Best Diaper Pail for Odor Control (2019 Reviews)

Best diaper pail for odor control

As much as we like to pretend that we are not affected by the awful and unpleasant smell that emanates from our babies diapers, the reality is that they really stink. And this makes a diaper pail a necessity in every household. But the question is do you know how to choose the best diaper pail for odor control?

It is important to note that not all diaper pails will contain the smell of soiled diapers as much as you would want them to. So you need to choose one carefully when buying. This is why we have prepared this guide to give you a comprehensive review of the top rated diaper pails that contain the smell really well.

Top rated best diaper pail for odor control comparison table

Munchkin Step by Arm & Hammer•Self-sealing system
•Step pedal
•Dual refill compatible
•Baking soda cartridge
•Childproof locking system
•Made of plastic
180 diapers
Ubbi money saving steel diaper pail•Childproof lock
•Made of steel
•Can use regular trash bags
•Rubber seals
•Sliding lid
•Variety of colors
55 diapers
Playtex Diaper Genie Complete•Built in anti-microbial system
•Foot pedal
•Double air-tight clamps
•Built in cutter
•Front tilt bin
•Carbon filter
270 newborn diapers
Dekor plus hands free diaper pail •Triple odor control system
•Foot pedal
•Can be used as trash can
60 newborn diapers

Individual reviews of the best diaper pail for odor control

Munchkin Step by Arm & Hammer

(For every diaper pail you buy, Munchkin plants a tree to help in reducing carbon emissions)

Munchkin Step is one of the most praised diaper pails by moms due to its unique odor control mechanism. This pail has a self-sealing system where the refill is twisted tightly after you squish the diaper through and close the lid. The twisting prevents any smell from escaping from the pail.

This diaper pail also comes with a puck baking soda cartridge. This cartridge not only provides odor protection but also deodorizes the pail since it has a lavender scent.

Hygiene is also a very important factor when handling diapers and diaper pails. This is why the munchkin step pail has a step pedal so you do not have to open and close the lid using your hand. In addition, the step pedal makes opening and closing the lid easier for you even when you are holding a baby. There is a child lock system as well to prevent the baby from opening the pail, which can be a health risk.

When you want to empty the diapers, there is a cutter that is easy to locate inside the diaper pail

Most importantly, this diaper pail works with either refill rings that snap and do not need to be tied or cut, or the seal and toss bags. Ideally, you can buy the Arm & Hammer refill bags or simply the munchkin bags. All work great with this diaper pail. Each refill bag has a capacity of 180 diapers, but it is advisable to empty the pail regularly so as to prevent overfilling.


  • Completely controls the odor from escaping
  • Comes with one installed bag and an extra one
  • It comes with Arm & Hammer air fresher
  • Very easy to clean
  • Compact and sturdy 


  • You have to squish the diapers through the opening so if it is a poopy diaper, some may get on your hands. You can avoid this by first wrapping the soiled diaper in a scented bag before squishing it through.
  • Step pedal only helps to open the lid, you have to push the lid down to close

Ubbi money-saving steel diaper pail

Ubbi diaper pail is another best diaper pail for odor control. This pail does not have a special locking system. However, the rubber seals around the rim and the lid ensure the pail shuts tightly thereby locking the odor in.

Moreover, it is made of steel, which locks the smell pretty well compared to the plastic pails. The lid also slides preventing air disruption so that the odor remains contained inside.

Buying refills can be quite costly. Luckily, the Ubbi diaper pail can be used with the regular trash bags or reusable cloth liners. So when you run out of the Ubbi bags, the standard trash bags will work just fine.

The child safety lock ensures that your children do not open the diaper pail. In addition, there is a slow-close lid feature that also helps to prevent kids from injuring themselves in case the lid is opened.

Overall, this pail is a perfect size that fits even in small spaces in the baby’s nursery. It accommodates about 55 diapers but always empty the diapers regularly before it gets too full and fails to contain the smell.


  • Can use regular trash bags
  • Easy to clean
  • A wide variety of colors
  • Simple design
  • Easy to use


  • A major issue with this diaper pail is that it traps moisture over time causing the pail to stink.
  • Does not have a foot pedal

Playtex diaper genie complete diaper pail

The Playtex Diaper Genie Complete is the tallest diaper pail that does a really great job at trapping odor. This is made possible through its odor lock system which comprises of the double air-tight clamps, activated carbon filter and the 7 layer refill bag.

In addition, it has a built in order controlling antimicrobial. This feature together with the double air-tight clamps trap the odor and prevents it from diffusing through. In case the smell tries to get out, the carbon filter located at under the lid captures it.

The foot pedal helps you to easily open and close the diaper genie without touching it. This coupled with the tall size of the pail means that you do not have to bend when putting the diaper into the pail.

This diaper genie has a unique feature of a front bin that tilts when changing bags or refills. You simply tilt this front bin and pull the bag with the diapers then cut it using the cutter located insider the pail.

With the Playtex diaper pail, the refills can hold up to 270 soiled diapers. It is however recommended that you empty the pail regularly. This is because when it overfills, it will not close tightly; hence, odor will pass through.


  • It comes already assembled with a full-size refill
  • Easy to clean
  • Locks smell completely
  • Pretty easy to change the bags


  • Fills up very quickly so you have to empty it regularly

Dekor plus hands-free diaper pail

If you are looking for a totally hands-free diaper pail, then get the Dekor plus. It has a foot pedal that once you step on it, it opens the lid and you simply drop in the diaper without squishing or bending.

The odor is kept contained inside the pail by the OdorKeeper trap door that closes tightly after you drop the soiled diaper. In addition, the rubber seals ensure the lid keeps tightly closed so that no smell will escape.

Emptying the pail and replacing the refill is also quite simple with this pail. There is an easy-access service door where you pull the diapers and cut the refill using the cutter located on the door.

Dekor plus pail is also rated the best for reusable diapers (cloth diapers). For this purpose, you have to get the washable and reusable cloth diaper liners that the company sells separately.

Most importantly, there is a child lock system that ensures both the lid and the access door are childproof. This is a particularly good feature especially when you have a toddler who likes to explore.

The good thing is that if you run out of money to buy the refill bags, you can use the regular trash bags. Moreover, once you are through with using the Dekor Plus as a diaper pail, it works well as a trash can with regular trash bags as well.


  • Simple design
  • Easy to use
  • Totally hands-free
  • Replacement bags are affordable
  • Controls odor very well


  • This diaper pail needs to be cleaned and de-stinked regularly to keep it smelling fresh.

Important factors to consider when buying the best diaper pail for odor control

By now, you may have already made a decision on the type of diaper pail you want to buy. Probably you have chosen one based on its attractiveness and size. However, there are more factors that you need to consider as well before you make that purchase. Let us discuss these factors in detail.

  • Ability to contain the smell

Finding the best pail that can control smell is very important. To be honest, it may not be possible to find a pail that can contain 100% of the smell no matter what the manufacturers say. However, it should at least work to your satisfaction.

Some diapers pails will release some odor when you open them to deposit a soiled diaper but after you close them, they contain the odor inside quite well. Since you will not always leave the lid open, this shouldn’t deter you from purchasing such a pail. Others will start releasing smell when you leave the diapers in for too long or you overfill them. So to avoid this, always empty the diapers regularly. A pail that has a carbon filter will also help to reduce the odor.

  • Foot pedal

I consider the foot or step pedal to be an absolute necessity in a diaper pail. This because a diaper pail with a foot pedal tends to be hands-free. You step on the pedal, the lid opens up and you drop the diaper in, and then release the pedal and the lid closes. Pretty simple!!! It is also sanitary.

  • Capacity

The capacity of the diaper pail should also be considered when buying. If you leave in a small apartment or your baby’s nursery has limited space, then a small size pail would be appropriate. Otherwise, you should not get a pail that will only take a few diapers and you have to keep emptying it after a few hours. If you have more than one kid in diapers, a diaper pail with small capacity would not work.

  • Cost

The price of diaper pails depends on the features they have. Some may be highly priced because they extra features such as a carbon filter while others may be lowly priced because they have the basic features only.

If you are on a budget, you should simply get one that is fairly priced as long as it can control the smell and hold the diapers. Also consider the issue of refills. Some refills are quite expensive while others are affordable.

  • Efficiency

You definitely want a diaper pail that is easy to use. You change diapers even in the wee hours of the night, so you don’t want to start struggling with the pail with your eyes half open. A hands-free pail will be a life saver in such a case. If the pail needs emptying, removing the diapers and replacing the refills, it should be seamless as well.

  • Refills: special liners or regular trash bags?

Refills are liners or bags that you attach to the diaper pail in order to collect the diapers. Some pails must only be used with the specialized refills that you get from the brand of the diaper pail you have. Others can use regular trash bags, which is very cost effective and convenient.

Diaper pails that can be used for cloth diapers can use the reusable cloth liners, which is also cost effective. Thus, before buying a diaper pail, consider the expenses of the refills. Are you comfortable buying the special liners every time or using the regular trash bags?

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About the Author

Lynn is a freelance writer, a wife, and a mother of two beautiful kids. Lynn started Infant Empire with the aim of making parenting easier for fellow mums and dads. She believes the parenting tips provided here will be of great help to all parents.

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