Are Diaper Pails Worth It?

This is a question that many people have while shopping for a new diaper pail and it’s one that I am finding myself wondering more and more as I continue to use my current diaper pail for my child’s diapers.

My older child has always been in the most elite of baby diapers, but my younger child will only be in disposables for the time being because she has yet to get her incontinence under control. I know that I need to upgrade my pail to a higher quality diaper pail before she is even born, but I just haven’t had the time to do so.

Are diaper pails worth it?

Yes. Diaper pails are worth it if you want to keep your baby’s room odor-free. My husband and I tend to get up during the night at least once every few hours with our son and he is not big on building a fortress around his bed before bedtime, like many babies are, so we have to get down on our hands and knees during the night to grab the offending diaper off of the floor more often than we’d like too.

This not only takes time, but it looks very messy. Having a diaper pail is definitely worth it when you have kids at all, and if you have lots of guests over to stay over or visit with, then it’s even more worth it because a diaper pail can help keep your house very clean.

I highly recommend getting one unless you have the money to just buy a box of disposable diapers as well. No. Diaper pails are not worth it for the person who really doesn’t use them much and doesn’t like to get down on their hands and knees during the night to pick up messes off the floor; for this person, toilet paper rolls work just as well as an alternative or are easier on their back.

What are Diaper Pails?

Diaper pails are storage containers for dirty diapers and the disposables that go in them. Diapers are dirty, after all. If you have a baby you probably have enough diapers to last for a while, and if you’re lucky they may even be reusable. Either way, someone is going to need to take them out of their packages and throw them in the diaper pail so they don’t make a terrible mess all over the floor.

What happens once you put in your dirty diapers?

When these disposable diapers go into the diaper pail, they’re contained inside of their own little “can” which is designed to help keep them clean as they sit there until it’s time to throw them away or use them again. Some diaper pails even have a lid to keep out the odor.

Many baby rooms seem to take up their own diaper pail to help contain the odor that might come out of it, but this isn’t always necessary; you can usually hide your diaper pail in a corner of the room or inside of another large plastic storage bin.

You don’t need a special kind of baby trash can for your diaper pail, so long as you have somewhere in your house where it won’t bother anyone else and you can easily access it when it’s time to change your child’s diapers.

What are my options?

There are many different types and brands of diaper pails available today. You can purchase a simple plastic container that keeps your baby’s room smelling fresh by using baking soda or dryer sheets inside of it, or you can purchase a diaper pail that is made for just this purpose.

Are Diaper Pails all the same?

There are three basic kinds of diaper pails to choose from: The one-handed kind, the two-handed kind, and the bag kind. The one-handed diaper pails are usually the lowest-end on the market and are pretty much like toilet paper dispensers but with a trap door.

You pull out some bags of scented trash bags that go inside of it and pull down a lever to open up the trap door to throw in your dirty diapers.

Some people buy these because they get in the way of normal toilet paper dispenser handles, but there are other good reasons to buy one: many babies will relieve themselves uncontrollably (hence, “incontinent”) while in their diapers.

If you have more than one diaper-wearing baby sleeping in your home, it’s nice to have a diaper pail that can hold up to 10 bags at once. The two-handed diaper pails are like a regular trash can with an opening on one side that uses either levers or handles to open and close the top.

These types of diaper pails usually come with separate lids for the trash can and for the dirty bag storage area as well. Sometimes the trash can and bags are made of the same material as the bag so you can throw your dirty diapers inside of the trash for easier disposal.

Some two-handed diaper pails also provide extra parts for cleaning, such as “nappy brushes” to help clean up messes in your baby’s nappy area. This type is a little more expensive than a one-handed type, but it’s worth it if you have more than one child who sits in diapers or if you’re very messy (in which case extra storage space is welcome). The bag kinds are like plastic sachets that you put inside of your trash can with disposable inserts inside of them.

Pros and cons of using Diaper Pails


If your baby does have an accident in her diaper while she’s wearing it, you’re less likely to notice because the diaper is already inside of the trash can where no one can see it! Also, if it smells too badly in her room, you can throw away all the dirty diapers and dispose of them later without any mess to clean up.

Further, if you have more than one kid (and who doesn’t?), the extra storage space may help you keep up with your washing machine.


A lot of people think that they’re messy because they’re covered in poop and pee stains from when a baby pees when he has an accident or poops while he’s sleeping. What they don’t realize is that that poop and pee stains can be cleaned right up, no problem! The rest of the time, it’s just leftover poop so there’s nothing to worry about.

You’re probably wondering if a diaper pail can get really stinky! It depends on how much your baby dumps in it. If he behaves like a good little boy and doesn’t have accidents until he’s ready to be changed (usually when his diaper is full and he’s ready to potty), then the smell should stay pretty minimal. Some people find that their baby poops more while using a diaper pail than they would normally so they use paper towels instead of disposables.

What can I use instead of a diaper pail?

The answer is simple — nothing! You can always try using a trash can, but you’re likely to have a problem with odor. You’ll find that disposables don’t smell as bad as cloth diapers when they get wet, but they still smell a lot more than you’re probably used to in your kitchen! Somewhat less attractive are the diaper boxes available.

These are very similar to what you have been using except for a few minor details: leg holes and no diaper opening in the top. These allow more air circulation around your baby’s bottom which is supposed to lessen the chance of diaper rash.