Hands-on Gear Review
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Price: $44 list | Available for $38 from Amazon
Pros: Hands-free, child-proof, refills made of 20% recycled materials
Cons: Poor odor control, scented refills smell, trap door doesn't open with a lightly soiled diaper
Bottom line: Not our favorite. Look elsewhere.
The Diaper Dekor scored fifth out of all 6 diaper pails we tested, namely because it tested poorly in odor control (3 out of 10). Considering that you will need to spend money on proprietary refills with the Dekor, it makes more sense to purchase a system that will have better odor control. If it is a hands-free operation that you are after, consider the Diaper Genie Elite. However, for best odor control, take a look at the Diaper Genie Essentials.
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BabyGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Diaper Dekor Plus is a hands-free, refill-based diaper disposal system that didn't impress us for many reasons. Poor odor control is the biggest one. Interestingly, the refills are part of our complaint about the Dekor's ability to contain odor. There are 2 different kinds of refills to use with the Dekor system, regular (white, $15 for a 2-pack) and biodegradable (green, $16 for a 2-pack). Both have a strong, powder-scent which, in our opinion, exacerbates odor rather than improving it. The combination of powder scent combined with poop is almost more than we can stand. And, though the system is designed to trap odors in, it does not do so well when disposing a diaper. The foot pedal works well to lift the lid, but then there is a trap door that you set the diaper on. If the diaper is heavy enough, the trap door will open, the diaper will fall through, and the trap door will close. However, we found a few problems with this trap door concept. First, when the trap door opens, odors come out. Then the lid closes pushing the escaped odor into the room. Second, a lightly soiled diaper will not open the trap door, making it necessary to push it through with your hand. Lastly, pay attention to the directions guiding you through the refill installation as they have to be installed just right. If the refills become unruly on the dispenser, then can bunch up making it difficult for the trap door to open and close properly. It is hard to remedy this situation once it occurs and we found ourselves getting frustrated and just starting over with a new refill. If the trap door gets stuck opened even just a bit, then you end up having a pail much like the lower cost Safety 1st Simple Step.
Nonetheless, there are some cool things about the Dekor system. The refills are made of 20% recycled materials (a mixture of post consumer and commercial). Also, the biodegradable refills theoretically break down quicker. Conceptually, using the biodegradable refills seems like a no-brainer. However, from an environmental standpoint, the biodegradable refills may not break down so slowly. When landfills are packed, as they often are, biodegradable materials aren't exposed to the dirt, oxygen, and microbes that are necessary for aerobic breakdown, meaning that decomposition is a much, much slower anaerobic process. Additionally, we found many user reviews citing their opinion that the biodegradable refill does not contain odor as well as the regular white refill.
Overall, the Dekor claims a cost savings compared to the Diaper Genie system citing that the Dekor refills hold more than the competing Diaper Genie refills. One Dekor refill will hold up to 580 newborn diapers which Dekor estimates is almost twice the number of newborn diapers than a Diaper Genie refill. They cite a cost savings of up to $70 with the Dekor Plus. Dekor offers three sizes to its diaper pail system: Classic ("regular size"), Plus, and XL. Each holds increasingly more diapers. However, the best cost savings with number of diapers/refill is with the Plus.
The Dekor system may be easier to use when baby gets older or there are already older siblings as it has many child-proof features: the trap door locks, a button keeps the top lid closed, the bottom access door locks when closed, and the door-mounted cutter is child-proof. Once you get to the point where you'll be locking the trap door, just remember that you will need your hands to unlock it in order to throw away a diaper! In addition, Dekor claims that the strong ABS plastic is less likely to absorb odor which can be a big problem as in the Diaper Champ. The ABS plastic is also scratch-resistant and will not discolor over time, even if cleaned with bleach. Lastly, the Dekor can convert to a regular trash can if desired once the diaper days are over. But in all honesty, we wouldn't want to keep it around.
Despite the above interesting features of the Dekor, it's our feeling the the system doesn't deliver on what really matters, excellent odor control. And, while we really wanted to like the Diaper Dekor Plus, it ended up being a disappointment.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD
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Most recent user review: January 6, 2012
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