The Playtex Diaper Genie is the undisputed champ of diaper pails—there are millions of them in nurseries around the world. Unlike regular diaper pails that use plain ol’ kitchen trash bags, the Diaper Genie wraps each diaper with thick plastic dispensed from a cartridge. The success of the Diaper Genie can be attributed to one key factor: it stinks less than regular diaper pails.
And that’s helpful if you live in a condo or apartment and can’t always run dirty diapers out to a trash can.
But those refill cartridges can get expensive to buy. And today you have more choices than Playtex’s own company brand of refill bags. For this article, we wrapped 30 stinky diapers with different refill bags to see if less expensive bags did the job. Did they control odor? Were they as easy to use as the original? What were the trade-offs to save money?
Here’s what we found: for the best odor control, Playtex’s own Diaper Genie Refill Bags still come out on top. Here’s a quick overview of the testing results:
What We Liked
• The least stink. This was especially true when baby starts solid foods. Now this doesn’t mean the nursery we tested was completely stink-free—it was just less stinky than the less expensive refill alternatives by a rather large margin.
• Thick plastic that doesn’t tear. That’s one of the downsides to the cheaper bags—even though they all claim to be made from seven layers of plastic, our testing shows some of the cheaper ones tear much easier than the Playtex bags. And if you’ve ever encountered a torn open bag of dirty diapers, you’ll understand why this feature is so important!
What Needs Work
• Only fits current models. The Diaper Genie has been around since the 90’s, so there are many older pails floating around garage sales. Be aware that this cartridge only works with the most current Diaper Genie models and isn’t backwards compatible.
• Hard to find the beginning of the roll. In our testing, some of our parent testers couldn’t find the beginning of the roll—and mistakenly pulled on the wrong end. That ruined an entire cartridge worth of refills! It would be great if the company addressed this flaw.
• Pricey. We know—these official Diaper Genie Refill Bags are expensive. Our recommendation: use less expensive bags when baby is nursing or on formula—those diapers are less stinky. Then when baby starts solid foods (usually around six months), switch to Playtex bags to better contain the odor.