Note: There is no one universal “best,” especially when it comes to parenting. These are “The Best Diaper Pails” based on Also Mom's strict criteria, detailed here.
Mmmm, the refreshing aroma of… nothing. There are lots of diaper pails out there that get the job done, but not very many that look good doing it. Given that these pails will take up a considerable footprint in your baby’s nursery, and you’ll likely be using it for at least a couple of years to come, it’s worth getting one that suits your space’s style.
There are only two diaper pails on the market right now we think are worth buying.
- Ubbi Diaper Pail ($79.99) – The Ubbi is hands down the best diaper pail on the market right now, and the only steel diaper pail we recommend. It looks nice, comes in a variety of colors– many of which are nice neutrals– and works. We especially love that you can use regular old kitchen trash bags instead of being forced to buy overpriced “refill bags,” which also means this diaper pail works great with washable wet bags for cloth diapering or with compostable bags for commercial diaper composting services. [full review]
- Munchkin Step Diaper Pail ($64.99) – Designed specifically to keep stink at bay, the Munchkin Step diaper pail is up to the challenge and looks pretty good while doing it. The pail's design separates off dirty diapers so they are quarantined away and don't assault your senses every time you open the pail, which we love. But we very much dislike the artificially scented refill bags (unavoidable with this pail) and the artificially scented baking soda puck (which you can remove), since artificial fragrances are known endocrine disruptors. [full review]
Which is the Best Diaper Pail for Your Nursery?
If you want your diaper pail to look as good as a diaper pail can possibly look… the Ubbi is the way to go.
If you cloth diaper… get the Ubbi. You can use a large wet bag instead of a plastic trash bag and dump the bag, along with all your diapers, straight into the wash.
If you commercially compost your diapers… the Ubbi is your friend, since you can use any bags you want, including compostable ones.
If you or your partner have an easily-triggered gag reflex and need stink as contained as possible… either get the Ubbi and take the trash out more frequently or get the Munchkin Step pail.
What Didn't Make the Cut
And these are a few popular diaper pails we do not recommend.
- Bubula Diaper Pail ($89) – While the Bubula looks similar to the Ubbi, all of the functionalities are inferior and it’s more expensive. No use buying the Bubula when you can buy the superior Ubbi for $10-20 less.
- Diaper Genie ($34.99) – The Diaper Genie has all the same odor-locking capabilities and downfalls as the Munchkin Step, without the clean look of the Munchkin Step.
- Dekor Plus Diaper Pail ($44.99) – Although this diaper pail is effective (and can be used for both compostable and cloth diapers!), none of the current available colors are nice and neutral enough for our taste.
Note: There are dozens of other diaper pails out there, including plain ol' step trash cans that can easily get the job done. But in our opinion, you should choose something that both looks good in your space and, most importantly, keeps stink at bay.