The Five Best Diaper Pails for Odor Prevention (updated for 2020)

Today we will discover the top diaper pails for odor prevention, including options for best-looking, low cost, and more. Plus we’ll cover tips to make any pail the best diaper pail for keeping the stink out of your nursery.

Quick Guide: The Best Diaper Pail for Odor Prevention

Don’t have time to read the whole article to find out the best diaper pails for odor prevention? SPOILER ALERT! If you want the very best diaper pail for odor prevention, click here to get the Munchkin Step on Amazon. This high end diaper pail is worth the cost to keep the stink out of your nursery. 

Table of Contents


The Five Best Diaper Pails for Odor Prevention

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The Best Diaper Pails for Smell

  • Munchkin Step: overall winner
  • Diaper Dekor Plus: pretty good all around
  • Ubbi: the best looking
  • Diaper Genie Complete: the classic
  • Safety First Easy Saver: the budget option

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

The Very Best Diaper Pail for Odor Prevention: Munchkin Step

Why it stands out:  The Munchkin Step‘s (available on Amazon) bag twists closed between uses, so you don’t get hit with a blast of stinky air when changing a diaper or taking out the bag of dirty diapers. This makes it the best diaper pail for odor prevention. 

Click the image to see more details about the Munchkin Step on Amazon

Price:  The Munchkin Step is the most expensive on the list, it costs a bit more than the UBBI and requires special refills. As you will see in a moment, it’s the best at preventing odor

Special refills:  Yes, bags and optional baking soda cartridge

Cost of refills per month:  The Step has pretty expensive refills. First, you need to buy special bags (available on Amazon). A roll of bags holds about 180 diapers, so at 10 diapers a day, that’s nearly 2 packages per month. Plus, Munchkin recommends replacing the baking soda cartridge (available on Amazon) every 2 months. 

How many diapers does it hold?  40

Assuming we’re talking about a newborn who goes through about 10 diapers per day, that means the pail will have to be emptied every 3-4 days.

How does it prevent odor?  The bag twists closed to prevent you from getting blasted with stinky air, between diaper changes, and when you remove the bag full of smelly diapers.  A lavender- scented baking soda cartridge in the lid neutralizes odors. The Arm and Hammer bags also have seven layers to help hold in odor. You can also get scented refill bags!

Getting diapers in: Step on the foot pedal, which opens the lid. Put the dirty diaper on top of the port. Close the lid. The diaper drops into the bag. And the bag twists shut. Warning- the opening is kind of small, so you may have to deal with the “squish factor” to get larger or very full diapers through. 

Getting diapers out:  The Step is compatible with two types of bags. The first kind is just like the Diaper Genie’s continuous ring bag- when the pail is full, use the built in cutter to cut the end off the bag, and tie a knot to seal the old bag. Tie a knot in the bottom of the new “bag. ” The STEP is also compatible with “Snap with Seal” bags (click to see on Amazon).  These bags have a plastic ring at the top. When the bag is full, just snap the ring closed. No tying or cutting. The Genie is not compatible with this type of bag. 

With the Munchkin Step, you can use special snap and seal bag so you don’t have to cut or tie off bags.

Anyways, you just swing open the door to remove the bag. 

Other features:  The Step only comes in white

The child lock prevents pets and babies from opening the pail. 

The bottom line:  If you want the ultimate in stink prevention, the Munchkin Step is the diaper pail for you!

Middle of the Road Best Diaper Pail for Smell: Diaper Dekor Plus

Why it stands out: The Diaper Dekor Plus (click the link to check the price on Amazon) is a great diaper pail all around. This diaper pail can be used without special bags! It has a huge capacity meaning it holds about a week’s worth of diapers, and you don’t have to squish the diapers through a small hole.

It’s about in the middle of the pack when it comes to odor control. It’s pretty good at a lot of things, and is the best at having a large opening that you don’t have to squish diapers through.

Click the image to see more details about the Diaper Dekor Plus on Amazon

Price: Again, it’s about in the middle of the pack!

Special refills: You can use Dekor’s special bags, but you can also use regular 13 gallon kitchen trash bags. When using regular bags, it is important to remove them before they get too full. With the special liners, you can remove them either through the top lid, or by opening the side. If it gets too full, you’ll only be able to get the regular bags out through the side.

Cost of refills per month: The refill bags for the Diaper Dekor Plus (available on Amazon) are pretty darn cheap! Or you can use your own bags if you prefer.

How many diapers does it hold?  60

Assuming we’re talking about a newborn who goes through about 10 diapers per day, that means the pail will have to be emptied every 5-6 days.

How does it prevent odor?  The Diaper Dekor Plus has 2 lids to prevent odor. Open the first lid to expose the trap door, which covers the diaper receptacle. 

Getting diapers in:  FIrst, you step on a foot pedal to open the lid. Then you lay the diaper on the trap door. The Diaper Dekor has a huge trap door, compared to the other diaper pails, so you don’t have to squish the diaper through with your hands. (the trap door size is what differentiates the Diaper Dekor Plus from Dekor Classic and the Dekor Mini).

Getting diapers out:  You can remove the full diaper bag from the side or the top! The side has the cutter to use with the special bags. 

Other features: It comes in gray, white, off-white, light blue, light pink, and light green.

The bottom line: Not sure what you want in a diaper pail? Get the Diaper Dekor Plus. You won’t spend a ton of money, it does a decent job preventing odor, and you won’t have to squish diapers through a small hole.

The Best-Looking Diaper Pail for Odor Prevention: Ubbi Diaper Pail

Why it stands out: The stainless steel, patterned and colorful Ubbi Diaper Pail from Amazon is the best-looking for your nursery. I mean, check it out, it even comes in marble patterns and rose gold!

Click the image to see all 17 color options for the Ubbi on Amazon

Price: The Ubbi is on the expensive end, and choosing a colorful or patterned version will add to the price a bit. 

Special refills: None. You can use standard trash bags or use Ubbi’s special bags (from Amazon)

Cost of refills per month:

How many diapers does it hold? 55

Assuming we’re talking about a newborn who goes through about 10 diapers per day, that means the pail will have to be emptied every 5-6 days.

How does it prevent odor?

This steel diaper pail has rubber seals around the rim of the sliding lid that prevents odors from escaping. The manufacturer claims that the steel does not absorb odors the way plastic would. The downside is that the moisture in the diapers can cause the interior of this can to rust after a few years, even when using bags.

Getting diapers in: Slide back the lid and put the diaper in. Some parents note that the opening is not large enough to easily fit diapers and may require you to “squish” the diaper through the opening. 

Getting diapers out: Be prepared for the stench when you empty the diaper pail! It’s like a trash can, open the lid on the top and remove the bag.

Other features:

  • It’s available in 17 different colors (black with triangles, chrome, gold, gray chevrons, gray, hot pink, ivory, light blue, light pink, marble patterned, mint, navy blue, orange, pistachio green, red, rose-gold, and white).
  • The childproof lock will keep kids or pets out of the diaper pail
  • The Ubbi’s slow- close lid prevents fingers from getting pinched. 
  • Its stainless steel construction is more durable than some plastic diaper pails. 

The bottom line: If you want the best-looking diaper pail for odor prevention, choose the Ubbi.

Click the image to see more details about the Ubbi on Amazon

The Classic Diaper Pail for Preventing Stink: Diaper Genie Complete

Why it stands out:  The Diaper Genie Complete, available on Amazon, is the tried-and-true classic diaper pail. This no-frill solution will keep the odor out without other fancy features.

Click the image to see more details about the Diaper Genie Complete on Amazon

Price:  The Diaper Genie itself is pretty cheap, and you will need to pay for their fairly inexpensive refills.

Special refills:  The Diaper Genie uses special 7 layer bags to seal in odors! It also uses a charcoal filter (both accessories available on Amazon), which you should replace every 90 days. 

Cost of refills per month:  The Diaper Genie refills aren’t too expensive.  The Diaper Dekor Plus has cheaper refills, but the Genie’s are about half the cost of refills for the Munchkin STEP. You can also get off- brand bags, which are cheaper. 

How many diapers does it hold?  40

Assuming we’re talking about a newborn who goes through about 10 diapers per day, that means the pail will have to be emptied every 3-4 days.

How does it prevent odor?  The Diaper Genie uses two lids to keep odors inside. When you step on the foot pedal, the first lid opens. Set the diaper on top of the second lid. Release the foot pedal, and the second lid opens, and the dirty diaper falls into the bag below. The bags are 7 layers thick, preventing any stench from seeping out. The charcoal filter helps control odors that seep into the area between the two doors. 

Getting diapers in:  Step on the foot pedal, which opens up the trap door for you to drop a diaper into. Great because it’s hands free! When you release the foot pedal, the top lid closes and the weight of the diaper makes it fall through a second lid into the bag below. 

Getting diapers out:  When the Genie is full, you tilt the bin forward to get the dirty diapers out. A small cutter chops the end of the bag off, and you tie a knot in it. Be prepared, all those dirty diapers will stink! If you don’t like the idea of the stench blast when changing bags, check out the Munchkin STEP below.

Other features:  Some parents have noted this version doesn’t hold as many diapers as the older Diaper Genie models. Also, the secondary door may not open when you have small, light diapers, like newborn sizes. 

It comes in four different colors- white, gray, light pink, and light blue. 

The bottom line:  The Diaper Genie has been the tried and true diaper pail for generations. It’s in the middle of the road for cost and odor prevention, as long as you don’t mind paying for the special refills. Click the image below to check out the different colors of Diaper Genie or add it to your registry.

Click the image to see more details on Amazon


The Best Budget Diaper Pail for Odor Prevention: Safety First Easy Saver Diaper Pail 

Why it stands out:  The Safety First Easy Saver Diaper Pail is the budget option (click the link to check the price on Amazon). It has no frills, is super simple to use, and uses standard trash bags.

Click the image to see more details about the Safety First Easy Saver on Amazon

Price: This is the lowest- cost diaper pail on my list! 

Special refills: Technically, this diaper pail comes with “deodorizing disks,” but they don’t work well. You are better off not buying refills. 

Cost of refills per month:  Not applicable 

How many diapers does it hold? 30

Assuming we’re talking about a newborn who goes through about 10 diapers per day, that means the pail will have to be emptied every 2-3 days.This is a little smaller than some of the other pails. I’m okay with the small size because it means I empty the pail every 1-2 days and it doesn’t stink up the room. It uses standard 13 gallon trash bags. 

How does it prevent odor?  With a simple lid. You get what you pay for. When you have a newborn, this pail won’t stink between diaper changes, but you will definitely smell it when you change the bag. 

Once your baby starts eating more solid foods, you will definitely start to smell the stench in the nursery if there’s a poopy diaper in the pail.

Getting diapers in:  Press a button, which opens the spring- loaded small lid. Now you can drop the diaper in. Warning- you may have to squish very full diapers in by hand if they are on the large size! Yuck!

The springs on the lid will likely be the first thing to break. They will probably fall into the smelly diaper pile. And now you can just use this diaper pail as a trash can. 

Getting diapers out:  Open the “big lid” on the top and remove your trash bag. 

Other features:  Makes a great trash can when your kids are out of diapers. The button on the lid acts as an unofficial child lock. 

The bottom line:  This diaper pail is cheap, but not the best at preventing odors. If you plan to keep it in the garage anyway, then it may be a great option for you. Or maybe you just have a terrible sense of smell.

Also, keep reading to check out my tips for reducing odors with any diaper pail! 

Summary table- the best diaper pails for odor prevention
A quick summary of the best diaper pails for odor prevention

Tips for making any diaper pail the best diaper pail for odor prevention

No matter which diaper pail you choose, you can try some other tricks to reduce the smell even more!

  • Put a container of baking soda (click to order on Amazon) in the bottom of the diaper pail for odor prevention. Put in fresh baking soda every month or so. Arm & Hammer also makes a trash can deodorizer (available on Amazon) that is recommended for diaper pails.
  • Or, sprinkle a little baking soda down the hatch with each diaper
  • Sprinkle kitty litter (available on Amazon) in a small tray, like a takeout container, to absorb odor
  • Use activated carbon to absorb odors. This works similarly to a carbon filter. Put some in a tray, or put some in the toe of a pair of old pantyhose inside the bin
  • Or get a stick on air freshener from Amazon and put it inside the pail. I like these essential oil-based air fresheners that I can just stick inside the can.  They’re not as cheap as the regular air fresheners, but I love the way they smell!
Click the image to see more details about these essential oil air fresheners on Amazon

  • Put a drop of essential oil (available on Amazon) in the bottom of each bag.
  • If your pail doesn’t require special refill bags, get scented trash bags (available on Amazon)
  • Spray the interior of the can with disinfecting spray when you change the bags
  • Empty the diaper pail frequently. The longer the diapers sit, the worse they will smell. 
  • Keep your diaper pail in the garage if the smell really gets to you. You could even put a basic pail, like the Safety First in the nursery for wet diapers and an advanced pail with better odor control in the garage for the extra-smelly diapers.
  • Did you know you can reuse your diaper pail for other things once your kids are out of diapers? Use it as a regular trash can, a receptacle for dog waste, or kitty litter. 

Don’t forget to set up your baby registry and add the best diaper pail for odor prevention!

Haven’t set up your baby registry yet? Click here to set one up on Amazon. It’s super simple. Even if you aren’t having a baby shower, it can help you organize the things you’ll need to buy before having a baby.

Do You Need a Diaper Pail?

There seem to be two main opinions on diaper pails. Some think there’s no way to completely mask the smell of dirty diapers in your house. These folks put dirty diapers in an outside trash can or in their garage right away. Others want a diaper pail to handle the stink. Personally, I fall in the second camp. I don’t want to take stinky diapers to the outdoor trash can in the Ohio winter or in the middle of the night. There are many different diaper pails that eliminate odors in a variety of ways, so I’m confident one of them will work for you! 

What Features Should I Look for in a Diaper Pail? 

Again, everyone is different. Think about which of these are most important to you. If you have a sensitive nose, the budget option probably isn’t for you. Expecting twins or have more than one kid in diapers? You may want one with a large capacity. 

Cost

It is important to look at the overall cost of the diaper pail itself. But you should also consider the consumables. Some diaper pails use special bags. Others use standard trash bags. And the fanciest of the diaper pails have other replaceable parts like charcoal filters or baking soda to absorb odors. 

I’ve totaled up an estimated monthly cost for the diaper pails that use special bags and other supplies. I was surprised that for some diaper pails, after just a few months, I’d be spending the same amount on refills as I would on the whole diaper pail!

Does the Diaper Pail Require Special Bags? 

Some diaper pails have a fancy system of lids to prevent smelly air from wafting into the nursery, but can use standard kitchen trash bags. Others have a fancy bag mechanism, to keep the stink contained,  meaning they have special bags. Consider that you will have to buy special bags with some models. It’s not just about the price, either. Will you stock extra bags in case you need more during the 3am diaper change?

Does the Diaper Pail Use Other Consumables?

Some models use baking soda and charcoal filters that need to be replaced. I’ve included these when applicable. 

How Many Diapers Does it Hold? 

Manufacturers boast about how many diapers of various sizes fit in their pails. The numbers in my chart are approximate, based on newborn diapers. I’ve also estimated how frequently you’ll have to empty the pail, assuming a newborn uses 8-10 diapers per day. The downside to a larger pail is that you’ll be more likely to smell the diapers after they’ve been in there for a longer time. 

How Does the Diaper Pail Prevent Odors?

Like I mentioned above, most pails dump the diapers into a bag and have some way of preventing the stinky air from getting out. Some models have baking soda inserts and charcoal filters that minimize odors as well. 

Don’t want your nursery to smell like a trash compactor?

How do You Get Diapers into the Pail? 

So you’re holding a messy diaper in one hand and holding your baby so they don’t roll off the changing table with the other hand. How do you dispose of the diaper? Do you have to smush it through an opening and risk making a bigger mess? Lift a handle? Step on a foot switch? 

How do You Get Diapers out of the Pail? 

Now that it’s time to take out the trash, how do you do it? Some models require some disassembly. Others have a tilting bin that makes the job easier. How much stench will be released when you open that pail?

Other Features

And finally, some of the diaper pails are no nonsense, while others have bells, whistles, child- proof locks, warp engines, and come in a variety of colors. 

Conclusions: The Best Diaper Pails for Odor Prevention

There you have it. I’ve shown you five different diaper pails that are great for odor prevention. The Munchkin Step (click the links to check the prices of these diaper pails on Amazon!) is the very best diaper pail for odor prevention. And the Diaper Dekor Plus is a great middle-of-the-road solution.The Ubbi is the best-looking diaper pail for odor prevention. And we have the classic Diaper Genie Complete, used and loved by many parents. The Safety First Easy Saver Diaper Pail might be what you’re after if you want a low-cost solution.

Have other questions about diapers? Check out my related articles:

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