The Playtex Diaper Genie has been a perennial parent favorite for years, and the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite mostly upholds that reputation. With antimicrobial plastic, five-layer bags and hands-free operation, the Diaper Genie Elite does its best to take the "ick factor" out of diaper disposal. However, reviewers dislike the pricey refills and say they get a smelly blast after opening the lid. Several owners also report quality issues.
Hands-free and no bending. Parents love the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite's height -- at 27 inches, the unit is tall enough to keep users from bending over when they insert a diaper. Reviewers also give the Genie Elite high praise for its hands-free operation. Parents need only step on a pedal to open the unit and toss in the diaper. They also say the plastic is easy to keep clean, especially since diapers don't come into contact with it. Most owners say it's easy to remove and replace liners, which must be cut from the unit with an included childproof cutter, then knotted. One expert says removing very full bags of diapers can be tricky because the pail is top-heavy.
Pricey refills and broken parts. The Playtex Diaper Genie Elite uses a proprietary plastic liner. A single refill seals up to 270 newborn diapers, and refills are commonly available in a three-pack (*Est. $20). Reviewers dislike spending money on the refills, and some parents say they've successfully used regular trash bags in the Genie Elite to save money. Reviews are mixed on whether the pail is built to last. Several owners have reported problems with broken parts, particularly the mechanism that opens and closes the lid.
Mixed reviews on odor control. Reviewers like the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite's antimicrobial plastic and five-layer bags, which are designed to keep germs at bay. They also say the pail keeps odors under control -- when it's closed, at least. Many users say they get a strong smell when they open the pail to put in a new diaper, and some also say the plastic absorbs odors over time. The Genie Elite can hold up to 38 diapers at a time, and parents say it's hard for a toddler to get into the pail. Some owners say they think the tall, slender design is sleek for a diaper pail. It is available in white and pink.
Review Credibility: Excellent The Playtex Diaper Genie Elite places second in BabyGearLab.com's test of six diaper pails. The Diaper Genie Essentials places first; the Diaper Champ Deluxe, Munchkin Arm & Hammer, Diaper Dekor Plus and Safety 1st Simple Step are also reviewed. Spurrier says the Diaper Genie Elite contains odor when it's closed, though users get a whiff when it's open. She likes the foot pedal and antimicrobial plastic. Because the Elite is tall, users don't have to bend down, she says. However, the unit is top heavy, which makes it prone to toppling, and taking out full bags can be tricky.
Review: Diaper Genie Elite Review, Juliet Spurrier, Jan. 6, 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent Babble.com's editors tested several diaper pails for at least two weeks using diapers from a baby and a toddler. They pick the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite as "Best for Germs," praising its antimicrobial plastic and five-layer bags. They also like the fact that users don't have to stuff diapers into the unit, and the foot pedal means they don't have to touch the pail. However, odors escaped when the unit was open, and sometimes the previous diaper wasn't automatically sucked into the unit, contributing to the smell factor.
Review: Babble Best Picks: Diaper Disposal Units, Editors of Babble.com, Not dated
3. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Excellent Baby Bargains, a comprehensive book by Denise and Alan Fields, reviews baby gear and common baby brands. The authors review six popular diaper pails, including the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite. They list pros and cons, considering cost, ease of use and odor control, and give each pail a letter grade.
Review: Around the House: Monitors, Diaper Pails, Safety & More, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good BabyCenter.com praises the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite in a non-comparative roundup of the six best diaper pails that did not earn top-pick status from moms or editors in the 2012 Baby Center Product Awards. Editors say users like the hands-free, no-diaper-stuffing operation. They also say the bags do a good job of keeping odor under control, and they like that the unit's height means parents don't have to bend over. However, some may find refills pricey.
Review: The Best Diaper Pails, Editors of BabyCenter.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good In more than 360 user reviews, the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite earns an overall rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. Owners like the Diaper Genie Elite's hands-free operation, foot pedal and height, which means no bending. Some say the pail contains smells well, but others complain that they get a strong odor every time they open the pail. Others say the plastic absorbs odor over time. Users don't like the pricey refills, though several reviewers say they have successfully used regular trash bags to save money. Some reviewers also say the unit is cheaply constructed, with several saying the mechanism that opens and closes the pail breaks easily.
Review: Playtex Diaper Genie Elite Diaper Disposal Pail, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good In a humorous but informative test, DadLabs.com's Nichols and Powell load up the Munchkin Arm & Hammer, Playtex Diaper Genie Elite and Diaper Dekor with chicken blood catfish bait. They put the pails in separate rooms and evaluate them on the strength of the odor when walking into the room, quickly opening and shutting the pail and leaving the pail open. The Diaper Genie Elite is a runner up to the Munchkin, scoring poorly in the open-pail test.
Review: Diaper Pail Sniff Test 2012, Clay Nichols and Brad Powell, Not dated
7. Yahoo! Voices
Review Credibility: Very Good A mother of twins reviews the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite, Diaper Champ Deluxe and Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail after using each model extensively with her sons. Of the three pails, it's the easiest to get a diaper into, but she says the Elite refills can be hard to find and are difficult to cut and tie when small children are in the room. Diapers often didn't fill the bags before the pail was full, wasting space, and the room "always smelled vaguely of diaper odor." The pail seems flimsy and a crucial part broke and could not be repaired, she says.
Review: Diaper Pail Reviews from a Mother of Twins, "McMillen ", Sept. 27, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Monica Beyer reviews four popular diaper pails and bags but does not compare them. The Playtex Diaper Genie Elite earns praise for its hands-free operation and antimicrobial plastic. A parent notes that the unit contains odors if it's closed, but not when it's open. The review is brief, but is based upon parental input.
Review: Can Anything Contain the Diaper Stink?, Monica Beyer, July 19, 2012
Review Credibility: Good In a video review, Candace Whitman of HappyTimeBaby.com compares the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite, Diaper Genie Essentials and Munchkin Arm & Hammer pails. The Elite comes out on top for its hands-free operation and high capacity, but Whitman does not note any cons.
Review: Best Diaper Pails Review by Happy Time Baby, Candace Whitman, Sept. 2, 2012