The 5 Best Diaper Pails (Buyer’s Guide & Reviews)

Children are one of the most special and rewarding parts of life. Their laughter, their inquisitive nature, and their energy make each day a unique and rewarding gift. However, when they are babies, if you don't have a clean place to put their diapers, you will have to enjoy their best qualities through a cloud of stinkiness. That is why you need to make sure to find the best diaper pail on the market!

Best Diaper Pails (Updated)

(*) Below, you'll find my detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

Buyer's Guide

What Features To Look For in The Best Diaper Pail

1. Child Safety Feature

When you begin your search for a diaper pail, take into account that you will not be the only one that is accessing the diaper pail. Once your child gets a bit older, they will be able to get to it as well. Since you may be using plastic bags in your pail, be sure that it comes with a childproof lock, as they can present a choking hazard for your child.

2. Pail Material

While it might not seem like that big of a deal, the material that you choose for your diaper pail will have its advantages and disadvantages.


Plastic pails are cheaper than metal, have more features, and are more widely available. However, they are more likely to absorb odors, even if you clean them. They will also be less durable than metal pails.


Metal pails will not absorb odors, saving you lots of cleaning time. They are also durable in comparison to plastic containers. However, metal pails are more expensive than plastic containers. They will also have to use plastic liners since liquids could cause them to rust.

3. Pail Size

Babies, especially newborns, go through a lot of diapers. If you select a container that has a small diaper capacity, you will be changing it a lot!

4. Bag Type

Specialized - Depending upon which pail you pick, you may have to use specialized bags that are designed for that particular pail. They will usually have some great features, which, while expensive, are worth looking into. Features like:

  • Closure Systems - This feature allows you to quickly and easily close up the bag without having to tie it shut.
  • Odor Eliminators - Some of the specialized bags may have an odor eliminator capsule that you fill with a fragrance or baking soda to better eliminate bad smells.
  • Perforated Bag - This component allows you to remove part of the bag whenever you would like simply. It would be ideal for especially messy diapers that you don't want sitting in the pail for an extended period.

Cloth - A fabric liner is the most economic liner choice, and will usually come with great designs. It is also better for the environment since you will be reusing it rather than throwing it in the trash every time you fill it up. However, you will need to be sure that give it a good washing from time to time since it will soak up odors and liquids.

Trash Bag - Another more economical option than the specialized bags, a pail that accepts regular garbage bags will cost you less over the years that your child is in diapers. However, if you use a size that is incorrect for your pail, you will end up wasting some of the bags, since it will not be full. Regular garbage bags will also not help in eliminating odors.

5. Odor Control System

While a good diaper pail will seal up tightly when it is shut to keep odors in; you still may need some extra odor control. There are several ways that this can be achieved.

Scented Pail Liners - Certain pail liners, or even particular trash bags for that matter, will have a pleasant scent by design. While this will help, it will not cover up a stinky diaper, and should not be relied upon as the only means of odor control.

Air Filters - These small carbon filters are attached to the underside of the diaper pail lid. They do an excellent job of cleaning out the air and keeping your rooms smelling clean and fresh. However, this will be another added cost, since you need to purchase the specific filters that go along with your pail.

Deodorizing Powder - This odor control system works very much the same as the air filters, with one significant difference. While you will need to find a diaper pail that has a capsule for it, you can usually just inexpensive baking soda. This will do just as good of a job as the carbon filters but will save you a ton of money over the years you will be using the diaper pail.

6. Ease of Use

Most of the time that you are using the diaper pail, you will be doing so one-handed, since you will probably be carrying your baby. Therefore, you should look for a receptacle that is easy to use and has features that take into account your one-handedness. Features like

Foot Pedal - A foot pedal will allow you to open and shut the pail without using your hands at all, which will make it that much easier for you.

Easy Use Child Lock - As mentioned earlier, you should look for a pail that has a child-safety lock. Since you want to make sure you use it at all times, the lock should be easy for you to engage and disengage, preferably with one push or a simple twist.

Easy Open Lid - If your desired pail does not have a foot pedal, this is the next best feature. It allows you to quickly open the pail with one hand, without having to lift up the lid.

7. Cost

While the initial cost of the diaper pail needs to be taken into account, you also need to think of the number of liners and air filters you will need to purchase as well. This information can help you decide which pail will work best for your family.

An easy to use diaper pail, this Munchkin brand pail comes equipped with a pod on the lid to hold baking soda. This was an effect and cheap way to control odors. Its bagging system is also really unique since the bags seal up with a plastic snap instead of with a tie. 

Child Safety Feature - Both the front and the top of the pail open. They both have a child safety lock that can be engaged or disengaged by the twisting of a handle.

Pail Size - The pail will be full after

Bag Type - This pail requires specialized bags, which you can view by clicking here.

Odor Control System - There is a small container on the underside of the lid which you put baking soda into to remove odors.

Ease of Use - The pail has an easy to open clasp for its top, which can easily be operated by hand. The bags are convenient and easy to install and remove, and the child safety features can be quickly engaged and disengaged.

Cost - Of all the diaper pails that were reviewed, this is the most expensive, both up front and, because of its bagging system, over the long haul as well.

Drawbacks - This pail's design is well thought out and efficient at controlling odors. It is also easy to use. It's only real drawback is its high upfront cost and its operational costs as well.

#2. Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail

The only metal diaper pail that was reviewed, it can come in a wide variety of colors. It has lots of great features that make it easy to use, and while it has a higher upfront cost, it will be cheaper to operate than some other pails on this list. 

Child Safety Feature - There is a twistable lock on the top of the pail which will keep it secured and shut. Since you don't have to operate this latch until you wish to empty the unit, it is incredibly safe and efficient.

Pail Material - The pail is made out of strong and durable steel. This will keep it from absorbing odors from its contents.

Pail Size - The Ubbi pail can hold the largest amount of diapers out of those reviewed, a whopping 50 diapers!

Bag Type - No special bags are required. You can simply use a tall kitchen bag or a cloth liner.

Odor Control System - The pail does not come with any filters or capsules to put odor reducers in. However, it seals up tight thanks to rubber rims around the top.

Ease of Use - Thanks to the sliding top, you can quickly open and shut the Ubbi with one hand. Emptying the diaper pail is simple too. All you need to do is unlock the top, and pull out the bag.

Cost - The Ubbi was a bit more on the expensive side, but since you will not need to purchase any special filters or bags, it will probably save you money in the long run.

Drawbacks - The lack of an odor control system outside of a sealed top is the Ubbi's main weakness. Otherwise, it is a solid choice overall.

#3. Baby Trend Diaper Champ Deluxe

One of the cheapest diaper pails that were reviewed, the Baby Trend has lots of useful features. It is relatively easy to use and would be a great option for someone on a tight budget. 

Child Safety Feature - To access the original bag, you need to push a button and pull up on a lever.

Pail Material - The pail is made of plastic. It should be regularly cleaned to keep it from getting too smelly.

Pail Size - The Baby Trend pail will hold up to 30 dirty diapers.

Bag Type - You have the option to use specialized odor blocking bags or regular trash bags. Either one will work just as well at keeping the pail clean and dry.

Odor Control System - The only system utilized by this pail is the specialized bags that you can purchase. Otherwise, it relies on keeping itself closed to keep away the smells.

Ease of Use - Even though there is a foot pedal on the pail, you do not use it to open the lid. You must step on the pedal and then flip the top open. This was somewhat inconvenient to accomplish. If you are in a hurry and want to put the diaper in you may have difficulty since you need to hold it in place with your foot to open it. Once you have put the diaper in, you simply flip the lid back down.

Cost - An incredibly cheap diaper pail, both in upfront costs and in its use, this would be a great diaper pail for someone on a tight budget.

Drawbacks - The closure system is a bit of a pain. It may also become somewhat smelly, especially if you just use regular trash bags since it has no odor elimination system.

#4. Dekor Classic Hand-Free Diaper Pail

The Dekor diaper pail is a great value, with a low upfront cost, easy open latch, great safety features, and a unique bagging system. 

Child Safety Feature - There are two different safety locks, one on the front access door and one on the lid. Both of them will only need to be utilized when either adding bags or removing bags. This will make it less likely that your little ones will be able to open it up.

Pail Material - This pail is made with something called closed cell plastics, which is supposed to prevent it from absorbing odors, much like metal.

Pail Size - The second largest pail that was reviewed, it can hold up to 45 diapers.

Bag Type - The Dekor uses a specialized bagging system. Once the bag is full, you can remove just a portion of it, and then retie the bag at the bottom, making it, so you don't need to put a new bag in place. This unique system is illustrated here.

Odor Control System - The bags come with a coverage scent, and the diaper pail itself has rubber stoppers around the lid that seal it tightly.

Ease of Use - Changing the bags is simple and opening the pail is also easy. You simply need to press down on the pedal, and the lid opens up.

Cost - This is the cheapest pail upfront. However, you will need to pay out a bit more on bags than some other models.

Drawbacks - While the unique bagging system is pretty easy to use, it will end up costing you in the long run in comparison to other pails that can use everyday trash bags.

#5. Munchkin Step Diaper Pail

The Munchkin diaper pail is easy to use and has the most odor preventing features out of all the pails that were reviewed.

Child Safety Feature - There is an out of reach, at least for very young children, button on the top of the lid. To enable or disable this feature, you simply push it down.

Pail Material - This pail is made out of metal, which will keep it from collection odors.

Pail Size - The pail can hold up to 30 diapers.

Bag Type - The Munchkin pail can utilize two different types of specialized bags, allowing you to select the one that best works for you. It can use either ring or snap, seal and toss bagging systems.

Odor Control System - There are a lot of different odor controlling features. The pail seals the bag each time you close the lid, there is a spot for a baking soda ring, the pail is made of metal, and the bags have an odor blocking scent.

Ease of Use - The bags are easy to remove and replace, and you can easily open the lid by pressing down on the pedal at the bottom.

Cost - The upfront cost of the pail is relatively small, but the running costs will be higher with this model since it uses specialized bags and odor blockers.

Drawbacks - While it worked well at blocking out odors, it’s long term costs hold this diaper pail from being the best diaper pail available.

So Which Pail is the Best?

Overall, the best diaper pail that was reviewed was the Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail. Though its upfront costs were the highest, the running costs more than makeup for it. The pail, which was easy to use, also had a cheap and effect way to absorb smells, since it utilized regular baking soda.

Now that you’ve read this hand review, which system do you feel is the best for you? Do you have any questions, comments, or advice? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Veronica Mitchell

Hi! My name is Veronica Mitchell. I am a mother to two adorable little girls and a handsome little boy. I spend my days caring from my children, packing lunches, reading aloud, kissing boo-boos, and working as the Chief Editor of My Parenting Journey. On this site, you will find friendly advice, expert suggestions, and guides to all shopping for the products you actually need.

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