Getting your home ready to receive a new baby can be so much fun. Though shopping for a diaper pail ranks somewhere below painting the nursery or assembling the crib in terms of preparatory excitement, many parents swear it is one of the most useful bits of baby gear they buy.
Questions you may wish to consider while shopping include how well the unit controls odor, how easy is it to use, and whether or not the pail can be used with regular trash bags instead of the proprietary refill rings most brands carry. The branded refills can add approximately $150-200 to the overall cost over the lifespan of the can. If you’re also considering cloth diapering, it’s worth noting that some, but not all, pails can be used with the washable cloth diaper sacks.
We’ve rounded up four of the most popular models currently on the market to help you find the right one for your home.
A looker that can hold any kind of bag
Made of powder coated steel and available in a rainbow of attractive colors, the Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail stands out from the crowd of white plastic pails on the market for its good looks. Rubber seals and a unique sliding lid keep odors locked in, while a childproof safety lock keeps inquisitive toddlers out.
Parents love that the Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail accepts standard kitchen trash bags as well as the washable bags for cloth diapers, and many find it effective in controlling odor when emptied regularly.
2. Diaper Genie
A hygienic, hands-free diaper disposal system
Though the Diaper Genie is designed for a high level of odor control, with a carbon filter, “double-lock” pail design, and antimicrobial protection, its best-loved feature is the foot pedal, which opens the lid and allows for a quick, “hands-free” diaper disposal. Because the can is 21.5 inches tall, most parents don’t even have to bend over to make the drop, and many appreciate that the specially designed continuous liner bags are easily cut to size when it’s time to empty the pail, so it’s never necessary to toss out a half-full bag.
Though some parents do come to resent the ongoing expense of these Diaper Genie bag refills, the Diaper Genie remains a #1 best seller for its hygienic and ergonomic design. (Though of course, the manufacturer strictly advises against it, a few enterprising parents have successfully hacked the system to hold regular trash bags; demos abound on the internet if this is something that interests you.)
No assembly or guessing games required
The Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail by Munchkin uses the odor-fighting power of baking soda as well as a patented self-sealing system to keep the nursery smelling fresh while storing up to 25 diapers in each Snap, Seal, & Toss Bag.
Parents love the door on the front of the pail, which takes the guesswork out of deciding when to replace the bags. Trust me, you do not want to find out what happens when you try to squeeze in one diaper too many! Like the Diaper Genie, the Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail is not designed to accommodate standard kitchen trash bags or cloth diaper sacks. However, unlike the Diaper Genie, the Munchkin pail is sold fully assembled.
A stylish pail that converts to a regular trash can
With a sleek design, a “step and drop” pedal, and compatibility with standard trash bags, the Diaper Dekor Plus offers many of the best features of other top pails on the market and adds one more: removing its diaper insert converts the pail into a regular trash can. Parents love that the Diaper Dekor Plus comes in a wide range of “Kolors,” and blends in seamlessly with the nursery decor. Like the Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail, it features a childproof lock and can accommodate cloth diapers, though continuous refill liners are also available for the Diaper Dekor Plus.
And the perfect pail is?
Ultimately, though any one of these fine pails offers you a convenient spot to store soiled diapers indoors and all do a reasonable job of containing their aroma, no diaper pail is 100% odorless, and how well any given model works is partly a function of how frequently you empty the pail. Storing the pail in a well-ventilated area like the bathroom as opposed in your baby’s room is the ideal scenario, as parents widely agree that even these four, very well-designed pails inevitably let out an unpleasant whiff when the lid is opened.
My personal suggestion for dealing with this issue? Each time you need to drop a diaper in the can, simply bury your nose in your little one’s chubby neck and inhale that sweet baby smell while reminding yourself that one day, the little stinker will be fully potty trained.