Best Diaper Pail for Cloth Diapers: Why You need to Know
If you have a newborn or are expecting soon, a handy diaper pail is surely a must-have. However, you’ll find out soon enough that choosing the best diaper pail for cloth diapers is a little more tricky than finding one for disposable diapers.
Fortunately, I know the struggle and have come to rescue you! In this guide, you will know the difference between diaper pails and some of the special factors to consider when buying one for cloth diapers.
So, what are you waiting for? Scroll down and let’s get started!
Quick Comparison: The Top 6 Diaper Pail for Cloth Diapers.
Regular or one-brand
Powder Coated Steel
Why you need a special diaper pail for cloth Diapers?
You’re probably wondering why you need a specific type of diaper pail for cloth diapers since normal garbage bins have the same function, right? Well, you’re both correct and wrong.
Garbage bins work well for storing dirty diapers, but what they don’t do is trap the smell! Standard diaper pails have features that seal in the odors.
Also, most diaper pails come with reusable refills and liners instead of garbage bags. This way, you maintain the idea of being eco-friendly and producing less waste, which may be one of the main reasons why you prefer cloth diapers.
Regular diaper pails, however, use a mechanism that wraps soiled diapers to keep the smell contained. This is a no-no for cloth diapers since it will cause bacteria, mildew, and mold growth.
So, for cloth diapers, you need something that not only tucks in the smell but also airs out and stores the diapers until the next wash day. This is why you need a diaper pail specifically made for cloth diapers.
The three main features of a diaper pail for cloth diapers are:
- A tight lid.
- Fast opening and closing lid.
- Easily replaceable bags or fillers.
You need a tight-fit lid to keep the smells in. You also need the lid to open and close fast during disposal to prevent the smell from escaping into the room. Lastly, easy removal and replacement of full bags will also guarantee to keep the odor in.
How are the various diaper pail types different from each other?
From what you already know, looking for the best diaper pail for cloth diapers is not an easy task. There are also many different types of diaper pails available today.
Some have specific characteristics that make them good or bad for cloth diapers. I’ve listed them down below, so you will know their main differences.
1. Pail For Disposable Diaper
Easy to use and super simple, these pails are the most similar to regular garbage cans. You can use normal trash bags for this type.
The downside is that this type wraps diapers to contain the odor, which as mentioned before, is not ideal for cloth diapers.
2. Bags to store Cloth Diapers
A common method used to store cloth diapers are diaper bags. These are bags with a zipper at the bottom. This design was intended to make dumping diapers into the washer super easy.
Furthermore, you can also just hang these bags from door knobs or hooks attached to the bed, bedside cabinet, or a changing station. It is ideal for homes or nurseries without a very large space for a pile or bin.
3. Pails for Cloth Diapers
Designed to store cloth diapers, these pails have hooks inside from which you can hang a laundry bag. The lids are also secured and sealed to keep the odor inside.
Typically, these come with laundry bags that you can wash along with dirty diapers. There are three types of diaper pails for cloth diapers: dry, wet, or combination.
- Wet Cloth Diaper Pail
True to the name, wet pails store submerges diapers under water until you’re ready to wash them in a washing machine. The main advantage of this type is that stains can be removed more easily because of the soaking.
Water also helps keep the smell controlled and adding a little vinegar, and baking soda enhances the odor-control effect.
However, because of the liquid, the pail is heavy and difficult to carry. There is also a risk of drowning for households with small children.
- Dry Pails
More like a garbage bin, dry diaper pails can also be used for disposable diapers. They are also lighter and easier to move and carry around than wet pails.
However, if you use this type, you’re most likely to deal with more stains come wash day. You also need a liner and should clean these frequently as you would not want the smell and look of diapers stored for weeks in this bin.
- Combination Pail
Not really a product, a combination diaper pail is a method parent have been using the get the most of the available options.
To do this, you first have to rinse diapers on the sink or bathroom to wash off the poop and urine. Then, you store them in a bag and put this in any pail. This way, you can just wash the diapers on the following wash day.
An advantage of this method is that you still get the benefit of fewer diaper stains. You also eliminate the drowning hazard for kids, and the smell is reduced.
However, this works for cloth diapers only, and the pail will still be heavy.
4. Pails for both Disposable and Cloth Diapers
Some companies also manufacture diaper pails that can store both cloth or disposable diapers. This is great if you tend to switch between the two types, or use one type but plan to switch as your baby grows older.
However, these usually require plastic bags for storage. This is okay for disposable diapers; you can just throw the bag away. For cloth diapers, you’ll have to empty the bag since you can’t wash it with the laundry.
How do you choose the best diaper pail for cloth diapers?
There are some considerations when choosing between diaper pails. But what factors should you look for to find the best one? These tips will help you.
1. Odor control
Yes, odor control is our priority since this is the major feature that makes diaper pails different. So, you should first check how a pail will contain odors.
Some may use air filters, scented liners, or fragrance sprays and powders that you’ll have to apply manually. It really depends on the convenience of the method for you.
Bear in mind that product reviews will also give you an insight on which systems work great, or do not work at all in removing or reducing the smell.
There are also diaper pails that require a special liner or bag, while some just use regular plastic trash bags. The major types of liners that you can choose from are listed here.
- One-brand liners: These do not work for pails from another brand, and can be more expensive. However, they usually have special features like antibacterial action that prevents bacterial growth and so reduces odor.
- Regular Liners:For some pails, you can use kitchen bags, liners and trash bags of any brand. This is your best bet if your budget is a little tight.
- Cloth Bags: You can use cloth bags which you can also wash with cloth diapers in a washing machine. They can also keep the odor and air out diapers.
3. Lid Security
Aside from keeping the nasty stuff in, a diaper pail’s lid should also keep flies and kids out. Small kids tend to be too curious and playful.
They can end up playing near the pail and the next thing you’ll know, they’re inside it or are playing with dirty nappies. Also, wet diaper pails can pose a drowning hazard. Childproof lids are definitely a plus.
4. Hands-free use
A step-on pedal feature is very handy for diaper pails. If you are holding a dirty diaper in hand and a squirming baby on the other, you’re left with nothing to open the pail.
When changing diapers, you will most likely be multitasking, so a hands-free feature is a must-have. This can also make the disposal extra quick to avoid the smell from drifting into the room.
5. Storage capacity
Take note of the number of diapers that can fit in a pail. A smaller one will, of course, fit fewer diapers and will need to be emptied more frequently. Diapers also grow as your baby grow, and then the pail can fit less and fewer diapers.
Bigger pails, on the other hand, will fit more but also take longer to fill. This can cause build up of germs and smell. So, choose a pail that’s just the right size or more preferably, one that’s big but has a great odor eliminating the system.
A diaper pail can also be made of either plastic or metal. Metal pails look better, are more durable, and can keep odors more efficiently. Plastic pails are cheaper, although they also tend to acquire bad odors and are less durable.
However, there are plastics like ABS that are of high quality and will not absorb odors.
7. Price point
You should also consider your budget. How much are you willing to spend on something that will be very useful but will lose a use after a few years?
Is it worth it? Consider the features that will be very convenient for you. In a household with pets, a pail will have more uses. If you have a space for the pail where the smell won’t bother you, you don’t need one that has odor control.
This is also the case if you take your trash out every day. It could help to set a limit to the price, and choose products within that range. Then, compare these with each other based on your favorite features.
Product Reviews of Five Diaper Pails for Cloth Diapers
Product reviews are probably the best way to know about the features of products. These will also give you an overview about which trait users love or hate.
Here is a summarized version to help you compare the products:
Regular or one-brand
Powder Coated Steel
First on the list is this pail which features a hands-free trademark. It also boasts a lockable door that helps keep the little ones safe and the nasty smell in! The liners are also made with 20% recycled materials.
Although it is a product loved by cloth diaper users, it also works for disposable ones. Not only that, it is large enough to hold two days’ worth of dirty nappies. You can also use any type of reusable liners with it.
The lateral access door also allows easy and quick emptying. Plus, both this lateral access door and the lid are pet and kids-proof. The material is also high-quality ABS plastic that’s not only odor- but also scratch resistant.
- Step-on pedal allows hands-free use
- Rubber seal lid to keep odors in even with the lid up
- Can be used as a regular trash can
- Comes in three colors
- Liners from 20% recycled materials
- Childproof and pet proof
- The opening is too small for larger diapers
- Odor control is not that good
Next in line is this very popular diaper pail that allows easy and fast replacement of bags to prevent the stink from spreading. It comes with an Odor Lock technology that uses carbon filters to absorb bad odor.
In addition to the Odor Lock system, it also features a Push-n-Lock clamp for easy disposal and odor control. It can hold up to fifty newborn baby diapers and comes with seven-layered refill bags. All of these combine to provide a Barrier Technology to protect against germs and odor build up.
- Optimum odor control system
- Holds 50 newborn diapers
- Comes with a pedal to step on
- Easy to replace bag liner
- The inner lid that locks odor in is difficult to use
- Liners refill will cost you more
Third on our list is another customer favorite. This model is made of powder-coated steel for maximum durability and odor control. In addition to this, the rubber seals also help keep the stink in the bin.
It does not require any special bags which are expensive and hard to find. Thanks to the design improvement on the bag holder, you get to avoid bag breakage, too! They also updated the rim covers to allow better bag insertion and prevent it from tearing. This model also features a childproof safety lock and slow-close lid for your peace of mind and your kids’ safety from accidents or injuries.
It also has an innovative sliding lid that opens to reduce air diffusion. The intelligent shape and size also allow it to fit up to 50 diapers. The award-winning design has also received six awards, so you’re sure to get a quality product.
- Available in many different colors and patterns
- Stylish and functional design
- Steel Material for better durability and odor control
- Innovative sliding lid
- Holds up to 50 diapers
- Slow-close lid and safety lock
- Rubber seal adds an odor barrier
- No step pedal for hands-free use
- More expensive than most diaper pails
The next product on our list powered by Arm and Hammer comes with a design that features a childproof lid. It also has a small compartment where you can put baking soda and other fresheners to control the odor.
It works well for both cloth diapers and disposable diapers. "Munchkin Step Diaper Pail" comes with an attractive design and a great odor control mechanism.
The diaper pail also very easy and simple to use. The step-on mechanism lets you dispose diapers hands-free. It also comes with a self-sealing mechanism that twists the bag tightly each time the lid is closed.
- Easy to operate and empty
- Childproof lock system
- Comes with a baking soda dispenser and lavender-scented refills for odor control
- Smaller capacity
- Self-seal system makes emptying the bag a struggle when using cloth diapers
- Baking soda refills cause an additional expense
A great option for parents on a limited budget, this cheap yet functional pail also has a good odor control. It does not require any special bags, too, so kitchen trash bags work just fine.
It is made with plastic and a step-on pedal for opening the lid so you can use it hands-free. The opening and lid also help maintain your kids’ safety in case they come near the pail.
- Easy, hands-free operation
- No need for any special bags
- Child resistant locking lid
- Deodorizing compartments with locking tabs
- The plastic material does not acquire bad odor
- Flexible plastic material compromises quality and durability
- Poorly designed lid that requires you to squeeze in the diapers
Last but not the least is another diaper pail that is very economical since you can use it with any trash bag. It is one of the pails with the best value available on the market.
It is easy to use and the white, clean design suits any room. You can either use a special Diaper Champ Refill bag with a multiple layer odor protection for better odor control, but any trash bag will do. It has a capacity of about 30 diapers and requires no assembly. The step-on pedal also allows you to dispose of a soiled diaper with just one hand.
- No need for expensive refill bags
- Seals odor with a flip handle design
- Easy disposal and empty
- Operates with just one hand
- Poor odor control
- Large footprint
With all that in mind, the clear overall winner as the best diaper pail for cloth diapers is the Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail. The steel material makes it super durable and helps to control odor. It’s also the best when it comes to odor control.
It has a safe and secure lid, uses regular liners, and can hold up to 50 diapers. The only downside is the price and the absence of a step-on pedal, but with the quality and stink-free experience, it’s surely worth it!
On the other hand, the Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail is your best bet if you’re on a budget. It is super cheap, has great odor control, does not need special bags, a secure lid, a step-on pedal, and good storage capacity.
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