9 Best Diaper Pails for Your Baby’s Nursery

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Diaper changes can put parents in a stinky situation. In fact, parents will change about 6,000-9,000 diapers before their little one is potty trained (and if you have twins, triplets or multiple kiddos in diapers it can be even more!). While your baby will most definitely be the cutest bundle of joy, what’s hiding in their diaper isn’t so sweet. That’s why the right diaper pail can make diaper changes easier and keep bad smells at bay.

We’ve created a list of the best diaper pails to help parents neutralize odors in their nursery and make the most out of this sometimes messy situation.

Which Diaper Pail is Right for You?

What to consider when choosing a diaper pail

Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a diaper pail that’s right for you and your little one:

Odor blocking: Keeping the smells at bay in your baby’s nursery is the main reason for a diaper pail, so odor-blocking is of the utmost importance. Some diaper pails use scented liners or specialty odor-control systems and some are made of steel, which traps odors better than some plastic pails.

Type of bags: Some pails require specialty bags, which is beneficial if they’re scented or work with an odor-trap system, but be sure to consider the cost of the refill bags before you buy. If you’d rather save money on refills, a diaper pail that doesn’t use specialty bags may be the right choice for you — however, this pail may be more expensive upfront.

Size: If space is limited in your nursery or you’re a parent of multiples, the size of your diaper pail is important. Some pails have a small footprint and take up less space in the nursery, while others hold over 200 diapers — perfect for parents of twins or multiple children in diapers, which keeps you from taking out the trash every day.

Easy to use: Changing a diaper when baby is wiggling is a tough job, so be sure to get a diaper pail that is easy to open and shut. Some pails offer hands-free options and others feature a step opening, so you can always keep one hand on your little one while tossing out that dirty diaper. Another thought to keep in mind: Some diaper pails feature a locking system, good for keeping curious toddlers out of the trash.

Best Looking Diaper Pail

What You Need to Know:

  • Made of steel to lock in odors

  • Save money with no specialty bags

  • Comes in a wide variety of designs

This award-winning diaper pail gets the approval of parents and experts alike. The steel design means odors are trapped in without any specialty systems or bags, so you’ll save money by using any regular trash bag. Its footprint is small enough to fit in tight places, but big enough to hold up to 55 diapers. Plus the child lock and slow-close lid keep little ones safe.

Review Highlights:
“I think the idea of making a stainless steel pail is great! Not only is it easy to clean but the smell is well contained. I can even use my cloth diaper bag with this pail which was a major selling point for us! Cost is more than we wanted to spend, however it has proved to be worth it.”

Best Odor-Blocking Diaper Pail

What You Need to Know:

  • Highly rated odor control with self-sealing system

  • Compatible with two types of pail liners

  • Features easy-to-use foot pedal

If odor-blocking is your No. 1 concern, look no further than the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail. This diaper pail combats stinky stenches with its self-sealing system and an Arm & Hammer lavender-scented baking soda puck for double the odor-fighting power. The Munchkin Step does require special bags, but you have your choice of ring refills or snap, seal and toss bags — it’s the only diaper pail with dual refill capability. It has a built-in bag cutter, making it easy to change bags. It also features a foot pedal for hands-free opening and a child lock to keep the little ones out of a stinky situation.

Review Highlights:

“If you are looking for a first diaper pail, I can understand you are looking around….don’t be fooled by the ones that look nice….this one looks plain, but I will tell you….when your kid starts eating solids, you will thank me. If this is your 2nd or more, then I’m telling you this is the one you want….”

Best Diaper Pail for Twins

What You Need to Know:

  • Holds up to 270 diapers

  • Hands-free design

  • Award-winning, well-known brand trusted by parents

Its name is synonymous with diaper pail and for good reason — the Playtex Diaper Genie Complete is a favorite among parents. The Diaper Genie can hold up to 270 diapers, which means it’s great for parents with twins or parents with two or more children in diapers. It’s also designed to be hands-free with a foot pedal to open and close the diaper pail, so you can always keep a hand on your baby. The odor control comes from a carbon filter in the lid and double air-tight clamps that keep bad smells at bay. This pail does require Diaper Genie branded refill bags, rather than a regular garbage bag, and comes in four colors — white, gray, blue and pink — to fit in with your nursery.

Review Highlights:

“Very nice and keeps the smell in the bucket. We actually have at least one at every house. Summer house, Nana’s house, and 2 at Mom and Dad’s house. One upstairs and one downstairs… a must have item and very reasonably priced”

Best Diaper Pail for Cloth Diapers

What You Need to Know:

  • Only pail specifically designed for cloth diapers

  • 7-gallon capacity

  • Eco-friendly design made of recycled plastic

For the eco-conscious parents, this 7-gallon diaper pail from Busch Systems is specifically designed for cloth diapers and is made from recycled plastic. The wide opening was designed for cloth diapers and reviewers say the pail holds about two to three days worth of diapers, or about 20 cloth diapers. The lid is secured by two side handles, so you don’t have to worry about curious little hands getting into the pail, and the carbon filters help eliminate odors so you can have a stink-free nursery. Pair this with a Planet Wise pail liner, and you’ll be set!

Review Highlights:

“After hours of research, I made up my mind on this cloth diaper pail and couldn’t be happier with my decision. I was skeptical about the zero smell everyone was reporting and couldn’t have been more wrong. There is no smell at ALL emanating from our pail. It holds about two days worth of cloth diapers. We have two Planet Wise liners, use bumgenius 4.0 diapers and grovia cloth wipes.”

Best Hands-Free Diaper Pail

What You Need to Know:

  • Truly hands-free design: Step, drop, done!

  • Made of ABS closed-cell plastic that doesn’t absorb odors

  • Holds up to 45 newborn diapers

If a totally hands-free experience is what you’re looking for, the Dekor Classic Diaper Pail is the way to go. Just step on the foot pedal and drop the soiled diaper through the trap door and you’re done — no bending or squishing a diaper through the pail. It’s made of ABS, closed-cell plastic that doesn’t absorb odors over time, like other types of plastic, so this pail acts like metal but won’t rust over time. The tightly sealed trap door and scented refill bags keep bad odors locked in and your nursery smelling fresh.

Review Highlights:

“This diaper pail has been great. We have a 13mo in the house and the diapers seem endless. When comparing it to other diaper pails, this one is so nice because of how big the bag is and the opening to drop the diapers in. It doesn’t get crammed so easily, and it holds a ton of diapers! We’ve been using it for a little while now and haven’t noticed a bad stench either. Definitely recommend!”

Best Diaper Pail for Germaphobes

What You Need to Know:

  • 4 gold LED lights sterilize internal surfaces when plugged in

  • Compatible with all Munchkin refill rings and Snap, Seal & Toss bags, Up & Up, and Nursery Fresh refills

  • Motion-activated lid

This diaper pail is for the germaphobes who love high-tech gadgets! Keeping things clean for baby is important and the Munchkin UV Diaper Pail is proven to keep the bacteria at bay. This diaper pail features hospital-grade LED lights that sterilize and kill up to 99% of bacteria and viruses. The pail must be plugged in to sterilize, and you can tell it is working when the heart logo glows. Reviewers have noted that diapers need to be wrapped up tightly to fit when pushing through the lid, but it may be a small inconvenience to keep the nursery sanitary and odor-free.

Review Highlights:

“Had a top opening diaper pail then I got this one and it’s way easier! Pulling a full diaper bag out the top is not the way to go! This one opens from the front and I never struggle to get it out ever! I also love the uv light for extra bacteria killer for way less stink!”

Best Large Diaper Pail

What You Need to Know:

  • Holds 50% more diapers than other brands

  • Steel and aluminum construction keeps odors locked in

  • Can easily convert into regular trash for long-term use

If you’d rather only take the trash out once or twice a week, the Bubula Steel Diaper Pail is the perfect solution. Its larger footprint means it can hold up to 50% more soiled diapers than other leading brands. The steel and aluminum design means odors aren’t absorbed like other plastic pails, and the air-tight lid prevents odors from escaping. This features a child safety lock to prevent spills, and regular trash bags can be used as liners. And once your diaper days are over, the Bubala diaper pail can convert to a regular trash can.

Review Highlights:

“This little pail is amazing. Uses regular bags. I hate when you throw a dirty diaper away and the waft of stench hits you from all the other dirty diapers when you open the lid. You don’t have to worry with this one! You never smell the old diapers. Except briefly when you change out the bag. We have had for 4 months now and have not had a problem. Have referred to all my friends!”

Best Diaper Pail for Single Diapers

What You Need to Know:

  • A quick diaper disposal solution

  • Can attach to changing table or stand alone

  • Perfect for travel

For families who take their trash out daily, travel often, or just prefer not to use a large diaper pail, the Diaper One-and-Done is a great solution. The small pail is a space saver and can attach to the changing table or stand alone. It’s also really easy to use: Just place the diaper in the pail, tie a knot in the bag and detach it from the new bag to dispose of it with your normal house trash. It may be simple, but this is a particularly great solution when staying in a hotel or at grandma’s house to make changing dirty diapers a little easier.

Review Highlights:

“Such a clever and easy to use solution. Doesn’t take up floor space like larger diaper pails – just hang off your changing table. And doesn’t smell much if you ball up your dirty diapers and dispose of the bag when it’s full.”

Best Budget Diaper Pail

What You Need to Know:

  • Only $20

  • Deodorizer disc included

  • Uses regular trash bags

If you don’t want a diaper pail with a high price tag or just need something additional for another room of the house, the Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail is the way to go. This sturdy plastic diaper pail is only $20 and uses regular 13-gallon garbage bags, saving you money on specialty bags in the long run. Reviewers say that’s why it can hold twice as many diapers as other pails. It also comes with a deodorizer disc that can be refilled as needed. This pail is perfect for busy parents because its seal top pops open for easy disposal, and the wide opening reduces the risk of contamination.

Review Highlights:

“I love that you can use regular trash bags in this and it comes with an odor eliminator that keeps our babies stinkiest diapers from smelling up her room!”

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