Shopping for the best kitchen trash can isn't as streamlined of a process as you may have hoped. We aren't easily able to distinguish a scent we do or don't like or the level of comfort we may or may not need; in short, there isn't a one-size-fits-all.
With that said, there are ways to make it a relatively painful experience, which means turning to experts like us. Whether you're in the market for a sensor-activated bin or pedal can, or something more capacity-focused, we've got good news.
Our team has rounded up the best kitchen trash cans for every price point, size, and aesthetic that will meet all of your home's individual needs. Once you've taken your pick, see our kitchen storage guide for more space-savvy tips.
The best kitchen trash cans to invest in this year
Store your trash in this pretty and practical piece from Brabantia. The stainless steel construction can hold up to 8.9 gallons and is available in four different finishes (white, champagne, matte black, and stainless steel). Each color features two easy waste separation bins inside and can seamlessly store anywhere in your kitchen, courtesy of its no-skid legs. Factor in its ability to work as both a trash can and recycling bin and consider us sold.
This super-strong stainless steel step-on pedal trash can is top-of-the-line and designed to last over 15,000 steps (more than 20 steps a day for nearly 20 years). Featuring a stay-open lid that allows you to tuck it next to the wall, a non-skid base with rubber pads to remain gentle on the floor, and patented lid Shox technology to slightly open and shut the lid, it's as perfect as possible. Add in the inner buck that tilts toward you (for even easier access) and its finger-proof finish that's resistant to smudges; we can't blame so many for deeming this "the best trash can" they've ever purchased.
For those who want to save time and money, the Joseph Joseph 30030 Intelligent Waste Titan Trash Can Compactor will be exceptional for you. Featuring a patented, hygienic compaction system, users will notice a trash compaction/reduction of 66% with continuous use, which boils down to fewer times you have to take it out, and how often you have to change the liners.
Plus, this stainless steel model has up to a 13-gallon capacity and will hold even the heaviest of items. Additionally, the smudge-proof construction is not only sleek and sophisticated but built the last; with a foot pedal that will withstand over 100,000 times, it's the must-have machine in our books.
Step right up and go all-in on this easy-to-use trash can that rings in at under $15. Available in nine colors, you'll find everything from darks to lights, with black and white hues up for grabs, and each showcases the same design.
Perfect for smaller spaces, this 1.5-gallon trash can seamlessly tuck under kitchen cabinets or in tight crevices and do the same job as any heavy-duty model on the market. Made from biodegradable polypropylene, this top-rated bin has nearly 10,000 reviewers singing its praises, with all of which saying it's a "top choice" that "exceeded their expectations."
Our next choice is perhaps one of the best kitchen trash cans considering we're in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, and that's this 74-liter choice from GLAD. Designed with Clorox odor protection, the lid and lid frame avoid the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Plus, this bin will fit 50% more trash than other gallon models on the market, and that's not all. Additionally, there are bag rings to keep bags locked in safe and sound when not in use.
Lastly, this space-saving trash bin is for those who need something a bit on the larger side and gets the job done. Here, this 16-gallon choice provides multi-functional use, with a blue side (coded) for recycling and a black side for trash, and there's more. Additionally, the replaceable AbsordX Odort Filter is strategically designed to absorb trash odor and make sure your kitchen area smells sweet as ever. And, if you are worried this feature will be outdated with continuous use, not to worry. Users can easily replace the SoftStep's air damper to restore peak performance in no time. A win, win!
How to select the best kitchen trash can?
Where to buy a kitchen trash can?
Depending on the size of your household and how much trash you generate, you’ll have to think about the capacity that would be useful to you.
A good rule of thumb is that anything 15 to 30 gallons will get the job done, but if you have more than just yourself, you might want to invest in something larger (roughly 40 to 50 gallons).
When it comes to personal preference it boils down to just that: personal preference. While some might enjoy a stainless steel model that's sleek and sophisticated, others might rely on a bright pop of color to get the job. At the end of the day, it's what you (and your family) like best.