I evaluated the Creative Baby Tidy as part of my official test of the best diaper pails for disposable diapers and chose it as the top value pick. Below, read my in-depth review of this excellent and easy-to-use diaper pail.
When shopping for a diaper pail, it’s best to prioritize its ability to mask and contain odors, but you’ll also want to consider its ease of use, size, capacity, childproofing and cleanability. The Creative Baby Tidy checks many of those boxes and costs $20-$40 less than my best diaper pail overall pick, the Ubbi, depending on your pail color choice. When the Creative Baby is on sale it’s about half the price of the Ubbi. All of these qualities add up to make the Creative Baby Tidy my top pick for the best value diaper pail.
You should expect to pay between $30 and $130 for a diaper pail, according to Patty Wu, the executive vice president and brand president for BuyBuy Baby, making the Creative Baby Tidy a bargain by any measure at $50. In addition to being reasonably priced, it features a smart design that contains odors without the use of pricey and scented refills. It’s easy to operate, naturally baby- and toddler-proof, and it fits easily into most nursery settings with its petite stature.
A Clean Design that Competently Blocks Odors
The Creative Baby Tidy is a smart option for those searching for a diaper pail that effectively combats odors for a good value. To report this story, I tested seven of the leading diaper pails currently on the market and researched many more. Of all the pails I tested, the Creative Baby features one of the most innovative designs to contain foul smells; its rotating lid activates a piston system, pushing dirty diapers down into the primary waste compartment of the pail. That heavy piston performs double duty: It not only helps dispose of soiled diapers, it also creates a secure seal to prevent aromas from emanating.
Given that odor is the main consideration most folks have in mind when shopping for a diaper pail, I evaluated the Creative Baby Tidy’s odor-blocking abilities using a variety of measures. I assessed the Creative Baby Tidy’s performance during critical interaction points, including when I was loading a dirty diaper into the pail, when I was removing a bag of diapers from the waste compartment and when I was walking by the diaper pail in my child’s nursery. I then awarded the pail a score based on its performance, using a 10-point Likert scale (with 10 being the best performance and 0 being the worst). I did this with all the diaper pail contenders. The Creative Baby Tidy received solid scores across each of these tests.
It’s easy to use a single hand to toss a soiled diaper into the pail, then use that same hand to rotate the lid, depositing the dirty into the trash bag below. During the 48-hour testing window, I rarely picked up foul smells when I was loading my toddler’s diapers into the pail. On day two of testing it, I did notice a bit of a stink when I bent close to the receptacle. The same was true when walking by the pail, or playing nearby in my child’s nursery. However, overall, it prevented odors from seeping out, and I wound up leaving this pail in my child’s room after testing.
The smelliest part of owning this diaper pail is changing the trash bag. To open the Creative Baby, you press a button and lift a lever. You then access the main waste compartment, where you remove the bag of diapers and load a new trash bag from a lollipop-shaped loop inside the pail. As you make this swap, the wide waste compartment releases all of the odors that have been trapped inside since the last time you opened the pail. Yuck. On day two of testing the Creative Baby, I discovered a helpful trick: When you lift the lever to access the waste compartment, you can grasp below the lollipop-shaped loop to remove the bag of soiled diapers, meaning that although the process still stinks (pun intended), it’s less smelly than putting your nose directly in an open bag of diapers.
Easy To Use And Fit Into A Nursery
My favorite aspect of the Creative Baby Tidy is how simple and easy it is to use. There are no lids to pop open or pull back. You never have to worry about accidentally submerging your hand into a bag of poopy diapers. To dispose of a diaper, you simply drop it into the top of the pail and pull on the handle to rotate the lid. The piston then pushes the diaper into the pail. The pail’s design isn’t only easy to operate with a single hand, it’s also inherently childproof. I never once worried about my 2-year-old getting into the pail while we were playing in her room. In fact, the Creative Baby Tidy is so intuitive to use that I occasionally allowed my kiddo to toss her (No. 1, only) diapers away—a responsibility she thoroughly enjoyed!
The Creative Baby Tidy is compact and easy to slide into the corner of a room or nursery. It stands just shy of 2-feet tall, and it’s 11 inches wide and 15 inches deep. The squat shape makes it easy to slide beneath shelving or a bookcase. That said, you do need a little more space to operate this pail compared with some of the others I tested (like the Ubbi, for instance). The rotating lid requires several inches of space on either side of the pail, and I found myself sliding the Creative Baby Tidy away from the wall of the nursery in order to empty its contents.
Its capacity is also the smallest of any of the diaper pails I tested, fitting just 10 toddler-size diapers and 20 newborn diapers at a time. As a result, I ended up changing the trash bag in my Tidy diaper two to three times per week. As a mom, I’m generally OK with that because it means that I’m getting those smelly diapers out of my house. But it’s a factor to keep in mind if you prefer to change your pail less.
No Pricey Trash Bags or Refills to Purchase
Diaper pails can be pricey, especially when you consider the cost of special trash bags and air freshener additions like the popular baking soda pucks. The beauty of the Creative Baby Tidy is that it works with standard kitchen bags and doesn’t incorporate any deodorizing products. Not only is this convenient from a cost perspective, it’s also a plus for those who are sensitive to fragrances.
Keep in mind that you’ll likely be exchanging the trash bag in your Creative Baby more frequently than with other pails. Even at the toddler stage, when kids go through fewer diapers each day, I found myself changing the bag in this pail two to three times per week. (Most negative customer reviews of the Tidy focus on the piston becoming stuck when the pail is too full of diapers). The cost of using two to three bags per week can add up, though standard kitchen bags tend to cost less than most diaper pail brand refills.
I’m a freelance journalist who loves reading and writing about the latest products, especially in the outdoor, lifestyle and parenting spaces. I have more than seven years of experience working in-house with brands and contributing to leading publications as a writer, editor and content strategist. I currently write for publications like The Ness Well, Avocado Magazine and UltraSignup. In the course of my career, I’ve written and overseen production of hundreds of gear guides and product reviews. I’m also the mom to a 2-year-old (going on 12) toddler with a baby on the way. I’ve changed thousands of diapers, and I’m getting ready to change a whole lot more.
In reporting this story, I spoke with a range of diaper pail and home goods experts including Mike Hahn, an industrial designer with experience working in sanitation; Patty Wu, the executive vice president and brand president of BuyBuyBaby; Samara Geller, senior director of cleaning science, and Sydney Swanson, a healthy living science analyst, both with the Environmental Working Group. I also interviewed Wendy Powell, the owner of the Seattle-based children’s resale store Childish Things.
How Does It Compare To Other Diaper Pails?
The Creative Baby Tidy Diaper pail stood out from the competition for how effectively it contains odors and how easy it is to operate. During the 48-hour testing window, I had to sniff at the pail to pick up any foul smells while loading a diaper and while spending time with my toddler in her room. Removing a bag of soiled diapers from the pail is a stinkier process, but I found that I could avoid exposing my nose to an open bag of used diapers by grasping the garbage bag beneath the lollipop-shaped loop in the pail’s waste compartment—a handy trick that reduced the odorous nature of this task.
If you’re searching for a true odor-blocking machine, our top overall diaper pail, the Ubbi, blocks odors more effectively than the Creative Baby. Its steel canister also means that it may resist the buildup of odors over time, making it a logical choice for caregivers who plan to hang onto the pail for a while. That said, the Creative Baby costs about $30 less than the Ubbi and doesn’t require more expensive refill bags that some other pails do, so it’s a smart choice for individuals and families interested in saving costs.
Like the Creative Baby, the Munchkin Step, another winning pail, is easy to use with a single hand, and also scored high marks in our test of the top diaper pails. That said, it requires brand-specific bag refills and uses a scented deodorizing puck to mask offensive aromas. The Creative Baby Tidy might be for you if you’re searching for a diaper pail that you can operate with a single hand and if you prefer to use products without fragrances.
How I Tested The Best Diaper Pails
The most effective diaper pails block odors like a pro. They’re intuitive to use and easy to clean, and they fit into most any living space. As an added perk, they may also feature a design or mechanism that keeps tiny hands out. During a 48-hour testing window, I used a variety of measures to assess these qualities in the Creative Baby. I loaded the pail with about 10 foul-smelling diapers by the end of the testing window.
Several of my tests focused on better understanding how the Creative Baby Tidy blocks odors. I therefore took detailed notes on its ability to contain odors at critical moments throughout the day, including when loading diapers into the pail, removing a bag of soiled diapers from the pail and when walking by the pail or spending time in my toddler’s room. I translated these observations to a set of ratings based on a 10-point Likert scale.
If a diaper pail is more complicated to use than a trash bin you might stash under your kitchen sink, it should be in service of keeping offensive aromas at bay. I therefore also collected data on how easy it was to operate each of the diaper pails I tested. I evaluated the Creative Baby’s mechanics by opening and closing its various levers and rotating the lid approximately 100 times. I also took notes of the diaper pail’s features, like construction, size and capacity, evaluated its childproof-ness and cleaned the pail.