Parents Guide to the Best Diaper Pail

Parenting is a rewarding, yet, challenging experience. There are many ups and downs you will go through as a parent, and situations you will have to endure that might not be “oh-so-pleasant”. This includes changing dirty diapers. Once these diapers are changed, you will want a place to store them until next garbage collection, which is why you will be looking for the best diaper pail to do the job.

When looking for the best diaper pail for your household, there are some key factors you should be considering in order to make the best decision. You should look at odor control, the overall size and capacity, ease of use, any special bags or inserts needed, durability and cost factor. These features will ensure you choose the best diaper pail for your needs and one that will last over the course of even more than one child if you wish.

**Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon

Odor Control

This is probably the biggest factor in choosing the best diaper pail for the job since controlling smells is your major focus in purchasing a diaper pail. If you choose one that only allows the odor to escape, it defeats the entire purpose. Some diaper pails feature baking soda add-in’s or filters to keep odors at bay. Look to see how the pail you are considering proposes to keep smells to a minimum.

Overall Size and Capacity

You will want to select a diaper pail that can hold a good amount of soiled diapers before needing to be emptied. If you constantly have to empty the pail and put the diapers in your trash bin, this defeats the purpose of having a pail to control odors. It would ideal if the diaper pail could hold a week’s worth of diapers but this isn’t always possible.

Diaper on themamaneeds

You will want to choose a diaper pail which is also tall enough to reach without bending too far down as well. It is tricky to bend over sideways while balancing a little one in your arms. The height of the diaper pail is an important feature. As is the width of the opening since this is where you will be placing the diapers. You definitely do not want to have to SQUISH dirty diapers into a small opening to make them fit.

Ease of Use

If you have ever attempted to do something while holding on to your baby, you know that it can be tricky to say the least. You never seem to have enough hands. When it comes to diaper pails, you want one that is easy to use without much fuss. It shouldn’t be rocket science to dispose of a dirty diaper. Some diaper pails have a twist and lock mechanism, while others act simply like a garbage pail. Look for something that is simple to use and if you can use it with one hand, even better!

Special Add-on’s Required

For the most part, today’s diaper pails are designed to use inserts or bags to hold the diapers. These should be taken into consideration since you will need to constantly buy refills for your specific diaper pail. Some models/makes do not require special bags and allow the use of regular kitchen bags, which greatly reduces additional costs in the future.


Let’s face it, when you have kids, not much is safe from destruction in your house. This is especially true for anything that resides in the kids’ room. Since you will likely be changing your little one in their room, your diaper pail will be kept there as well. You will want your diaper pail to stand up to being knocked over, climbed on, pushed and prodded. Along with that, you will want it to have a lock lid of some sort, to keep little hands out. If you select a diaper with excellent durability, you will get use of it over the course of more than one child if needed.

Cost Factor

Being a parent, you are probably watching your dollars and being careful with the way you spend your money. Even if this isn’t the case, you will want to consider the cost of the diaper pail you are looking at and whether the price is justified by the quality, function and how well it will work for your specific needs. Very affordable pails are under $35, moderate or average price are $35 to $50 and above average are over $50.

The Best Diaper Pail You Can Find

This revolutionary diaper pail brings the strength and odor control of powder coated steel to the diaper pail market. Steel is a terrific barrier to blocking out those diaper smells. The sliding top is simple to use andcan be done with one hand. The great news about this pail is that you don’t need to purchase special bags for using on the inside. The wide neck allows you to fit a diaper through easily and quickly too.


  • Steel body is durable and easy to clean
  • Use your own kitchen bags or even a reusable bag
  • Steel won’t absorb foul odors
  • Easy to use slide back lid for one hand use
  • Rubber seals lock in odors
  • Locking feature to keep toddlers out
  • Can hold up to 50 diapers
  • Good height to reach with minimal bending
  • Available in multiple colors to match nursery décor


  • Above average pricing
  • Slide top may get stuck on larger bags
  • Steel can dent if hit hard or knocked over
  • When you open it to place in a diaper, the smell escapes easily
  • Older children may be able to figure out the locking lid easily

The Munchkin Step Diaper Pail is a favorite amongst parents for its twisting and sealing feature. The soiled diapers are placed in the pail and the bag twists instantly as you close the lid. The step is perfect when you are managing baby in one hand and holding the diaper in the other. The wide neck opening allows for plenty of room to fit the diaper. It is tall enough that most adults won’t need to bend much at all to fit the diaper in. There is a child-proof button to activate a locking mechanism to the chamber. When you are ready, removing the bag is super easy with a built-in cutter.


  • Tall to prevent excessive bending
  • Average price point
  • Child-proof button to lock diaper chamber
  • Self twisting bag
  • Built-in cutter to cut out bags for continued use
  • Step pedal for easy access with one hand
  • Odor control Arm & Hammer puck fits inside the top of the lid
  • Scented bags are available


  • Cannot use your own bags; must purchase one of two kinds of refills
  • Plastic may be more porous to odors
  • Arm & Hammer pucks are additional expense
  • Only includes a few bags to get started
  • Spinning mechanism prone to ceasing up; won’t seal diapers
  • Built-in cutter is very sharp—be careful not to cut yourself!
  • Older children will figure out how to push the button to unlock the chamber
  • Holds less than other pails because of the twisting bag design

The Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail is versatile, large capacity diaper pail which is available in a selection of colors. The simple foot pedal opens the lid, you toss in the diaper through the doors and close the lid. No twisting, turning or pushing on your part. This particular size will hold up to 60 newborn diapers before needing to be emptied. Once your little one has grown out of diapers, you can use this as a garbage pail, making this a long-term investment.


  • Extra large capacity
  • No bending necessary to dispose of the diapers
  • One step foot pedal to open the lid, easy to use
  • Converts to a garbage pail when the time comes
  • Can use your own trash bags
  • Great for cloth diapering too
  • Keeps odors at bay
  • Average price range
  • Available in multiple color choices


  • Eventually will start to take on odors, especially if your child is on solids with more smelly diapers
  • Foot pedal may break, making opening the lid tricky, especially with one hand
  • May only hold up to 7 cloth diapers
  • Large size may take up an entire corner in your nursery
  • No way to tell when it’s full until the trap door won’t open

This basic, budget diaper pail is great for anyone looking for a place to dispose of their little one’s dirty diapers and not spend a fortune to do so. You can use your own trash bags-no need for expensive refills. It has a button which opens the space where you place the diapers and they drop into the bag.


  • Extremely affordable—almost the same price as the average garbage pail
  • Simple to remove the bag by flipping open the top
  • Use your own bags
  • Can be used as a cloth diaper pail as well


  • Isn’t very good at keeping odors locked in
  • Made of flexible plastic material which isn’t very durable
  • Not very tall, require some bending to push the button and open
  • Opening for diapers is not super wide

The Diaper Genie with Odor Lock Technology is a popular diaper pail on the market currently. It features an easy to use pedal to open the lid and dispose of the soiled diaper with only one hand. The refills, which are purchased separately, lock out odors. Just simply fit the refill in and start using it. You won’t need to bend over to place the diaper in the pail, since it is the tallest pail made by Playtex to date.


  • Very affordable price range
  • No twisting or pushing required on your part
  • Easy to open with a step on the pedal
  • Carbon filter to help with odor control
  • Locks odors in once pail closes
  • Tilting diaper chamber for easy emptying
  • Child-proof lower chamber


  • Refills are sold separately; can’t use regular garbage bags
  • Carbon filters are an additional cost
  • Only holds about 40 newborn diapers; less if they are larger
  • If pedal becomes broken, it won’t open
  • Plastic body instead of steel
  • Eventually will take on odors

The Winner of the Best Diaper Pail Is…

While the main goal of any diaper pail is house soiled, stinky diapers until you take them out to the garbage, not all diaper pails do this job equally. Of these five diaper pails, there is a clear winner, in my opinion for meeting so many of the important factors of the best diaper pail out there.

The winner is the Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail with its affordable price point and super large capacity. What is great, is that you can use every day garbage bags in this pail without having to buy special refills or cartridges, only adding to your expenses. The hands-free design has parents interest in mind since it can be a juggling act to handle your little one and a dirty diaper while trying to open a diaper pail. Since you can choose different colors, it fits nicely into your nursery décor.

So as not to be wasteful, this diaper pail converts to a regular garbage pail once your diaper days are over. This means stretching your buck even further than most diaper pails. The opening is wide to easily fit a diaper or other garbage as needed.

Hopefully, this has made your diaper pail decision a little easier and enlightening. Please let us know by leaving a comment or question below. Hearing from our readers is always important to us!

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Jennifer Shackelford

Hi, I’m Jennifer, the founder and editor of TheMamaNeeds.com. On The Mama Needs, I write about experience with pregnancy, raising kids, and nutrition for both kids and expectant moms.. I love that blogging brings parents together and lets our readers know they’re not the only ones going through these experiences. I love seeing comments on my posts that say “I thought it was just me! I’m so glad it’s not!” Being a parent is hard, but friends and blogs really help.

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