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Best Diaper Pails

These are our top diaper pail picks, plus the pros and cons of each one, to keep your nursery smelling fresh.

Diaper pails can save your life. That’s not hyperbole.

Dirty, soiled diapers can have a superhuman stench, especially when sitting for days in an open can. That’s why it should close with a seal that lets none of the odor out. That’s the task of the diaper pail. Obviously, a major selling point is containing that offensive aroma, but there are other important factors to consider. For example, if you’re caring for a baby or toddler, you’ve already got your hands full, so you need to consider ease of use, and whether the pail is simple to open. Plus, replacement bags aren’t cheap, so whether you need specific ones or not for the pail is another major factor to consider. 

And eventually, kids do grow out of diapers, so you’ll 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.

See more: Best Cloth Diapers 

So yes, we're suckers for aesthetics, and this diaper pail delivers the goods.

Pros: You can choose between six colors. It holds 45 newborn diapers or 20 size five diapers. Best of all, it includes a six-month supply of the brand’s lightly-scented diaper pail refill liners. It’s hands-free, and has a foot pedal. 

Cons: Some parents complain that it’s not too great at containing the smell.

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  • NEW SENSING TECHNOLOGY FOR SIMPLE LIFE: The trash can lid will open automatically with hand placing within 40cm above the sensing area. No bending, no garbage touching. Stay away from bad smells and bacteria. 0.3s Infrared induction feature means more accurate detection of each action.
  • AUTO SEALING & BAG REPLACEMENT: Long press the touch button for 3s and the trash can begin auto packing. Overload packing is also possible with our non-breaking garbage bag (including the amount of one month). After throwing the used garbage bag away, the lid will close and prepare a new bag.
  • 15.5L LARGE CAPACITY: It is sufficient to store a day's domestic garbage including large pieces of garbage like fast food boxes, large cola bottles and more. Comes with a white shell, the trash can will be perfectly match the environment of bedroom, kitchen, living room or bathroom.
  • 2 MODES: Except for the automatic sensing mode, there is lid always-on mode to reduce frequent opening and closing of the lid. Short press the touch button and the lid will remain open after a "di" sounds. Press it again, the lid will close and back to automatic sensor mode.
  • USER-FRIENDLY DESIGN: With built-in LED light designed inside, the trash can is suitable for use both day and night. Equipped with an anti-slip base, the trash can is able to be placed stably on uneven ground. Please be advised that we have 12 Months Warranty and 60 Days Money Back Guarantee.

Pros: The touchless diaper pail has auto-sealing and bag replacement. After you dump the used bag, the lid closes and preps a new one. It has two modes: Always open, or sensor-mode, in which it opens when it detects your hand within its vicinity.

Cons: It seems more suited to be a trash can than a diaper pail, per se.

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.

ProsThe 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 and caregivers appreciate how the child-proof locking system keeps curious kids (or critters) from getting inside.

ConsSome reviewers note that within six months to a year, the self-sealing system doesn’t work as well as it did initially. Others lament having to push the dirty diapers down to activate the sealing system. In other words, if your little one had a big explosion, you risk getting your hands extra dirty.

We like this diaper pail's steel and aluminum construction with air-tight lid to prevents odors, plus its safety lock to prevent any kids from opening it.

Pros: This diaper pail can use any type of standard-sized liner, which saves you money and hassle. It looks sleek and sturdy. And it easily converts to a regular trash can for long-term use in any room, again, saving you money and reducing waste.

Cons: There are consistent complaints that the lid breaks off, which is especially not ok given the high price of this diaper pail.

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.

ProsThe Diaper Genie features double air-tight clamps that work with the pail’s seven-layer refill bags as well as its carbon filter to provide you with even more odor protection. 

ConsCustomers say previous versions of the Diaper Genie held more diapers. By changing the bag more frequently, this model isn’t quite as cost effective as prior iterations because you need to buy the Genie’s special refill bags more often.

Customers love that Ubbi doesn’t require special bags, which saves both time and money. The pail’s simple design means there’s no assembly required. Plus, it’s easy to clean.

Pros: Made of steel rather than plastic, this pail isn’t porous so it traps smells inside without absorbing them.

Cons: Without that food pedal, you’ll need to use at least one hand to open and close the lid.

This modestly-priced pail comes with a deodorizing disc to help keep your nursery smelling as good as it should. It's a bargain, and you'll appreciate being able to use old bags inside.

Pros: You get a lot of stinky storage for the price.

Cons: Some parents and caregivers found that the lid closes too quickly and can be a challenge to operate with just one hand.

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.

Pros: Because of its sleek, minimalist design, it can be used as a garbage can once the baby is potty trained.

Cons: The pail is a bit smaller than its rivals, meaning you may have to bend to pitch those diapers and you’ll have to change the bags more frequently.

Tommee Tippee’s multi-layered film and smart seal lid work together to contain the nastiest smells. This pail is a good pick for those on a tight budget or with limited space.

Pros: You can use it to dispose of diapers, cotton wool, wipes, and all other baby-related trash.

ConsBecause of its small stature, you’ll need to empty it frequently. Reviewers also missed having a food pedal as they noted the lid could be tricky to open.

They don’t call it a champ for nothing! Reviewers say it’s not only great at minimizing odors, it’s easy on the wallet. Plus, you can use any 13-gallon bag inside the Diaper Champ.

Pros: It’s easy to operate one-handed, which is a huge bonus.

ConsToddlers are drawn to the handle and love to play with it, which can cause little fingers to get pinched or the handle to jam.

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.

Pros: It’s machine-washable, of course, like cloth diapers.

Cons: It can absorb the glorious aroma of dirty diapers.

Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.