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The Best Pails for Your Nursery – And Which Diaper Pails to Avoid!

I reviewed multiple diapers pails and found only the Ubbi Diaper Pail holds more diapers than the other brands and still manages ease of use while also keeping odor at bay with several different methods. You can keep a week’s worth of diapers inside the steel bin, so you have to take the trash out less often. Read below for the full list of best diaper pails and also see which diaper pail contenders you should keep far away from your home. 

Best Diaper Pail Overall:

Best Cloth Diaper Pail:

Best Diaper Pail That Twists Each Diaper:

Best Diaper Pails

The Ubbi, Dekor Plus, and Munchkin diaper pails are the higher-rated diaper pails on this list compared to the others. The Ubbi can use traditional kitchen trash bags whereas most other diaper pails need specific-branded trash bags.

Ubbi Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail

Ubbi Steel Odor Locking, No Special Bag Required Money Saving, Awards-Winning, Modern Design Registry Must-Have Diaper Pail, Gray , 15 x 10.75 x 22.48 Inch (Pack of 1)

Diaper pails should be easy to use. That’s the premise for the Ubbi Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail. Open the lid, put in the diaper, move on with your day. Parents need to keep a hand on their baby and not be messing around with an annoying lid to throw away a dirty nappy.

The Ubbi is currently the best option in the diaper pail market. It’s easy to use, made of steel, can use any liner, and can work for cloth or disposable diapers. A few customers found flaws with the pail, but overall, this pail is the best option for housing dirty diapers. 

Check out the benefits and flaws of this best diaper pail. 

The Good

The first and best feature of the Ubbi diaper pail is no special bags! You know they hike up the price of diaper trash bags. Why not instead grab some affordable trash bags in bulk and save some moolah? Buy either the Ubbi Plastic Bags or any brand you choose

The steel diaper pail can hold up to 55 dirty diapers. Of course, this depends on the size of the diapers and whether you use cloth diapers or disposable diapers. You can fit more size one diapers than size six. Also, the steel locks the stench in and doesn’t absorb the smell like plastic containers. Besides, steel is much nicer to look at. Plastic just appears cheaper.

This best pail holds more diapers than any other diaper pail available making this the best option for parents of twins, triplets, or multiple babies in diapers.

Rubber around the top seals in the odor, which is the purpose of the pail. Everything else is gravy. We want the stink to stay in! For days, weeks, years…no, that’s pushing it. Make sure you change the bag every few days or so. 

Finally, you will love the simple-to-use mechanism. No bag tops to attach. You can use this pail right out of the box. The steel design prevents breaking.

The sliding door for tossing the diaper in also keeps dogs or cats from accessing the inside of the can. Also, the design is childproof to keep little fingers safe. Just turn the lock and distract the toddler from the pail.

Pick your favorite color to match your nursery decor.

The Bad

The main issue with this pail is the lever to open is on top and not a foot pedal on the bottom. With this pail, you need one hand on the baby and one to push open the top and squish the diaper in. That’s the other issue: the opening for the diaper is rather small, which invites more squishing of dirty, disgusting diapers. 

Despite all of the measures to contain the stink, a small percentage of customers complained the Ubbi failed in its mission. We are talking about filled diapers. A pail can only do so much before the stink overthrows a room. Read below for more options to contain odor and prevent nasty odors. 

Read a full Ubbi Diaper Pail review and find out why it’s our favorite. 

The Diaper One N Done

The Diaper One N Done

The The Diaper One N Done is unlike other diaper pails because you only use it for one diaper at a time.

The benefit is it attaches to your changing table for easy access. The simple design keeps you busy changing and keeping your baby in reach the entire time you’re changing the diaper, instead of far away and out of reach, depending on where you need to place a diaper pail.

Take a look at the rest of the best features. 

The Good 

You will notice in the picture that the pail is on a little stand. This little stand includes hooks to attach to your changing table. You can instead use it as a stand-alone base for your pail where ever you need it. Use all those shopping bags from the grocery store to line the little pail and toss in diapers and wipes. Then tie up the little bag and toss it in a bigger trash can. 

You can either use another diaper pail to hold the dirty diapers after or grab a regular trash can or toss the bag in the house trash.

Because you are already putting the diaper in a little sack, you don’t have to worry too much about the stench. Regular trash fills up rather quickly so the diapers can go in and out just as quickly. 

Lastly, despite the cheap plastic design, the tiny trash can serves its purpose of being very close to your hands and diapers. You can pick from two print designs or from plain white.

The very best part is that you only ever deal with the one stinky mess. With a traditional pail, when the bag is full, you have to deal with the whole stinky bag. Not with this pail, which is easier and nicer to your nose. 

The Bad

The problem with pail is it’s a single-use instead of multiple uses to fill up. This is part of the design and part of the benefit, but also the problem because you still need to toss the dirty diaper in its little sack somewhere.

The company also encourages use of their bags instead of recycling and using whats already available in the home. 

The last issue is the price. While the price isn’t exorbitant per se, it is rather expensive for a tiny plastic pail and a little plastic stand. The size is too small for the price, especially as your baby grows and ends up in much larger diapers. 

Also, this is not the best system for cloth diapers because of the small capacity and no lid.

Prince Lionheart Twist’R Diaper Disposal System

Prince Lionheart Twist'r Diaper Disposal System, White Candy Stripe

The Prince Lionheart Twist’R Diaper Disposal System is quite ingenious, but involves a bit of work.

Also, this system requires special bags at a slightly elevated price. You cannot use regular trash bags in this system. So, if you run out of bags in the night, you better get online and order some ASAP.

What this best system does do is contain the odor of dirty diapers. Take a look.

The Good 

Nifty technology can now be in your laundry room. If I had this diaper pail, I might have actually enjoyed tossing diapers into the trap door. Not only is the trap door handy for hands-off tossing, but also seals in the repugnant scent of soiled nappies. 

The magic is in the activated charcoal packets to absorb odors. When they stop working, buy more packets. Also, the bags are made of seven layers to trap odor molecules. These special bags also have blue and white strings on them to help with the twisting mechanism. 

Finally, the way the diaper pail deals with diapers is truly ingenious.

  • First, the diaper goes through the trap door.
  • Second, you step on the foot pedal to activate the twisting motion.
  • Third, this twisting motion seals the diaper off from the top near the trap door so you do not ever smell a nasty stench.
  • Fourth, the pail holds up to 45 newborn diapers. Less for each subsequent size. 

The Bad

The first issue with the Lionheart pail is the special bags. Sure, they lock in odor, but they also take a lot of money, as they are much pricier than normal trash bags. The choice comes down to personal preference- is price or odor your main concern?

Second, the price of plastic trash bin is very high. Yes, this is an exceptional design, but you pay a high price for a glorified trash can to twist your bags and the price just keeps going with the price of the bags and more activated charcoal packets.

Also, plastic breaks faster than metal. 

Third, the bag fills up and won’t accept new diapers even when there is actual room for diapers, but not for the twisting mechanism. Not fun in the wee hours of the morning. Also not fun for tight budgets with the cost of the bags.

Finally, not great for the environment. Then again, neither are disposable diapers, so maybe that doesn’t matter here at all. 

Diaper Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail, White

Oh my goodness! We have another innovative idea with the Diaper Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail. Yes, it has flaws, but the design solves problems for some and is a valuable option.

Let’s take a look at all of the options included with this pail. 

The Good 

The best part of this diaper pail is the desire for less waste. The inner bag fits inside at the top and then you pull off, tie, and throw away. If you have an especially nasty set of dirty diapers, tie off and start a new bag immediately instead of waiting until the bag is empty. 

Next, you have options! Pick from the mini, normal, or extra-large pail to accommodate your needs. The price is quite reasonable too so you can afford one for downstairs and one for upstairs. Even the liners are more affordable than other brands.

You will also love not having to bend, twist, or squish to get diapers into the Diaper Dekor pail. Push the foot pedal and the lid pops up. Yes, you will get a hint of stench from the completely open system but you will have both hands-on baby, which is a plus. 

To accommodate the stinky scents, the pail includes an effective triple odor control.

Overall, the ease of use, the economic design, and the large opening make this a great buy for everyone, even those on a tight budget. 

The Bad

The open design at the top does not help to mask the stink, which is why a lot of people choose twist bag diaper pails. It’s a trade-off between a strong smell and ease of use.

Also, because the pail is made of plastic, it can break. The lid can come off and then you have to buy a new one.

Sadly, this does not contain the stench for a lot of customers. Look below for more ways to contain the smell. 

Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer

Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer, Includes (1) Bonus Toss Disposable Diaper Pail

The Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer includes the prerequisite Arm & Hammer baking soda wheel to keep smell at bay. The liners come in different scents as well, like lavender to avoid noxious smells as well.

Take a peek at all the advantages of this best pail.

The Good

The pail is simple enough to use. Step on the foot pedal to lift the lid, push the diaper in, and close the lid to activate the twisting motion. When it comes time to change the bag, you pull up the top two layers, insert the liner clasp, and pull through. Close and you’re done. 

The inserts come scented to mask poopy diaper smells. The disc with baking soda pops on the inside of the lid and is replaceable. Also, the refill bags can use either snap or seal-and-toss bags to give you a few options.

Finally, each liner can hold about thirty diapers, so you won’t have to replace them too often.

The design is simple and non-intrusive and easy to clean. The simple design will work well in most nurseries. If you don’t like white, you could always let an older child decorate with stickers. 

The Bad

No one likes to squish poop-filled diapers through the door, and this one requires a little force. If it was a particularly full diaper, you run the risk of squishing out grossness. It doesn’t help that the opening for the diapers isn’t large enough for all sizes. The opening needs to be larger.

Next, the pail is made of plastic, which can break or not seal to prevent the odor-blocking twisting function. 

Also, the price is rather high for a plastic trash bin. On top of that, you have to buy special liners with more added expense than regular garbage bags.

Also, you need to replace the discs with baking soda. Some people still had issues with smell. 

Finally, several customers complained the device stopped working inside the first year. The price is too expensive for the plastic pail to break down. At least when you buy one of those fancy push pedal regular trash cans, it’s made of steel and won’t break down early.

Apparently, the older model was much better than this one. 

Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail

Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail 14 gallon: multiple children or 2+ days

While the Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail 14 gallon is meant for cloth diapers, there’s no reason you cannot use this pail for disposable diapers instead. This is the best option for moms who want something simple with no fuss.

Take a look at the simplicity of this pail. 

The Good 

Yes, this is a plastic bucket with a plastic lid, but it gets the job done. The steel handles lock the lid onto the bucket. You will appreciate the locking lid if you have a dog or cat or a curious child who likes to steal diapers.

The large size works great for storing a lot of cloth diapers. If you decide to use this bucket for disposable diapers, then make sure to get large trash bags. 

While the pail is made of plastic, it’s recycled and the lid traps odor in. Even better, the inside has a slot for a citrus deodorizer disc and a charcoal filter to trap smells in too. Purchase extra carbon filters to ensure no smell.

This diaper pail is a great option for cloth diapers, including wet diapers. 

Lastly, the odorless bucket works great for two children. Store two days’ worth of cloth diapers for twins with no issues. 

The Bad

This is a bucket with a lid. It has a system for odor, but the price is too exorbitant for what you get. A full-sized trash can with a lid is cheaper than this item, which is just wasteful. 

The other problem with this bucket is that throwing away a diaper requires two hands. You have to unlatch the lid and toss the diaper in and replace the lid. Not an easy feat if you’re trying to keep a baby on a changing mat.

Also, you will smell the diapers when you open the lid. You may want to change the bag often. 

Creative Baby Tidy Diaper Pail

Creative Baby Tidy Diaper Pail, Pearl, Pearl/Blue/White/Gray, One Size

The Creative Baby Tidy Diaper Pail is inexpensive and effective. It has grand features with an amazing design and concept that allows for one-handed use.  It includes a very unique design compared to other models in an attempt to hold more diapers and reduce smells in the room.

Here’s a closer look at the Tidy Diaper Pail.

The Good 

Yes, the pail works fairly well for locking odors in, but the best part of the pail is that you don’t have to buy special bags or liners! Toss any trash bag you like in this bucket. The low price of the item and the potentially low cost of the trash bags mean you save money. 

The bin holds a few day’s worth of diapers, or about 30 diapers or so. Depending on what size diaper your baby is in, you can probably go 3 to 4 days without taking the bag out. You can use a 4 or 6-gallon trash bag. Or, if that’s difficult, you can use a very easy-to-find size, like a standard 13-gallon kitchen bag.

The design works nicely unless the pail is over full. You pull up on the handle to open up around the hole to put the diaper in. Next, you slide the handle back down and this triggers the diaper to fall into the pail. No twisting, no squishing. The bottom of the pail even has a foot spot to help make sure the pail stays in place while you use the top. 

Changing the liner is easy as well. Take up the top then the inner section. Pull the old bag out. Insert the new bag and wrap around the base, close both sections and you’re done. The odor-locking piston is how the pail contains odor. 

The Bad

The Tidy Diaper Pail has a lot of flaws which is why it’s so low on the list. The design could work if it was made of more sturdy material. The plastic is cheap and top-heavy, so the mechanism gets stuck a lot. Then you have an open hole into a portal of dirty diapers. Not pleasant.

Next, the pail doesn’t include any other odor control methods, besides squishing and sealing the diaper into the pail. No activated charcoal, no baking soda, no scent, nothing. This is not the best option for containing odors. Especially when the pail begins to fill and the piston doesn’t seal all the way

It’s a pain when you want to throw away a baby wipe all by itself, too.  The whole piston thing doesn’t work and the wipe sort of ends up floating around in no man’s land.

Lastly, the pail only holds about 30 newborn diapers. As your baby grows and the diapers get bigger, you will have to change the pail more often.

Also, there is no way to see inside the pail to see if the bag is full. If the bag is full you can expect a diaper to get stuck in the mechanism which is not fun to clean out. 

Vliba Diaper Pail

Vliba Diaper Pail (White) - Free Bags - Includes up to 6 Months' Supply of Refill Bags (1125 Diaper Count)

The Vliba Diaper Pail is last on the list because while it offers so many innovative features, it’s flimsy and difficult to use. All of the features would be fabulous if a few areas were fixed to make the item work properly.  You can pick from multiple colors to go along with the sleek and discreet design. 

The Good 

Like the Prince Lionheart diaper pail above, this one has a trap door to help toss diapers in with just a push of a foot lever. The outside has a lid followed by the trap door.

Another thoughtful design element is the child lock on the trap door so children cannot access the bags or the diapers. The hands-free design means you can hold on to the baby instead of a diaper. 

The two inner seals help to prevent the smell of diapers from leaking into the room. No tying, no cutting, and you can use regular trash bags as well. This best pail can be used for cloth diapers and adult diapers too since it has a large opening. 

Despite the small and sleek design, the pail holds up to 45 newborn diapers or 20 toddler-sized diapers. Even better, the pail includes lightly-scented refill liners. Enough to last for six months!

While the cost is a bit high, it does include a ton of liners as well, so it’s actually saving you money. You also get a sample pack of individual diaper disposal sacks for super stinky diapers.

The Bad

Now on to the problems.

First, the pail is flimsy. Yes, it’s sleek, but what good is a simple design if it falls apart before you are finished diapering your child?

Second, pulling a bag out is difficult. You have to find a button on the side and push it open, which is not the difficult part. But putting the seam back together can be a challenge, which means every time you change the bag, you have to battle. 

The battle isn’t over yet. After you get the bag out, putting a new one is requires pushing the bag into slots and around pins to make sure the bag stays in place and the trap door can fit back in. The precarious bag entry means as the bag gets fuller, the bag can fall out. This means when you take the next bag out, you have to stuff some diapers in. 

Finally, the size is rather small and doesn’t hold as much as the company claims, unless you are talented in making the diapers very small when you fold them up.

Nor does this pail keep the smell in, despite the two seals on the top. Plastic tends to absorb smells and this one is no different. 

How These Diaper Pails Compare

The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.

The Worst Pails in Comparison

Four of the most popular diaper pails did not live up to my standards nor to customer’s standards either. Despite the well-known names, a dud is a dud.

To be honest, I expected more brands to have ventured into the diaper pail market. Pampers, Luvs, Huggies, Amazon, Chicco, etc., but none of these brands have branched out with their baby products to diaper pails, despite how small the market remains.

Either way, let’s look at the Safety 1st, Playtex Diaper Genie, Tommee Tippee, and Bubula diaper pail systems and their flaws. 

Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail

Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail

The Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail looks like a decent option for a diaper pail at first glance. I had this diaper pail, maybe an older generation, but I received this model at my baby shower. And let me tell you, I could smell my daughter’s diapers even in other rooms. 

Also, the diaper pail tipped a lot, and trying to squish the diaper into the tiny hole was quite a task by the time my baby was in a size four diaper. Mainly, the size issue was because of the bulbous air freshener on the pop-out top.

Nothing about this diaper pail was better than a regular trash can with a lid. 

If this option is still on your list, I will let you know it is an inexpensive option and very easy to use if you can get past the horrid smell.

The other benefit of this pail lies in the ability to use any trash bag instead of proprietary bags. But here’s the thing, a regular trash can with a foot pedal would serve you better. 

Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail

Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Pail with Built-In Odor Controlling Antimicrobial, Includes Pail and 1 Clean Laundry Scent Refill, White Pail

If Playtex’s Elite model diaper pail was still on the market, I would readily recommend this brand. Unfortunately, the Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail does not live up to the past model. The new model may say complete, but the only thing complete about it is it doesn’t completely work and it’s completely smaller than its predecessor. 

The Elite model held almost twice as many diapers. I can only assume Playtex changed the model to save space in a nursery. With proprietary bags, one would hope to get their money’s worth, which is no longer the case. The size is the same, but with less actual space for diapers now, which means wasted space, a big no-no in the diaper pail business. 

The older model contained odor better and now an overwhelming number of customers complain about the stench. The main purpose of a diaper pail is to contain odor. Playtex should learn to not fix something if it ain’t broke.

Even the convoluted process of using the diaper pail changed. Like other brands, the main source of odor control comes from two layers with the inner clamps pushing the diaper down. Works better for cloth diapers, but not disposable diapers.

The old model twisted, which seemed to contain the smell better. This model requires assembly, cutting, tying, insert, and on and on. A diaper trash can should be simple to use. 

Finally, the Diaper Genie Complete is weak and fails to stay up when tossing a diaper. Even the trap door traps the diapers in the wrong place. The only good aspect of this diaper pail is the affordable price.

Otherwise, Playtex needs to return to the old model or the drawing board. 

Tommee Tippee Simplee Diaper Pail

Tommee Tippee 87003001 Simplee Nappy Disposal System Grey

The Tommee Tippee Simplee Diaper Pail only offers one difference from all the other diaper pails on the market: a film around the lid to kill germs. I’m not sure how this is helpful, as the diaper was just on the baby. It doesn’t remove bacteria from the baby but from the diaper, which is going in the trash.

Also without refills, how can this continue to work without replenishment? 

However, the main issue with the pail is how far down the trap door sits. You have to push the diaper through the top layer, essentially putting your entire hand in the diaper pail through a door it could get caught in just to toss out the diaper. Maybe this is why the germ layer is necessary?

No other diaper pail expects you to force your hand into such an uncomfortable position especially when you’re trying to keep a baby on a table. 

Lastly, the pail only holds up to 18 size one diapers. By the time you get to level four diapers, the pail may hold up to six diapers. That’s not even a full day’s worth for most babies! Maybe this pail was made for extra small nurseries, but either way, it should hold a minimum of ten diapers no matter the size. 

Like the Diaper Genie, the price is surprisingly nice, but for a tiny diaper trash can, it should not be expensive, to begin with.

You won’t save money because the pail requires Tommee Tippee brand refills, which you then have to tie off and mess with. They do not keep the scent in either. 

Bubula Steel Diaper Pail

Bubula Steel Diaper Pail, Grey

Thie Bubula Steel Diaper Pail is the only steel diaper pail available besides the popular Ubbi. Unfortunately, the Bubula receives poor reviews across the board. Despite steel, this diaper pail fails to meet customer’s needs for strength and ease of use. 

First, the pail uses steel everywhere but the hinges. How can a pail be strong with weak hinges?

Next, this diaper pail doesn’t last more than a few months. With the high price, the bucket should last the entire duration of at least two baby’s lives.

Another major issue is the pail doesn’t seal well for every customer and those customers are blasted with nasty smells. Not to mention, too many customers mentioned the lid snapping off or breaking. 

Second, many customers received defective models. Others complained the lids were difficult to close. While the pail keeps smells away for the majority of customers, what good would it do if the item breaks quickly at an unreasonable price and needs to be replaced before their baby can walk?

Finally, the main design flaw is how small the diaper opening is for the sack. It only takes up one-half of the container. Either the canister needs to be smaller or the opening needs to allow the bag to fill the canister. 

The can does have some advantages such as the steel body, the sleek design, multiple colors, and a no-hands touch to throw away the diaper.

Unfortunately, the company needs to tweak this pail to fix the rather large list of issues. Too bad, as the market really needs more steel diaper pails. 

Everything You Need To Know About Diaper Pails 

You might be wondering if you even need a diaper pail.

The main two reasons parents choose to purchase a diaper pail are 1) to avoid nasty diaper smell permeating through the room and 2) to avoid multiple trips with a diaper to the regular garbage can.

Other aspects of a diaper pail can tell you if it’s a decent model.

Take a look at what to look for when shopping for a diaper pail.

Reduce Smell

Whether with multiple layers or odor-blocking attachments, a best diaper pail should prevent the scent of diapers from oozing out of the pail and into the nursery or the rest of the house. No one wants to walk into a room and get hit in the face with foul smells. A great diaper pail will offer more than one way of fighting smell. 

Beyond multiple layers, other methods of containing smell include activated charcoal, baking soda, and scented garbage bags.

Another method includes twisting the bag to contain the smell. Do remember though, twist bags need to be changed more often.

If your preferred pail does not include a smell inhibitor, you can always purchase a stick-on one to help reduce the smell. 

Easy to Empty and Reload

Changing a diaper pail should be only a little more difficult than dropping a bag into a trash can. You should expect to need to take out an inner layer to put the liner through.

Many diaper pails require tying a bag inside as well to set up the pail. Any pail that requires additional steps will just frustrate you and wish you had purchased a different option. 

Simple to Dispose of Diapers

Taking the bag out and containing the stench until you can walk out to the yard or the garage to dispose of the bag should be a priority in a diaper pail. Diapers should not fall out nor should the bag rip.

These are simple requests, but some liners are very thin (like the Tommee Tippee liners) and can rip under the weight of too many diapers. Others can rip when removed from a difficult-to-use diaper pail.

Purchase a pail that makes diaper disposal an easy task. 

Reasonably Priced

Price isn’t everything, but many people are stuck in the confines of specific budgets. Also, diaper pails are often made of plastic and no plastic should be overly expensive.

Steel pails often last long and will cost more because of the expense of metal.

Consider your budget and what the pail offers and if the price is worth the return. 

Do not forget the cost of lining the diaper pail. Many diaper pails expect the customer to continue purchasing proprietary liners for the pail. These are often more expensive and double the cost over the span of diapering your baby.

Decide beforehand if your budget can handle the strain of special bags or if regular garbage bags would suit your budget better. 

Decent Size and Style

A diaper pail needs to hold at least 10-14 diapers, preferably. The best pail that’s too large will start to smell no matter what after several days. Most pails hold a minimum of 30 size 1 diapers and reduce as the diaper size enlarges. Any pail that holds less than this will cause more work for you in the long run. 

Also, a diaper pail should be semi-reasonable attractive. Yes, it’s going to hold dirty diapers, but that’s no reason for the pail to be an eyesore. Most pails are white, but others can come in different colors. The prettiest option is the Prince Lionheart Diaper System

FAQs – Diaper Pails

How often do I need to empty a diaper pail?

I would suggest emptying the diaper pail every evening if you want to prevent several days worth of stink. At the minimum, you must empty the pail when the bag is full. The more you empty the pail, the less it will fill the house with nasty diaper perfume. 

If you choose a diaper pail with a larger capacity, it may only need to be emptied once or twice a week. You need to decide beforehand how often you plan to take the trash out and plan accordingly. If you plan to empty every evening, then pick a smaller waste bin. 

How often do I need to change air filters?

Air filters should be changed at least every 90 days. You can change them as often as once a month if the smell worsens and you need a break from the stench.

Baking soda can be added to the can every day. I used to sprinkle some straight into the bottom of a new bag to help prevent odor.

Do I need to wash my diaper pail if it requires liners?

Yes! Washing the pail reduces germs and reduces lingering scents.

If your diaper container doesn’t have a liner, clean it at least once a week. If yours has a liner, then clean your diaper pail at least once a month.

I would recommend washing the pail with vinegar water to neutralize odors and kill germs. Bleach is another great option, as long as you can stand the smell of bleach!

Just pour some vinegar with warm water in the pail and leave it to sit in the shower or bathtub for about 20-30 minutes and then wash with a brush or sponge before rinsing out.

The same goes for bleach. If you use bleach, then use cold water, as warm water stops the effects of bleach. Do not use bleach on the outside of a container that is not white, as it can change the color. 

Will my child be able to open the diaper pail?

Some children are extremely talented in opening anything they are not supposed to open. Most diaper pails do not have child locks, but most children cannot operate the mechanisms.

The main concerns though are your child getting an arm or hand stuck in the mechanisms or pulling out the bag and suffocating. A child who gets their arm stuck in the trap door can get hurt. Also, children may pull out the diapers and decide to “paint” with the contents. Not a lot of fun to clean up. 

Most children will not be able to open a diaper pail until they are 18 months old. At this point, your choice is to teach your child not to touch or move the diaper pail out of reach.

Is a plastic diaper pail better than a steel diaper pail?

A plastic diaper pail is more affordable than a steel diaper pail. However, a steel diaper pail will last longer and break slower. Plastic tends to be flimsy and breaks quickly, as it cannot hold up to much abuse. Unfortunately, the market offers more plastic diaper pails than steel.

The Ubbi is the only all-steel option available. If you want a steel pail, this is your best and only choice. 

Are there external ways to help contain the smell in addition to the diaper pail?

Yes, you do have a few options. Baking soda can be added to the inside of the pail or to the inside of the liner.

You can also purchase scented liners or trash bags to at least mask the smell.

Also, activated charcoal discs can go in any diaper pail.

The best option is to clean the pail regularly with vinegar and bleach and to empty the pail nightly. 

How many diaper pails do I need?

This depends on how many spaces you have to change diapers. Keep one in the nursery room and one downstairs if you do not want to use the regular garbage can to dispose of diapers or take the diapers out to the trash can outside or in the garage.

If your house is very large, you may want more in different rooms.

Can I throw other stuff away in a diaper pail?

You can use diaper pails to throw away anything that could stink or draw bugs. Use the pail for wipes, q-tips, empty ointment, and anything else that can fit in without breaking the trash can.

If you are using a diaper pail with expensive proprietary bags, you may want to use the pail for only stinky items to save on money. 

What other products can I buy to make diapering easier? 

A baby changing pad would be a great option to keep your baby in place – somewhat – while diapering. Do remember to always keep your baby within your hand’s reach.

A diaper caddy can also help out to keep everything nearby and in easy reach.

Finally, you will want a changing table to change the baby on!


  1. How To Get The Funky Smells Out of a Diaper Pail, www.momtricks.com
  2. How to choose a diaper pail, www.consumerreports.org

Adrina Palmer is a stay-at-home-mom to three wonderful children and a wife to an amazing husband. She has a bachelors degree in Religion from Liberty University and works as a blogger, copywriter, and reviewer. Adrina is a Christian hoping to help other stay-at-home moms find the joy and simplicity as a mother and wife. In her free time she enjoys many crafts, writing, spending time with family, and reading. She would love to hear from you!

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