The best kitchen bins: 18 models that are stylish and useful

Yes — your kitchen trash can really *can* add to your decor

A selection of kitchen bins on yellow background
(Image credit: Future)

If your bin is totally ruining the vibe in your kitchen, then I get why you're here. Not all of us can renovate our kitchens to have lovely in-cupboard bins that blend in seamlessly with the rest of our kitchen decor, and nor should we have to do that for the sake of our rubbish. So, with this in mind, I've curated a list of the best kitchen bis you need to take a peek at if your waste storage system is in need of a total rethink. I know mine was before I reviewed a bunch of these bins!

Whatever your situation is, whether you separate things yourself at home or your local council doesn't recycle (boo!), there's a way that you can manage this job. And make it look a little tidier (and less of an eyesore) in your flat or home. This will also give you much more floor space to work with, so if your dining set is in your kitchen you'll have a little more room to stretch out post-dinner.

Think everything from in-cupboard bins to all-in-one recycling units and rubbish-only bins. You'll see them all below. I've split the job of reviewing these bins with the rest of Real Homes team, so these solutions have been tested in homes, apartments, flatshares, and more. The ones we loved the most (and still use to this day) made it into this guide.

For more kitchen must-haves, see our ultimate guide on the best cleaning products for everything you need under your sink. But first, let's talk rubbish.

The 18 best kitchen bins for style, as picked by Real Homes

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

What is the best kitchen bin?

In terms of the best all-rounder kitchen bin, my favourite pick is the Morphy Richards Chroma Bin because it ticks all the boxes. It's affordable, sleek, available in lots of different colours, and it opens when you wave. It's also square-shaped, so it fits nicely into a corner. The two different capacities are great for catering to different-sized households.

Otherwise, if it's an all-in-one recycling unit that you're interested in, to keep all of your waste under wraps and in the same corner of your kitchen, I can really recommend the Tower Freedom Recycling System from Amazon. It's compact yet space-savvy and super easy to empty and keep clean.

Where should I put a kitchen bin?

"When figuring out where to put your kitchen bin, it is important to consider the layout of your kitchen including the size, as well as how you’ll use it and how often," explains Antony Joseph, Creative Director at JosephJoseph.

"A large kitchen provides plenty of space and opportunities for a bin with a large capacity, whilst a small kitchen scheme means you should prioritise space optimisation. In the case of a small kitchen, in-cupboard bins are the most useful, usually under your sink to allow for easy disposal of food prior to doing the washing up. With an integrated bin, you emulate a sleek design whilst also preserving limited floor space."

"When it comes to a larger kitchen, it is best to keep your bin near your preparation area or either under or near the sink for practicality. You can also place them in a corner so that it does not block access to any other appliances or get in the way."

How often should you clean your food waste bin?

Joseph recommends emptying and even cleaning your food waste bin everyday to prevent bad odours and bacteria buildup. You can use lemon and vinegar, as well as warm soapy water and baking soda to clean and keep them smelling fresh too.

Real Homes review process

EKO Ecofly Butterfly Recycling Bin, Titanium Blue, 40L

EKO Ecofly Butterfly Recycling Bin in blue in our deputy editor's house

(Image credit: Future | Camille Dubuis-Welch)

We've tested 10 out of 18 of these kitchen bins to ensure they're up to a good standard when it comes to both style and quality. We've shared this job around the team, so everyone has had their chance to test a kitchen bin and give their verdict. This way, we've tested bins in large family households, small flats and everything in between. The ones we liked made it onto this list, and we've even given each bin that we tested a star rating to make it easier for you to come to a decision.

Before featuring these bins, we've been sure to use them at home for a month or two. This is to make sure that they can withstand daily use, and that they clean up well, plus we want to make sure that they don't break easily and that they'll be true investment pieces as let's face it: a new kitchen bin is expensive.

Annie Collyer illustration
Annie Collyer

Annie is our head ecommerce editor and often tests a range of products, from mattresses to kitchen bins and even a BBQ or three. Annie lives in a two-bedroom flat in South East London with her husband. She's an avid recycler although she doesn't really want three or four bins taking up the floor space in her kitchen, which is why she loves her Tower Freedom Recycling System.

Before this, Annie had the Morphy Richards Chroma Sensor Bin, which was in her kitchen for years. In fact, she only switched to the Tower model because she found she needed to upgrade to a larger bin that could hold her recycling, too.

Annie has also tested the Brabantia Bo bin at her parents' home in their busy family kitchen. They wanted something to help separate their recycling, but without interfering with their modern style. This was the perfect addition and it's still standing years later.

Lindsey illustration
Lindsey Davis

Lindsey works across a range of brands at Future, including other homes websites such as Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, and Ideal Home. Lindsey raves about both of her kitchen bins that are featured in this guide, and she really recommends the in-cupboard Brabantia Sort & Go bins to keep things out of the way. They're the perfect under-the-sink bins. Otherwise, her food bin is the Brabantia Compost Food Waste Caddy, which she mostly loves because of its convenience. It goes in the dishwasher!

Molly Cleary illustration
Molly Cleary

Molly was previously an ecommerce writer at Real Homes, specialising in floorcare. Molly lives in a flat with her boyfriend and has a small amount of kitchen space to work with. That is why she LOVED the JosephJoseph Totem Max. It's definitely a luxurious option but it undoubtedly looks good and is super compact for renters and anyone who lives in a flat!

Cam illustration
Camille Dubuis-Welch

Cam is our Deputy Editor, and she lives in a flatshare in London. She currently has the EKO Ecofly Step Bin in her kitchen and uses it for both her general waste and her recycling. She has it in a lovely blue colour (as pictured above) and she really loves it. It sits neatly in a corner of her kitchen and it looks super sleek and streamlined.

3 things to consider when buying a kitchen bin

1. Size
Depending on the size of your household and how much rubbish you generate, you’ll have to think about the capacity that would be useful to you. We've listed general waste-only bins, food bins, in-cupboard bins, as well as recycling units. It's all dependent on your kitchen size and your family size.

2. Lid
Bear in mind your new kitchen bin's lid, as sensor lids will prove themselves to be handy whilst cooking or when your hands are full, but they do come at an extra cost. Otherwise, some bins are touch to open, which is usually silent, and there are also pedal bins. It's all down to personal preference, really.

3. Style
After that, it’s all a matter of style. If you think all bins are a bit of an eyesore, then think again because a big kitchen bin needn’t necessarily disrupt your interior scheme. Go for something colourful to spice up your kitchen or try an in-cupboard bin to hide your waste.

What is a good size kitchen bin?

Anything between 15 and 30 litres should be just fine if you live alone or with one other person and don’t throw away an above-average amount of stuff. 

A 30 to 40-litre bin is generally advisable for families of three whose bin gets taken out quite frequently. 

The best bet for four people or more — or those who don’t want to take out the rubbish any more than they have to — are 40 to 50-litre bins. 

Go for something that's more than 50 litres if it's an all-in-one unit for recycling and general waste.

Where to shop for a new kitchen bin 

Still looking to buy a kitchen bin? Here's where to browse more online. Click through to shop all of the ones currently available to buy.

Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. I've been part of the Real Homes team since 2018, when I joined as Deals Editor. Along with covering major sales events — from Black Friday to Amazon Prime Day — I review home must-haves so that you can buy with peace of mind. Mostly focusing on home fragrance and sleep, as well as a few vacuum cleaners, I've tested pretty much every item you can think of that you need in your home. I live on the outskirts of the city in a two-bed apartment with my husband and my pug, Doug. So I am always searching for compact alternatives and ways to save floor space. What about when I am not typing away? Well, you'll find me enjoying an iced coffee (no matter the season) and trying out the latest brunch spots the city has to offer, or booking my next holiday. Where else can you find my words? Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Gardeningetc, and Woman & Home.

With contributions from