Problems With Diaper Pails For Cloth Diapers
In my many years of diapering, one of the major pain points I kept running into was where to keep my dirty diapers as they waited to be washed. I used various buckets, wet bags, and laundry baskets in my attempt to find a good solution, but all of these options had major downsides.
Solid Plastic Buckets
Solid plastic buckets trapped in moisture, which led to intense urine odor and sometimes even mold (especially in the summer heat!).
Regular laundry baskets
Regular laundry baskets had better airflow, but there was no hiding the smell of urine as the diapers collected in the basket. And no one wants their house smelling like ammonia with a hint of poop. Yuck.
Wet bags contained the smell better than any of the other options, but the ones I had were too small and better suited to being kept in the diaper bag for outings.
I wanted a diaper pail that would hold a decent amount of diapers, keep the smell of soiled diapers from permeating the house, and be easy to clean. Even better, I wanted it to be made of a material that wouldn’t absorb the smells and other nastiness involved with dirty diapers. A girl can dream, right?!
Traditional Diaper Pails
The problem is that traditional diaper pails are designed solely for disposable diapers. There are many that have unique or cool plastic bag systems, but plastic bag systems would be really awkward, if not altogether impossible, to use with cloth diapers.
You can imagine my intense joy, then, when I found the Dékor diaper pail! (view here on Amazon) Not only could it be used with cloth bags, but the brand actually manufactures its own cloth bags that are perfectly designed to work with this particular diaper pail system.
Dekor Plus vs Dekor Classic – What’s the Best Option?
The Dekor diaper pail comes in three different sizes to suit different households. The Dekor Mini is the smallest size, and it is not ideal for my needs. It has a 13-square-inch capacity for holding about 25 diapers.
For most parents, the choice comes down to Dekor Plus vs Dekor Classic. At first glance, these two models are nearly identical. Both options include rubber seals and a trap door to lock in odors.
So, what’s the difference between the two pails? Dekor Plus is bigger. It has a 25-square-inch capacity. The manufacturer claims it can hold up to 60 diapers at a time. Dekor Classic has a 17-square-inch capacity and holds about 45 diapers.
The Dekor Plus diaper pail is also available in four colors while the classic option is available in gray or white. With the Dekor Plus pail, you can also choose from soft blue or light pink.
Yet, the biggest difference between the two is the liners. Dekor makes disposable plastic liners in different sizes for all three models. The cloth liners are only intended for the Plus model. Keep in mind that it’s possible to fit the cloth liners inside the Classic pail, but it’s not a perfect fit.
Dekor Plus Overview
The Dekor Plus diaper pail is one of the best solutions for storing dirty diapers thanks to its large capacity. It is the largest of the three sizes available from Dekor and beats all the competition.
The Ubbi, Diaper Genie, and Munchkin diaper pails all have a capacity of 14 square inches or less. The Dekor Plus has a 27-square inch capacity, making it nearly twice the size of your other options.
As with other Dekor diaper pails, the Plus model is made from ABS plastic. It has an access door on the front and a lid that opens with a foot pedal. Childproof locks on the trap door and the access door keep little ones from trying to get inside.
To toss a diaper, you simply step on the pedal to open the lid. The diaper drops through the trap door where it sits in a plastic or cloth liner. One of my favorite features is the silent lid. After disposing of a diaper, a spring allows the lid to gradually close without a sound.
Overall, the main reason to consider the Dekor Plus diaper pail is the size. If you’re tired of trying to cram dirty diapers into a small container, the Dekor Plus can make your life a little easier.
Dekor Plus Diaper Pail Refills
Dekor makes two types of diaper pail refills for the Plus model. You can choose from disposable refills and cloth liners. The plastic liners are less convenient when tossing cloth diapers. They lack a drawstring for holding in smells after removal and I worry about them ripping when they are full of dirty diapers.
The cloth Dekor Plus diaper pail refills are reusable and washable. The cloth material is breathable enough to decrease the risk of mold growth but thick enough to keep smells away. The only drawback is the higher initial cost of the cloth liners. However, after a few months, the cloth liners start to pay for themselves compared to using disposable refills.
Dekor Classic Overview
The Dekor Classic diaper pail is an affordable, mid-size option for dealing with dirty diapers. It’s smaller than the Dekor Plus but bigger than the Dekor Mini. You get more value for your money with this diaper. It’s larger and less expensive compared to some of the options from leading competitors, including Ubbi, Diaper Genie, and Munchkin.
The Dekor Classic diaper pail includes almost all the features found in the Plus-size model. It has an access door, trap door, and lid. It has rubber seals to help keep odors inside. It also features a sleek, minimalist design to keep it from standing out in whatever room you place it in.
One potential issue is the liners. Dekor makes cloth liners for the Dekor Plus model, but only offers disposable plastic refills for the Dekor Classic version. Although you can use the cloth liners in the Classic model, it’s not a perfect fit. The top of the bag needs to be bunched up around the rim of the container, making it awkward to attach.
For just a little more money, you can get the Dekor Plus model, which gives you more space. Having more space provides greater air circulation inside the container, which may help reduce the risk of bacteria and mold growth.
Dekor Classic Diaper Pail Refills
Dekor offers one type of refill for the Dekor Classic, but you can also get the cloth liners for the Plus version to work. Yet, the plastic Dekor Classic diaper pail refills are made specifically for this model. The refills are sold in packs of two, four, or eight.
Each refill liner offers multiple uses. As mentioned, it’s one continuous bag. You use the cutter on the inside of the pail to cut off the top portion after each use. I’ve found that I get about 20 uses per refill.
Dekor also offers a biodegradable option for its refills. The biodegradable refills cost about the same price as the standard refills.
My Dékor Diaper Pail Review
Check out what this nifty diaper pail has to offer! It literally checks off every single one of my desires in a good diaper pail— and then some!
- No-hands lid opening system.
- No fancy diaper containment system.
- Second flap door for optimal smell containment.
- Plastic and cloth bag options.
- Easy bag insertion & removal.
The helpful foot pedal opens the lid without a fuss. No hands required! This is great news when you’ve just finished changing a particularly messy diaper (you know what I’m talking about) and don’t want to have to touch anything before washing your hands.
As far as construction, the pedal feels solid. I wouldn’t be worried about it breaking with normal everyday use, and I’m not easy on these kinds of things.
No Fancy Diaper Containment System
No fancy diaper containment system
Gone are the days of having to push, shove, and twist diapers into the pail just so they could be individually packaged for odor control (more on that in a moment). With this pail, you just step on the pedal and drop the diaper in! Those other systems may be great for disposable diapers (although I’ve personally found them annoying), but they definitely don’t work for cloth diapers. Imagine trying to remove diapers from individually-packaged plastic bags. What a pain!
But what about smells, you ask?
Dékor Diaper Pail Smells No More
Second Flap Door For Smell Containment
This second flap door has a super light spring, so when you drop the diaper onto it the diaper will usually go through without a problem. The only issues I’ve had with this door are:
- when the diaper is barely wet, so it’s not quite heavy enough to open the flap fully, and
- when the bag inside begins to fill up, the flap has a hard time coming back up because it gets stuck on the other diapers below.
I haven’t found either of those problems to be a deal-breaker in any way, but I did want to mention it. When this happens, I’ll just push the diaper in, instead of letting it just drop, and sometimes I’ll have to touch the flap door to loosen it and allow it to come back up again. Not a big deal at all.
Dékor Diaper Pail Bags (disposable)
Plastic & Cloth Bag Options
I have used this pail with both, just so I could give it a more complete review.
Dékor Diaper Pail Bags
When you buy the pail off Amazon, it automatically comes with a roll of plastic for disposable diapers. I don’t think there’s any way to opt out of that. The unroll-and-tie method Dékor uses is actually rather fascinating. It’s one continuous roll of plastic, and when your bag is full you just pull it out, cut it on the built-in (razor-sharp!) cutter, and tie at the bottom.
I start off with disposables the first 6 weeks after my babies are born, since I try to take it really easy for optimum recovery (and I’m usually behind enough on laundry as it is, so I don’t want to add more during my bed rest). The plastic was perfect for those first few weeks, and then when I started cloth diapering I switched over to the cloth bags.
While using cloth diapers you wouldn’t want to use the Dékor free liners that come with the pail, for the very reason they are ideal for disposable diapers. The disposable pail liners are continuous plastic sheets, whereas the reusable pail liner has a waterproof coating on the inside to prevent leaking and wicking through of wet diapers.
Dékor Diaper Pail Reusable Liner
Dékor Diaper Pail Reusable Liner
The cloth bags (found here) are obviously much different, but they have their own perks. The washable/reusable nature of these bags is clearly the biggest selling point for cloth diapering mama, but I’ve found that they have some other selling points as well.
The draw-string on these bags keeps smells contained, even after removal from the pail itself.
These bags are just the right size to hold about 1 ½-2 days’ worth of diapers, which is just about exactly how long I want to go before washing a load of diapers.
Easy Bag Insertion & Removal
I was worried that removing and inserting bags would be difficult or cumbersome, but I was pleasantly surprised. The plastic bag removal process is slightly easier than the cloth bag removal, but they’re both a breeze. Neither takes any time at all, which is exactly what I need as a mom of 4 littles.
Dékor Diaper Pail Pros & Cons
I want to quickly point out the pros & cons I’ve found with this diaper pail. I’ll admit, I have found more pros than cons, but the cons still bear mentioning.
Dékor Diaper Pail Pros
- Easy to wipe down and keep clean.
- The type of plastic that this pail is made of doesn’t absorb smells
- The door flap is super sensitive, so you can just drop the diaper in without having to push it (unless the diaper is barely wet, or you’re just tossing in pre-folds or other inserts).
- It contains smells really well.
- Option for plastic bags OR cloth bags.
- Removing and inserting bags is super easy.
- Fabric bag holds just the right amount of diapers. Not too few, not too many. I need to change it about once every day-and-a-half.
- Very reasonable price tag.
Dékor Diaper Pail Cons
- The door that swings open for bag removal feels a bit flimsy, and I sometimes worry that one of us might break the hinge without much effort. However, it seems to be holding up well, considering I’ve been using it for a number of months now and haven’t had any issues with it! I think it feels weaker than it really is.
- Cloth bags are a separate purchase, increasing the price of the system. Of course, since they are a one-time purchase (unlike plastic bags) it doesn’t end up being that bad.
Dekor living is a breeze. No more smelly diapers stinking up the room. Before trying the Dekor diaper pails, I was constantly frustrated with the alternatives. Other plastic diaper pails are typically too small. They also either fail to hold odors in or create a sealed environment that promotes mold.
Dekor Diaper pails have made my life a little easier. I can now simply toss a dirty diaper in the pail without worrying about smells and an overflowing container. I also enjoy the convenience of having disposable refills for disposable diapers and a cloth liner for cloth diapers. It’s perfect for any stage of diapering.
Ubbi vs Dekor – Which Is Better?
The Dekor diaper pail is a great product, but it’s not the only diaper pail on the market. The Ubbi diaper pail is a tall, thin container with several of the same features found on the Dekor diaper pail. Both options resemble small trash cans that hold liners for collecting dirty diapers.
So, Ubbi vs Dekor – what’s the difference? The main difference is the material. The Ubbi diaper pail is made from steel. The nonporous material does a great job of keeping smells from escaping. It feels sturdier compared to the plastic components used in the Dekor pail.
While the Ubbi pail feels sturdier, the Dekor diaper pail still holds up well. I worried about the plastic hinges on the access door eventually breaking, but they’re still fine after months of daily use.
Another difference is the lack of a lid on the Ubbi diaper pail. It simply has a trap door. I worry about little ones trying to stick their hands as soon as I turn around. The Dekor diaper pail includes a lid above the trap door. You simply step on the pedal near the base to open the lid and insert a diaper.
The Dekor Diaper pails are also available in larger sizes. The Ubbi has a capacity of about 14 square inches while the Dekor Plus model has a capacity of 27 square inches. You get a larger capacity and a lid instead of just a trap door.
After using this diaper pail for a couple of months, I can honestly say that I wish I’d gotten one a long time ago! This is a baby product that I will certainly be recommending to new mamas, whether they cloth diapers or not.
The designers of this diaper pail appear to have put a lot of thought into how their product would be used; from the kind of plastic, it’s made of, to the multiple scent barriers and hands-free ease of use. I don’t feel like they skimped on the quality or design, and I really appreciate that about this product.
This diaper pail is an impressive and very useful tool, and I’m glad to have it in my cloth diapering life.
Original Article: April 10, 2020
Update: January 28, 2022