Have you been struggling to find a practical cloth diaper storage system? Are you trying to find a solution which lets you postpone laundry day, but not smell up your whole house?
There are specific diaper pails and liners that are made with cloth diaper usage in mind. This means if you find the right combination, you should be able to safely increase those stretches between laundry days and maintain the freshness of the air in your home.
With so many options available, it may be tricky to find the perfect combination. Here’s what you need to know to help you get one step closer to your goal.
Quick ComparisonOur Top Cloth Diaper Pail Picks of 2020 Read Full Reviews
What Is a Cloth Diaper Pail?
A traditional diaper pail is basically like a trash can for disposable diapers. The difference with a cloth diaper pail is obviously is that you aren’t going to be disposing of these diapers.
If you use disposable diapers, you immediately put them in the trash. If you have a soiled cloth diaper, the trash can isn’t really an option. You’re probably not wanting to do laundry every time your baby goes number 1 or 2 either.
A pail gives you a safe and secure place to dispose of these diapers until it comes time for you to do laundry.
It’s nice to have somewhere discreet and appropriate to store the soiled diapers. You don’t want to place them in a normal laundry basket or a trash bag because the smell could linger and mold could develop.
3 Different Kinds of Diaper Pails
There are different kinds of diaper pails you can purchase, and the biggest difference is whether you want a wet pail or a dry one.
1. Dry Pail Method
This is the most common method. You will store diapers in your pail completely dry within a reusable liner that is typically waterproof. The liner simply slides right into your designated diaper pail.
With this method it’s important that you remove any solid poop from the diapers before placing them in the pail or else you are just putting that solid poo into your washer.
2. Wet Pail Method
This method requires you to pre-soak the diapers before placing them into the pail. The pail should also contain a small amount of water. The presence of the water and the pre-soaking is to help minimize stains and odor.
Keep in Mind
If you choose this method, there’s a potential risk involved. The pail will have water in the bottom of it, and this is a potential drowning hazard for young children. You can avoid this situation by purchasing a diaper pail that has a lock — otherwise you could consider using the dry method to be safe (1).
3. Combination of the Two
If you want to use a combination of the methods, most often parents choose to rinse the diaper inserts to help remove urine and then place these in a wet pail. The covers and shells of the diaper would then be stored in a dry bag (2).
How to Choose Your Diaper Pail
One of the trickiest things about cloth diapering is finding a good process that works for you. Obviously, soiled diapers are less than pleasant to deal with, so figuring out a method with as little ick factor as possible is important (3).
- Choose a method: The first thing you need to decide is what method you want to use going forward, whether it’s dry, wet, or combo. You aren’t forever stuck with one over the other, but which one you choose determines how you’ll tackle the process.
- Choose laundry frequency: If you’re hoping to hold off on the laundry for several days, it’s important to purchase a pail that can hold more diapers. The bigger, the better in this case.
- Choose a deodorizing method: Some pails come with deodorizers built in and have specific refills, while others don’t have any. You can buy individual deodorizers that can be placed in the bottom of a pail, or you can use built-in ones. It’s your choice.
- Pick your pail: You should make sure your pail can accommodate all of the features above that you prefer.
- Choose a liner: Pick your liner after you’ve purchased your pail so you can be sure it fits the top. Most liners are universal, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The Best Cloth Diaper Pails of 2020
A diaper pail is seen as a necessity to many parents who choose to use cloth diapers. You just might find the purchase of one of these pails can make your diaper journey easier.
1. Munchkin Step Diaper Pail
This diaper pail can be a great addition to your nursery because it’s a subtle color that won’t attract too much attention. Some parents are concerned with purchasing a diaper pail because it can be an eyesore, but the simple white helps this little guy blend right in.
If odor control is an important factor for you, this is powered by Arm & Hammer to ensure it scores high marks in odor control.
There’s also a universal refill system in which you can insert certain smells for better odor control. The lavender refill comes with the product.
It’s really easy to use because it’s hands free. You simply step on the lever at the bottom and the lid will open. This makes your life easier and helps reduce the spread of germs.
- The company plants a tree for every pail sold to help offset gas emissions.
- Self-sealing system so the bag shuts when you close the lid.
- Can be used with cloth or disposable diapers.
- Works with rings and snap seal bags.
- Must be used with refill bags.
- Slightly heavy at 12 pounds.
- Narrow opening can make it difficult to push a diaper through.
- Can’t be used for the wet pail method.
2. Dekor Plus Hands Free Diaper Pail
This unit is small and compact enough to fit snugly into your little one’s nursery.
It comes in a simple gray color that can be incorporated into your nursery design without sticking out.
Moms rarely have their hands free when they’re in the nursery, so the hands-free opening option is a great asset to have. Simply by stepping on the lever at the bottom, the lid will open.
Odor control is important when it comes to a diaper pail and this product has effective triple odor control. Not only are there rubber seals to help contain the smell, the plastic of the product also resists odors and scratches.
Safety is also an important concern and this pail has multiple child locks to help maximize safety. Not only does the opening lid have a lock, but the access door at the bottom is also childproof. The locking cover is good to lock open to get the cloth diapers out.
If you have a little one who is a bit more adventurous, a diaper pail with enhanced child safety measures might be a good option for you.
- Reusable refill cartridges.
- Can change bags within 20 seconds.
- Can be used for both cloth or disposable diapers.
- Comes completely assembled.
- Converts from diaper pail to trash can.
- Can’t be used for the wet pail method.
- Some users had trouble containing the smell.
- Some users noted the lid quit closing completely.
3. Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail
If you aren’t quite sure on whether you want to use the wet or dry pail method, this diaper pail can accommodate both.
You won’t have to worry about spending the extra money on specific plastic liners, because this pail can work with any kind.
This is so lightweight it can be easily moved around the nursery or the home, no matter where you decide to place it.
You don’t have to do the mom Olympics when trying to dispose of the diaper because you simply raise the lid and drop it right in. No bending or twisting while holding your baby.
If you want to use this pail and use wet bag liners, that is also doable.
This pick is great for the indecisive mom who might change her mind. If you’re afraid to fully commit to one method, this pail is universal and works for all!
- Lightweight at 2 pounds.
- Sturdy to support the weight of the diapers.
- Includes a deodorizer cover to help with smell.
- Doesn’t have hands-free opening.
- Not super large to hold a lot of diapers.
- No child lock.
4. Busch Systems Odorless Gallon Diaper Pail
This diaper pail is a great choice when using cloth diapers because it has a large enough opening to fit everything inside without having to push or squeeze it through.
The lightweight plastic material makes this a sturdy choice, but it’s still easy to move around the house.
If you’re most concerned with the smells that might waft from your diaper pail, then this one might give you some peace of mind.
This diaper pail is composed of odor-free carbon filters that help eliminate odors. The lid also snaps shut on two sides to ensure a tight seal.
Finally, the carbon filter makes sure air can come in to help combat mold, but doesn’t allow odors to escape.
If you aren’t quite sure if you want to try the dry or wet pail method yet, this one can accommodate both. That means you have the freedom to change your mind!
- 14 gallons capacity.
- Lightweight at under 4.6 pounds.
- Comfortably fits at least 2 days worth of diapers.
- Not child safety proof.
5. Playtex Diaper Genie
Many moms have heard of the diaper genie, but probably only think it’s useful for disposable diapers.
While it’s made with disposable diapers in mind, it can work well for cloth diapers too! There are wet bag refills you can buy to accommodate the diaper genie and use a combination method as well.
Keeping in odors is a priority for the diaper genie and that’s why it has several measures in place to ensure it does the job.
It has a built-in odor controlling antimicrobial agent and double airtight clamps to help keep in that smell.
If the stench tries to make its way through, there is another layer of defense to save the day — the carbon filter.
The diaper genie also takes up very little space, so you don’t have to worry about trying to make room for it. It’s taller than it is wide and can snugly fit into most rooms.
- Pre-assembled and ready to use.
- Built in carbon filter.
- Hands-free use.
- Easy empty bin.
- Doesn’t hold as many diapers as other pails.
- Cannot put water at the bottom for total wet pail method.
The Best Pail Liners
Some diaper pails don’t rely on liners, while others do. Liners have several benefits that make them a great addition to many pails.
1. Reusable Diaper Pail Liner
It’s important to find a diaper pail liner that can accommodate whatever method you’re using.
This liner is waterproof to ensure nothing makes its way to the outside. The last thing you want is a diaper pail liner leaking nasty fluids.
It’s large enough to hold 20 to 25 diapers, so if you have a newborn, you should be good to go for at least 2 days.
The elastic top of this liner makes it easy to attach to most diaper pails. You won’t have to worry about it slipping off by mistake.
You’ll be able to easily transport your diapers straight from the pail to the laundry without having to get your hands dirty.
One of the best features of this liner is that it’s machine washable.
There are also various colors available, so you can find one that best suits you or fits with your nursery decor, even though it’ll be hidden in your diaper pail.
- Dries quickly.
- Large enough to fit 13 or more gallons inside.
- Thick fabric ensures it won’t leak.
- Some users thought it was too small.
- Color is sometimes a different shade than the product in the picture.
2. Biloban Diaper Pail Liner
The Biloban diaper liners are a great option because for a reasonable price you get two liners rather than one.
It’s always good to have more than one liner so you have a backup when it comes time to wash the pre-existing one.
These liners are safe for the washing machine, so when you feel like it’s time to freshen things up you can simply throw them in the washer and make them as good as new.
The thorough stitching on this product ensures that leaks won’t happen. The waterproof material also helps combat any potential leakage.
You can easily attach these liners to any diaper pail of your choosing because the elastic tops can accommodate all sizes up to 13 gallons.
Once your diaper days are over, you don’t have to kick these to the curb. Since they’re large enough to work in trash cans, they’re a perfect alternative to trash bags!
- 100 percent money-back guarantee.
- Can fit a 13 gallon trash can or diaper pail.
- Thick material and strong elastic.
- Some users didn’t like the plain gray and white colors.
3. Teamoy Reusable Pail Liner
Not all liners have to be used with a diaper pail, although it’s a good idea if you are worried about leaks.
These liners from Teamoy are great for parents looking to skip the pail method and rely strictly on the liners.
Not only are the liners extremely durable and waterproof, they also can be attached to other items throughout the house.
The snaps allow you the freedom to clip the bag to a towel bar, hook rack, or even a changing table.
The portability of this liner allows you to simply carry it to the laundry room and empty out the diapers directly into the washer. This means no messy hands or multiple trips needed.
The product comes with two pail liners, and they’re both machine washable. When it comes time to wash one product, you can simply rotate to the next and always have one for backup.
Because some moms might want to use this liner without a pail, there are several cute and trendy colors and styles you can choose from.
- Thick and durable to lock in odors.
- Super snug elastic to fit most diaper pails.
- Snaps to clip the bags anywhere.
- Always the potential for possible leaks if used without a diaper pail.
- Can’t hold as many diapers if used without a pail.
The Best Diaper Deodorizers
Let’s be honest: it’s inevitable that an item storing soiled diapers can develop a foul smell. Deodorizers are designed to help contain that smell.
1. Purifyou All Natural Diaper Pail Deodorizer
It doesn’t matter how powerful your diaper pail or liner is, smells can happen.
The best thing you can do to ensure your nursery is smelling its best is to have multiple layers of defense. That’s what these deodorizers can provide.
The large-shaped porous granules are eco-friendly and help maximize odor elimination.
You can place this at the bottom of your diaper pail lid using tape, or simply put it in the bottom of the pail if you use a liner.
The portability of these deodorizers is great because if you use the wet pail method you still have the option to tape the deodorizer to the lid.
- 25 percent more power than other diaper deodorizers.
- Full refund or exchange available within 30 days of purchase.
- Helps purify and filter air.
- Multiple uses.
- Some users stated they were only good for short-term use.
- Some users questioned the overall effectiveness of the product.
2. Bush Systems Carbon Odorless Diaper Pail Filter
These odorless carbon filters are so discreet you won’t even know they are there, but they’ll get the job done.
The filters last roughly three months and come in a pack of four, so one purchase will keep you covered for the year.
Some diaper pails have a spot specifically designed to fit this filter, others lack any specific area. You can simply tape it to the lid or put it in the bottom of the pail as long as you aren’t using the wet pail method.
If you are looking for a quick and easy solution to your stinky situation, these carbon filters might be just what you need to deodorize and freshen the air.
- Year-long odor protection.
- Multiple uses.
- Can be used for dry/wet pail method.
- Some users questioned the effectiveness.
- Some users noted baking soda was just as effective.
Do Pails Need Liners?
You don’t have to use a liner in your diaper pail, but they do have substantial benefits.
- Less clean up: If you use a liner you don’t have to worry about directly cleaning your diaper pail as often. The liner provides an extra layer of protection that keeps the inside of the pail bacteria free.
- Easier to wash: It can be difficult to take a pail into the laundry room, and you don’t want to touch each soiled diaper and place it into the washer. A liner allows you to easily remove it and carry it to the laundry room to dump the diapers into the washer.
- Conceals smell: Some liners can be scented and some allow you to use a deodorizer more efficiently, which can be great for combating odors.
There are certain kinds of pails that may actually require the liner, so be sure to keep that in mind when making your purchase.
How Many of Each Are Needed?
The number of the above items varies from person to person, but the general amounts can be found below.
How many pails you have is entirely up to you. One will do the trick, but if you want to have the option to dispose of the diapers in multiple rooms, two may work best.
Of course, you can always move the pail around from room to room, or just walk into the nursery and dispose of the diaper.
Keep in Mind
You technically only need one liner, but two can be a lifesaver. The moment you decide to wash your liner, your baby isn’t going to put their bladder/bowels on pause! It’s nice to have a backup that can be used immediately.
Also, if your liner ever gets damaged, it can save some unnecessary stress knowing you have a backup on hand and ready to go.
Many pails have built-in deodorizers, so you only need to stay on top of changing those. If your pail doesn’t have built-in deodorizers or if you are wanting an additional amount, you can purchase them individually.
Typically, deodorizers last about three months, so having four on hand should help you make it through the year.
The Bottom Line
Our top pick is the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail. Not only is the diaper pail compact and simple to use, but it also looks the part.
You can use this hands-free pail by stepping on the pedal at the bottom. No bending or twisting involved.
The odor control with this diaper pail is top of the line, and offers scented liners and a scented cartridge for optimum odor control.
This diaper pail also has one other feature that sets it apart — the child safety lock.
This is a great option because it includes many useful features but also pays it forward by planting a tree for every diaper pail sold.
Let us know what your favorite diaper pail feature is in the comments section below!