Dekor Plus Review
Pros: Hands-free, child-proof, refills made of 20% recycled materials
Cons: Poor odor control, scented refills smell bad, trap door doesn't always open
Manufacturer: Diaper Dekor
Our Analysis and Test Results
Dékor is a European company created for the North American market. Dekor has been a proprietary brand of Regal Lager Inc since 2000 and is the only distributor of the Dekor Diaper Pails in Canada and the United States. Other brands distributed by Regal Lager include Love to Dream, Qdos, and Lascal.
This pail claims to be hands-free for diaper disposal which is true for the most part. The foot pedal works well to lift the lid, and under the lid 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. Yay! However, we found that lighter diapers need to be pushed through because they aren't heavy enough to activate the trap door. This process can lead to the diaper contents spilling on your hand or the door.
The Dekor system has several child-proof features including a trap door lock, a button to keep the top lid closed, locking closed bottom access door, and childproof door-mounted cutter. However, all this great childproofing translates to a two-hand operation to unlock the pail and throw diapers away.
Despite three levels of odor defense system that include a trap door, sealing lid, and scented bags, this product has disappointing odor control. Part of the problem is the trap door system allows a giant cloud of stank to float out with each deposit, and the hands-free sealing lid fans the odors into the room as it closes. So even if the door works as it should, you can expect a puff of poop to hit your nostrils with each deposit. Dekor claims that the strong ABS plastic they use to make the pail body is less likely to absorb and retain odors like the competition. However, the overall smell coming from this product is so strong that you aren't likely to notice if the ABS plastic smells or not.
Interestingly, the 3rd level of defense, the powder scented refills are part of the problem with odor containment. There are two different kinds of refills including regular (white, $15 for a 2-pack) and biodegradable (green, $16 for a 2-pack). Both have a strong powder scent that, in our opinion, exacerbates the poop odor instead of improving it. The combination of powder and poop is more than we can stand and brings up a strong compulsion to vomit. We suspect the bags would be easier to handle if they weren't scented or at least offered an unscented version for people sensitive to smells. Personally, we think it is better to neutralize odors (like with baking powder) than to make attempts to mask them, which is all a scented bag can offer.
Changing refills on the Dekor is difficult and requires paying special attention to the directions and videos to help you install them correctly. If the refills become unruly on the dispenser, they 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 frequently got frustrated and had to start over with a new refill (which is a waste). If the trap door gets stuck open even a little, then you end up with a pail that has almost no odor containment, and you might as well use a simple trash can.
The bag refills are 20% recycled materials (a mixture of post-consumer and commercial) which is kind of cool. The biodegradable refills theoretically break down quicker, making them seem like a no-brainer to buy. However, from an environmental standpoint, the biodegradable refills are unlikely to break down as quickly as you think. In a typical landfill, biodegradable materials aren't exposed to the dirt, oxygen, and microbes that are necessary for the aerobic breakdown, meaning that decomposition is a much slower 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.
The Dekor claims a cost-saving compared to the Diaper Genie systems citing that the Dekor refills hold more than the 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. The estimated lifetime cost of this product is $203 which is very reasonable compared to the Diaper Genie with a lifetime estimate of $308. Given its poor odor control and vomit-inducing scented bags, we feel the added cost buys you nothing but smells.
While some people are fans of the trap door system and the fun color options, we believe you can get a better quality system for a lower lifetime price. With issues like odors wafting from the trap door, its cumbersome design and the bag issues make this pail last on our list and one we don't recommend.
Diaper Dekor Plus Demo
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team