Trash Can vs Diaper Pail: Differences(What’s better?)

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by Basana Saha

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You might be thinking about the proper disposal of your baby’s soiled diaper regularly.

Here, I would compare the Trash Can vs Diaper Pail in this post.

Disposing of diapers properly is a must to maintain hygiene at home and to get rid of the smells. 

The ideal option is a diaper pail to dispose of the diaper, and an alternative can be a trash can.

Trash Can vs Diaper Pail

Trash CanDiaper Pail
Can it be used to store diapers?YesYes
Odour lock mechanismNot Present. Only in few higher models.Present in good diaper pails
trash can vs diaper pail

What is a diaper pail?

A diaper pail is a disposable bin created to dispose of baby diapers without spills and odor.

It also incorporates ways to quickly dispose of all at once and dump their new diapers again.

Diaper pails are made with diaper disposal in mind.

So, the quality of the diaper pail liner, odor lock mechanism, and easy disposal are critical factors for a diaper pail.

They make your task of disposal of your diaper easy and in a proper hygienic way.

Diaper Pail Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of the Diaper pails:


  1. Diaper Pails are very effective for diaper disposal.
  2. The pails manage diapers hygienically.
  3. They also have easy removal to take out the diaper pail liner inside and dispose of that altogether.


  1. Diaper Pails are expensive and hence not for all.
  2. Diaper Pails may incur a recurring expense of buying a liner or a refill for the pails.

What is a Trash Can?

A trash can, also known as a garbage can, is a garbage collection bin used to dispose of all our regular garbage for household purposes.

Trash cans are cheap and readily available in the market. For general disposal of garbage, most of us already have a trash can.

However, as trash cans are made for generic disposal, the odor of the diapers can spread from the laundry room in your home.

Also, it can be a mess if you don’t regularly dispose of your trash can contents.

The disposal needs to be taken care of as you dispose of your diapers in the trash can.

Trash Can Pros and Cons


  1. Trash cans by no means are made for diaper disposal.
  2. Trans cans contain no special feature to dispose of a diaper hygienically. You need to figure out a way to dispose of diapers using a trash can properly.


  1. Trash cans are cheaper as compared to diaper pails.

Size of Diaper Pail vs Trash Can

Diaper Pails are not to be disposed of regularly, and hence within it, there is enough space to accommodate many diapers at once, and they store in a stack.

We need to take the diaper liner packet out and dispose of it all at once during disposal.

So, the size of the diaper pail is tall. In contrast, the trash cans are generic and are generally small compared to a diaper pail.


Diaper pails are comparatively expensive, whereas trash cans are cheap.

If you look at the cost, you might feel why is that diaper pail cost so much.

The diaper pails are the exact solution for diaper disposal, whereas the trash cans are not.

There are several features in the diaper pail, like the Odour lock, which is excellent for your room because diapers may smell stinky if kept longer.

So, are diaper pails worth it? You can read this in the post here.

Diaper Pail vs Trash Can: Functionalities Comparison

Odor control

We know that when we dispose of a soiled diaper, the smell comes out with time and feels stinky all over the laundry room.

In diaper pails, there are odor control mechanisms to protect from smelly soiled diapers. Also, there are diaper pails that come with a fragrance that makes the diaper pail smell good when opened during disposal.

However, in the case of trash cans, you lack this feature. Hence, the diaper smell gets out and makes the laundry room smelly.

Child Lock feature

A child can any time open the trash can. However, in the case of diaper pails, it comes with a child lock feature.

This feature keeps a diaper pail protected and safe from children.

Handsfree effective disposal

The trash can does not have an effective way of hands-free disposal of the soiled diapers.

However, in the case of a diaper pail, you will see pail liners within it.

You can easily take out the pail liner closing with one hand and can effectively dispose of the diapers.

Through this process, hygiene remains maintained, and also, this avoids contamination from the disposed of diapers.

Can I use a trash can as a diaper pail?

You can use a trash can as a diaper pail.

However, it is good to note how often you dispose of the trash can.

A trash can would not have any special feature that would ensure an odor lock for the diapers.

So, it is better to dispose of the trash can contents regularly.

If you use a trash can, you have to make sure the sealed bags are placed face-down and not inside out, allowing odors to escape through the plastic.

Which is better between the Trash can and diaper pail?

Trash cans are generic for garbage disposal, and Diaper pails are made especially for disposing of diapers. 

Diaper pails are better and are better options than a trash can.

A diaper pail would be costlier than a trash can, but it is way better considering its uses and overall long-term benefits.

With a diaper pail, you don’t have to worry about any stinky odor coming from your laundry room.

Still, if you are very constrained on your budget you may consider a trash can as a diaper pail alternative.
You can also have a smart trash can that is better than a regular trash can.


Let’s conclude!

In this post, I have clarified the comparison of trash cans vs diaper pails and which would be better for you.

I hope you found this post.

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Analyzed By Basana Saha

Basana Saha has expertise working for more than 25 years as a beautician. She has expertise in choosing the right accessories and gears for your baby. Being a mom she knows the problems new moms face. She would like to help with Parenting to new moms with her expertise in raising a child. Learn More About Basana Saha.