The best kitchen bins

From simple recycling units to odour eliminators, check out our round-up of the best kitchen bins for your home

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The bin probably isn’t the first thing you think of when it comes to putting together your dream kitchen, but hear us out: it’s quite possible that your kitchen bin does among the hardest work of any kitchen item, and for that, we think we owe it to you to find you a good one. But what does ‘a good one’ look like? What is the best kitchen bin out there? Generally speaking, it’ll be built to last a while, won’t let smells leak out into your living space, and will be big enough for your needs.

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. Anything between 15 and 30 litres should be 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, while 40 to 50 litres is the best bet for four or more, or those who don’t want to take out the rubbish any more than they have to.

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. From sleek modern designs to the odd bit of vintage charm, we have it all, so read on for a good dose of what we like to call “binspiration”.

1. Joseph Joseph Intelligent Waste Titan Trash Compactor

Squashes rubbish to make extra space, meaning fewer trips outside

Best for: Big households
Capacity: 90L
Dimensions: 39 x 29.2 x 68.4 cm
Reasons to buy
+Holds masses of rubbish+Hygienic compacting
Reasons to avoid
-Very pricey 

As space-saving solutions for the kitchen go, this bin is a real winner, and its ability to hold up to 90 litres in the footprint of a 30-litre bin earns it our top spot. Its trick is quite amazing: just pull out and up on the integrated handle, and push down on the seemingly full bin to compact the rubbish for three times more space. It also aims not to stretch or tear your bin liners, and the replaceable odour filter stops unpleasant smells reaching the rest of the kitchen. For convenience, compactness, and cleverness, this is our all-round best buy. 

2. Swan Retro 45L Square Sensor Bin

Vintage style meets futuristic functionality in this motion-sensor bin

Best for: Retro kitchens
Capacity: 45L
Dimensions: 67.5 x 33 x 25 cm
Reasons to buy
+Looks very sleek+Motion sensor stops germs spreading
Reasons to avoid
-Requires batteries 

If you’re the proud owner of a retro-styled kitchen and don’t want a huge unsightly receptacle overshadowing it, the Swan Retro 45-litre bin should be your go-to. It comes in a range of vintage-look pastel shades with chrome trim, and looks very sleek indeed, thanks in no small part to the lack of bulky pedals or handles. Instead, the bin’s clever sensor opens when the user is 5–15 centimetres away, so you don’t have to risk the spread of germs, and the helpful bin bag retainer ring means no awkward bits of bag to give the game away, either. 

3. Charles Bentley 2-in-1 Kitchen Pedal Bin

An attractive alternative to the usual bulky recycling bins

Best for: Recycling
Capacity: 30L
Dimensions: 48 x 41 x 34 cm
Reasons to buy
+Looks very smart for a multi-use bin+Colour-coordinated compartments makes sorting easy
Reasons to avoid
-Each compartment is quite small 

Like to recycle but no room in the kitchen for a second bin, or just trying to avoid a cluttered look? Go for this two-in-one pedal bin, which keeps waste separated into two hygienic compartments — the colour-coding makes it easy to remember which is which, and the sleek and simple brushed metal container looks very neat. Each compartment is on the smaller side at 15 litres each, so while it unfortunately may not be the best solution for big families who would rather keep trips to the outdoor bin to a minimum, for smaller households that don’t generate much waste, it’s a great buy. 

4. Simplehuman 38L

This clever bin is easy to keep clean and makes disposal a cinch

Best for: Neutralising odours
Capacity: 38L
Removable lid: 31.8 x 40.1 x 65.3 cm
Reasons to buy
+Sleek-looking with hidden functions+Removable inner bucket
Reasons to avoid
-On the expensive side 

This brushed stainless steel bin is sure to look very elegant in all manner of kitchens, but its simple design hides all manner of features intended to make life more efficient, an always-intriguing prospect for busy families! Its fingerprint-proof finish needs no upkeep, its silent-close lid and non-skid base keep things steady, and its removable inner bucket for drip-free disposal is frankly genius. It also packs a decent capacity in a relatively small footprint, and can be tucked flush against the wall thanks to the internal hinge. No fuss, no mess — a fabulous bin for families. 

5. Brabantia One Touch 30L

A colourful bin to suit any kitchen scheme, with an extra guarantee for peace of mind

Best for: Style
Capacity: 30L
Dimensions: 30.5 x 30.5 x 76.2 cm
Reasons to buy
+Solidly built with 10 year guarantee+Impressive range of colours
Reasons to avoid
-Shiny finish shows fingerprints quite easily 

Classic homewares brand Brabantia can always be trusted to come up trumps with a top-quality item, and this 30 litre kitchen bin is no exception. Made from durable materials in a fabulous range of colours — Pansy Purple is a particular favourite of ours — and with a 10-year Brabantia guarantee, it’s certainly engineered to last. Its removable stainless steel lid for easy bag replacement and silent, soft-touch lid are added bonuses. A solid investment.