Whether you’re outfitting your kitchen for the first time or have had one too many instances of the dreaded “food fallout” when you lose your food down the sink while trying to strain with a lid or plate, then you need a colander. One of the most affordable kitchen items available, a colander unites all foodies, from vegans to meat-eaters, spice lovers to bland Bettys.
Colanders are used primarily to drain water from food. That can mean rinsing fruit and veggies or straining a pot filled with cooked pasta or rice. Colanders can be used to wash foods, drain canned items, or strain cheese. Depending on the material the colander is made out of, it can also be used to steam food, or be placed over a frying pan to prevent splatter. Want to keep flies away from your fruit and vegetables? Invert your trusty colander and use it as a bug shield.
From kitchens with no storage space to ones with enough room to keep your beautiful new colander on display, any area that is used for food prep needs a colander. Or two. Check out our top picks below and enjoy worry-free straining.
1. LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander
Drain fine and large food items alike, and lots of them, with the multi-use LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander. The oversized design can handle an impressive amount of food at once, with the small holes making it possible to drain thin pasta and even rice without losing your food down the sink. The rust-proof, dishwasher-safe colander is made extra thick to resist bending, and features premium handles with riveted attachments that will stay on even after years of use. Ideal for fruit and vegetables, grains, and pasta, the metal colander is gentle on food and dishcloths and has a wide, stable ring base to help hold it in place.
LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander
2. U.S. Kitchen Supply Premium Quality Over The Sink Stainless Steel Oval Colander
BEST OVER THE SINK DESIGN
If you find yourself frequently washing fruit or vegetables and want to save some time and effort, a large colander that can be placed directly over the sink is your new best buddy. The U.S. Kitchen Supply Premium Quality Over The Sink Stainless Steel Oval Colander has a large six-quart capacity that can handle ample amounts of fruit and vegetables at once. The sturdy handles extend from 14 to 21 inches, making it possible to use straight across or at an angle over most kitchen sinks. The rust-resistant, fine-mesh stainless steel colander can be used with pasta and rice and be placed in the dishwasher when it’s time for cleanup.
U.S. Kitchen Supply Premium Quality Over The Sink Stainless Steel Oval Colander
3. HÖLM 3-Piece Stainless Steel Mesh Micro-Perforated Strainer Colander Set
Not all straining jobs require the same size colander, which is why we like this stainless steel set from HÖLM. The micro-perforated strainer can handle jobs big and small, from fruits and veggies to fine grains of rice and pasta. The BPA-free set is dishwasher safe and comes in 1, 2, and 4.5-quart sizes, all with secure handles. We also like that they can be nested together to create a space-saving storage solution.
HÖLM 3-Piece Stainless Steel Mesh Micro-Perforated Strainer Colander Set
4. Iongzon Collapsible Silicone Colanders
BEST COLLAPSIBLE DESIGN
Short on space but love to cook? Or, at least enjoy eating at home every once in a while? Then check out this collapsible colander set from Iongzon. Available in five bright colors because cooking is fun (we keep telling ourselves that), the set includes a 3-quart bowl with dual side handles and a 2-quart frying pan-style colander that has a convenient handle and can be used near heat sources. Both colanders collapse to less than 2 inches in thickness, are made with eco-friendly BPA-free rubber, and are heat resistant up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, making them ideal for straining hot vegetables, pasta, and rice.
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Iongzon Collapsible Silicone Colanders
5. Kitchen Gizmo Snap N Strain Strainer
Turn just about any pot, bowl, or pan into a colander with the smart design of the Kitchen Gizmo Snap N Strain Strainer. Available in five bright colors, the Snap N Strain easily snaps onto most kitchen containers, instantly turning them into a useful colander. The FDA-approved, BPA-free, and dishwasher-safe gizmo is a great option for anyone who wants a space-saving colander.
Kitchen Gizmo Snap N Strain Strainer
6. Recycled Bamboo Colander & Pour Bowl Set by Ekobo
The Recycled Bamboo Colander & Pour Bowl Set by Ekobo is going to get a lot of action in the kitchen thanks to its multi-use design and space-saving storage solution. The two-in-one bowl and colander make straining, mixing, and pouring easy. The perforated colander sits neatly inside the larger mixing bowl, which features a smartly designed handle that doubles as a spout. Easily drain food into the sink or larger bowl and use the bottom bowl for mixing or serving the salad you just finished rinsing. A great gift for yourself or to be given as a shower, housewarming, or wedding present, the set is available in small ($30) or large ($39) sizes, comes in five eye-catching colors, and is made from bamboo fiber that is free of BPA\, PVC, and phthalates.
Recycled Bamboo Colander & Pour Bowl Set by Ekobo
7. 2-in-1 Collapsible Salad Spinner & Colander
Most salad spinners are designed as a two-piece set consisting of a large colander and solid bowl base. The 2-in-1 Collapsible Salad Spinner & Colander puts the traditional style on its head and, well, spins it. The gadget works as a traditional colander and quickly turns into a spinner by moving the handle from a horizontal to a vertical position. Once in place, users can simply give the handle a few pushes to get the colander spinning, helping to get rid of excess water. A non-slip foot at the bottom of the colander and a space-saving slide-in option for the handle complete this smart kitchen must-have.
2-in-1 Collapsible Salad Spinner & Colander
8. Enamel Colander by Golden Rabbit
BEST DÉCOR PIECE
Sometimes being short on space in your kitchen is an opportunity to turn everyday items into pieces of décor. Case in point, the beautiful Enamel Colander by Golden Rabbit. Sure, you could stash these stunning colanders, which are available in 1.5 and 2-quart sizes and five colors, but why would you? The dishwasher- and stovetop-safe colander (you can steam with it!) is made from carbon steel, coated in porcelain enamel, and has a stainless steel rim, so it can handle just about anything in the kitchen. When you’re not straining with it, the colander can be used to hold fruit or vegetables on your counter as a showpiece.
Enamel Colander by Golden Rabbit
9. Farberware Professional Soft Grips Set of 3 Colanders
BEST BARGAIN SET
Unlike most items in the kitchen (we see you, stand mixers), a great colander doesn’t have to break the bank. Submitted for your approval: this high-quality set of three colanders from Farberware Professional. The dishwasher-safe plastic colanders have comfortable handle grips. You can easily distinguish between the three sizes thanks to their colors, including a 5-, 2.5- and .75-quart colander. Even though the set is super affordable, it still comes with a cool design inside to make cooking fun. We are really trying to make cooking fun.