For those of you that have little ones, you know that throwing away diapers can be quite a stinky problem. Here we put two popular models to the test:
Diaper Dekor Plus
When we created our baby registry, this is the model that several friends recommended. It was higher on the price-scale at around $50 with replacement bags going for about $16 for a two-pack.
Tossing the dirty work
When you have to throw a diaper away, there is a two door mechanism. First you step on the foot pedal to open the main door. Next, you have a spring loaded trap door that you throw the diaper into. Here you want to be quick because the stink will quickly pounce into the room when this door is open. You can try tossing it throw the door with a sharp throw, but this may also break the unit if you are too rough. Also, if your bag is a tad full then you make get the dreaded stuck door. This means that the door opens and the diaper fits in but just enough to keep the door ajar. While your first instinct will be to evacuate and run for high ground, this just mean the stink will be seeping into the room with violent effectiveness. So, your own option is to suck it up (no literally) and push your hand deep into the open door and smush the diapers down until the door closes. After this, you might want to seek out that higher ground. However, this means that your bag is full and you’ll need to return and empty or else you risk forgetting and repeating this entire process next time.
Loading a new bag
Cut & Tie Style
These bags are the cut & tie style which means that you are really getting one really long bag that goes a long way. Basically, when the device is full, you open it, pull the bag down, cut it (using the installed safety blade, then tie both sides (the top of the old one, and the bottom of the new one).
Once tied, you start filling into the bag where you have just tied the bottom.
Replacing the big long bag
Every few weeks, you’ll go to tie the bottom of the bag and then pull it down for good measure and the whole thing will just pull out. This is your half bag that you just have to toss unused. It means that you now have to install the new “big long bag.” These run about $8/each and come in a two-pack ($16). When installing a new bag, you open up the entire top of the Decor and then pull out an oval-shaped plastic holder. The lid only open opens up about 45-60 degrees meaning that you have to wiggle the oval-shaped piece out.
Getting it out is pretty easy, but the challenge is getting it back in. The wiggle motion works fine, but now you have a huge $8 plastic bag around the side. So trying to wiggle it in means that the bag gets caught up and often pulls off and you have to start all over. Also the foot-pedal does not hold this part of the door open nor does the door stay open on its own. So you have to do all of this wiggling with one hand while the other holds the lid open.
Amazon also sells the eco-friendlier green colored replacements for even less. We used these and found them to work just the same.
The Diaper Dekor Plus is very modern, simple, and sleek. The oval shaped design fits well in the room without looking out of place.
The Diaper Dekor Plus tends to run around $45-60 – which puts it on the higher end.
When we started out, we loved the Diaper Dekor Plus. It was clean, easy, and nice.
However, once the stinky diapers came, our experience changed. Whenever we had to dispose of a diaper, the stench would pounce into the room like a cat jumping out of a bag. It was overpowering. So we started using a technique of throwing the tightly coiled diaper as fast we could through the send trap door. It has a strong spring on it, so it would shut quickly. This helped a lot. However, if the bag was just too full for that door to close, then game over. If you are holding your little one and can’t mange to stuff your free arm down the shoot, your room is toast.
The stench was so bad, that we ended up calling Dekor to inquire. They said that he trap door seal must be defective and would send us a new one. We installed the new door and tested again. Unfortunately, the stench was still there – no difference at all.
Changing the bags was not particularly difficult, but it was not easy either. First you’d have to open the door which let out a strange wave of stink. This was odd because this compartment never came in contact with the actual odor-causers. Nevertheless, it still had a strange odor. So you’d pull the bag down, use the safety cutter on the side to cut the bag free. Here is where you can really mess things up. If you cut it too short, you’ll never be able to tie the bag and are now left with a mobile stink bomb that you have to store inside 1 (or 5) other bags in hopes of protecting the odor. So you end up cutting it really long – which means less use of the bags. Still, as soon as you cut it free, you have that pouncing cat of an odor trying to claw it’s way through as you feverishly try to remember how to tie a knot before passing out.
Bottom line is that our room just always had a lingering foul smell. We liked parts of the operation, we loved the aesthetics, and we could have dealt with all the other issues if the smell was reduced. However because it failed in it’s primary operation, we can’t recommend it.
Conclusion: Diaper Dekor Plus
Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail
The Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail has a difference approach to with a strong focus on odor control. They do this by combining:
- Arm & Hammer Baking Soda dispenser
- Unique twist close mechnaism
- Individual bags with snap closure (vs. cut & tie)
Tossing the dirty work
When you have to throw a diaper away, there is a a single door that opens. You have to push a lock button on the top of the device, and then use your hand to open the lid. The lid opens to reveal two things. First you’ll notice a small capsule at the top with a baking soda holder/dispenser.
Next you’ll notice a blue cyclone looking thing in the center. This is the actual diaper bag that has a swirled twist close mechanism. So odor is kept inside the bag even when the lid is open.
To dispose, you take the rolled up diaper and you push it into this twisted bag and push it in until it’s below the surface. Once done, you reach up and close the lid. Closing the lid activated the twist mechanism again which essentially pulls the dirty diaper down and twists the back shut once again locking in odor. For good measure, the baking soda capsule is also pushed into the center of this twist to both freshen and seal the center.
While we liked the initial convenience of the Dekor’s foot pedal, this process was much more odor free.
Changing the bag
~$16 for a 30-pack which is rated at a total of ~750 diapers.
The Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail uses individual bags. This means that when your pail is full, you simple throw away the bag and install a new one. This is in comparison to the cut & tie style of the Dekor.
To dispose of the old bag you first open the lid on the top and then turn the lock and open the panel on the side. On the edges of the twist where you dispose of the diapers, there is a plastic ring with four notches. You pull these out and then fold the ring in half where it clicks shut. Then you push the sealed ring down through the opening. You can then pull the sealed bag out through the side panel for disposal.
Installing a new bag is pretty straightforward. You pull the back through the opening and then open the ring and lock the four notches into place. Getting all four notches in place is a slight challenge but definitely not a deterrent. Once down, you simply close and lock the side panel and then close the top lid which will give the new bag its twist shut seal.
The Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail is a very plain looking piece of plastic. It does not have the sleek modern look of the Dekor.
The Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail runs just under $30 at Amazon or BuyBuyBaby putting it on the lower-end of the cost scale. Replacement bags run slightly higher than that of the Dekor giving you an estimated 750 diapers for $16 vs. as many as ~2000 for $20 on the Dekor.
Our experience thus far with the Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail has been very positive. For us, the primary reason that you buy a diaper pail is for odor control. Otherwise you’d just toss the stinks into any trash can.
The Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail
The Winner: Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail
For odor control, the Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail definitely reduces odor compared to the Diaper Dekor Plus.
In disposal use, (if you ignore the odor issue for a moment) the Diaper Dekor Plus was a little easier to use. Stepping on a foot pedal and tossing a diaper through the trap door was a breeze. Unless of course the Dekor is full then you have a mounting problem on your hands.
However the Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail was also perfectly easy to use and controlled the odor during the process.
Use: Changing Bags
The Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail wins here as well. Changing bags was both easy and involved far less odor issues.
We like the more Eco-friendly (and cost effective) long bags of the Diaper Dekor Plus and would put up with the more involved bag changing process if it were not for the odor issues.
The Diaper Dekor Plus has a larger initial cost but a cheaper ongoing cost. The Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail has a lower initial cost, but the bags do cost a bit more. In the end, we give this a draw. On paper, the Diaper Dekor Plus could cost less in the end, but it’s also hard to truly measure the longevity of the bags with the “cut & tie” method.
.h2 Comparison Chart
|Feature||Diaper Dekor Plus||Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail|
|Ease of Disposal|
|Ease of Bag Change|
|Bag Replacement||Eco 4 Pack||Refill Bags, 30 Count|
|Overall||Not Recommended||Highly Recommended|
Questions / Comments?
If you have any personal experience with these or any questions or suggestions, please let us know.