When it comes to designing your kitchen, there are some fundamentals that take precedence. Your oven, stove top and fridge/freezer are almost certainly at the top of your list. This makes a lot of sense as you use these appliances regularly and see them every day, so they should function well and look amazing, too. However, what’s strange is that people rarely seek out the best kitchen trash can, yet these parameters equally apply to this key part of your kitchen.
Choose a trash can that’s too small, and you’ll end up changing the bag every day. Choose one that’s too big, and it’ll likely start to smell before it’s time to empty it. Pick an ugly one, and it may very well end up distracting from all your other gorgeous appliances and kitchen decor.
You can, of course, go for an in-cupboard garbage can, which sidesteps the aesthetic element. However, if that’s not an option, or if you’re looking for a free-standing trash can that ticks all the boxes, check out this list of the 12 best kitchen trash cans below.
1. Simplehuman Semi-Round Step Trash Can
Stylish, sleek and functional are the words that come to mind when describing the Simplehuman Semi-Round Step Trash Can. It may be a premium-price option, but that’s more than made up for in the trash can’s quality construction and design. From the smart, internal hinge, which prevents the lid from scraping nearby walls, to the liner rim, which both secures and hides the liner, the designers of this trash can really thought of everything. It comes in two beautiful, stainless steel finishes, and the large capacity makes it more than capable of dealing with large households. There’s also a silent-close lid to ensure you won’t be annoying or waking anyone up with a clang as it closes. Furthermore, the strong, wide steel pedal has been engineered to last up to 150,000 steps, ensuring you’ll get plenty of use from this stylish trash can.
In short, this may just be the best kitchen trash can ever designed. If the Semi-Round Step can is too large for your cramped apartment, the 45L Step Kitchen Trash Can has the same features but a more compact design. Simple Human does make smart trash cans with motion sensor lids, but we prefer the simpler step cans.
2. Hefty Pivot-Lid Trash Can
The Hefty Pivot-Lid Trash Can is a stylish and functional trash can that doesn’t cost a pretty penny. This budget-friendly option features a hefty pivot lid that keeps the can closed and prevents unpleasant odors from escaping. The 50-liter capacity is large enough for most households, and it is just the right size for standard 13-gallon trash bags. Furthermore, this trash can is made from a tough plastic which is both durable and lightweight.
3. Rubbermaid Black Step-On Trash Can
If, like a lot of people, you prefer not to come into contact with the trash can when you’re putting things inside, the Rubbermaid Black Step-On Trash Can could be the right choice for you. The built-in stainless steel foot pedal provides hands-free operation, while the liner lock feature allows you to secure any kind of trash bag inside. It’s also available in either black or white and is constructed from a rugged plastic which is easy to wipe clean when it gets dirty.
4. OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin
BEST COMPOST BIN
If you’re looking for a way to collect your organic waste before dumping it outside on your compost heap, check out this OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin. The conveniently-sized bin is ideal for countertop use and includes a flip-up lid for easy filling. Furthermore, the lid seals shut against the inner rim to prevent nasty odors from escaping, while the smooth interior walls help stop organic waste from sticking to the sides. You’ll also find a contoured bottom and rotating handle which help to make the emptying process as pain-free as possible.
5. NINESTARS Step-on Trash Can Combo Set
With the additional bathroom-sized trash can, this two-piece NINESTARS Step-on Trash Can Combo Set is ideal for people who need to deal with garbage in multiple rooms. Both trash cans are made from high-grade, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel and feature a sleek, cylindrical design. You’ll also find soft-close technology, which prevents unpleasant banging when the lid is closing, along with non-skid materials on each base to keep your trash can in place when you step on the pedal. This large and small trash can set is ideal for use in kitchens, offices, bedrooms and more.
6. Rev-A-Shelf Pull Out Kitchen Cabinet Waste Bin
As we mentioned before, if you don’t want your trash can out in the open, it’s a great idea to hide it inside one of your kitchen cupboards. Not only does this mean you rarely see the garbage can, it also saves on floor space in your kitchen, too. These Rev-A-Shelf Pull Out Kitchen Cabinet Waste Bin feature a double 35-quart system which allows you to easily separate your waste as you make it. The cans are mounted on a chrome-plated, wire construction frame which uses ball-bearing fittings to deliver a smooth in and out movement.
7. Houston International Enameled Steel Bin
The Houston International Enameled Steel Bin sports a classic appearance which would work beautifully in any kitchen, modern or traditional. It’s made from galvanized steel and finished with an enamel finish. Plus, you can choose between seven different colors to ensure your trash can matches your kitchen interiors as best it can. The simple can and lid design gives the bin a lot of versatility and can be used for other tasks, too, like storing dried pet food, recycling and more.
8. iTouchless Automatic Trash Can
Another great option for people who would rather avoid coming in contact with the bin lid is the iTouchless Automatic Trash Can. It’s constructed from fingerprint-proof stainless steel and includes a built-in sensor that opens the lid when your hand approaches. When closing the lid, the trash can warns you with a blinking red light, and should your hand still be close by, the lid will remain open for longer. In addition, the 12-inch wide opening is large enough for most everyday trash items, and you’ll also find a natural carbon odor filter inside to neutralize unpleasant odors.
9. SensorCan Touchless Kitchen Trash Can
BEST BUILT-IN ODOR FILTER
If you live in a warmer climate or regularly throw out organic waste, it’s a great idea to choose a trash can with a built-in odor filter. This SensorCan Touchless Kitchen Trash Can fits that bill and offers a 100% touch-free trash dumping experience to boot. The oval-shaped trash can is constructed from stainless steel for an attractive look and durable feel. The included natural carbon odor filter fights unpleasant smells and prevents them from leaking into your kitchen. Furthermore, the large 12.75-inch opening means you’ll have no problem when throwing larger items, like milk cartons and pizza boxes.
10. Step N’ Sort 2-Compartment Trash Bin
BEST DUAL COMPARTMENT
If you separate your recyclable from non-recyclable trash (which you should!), the Step N’ Sort 2-Compartment Trash Bin provides an easy way to store it separately. With a combined capacity of 60 liters, there’s plenty of space for the garbage of an average family. The two-lid, two-foot pedal and two-compartment trash can effectively work like two conjoined single trash cans. Each of the recycled plastic, internal bins can fit 10 or 13-gallon trash bags and sports a handle to make emptying the bins especially easy.
11. TOWNEW Self-Sealing Kitchen Trash Can
If you’re looking like something sent from the future, the TOWNEW Self-Sealing Kitchen Trash Can takes all the hassle out of taking out the trash. As you approach it, the built-in motion sensor opens the lid for easy disposal. Then, once it’s full, you simply need to press a button, and the advanced self-sealing mechanism prepares the bag for you, meaning you never need come in contact with your trash once it leaves your hands. The bagging mechanism can store up to 25 recyclable bags. In addition, this trash can is available in either white or teal.
12. Kohler 13-Gallon Step Trash Can
The Kohler 13-Gallon Step Trash Can offers the ideal mix of style and function. The stainless steel construction boasts a fingerprint-proof finish to keep your can looking clean, while the smooth, hands-free operation means you never need to contact the trash can when throwing out waste. The smart hinge design protects your walls from scuffs and scratches, while the raised liner and locking rim make it especially easy to fit any brand of 13-gallon trash bags inside the container. Furthermore, the space-saving, rectangular profile fits snugly against walls and in corners, allowing you to make the most of all your kitchen floor space.