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Best Kitchen Trash Cans 2017: Top 5+ Recommended and Reviews

When it comes to preparing the food we eat, what we need the most is a clean kitchen. We can scrub the oven, wash the dishes and countertop and proceed to cook. But there is one last detail I pay special attention to, and that is a proper and clean kitchen trash can that suits my needs.

Often I’ve had my youngsters running around, messing with stuff and interfering with my stuff in the kitchen. When this occurs, a simple two factors like wet fingers & dirty surfaces will create problems. Alongside cleaning the surfaces and throwing garbage away, a good trash can will prevent small rascals from getting in, and keep the odours and bacteria away.

So How did I Find the Best Kitchen Trash Can that Works for my Kitchen?

It all starts with a few simple questions you need to ask yourself:

How Big is Your Kitchen?

An average household uses a 10-13-gallon kitchen trash can (38-50 liters). I use a 13-gallon one in my kitchen because I cook a lot and need a bigger one. But depending on the size and the structure of your kitchen, you might have to choose a trash can of specific dimensions.

If you have a place for your kitchen trash can in mind, it might be a good idea to measure it before purchasing one. Bigger kitchens have more options in choosing the kitchen trash can size and shape. However, smaller kitchens with limited space require a narrow trash can so you will be able to place it between appliances to use space to the fullest.

What Type of Kitchen Trash Can Do You Want?

Most trash cans can be sorted by the type of lid they have – how they open. The most used ones are a step-to-open trash can, where you have to step on a pedal to open it, and a touch-free sensor trash can, which reacts to how close you are and opens the lid automatically.

(I won’t mention the open-by-hand ones because touching the lid means washing your hands all the time)

Both types are practical for when we have our hands busy and they are more hygienic because we do not touch the garbage or the bin in any way.

The material the garbage bin is made of is also a factor you might want to take a notice of. There are plastic trash cans and stainless steel trash cans. In my opinion, there are two main differences between these two types: quality, and price.

The plastic ones, no matter how durable, will break more easily and more often than the steel ones. Also, the plastic itself absorbs the odor more, so even if it doesn’t break, you might need to replace it with a new one after a while, and that is something you do not need to do with the steel ones.

How much Money do You Want to Spend on a Kitchen Trash Can?

As I mentioned before, there is another difference between plastic trash cans and steel ones and that is the price. Plastic trash cans are more affordable, but even there you have variations in price depending on the brand, type, and quality of the plastic itself.

So don’t be surprised if you see two similar ones with a significant difference in price. Stainless steel trash cans are more durable, they look more modern and hence cost more comparing to the same model made of plastic.

If you want to consider the touch-free sensor trash can model, then the price goes even more up. The difference in cost between a plastic and steel one can be quite substantial and that could influence what kind of a trash can you choose.

Do you have a baby or a toddler as a member of your home?

No matter what you might think, having a baby or a toddler can influence your kitchen trash can buying decision. Having your hands full literally means you can’t have them dirty with touching the bin itself. And with a running toddler you want your trash can to be secure so you don’t have curious hands going where they shouldn’t.

Most moms use their kitchen trash cans as a diaper pail as well (me included), so paying extra attention to how well the trash bin can keep the odor inside is additional feature to think about.

Do you have a pet in the house?

We consider our pets to be family members. However, having them around means we might have to pay some extra attention in choosing our kitchen trash can. They are cute, little or big fur balls, but their keen nose might attract them to your kitchen trash can often. So choosing a trash can that makes the smell contained inside might be your top priority in this situation.

Another thing you might need to consider is their snooping despite having the trash can closed. So having an extra lock to a bin is a good bonus to have in a kitchen container or you might wake up to a room full of garbage in the morning.


When you’ve answered all of these questions, you’re one important step closer to the trash can that will suit your needs and kitchen the best. The next step is to examine my…

Best Kitchen Trash Can Reviews 2017

With answers to the previous questions, you’ll know exactly what to look for and how to compare models on the market. The thing is – market is huge. So to make you comfortable and save you some $$, time, and hustle, I’ve gathered five of the top-rated kitchen trash cans on Amazon.com

When you check them out and compare them regarding your standards and requirements, the decision will basically appear itself. Let’s check them out!

1. Rubbermaid Step-On Wastebasket Trash Can

Image Credit: Amazon.com

This is a classic step-on trash can improved with a few more perks. It is quite affordable and made out of black, sturdy and easy-to-clean plastic, and its size and design can easily fit in narrow places. The13-gallon trash bags can be used for it and the two built-in arms hold the trash bag in place so it doesn’t fall inside. A small hole at the bottom makes pulling the bags out easy and with no suction effect.

A feature that makes me appreciate this trash bin a bit more is the mechanism to keep the lid open without having to press the pedal to hold it that way. You do have to close it manually though, but not having the lid bump your hand when your foot slips is a good bonus. The lid has an inner circle rim that helps to keep the odor contained inside.

What you have to keep in mind is that no matter how practical this bin is, it’s made out of plastic and the pedal mechanism might lose its strength after a while. It is also a bit light in weight so you have to be careful when you step to open it because it can slide down, lift or topple over.

Things I liked

  • Doesn’t cost too much
  • Durable construction for a plastic trash can
  • The lid can stay open
  • Easy to clean
  • The odor is kept inside
  • The side arms hold the bag in place
  • No suction effect

Things I didn’t like

  • Only comes in black
  • It is light so it can slide
  • Pedal can lose strength after a while
  • You have to touch the lid to close it

2. Simplehuman Slim Plastic Step Trash Can

Image Credit: Amazon.com

If your kitchen is smaller and you are limited in space, then this kind of a narrow and tall kitchen trash can might be a good fit for you. This kitchen trash can comes in 5 different colors and is made with a little addition in a form of built-in wheels that help in its balance and moving. The wheels do not have a stopper of any kind so be careful when you are moving it.

The mouth is wide enough for bigger waste and it can hold the garbage bag securely. It uses the standard 13-gallon trash bags. Since it’s a bit deep, it might be hard to clean it if you happen to have an accident with the bag and it spills inside.

What is great about this step-on trash garbage can is that it has a lock in its lid that keeps your kids and pets from snooping around and touching, just be careful because it can be hard to unlock it sometimes. The lid is made in a way that closes smoothly and silently and it seals the odors quite well.

The pedal is made of steel so it won’t break that easy even if you step on it harder. However, the hinge of the lid is plastic and it wears away in time so the lid could fall off, but since this kitchen garbage bin comes with a 5-year warranty, it is not something to worry about.

Things I liked

  • Narrow and tall for small kitchens
  • It’s affordable
  • It has built-in wheels
  • Comes in 5 different colors
  • The mouth is wide for bigger trash
  • Has a lock mechanism
  • Has a steel pedal
  • The lid closes slowly
  • Has a 5-year warranty

Things I didn’t like

  • The wheels have no stoppers
  • The lock jams sometimes
  • The hinge wears away after a while
  • Harder to clean if a bag leaks

3. Simplehuman Semi-Round Step Trash Can

Image Credit: Amazon.com

With the 5-year warranty, this is another great product from Simplehuman, but this one a bit costlier. This kitchen container comes in 7 different colors and is a bit bulkier in size, so it’s good for bigger kitchens and busier households. It might appear like it’s bigger, but it has the same 13-gallon capacity and any standard-size trash bags will fit this bin.

This model also has the lid that closes smoothly and silently keeping the odor from getting out. It also has a lock that prides itself on being really pet-proof. However, keep in mind that pets, especially big ones, can be resilient, so if you are thinking of getting a trash can like this because of it, it might not always work on them. The pedal is quite big and made out of steel so it has good endurance.

One interesting feature that this trash bin has is bumper wall guard on the back that protects the wall from lid rubbing on it or scraping it. But even as it protects the wall, you will need another 3-4-inch clearance between the wall and the bin for it to work properly.

Things I liked

  • Good for bigger households
  • Comes in 7 different colors
  • The lid closes slowly
  • Has a lock mechanism
  • The pedal has good endurance
  • Has a bumper wall guard
  • Has a 5-year warranty

Things I didn’t like

  • It’s very expensive for a plastic bin
  • It takes more space
  • The lock is not pet-proof
  • The lock can jam sometimes

4. iTouchless Deodorizer Automatic Sensor Trash Can

Image Credit: Amazon.com

This 13-gallon stainless steel kitchen trash can is a new (but not that pricey) model with a really modern look and it’s coated with antimicrobial, fingerprint-proof layer so it makes it germ-safe as well. Just keep in mind that the coating wears off after a while. A combination of stainless steel and plastic makes it really eye-catching.

It’s equipped with an infrared sensor for touchless opening and closing that operates on 4 D size batteries or an AC adapter. However, neither batteries nor the adapter is included in the purchase so you do have to get them separately. When you turn the sensor off it also has an option to manually open and close the lid by pressing the buttons in front. That way you do not touch the lid at all. When turned off the lid acts like it’s locked, so it is great if you have small children or pets.

This trash can is also equipped with an Activated Carbon Odor Filter which actually manages neutralize the odor and it can last up to 3 months after which you have to replace it with a new one. So, your pets won’t smell anything either.

However, not everything is as good as it sounds with these sensors. They do tend to activate if you just happen to pass by and if you use batteries, they wear off fast because of constant opening and closing. More often than not the filter needs changing as well. Because the lid is plastic it’s prone to breaking, but that should not happen that often and just in case, you have a 1-year warranty.

Things I liked

  • Made of stainless steel
  • It is a touchless trash can
  • Coated in antimicrobial layer
  • Has carbon odor filter
  • Has an On and Off switch
  • Works on batteries or AC adapter
  • When turned Off it acts like a lock
  • Has 1-year warranty
  • The price is affordable

Things I didn’t like

  • Antimicrobial coating wears off
  • The batteries wear off fast
  • The carbon filter needs to be replaced often
  • The lid can break
  • Sensor gets confused often
  • Neither batteries nor AC adapter is included

5. Simplehuman Semi-Round Stainless Steel Sensor Can

Image Credit: Amazon.com

This is a rather expensive stainless steel 11.8-gallon (45 liters) sensor kitchen trash can that comes with a 5-year warranty (which isn’t enough to justify the price). It’s a bit smaller in size so it’s good for small kitchens. Speaking of build quality, this can is quite sturdy and well-built. It comes in 4 different colors that look really modern.

It has an ultra-silent mechanism for opening and closing and its sensor is set so it doesn’t mistake random passing by and opens without needing to. Its sensor area, however, is quite small, so it won’t open if you have your hand slightly to the side. On the good side, the smart sensor won’t react to your pet.

This touchless sensor kitchen trash can uses 4 AA batteries and its location is very easy to access, but it does not have an option to be powered by an AC adapter or to manually open and close the lid on a button. So if the sensor malfunctions you have to open it by hand.

This model also has a liner pocket that stores and dispenses trash bags from inside the can. A good thing is that there are no issues with the clean bags getting fouled by trash. Both 12 and 13-gallon trash bags fit this bin just fine, but if you want it to be perfect, then J Liners are what you need.

Things I liked

  • Has a 5-year warranty
  • Very modern-looking in 4 different colors
  • Ultra-silent lid opening mechanism
  • No false triggers in the sensor
  • Sensor doesn’t react to pets
  • Uses batteries for power
  • Has an inside trash bag pocket

Things I didn’t like

  • Very expensive
  • No option to manually open the can
  • Sensor area is quite small
  • No other option as a power supply
  • Have to open by hand if sensor doesn’t work

Now You Know How To Get The Best Kitchen Trash Can

Having read all this, you are now ready to make your choice in model and type of your personal kitchen trash can.

After researching and testing all five kitchen trash cans, I'd go for the iTouchless Deodorizer. Having read all the features, it is a good product that gives the most for the price it has. It’s a stainless steel one with a plastic lid and sensor, but also has other options to open it if one stops working. The smell is well-contained and even with the extra expense of purchasing the AC adapter and filters, it’s still not too expensive compared to the Simplehuman Stainless Steel one.

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Pim - May 2, 2017

Barbara, nice round-up. We also recommend trash cans for kitchen use. We think the Simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can Recycler is a great choice if you want to recycle too. What do you think?

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