7 Best Diaper Pails of 2023, According to Real Parents
Best Diaper Pails of 2023
January 4, 2023

Best Diaper Pails of 2023

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Best Diaper Pails of 2023.
Best Diaper Pails of 2023

Nobody likes a smelly diaper, least of all 30 of them sitting in a trash bag and stinking up a perfectly lovely nursery.

That’s where a diaper pail comes in handy. These specialized trash cans employ mechanisms to seal off scent and absorb odors to keep your baby’s room from smelling like a porta potty.

Do You Need a Diaper Pail?

A diaper pail isn’t an absolute necessity. It’s true that you can use a regular trash can in your nursery; you might find yourself breathing through your mouth rather than your nose.

If you want to truly minimize the smell of dirty diapers, you have a few options. You can run every used diaper to an outside trash can, but that gets old fast—especially in the middle of the night. Or, you can use a diaper pail. Because they’re designed to lock in the formidable smell of soiled diapers, these containers help reduce unpleasant odors.

You’ll be using your diaper pail from day one well into toddlerhood, so it’s an investment that lasts years. Plus, some diaper pails can be used as regular trash cans after the diaper days have passed.

How to Choose a Diaper Pail

While all diaper pails try to conquer the smell issue, different models offer various benefits. Here are some things to think about when making your decision:

  • Liners: Some diaper pails require special refills, which can add up. Others let you use regular trash bags.
  • How to get the diapers in: Most diapers pails have either a squeegee contraption you push the dirty diapers through, a trap door or a simple hole that the diaper can fall through. Some also have a foot pedal that can be helpful if (when) you have your hands full.
  • How to get the diapers out: Will you need to lift a bag full of diapers out of the container? Or is there a side door for easy access to the bag?

How We Chose Our Best Diaper Pails

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the products they love the most now that their little one has arriveed, then took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight. Here are the diaper pails we think you and your baby will love.

Babylist’s Picks for Best Diaper Pails

Best Diaper Pail That Uses Regular Bags

Why We Love It

This sleek diaper pail is our top pick both for its ability to contain odors and its good looks. Made from steel, it’s designed to prevent odors from seeping into the container itself (which can happen with plastic), containing the yuck factor like a champ. It’s easy to load, use, empty and clean and has a child lock on the lid to keep your toddler from “exploring.” The bonus? You can use a regular kitchen trash bag or reusable cloth liner with it, so you’ll never need to bother with special bags.

The herringbone pattern is exclusive to Babylist, but you can also choose other colors and patterns.

Keep in Mind

Unlike other options that feature a foot lever for hands-free opening, the Ubbi requires one free hand to open the slider on top.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Love it! It’s stylish and keeps odors locked up. Plus it’s big so we change the bag about one time a week.” -Pamela S.

Best Diaper Pail for Odor

Why We Love It

This classic diaper pail uses a clamping system and its own special bags to seal off each diaper you stuff into the trash. Since each diaper is contained, you won’t get a rush of smelly air coming up when you open the trash can or when you change the bag, which can happen with other models. Other pros include the pail’s height—it’s one of the tallest around—as well as a built-in antimicrobial that inhibits bacteria growth.

Keep in MInd

You do have to compact the diaper through a squeezing mechanism. Be sure to seal used diapers up tight so they don’t leak as you handle them.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I never notice a smell with the Diaper Genie, and it’s easy to refill.” -Dana W.

Best Diaper Pail for Cloth Diapers

Why We Love It

If squeezing dirty diapers through a tiny lid doesn’t sound like fun to you, the Dekor Plus should be your diaper pail of choice. Simply press down on the foot pedal to activate the “trap door” opening at the top of the pail, drop your diaper in and be on your way. It’s quick and easy, and it’s also what makes the Dekor a favorite for cloth-diapering families.

Keep in Mind

Though the Dekor has its own liner refills, know that regular trash bags will also work with it. And if you’re cloth diapering, they make special bags for that.

What Babylist Parents Say

“We are using cloth diapers, so I use this with the reusable Dekor liners. Since the pail comes with the nifty plastic bags attached, we used those until they ran out–such a genius way to refill the pail! This pail is so easy to use–I love that you can open it with your foot!” -Melissa

Best Affordable Diaper Pail

Why We Love It

The Expressions is a smaller version of the bestselling Diaper Genie Complete diaper pail—with a smaller price tag to go along with it. It features many of the same things parents love in the more expensive model, including an odor control system and one-handed operation. It’s also customizable; you can decorate it with stickers, paint it or use a fabric sleeve.

Keep in Mind

The Diaper Genie Complete has a 270-diaper capacity, while the Expressions holds about 50.

Best Diaper Pail With Foot Pedal

Why We Love It

Lots of diaper pails advertise an easy one-handed operation—but the Munchkin Step really delivers. The step-lever at the bottom of the pail is wide and really simple to operate with a quick push of your foot even with your little one slung over your hip. Each time the lid opens, the bag holding your batch of dirty diapers seals shut, minimizing odors. (The built-in baking soda insert on the inside of the top lid helps with this, too.) It’s also really easy to change out the bag thanks to the wide side door opening at the front of the pail.

Keep in Mind

While we like how the Munchkin seals the top of the bag after a diaper has been pushed through, some parents have reported getting their hand stuck in the self-sealing mechanism as they release the diaper down into it. Also, you’ll need to purchase the special pail liners and baking soda refill cartridges, making this a pricier option in the long run.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Easy to use and holds in the stink! The pedal makes it easy to use with a wiggly baby on the changing table. The seal inside (along with Arm & Hammer) help the stinky diaper smell stay inside the pail.” -Lindsay

Best Diaper Pail for Small Spaces

Why We Love It

One of the first things that stands out about this diaper pail from Skip Hop is its unique shape. Unlike most pails that are round or oval, this one is rectangular—a space-saving design that allows it to stand flush against a wall or right next to a dresser or changing station.

The Skip Hop pail uses regular trash bags, a feature parents love, and features a built-in storage compartment that keeps all of your diaper changing essentials within easy reach. The bin is made of steel for maximum odor resistance.

Keep in Mind

This diaper pail coordinates with the Nursery Style Wipes Holder, but it’s sold separately.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Best diaper pail I have used! So easy to store baby lotion, powder etc. as well as best way to keep diaper smell contained!” -Alyssa

Best UV Diaper Pail

Why We Love It

Dirty diapers may have finally met their match thanks to this tech-forward diaper pail. Using the power of hospital-grade UV light, this pail eliminates the bacteria and germs that cause odors and viruses. (The light shuts off automatically when not in use.) There’s also a self-sealing system to keep the bag sealed when the lid of the diaper pail is open or closed.

Keep in Mind

You’ll need to plug in this diaper pail in order for the UV light to work, so keep that in mind if you’re mapping out your nursery. It’s also the most expensive diaper pail on our list by far.

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