The top 3 best diaper pails for cloth diapers – I hate all pails except these

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Last Updated: March 7, 2017

In this review you’ll find which cloth diaper pails we found were the best. You’ll also find out which diaper pail liners came out on top and how to make your own diaper pail deodorizers with ingredients from your kitchen cupboard.



First of all, let me state up front that a diaper pail is just a fancy trashcan. I personally like this steel trashcan because you can keep your hands free with the step pedal and the tight fitting lid keeps smells inside. Plus it comes with a 5 year warranty.

But if you must buy a diaper pail, these are the ones you should get.

So why would anybody buy a diaper pail and not just use a garbage can?

The main reason is because a diaper pail will actually keep stinky smells trapped inside. Normal garbage cans will let the odor of dirty diapers seep out into your room. Another good reason is that most diaper pails can beused with reusable liners and refills instead of garbage bags. This way you won’t have to waste an entire garbage bag just to hold a couple of stinky diapers. I personally like to use reusable pail liners.

This review is pretty long. You can skip ahead to the summarized pros & cons and compare the top-rated diaper pails. Follow the link below to get to the good parts.

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What is the best diaper pail for cloth diapers?

After testing out the top reviewed diaper pails including the Munchkin,Diaper Genie, and Safety 1st diaper pails my choice for the best diaper pail are the:

Diaper Dekor Plus

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Rating: 5 out of 5

We like the Diaper Dekor Plus because it’s big enough to hold bulky cloth diapers. There’s no complicated traps or openings that snag on the diapers and the bag/liner is a snap to change.

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The Ubbi Diaper Pail

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Rating: 4 out of 5

We like the Ubbi because it is the ONLY diaper pail made out of stainless steel instead of cheap plastic. It feels sturdy and it will last through several children. We did deduct one point for the high price.

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What should you look for in the best diaper pails?

  • High quality plastic (ABS) or metal. These materials won’t absorb stinky odors like cheap flimsy plastics.
  • A removable water-resistant bucket inside that you can easily take out and rinse. This is essential for when the bag/liner leaks.
  • A step pedal to open the lid. You want to be able to open the diaper pail hands free. This way you don’t have to take your hands off of your baby or touch the lid with your dirty hands after a diaper change.
  • A lid that stays shut to keep curious dogs and toddlers out.
  • A lid with a tight fit that seals shut. This traps in odors and keeps out flies.

The Best Diaper Pails Of 2014 and 2015 – Our Results

#1 The Diaker Dekor Plus Review – this is the best diaper pail for the money

The Diaper Dekor Plus stands in the corner of the room and we never even notice it or smell it. Simple. Elegant. It just works.

The best diaper pail for storing stinky cloth diapers until they are ready to be washed is the Diaper Dekor Plus. A long time favorite among mommy bloggers, it was the best at trapping smelly odors and the easiest to use compared to the other brands.

The first feature that stood out even before I saw the inside of the Diaper Dekor is that compared to other diaper pails it’s larger which is great for cloth diapers. This is essential since cloth diapers are bulkier than disposables. Keep in mind that a diaper pail that holds a weeks worth of disposable diapers will only hold about 2 days worth of cloth diapers.

The construction and quality of the Diaper Dekor Plus is top-notch. It does not feel flimsy when I press on it and the plastic is sturdy and shiny. The foot pedal is springy and does not take a lot of pressure to activate the lid. There is a cover inside just underneath the outer lid which keeps stinky smells in even when the lid is up. It’ll also keep out dogs and little hands even if they do manage to figure out how to step on the pedal. To get the diaper into the pail past this cover you’ll have to press down a bit to push the diaper in.

My experience is the Dekor holds about 2 days worth of cloth diapers before the liner has to be changed. The refills for the Dekor Plus come in 2 packs and each box lasts about 6 months. You could also use regular 13 gallon kitchen garbage bags.

Better yet, get a couple reusable cloth diaper pail liners like these Planet Wise liners (Amazon | buybuybaby). They’re leak proof and machine washable so you can throw the liner into the washer together with your diapers. One Planet Wise pail liner holds about 18 cloth diapers.

 Check Prices (Amazon | buybuybaby)

#2 The Ubbi Diaper Pail Review – this is a great stylish diaper pail


The Ubbi stainless steel diaper pail is sleek and comes in many colors to blend with any nursery color scheme.

Update: This diaper pail wasn’t originally a part of my review of the best diaper pails. I saw the Ubbi featured the other day on TV and I just had to include it on my list. It seems most people agree that this is a great diaper pail as it has a 4 out of 5 stars rating from 290+ buyers.

As seen on the Ellen Degeneres show, the Ubbi is the armored tank car of diaper pails.

Made completely of steel with a rubber seal around the lids, this diaper pail is guaranteed not to absorb smells. Unlike the Diaper Dekor Plus, the Ubbi is easy to refill with regular trash bags.

The lid slides open rather than flipping upwards like other diaper pails. This way you won’t waft the stinky smells in the diaper pail outwards every time you open the diaper pail.

The design is slim, sleek, and modern and the Ubbi comes in 11 different colors to match any color scheme.

People had problems with earlier versions of the Ubbi as the teeth that held the liners in place were too sharp. This caused tears in the liners when they were removed. The company was responsive to these customer complaints and fixed the design flaw. Current models (as of late 2014) of this diaper pail should not have problems with tearing.

All in all the Ubbi is a solid and well designed diaper pail, but I didn’t choose this as my top pick as it costs almost $40 more than the Diaper Dekor Plus. To me it seems just a bit excessive to spend $80 on a diaper pail.

Passes the solid food test…Also, the choice of colors is very nice. cpeter

Features & Benefits:

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#3 Simplehuman Profile Step Brushed Stainless Steel Trashcan – Best budget alternative to expensive diaper pails


A Trashcan That's Just As Good As A Diaper Pail.

If you can’t imagine spending $40 for a glorified trashcan and expensive refills, then just get a trashcan!
You’ll still want to keep the points above in mind. Avoid cheap plastic trashcans as the smell will seep out into your room. You’ll also want to find a can with a tight fitting lid that you can open with your foot.

I find a metal trashcan with a pedal like this simplehuman trashcan to be the best. At about half the price of a diaper pail, this trashcan has many of the features we want in a diaper pail.

  • It’s easy to clean.
  • There’s a removable inner bucket that you can take out and rinse in case of leaks or accidents.
  • The size is just right for reusing old grocery bags and there are tabs on the garbage can to hook the bags in place. You’ll finally have a use for all those plastic grocery bags that have gathered dust inside your cupboards. Think of the money you’ll save on all the refills and garbage bags you won’t have to buy!
  • The metal and plastic in this garbage can won’t absorb smells like other plastic cans.
  • The design is neutral brushed steel and black plastic so you can reuse this trashcan in your kitchen or office later on.
  • The lid fits tightly to keep smells in. The lid only opens when you step on the pedal so this should keep out curious pets and kids.

How many cloth diapers can the Simplehuman trashcan fit?

As this trashcan is smaller than the Diaper Dekor Plus, I can only fit about 1 day’s worth of diapers before I have to change the bag. This isn’t a problem though as I wash my diapers everyday with my Panda portable washer. If you like to save up several days worth of diapers between washes then the Diaper Dekor Plus would be the better choice.

Smart cloth diapering guide: See how I wash and dry our cloth diapers with $0 increase in my water or electricity bills.

Unlike a diaper pail, there’s also no inner trap door to keep smells in when you open the lid. This isn’t a problem if you can handle a bit of stink for the 2 seconds the lid is open.

The price does seem high for a trashcan, even for a very well designed steel one. However this trashcan comes with a 5 year warranty. One of the biggest problems with foot pedal trashcans is that the spring mechanism controlling the lid breaks after a while. The 5 year parts warranty is a great insurance against any potential problems.

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Why did I pick these pails as the best over other diaper pails?

I rejected most diaper pails under $40 as they had common design problems or weren’t practical to use in a real life setting. These pails are priced so cheaply for a reason!

  • They are made with cheap plastics that discolor and absorb stinky odors over time
  • They are too small to hold 2 days worth of cloth diapers
  • They have design issues that would snag or tear cloth diapers
  • They have design issues that make it difficult to clean properly

Reasons why I do not recommend the Munchkin, Diaper Genie, or Safety 1st diaper pails

Some diaper pails like the Safety 1st diaper pails were made out of flexible plastic and felt very cheap and flimsy.
The plastic felt like it would bend and collapse with the slightest pressure. The lid was also poorly designed and the lid failed to open even when the pedal was fully pressed. The opening is also poorly designed. While the opening of the Safety 1st pail might be enough for a disposable diaper, it was difficult to squeeze in a fully drenched cloth diaper.

I found other pails like the Playtex Diaper Genie and the Arm & Hammer Munchkin to be just plain ugly.
I don’t like diaper pails that scream “I am a diaper pail!”. I prefer a neutral design like the Dekor Plus or the Ubbi as I can still use the pail as a trash can after we’re done with potty training.

There’s nothing worse than spending so much money on a hunk of plastic that will be useless in a year.

The Munchkin also had other design problems.

The Munchkin diaper pail has too many doodads and crevices that are hard to clean. These areas would be breeding grounds for bacteria if you had a leaky diaper. Diaper pails are meant to be full of pee and poo, let’s make it easy to hose off and sanitize!

The Diaper Genie keeps smells in, but it is a messy accident waiting to happen.

One of the most common complaints about the Genie was the high risk of accidents due to the difficult to use inner lid. While the lid does keep smells in, it’s too stiff. You need to apply alot of pressure and on the lid to push a diaper in. I’m going to let you picture the scenario and how this can end up being a messy disaster.

  • your hand goes through the trap door and the Diaper Genie eats your hand. Your hand is now trapped in a pail of dirty diapers
  • the diaper gives under all that pressure and you end up squeezing all the poo and pee out like you’re juicing an orange. Not only is your hand disgusting, so is the top of the genie which you’ll have to take apart and wash.
  • the diaper goes in with a bit of pressure and you jerk your hand back in time. Good job. Today’s your lucky day.

Conclusion

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The winner is The Diaper Dekor Plus (Amazon | buybuybaby).

The Diaper Dekor Plus is the best diaper pail for cloth diapers. The larger size is perfect for bulkier cloth diapers. Combined with some homemade deodorizer it is 100% effective at hiding the smell of stinky diapers. The entire diaper pail was easy to use from changing the liner to disposing of diapers. We didn’t have any problems with accidents or spills.

Have you used any of the diaper pails mentioned in this review? Leave a comment and tell us the good, bad, and ugly. We want to see unbiased opinions from real people.


Compare and shop the best diaper pails

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Diaper Dekor Plus

I want…
A larger diaper pail that can hold several days worth of bulky cloth diapers. I want a diaper pail that can keep smells trapped inside and that is easy to use without getting a mess all over my hands.

$$

The Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail

I want…
A sleek modern steel diaper pail that won’t absorb smelly odors. The Ubbi comes in a rainbow of colors to fit into any nursery theme. As seen on the Ellen Degeneres Show, I can use the Ubbi as a trashcan after my baby’s potty trained.

$$$

Simplehuman Profile Step Trash Can in Stainless Steel

I want…
A diaper pail that costs less than $30 and looks like something an adult would use. I can use regular grocery bags instead of buying expensive liners. I want a trashcan that I can open hands-free while juggling my baby and a dirty diaper. At the same time, it has to be made with quality stainless steel so that dirty diaper smells stay trapped inside.

$

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*at the time of publication

What are the best diaper pail liners and refills and why do you need them?

Reusable cloth diaper pail liners

Like cloth diapers, you have disposable and reuseable options when it comes to diaper pail liners. Reuseable liners are made from leakproof material to contain odors and prevent wicking. They can also be used as wet bags for soiled diapers. If you’re looking for a reusable cloth pail liner look for one with elastic around the top. This way the liner won’t fall into the bottom of the pail form the weight of the diapers inside.

Planet Wise Reusable Cloth Diaper Pail Liners

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Rating: 5 out of 5

Keep the planet green and save money too with reusable diaper pail liners. These liners are really easy to use and you can wash them together with your diapers. Just be sure to turn them inside out to dry so you don’t get moisture buildup on the inside. Get at least 2 liners so you’ll have one to use when the other is in the washer/dryer.

I must say that my biggest reason for choosing the Planet Wise liners is because they have foxes on them! Cute adorable foxes! I’m squeeing in excitement here over the cute cartoon fox pattern. There’s also hedgehog, owl, giraffe, and solid color choices too. Check them out on Amazon.

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Disposable diaper pail liners
If you prefer a disposable option, then refills are another option. Refills are basically a long continuous garbage bag that you can cut at any length. You tie a knot at the bottom of the liner to close it before you fill it up with diapers. When you’re ready to wash your diapers just cut the liner, tie a new knot and lift the entire bag of dirty diapers to the laundry room.

The advantage of refills over regular garbage bags is that you can change the bag at any length. Just cut the top of the liner and tie a knot at the bottom of the new garbage bag. This is useful if you only have one or two really stinky diapers to wrap but don’t want to waste an entire garbage bag.

You’ll have to get refills made for your brand of diaper pail as other brands might be too big or too small. The refills for the Diaper Dekor Plus come in packs of 2 and each box can last for 6 months or more.

If you don’t like using refills you can also use regular garbage bags, but I find it a pain to put them in correctly. It’s easy for the weight of the diapers to pull the garbage bag out and down into the bottom of the diaper pail if you can’t get a good fit. If you do choose to use garbage bags, regular 13 gallon kitchen garbage bags will fit in the Dekor Plus.

Diaper Dekor Pail Refills

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Rating: 4 out of 5

If you empty out your pail every day then you probably won’t collect an entire garbage bag’s worth of diapers. You can save money by using refills that you can tie off at any length. This way it ends up cheaper to use liners over garbage bags. A 2-pack of refills will last about 6 months.

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What’s the best diaper pail deodorizer?

None! I’ve tried all the deodorizer disks and none have worked as well as my homemade version. Most of the deodorizers from the stores are so tiny that they don’t do anything or they’ve been kept out so long that the baking soda has gone stale and no longer works.

My advice is save money on the fancy deodorizers and mix your own. All you need is baking soda and some essential oils. Choose essential oils like lavender, lemon, or mint as they are safe and non-irritating at the levels you’ll use in this recipe.

Simple Recipe for Homemade Diaper Pail Deodorizer

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 5-7 drops of essential oil (mint, lemon, lavender)
    This recipe is so easy! Just mix everything together and keep it in a covered glass jar. Add a spoonful of this mix to your diaper pail every time you change the liner or throw in a dirty diaper.

*at the time of publication


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One Reply to “The top 3 best diaper pails for cloth diapers – I hate all pails except these”

  1. Some of these diaper bins look really nice and seem to do a great job. I was impressed by the Ubbi Diaper pail and how because it is made of metal does not absorb the smells. I can see that being a bonus since you don’t want that smell lingering in the house.

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