These small trash cans are a total vibe — for keeping your dorm clean yet cute

Your ex may be trash, but your dorm doesn’t have to be

Best small trash cans on wavy checkerboard background, one dark green trash can, another light green and a pink one
(Image credit: Future)
Small Trash Cans: Quick Menu

When I first got to college, let’s just say I was a *hot mess.* Without my mom to iron my clothes, make my bed, or pick up the MANY water bottles I had lying around, my dorm room turned into a jungle of trash. That’s why I feel it is my duty to take prospective college students under my wing… and tell you that a trash bin should 1000000% be added to your dorm essentials list. Much like your kitchen trash can, you will soon learn that having one in your bedroom is non-negotiable otherwise you just end up with piles of mess, everywhere. Lovely stuff.

Sure, I get that the idea of buying a trash can isn’t as exciting as buying swoon-worthy fall dorm decor or back-to-school stationery that’s cute AF. But TRUST ME when I say that you will thank yourself for buying a small trash can when your bed is overflowing with takeout boxes and study notes. 

And the best bit? Small trash cans don’t have to be fugly. They can be practical and stylish, and I’ve found some of the best trash cans you can buy RN. 

9 of the best small trash cans to take your dorm room from trashy to trendy

I know, I know. Buying a trash can probably wasn’t on your agenda for today. But with cute and stylish styles like these, how could you resist them? A trash can is a dorm hack all the girlies should get behind.


What is the most efficient trash can?

The most efficient trash can totally depends on what you want to use it for. If you’re moving into a dorm and have a small amount of space, a smaller trash can with or without a lid will work in your favor. 

After all, the last thing you want is for your trash can to take up all of the floor space in your small dorm. 

What is the best volume for a small trash can?

If you’re buying a small trash can for your dorm room or bathroom, the best volume will be between 1-4 gallons. This size will allow you to throw away smaller items without it taking up too much space in the room. 

Of course, you can choose any small trash can based on its volume, but you also need to make sure that the style of the bin works for your specific space.

Normally, the smaller they are, the more variation you have in terms of aesthetics.

How we chose these small trash cans

Don’t worry, besties. We only choose to include products that have been rated highly by customers like you and me. So, you can rest easy knowing that all of the products in this guide have received rave reviews from real people who just can’t get enough of these small trash cans.

Where to buy a small trash can

Find your perfect small trash can for your dorm room by visiting some of our favorite retailers, as listed below.

Lauren Bradbury

Hey there! I'm Lauren, and I've been a writer now for over seven years (wow, that makes me feel old). During that time I've written about everything from celebrities to casino content, but nothing has made me "zing" quite as much as home and lifestyle pieces. I live in a beautiful Victorian terrace house in Kent with my husband and my naughty cocker spaniel puppy, and despite the leaking roof that we can't quite seem to fix, I've loved turning my house into a home. Sure, my eclectic mix of boho chic and maximalism sounds like a clashing nightmare, but it's MY clashing nightmare.