Hands-on Gear Review

Diaper Genie Elite Review

Diaper Genie Elite.  Pail holds up to 38 newborn/stage I diapers.  Built-in ultra-fresh antimicrobial protection in plastic of pail inhibits odor-causing bacteria.  Taller than other diaper pails  no need to bend down to insert diapers.
Price:   $37.06 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to dispose of diapers, tall ergonomic design
Cons:  Expensive, requires special bags and carbon filters
Bottom line:  A compromise between the best odor control and ease-of-use that costs the most
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
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  • 4
  • 5
Dimensions:  10.5" W x 13" D x 27.5" H
Estimated Diaper Capacity:  Newborn: 38
Type of Refill:  Playtex Refill Cartridge
Manufacturer:   Playtex

The Skinny

Although the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite came in second place, it was edged out by its brother, the Diaper Genie Essentials in almost every metric. We found the Elite was stinkier than the Essentials when disposing of a dirty diaper, despite its double-clamp AirLock design and new carbon filter. However, the Elite does offer a more ergonomic design with increased height and a foot pedal for hands-free operation, and we also like the built-in antimicrobial protection in the pail's plastic. Overall though, these perks weren't enough to earn it an award in our review and with a high initial cost and the highest lifetime investment, this product is one we do not recommend.

Update — April 2016
The Diaper Genie Elite has been replaced by the new Diaper Genie Complete. Because the Elite is not readily available for retail, we are now linking to the Complete in this review. We haven't gotten our hands on it to do a full review, but you can read on below to learn about some of the differences.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Diaper Pail Review


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

Last Updated:
Monday
May 11, 2015

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Elite vs. Complete


Both of these Diaper Genie products boast the same carbon filter odor control system, along with a tall ergonomic shape and foot pedal for easy, hands free, disposal. The Diaper Genie Complete can be used with the old refill bags. The new version has a front tilt open for emptying the pail, some users commented that this was easier than the older top open method. It is also available in 5 different colors. There were mixed user reviews on odor control, some saying that it wasn't as effective at containing odors, while others claimed that it worked just as well in terms of odor control and had much better ease of use features. The photos below show the different methods of emptying the pail, with the Diaper Genie Elite on the left and the Complete in the center and on the right.
Diaper Genie Elite

Hands on Review


The Playtex Diaper Genie Elite with Carbon filter is a hands free pedal operated pail that has an odor fighting carbon filter in the lid. This pail uses proprietary refill cartridges made with 7 layers to help fight odors. This product features a double clamp for individual diaper containment and odor retention and built-in antimicrobial inhibits odors caused by bacteria on the pail. It has a list price of $38 dollars, refill holds up to 270 newborn diapers, pail holds 38 diapers, and has an ergonomic design.

Performance Comparison


Playtex Diaper Genie Elite is the tallest model in this review and has a nice ergonomic design with flip top lid and foot pedal activation
Playtex Diaper Genie Elite is the tallest model in this review and has a nice ergonomic design with flip top lid and foot pedal activation

Odor Control


The new Playtex Diaper Genie Elite has an odor absorbing activated carbon filter attached to the lid of the pail. While this should help contain odors  our repeatedly fell off and we didn't notice an improvement on odors over the previous model that offered no filter
The new Playtex Diaper Genie Elite has an odor absorbing activated carbon filter attached to the lid of the pail. While this should help contain odors, our repeatedly fell off and we didn't notice an improvement on odors over the previous model that offered no filter
The Diaper Genie Eliteā„¢ System with Carbon Filter has many features that set it apart from the competition for potential odor control. With its unique double-clamp AirLock design, a 7 layer bag, antimicrobial plastic and carbon filter built into the lid it should contain odors relatively well. Unfortunately, it did not do as well in odor containment as its less expensive brother the Diaper Genie Essentials; it scored a respectable second best in this all-important category tying with the Diaper Champ, but for the added cost and hassle of the carbon filter, it should have come in higher or at least on par with the simpler Diaper Genie product. The Elite scored a 6 for odor control with the Essentials coming in with a 9. The Ubbi earned the lowest score for odors with a 3.
The open "mouth" design of the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite allows excessive odors to escape with each new diaper added
The open "mouth" design of the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite allows excessive odors to escape with each new diaper added
The Elite does as great job as the Essentials at containing odor when the system is closed, but falls behind when disposing of a dirty diaper. The same open-throat that makes it so easy to drop in a dirty diaper, provides clear access for a whiff of stinky air to emerge from the bag full of dirty diapers inside the pail every time you add a new diaper to the pot. For this reason, the Diaper Genie Elite lost out to its lower-cost sibling the Diaper Genie Essentials in the odor control category. However, the amount of stink that escapes is minor, and the Diaper Genie Elite outperformed most of the other competitors. Both Genies use the same refill bags, but only the Elite has built-in antimicrobial protection in the pail's plastic which the manufacturer claims inhibits odor-causing bacteria, and the activated carbon filter.

Ease of Disposal


Diaper Genie Elite.  Easy to use foot pedal that allows hands-free opening.
Diaper Genie Elite. Easy to use foot pedal that allows hands-free opening.
The Elite has simple to operate hands-free foot pedal that makes diaper disposal easy. However, we did find several user reviews citing broken foot pedals and closing mechanisms, which gives us pause, but in our experience the mechanism held true. Disposal is done by stepping on the foot pedal and dropping the diaper into the pail when the lid opens. There is no need to push the diaper in and the diaper doesn't come in contact with the actual pail so it will not need constant cleaning like the Diaper Champ.

The Elite is taller and more ergonomic than the Essentials, so you don't have to bend over to dispose of diapers and you don't have to lift the lid to make your deposit; two wins in our opinion. The taller height of the Elite does not translate into a larger capacity, as it holds the same amount of diapers because a lot of the interior space is taken up by its unique internal double-clamp AirLock design, as well as the foot pedal.

Ease of Bag Changes


The Playtex Diaper Genie Elite refills are easier to install than the Dekor refills
The Playtex Diaper Genie Elite refills are easier to install than the Dekor refills
Changing bags on the Elite could be easier and it came in 3rd place for this reason with a 6 of 10. The Arm and Hammer Munchkin earned the high score of 8 of 10 in this metric with its simple snap and close design, and the Ubbi once again came in last with a 3.

Diaper Genie Elite.  Easy to empty: cut film with built-in childproof cutter  tie  and throw diapers away.
Diaper Genie Elite. Easy to empty: cut film with built-in childproof cutter, tie, and throw diapers away.
The Elite is top-heavy which makes it a bit more cumbersome to remove a bag of diapers; however, if you keep your foot on the pedal during a change this will prevent the can from tipping over. The procedure for changing a bag with the Elite is the same as the Essentials in that the odor exposure is minimal and cutting the film with internal child-proof scissors, tying it off, and creating a new bag is a simple. Additionally, the combination of being tall and top-heavy leaves the Elite more prone to toppling over in the midst of a curiously active toddler or child. The foot pedal, however, does make it a bit less likely that junior will be stuffing toys down the contraption when you aren't looking. Though not a true child-proof mechanism, it does help with the problem.

The filter in the lid of the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite is another item you will have to purchase regularly to get the most out of this pail
The filter in the lid of the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite is another item you will have to purchase regularly to get the most out of this pail

Best Applications


There isn't a best application for this model of Diaper Genie. The cheaper and more odor effective Essentials is really the better buy offering more odor protection for a cheaper price than the Elite, without the cumbersome top heavy design and prone to falling out carbon filter. Not only did we prefer the odor fighting properties of the Essentials better, we also liked the over design more than the Elite. In short, we feel it is a better investment to spend less in this case and go with the Cheaper Diaper Genie and save yourself the hassle of falling pails and extra purchases of carbon filters.

Value/Estimated Lifetime Cost


Refill for Diaper Genie Elite & Diaper Genie Essentials. Refill holds up to 270 newborn-sized diapers. 7-layer refill bag helps seal in odor and germs. Easy to replace refill: tie knot & replace cartridge.
Refill for Diaper Genie Elite & Diaper Genie Essentials. Refill holds up to 270 newborn-sized diapers. 7-layer refill bag helps seal in odor and germs. Easy to replace refill: tie knot & replace cartridge.
Total cost of ownership over the course of 4 years with one child and an estimated 5,000 diapers is around $335; $281 of which is the Genie Proprietary refills. The refills for carbon filters will be another added cost, but on a one for one basis the comparison without filters is $27 more than the Essentials. Compared to the Diaper Champ Deluxe, this is about $5/month more. Whether cost or odor containment is more important to you this product is just not the best choice. It is more expensive than both award winning products and only contains odors as well as the Diaper Champ which is significantly cheaper overall.

Conclusion


This isn't a bad little diaper disposal system and it did come in second place for overall score in our tests. However, it didn't manage odors as well as its cheaper brother, our Editors' Choice winner, and it is significantly more expensive over a lifetime than our Best Value winner which shares its odor control score. While we liked the taller ergonomic design and simple foot pedal operation, the wafting odor with each new diaper deposit has us feeling not too keen on this pail overall. If you feel comfortable being penned into buying proprietary bags for you pail and you are good at planning ahead so you always have refills on hand, then the Diaper Genie Essentials is the better buy with a cheaper price and a higher score. If you want the convenience and economy of a pail that uses kitchen bags you already have, then the Diaper Champ earned the same score for odor control. No matter what your primary concern, the Elite failed to measure up to the competition.

Other Versions and Accessories


We also tested the Diaper Genie Essentials in this review. The Essentials scored higher overall and performed better in our odor containment sniff tests than its more expensive brother. We liked the essentials so much that we gave it our Editors' Choice award, above the supposedly superior Elite.

Video


Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

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Most recent review: May 11, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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