As a parent, diaper duty is just one of the things that you have to suffer through. We usually try to do diaper changes as quickly as possible, and get the filthy thing (the diaper, not the baby) into quarantine as soon as we can. But let’s be honest: there’s only so much air freshener you can use. You really should use a diaper pail, and be as civilized as possible while cleaning other people’s bodily fluids.
I’ve got two diaper pails: the Diaper Genie, and the Dekor. I love one, and I hate one. Here’s my honest review in the hopes that you spend your money as wisely as you can! Your nose will thank me.
I do have affiliate links but these are products I’ve bought myself. As always, trust that I’m telling the unbiased truth and will never lead you astray.
To be fair, I want to clarify that I’m using the Diaper Genie for disposables, with a disposable liner; the Dekor is for my other kid’s cloth diapers, and is using a washable wet bag liner. My review does take these variables into account.
The Genie has been in our home for three years and it’s held up exceedingly well. No issues at all there. It stands taller and slimmer, with a foot pedal which opens up the top. (The foot pedal means you never have to touch the pail with your hands which is glorious). It feels durable and well-made.
The best thing about the Genie is the fact that it attempts to seal the smell within itself, sparing you an overwhelming cloud hitting you in the face every time you open it. I’ve also stuck a small baking soda disc inside the lid to help absorb the odor. The locking system inside traps the diaper each time you release the foot pedal, so it’s not just an open space full of soiled diapers.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that it would be feasible to use the Genie with cloth diapers; you’d still be using a disposable liner (which would be doable) but I’m not convinced that the opening at the top would be big enough to even fit a cloth diaper through. And even if it was large enough, you would have to haul out a gigantic long bag full of diapers, drag them to the washer to dump in, and then dispose of the used liner. It is definitely possible, but I think it would be quite awkward. If you successfully use the Genie with cloth, let me know!
On that note, the Genie does have to have special bags like these – while one package does last a long time, that’s another minor expense you should consider. A ring lasts quite a while, and I usually just pick them up at Target or my HEB.
The Dekor was given to me as a gift in the hopes that I would have a pail to use with my baby’s cloth diapers. The Dekor advertises that it’s great with cloth, and comes with two wet bags which was fantastic! It can also be used with normal disposable liners like these, too.
The bags themselves can be machine washed but have to be hung to dry; though they boast a cinch closure the cord doesn’t move very well within the bag, so it doesn’t really close when you pull on it. That is inconvenient but not that big of a deal, and I love that Dekor anticipated I’d need two bags (so I can insert a clean one into the pail while the dirty one is being washed or dried). You can also order the Dekor in different colors – to me personally, this is not a big selling point as I don’t really plan on company coming over to ogle at my changing table. But it’s a nice option!
As you can see in the photos, the Dekor is much shorter and is only slightly wider. It also has a foot pedal which opens up the door at the top; however, the rest of the design has been really infuriating to deal with on a daily basis.
Essentially, what makes me insane about the Dekor is that it feels… so… cheap. It’s the type of product which you constantly fear you’ve broken because the whole thing is shaky and poorly put together. The bottom “door” mechanism is what you flip open to remove when the diaper bag is full; this piece got easily bent and now doesn’t line up properly. (And just to clarify, I’m not rough on my stuff. Like at all.). The top portion – the part which flips up when you activate the foot pedal – has a trap door which you still have to force open with the diaper; your hand inevitably ends up touching part of the soiled lid.
The worst thing in particular about the Dekor is how you open it to put in a new bag; the whole thing is a plastic ring sitting on four springs, except the springs pop out and get bent up all the time. So then the ring doesn’t want to go back in flush, all while your fully ripe diaper bag is sitting next to you, ready to go to the washer. This setup is nice in concept I guess, except in real life when I don’t wear heels and pearls while vacuuming it’s bound to get out of alignment and not go back together properly. Can you tell that I’m getting mad all over again, just by writing about it?!
I’ll be honest with you: if you’re doing disposables, the Diaper Genie is great. It helps with mess and odor, it doesn’t have to be emptied too often because it holds so much, and it feels durable and well-made. The Dekor is a nice concept, and I appreciate the gesture especially for cloth diapering parents, but it just feels very fragile and unstable. I would rather just use a standard home trash can with foot pedal, and a wet bag. (Which is actually what I plan to do).
Let me know what you think in the comments about these, or any other pail you’ve used in the past – specify if you use cloth or disposable diapers, so we can help other parents find the best products for them!
You can also visit these diaper pails’ websites at the links below: