The type of diaper pail you'll want depends on whether you're using cloth diapers or disposables. Cloth-diaper users now favor a "dry" pail, a lined plastic pail into which you put rinsed diapers until wash time. "Wet" pails--a plastic pail for soaking diapers before laundering--were once the standard, but are not used much anymore. The typical disposable-diaper pail is also plastic, and it may be rigged with special liners or devices that dispel diaper odors, or with regular garbage bags. Recommendations
The right diaper pail can make diaper duty less of a chore. Pails that use their own liners typically contain odors better than those that use garbage bags, but their refills cost more. One pail we know of that takes garbage bags, the Graco Touch Free, has an "isolation design" plus carbon filters to control odors. If you use cloth diapers, dump solid waste into the toilet before depositing a soiled diaper into the pail. (For instructions on caring for cloth diapers, see our diapers buying guide.) It's a good idea to dump waste from disposables, too; that step helps cut down on the odor. Look for a secure lid; any diaper pail can be a danger to a young child. Plastic liners in a disposables or dry pail are a suffocation hazard; water in a soaking pail is a drowning peril. And a child who lifts a diaper-pail lid and falls in may not be able to get out. Capacity counts too, although we have found in our previous testing that manufacturers may claim a pail holds more than it actually does. But as diaper size increases, most pails hold fewer. And besides, whether you go with cloth or disposables, you will want to regularly empty the pail anyway to minimize odor. A pedal- or motion-detector opening mechanism makes disposal faster and easier. A taller pail means you won't have to bend as far. When you're changing diapers all day, every day, anything that helps you out is a plus.
Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.