7 Best Diaper Pails For Cloth Diapers

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Cloth diapers are a brilliant way to help the environment because they stop so many disposal diapers ending up in a landfill. But, they aren’t always the nicest things to deal with. You need a diaper pail for cloth diapers that can handle them in a way that you and the rest of your family will appreciate. But, some systems are better at the job than others. Below are 7 models that are highly recommended pails for cloth diapers. Before that, I want to share some tips on finding the best cloth diaper pails. By putting this into practice, you should be able to find a suitable model for your needs.

1) Make sure that they have a good odor control system in place.

This is essential for a good diaper pail for cloth diapers. You need a design with a strong seal on the lid and the bag so that the odor won’t escape. The pail should also have a body made from the best materials to contain that odor. If you get a plastic one, ABS closed-cell technology is the better option. But, there are also steel models too that are effective. Then there are the products that come with slots for deodorizing discs. How potent are the discs when covering up the smell and how many come in the box?

2) Make sure that they are big enough for your needs.

What is the capacity of the pail? How many diapers is it designed to hold and how many do parents say will actually fit inside? There are some products that are tall and thin, others that are deliberately compact and some that are a little more “industrial”. Double-check the dimensions to see if it will be practical. Remember that some designs are for regular use as taller, pro options while others might be small and portable.

3) Make sure that they are easy-to-use when you have your hands full.

Ease of use is essential when you have a child in one arm and a dirty diaper in the other hand. One-handed approaches are a must. But, the methods vary. The best options tend to be those with foot pedals on the lids and strong seals on the openings. Some will go further with additional trapdoors or rotating lids. Check user comments on the ease of operation. Also look at the height of the product. How far down do you need to bend?

4) Make sure that they are child-proof and dog-proof.

Finally, you need to be sure that your chosen product won’t be subject to raids by kids and pets. Child-proof locks on the lids and the doors on the front are essential or else there could be a bad smell and a mess before long. How accessible are the locks? Could a dog break through the plastic if determined enough? Check the specification to see if the brand considered any of this.

7 top-rated diaper pails for cloth diapers to consider


1) Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail



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Let’s start with a product that a lot of parents are talking about right now. This option from Dekor is an Amazon’s Choice product for this sort of diaper disposal system. It also received Product of the Year from Baby Maternity Magazine in 2018. There is a lot of child-proofing, that we can assume also relates to dogproofing, with the locks on the access door and lid. There is also the use of ABS plastic to stop the odor from emanating out into the room. There are also plenty of promises from the brand about the ease of use here. This includes the hands-free system of “step, drop and done” and the 20-second bag change.

Of course, another selling point here for consumers is the low cost. You get a lot of features and a clever design for a surprisingly low cost. I like that it comes completely assembled with a liner already fitted. This will save you a lot of time when it arrives. There is also the nice touch that Dekor offer different colors. Therefore, you can have a pail that matches in with the color scheme of the bedroom or nursery. This includes soft pink, soft blue, and soft mint. This is their biggest option with space for 60 diapers in one bag and an opening of 27 square inches.

The biggest issue here seems to be the odor control over long periods. There are parents with newborns that don’t notice any issue. Then, as the child gets older, the diapers become a lot smellier and the pail can’t seem to contain them as well. There is the suggestion that the odor seeps through the bag into the plastic on the door. This is then unpleasant whenever parents go to empty the pail out.

The pros and cons of this cloth diaper pail.

[i2pc][i2pros]The capacity
The color choices
The child-proof features[/i2pros][i2cons]The odor control over time
The permeation into the plastic[/i2cons][/i2pc]


Is this the right choice for you?

This design covers all the most important points for parents and there are few issues if you don’t want this long-term.


2) Dekor Mini Hands-Free Diaper Pail



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I want to take a look at another Dekor product a moment because there will be some parents that consider the Mini version instead. After all, a compact model like this will be less noticeable in a room and perhaps a little more portable around the home. We need to consider the downsides of this approach first.

The capacity for diapers does decrease significantly compared to the Dekor Plus option above. It takes up to 25 and the opening at the top is only 13 square inches. There is also the fact that you can’t use the special Dekor Cloth diaper liners in this model whereas you can with the Plus. Therefore, the Plus does have its pros for use with reusable diapers as there are fewer risks of leaks. However, you have to consider the capacity and how many diapers you would realistically hold in one pail before you start washing them.

If you want a smaller system, this is a great choice because the rest of the features are pretty much the same. I love that Dekor hasn’t compromised on features or quality across the range. The scale and opening really do seem to be the only differences. This means that you can enjoy the same child-proof features, the same ease-of-use with the spring-loaded trap door and pedal, and the same use of ABS plastic. To be fair, the brand does sell this as a secondary pail for use elsewhere, such as for keeping at a relative’s house.

However, I notice that this trapdoor isn’t quite as convenient in this smaller product. There are comments from parents that had to awkwardly shove the diaper down into the pail through the door. The action of doing so can then release the odor trapped in the bag.

The pros and cons of this cloth diaper pail.

[i2pc][i2pros]The same great features as the larger model
Generally well made
Portability[/i2pros][i2cons]The smaller trapdoor
Too compact for some people[/i2cons][/i2pc]


Is this the right choice for you?

Many use this as a secondary option for grandma’s house, and this does seem to be the best purpose. It is functional in the right setting.


3) Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer



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The odor issues with the products above mean that this next model is an interesting alternative. For a start, it claims to be “powered by Arm & Hammer, who we all know like their baking soda. Then there is the claim that it is the proven number one option in odor control. I don’t know who gave them this seal of approval, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Speaking of seals, there are some nice touches in the detail with the Arm & Hammer Snap Seal and Toss bags and refill rings. The lavender scent helps to mask any lingering odor and the lid works on a self-sealing system that closes the bag up each time. It is pretty easy to use too with enough child-proofing and convenience in the hands-free approach. If you are using cloth diapers for environmental reasons, it may also please you to know that Munchkin will plant a tree for each pail sold.

Now for the downsides. All this fresh scent and odor control from the baking soda cartridges does come at a higher cost than some other systems. You might feel that it is better to pay out a little more for these elements for a better experience. There are also comments from parents about the mechanism on the lid. There are issues with the gears on the self-sealing system breaking down over time. There is a suggestion that this could be down to parents over-filling the pail before taking the bag out.

The pros and cons of this cloth diaper pail

[i2pc][i2pros]The lavender-scented ring and discs
The environmentally-friendly ethos
The seal[/i2pros][i2cons]The costly extras
The gear mechanism in the lid [/i2cons][/i2pc]


Is this the right choice for you?

If you are happy to pay a little more for the Arm & Hammer name and are careful when using this pail, it could prove to be a helpful aid.


4) UBBI Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail



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This next product is an interesting alternative because of the use of steel instead of plastic. This should eliminate any concerns about the odors and bacteria from the diapers permeating the inside of the bin. This isn’t the reason that this product stands out to me. My personal highlight is the promise that you can use any bag that you want inside without worrying about compatibility.

Some brands have such high-tech mechanisms and weird designs that you can only use their expensive diaper bags. Here this isn’t the case because there is no special mechanism on the lid or top of the bag. All you need to do is slide the lid open, put the diaper inside and close it up again. I also like that there are so many different colors and patterns available, including some bold metallic options.

I guess if you are going to have a big pail in your nursery or bedroom, it may as well be eyecatching. As with the other products in this guide, there are plenty of child-proof features to prevent unwanted break-ins. Also, the capacity is fair with room for either 20 regular or 55 newborn diapers. It is nice that they were clear on that range. Some brands only give the newborn diaper capacity to make their pail seem bigger.

The problem here is that some parents can’t get along with the sliding design. Some wish they had stuck with a bin with a foot pedal instead. Others note that the lack of a strong seal between the bag and pail can lead to issues with both odor and mold around the lid. Therefore, you may have to clean this out more often than you thought.

The pros and cons of this cloth diaper pail.

[i2pc][i2pros]The capacity
The range of colors and patterns
The compatibility with different bags[/i2pros][i2cons]The risk of mold and odor
The sliding door on the lid[/i2cons][/i2pc]


Is this the right choice for you?

If you can handle this alternative mechanism for the lid, there is a lot to appreciate with this pail. The use of steel and capacity could be worth the effort.


5) Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail



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Next up we have a cheaper product for those that want a budget option and aren’t too concern about bigname brands. This one shares many of the top features I mentioned before with the one-handed system of operation, the careful odor control, and the compact shape. There isn’t much to the design aside from the opening in the lid and the seals to keep the smell out.

To be honest, this could be a good thing as it avoids complications and breakdowns. The simplicity also means that you can use any bag with this bin. The capacity seems to be fair for the size and it seems to me that this might be a good choice in smaller homes, bathrooms or as another secondary pail for another location. Unfortunately, customers offer mixed reviews about the way that the product deals with the odor.

On the one hand, there are lots of users that say that the pail traps the smells with ease and they barely notice a thing. The seal seems to be pretty good and they only get the worst smell when opening the lid. There are also some that have no problem at all with the deodorizer discs that come with the pail.

These discs are like the fancier Arm & Hammer ones – just with less of a punch. While they may be adequate enough, there have been users that adjusted the pail with their own version. Mixtures can include cat litter, baking soda, and fragrances in an old stocking leg. Remarkably, those that take the time to do this still rate the pail highly, which shows that it worth the effort.

The pros and cons of this cloth diaper pail.

[i2pc][i2pros]A simple one-handed system
Compatible with different bags
A decent capacity[/i2pros][i2cons]The gentle scent of the discs
The lack of features might be off-putting for some [/i2cons][/i2pc]


Is this the right choice for you?

The tales of people upgrading this pail may be a little concerning or intriguing depending on your views on customization. This is still a basic starting point with few major flaws.


6) Creative Baby Tidy Diaper Pail



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There are two unique features in this cloth diaper pail that have their pros and cons depending on the user experience. The first is the design of the lid. Here the brand turned away from the simple trapdoors and foot pedals and put in a rotating lid. The idea is that this will dispose of diapers to the bottom of the pail with ease.

The majority of the time this is the case. However, there are parents that noticed diapers getting caught up. This can be a bit messy. Be aware that this happens more often when the diaper pail is close to full. Then there is the piston and ball system that create a seal when the lid is in operation and pushes the diaper down to make more room. Again, this is a great idea when it works and can prove to be effective. However, there have been malfunctions where the ball shifts and the seal doesn’t form.

This immediately compromises the odor control. I am a little on the fence on this one because it seems so helpful when it works. The fact that you can use this with any bag pretty much anywhere helps a lot too. But, those breakdowns can be costly. It is smart and it does look quite good in the corner of a bedroom because of the compact size.

The pros and cons of this cloth diaper pail.

[i2pc][i2pros]The unique rotating lid
The piston for improved capacity
The odor control[/i2pros][i2cons] Some diapers get caught in the lid
Some failures in the piston[/i2cons][/i2pc]


Is this the right choice for you?

When this product works, it works really well. The rotating lid is a good idea for ease of use and odor control. Just be careful when the pail starts to fill up.


7) Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail



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For the last product on the list, I want to do something a little different. I am going to talk about Diaper Genie. Now, you might wonder why this household name wasn’t one of the first discussed. So far, everything here has been a highly rated and top-selling product where I can agree with the recommendation. Here I want to issue a warning instead.

You see, I believe that they will draw many parents in with the usual sales claims about this being the number one brand loved across the nation. The problem is that there are lots of negative reviews about the lack of quality compared to previous Diaper Genie products. There is the notion that quality control is down but consumers will buy it anyway. Another issue here is the capacity. There is the claim that this can take 270 newborn diapers because of its size.

Yet, there are parents that find they have to empty it out far more frequently than expected. This is sure to be annoying for something that is so tall. Of course, I can’t gloss over all the positive design features that are still in place with this product. The taller design and foot pedal mean that you don’t have to bend to place your cloth diaper inside.

There are also the helpful features like the “air-tite” clamps to help with odor control and to keep little ones from investigating what’s inside. Another feature that is really appealing with this cloth diaper pail is the use of an antimicrobial material for improved hygiene. This is something that we don’t see enough of in this sort of product.

The pros and cons of this cloth diaper pail.

[i2pc][i2pros]The child-proof features
The antimicrobial materials
The odor-control[/i2pros][i2cons]The quality control compared to other Genies
The capacity [/i2cons][/i2pc]


Is this the right choice for you?

If you get through a lot of diapers and expect high quality, you could end up disappointed. If you insist on a Diaper Genie than by all means try this one out.

Choosing the best cloth diaper pail for your family.


As you can see from the final option in my guide, you can’t base your choice on the product descriptions alone. There are brands that have become a little too complacent and assume that brand loyalty will win the day. Compare specifications carefully to be sure of the materials used, the dimensions and all the helpful features. Then, check the user reviews to see if those features are actually present and beneficial. There are some great diaper pails for cloth diapers out there to suit your nursery. Take your time and you are sure to find the best option available.



This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.