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Best Cloth Diaper Pails & Liners of 2022

Updated
Keep your nursery smelling fresh until laundry day with one of these pails or liners.

Are you looking for the best cloth diaper storage system to work with your preferred cleaning method?

There are a variety of options available, but not every system works with the wet pail method or contains odors for days. If you want to wait a few days before doing diaper laundry or prefer the wet pail method to the dry pail method, you’ll need a good storage system for your soiled cloth diapers.

We’ve compared all the top brands to find the best cloth diaper pails and liners for every situation, so you don’t make the mistake of purchasing something that won’t work with your cloth diaper preferences. We’ll review each product and compare their pros and cons.

We’ll also discuss diaper pail methods, talk about diaper pail deodorizers, and share a couple of our favorites.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer
Best Odor Control
Munchkin Step
  • Self-sealing system
  • For cloth or disposable diapers
  • Awarded 2020 Best Overall Diaper Pail
Product Image of the Dekor Plus Hands-Free Diaper Pail | Gray | Easiest to Use | Just Step – Drop...
Best Safe Option
Dekor Plus Hands Free
  • Reusable refill cartridges
  • Can change bags within 20 seconds
  • Used for cloth or disposable diapers
Product Image of the Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail
Best Versatile Pail
Safety 1st Easy Saver
  • Weighs only 2 pounds
  • Sturdy design
  • Includes a deodorizer cover
Product Image of the Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail (7 Gallon: 1-2 Days) by Busch Systems
Best Odor Containing
Busch Odorless Gallon
  • Eco-friendly
  • Seven gallon capacity
  • Lightweight
Product Image of the Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Pail with Built-In Odor Controlling Antimicrobial,...
Best Space Saver
Playtex Diaper Genie
  • Pre-assembled and ready to use
  • Built-in carbon filter
  • Hands-free use
Product Image of the ALVABABY 2 Pack Reusable Diaper Pail Liner for Cloth Diaper,Rubbish...
Best Washable Liner
Reusable Diaper Pail Liner
  • Waterproof
  • Reusable thick fabric
  • Holds 13+ gallons
Product Image of the 100% Natural Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bag - Set of 12 Carbon Filters,...
Eco Friendly Odor Control
Purifyou All Natural
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Multiple uses
  • Helps purify and filter air
Product Image of the Diaper Pail Bags 2 Pack, Reusable Water-Resistant Cloth Diaper Pail Liner for...
Best Affordable Liners
Biloban Diaper Pail Bags
  • Large capacity
  • Durable stitching
  • Waterproof

What Is a Cloth Diaper Pail?

A traditional diaper pail is basically a trash can for disposable diapers. The difference with a cloth diaper pail is that you won’t be disposing of your diapers.

If you use disposable diapers, you immediately put them in the trash. If you have a soiled cloth diaper, you’ll need somewhere to keep it until laundry day.

It’s nice to have somewhere discreet and appropriate to store soiled cloth diapers. You don’t want to place them in a standard laundry basket or a trash bag because the smell could linger, and mold could develop.

Types of Diaper Pails

You can purchase multiple kinds of cloth diaper pails and liners, but you’ll need to determine what’s best for you — a wet pail or dry pail system.

1. Dry Pail Method

This is the most common method. Line your diaper pail with a reusable, waterproof liner, and store your diapers dry inside the pail.

With this method, it’s important that you remove any solid poop from the diapers before placing them in the pail or it will go 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 help minimize stains and odor.

Keep In Mind

With this method, it’s important that you change the pail water daily to reduce smells.

If you choose this method, there’s a potential risk involved. The water in the pail is a potential drowning hazard for young children. You can avoid this situation by purchasing a diaper pail with a lock — or consider using the dry method to be safe.

3. Combination of the Two

If you want to use a combination of the methods, you can rinse the diaper inserts to help remove urine and then place these in a wet pail. You can then store the covers and diaper shells in a dry bag.

How to Choose the Best Cloth Diaper Pail

One of the trickiest things about cloth diapering is finding a good process that works for you. Soiled diapers are less than pleasant to deal with, so it’s important to figure out a method with as little “ick factor” as possible.

  1. Choose a method: Decide which method is most appealing to you. You aren’t forever stuck with one over the other, but which one you choose determines how you’ll tackle the process.
  2. Choose laundry frequency: If you’re hoping to hold off on the laundry for several days, you’ll need to purchase a pail that can hold more diapers. Bigger is better in this case.
  3. Choose a deodorizing method: Some pails come with built-in deodorizers and have specific refills, while others don’t have any. You can buy individual deodorizers to place in the bottom of a pail or use built-in ones. It’s your choice.
  4. Pick your pail: You should ensure your pail can accommodate all the features you prefer, such as a deodorizer or a lid lock.
  5. Choose a liner: Pick your liner after you’ve purchased your pail to be sure it fits the top. Most liners are universal, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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The Best Cloth Diaper Pails of 2022

Here are our favorite cloth diaper pails on the market.

1. Munchkin Step Diaper Pail

Best Odor Control Dry Pail

This diaper pail makes a great addition to your nursery because it’s a subtle color that won’t attract too much attention.

If odor control is an important factor for you, this pail includes a scented Arm & Hammer baking soda puck to ensure it scores high marks in odor control. You can swap this out as it loses its strength for various other scented pucks.

The bag also seals shut when the lid closes, trapping nasty odors inside.

We love the hands-free design. 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.

Pros

  • The company plants a tree for every pail sold to help offset gas emissions.
  • Self-sealing system traps odors by sealing the bag when you close the lid.
  • Can be used with cloth or disposable diapers.
  • Works with rings and snap seal bags.

Cons

  • You must purchase specific bags to go with the pail.
  • Slightly heavy at 12 pounds.
  • The narrow opening can make it challenging to push a diaper through.
  • It can’t be used for the wet pail method.

2. Dekor Plus Hands Free Diaper Pail

Best Safe Option

This unit is small and compact enough to fit snugly into your little one’s nursery. And we love that it comes in so many modern color options, so you can pick the perfect design to match your nursery decor.

Moms rarely have their hands free when they’re in the nursery, so the hands-free opening option is a great asset to have. Use the footstep to open the lid.

This product offers effective triple odor control. Not only are there rubber seals to help contain the smell, but the plastic also resists odors and scratches.

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. Even the cover locks open, so you can easily 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.

Pros

  • Reusable refill cartridges.
  • Can change bags within 20 seconds.
  • Can be used for both cloth or disposable diapers.
  • Comes completely assembled.
  • Converts from a diaper pail to a trash can.

Cons

  • Can’t be used for the wet pail method.
  • Some users had trouble containing the smell.
  • The lid can get jammed, preventing the pail from closing correctly.

3. Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail

Best Versatile Pail

If you aren’t sure 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 extra money on specific plastic liners because this pail can work with any kind.

This lightweight unit weighs only two pounds and can be moved around the nursery or the home easily, no matter where you decide to place it.

You don’t need to be a gymnast to use this pail. Simply raise the lid and drop the cloth diaper in. No bending or twisting is required while you hold your wiggly baby.

Pros

  • Lightweight at 2 pounds.
  • Sturdy to support the weight of the diapers.
  • Includes a deodorizer cover to help with the smell.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a hands-free opening.
  • Not super large to hold a lot of diapers.
  • No child lock.

4. Busch Systems Odorless Gallon Diaper Pail

Best Odor Containing Pail

This diaper pail is an excellent choice for cloth diapers because the opening is large enough to fit even the biggest diaper 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, this one might give you some peace of mind.

This diaper pail is composed of odor-free carbon filters. The lid also snaps shut on two sides to ensure a tight seal.

Finally, the carbon filter ensures airflow to help combat mold while still containing odors.

This pail accommodates the dry or wet pail methods, so it’s a good choice if you haven’t decided which method you’ll use. It allows you the freedom to change your mind.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly.
  • 7-gallon capacity.
  • Weighs about 2.57 pounds.
  • Comfortably fits at least two days’ worth of diapers.

Cons

  • Some users commented that it may be overpriced for a small pail.

5. Playtex Diaper Genie

Best Small Diaper Pail

Many parents have heard of the Diaper Genie but probably only think it’s useful for disposable diapers.

While it was designed for disposable diapers, it works well with cloth diapers too! You can purchase wet bag refills to accommodate the Diaper Genie and use a combination method as well.

Trapping odors is a Diaper Genie priority, which is why it uses several measures 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 tall and narrow and can snugly fit into most rooms.

Pros

  • Comes pre-assembled and ready to use.
  • Built-in carbon filter.
  • Hands-free use.
  • Easy to empty bin.

Cons

  • Doesn’t hold as many diapers as other pails.
  • Cannot hold water at the bottom for wet pail method.

The Best Pail Liners of 2022

Some diaper pails don’t rely on liners, while others do. Liners have several benefits that make them a great addition to many pails.

6. Alvababy Reusable Diaper Pail Liner

Best Washable Liner

It’s important to find a diaper pail liner that can accommodate the diaper pail 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 two days.

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 getting your hands dirty.

One of the best features of this liner is that it’s machine washable.

It comes in various colors, 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.

Pros

  • Reusable.
  • Large enough to fit 13 or more gallons inside.
  • Thick fabric ensures it won’t leak.

Cons

  • The smaller size doesn’t suit everyone’s laundry schedule.
  • The liner color is sometimes a different shade than pictured.

7. Biloban Diaper Pail Liner

Best Affordable Liners

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 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 because the elastic tops can accommodate 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!

Pros

  • 100% money-back guarantee.
  • Can fit a 13-gallon trash can or diaper pail.
  • Thick material and strong elastic.

Cons

  • The elastic top can make it difficult to fully air dry.
  • The handle stitching isn’t very strong.

8. Teamoy Reusable Pail Liner

Best Standalone 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 using liners.

The liners are extremely durable and waterproof and can be attached to other items throughout the house.

The snaps allow you to clip the bag to a towel bar, hook, rack, or even a changing table.

The product comes with two machine washable pail liners. When it comes time to wash one product, you can simply rotate to the next and always have one for backup.

There are several cute and trendy colors and styles you can choose from to match your decor if you aren’t using a diaper pail.

Pros

  • Thick and durable to lock in odors.
  • Super snug elastic to fit most diaper pails.
  • Handles include snaps so you can hang the bags anywhere.

Cons

  • There’s potential for possible leaks if used without a diaper pail.
  • Can’t hold as many diapers if used without a pail.

The Best Diaper Pail Deodorizers of 2022

It’s inevitable that an item storing soiled diapers will develop a foul smell. Deodorizers are designed to help contain that smell.

9. Purifyou All Natural Diaper Pail Deodorizer

Eco Friendly Odor Control

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 provide.

The large, porous granules are eco-friendly and help maximize odor elimination.

You can tape them under your diaper pail lid, or lay it in the bottom of the pail if you use a liner.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic product.
  • 25% more power than other diaper deodorizers.
  • Helps purify and filter air.
  • Multiple uses.

Cons

  • They only last 12 to 15 days before needing to be “recharged” by the sun.
  • They fully expire after two to three months.

10. Ninja Mama Bamboo Carbon Charcoal Diaper Pail Filter

Powerful Carbon Deoderizer

These odorless bamboo carbon filters are so discreet you won’t even know they are there, but they’ll get the job done.

The filters last roughly half a month and can be extended for another 15 days after recharging in the sun. It comes in a pack of 12, so one purchase will keep you covered for the year.

Some diaper pails have a spot specifically designed to fit this filter, while others lack any specific area. You can tape it to the lid or set it in the bottom of the pail as long as you aren’t using the wet pail method.

Pros

  • Year-long odor protection.
  • Multiple uses.
  • Biodegradable.

Cons

  • They don’t work well against stronger smells, so you may need to use two at once.

Do Diaper 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 cloth diaper pail liner, you don’t have to worry about 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 require a liner, so be sure to keep that in mind when making your purchase.

How Many of Each Are Needed?

These are some things you need to consider when deciding how many diaper pails, liners, and deodorizer you need for your cloth diapers.

1. Pails

How many pails you have is entirely up to you. One cloth diaper pail 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

The more pails you have, the more maintenance you have to do, and the higher the chance of having unwanted smells in multiple parts of the house.

2. Liners

You technically only need one liner, but two can be a lifesaver. Your baby isn’t going to put their bladder/bowels on pause just because you’re washing the diapers. It’s nice to have a backup that you can use immediately.

Also, if your cloth diaper liner ever gets damaged, it’s best to save some unnecessary stress, and have a backup on hand.

3. Deodorizers

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 want 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 for the best cloth diaper pail liner is the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail. The diaper pail is compact and simple to use, and 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.

This diaper pail offers top-of-the-line odor control, scented liners, and a scented cartridge for optimum odor control. It also includes a child safety lock to keep your little one out of trouble.

The Munchkin pail is an excellent option because it includes many useful features, and the company pays it forward by planting a tree for every diaper pail sold.

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Headshot of Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC

Reviewed by

Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC

Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC is a cardiology nurse and freelance medical writer. Katelyn has 8 years of nursing experience inpatient and outpatient, primarily medical-surgical and cardiac. After having two children she has a passion for Women’s Health and Lactation teaching and support.