The lid opens smoothly, without smacking the wall behind it, and it can be locked open so you can toss scraps in while you cook. If a garbage bag breaks and leaks, the plastic insert on this can will catch the mess and make it far easier to clean up. This under-counter trash can is sturdy, and it glides easily on its pull-out track. It comes pre-assembled, and installing it is a no-brainer. The track comes pre-assembled, and it takes only eight screws to mount it to the base of your cupboard.
Plus, the whole thing comes with a generous five-year warranty. This small trash can sits securely on a cabinet door and frees up space in a snug kitchen. It hooks snugly over a cupboard door and fits 2. Like the pull-out bin we recommend, this can comes with a five-year warranty. This plastic trash can held bags more securely than most of the other less expensive bins we tested, and it seals in garbage smells surprisingly well. Two plastic arms on the rim of the can hold bags securely in place and out of sight, and the lid sealed in stinky trash better than those on any other model we tested.
To find out what makes a great trash can, I turned to multiple experts for guidance. For information about trash cans for people with disabilities, I consulted Richard Hunt , an expert in the law of accessible design and the author of the blog Accessibility Defense. As a senior staff writer for Wirecutter, I have reviewed all kinds of kitchen gadgets and equipment. My research builds on the work of former Wirecutter senior staff writer Kevin Purdy, who wrote the first version of this guide in One of the most important things to consider when choosing a kitchen trash can is how you access it.
With the exception of some in-cabinet models, most cans have lids. Here are the most important features we looked for when selecting which trash cans to test:. Durable materials: According to our experts, stainless steel bins with tight-fitting lids are best for keeping inquisitive pets and pesky insects or rodents at bay.
It has to be something sturdy. We prioritized stainless steel bins when deciding what to test, but we included some plastic bins in the budget category. The only exception is the small Simplehuman In-Cabinet Can we recommend, which fits regular plastic grocery bags and may be preferable for people with tiny kitchens. Some manufacturers are notorious for selling custom-fit bags with their trash cans are your ears burning, Simplehuman?
Some trash cans had a maze of channels and indentations on the bottom of the bin that were a nightmare to clean, and we ruled those out quickly. Tight-sealing: We looked for trash cans with tight-sealing lids and minimal gaps, to keep odors in and fruit flies out. That said, we had a hard time finding trash cans without some sort of hole in them.
Some bins have cutouts for handles, and others have openings on the bottom of the can. In most cases, the holes were blocked when placed against a wall, but we did our best to find trash cans with minimal gaps or holes on the outer can. We also included a couple of lidless in-cabinet models in our tests in , because we wanted to have an option for those who store their trash under the sink by necessity, due to space limitations.
Sturdy but easy to move: For step cans in particular, we wanted to find models that would be heavy enough to remain in place while you open them but still light enough for you to move around your kitchen. We avoided cans that were overly stylized or just plain ugly. For our update, we tested nine new trash cans against two of our existing picks. We started by looking at how easy they were to use: For models that had a foot pedal, we tried pressing the pedal with a variety of forces and from different angles.
If the trash can had a lid, we watched to see whether it had a controlled opening and closing mechanism or if it hit the wall behind it. We also made sure each lid could remain propped open for long prep tasks, and we scraped carrot peels into each can from a large wood cutting board to see whether the mouth was sufficiently wide.
We fit each of the full-size cans we tested with a or gallon trash bag depending on the size of the can to see how securely the bags fit. Then we dumped another bag filled with 40 pounds of cat litter and 5 quarts of water into each trash can to see whether the weight caused the liner bag to slip down inside. We then pulled everything out of the can to see whether the liner bag got caught or was difficult to remove.
We wiped down the trash cans, inside and out, with spray cleaner and paper towels to see how easy they were to clean. To test how well the lids remained closed, we knocked the trash cans over nearly all of the lids flew open.
Finally, after eliminating several trash cans that failed our first tests, we tried to create the stinkiest trash scenario possible by combining onions, garlic, hard-boiled eggs, canned tuna, Danish blue cheese, Camembert, and kimchi in each of our step-can and touch-top finalists. We put the lids on the cans and let each one sit in a separate enclosed room over a weekend to see how well they contained the trash smells.
Note: We tested the small in-cabinet can we recommend separately for our guide to small kitchens , and our testing procedure was a little different. We installed it in a cabinet in a small apartment, and used it daily over the course of a month to see how easy it was to change bags and clean, and to see how well the lid sealed in odors.
A removable inner bin keeps trash bags hidden in the can and makes it easy to clean up garbage leaks. The lid opens and shuts smoothly and silently, tightly sealing in odors. We also love the ridge inside the can that allows you to prop up the inner bin while changing a bag, and the small switch that allows you to lock the lid open for longer clean-up jobs. The cherry on top: This can also comes with an impressive year warranty.
If a trash bag breaks or leaks, the interior bucket comes to the rescue. The interior bucket is also handy for those times when your trash is so heavy that carrying the bag solo is too dicey. You can pull the entire bucket out and carry it to your trash drop without the risk of the bag breaking or leaking.
Any excess bag can also be tucked into a hole on the back of the bucket before you lower it back down. The bags we put in this can fit tightly and securely, even after we weighed them down with 40 pounds of cat litter and five quarts of water.
And though Simplehuman sells expensive custom-fit bags for this trash can, most or gallon drawstring bags fit perfectly. The internal air-pressure damper is quiet and prevents the lid from slamming closed. There are also no gaps between the lid and the inner bucket, which helps control smells and deter fruit flies.
Only the tallest, most persistent dogs would be able to knock it over although note that the lid cannot be locked shut. But when you do need to move the bin around your kitchen, a handle cutout in the back of the can makes it easier to pick up. The wide mouth on the Rectangular Step Can allows you to easily empty a large bowl or cutting board loaded with scraps into the bucket. If you need to keep the lid open for larger clean-up jobs, a handy little red switch in the rear right corner allows you to lock the lid firmly in its upright position.
Other cans sometimes allow you to raise the lid past its opening point to temporarily stay up, only to come right back down with the slightest bump. The Rectangular Step Can is covered by a year warranty , and Simplehuman also sells replacement parts. The handle cut-out in the top rear of the Rectangular Step Can makes this model easier to move, but it has the potential to let out the trash smell. However, we found that the scent stayed well contained in our stinky trash test when the can was placed against a wall.
Despite the fact that both cans get used far more than a typical household trash can would, their pedal action is as smooth and even as the day we got them, and neither has any major dents. Unlike the Rev-A-Shelf trash can we tested, the Under-Counter Pull-Out Can requires no assembly and takes only eight screws to mount the track to the bottom of your cabinet. Simplehuman also sells a two-compartment under-counter can , which has an additional bin for recycling.
Its hook attaches snugly to a cupboard door, and the bin fits 2. The In-Cabinet Can has a sturdy metal frame that attaches to a cabinet door with a foam-lined hook, so it requires no installation or assembly. And keep in mind that if you have narrow cabinets, you may have to slide the frame closer to the door hinges for it to clear the opening. We also like that, unlike many other in-cabinet bins, this can has a flip-top lid for containing trash odors and deterring fruit flies.
You have to open the lid manually since it lacks a foot pedal or push-button opening mechanism, but it props open for longer cleaning and prep tasks. This bin fits 2. Like the pull-out bin we recommend, the In-Cabinet Can comes with a five-year warranty. Impressively, it contained smells better than any other trash can we tested. The plastic arms around the inner rim of the can keep bags from sliding down into the bin and also hide any excess bag from showing.
We also like that the lid can stay propped open for long prep tasks. To fit a bag on the can, you lift the arms, tuck the bag around them, then lower them onto the rim of the can. The lid sometimes fell while we were trying to get the bag on, which made the process a little trickier, but after a few attempts we got the hang of it.
The arms work best with drawstring bags, but other bag styles will work, albeit with a bit more fuss. If you bump the bin slightly, the lid will most likely shut. We like that the black plastic hides stains well, but it will still show dust and need to be wiped down occasionally.
Here are our top picks for kitchen trash cans, according to our testing. From considering size and shape to material and mounting options, the decision needs to include how, where, and who will use the trash can most. Optimal size for your kitchen trash can depends on household size; whether you compost, compact , or otherwise get rid of some kitchen waste; and space available.
Kitchen trash cans typically range from 12 to 16 gallons for households with multiple users, though some are as small as 7 gallons. Many kitchen trash cans also come in rectangular, oval, or circular designs to fit better into your kitchen space and for your personal preference. Rectangular cans are considered one of the best options throughout a home for under a counter or in a corner. Freestanding models are large, with greater capacities, and they can be moved around the kitchen as needed.
They also offer a wider variety of design options, including shape, manual or electric lid, and lid designs. However, they can also get knocked over. Homes with pets or children might find trash spilled across the floor if the can sits in a busy area. Mounted kitchen trash cans offer the benefit of staying in place.
Some mount to the kitchen wall, where you can deposit food scraps while cooking. Others mount under the cabinet or sink, staying accessible but out of sight. They also might not have the capacity a large family requires. Kitchen trash cans are typically made of polyvinyl chloride PVC , which is a heavy-duty plastic, or of other various metals.
A lid holds trash bags in place, keeps smells at bay, and deters curious pets. Some models feature domed lids with a swinging door attached by hinges. Users simply push the door to deposit trash. Still other models feature a touch-free lid opened either by stepping on a pedal at the base of the can or by activating a sensor that responds to hand motion. Additional features can make the trash can easier and more convenient to use.
Some of the most common include:. Beyond trusted brands, the trash cans on this list have the durability, size, and extra features that make them practical and easy to use. An extra-wide rim adds strength to this second weak point.
During testing, we found that it pays to keep a slow, steady pressure on the pedal; a quick step makes the lid fly up and perhaps come loose from the pegged moorings that hold it in place. This model features a liner-lock retainer band to lock the trash bag in place, preventing slippage.
The band lifts out of the trash can to make it easier to remove bags and keeps the trash bag fully hidden from the outside. Designed for use indoors, outdoors, or in a commercial setting, this all-purpose swing-top trash can from Umbra features a clean, sleek design. Durable polypropylene is easy to clean and ensures years of use. The thick neck ring holds the trash bag securely while hiding it, keeping the sleek look but not sacrificing the solid hold necessary when the bag gets full.
Our testing found that the top swings very easily, yet the pegs hold it firmly, avoiding the mess that can result from a top that fails right as the trash drops in. Though this is a This is a much taller trash can than most, at 35 inches high. But we discovered the shape and weight distribution of the trash can makes it tough to knock it over, so this is an ideal option for busy kitchens.
For sleek design and hands-free operation, look no further. The can includes a strong and wide steel pedal for hands-free use. We noted that the pedal can be tough to operate, especially for children or those with mobility issues. This upgrade pick features a trash bag storage compartment on the back of the can that made for easy access when it was time to empty.
Technology built into the lid slows its opening and closing, so we enjoyed quiet operation during our tests. This simplehuman trash can comes in five finishes, including a brushed stainless steel that resists fingerprints. However, this trash receptacle can dent quite easily, so choose placement carefully to avoid bumps during day-to-day use. A kitchen is able to operate smoothly and cleanly with a touchless trash can like this gallon pick from Ninestars.
The top of the can has a wide opening that we noted can easily accommodate a large pizza box or a milk jug or two without the need for awkward maneuvering. A quick-open motion sensor cues the lid to quietly pop at the mere wave of a hand. The lid function is fast and complete and holds open for about 5 seconds; simply wave a hand again to keep it open for longer.
It also has an open-close button to hold the lid open for longer periods. The trash can runs on batteries; we found that while alkalines work just fine, rechargeables do not. A removable ring liner holds trash bags securely in place while also concealing the top of the bag for a clean look. This dual trash can by simplehuman includes a large bin for recycling and a smaller bin for trash or switch it up and use the larger one for trash instead. The sturdy step, engineered to last for more than , steps, opened the top with ease in our testing.
The lid can also lock open to save time and pedal wear when doing meal prep or cleaning out the fridge.
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