The best diaper pails of 2020

You’ll be changing many a diaper once your little one arrives. That's why it’s a great idea to have a diaper pail next to the changing table, so that you can dispose of your little one’s used diapers with ease and contain smells as much as possible.

Many of the best diaper pails are designed to keep odors locked away, but which pail is the very best, you may wonder? We asked more than 4,000 Pampers Parents to vote on their favorite diaper pails, so that you can browse their reviews of the top choices and find one that meets your needs.

Why You Might Need a Diaper Pail

Although it’s not the most exciting part of being a parent, changing your baby’s diaper is a regular part of the job. In fact, you’ll be changing your baby’s diaper about five to six times a day, or even more!

What will you do with all those wet and dirty diapers? Having a diaper pail right next to the changing table is a great idea, as you can easily dispose of the used diapers. A diaper pail is usually a better choice than a regular trash can because it can help control odors more effectively. For example, a diaper pail often has more than one lid to contain smells, as well as other odor-minimizing features like a deodorizing puck or scented refill bags.

With so many diaper pails to choose from, consider narrowing down your search by checking out these things to consider when buying a diaper pail,and reading some Pampers Parents reviews to discover the best diaper pail for you to buy.

The 9 Best Diaper Pails for Controlling Odors and More!

These are the diaper pails Pampers Parents recommend along with some potential pros and cons of each.

1. Diaper Genie Playtex Complete Diaper Pail

Why pick this one? A whopping 45 percent of Pampers Parents voted this diaper pail as the very best. Its odor-fighting features could be why so many parents love it.

The diaper pail has two chambers — one for holding all the dirty diapers, and one smaller one for placing the newest dirty diaper. A “clamshell-style” door helps clamp the bag holding all the diapers shut and contain smells to prevent any bad odors from leaking out when you open the main lid. Under the lid there is also a carbon filter as an additional defense against smells.

According to the manufacturer, the capacity of this diaper pail’s refill bag ring is about 270 diapers in total. Keep in mind that this is the number for the entire ring, and the capacity is much less for just the portion of the bag ring you will pull down into the main chamber at a time.

If you haven’t seen one of these before, a refill bag ring is a ring-shaped roll of plastic liner that you can pull down into the diaper pail and tear off at any point. To secure the diapers in the bag you will have to tie the lower end in a tight knot. When you’re ready to throw out that section of the bag, you’ll simply have to tie another knot at the top end.

Another major pro of this diaper pail is that it’s operated via a foot pedal so you don’t have to bend down to throw a diaper out, and you can keep your hands free the whole time.

This diaper pail comes with one set of refill bags, but you’ll have to order more if you run out.

Highlights: This diaper pail comes in colors such as light gray, dark gray, pale pink, mint green, baby blue, and white. Select the one that best suits the design of your baby’s nursery.

Price*: about $37.99 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

2. Ubbi Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail

Why pick this one? Coming in at second best according to Pampers Parents is this Ubbi diaper pail. One of the benefits of this diaper pail is that you don’t need to buy special refill bags — regular trash bags will do, saving you some extra cash over time.

The pail is made of steel, and the manufacturer claims it will hold in odors better than a plastic version, as plastic can be porous.

No matter the style of your home or nursery, you’ll find an Ubbi pail that suits your taste. It comes in several block colors like gray, dark blue, and mint green, as well as metallic colors like gold or bronze, and patterns like marble effect and zigzag.

The manufacturer claims this diaper pail holds up to 55 newborn diapers, which is pretty good compared to some of the other products on this list. Just keep in mind that as your baby’s diapers get bigger, this diaper pail will be able to hold fewer of them.

Highlights: This diaper pail comes with a child safety lock.

Price*: about $79.99 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

3. Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer

Why pick this one? Coming in at third place, this diaper pail by Munchkin seals the bag shut as you close the lid so that odors can’t blast out as you open the lid next time. It does this by twisting the top of the bag after you close the lid.

You can either buy the Munchkin refill bag rings or the Munchkin “snap, seal, and throw” bags. With the ring bags you’ll need to remember to tie both ends securely, and you have to cut the bag when you want to dispose of a stack of diapers, so it might be a bit more hassle than the “snap, seal, and throw” bags.

Either way, the refills are an additional cost associated with this diaper pail, but the good news is they come with a pleasant scent.

Although there’s a foot pedal for hands-free opening, you’ll need to close the lid by hand, so it’s not an entirely hands-free operation.

A big plus is that there is an extra button (for opening the pail) on the inside of the lid, out of your little one's reach. This helps prevent your little one getting into the diaper pail itself.

This white, sleek Munchkin diaper pail, which looks like a regular trash can, won’t be an eyesore in your baby’s nursery.

Highlights: There’s a lavender-scented Arm & Hammer baking soda cartridge in the lid of this diaper pail to help mask bad smells. However, you may need to buy additional Arm & Hammer cartridges over time.

Price*: about $64.66 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

4. Dekor Classic Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Why pick this one? As the name suggests, this Dekor Classic diaper pail is hands-free. It comes with a foot pedal to open the lid, and the lid softly closes on its own afterwards.

Another benefit is that you don’t have to push the diaper right into the bag as you occasionally do with some other diaper pails on this list.

With this pail, you’ll have to buy special liners separately. With these liners, you just cut the bag whenever it’s full using the built-in cutter, and tie the end of the bag. This way, you decide when to dispose of the bag, as there are no pre-set perforations. Some Pampers Parents said they used regular trash bag which is a money-saver over time.

This diaper pail holds up to 45 newborn diapers at a time. Keep in mind that this same diaper pail comes in three sizes. The next size up, the Dekor Plus, suits cloth diapers, too, and holds up to 60 newborn diapers. There’s also a mini size, in case space is at a premium in your home.

Highlights: There is a child-proof lock on both the lid and the front access door. The refill cutter is also child proof for added safety.

Price*: about $31.89 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

5. Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail

Why pick this one? This product is the same as the Dekor Classic, which came in at number 4; however, it fits up to 60 disposable diapers and can even be used for cloth diapers.

For this diaper pail, you’ll need to buy special Dekor refill liners.

You’ll love the peace of mind of having a child-proof lock on the lid and service door, as well as a child-safe cutter, which you will need to use to cut the liner roll once a bag is full and you’d like to dispose of it.

This diaper pail is hands-free; simply tap the foot pedal and the lid will open.

Highlights: Given that this pail just a little more expensive than the Dekor Classic, you might prefer the extra capacity of this model.

Price*: about $39.99 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

6. Bubula Steel Diaper Pail

Why pick this one? At over $100, this diaper pail is one of the more expensive models on this Pampers Parents list. Still, it offers some benefits that might make it worth the bigger price tag. For example, the lid features a compartment where you place the diaper. Only when the lid is closed does the dirty diaper drop into the bag below, meaning you won’t be hit by bad smells when you open the lid as the two compartments are separated.

This diaper pail also works with regular trash bags, so you won’t have to spend extra on special refill bags.

The air-tight lid features a child safety lock. Keep in mind that one big downside of this product is that you’ll need to use your hands to open and close the lid. This could be a hassle if you have your baby and a dirty diaper already in your hands.

Bubula offers this diaper pail in colors like gray, light pink, and white.

Highlights: This diaper pail is made of steel and aluminum.

Price*: about $116.89 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

7. Munchkin Toss Portable Disposable Diaper Pail

Why pick this one? If you’d like a portable diaper pail for when you’re out and about with your little one, this Munchkin model is a great option.

Keep in mind that this diaper pail can only be used once. It holds up to 30 newborn diapers, but once it’s full you’ll have to throw away the entire pail. This means you might only get a few days’ use out of this product, but considering it’s a disposable product this is to be expected.

On the plus side, this product comes in a pack of 5, so altogether you’ll be able to throw away up to 150 diapers when buying this product.

It travels flat, but when you pull it open it pops open like an umbrella. Then, simply place the dirty diapers in and close the plastic lid.

There’s a viewing window on the side so you can see how much room is left inside.

Highlights: Keep one of these portable and disposable diaper pails in your car, in the basket of the stroller, and in your diaper bag, and you’ll never be caught without somewhere to store a dirty diaper.

Price*: about $12.99 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

8. Creative Baby Tidy Diaper Pail

Why pick this one? This diaper pail looks and works a little differently than the others on this list. It has a handle on top, which you pull to open a compartment; then you place the diaper in; and finally, when you close this compartment, the dirty diaper drops down into the bag below.

As some Pampers Parents noted, this design means you can’t really smell or even see older dirty diapers when you dispose of a diaper.

It works with regular trash bags, so you’re spared the expense of buying special refills.

Keep in mind that it’s not hands-free. This could be annoying when you have your baby in one arm and a used diaper in your other hand.

Highlights: The diaper pail is dishwasher safe, so it's easy to sanitize when needed.

Price*: about $37.99 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

9. Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail

Why pick this one? Rounding out this Pampers Parents list is this basic diaper pail by Safety 1st.

A great thing about this diaper pail is that you can use regular trash bags with it, and you won’t need to spend extra on special refills.

You’ll have to open and close the lid by hand, so keep this in mind if you’re selecting this product.

Overall, if you’re looking for a no-bells-and-whistles diaper pail that gets the job done, consider this one.

Highlights: This diaper pail comes with a deodorizer disc, which you’ll need to replace every so often.

Price*: about $23.98 on

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

Things to Consider When Buying a Diaper Pail

Here are some features to look at when choosing the best diaper pail:

  • Safety. Before all else, check that the diaper pail meets safety standards set by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and hasn’t been recalled. You should also ensure the diaper pail doesn’t have any broken or loose parts before using it. Not all diaper pails come with child-proof locks, but it may be safer to choose one that has child-safe features that help prevent your little one from getting into the dirty diapers and being able to reach the plastic liner. Because liners can be a choking hazard for your little one, make sure any spare liners are placed out of reach, too.

  • How well it contains smells. Some diaper pails have double doors, air-tight bag clasps, or barrier compartments to help contain the smell of dirty diapers. Some models even have odor filters to trap icky smells, or scents to mask bad smells. Consider which of these features, if any, you’d like to have in your diaper pail. To help control odors, experts recommend throwing solid waste into the toilet before placing the diaper in the pail as this can help reduce smells even more.

  • Whether it takes regular trash bags or needs special refills. Some diaper pails only work with specific refill liners, so consider how easily you can buy these refills and whether you’re willing to spend extra on these. Although these special bags can cost more (how much depends on the brand), these bags are often designed to contain smells better than regular liners. If you don’t want to buy special bags, then go for a diaper pail that will work with regular trash bags. Just remember that some diaper pails control odors better if they are used with their own specially designed liners, and some diaper pails can only be used with the matching refills. If you have a particularly sensitive nose, you might find the extra cost of the special bags is well worth it.

  • How easy it is to open. Many Pampers Parents preferred a hands-free opening mechanism. These are often operated by a foot pedal. Other diaper pails require you to slide open or lift the lid by hand. These are also relatively “easy” to open, but can become trickier to manage if you have your hands full.

  • How easy it is to use. Some diaper pails are very easy to use and work just like regular trash cans/bags, while others require you to insert a special liner roll, pull the plastic liner down, tie the lower end to secure it closed, and later cut the top of the bag with a cutter and tie it closed once it’s full. This way, you’ll almost have a “sausage-shaped” bag of used diapers, securely tied closed at both ends. Although you’ll eventually get the hang of this, too, you might prefer a diaper pail that takes regular-style bags instead.

  • How much it holds. A diaper pail with a bigger capacity could come in handy, as it means you have to empty it less often, but you may wish to empty it fairly regularly anyway to minimize the chance of bad smells — in which case a bigger model may not make sense. Keep in mind that the number of diapers the pail can hold (per the manufacturer) are often given for the newborn size, and as your baby grows the diapers’ size increases, meaning the pail will hold fewer of them.

  • How tall it is. A taller diaper pail may mean you don’t have to bend down as much to put diapers in. Given you’ll be changing plenty of diapers, having one less movement can be a real lifesaver.

  • How easy it is to clean. Every so often it’s a good idea to give your diaper pail a wipe. Check how easy the diaper pail is to clean, and whether it’s possible to take it apart to properly clean the inside areas, too. You might find it’s easier to clean the plastic models, as the steel models might rust if they get wet. Some diaper pails are machine washable.

  • Design. The diaper pail will be right nearby as you change your baby’s diaper, and you’ll be looking at it often. Go for a style that you like and that suits your baby’s nursery. There are lots of colors and styles available, so you’re sure to find a version that suits your taste.

  • Price. Consider how much you’re willing to spend. Most of the diaper pails on our list are around $30 or $40, but some cost even more, and one even costs well over $100. If the model you’re looking at requires special refills, then factor in the cost of those, too.

  • Whether it can be used for cloth diapers. If you’re planning to use cloth diapers, keep in mind that only some diaper pails are designed to work well with cloth diapers.

Although having diapers that throw themselves out would be the dream, the next best thing is a diaper pail that makes disposing of dirty diapers just that much easier. Having a diaper pail right within arm’s reach of the changing table is convenient and will help ensure that smells are kept to a minimum. That way, you and your freshly diapered baby can get back to enjoying your day in an odor-free space.

Recall Notice

Before buying a product, always check that it’s approved and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

How We Got These Results

We surveyed thousands of parents in the Pampers Community and asked them to choose the products they love the most, and to share their views on specific products and product categories. Based on the survey responses, we have taken the top product picks and added our own research to create this article. The aim is to help you choose the right product for you and your family. We might receive commissions on purchases made from the links in this article, but the products featured are the Pampers Community’s top choices.