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The Best Diaper Pails for Keeping the Stink Out

Because your nursery doesn't need to reek. Ever.

Because of the very nature of their job, dirty diapers stink. If you’ve never been accosted by the fetid funk of an overflowing diaper, consider yourself blessed. But most parents aren’t so lucky, and to avoid having the searing stench of soiled diapers overtake your home, you need a diaper pail.

The best diaper pails, let’s be clear, are much more than glorified trash cans. They have a very specific purpose. And hence, they should close with a seal that lets none of the odor out, be simple to open and close for parents who may be holding a baby in one arm and a diaper in the other, and ideally, be compatible with more than one brand of replacement bags. Bonus if they’re not eyesores. 

Eventually, kids do grow out of diapers, so you’ll potentially want a pail that can transition into a garbage can, so you can get more use out of it. To that end, we did the homework for you and found some of the best pails for minimizing odors, while also saving you effort and money.

Instead of having to shove nasty diapers by hand, with this pail, you just step on the food pedal and drop the dipe through the trap door. And although you do need to use the brand's own liners, they have no preset performations. That's a fancy way of saying that you can throw out diaper, or a bunch of them, and you won't waste an entire bag. This pail fits 60 used newborn diapers. When your child is potty trained, you simply pop out the diaper insert and use this as a trash can (which takes any kind of bags).

You can use any type of bag with this diaper pail, which is a huge bonus. It's made of steel and has a sliding lid, so it keeps the stink contained, and it has a child-safety lock. You do need a free hand to open and close it, so that's something to keep in mind.

File under: Why didn't they think of this sooner? Not only does this pail fit standard-sized bags, but it has an odor-resistant steel bin and a built-in storage section to keep diapers and wipes close at hand.

Thanks to its self-sealing system, the Munchkin closes the bag as the lid shuts, eliminating odors. Because this patented technology twists your deposit so it’s tightly sealed, the next time you open that lid you won’t get smacked in the face by a stink cloud. The Munchkin comes with additional odor protection by having a special place for a puck of Arm and Hammer lavender-scented baking soda, which you can replace as necessary. Parents use a foot pedal to open and close it, and appreciate how the child-proof locking system keeps curious kids (or dogs) from getting inside.

Because the Diaper Genie comes with a foot pedal and is 27 inches tall, you don’t have to wrestle with a lid or bend over to open it. Here’s another big plus: The Genie’s refill bags hold up to 270 newborn diapers, meaning you won’t have to haul out the trash daily. But when you do, you’ll enjoy the front tilt bin for easy removal.

The spring-loaded OdorKeeper trap door allows for simple and pleasant drop and done ease. (In other words, you don’t have to twist or squish those soiled nappies to deep-six them.) Dékor’s powder-scented refills add another layer of protection against unpleasant aromas. You use a foot pedal to open and close it, and this brand has what's called a continuous refill liner that lets you tie a knot in it and use it as a new bag.

Compact and no-frills, this diaper pail works with any disposable bag. It has a rotating lid design, so you can use it one-handed, and it traps smells inside.

If you're going the cloth diaper route, try this handy drawstring bag. You can use it with the Dekor Plus pails, or on its own. And we love that it has a waterproof PVC-free coating that prevents icky leakage. It's machine-washable, of course, like cloth diapers.

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