Understanding The Necessity Behind Buying A Diaper Pail For Your Home

Understanding The Necessity Behind Buying A Diaper Pail For Your Home

First off, you should picture a standard trash can or container that you typically have in your kitchen. That image is a good place to start since a diaper pail functions similarly to a garbage can and looks similar as well.

Diaper pails are containers that are specially designed to function as a convenient disposing receptacle for your baby's dirty diapers.

These pails have a unique build and design that makes them a perfect temporary place to store your baby's smelly diapers since an ordinary trash can usually can't tone down the smell of diapers.

Why Do You Need A Diaper Pail?

After six months is when your baby will start to take its diet to the next level and consistently incorporate solid foods.

As a result of this diet change, your baby's diapers will begin to smell worse and feel heavier than before. You'll be wishing you could go back to the days when your baby's diapers didn't fill up an entire room with a putrid odor.

Parent’s who swore that they wouldn’t need a diaper pail always end up buying one after their baby’s diet changes. You can avoid having to buy one later on when you request a diaper pail as a gift for your baby shower.

If you're still torn as to whether or not a diaper pail is a worthy investment, a fact you should keep in mind that will be your deciding factor is that within your baby's first year, he or she will go through an estimated 2,600 to 3,000 diapers.

Regular Trash Can Versus Diaper Pail

You can imagine the long diaper change routine of a parent without a diaper pail since they have to carry the soiled diapers to the outside trash can since throwing it out at home is out of the question.

Number of color variations for a diaper pail

Source: lovingmyfinley.com

If a parent were to leave dirty diapers in a kitchen trash can, the whole house would soon reek. Regular trash cans aren't built to withstand such strong odors, while diaper pails are designed to seal in diaper distinct smells, so they never have to reach your nose.

Types Of Diaper Pails

For those who believe a diaper pail is a nursery necessity, you have to familiarize yourself with all the option available on the market, so you make the decision that best suits your needs as well as your baby's needs.

When it comes to diaper pails, there are two types you can choose from which consist of wet cloth diaper pails and dry cloth diaper pails. Keep reading for an in-depth look at these various diaper pails.

Wet Cloth Diaper Pail: An Overview

If you prefer using cloth diapers over disposable ones, you'll want a wet cloth diaper pail since it's exclusively utilized for cloth diapers. When you think about it, you can't rewash disposable diapers so that a wet cloth diaper pail wouldn't serve any purpose.

How Does It Work?

A wet cloth diaper pail will hold all your used cloth baby diapers till washing day comes along, which is when your washing machine and dryer take over.

This diaper pail is easy to use since all you have to do is fill it up with water. Some parents do add essential oils, baking soda, and white vinegar to reduce both the odors as well as the stains that are common with baby diapers, but you don’t have to.

Cloth diaper on cloth line

Source: laurasplans.com

You baby’s cloth diapers will soak in the water filled wet cloth diaper pail, which makes removing stains and cleaning the diapers much easier since you no longer have to put the dirty diapers through several wash cycles until they look brand new.


Don't make a mistake and add laundry detergent or bleach to the water filled wet cloth diaper pail because it will make the solution too harsh for the diapers. Your diapers will break down and become useless, which would be a waste since cloth diapers are expensive.

Dry Diaper Pail: An Overview

For parents who don’t use cloth diapers or like to switch between using cloth and disposable diapers, you should consider a dry cloth diaper pail since it functions for both disposable and cloth diapers.

How Does It Work?

Out of the two types of diaper pails, the dry cloth diaper pail is the one that looks most similar to a trash can since it typically uses a liner but doesn't require any rinsing water.

So all that's merely required on the parent's part is to toss the dirty diapers into the pail and your problems disappear.

For Cloth Diaper Purposes

A word of advice from a majority of parents would be to scrap off some of the loose waste on the cloth diaper before you through it into the dry diaper pail.

This extra step makes the cloth diaper washing process much easier since you’re preventing the diaper from staining, which means washing it will take only one cycle rather than three.

For Disposable Diaper Purposes

Disposable diapers require less work than cloth ones since parents can throw the diapers directly into the dry cloth diaper pail without having to scrape any excess waste off.

Mother changing diapers

Source: whattoexpect.com

You can reduce the odor that comes from these diapers and give your baby’s nose a break if you sprinkle some baking soda into the diaper pail.

Dry cloth diaper pails most often use plastic liners, which makes diaper duty and the post-cleaning involved a quick and efficient process.

Once you throw out the disposable diapers into the dry cloth pail, the liners that separate the diapers from the pail itself can be removed and thrown out into your everyday trash can.


For a more eco-friendly option, you should use biodegradable disposable diapers.

Make sure to set up the dry cloth diaper pail securely so you can avoid it posing a threat amongst your children.

Which Is The Best Diaper Pail Type For Disposables?

After familiarizing yourself with wet cloth diaper pails and dry cloth diaper pails, the one that will effectively store your disposable diapers would be the dry cloth diaper pails.

Wet cloth diaper pails should never be used for disposable diapers. The last thing you need is a pail full of water that’s storing tons of disposable diapers with no way for you to remove them since this type of diaper pail lacks a plastic liner that is common with dry diaper pails.

Babies in diaper standing against the wall

Source: thebalance.com

No plastic liner means you'll have to individually hand pick each diaper to set it inside a separate plastic bag and then continue to throw out the second diaper filled-bag to an outside trash can, which makes it clear as to how inefficient wet cloth diaper pails are when it comes to disposable diapers.

Diaper Pail Specs: What To Look Out For?

Knowing the function of a diaper pail will help you figure out as to which one you should add to your home, so thoroughly comprehending its minor design details will make buying a diaper pail more of a thought-out decision rather than one that's made on a whim.

Size And Capacity

Depending on how often your baby needs a diaper change, you’ll know you got the sizing right when you need to empty your diaper pail a maximum amount of three times a week.

Keep in mind that these numbers are relevant only if you have one baby, so if you have twins, you’ll want to reconsider your diaper pail size.

Typically, a majority of small-sized diaper pails measure to be 7 gallons while large sized ones can reach up to 14 gallons.

For those who prefer frequent cleaning, you'll want a 7-gallon diaper pail since it'll fill up to the brim within two days.

Since a 14-gallon diaper pail can store twice as many diapers, it's no surprise that it will last you four days instead of the two days it takes until a 7-gallon diaper pail needs to be emptied.

Mom holding baby girl in nursery with diaper pail

Source: miology.com

Ultimately, a diaper pail with a large storage capacity reduces the amount of bag changes performed in a week, but it causes you to run the risk of storing odors in your home that would never occur with a diaper pail of small storage capacity.

Diaper Pail Disposable System Type

You can open the lid of your diaper pail either using two hands, one hand, or even no hands, but that action entirely depends on the type of disposable system your diaper pail is based on.

Most diaper pails nowadays are built adhering to the regular, hands-free, or foot pedal model.


Regular diaper pails have lids that require you to manually open and shut using both hands so that you can forget about multitasking with a diaper pail built in reference to this system.

Some of these diaper pails can also be used with one hand, but that's only when the lid is designed with a door that slides to open and shut.

Since you have to open the entire lid to throw out one diaper; as a result, the room the diaper pail is placed in will automatically start to emit nasty smells, so you'll want to avoid buying diaper pails that still use this archaic system.

More modern and technologically advanced diaper pails come with separate chambers where one holds the dirty diapers, and one collects them.

In between these two chambers is a mechanism whose job is to dump the diaper from one chamber into the other, so the diapers already disposed of never make contact with the surrounding air.


Diaper changing is a process that requires both of your hands and your full focus since you have to worry about making sure your baby sits still while you’re holding a dirty diaper in your other hand.

White diaper pail in a nursery

Source: smallfryblog.com

You can imagine how convenient a hands-free diaper pail would be since all you have to do is wave your hand in front of the lid and voila! Most diaper pails that come with the hands-free system are typically motion activated or come with a foot pedal.

Foot Pedal

A foot pedal is one of the few hands-free systems seen on diaper pails that removes the need for you to use both of your hands to throw away one dirty diaper. Diaper pails that come with foot pedals tend to be expensive, but the additional cost is worth the ease of use.


Out of all the specifications that are relevant towards choosing your diaper pail, the material it’s made out of is by far one of the most important.

Diaper pails primarily consist of a build that is either plastic or steel, each with its particular advantages and disadvantages.


Diaper pails built with plastic as a material tend to be cheaper and react differently to storing the soiled diapers than steel.

In regards to weight, everyone knows that plastic is significantly lighter than steel, so it makes sense that plastic diaper pails are incredibly lightweight.

This makes carrying plastic diaper pails easy and effortless without you having to worry about spilling dirty diapers everywhere.

One drawback to plastic diaper pails is that over time they will absorb the repugnant smell of your baby's diapers, which defeats the purpose of a diaper pail.

However, if the plastic used happens to be ABS plastic, you can rest easy because it's a type of plastic that prevents odor absorption.

Pastel colored diaper pails

Source: potterybarnkids.com

If you're on a budget and are looking for a diaper pail that's meant for temporary use, a plastic diaper pail is your best option since they are more readily available which makes them cheaper and user-friendly.


For those who want a diaper pail that's guaranteed to last for more than one child, the sole material you should be considering is metal.

Metal diaper pails are typically made of powder-coated steel, which right off the bat is considerably more durable than plastic.

Another advantage metal has over plastic is that metal diaper pails cannot trap and absorb any of the odors coming from your baby's diapers, which is common with plastic diaper pails.

Also, the metal's sturdy and smooth build will directly shorten the overall diaper pail cleaning process.

Cleaning a plastic diaper pail can take hours to complete properly while a metal model will take seconds.

Odor Control

Knowing how effectively your diaper pail can combat odors is essential if you want to make the right choice. As stated earlier, the material of the diaper pail plays a huge role as to whether it can control odor levels, but other features impact the odor control system as well.

Diaper pails built with multiple layers have an advanced odor control system, which can make all the difference.

For instance, there are diaper pails that have a three-layer odor locking system design set in place that features a trap door, a rubber-padded top lid, as well as an automatic sealing bag that ensures no dirty smells ever reach your sensitive nostrils.

Little boy pinching his nose

Source: alphamom.com

For even more odor control, you’ll love diaper pails that come with a separate baking soda dispenser. This feature allows you to place scented baking soda inside the diaper pail, so all the odors neutralize in the enclosed space.

Safety Lock

Once your baby starts crawling, you have to childproof the whole house, and that includes your diaper pail. Hopefully, your diaper pail came with a child lock safety feature since the pail does pose a choking hazard.

Favorite child safety lock models include those that open with either a single push or an easy twist, so any diaper pail with one of those locking systems will make sure it won't pose a threat to your baby's well-being.

You need to make sure that the lock isn't too difficult to operate, so engaging and disengaging it should be a one-second smooth movement that gives you automatic access to the inside of the diaper pail.

Noteworthy Manufacturers To Choose From

Now that you know what features and design aspects to look out for when buying your very first diaper pail, you can now familiarize yourself with some diaper pail manufacturers who have the reputation of producing best-selling and top-notch baby products.


Ubbi is internationally known for manufacturing innovative baby products whose primary function is to simplify the lives of parents while keeping babies safe and happy.

White ubbi diaper pail

Source: jessecoulter.net

The brand first made its mark in the baby gear industry when the Ubbi diaper pail released since no other company had designed something so innovative during that time.

Whenever parents hear the name Ubbi, they automatically think about the Ubbi diaper pail because it ranks as a leader amongst other diaper pail brands.

The Ubbi diaper pail has an outstanding reputation for its high-performing odor control system as well as its versatile design that most parents don’t realize will come in handy till they bring the diaper pail home.

Ubbi made a breakthrough in the diaper pail market when it produced diaper pails that can use either pail liners or regular garbage bags as a means to hold the soiled diapers. No other diaper pail before the Ubbi diaper pail could accommodate both pail liners and standard trash bags.


Dekor solely dedicates its time to manufacture diaper pails that are simple for parents to use, so changing diapers becomes a smooth process that won’t take you more than a couple of seconds.

Dad throwing diaper in a blue diaper pail

Source: youtube.com

In regards to origin, Dekor claims a European background but has recently entered the North American market to cater to the needs of more families and supply high-end diaper pails.

It's no surprise that Dekor has made way into North America since it has won over ten awards with most of them being from reputable parenting blogs that swear by Dekor diaper pails.


Since the early 1990’s, Munchkin never specialized in regards to what baby product it would manufacture, which is why Munchkin is currently known to produce all your baby gear needs while adhering to a high-quality standard that most companies cannot keep up with.

Tommee Tippee

Tommee Tippee is a trademark of another major company that was launched in England over 50 years ago for the sole purpose of manufacturing baby gear products.

You’ll notice that Tommee Tippee places more of an emphasis on design than most baby gear manufacturers, which explains the reported increased amount of parents using more Tommee Tippee brand bottles and hygienic related tools than other brand options.

White diaper genie in a nursery

Source: amazon.com

Eventually, Tommee Tippee's final goal is to become the number one recommended mom to mom baby product company that will cater to all your baby's health and wellness essentials with some fashion flair.

Diaper Genie

You have the design team over at Playtex to thank for the creation of the Diaper Genie, which is one of the most readily recognizable diaper pails to have ever entered the baby gear market.

For those who don't know what diaper pail to buy, Diaper Genie will suffice as an excellent introduction and will prove to provide a helping hand during the diaper changing process that truly makes a difference.

Maintenance And Cleaning

Maintaining and cleaning a diaper pail won’t take up too much of your time, and there are steps you can take beforehand that will ensure you get the most out of your diaper pail without having to spend hours a day cleaning it.

All you have to do to keep the diaper pail fresh and clean is to find a non-abrasive cleaning solution and use it to wash the pail down after every time it becomes too full, and you have to change the liner.

If you still have odor issues, from time to time, you can occasionally use bleach to achieve a deep, thorough cleaning that will effectively prevent odors from impacting your household air.


Wrap dirty diapers into tight and neat balls, so you effectively contain the smell you're trying to trap.

Baby crawling next to a wicker hamper

Source: babylist.com

Place baking soda either at the bottom of the diaper pail or at a designated baking soda section to enhance the odor control system

Always read the instruction of your particular diaper pail since the materials and care vary from product to product


Hopefully, you have now absorbed all the relevant information on diaper pails that you can confidently enter the diaper pail market and know exactly what you want.

For those who are still torn as to which diaper pail you’ll most likely find in your home, you should take a look at our buying guide since it will provide a closer look at specific diaper pails that are currently dominating the baby gear market.

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