cool enough to smell safe, Munchkin plants a tree with every new purchase. You are trying to do something good for the environment by reducing odours

.The twisting action that keeps odours trapped when you close the lid may fail as the pail gets full and odours are absorbed in the plastic container.

Each container also includes proprietary containers, which ensures for your diapering lifetime you will be investing in this diaper device.

These liners complement the already high initial purchase cost. For those with nervous sniffers or allergies, the lavender-scented bags and lid insert can be distracting.

Nevertheless, when emptying the pail parents like the twist seal motion and the ability to remove only a portion of the container. If you want a triple odour hazard and don’t mind investing in extra money over time, then the Munchkin is your perfect choice.
Bag Style: Proprietary Refill Liners & Bags
Pail Material: Plastic

  • Best odour control
  • Large capacity
  • Easy to use


  • Strong lavender scent
  • Proprietary system
  • Expensive

Best Unscented Pail

Playtex Diaper Genie Expressions

See Now


With a patented refill mechanism and an odour suppressing feature, the Playtex Diaper Genie Expressions is functionally identical to the Diaper Genie Complete.

The main difference is the graphic appearance and the ability to add a fabric cover (sold separately) to cover the pail in a variety of designs.

This cover makes the ordinary depot of the diaper more nursery-friendly and perhaps less of an eyesore. The Diaper Genie collection has always done well in our odour control tests and this choice continues that tradition by providing almost best-in-class odour containment, which the Munchkin has only bested today.

This pail has no foot pedal which makes it a to-hand operation. While this is not inherently a deal-breaker, it is something that needs to be considered.

For the pail, you need to buy the refill rings which increase your lifetime investment over the competition that works with trash bags.

We believe however that this is a no-brainer despite the superior odour control of the Genie bottle. If you want the Diaper Genie Expressions to be easy to use, stylish pail that traps odours, we think you will love it.
Bag Style: Proprietary Refill Liners
Pail Material: Plastic

  • Good odour control
  • Unscented liner
  • Small and easy to use


  • Proprietary system
  • Longterm expense
  • No foot pedal

3.Best for Small Spaces

Tommee Tippee Simplee

The Tommee Tippee Simplee takes pride in being small and fitting nearly anywhere. This could be a good fit for apartments or parents looking to hide the pail under a cabinet or in a closet, with a capacity of 18 newborn diapers.

The Simplee comes with a 3-colour cover in your choice and has a patented bag with a multi-layer system designed for odour control. It is a great choice for the budget-minded family, or those with limited space, with the lowest price in comparison.

While it may be useful for newborns, it doesn’t hold that many diapers, and as baby grows, their diapers will also increase, so the number of diapers it can carry will decrease as your little one gets older.

We agree that this weakness makes it less appealing to parents who regularly don’t want to adjust the containers. Though not our experience, some users know that opening the lid is difficult.

To avoid problems with the lid, you need to move the diaper past the smart seal lid which may not always be fun if you have a particularly messy diaper.

The blade inside the lid also isn’t the most user-friendly; it wasn’t very sharp, and you need to remove the lid to use it. Nonetheless, if you need a space-saving pail to combat odours, and don’t mind regular bag changes, then the Tommee Tippee is the right choice for your situation.

Bag Style: Proprietary Refill Liners
Pail Material: Plastic

  • Good for small spaces
  • Inexpensive
  • Multiple colours


  • Holds fewer diapers
  • Bag blade is awkward
  • Challenging lid

4.Best Pail for Cloth Diapers

Simplehuman 38 Liter Rectangular Step Can

See Now

Simplehuman 38 Liter Rectangular Step Can is a great solution for holding dirty cloth diapers before daylight wash. For ease of maintenance, we suggest using a pail liner cloth diaper inside the simplehuman plastic bin

Liners such as the Kanga Care Cloth Diaper Pail Liner and the Planet Wise Diaper Pail Liner can go with the cloth diapers in the wash, so you’ll want at least two liners in the rotation to prevent dirty diaper frustration with nowhere to go.

Because flushing solids down the toilet is necessary before they are put in the dirty bin with cloth diapers, the liner shouldn’t get too gross. Yet breastfed stools should quickly dry out in the washing machine and don’t stink like formula or solid-fed stools, so you don’t need to clean them.

This trash can have a step pedal to open the lid, making it hands-free, and the lid design makes it difficult to open by hand, thus helping to deter curious dogs and infants from investigating the contents. We also appreciate the silent lid that makes sleepy babies less disturbed.
While we like this pail will convert to an ordinary trash can, there is a significant upfront cost that makes it a less attractive option for parents on a tight budget. It is by far the most expensive option in the review but we believe the higher price may be justified by the quality and possible long-term use.
While the can will last for years, there are reports of plastic lid breaking over time, which makes them a better choice if your wallet allows for more costly steel top. Ultimately, this may be an ideal choice for parents of cloth diapering who pay a higher price for consistency and long-term use.

Bag Style: Trash Bag or Cloth Liner
Pail Material: Brushed Stainless Steel

  • Durable
  • Large capacity
  • Silent lid


  • Large upfront expense
  • Plastic lid can break

5.Best Hanging Bag for Cloth Diapers

Planet Wise Hanging Wet/Dry Bag

See Now


Planet Wise Hanging Wet / Dry Bag is a compact and durable bag for cloth diapers which is our Top Pick. This bag has a hanging handle which saves space on the floor, making it a great travel choice.

The exterior is 100% cotton, which looks like a canvas . The interior contains a “non-toxic water repellent” and is “a high-quality, anti-microbial polyurethane laminate (PUL) inside that prevents the growth of bacteria and fungi.”

The bag’s internal lining does not have any gaps from sewing the seam shut, sealing the lining and making it completely waterproof. These bags are washable by machine and remain waterproof for more than 100 washes. To get the most value out of your wallet, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions.

Although we love how lightweight and comfortable it is, the fabric can degrade over time, with regular washing particularly. There is no connection between the exterior and interior fabric which has caused some problems.

Although this was not our experience, some users report that the upper seam near the zipper will split and sometimes allow moisture to accumulate between the lining and fabric, and the zipper breaks.

Planet Wise provides a 60-day guarantee of 100 per cent, so act quickly if you receive a defective bag or need a substitute for any reason.

Even, though containing odours does a decent job, it doesn’t catch and lock smells like the competition. Overall, if you want an alternative option specifically designed for cloth diapers, this is an excellent choice for serious consideration.

Bag Style: N/A
Pail Material: Cotton

  • Washable
  • Saves floor space
  • Light


  • Cloth wears over time
  • Average odour control
  • Potential zipper issues

6.Modern Steel Pail

Ubbi Diaper Pail

See Now

The Ubbi is this roundup’s only non-plastic diaper pail which means it does not absorb or hold odours (woohoo!). The Ubbi comes in a variety of fun colours, and the dumping diaper hole is sufficiently large for most sized diapers.

This pail is designed to contain odours when closed with a rubber seal, and you can use any trash bag which makes it convenient to have bags on hand.

The opening will close, stopping little ones from exploring the contents or adding toys to the mix, which happens more often than you would imagine (yikes!).

Unfortunately, this pail has a hard-to-use build, and when you open it to make a new deposit, the opening has no features for smell containment, resulting in a blast of odour whenever you toss in a diaper.

Its steel amid the escaping odours and parents can appreciate the durable design, odour-resistant materials, and lid locking.

Bag Style: Any Trash Bag
Pail Material: Powder Coated Steel

  • Use any bag
  • Steel construction
  • Multiple colours


  • Harder to use
  • Escaping smells

Not Recommended: Flawed Clamp System

Playtex Diaper Genie Complete

See Now

The Diaper Genie Complete is the newest Diaper Genie, with a foot pedal that is identical to the Elite. Our chief concern is the new clamping system that holds a huge load in its upper vestibule instead of depositing it into its key garbage.

The Outcome? It hasn’t dropped by opening the lid to find the diaper which needs a manual push to get it down by hand (so gross).

We think that is a big failure. It is larger than the Expressions and has a one-handed foot pedal for disposal, but that’s where the perks end.

The clamp system does an odour-free job of preventing odours from escaping when it works, and it is signature unscented proprietary 7-layer liner contains odours well.

However, as the pail ages, the plastic will retain odours, and you’ll have to pony up regularly for the proprietary refills to use the Genie signature system, which means a higher long-term ownership cost than some competitors.

There are also several system breakdown reports. Therefore, be prepared for the possible cost of replacing. Ultimately, we think it’s easier to find Diaper Genies, and think parents should miss the badly designed clamp in favour of a better design.

Bag Style: Proprietary Refill Liners
Pail Material: Plastic

  • Several colours
  • Foot pedal
  • Good odour control


  • Internal clamp catches contents at the top
  • Eventually breaks
  • Proprietary liners

Not Recommended: Outdated & Cumbersome

Dekor Plus

See Now

The Diaper Dekor Plus is a hands-free pail with a step-open, locking lid that prevents the placing of baby toys among the dirty diapers.

The interior has a trap door that should contain odours when making a deposit but emits an offensive, eye-watering odour poof.

While the door maintains most of the scent found when closed, it is not smell-free. This pail is a clunky and bulky addition to the nursery, because of its size

While the large capacity may be appealing, the egregious stench means that you will need to empty it more often (before it becomes full) to handle odours, thereby negating the benefits of room.

The brand-specific bags also have an overpowering powdery fragrance that is not helpful in creating a smell-free environment and are difficult to install.

The bags also improve your lifetime investment, and they’re hard to find, so you’ll definitely need to order them and keep a few at hand to avoid running out.

The Dekor can be used theoretically as trash after the diaper years but the plastic interior is likely to absorb too much poop smell to be a useful candidate.

We believe this pail’s overall look is adequate, but despite being a colour-coordinated pail with a locking lid, we believe there are nicer alternatives that better contain odours, are simpler to use, and have the lower initial price and a lifetime investment.

Bag Style: Proprietary Refill Liners
Pail Material: Plastic

  • Step open
  • Large capacity


  • Powder-scent liners
  • Emanates stink when the door opens
  • Longterm expense

Why You Should Trust Us

The diaper pail examination is a work of stink love led by Dr Sufia shaikh founder of Dr. Juliet Spurrier is a board-certified paediatrician and mother of two whose quest for an odour-free pail began over 11 years ago. She is the leading authority on all things diaper pail and odour control, after developing several pails in several articles over the past six years.

The team also includes Wendy Schmitz, Senior Examination Editor. Wendy is also a mother of two and has been studying and testing diaper pails since she was born ten years ago, and since 2014 has been working professionally with BabyGearLab.
For odour control and ease of use, we checked most pails side by side. With a mix of used baby diapers in some homes and bagged dog poop in others, we’ve put the pails to the test for poop fulfilment above and beyond. We have carried out further in-lab testing for reliability, ease of use, usability and more after living with the used pails in our homes tracking odour containment.

Why Use a Specially Designed Diaper Pail?

A special diaper disposal system can bring significant odour control advantages over a standard kitchen trashcan.

Such pails are designed to tightly seal dirty diapers in the odours in such a way that regular cans do not. But efficient sealing of the pail lid is not the whole equation.

Also, a good pail takes into account what happens when you open and close the jar to make a deposit. The best products have a process for raising the stinky smell that flees when a dirty diaper is inserted.

The best receptacles also include a feature that makes it easy to change a full bag without unpleasant odours.

How We Evaluated

For a pleasant smelling nursery, slides stink and finding a way to dispose of them while keeping odour at bay is crucial.

We’ve been investigating and evaluating a range of diaper pails for over 100 hours to decide which solutions work best. Ease of use, everyday smell, and methods for changing bags all play a role in determining pail rank.


Whether you’re diapering your first or fifth child, you need a way of disposing of the dirty diapers. In locating a suitable pail we assume that removing odour is a top priority.

We put more weight on the capacity of the bin to regulate odours than any other factor because odour issues are the top concern when making a pail decision.

Even in our tests to change the pail’s bag with ease, differences in the overall smell involved are key.

Odour  Control

We found that when locked, all the pails did a relatively good job of handling odours. When closed, each pail remains relatively tightly sealed, using either an inner bag seal or a restricted opening feature.

We only noticed slight odour variations from closed pails that have not been disturbed for hours, suggesting the competition is pretty close when it comes to closed pails odour control.

The differences between the competition, however, become more apparent when the pails are opened and closed to put dirty diapers inside, an activity that you will often do.

Despite various innovative designs to minimize escape odours when placing a diaper in the pail, when the door opens, the odour puff naturally wafts out.

The amount of stink that occurs when making a fresh deposit ranges from a mild poof to a nasty blast and is an inevitable byproduct of storing baby’s waste for an extended period of time in one receptacle.

The stink bomb cloud will persist for a significant amount of time and become a nasal buzz kill on your newborn bliss, which is why the rivalry gets heated.

The pails with the least amount of escaping stink gained our noses and minds because the options that did not contain the stench were so offensive that we would pay just about anything to avoid smelling them.

Many of the products deliver an open/close function designed to limit the amount of escaping odour. Diaper Genies twist the trapping odours of the inner container, and they have a clamp to prevent a great deal of stench from escaping.

The Munchkin Move has an equivalent twisting container. The Diaper Dekor has what the company calls a “MagikTM trap door” which will auto-seal after you drop into the diaper.

The Ubbi has an open hole enabling odours to waft out as long as the door is open. Nonetheless, Ubbi is the only non-plastic (powder-coated steel) alternative that should prevent the absorption of excessive odour over time,

so it can be a trade-off depending on your odour tolerance and the speed at which deposits are produced.
So what else can you do to counter the foul odours of these diapers? Beginning with the most obvious, we find the following tips helpful.

  • Do not dispose of poopy diapers inside the pail, but instead immediately take them outside or place the contents in the toilet first.
  • Remove your container daily to help prevent diaper build-up, and hence, odour.
  • Sprinkle a disinfectant spray (shop-bought or a homemade vinegar spray) into the pail at the end of each day.
  • Baking soda does odour control wonders, as it is a natural deodorizer. After each bag change, it is helpful to sprinkle a little (or you can put a whole box) at the bottom of the pail.
  • Fighting the odour with other, more preferential, smells can be helpful.
  • Dryer sheets or coffee grounds are doing a decent job of addressing the stink.
  • Essential oils can be useful, too. Adding 5-10 drops of eucalyptus, lavender, or melaleuca (tea tree) oil to a cotton ball can also provide some relief and are less offensive than scented liners.
  • Finally, wash out your pail with hot water and soap every so often, and let it dry in the sun. UV rays help destroy bacteria which cause odour.

Diaper Pail Buying Advice

Choosing a pail for your diaper might feel like one of the most tedious or boring things you’ll need for your kid. But, despite its daily use and effect on your nursery and house’s scent, it won’t be long until you know it’s one of the most significant baby purchasing decisions.
Note; Since all the pails smell to some degree, we suggest you store your pail in a place outside your nursery. Regardless of which product you select, there will be some smell, and we believe it’s best to house this smell in a toilet or the well-ventilated place.

Types of Diaper Pails

Diaper dumpsters come in two major types, the ones that only work with patented bags (bags/liners specifically for that pail) and the ones that can work with standard kitchen bags (though a minority can work with both).

Outside the bag type approved by each pail, the remaining variations include whether or not they have an odour control feature or a diaper deposit system that seals odour into the container, so your senses aren’t assaulted every time you drop a stink bomb inside.

Other things to remember are the cost of owning the pail for life (including buying bags and odour-fighting features) and which features are most important to you, including how much you want it to change or where you want it to be kept.

Note; Even though the Ubbi and the Dékor say they’re going to work for cloth diapers, we don’t think these are sufficient cloth diapering options because of the lack of air ammonia build-up.

We prefer containment systems which are explicitly designed with cloth diapers in mind.

Key Considerations

When purchasing a diaper pail we think the most important factors to consider are:
Odor Control ;
Ease of Diaper Disposal; How hard is it to dispose of a dirty diaper? Can you do that by holding a baby with one hand?
Ease of Bag Change; How easy is it to change a full bag of dirty diapers, and does the process produce odour-inducing vomiting, or may it possibly spill?
Total Cost of Ownership;What are the estimated total cost of ownership and use of the pail over the product life expectancy, including replacement diaper bag refills?

Those with patented bags also expense more over time, although some may consider this additional cost worthwhile due to the advanced odour safety.
In order to determine which products are the best pails on the market, we try to address each of these concerns. We placed the utmost importance on odour control because we consider that a diaper pail’s essential purpose and the main reason parents buy one after the convenience of throwing diapers away in-house.

Keeping the Stink Down

  • Rinse the diaper off and into the toilet, before placing it in the pail. This act prohibits the introduction of bio-waste to the landfill and reduces the overall odour.
  • Roll the diaper tightly into a ball and fasten adhesive tabs before bringing it into the pail to hold it wrapped.
  • Swap bag every 2 to 3 days, at least. Clean the pail regularly, using warm soapy water.
  • Dry partridge. If smells persist, seek open drying for UV assistance in the sunlight, killing the odour-causing bacteria.

Ease of Disposal

Ease of disposition is how simple it is to use one hand to dispose of a single diaper. Some of the products offer a foot pedal to open doors for disposal, and while these are good, they are not inherently more straightforward to use than the products which are a hand operation only.

The significant differences, in the end, include the amount of odour that escapes with each deposit and the propensity for diapers to get hung up or need assistance from another hand to get the job done.

The hands-free Diaper Genies, even when the bags are full, work fairly well. With each new diaper drop, the Ubbi suffers from the release of odour, and the sliding door needs some downward pressure to get the door open; if you use the child lock, you might find that the entire operation is more manageable with two hands, not one.

The Munchkin Step is an open step, but after every use the bag twists to trap odors and may make it harder to get a new diaper inside.
The trap door on the Dekor worked well until the bag began to fill in, and over time it “relaxes” resulting in more odor escaping with each new diaper and lack of complete closure on the interior door.

The Tommee Tippee Simplee Diaper Pail involves moving the diaper inside the pail under the main door through a trap door. That’s to touch the inside of the bag, so if there’s any spillage from the previous diaper, you’ll notice that too! Eww!
The 38 Liter Rectangular Step Can simplehuman has a good foot pedal that opens the lid so you can lower your cloth diaper inside.

The Planet Wise Hanging Wet / Dry Bag uses a simple zipper for opening and shutting, but with only one hand you are not likely to handle this.

Ease of Bag Change

It’s not a good time to change pail bags from diaper. It’s a job you’ll want to do quickly and efficiently before you get propelled by the noxious odors.

Because for a couple of years you will be doing this task multiple times a week, you will want to know how difficult it is to complete without making a mess or being knocked out by the fumes.
Several of the pails, such as the Playtex Diaper Genie Expressions, the Munchkin Step, and the Tommee Tippee Simplee, have a built-in blade in the can to cut the bag when ready to remove.

This design is useful since you can periodically empty the pail without wasting bag space . Not all systems are equally useful though.

The Simplee is a little more complicated than the others, because you have to remove the cover completely and hold it while cutting the bag with one hand.
The Step and Expressions cause the lid to remain open on a hinge while feeding the bag to unlock it through the blade.

With the proprietary system, all three will be easy to prepare a new bag once the bag is removed. Only take the plastic liner out and tie a knot at the end. You’re free to go, now!

Options like the simplehuman 38 Liter Rectangular Step Can and the Ubbi where you use a regular trash can, translate into emptying dirty diapers like a traditional trash can.

When the pail becomes too stinky to handle, no matter how full or empty it is, you will need to replace the whole bag.

The simplest way to replace the bag on the simple man, whether using a reusable cloth bag or plastic trash bag, was to adjust a trash bag around the edges. While the Ubbi isn’t difficult due to the lid nature, there are more steps involved.

Lifetime Cost

Unfortunately, when it comes to spending, purchasing a pail isn’t the end of the story, but how much extra cost you can incur depends on the product you want, and how you use it.

We made calculations based on the claims of the manufacturer and our personal experience of how many diapers fit into each bag or refill, and we made a comparative cost analysis of the lifetime cost of owning each product based on the same number of diaper used with each unit.

In addition to being a top-performer, the Munchkin Move is relatively affordable. It does use a proprietary system, which costs just over $200 for life.

The Diaper Genies have won the top scores in our odor control tests but they are the most expensive models to own over the diaper-wearing years of your child.

Ownership costs range just over $300. But, since this product appears to control odors better than the competition, it could make ownership costs worthwhile for you. If cost is a problem and you cring with the idea of buying special diaper bags, you may be considering the Ubbi.
Although not as good for handling odours, this pail can be used with ordinary 13-gallon kitchen trash bags, which will save you money over time with a lifetime cost closer to $122.

The Planet Wise Hanging Wet / Dry Bag is the way to go if you don’t want to put any more money outside the bag.

The choice to wash the bag and not use any method for disposal bags could save you a few hundred dollars over your diapering years.


Parents can be quite emotional about their diaper disposal device, spouting a myriad of reasons why they love it or can’t wait to throw it away.

The secret to diaper pail heaven is to have realistic expectations of what a pail can deliver, frequently changing bags to stop odor build-up, and realizing poop is poop, and smelling like poop (surprise!).

Shockingly, placing a bunch of soiled diapers in the same position will amplify the smell into a greater smell! Our hands-on testing and analysis are the most comprehensive that has ever been conducted to help assess how well and the pail is doing its job.
The products that we like best battle odor better than the competition and are user-friendly. When they fit with any old bag that is also a bonus, but in the end, if it means a patented bag to get good odour protection, we didn’t count it against the pail.

If you don’t mind a diapering lifetime commitment (including the ongoing purchasing of bags and odour features) and you’re committed to odour control, then the pails with special bags handle odour better than the competition and better than the ordinary kitchen trash bags.

If you’re more concerned about keeping lifetime costs down or having the ease of using bags that you have on hand, then you’re likely to be happy with the Ubbi or similar basic pails that work with any suitable size bag.

Consider To Read: Top 5 Best Diaper Pails For Odor Control Of 2020

Dr Sufia Shaikh

Myself Dr Sufia, Doctor by profession speciality in Woman's Health with an experience more than 14 years. I do blogging on Pregnancy & Parenting Tips.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu

Pin It on Pinterest