Trash Can Vs Diaper Pail

Trying to choose between trash can vs diaper pail for disposing of your baby’s dirty diapers?

Then let us help you decide which is the best diaper disposal for you: trash can or diaper pail!

No one looks forward to a diaper change. But can a diaper pail make the job easier? And is a trash can up to the task?

We’ve explored the benefits of both.

Diaper pails are designed for dirty diapers, offering increased odor control to keep bad smells in the pail.

But they are expensive, and some diaper pails aren’t as odor free as you might think!

In this guide, we’ll take a look at features, pros, and cons of a diaper pail vs regular trash can so you can decide which is the right choice for you!

And if you love this guide on what’s the difference between diaper pail and trash can, then check out these guides on effective diaper pail deodorizer ideasbest diaper pail alternatives, and must have diaper caddy essentials. Or even our reviews on Diaper Genie vs Munchkin and Diaper Genie Elite vs Complete.

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Our Top Pick
Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail
$66.10

The diaper Genie is a much loved diaper pail among parents, and for good reason!

It is easy to use with is foot pedal for easy, hygienic and hands-free opening. It is also tall so you don't need to bend down to use it.

But best of all, the Complete Pail features Double Air-Tite clamps that work with the 7-layer diaper refill bags and carbon filter to add a layer of double odor protection.


12/08/2022 09:20 pm GMT

Trash Can Vs Diaper Pail

Let’s start with a quick look at what the diaper pail is, and the basics of using a trash can instead.

All About Trash Cans

Listen, we know you know what a trash can is. It’s impossible to assume you’ve never seen or used a trash can, so we won’t go into the details too much.

A trash can is a container used to hold waste, and they range from simple baskets, to high-tech sanitation centers.

But what about trash cans for diapers? If you have little experience with diapering, then a trash can might seem like the obvious choice for disposing of dirty diapers.

Honestly, there are advantages to the trash can! For a start, you probably already own a trash can that can potentially be used for diapers.

And if not, a basic trash can is incredibly cheap. Babies are expensive, so it’s always good to find areas to save money.

But trash cans lack the specialized features of the diaper pail. The odor control is greatly reduced, and few things smell as bad as a dirty diaper…

Pros

  • Inexpensive — you probably already have a trash can!
  • Large openings make trash cans easy to use.
  • Many trash cans are operated hands-free.

Cons

  • Trash cans lack odor control.
  • Very few trash cans come with childproofing.
  • Every time you open the trash can, lots of bad smelling air can escape.
  • If you want a trash can with better odor control, expect a larger price tag.

All About Diaper Pails

The diaper pail is a trash can designed for dirty disposable diapers.

It typically has a small opening, which is often sealed, reducing the possibility of odor escape.

With bad smells (mostly) contained, the diaper pail can sit in the nursery without ruining the atmosphere!

Because diaper pails were created specifically for easier diaper changes, they’re built with plenty of convenient features.

Many diaper pails offer hands-free usage, and use childproofing to keep curious toddlers away.

Diaper pails tend to be slim and tall, reducing backache and fitting neatly into nurseries. 

But to accommodate these extra features, diaper pails are expensive. At least, more expensive than a standard trash can!

And considering just how much stuff a baby needs, this might feel like an unnecessary expense.

Pros

  • Small openings reduce odor leakage.
  • Diaper pails are built with odor control features.
  • Many diaper pails have hands-free operation.
  • Diaper pails are typically slim, and can fit in smaller spaces.
  • Diaper pails can hold several days of dirty diapers without bad smells becoming noticeable.

Cons

  • Diaper pails are expensive, as are diaper pail liner refills.
  • Odor control quality varies from pail to pail.
Our Top Pick
Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail
$66.10

The diaper Genie is a much loved diaper pail among parents, and for good reason!

It is easy to use with is foot pedal for easy, hygienic and hands-free opening. It is also tall so you don't need to bend down to use it.

But best of all, the Complete Pail features Double Air-Tite clamps that work with the 7-layer diaper refill bags and carbon filter to add a layer of double odor protection.


12/08/2022 09:20 pm GMT

Similarities And Differences Between Trash Can And Diaper Pail

At a glance, there are many similarities between trash cans and diaper pails. In this section, we’ll dig a little deeper.

Odor Control

Odor control is the big issue when it comes to choosing between trash cans and diaper pails. 

Trash cans are designed to deal with some degree of bad smells. But many basic trash cans can’t cope with the distinctive bad smell of a dirty diaper.

And they definitely can’t mask several days worth of diapers!

Diaper pails, however, are designed specifically to limit the escape of bad odors. Most of them have small openings, so there’s less chance of odor displacement.

Many diaper pails use a double drop mechanism, so the diapers are sealed off even when the lid is open.

And many use rubber seals, to prevent smells from leaking through.

Diaper pails are often equipped with filters to neutralize bad odors, and are built from durable plastics that shouldn’t absorb smells.

Liners designed specifically to fit diaper pails are often scented, to mask bad smells.

Standard trash cans just can’t trap odors like a diaper pail can! For better odor elimination, you’d need to invest in an expensive trash can.

And by that point, you might as well buy a diaper pail!

Ease Of Use

Diaper pails try to balance ease of use with odor control, which can lead to some sacrifices on either end. 

Diaper pails typically have small openings, with just enough room for a rolled up diaper.

This means when you open the lid, only an insignificant amount of air leaks through.

However, sometimes getting a diaper through the hole requires some pushing. 

Trash cans are incredibly easy to use. Open the lid, drop in the diaper, and go! The only disadvantage?

When that large lid swings open, prepare for an odor to be unleashed.

Easy cleaning is another feature to consider. Most diaper pails are made of plastic, and can be cleaned with water and bleach.

Some trash cans are plastic, but many are metal, and can’t be cleaned with water. 

Emptying

There are really two reasons why you’d need to empty a diaper pail or trash can: either it’s full, or the smell is so bad you can’t take it anymore.

Because of the superior odor control of the diaper pail, most parents wait until the liner is full before emptying.

You can change the liner less frequently, and take fewer tips to the garbage disposal.

If you’re using a trash can for diapers and regular waste, then it’s likely to get emptied frequently anyway.

The diapers alone will fill the bag up fast! However, you might find the lack of odor control is leading to more regular changes.

And if you use a trash can solely for diapers, then you’ll probably empty it long before the liner is full.

Without the odor control of the diaper pail, the smell will quickly become noticeable. 

Childproofing

Toddlers love to get their hands on everything, and that curiosity might lead them straight to the diaper pail.

When that happens, you need childproofing to keep them out!

Because diapers are designed for nurseries, many of them come with in-built childproofing.

This can prevent curious toddlers from knocking diapers all over the nursery floor. Trash cans rarely include childproofing.

Hands-Free Usage

You need to have one hand on your baby at all times during changes, which can make disposing of a diaper into a bit of a juggling act.

A hands-free diaper pail makes it much easier to throw away a diaper, while keeping your little one safe.

Many diaper pails have a foot pedal opening. This means you don’t have to touch the lid and risk spreading germs.

Hands aren’t always very clean after a diaper change! 

Hands-free usage is one of those areas that many trash cans and diaper pails actually do have in common.

Some trash cans come with a foot pedal, and some diaper pails don’t!

Liners

Diaper pail liner bags aren’t the same as your standard trash bags. Most brands use non-perforated bags, with no set sizes.

Instead, you tie the end of the bag, and pull through enough liner to fill the pail. When the pail is full, simply slice and tie the top.

You can then repeat the process until the liner runs out!

This method can prevent waste when, for example, a particularly stinky diaper necessitates a quicker change! 

Trash cans use, well, trash bags. These are cheap, strong, and easy to use. However, you might find you throw away a lot of half-used trash bags.

Price

Trash cans are generally cheaper than diaper pails, particularly if you stick to a simple design.

Not to mention, you probably already own a trash can or two. If you have a trash can that sits largely unused somewhere, you can potentially repurpose it as a diaper pail.

Our Top Pick
Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail
$66.10

The diaper Genie is a much loved diaper pail among parents, and for good reason!

It is easy to use with is foot pedal for easy, hygienic and hands-free opening. It is also tall so you don't need to bend down to use it.

But best of all, the Complete Pail features Double Air-Tite clamps that work with the 7-layer diaper refill bags and carbon filter to add a layer of double odor protection.


12/08/2022 09:20 pm GMT

Final Thoughts On Trash Can Vs Diaper Pail

Many parents will tell you that you need a diaper pail, but that isn’t necessarily true.

As long as you don’t mind frequent emptying, the trash can is as good at holding dirty diapers as it is at holding any old waste. 

But the diaper pail offers significantly superior odor control, locking in bad smells and leaving the nursery fresh.

Diaper pails are designed for dirty diapers, and built to make changes easier, and less smelly!

We hope this guide has helped you understand the benefits of the diaper pail, and why most consider diaper pails superior to the trash can!

And if you like this guide on diaper pail vs garbage can, then you’ll love our other diapering guides on Ubbi vs Diaper Genie, Ubbi vs Munchkin diaper pail, best diapers for sensitive skin, and best diapers to prevent blowouts.

Our Top Pick
Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail
$66.10

The diaper Genie is a much loved diaper pail among parents, and for good reason!

It is easy to use with is foot pedal for easy, hygienic and hands-free opening. It is also tall so you don't need to bend down to use it.

But best of all, the Complete Pail features Double Air-Tite clamps that work with the 7-layer diaper refill bags and carbon filter to add a layer of double odor protection.


12/08/2022 09:20 pm GMT
trash can vs diaper pail