Do you need a diaper pail and which should you buy? We review the top 2 choices in the market

Ubbi Diaper Pail Versus Munchkin Step – Which Should you Buy?

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No one likes smelling poop, and no parent likes running out to the garbage after every poopy diaper. Enter the diaper pail to the rescue. Now you may have heard great things about both the Ubbi Diaper Pail AND the Munchkin Step Diaper Pail since they are the two biggest contenders in the market (and both have 4 star reviews on Amazon). So which one stands up the best to those stinky diapers and which one just stinks? Read on to find out which diaper pail wins, it may surprise you.

Do you need a Diaper Pail?

Let’s start with this basic question first. The answer is you don’t need a diaper pail. You can certainly get by without one. Parents raised children for centuries without diaper pails (or disposable diapers for that matter) or any of the other modern parenting conveniences. That’s just it, a diaper pail is a convenience. It makes your life with baby just a teeny tiny bit easier.

The purpose of diaper pails is locking in those smelly baby odors so that you don’t have to take the trash out nearly as often. We have a house with multiple stories, which means every dirty diaper disposal entails going down two flights of stairs. Call me lazy, but I didn’t want to do that multiple times a day while recovering from giving birth to a tiny human. So I say a Diaper Pail is well worth it. With that said, let’s look at two of the best options out there.

Ubbi Diaper Pail Review:

Ubbi Diaper Pail

The Ubbi diaper pail differs from many competitors in that it is made from a powder coated steel as opposed to hard plastic. It is designed to provide maximum odor control through the metal construction, rubber seals, and a sliding lid (which also has a child lock).

My very favorite feature of the Ubbi Pail is that you can use any trash bag or cloth liner with it. This translates into you not forking over your hard earned money on buying specially designed diaper bags. It also empties from the top more like a traditional trash can unlike other diaper pails. Finally, the Ubbi is available is 12 varying color and patterned designs, and it currently retails for $69.99.


  • Compatibility with any trash bag or cloth liner, which saves money and trips to the store. It is worth mentioning that this is the only diaper pail on the market that doesn’t require special bags.
  • Extremely easy to clean and empty – no fighting with cutting bags or tying knots.
  • Very durable since it is made out of metal – lasts through many years and multiple children.
  • Comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns (some are limited time designs) and more aesthetically pleasing than other diaper pails.
  • Child lock built in – no need to buy anything (unless your child figures it out, which is possible)


  • The sliding lid means you always need to reach down and use your hands to open (i.e. no step to open feature). A pain with poopy diapers and/or dirty hands.
  • Small storage capacity.
  • Some trash bags become suctioned to inside of the bag, making them really difficult to extract.

Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Review:

Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Closed

The Munchkin pail is a sleek white design with a step on pedal to open. The pail has a mechanism which twists the refill as you close the pail – this is designed to keep odor sealed in. Additionally, it is designed to be paired with hammer baking soda “pucks” to really keep the odor at bay. Another benefit is that the pail works with multiple types of bags — both the snap and toss bags and the ring refills. The Munchkin Step Diaper Pail currently is listed at $64.99 with most retailers.


  • Step on pedal design to open pail – No leaning down to open, which makes it easier to use with a handful of dirty diapers / wipes or when holding a baby.
  • Superior odor control – We found that it contains odors better than the Ubbi Pail with the twist and lock design. Especially when paired with the Arm & Hammer Puck.
  • Slightly lower initial cost ($5 less).


  • Requires specific bags which is more costly.
  • Takes more time to empty and replace bags if you are using the rings. The snap and toss bags are very quick to replace, but are more expensive.
  • No child lock – we had to put a child safety lock on to keep my daughter out. You may read that the “out of reach button” keeps children out, but the lid just opens and nothing is stopping your child from just shoving their hand down the center.
  • You have to push the diaper down into the pail instead of just dropping it in. This isn’t a huge deal unless you have a “poo-nami” as we affectionately call them. Then you can end up with poop on your hands from pushing it down.
  • After years of use ours now makes a really loud cranking sound whenever we shut it. I have also seen several reviews complaining of the twisting breaking or not working properly after several months. So it is definitely less durable than the Ubbi Diaper Pail.

Size Comparison – Ubbi vs. Munchkin Step

One final comparison that some may wonder about is size. The Munchkin Step Diaper Pail is definitely taller than the Ubbi Pail by roughly 4 inches. The Munchkin Step measures 27.63 inches H x 12 inches W, while the Ubbi measures 23.6 inches H x 15.4 inches W. However, this doesn’t mean that it holds more diapers because the bag design only takes up a portion of the available space in the bottom.

Munchkin Step Diaper Pail

I honestly feel like they hold about the same amount when all is said and done.

Final Verdict:

My answer depends on your priorities here. If you are looking to spend less money over time and something that will last through multiple children, definitely go with the Ubbi. However, if you are looking for the very best odor containment with the least trips emptying the diaper pail AND only need for one child (or don’t mind repurchasing later), then go with the Munchkin Step for sure.

I will say that when you get to the stinkier toddler diapers, they both have some degree of smell since you have to open the pail to put diapers in. No way around that (until someone invents something better). This ultimately means that the smell lingers in the room regardless. Yes, the Munchkin does a better job containing the smell and yields slightly less lingering odor since the dirty diaper is sealed into a plastic bag instead of just dropping down. I personally would buy the Ubbi to save money and realize you should empty that pail at least once a day anyway.

If you’re interested in other baby must haves, check out our favorite baby items for 0-3 months.

Thanks for stopping by!


13 thoughts on “Do you need a diaper pail and which should you buy? We review the top 2 choices in the market”

  1. Nice review. We had the diaper genie for our first baby and the unit itself didn’t last very long. We are expecting baby #2 in June and were trying to decide which brand to purchase. Thanks.

  2. This is definitely a baby must-have! Thanks for writing such an in-depth review of these two diaper pails!

  3. I hadn’t heard of either of these brands. I’m pretty thrilled that you were so thorough and gave both sides. Very helpful!

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