Best Diaper Pail For Cloth Diapers: 5 Options That Work

Updated on: October 21, 2023
Best diaper pails for cloth diaper

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support!

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We spent over a week researching and testing several diaper pails for cloth diapers. Our top choice is the Ubbi Diaper Pail

The Ubbi Diaper Pail controls odors, does not require special diaper pail bags, and has a locking mechanism that prevents children from sticking their hands inside the diaper pail.

I can tell you from experience that cloth diapering requires another level of commitment. You can’t just change a dirty diaper and throw it in a diaper pail or trash can. 

You’ll need to remove solid waste or rinse it before you store your cloth diapers in a pail. But leaving dirty diapers in any pail can get stinky very quickly.

To control bad smells, you will need a diaper pail that is specifically designed to minimize the unpleasant odors of dirty cloth diapers. But don’t worry, we got you covered.

Let’s take a look at some of the best options to store cloth diapers.

Our quick verdict: best diaper pail for cloth diapers

1. Ubbi Diaper Pail. Best diaper pail overall.

2. Dekor Plus Hands Free Diaper Pail. Best diaper pail for easy access.

3. Munchkin Step Diaper Pail. Best cloth diaper pail for maximum odor control.

4. Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail. Best affordable cloth diaper pail.

5. Busch Systems Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail. Best compact diaper pail for cloth diapers.

Best diaper pail for cloth diapers

To bring you this in-depth and honest review, we tested a series of diaper pails that can be used with cloth diapers. 

We will share more information on how we tested each diaper pail. But before we get to that, here are our top diaper pails for cloth diapers.

1. Ubbi Diaper Pail 

Our top choice is the Ubbi Diaper Pail. Its unique design is great for modern parents that want an innovative diaper pail that offers convenience and value.

By far this is the best diaper pail for cloth diapers that is effective at keeping the smell of dirty diapers contained.

What we liked about this diaper pail is that it is made of steel. Steel does not absorb bad odors like plastic, and this helps keep your nursery smelling great.

Another great benefit of this pail is the child safety lock. One day, your child will want to touch and explore their surroundings, and this includes getting into forbidden places.

The child safety lock makes it convenient at keeping your little one’s hands out of the diaper pail. You can simply turn the lock clockwise to lock it. Once locked, it is very secure and your child won’t be able to open it.

You can use any pail liner but the one that works great is the Moonsea Diaper Pail Liner, which also works with the other diaper pails we tested.

  • The best diaper pail for cloth diapers.
  • Can be used for both disposable and cloth diapers.
  • Does not require special diaper bags.
  • Great at containing odors.
  • Child safety lock.
  • Made of steel, which does not absorb odors.
  • Does not have a foot pedal.

2. Dekor Plus Hands Free Diaper Pail 

This is the best cloth diaper pail for easy access. It also comes with dual rubber seals to keep your nursery smelling fresh.

Our first impression of this diaper pail was the scent. It comes with scented bag refills that smell good and are already installed.

But you don’t have to buy new bag refills because you can use pail liners to store cloth diapers, which will save you lots of money.

What we liked the most was how easy it was to empty dirty diapers. There is a door in front of the pail that allows for easy access to remove the diaper pail liner. 

We also liked the child safety locks. There is a child safety lock on the top lid and on the easy-access door. Once you lock the lid and door, it will be hard for your child to open them.

The only thing we didn’t like about this diaper pail is that it is not 100% hands-free. 

You can use the footstep to open the lid, but there is a spring-loaded trap door under the lid that you have to push to drop a cloth diaper in the pail.

Overall, the lid and spring-loaded trap door do a great job of sealing bad odors.

  • Dual seals do a great job of keeping odors in.
  • Can be used with cloth and disposable diapers.
  • Two child safety locks.
  • Comes in various soft colors.
  • Not 100% hands-free.
  • Can be hard to squeeze huge diapers in.

3. Munchkin Step Diaper Pail 

The best diaper pail that can handle the most uncomfortable diaper smells due to its patented self-sealing system.

Out of all the diaper pails we tested, the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail performed the best when it comes to controlling bad odors from soiled cloth diapers.

When you close the lid, the lid mechanisms twist the bag and create a tight seal that prevents bad smells from escaping the diaper pail.

This diaper pail also comes with a replaceable Arm & Hammer scented puck that further controls bad smells. Once the scent of the puck is gone, simply order a replacement.

While this diaper pail can be used with cloth diapers, you can’t replace the plastic bag refills with a wet bag or liner. The Munchkin Diaper Pail uses its own bag refills which can get expensive in the long run. 

  • The best diaper pail to control bad odors.
  • Can be used with both cloth and disposable diapers.
  • Child safety lock keeps curious children from opening the diaper pail.
  • You have to buy their unique diaper bag refills.
  • You have to push dirty diapers through the opening, which can be gross.

4. Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail 

Best budget-friendly diaper pail for both cloth and disposable diapers. Designed to use regular trash bags and pail liners.

This diaper pail is very inexpensive and works great. If you’re using disposable diapers, you don’t have to spend money on bag refills because you can use trash bags. 

If you are using cloth diapers, all you need is a couple of pail liners to hold dirty cloth diapers.

When we tested this diaper pail for odor control, it did not perform as well as other diaper pails. But a quick solution was to empty cloth diapers more frequently. This means doing laundry every 2-3 days.

Also, some customers have reported broken lids after many uses and unfortunately, you can’t just buy a lid. If this happens to you, you’ll have to replace the entire diaper pail.

  • Very versatile, can be used with both cloth and disposable diapers.
  • You can use any wet bag or liner to store dirty cloth diapers.
  • You can use regular trash bags.
  • The lid can break, according to some customers.

5. Busch Systems Odorless Cloth Diaper Pail 

Simple, lightweight, and effective at containing odors. This diaper pail is specifically designed for cloth diapers and comes with a carbon filter holder to help control bad smells.

You’ll be changing more diapers as your child grows. The size of cloth diapers will also get bigger and you’ll need a diaper pail with a big opening.

This diaper pail holds a lot more cloth diapers than a regular size diaper pail due to the 7-gallon capacity. This may be convenient if you don’t feel like washing cloth diapers often.

A great benefit is that you can use both the wet diaper method and the dry diaper method (more on this later).

While it does a great job at containing odors, in part because of the carbon filter, you have to remove the lid completely to put more dirty diapers in the diaper pail.

If you’ve collected a few dirty diapers, you will get a strong stinky smell when you open the lid. So even if it can hold lots of dirty diapers, I still suggest you wash dirty cloth diapers often.

Also, some customers think this diaper pail is too expensive for its simple design. Yes, it does look a bit flimsy and cheap, but overall we think this is a good choice to store smelly cloth diapers.

  • Specifically designed for cloth diapers.
  • Very simple design and is lightweight.
  • Can hold a lot of cloth diapers.
  • Carbon filter and holder help contain bad smells.
  • You can use the dry diaper and wet diaper methods.
  • It looks cheaply made.
  • Higher price compared to other diaper pails.
  • You have to remove the lid completely.

Trust us, we did our own tests 

We performed a series of tests to see which pails worked with cloth diapers. 

But we also wanted to know what other parents felt was essential in a diaper pail for cloth diapers. So we did a survey on Facebook to see what modern parents thought was important.

Survey on diaper pails for cloth diapers

As you can see, most parents do not want to have bad odors fill up their room or nursery. Price was also a consideration since there aren’t many diaper pails made for cloth diapers.

When we collected this data, we researched diaper pails that other parents recommended. We narrowed it down to just a few diaper pails, purchased them, and did our own tests.

We tested these diaper pails to see if they could contain horrible odors, made it easy to empty and reload, were affordable, and looked great in a nursery.

Here are the results.

Minimize the smell of dirty cloth diapers

Most parents agreed that odor control was the most important benefit of a diaper pail for cloth diapers. 

The diaper pails we tested performed well in this category, but some stinky smell escaped when we opened the lid to put a dirty diaper in.

This was expected since you have a pile of dirty cloth diapers rotting inside the diaper pail. Although this is normal, the Munchkin Diaper Pail performed the best at controlling odors.

Easy to put dirty diapers in

You shouldn’t struggle to put dirty diapers in the diaper pail. It should be as simple as opening the lid and throwing the diaper in.

The Ubbi, Safety 1st, and Dekor Plus diaper pails made it super easy to put dirty diapers in the pail. Simply open the lid and drop your dirty diaper in.

Although the Busch Systems Diaper Pail is designed specifically for cloth diapers, it does take more work because you have to remove the lid completely.

diaper pail liner ease of use

Simple to empty and reload

The Ubbi Diaper Pail also performed the best in this category. There is a small button in front of the diaper pail. Press it and you can open the lid to take the liner out.

The Dekor Plus and Munchkin diaper pails have an easy-access door in front, but we thought it was a bit more complicated to get dirty diapers out. If you are using bag refills, you have to cut the bag with the built-in cutter as you take the bag out.


Comparing price to quality and ease of use, the Ubbi also came on top as it is reasonably priced. 

The Safety 1st Diaper Pail was the least expensive but since some customers said that their lids broke, we decided to go with the Ubbi.

Except for the Munchkin Diaper Pail, you can use a pail liner on all of the diaper pails we tested. This eliminates the need to replace bags specifically made for diaper pails.


Bringing home a new baby is exciting. You probably spent countless hours designing your nursery to welcome your new baby.

The diaper pails we selected, except the Busch Systems diaper pail, will look great in your nursery. The neutral and warm colors will add a special feel to your child’s bedroom.

Don’t forget your pail liners!

While you can use trash bags with any of the diaper pails we recommend (except for the Munchkin), having a pail liner will make your life a lot easier.

Diaper pail liners work better than bags at controlling the smell of dirty diapers. They also help you save money in the long run because you can simply wash them and reuse them.

We tested several liners with each diaper pail. The one that fits the best and worked great on the Ubbi, Dekor Plus, and Safety 1st diaper pails was the Moonsea Diaper Pail Liner

This diaper pail liner has an elastic opening that makes it easy to install on diaper pails. Without the elastic opening, the liner will fall to the bottom of the diaper pail.

If you are using the Busch Systems Diaper Pail, you’ll need a liner with a larger opening since the diaper pail is wider. The liner that fit this pail is the Teamoy Pail Liner.

diaper pail liners

Cloth diaper pail choices

Now that you have a cloth diaper pail selected, you have to think about which diaper pail method you are going to use.

The wet pail method and the dry pail method are two different approaches to storing and managing cloth diapers before you wash them. 

Each method has its advantages and considerations.


Wet Pail Method

The wet pail method is more advanced and involves storing soiled cloth diapers in a diaper pail filled with water to pre-treat the diapers before you wash them. 

When you change a diaper, remove any solid waste from the diaper and place the soiled cloth diaper directly into the water-filled pail without rinsing.

If you want, you can add some borax, baking soda, or vinegar to help pre-treat the diapers.

When you are ready to wash your cloth diapers, dump the water from the diaper pail, and transfer the cloth diapers to your washing machine.

The biggest benefit of using the wet pail method is that it helps to loosen stains and make cloth diapers easier to clean when you wash them.

This is particularly helpful for heavily soiled diapers, such as those with solid waste or stubborn stains.

Keep in mind that this only works if the diaper pail can be used with this method, otherwise, you’ll have to use a bucket. 

In our tests, the only diaper pail that works with the wet pail method is the Busch Systems Diaper Pail.

If you use the wet pail method, make sure that the water-filler pail is not within your child’s reach because it can be a huge hazard. 

Also, make sure that you change the water constantly to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Dry Pail Method

The other method is the dry pail method which involves storing soiled cloth diapers in a diaper pail without water. 

This is probably the method you’ll use because it is very simple and doesn’t require extra effort like the wet pail method.

All you have to do when you change a cloth diaper is remove any solid waste from the diaper and place the soiled diaper directly into the diaper pail. 

I suggest you rinse the cloth diaper before you place it in the pail, especially if there is some poop residue left after you remove any solid waste.

Also, make sure that you are using a pail liner with the diaper pail to further contain stinky smells. When it is laundry day, simply empty the dirty cloth diapers and pail liner into your washer.

One thing to consider is that you’ll have to wash your cloth diapers more frequently if you use the dry pail method.

What to look for in a good diaper pail for cloth diapers

There were some specific things we considered when we researched and tested diaper pails for cloth diapers.

  1. Size and capacity: A huge diaper pail is not necessary since you’ll be doing laundry more often. A diaper pail that can hold about 16 cloth diapers is all you need.

  2. Odor control: Cloth diapers can release strong smells, especially if you leave them in the pail for an extended period. The pails we selected have a tight-sealing lid or an odor-lock mechanism that helps contain odors.

  3. Material and construction: The Ubbi Diaper Pail is made of steel and does not absorb odors. Other diaper pails we selected are made of ABS plastic that works like metal but doesn’t rust.

  4. Liner or wet bag compatibility: Not every pail liner works with a diaper pail. When we tested different pail liners, the Moonsea Diaper Pail Liner worked the best with most diaper pails.

  5. Accessibility and convenience: The diaper pails we selected are easy to operate, simple to remove the pail liner, and effortless to put dirty cloth diapers in.

  6. Simple to clean: These diaper pails are very easy to clean. All you need is some water or cleaning products and a rag to wipe them off.

How to eliminate dirty cloth diaper smell

When you are changing cloth diapers, don’t just throw the soiled diaper in the pail. This will only intensify the bad odors of poop and urine. 

Here is what we recommend to minimize the smell of dirty cloth diapers:

  1. Remove poop immediately: Remove solid waste every time you change a diaper. You can shake off poop into the toilet to minimize odor and prevent it from seeping into the fabric of the diaper.

  2. Rinse cloth diapers: Rinse your cloth diaper before you store it in the diaper pail to prevent urine from turning into uric acid which smells very bad.

  3. Store them in the diaper pail: Use one of the diaper pails for cloth diapers I recommend. The Ubbi diaper pail does a great job of containing the smell of dirty cloth diapers.

  4. Wash cloth diapers regularly: I recommend you wash cloth diapers every two to three days to prevent odors from becoming persistent and to remove stains easily.

  5. Use diaper pail deodorizers: Use activated charcoal deodorizers or the Ubbi lavender gel to further minimize the smell of dirty diapers.

Diaper pails for cloth diapers FAQs

No. A Diaper Genie is designed primarily for disposable diapers and not for cloth diapers.

You can either use a diaper sprayer to spray off the solid waste into the toilet or dunk and swish the diaper in the toilet to remove any waste before you put it in a pail.

You should wash cloth diapers at least one time before you use them for the first time. This helps to enhance their absorbency and remove any impurities left over during manufacturing.

Yes, you should change cloth diapers after each pee to maintain cleanliness and prevent the growth of bacteria. This also helps ensure that your baby’s skin stays dry and comfortable throughout the day.

For the most part yes but I recommend you check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific drying guidelines. Some cloth diapers can be dried on a low or medium heat setting, while others may require air drying to prolong their lifespan.

What to do next?

There you have it, the best diaper pails for cloth diapers. These diaper pails will improve your cloth diapering experience and minimize the smell of dirty cloth diapers.

Our top choice is the Ubbi Diaper Pail, and when you combine it with the Moonsea Diaper Pail Liner, you will have an inexpensive solution to cloth diapering.

About Leslie - Latinx Montessori

Hello, I am Leslie. I am on a mission to help you support the growth and development of your child. With the right tools and proper guidance, you can navigate parenthood with confidence and assertion! My goal is to equip you with knowledge to help you construct a strong foundation for your child’s life.

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