Best kitchen trash cans: 9 stylish and practical buys

It's time to dump your current kitchen trash can

Best kitchen trash can: black trash can, copper trash can, silver trash can and white trash can
(Image credit: Future)

The best kitchen trash can is a worthy buy that prevents your waste from being on display. And, as the receptacle itself may need to be out in the open, we should all look for something that fits the bill in terms of looks as well as practicality.

There is a surprising amount of choice out there, and a bunch of features that make stowing away your trash, recycling, and food scraps much easier (and more hygienic). With sensor-activated or pedal options for hands-free use, plus in-cabinet and stacking solutions for neatly organized waste, there will be far fewer arguments about whose turn it is to take out the trash. If your current method of tidying refuse is by packing it into a plastic carrier — it's time to level up, like now.

To reduce your rubbish stress even more, the Real Homes team has reviewed a load of top-rated kitchen trash cans in our own homes. The ones we loved the most made it onto this guide.

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

The best kitchen trash cans

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.

4 things to consider when choosing a kitchen trash can

1. Size
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. We've listed general waste-only bins, food waste caddies, in-cupboard trash cans, and even recycling units. It's all dependent on your kitchen size and your family size.

2. Lid
Bear in mind your new kitchen trash can's lid. Sensor lids are handy for cooking or when your hands are full, but they do come at an extra cost. Other trash cans are touch to open and some have pedals to operate their lids. It's all down to personal preference, really. More recently, we've even seen lids that are compatible with smart technology, so you can have your garbage container lift on command.

3. Style
After that, it’s all a matter of style. If you think all kitchen trash cans are a bit of an eyesore, then think again because a big trash can doesn't need to disrupt your interior scheme. Go for something colorful to spice up your kitchen or try an in-cabinet option to hide your waste.

4. Ease to clean
Yup, the gadget that houses your garbage can get grubby too, so it's worth investing in a model that can be wiped clean. Your best bet is either a stainless steel or plastic pick as stains and liquid can be cleared off easily. Also, if you like cooking fish or meat, it may be worth looking into a trash can with odor-busting technology or buying some disposable scent filters (available on Amazon) (opens in new tab). These are often made from carbon or charcoal to absorb any offensive whiffs.

Where to buy a kitchen trash can

Real Homes review process

We've tested a bunch of these kitchen trash cans 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 trash can and give their verdict. This way, we've tested trash cans in large family households, small apartments, and everything in between. The ones we liked made it onto this list, and we've even given each trash can that we tested a star rating to make it easier for you to come to a decision.

If you're interested, you can read more information on how we test products at Real Homes.

Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. Along with my team, I'm here to review all of the products you might be considering buying for your home. As someone who lives in a flat with a small amount of storage space to work with, and with two indoor pets to clean up after, I am forever searching for stylish yet functional appliances that won't blemish my decor if I can't fit them in a cupboard. I love decorating my living room for each season, while my other hobbies include drinking a decent cup of coffee, going on park walks with my dog and enjoying an Instagrammable brunch with my husband.

With contributions from