The best trash cans you can buy

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the best trash cans

Simplehuman/Business Insider

  • Your trash can doesn't have to look like the garbage you put in it. It can be functional, well-designed, and beautiful.
  • The best trash can that's stylish, practical, and sturdily built is the Simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can. You can fit the Simplehuman can tightly against the wall, and its excellent built-in bag dispenser makes it easy to change the bag.

When preparing to decorate your kitchen, paint colors, countertop materials, and appliances sit at the forefront of your thought process. When making these decisions, you'll almost feel like you're starring on a home decorating show. But the selection of the trash can for the kitchen? Not quite as exciting or sexy. On the home decorating shows, the decision about a garbage can occurs during commercial breaks.

This normally marks the point in this type of article where I'd now try to convince you that your pick of the best garbage can deserves as much decorating attention as your choice of countertop. However, I won't insult your intelligence. We all know it doesn't.

Still, selecting the best trash can for inside your home does require a little bit of thought. Focus on the aspect of the trash can that those home decorating shows tend to gloss over - practicality. You'll be using your trash can several times per day, and it should fit your needs at least as much as it fits your décor. Practical isn't always pretty, after all.

We researched dozens of garbage cans to find the best ones you can buy to suit different needs and budgets. These are the best trash cans you can buy for your home or apartment.

Here are our top picks for the best trash cans you can buy:

Updated on 06/26/2019 by Les Shu: Updated selections, prices, links, and formatting.

Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.

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The best trash can overall

The best trash can overall
The sturdy and sleek Simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can looks great in any home with its high-quality construction and practical design.

Trash cans that offer a sharp look, a sturdy construction, and high-quality materials aren't easy to find. So the fact that the Simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can ranks near the top of the market in all three of these categories makes it a good choice as our best overall garbage can. This simple stainless steel step trash can is both attractive and practical. We also love the dual-compartment version with space for trash and recyclables, which we reviewed in detail on Insider Picks.

Simplehuman's durability and odor-minimizing design allow its trash cans to easily outperform every other option on the market. One Amazon customer reviewer hesitated to spend such a large amount on a trash can, but loves the purchase because of the unit's great look and top quality materials. We couldn't agree more.

Even though the Simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can carries a higher than average price tag, it's well worth the price. Insider Picks Editor Ellen Hoffman uses the dual-compartment version of this trash can. As she explains in her review, "This is by far the best-designed trash can I've seen, and for me its high price is justified by the convenience, organization, and style it offers." If you have limited cabinet space or you simply prefer to have your trash can visible, design becomes much more important.

"The trash can, for better or worse, is the first thing people see when they walk into my apartment, and my rose gold one from Simplehuman makes a pretty awesome first impression," We wrote in our review. "It's stylish (can I say that about a trash can?)."

This Simplehuman trash can comes in stainless steel, white steel, black steel, rose gold, brass, and dark bronze finishes, all of which give this model an impressive look. However, a few Amazon customers have reported the finish wearing off the can's shell.

It's available in 30-, 45-, and 55-liter volumes, which makes finding proper sized garbage bags a challenge. A standard 13-gallon kitchen garbage can equal roughly 50 liters in volume. However, Simplehuman does offer custom liners that store inside the trash can, making them easy to grab after removing the previous bag. It's probably best to stick with those bags.

We're not the only ones who love Simplehuman's trash cans. Wirecutter likes this garbage can because it has a smooth hinge on the trash can with a lid that fits tightly to hold odors inside. In a YouTube video, a user points out the smudge-proof stainless steel finish on the trash can, as well as the ability to fit the rectangular-shaped can flush to the wall without having to move it to lift the lid or change the garbage bag.

Overall, you just can't find a better trash can than this one by Simplehuman. In fact, several Simplehuman products made our list — they're that well-made.

Pros: Sturdy build with stainless steel construction, fits tightly against the wall, excellent hinge mechanism, tight-fitting lid holds in odors, multiple color finishes and sizes available

Cons: Odd capacity levels make finding bags difficult

Buy the Simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can on Amazon for $99.97 (30L), $129.97 (45L), or $179.97 (55L)

The best affordable trash can

The best affordable trash can
The Rubbermaid Step-On Wastebasket has a very low price point, but it covers your most basic trash can needs.

If you're seeking simple and inexpensive over stylistic and long-lasting in your kitchen garbage can, the Rubbermaid Step-On Wastebasket is a good option. The Can Guide review praises the durable construction of this Rubbermaid product, which outperforms other plastic kitchen trash cans. However, the plastic construction can't match the durability of a steel can over the long run.

Rubbermaid offers the Step-On Wastebasket in black plastic only, which masks spills, and the Trash That review says this Rubbermaid trash can remains easy to clean up. Apartment Therapy points out that the lid fits tightly enough to keep odors inside the trash can. However, as The Sweethome mentions, the lid doesn't fit tightly enough to keep pets from gaining access to the garbage inside the can.

The low price point of this plastic trash can provides its biggest advantage versus steel cans. One Amazon customer reviewer called this Rubbermaid kitchen trash can a steal for the price. At such a low price point, though, several Amazon customers questioned the build quality of this trash can.

Pros: Extremely low price, standard 13-gallon size, easy to clean plastic shell, step-on pedal for opening the lid, lid fits tightly enough to prevent odors from escaping

Cons: Not a long-lasting construction, plastic lid won't keep pets out of the garbage

Buy the Rubbermaid Step-On Wastebasket Trash Can From The Home Depot for $19.97

The best touchless trash can

The best touchless trash can
If you loathe the idea of touching garbage or the trash can, the iTouchless Deodorizer Automatic Sensor Touchless Trash Can was built with you in mind.

If your kitchen garbage horrifies you to the point that you refuse to come close to touching the trash can, a touchless trash can with a motion sensor that opens the lid automatically is the answer. And our favorite model with this feature is the iTouchless Deodorizer Automatic Sensor Touchless trash can.

In the Best Touchless Trash Can review, the writer appreciated the long-lasting construction quality of this trash can. The lid mechanism's rating for 100,000 openings represents an impressive performance level, and the four D size batteries that operate the sensor will last at least one year. You can purchase a version of this can that runs from an AC adapter as well.

The 9to5 Appliance review highlights the carbon filter built into the can's shell, which excels at neutralizing odors. Speaking of the shell, it looks sharp with a stainless steel/black or stainless steel/platinum design.

The iTouchless can doesn't include an inner liner. Instead, you'll use a ring to hold the garbage bag in place. Unfortunately, in its review, Wirecutter said the real world usage of this ring mechanism was a huge hassle.

A handful of Amazon reviewers report that the automatic sensor stopped working within one year of purchasing the trash can, but it seems that there may be a simple fix: cleaning. Another Amazon customer reviewer said the iTouchless sensor trash can worked much better with regular cleanings. Removing a buildup of debris around the sensor allows it to work more consistently.

As with any high-tech appliance, there may be bugs, so just be aware of that if you spring for a touchless trash can. Regardless, this is the best touchless trash can you can buy.

Pros: Sharp looking trash can, uses common-sized 13-gallon trash bags, automatic sensor opens lid when you move near the garbage can, long-lasting lid mechanism, runs from battery or AC adapter

Cons: Some customers report the sensor breaking down, lack of liner may make swapping trash bags difficult

Buy the iTouchless Deodorizer Automatic Sensor Touchless Trash Can on Amazon for $59.99

The best dual-compartment trash can

The best dual-compartment trash can
If you want a trash can that doubles as a holder for recyclables, the Simplehuman Dual Compartment Rectangular Recycler Trash Can is the best one you can buy.

We love the Simplehuman Dual Compartment Rectangular Recycler Trash Can. Commerce editor Ellen Hoffman recently bought one of these dual-compartment trash cans for her small NYC apartment, and she says "it's arguably the smartest purchase I've made for my home so far this year."

This 15-gallon trash can has two compartments: one for recyclables and another for trash. It's a good solution for the eco-friendly buyer who wants to recycle in style. The trash can comes in a sleek metal design and two color options: stainless steel and rose gold. Although we feel weird saying it, the Simplehuman Dual Compartment Rectangular Recycler Trash Can is undeniably stylish.

It's also very practical. The two compartments make sorting and disposing of trash and recyclables easy, and the built-in bag dispenser ensures that you can simply replace the garbage bag without rummaging around your kitchen for more of them.

Simplehuman trash cans don't come cheap, and this one is certainly pricey, but as Ellen points out, it has a 10-year warranty and Simplehuman will even repair your trash can if you have problems with it. All you have to do is register the can on Simplehuman's site.

If you're still not convinced, read our full review on Insider Picks.

Pros: Two compartments for trash and recyclables, stylish design, practical, easy to clean, built-in bag dispenser

Cons: Expensive

Buy the Simplehuman Dual Compartment Rectangular Recycler Trash Can on Amazon for $199.99 Read our full review of the Simplehuman dual-compartment trash can on Insider Picks

The best composting trash can

The best composting trash can
Although the Epica Stainless Steel Composter can's primary function is to compost, its impressive stink-fighting makes it a great option for an odorless trash can.

If you want the best odor control in a garbage can, we'd suggest converting the best odorless compost bin, the Epica Stainless Steel can, into a mini-garbage can.

The Read About Compositing review of the Epica can highlights the terrific performance of its charcoal filter in absorbing odors. You can replace the filter on a regular basis to maintain its performance level. The EcoKarma says the stainless steel design of the Epica compost bin looks good enough that it can sit on your countertop, and it meshes well with any other stainless steel appliances you have in the kitchen.

The Review Squad says the small and sturdy can even fits perfectly in a dishwasher for easy cleanup. One Amazon customer reviewer called the Epica can unbreakable and declared it the perfect size for composting.

The most common complaint among Amazon reviewers was that the Epica can is not air-tight. However, the biggest drawback to using the Epica can as a kitchen garbage can is its small size. A typical kitchen trash can sports 13 gallons of volume and the Epica can offers 1.3 gallons of volume. If you're looking for premium odor control, we'd suggest only using this can for your stinkiest garbage and using a traditional trash can for odorless garbage.

Pros: Perfect for trapping odors with its replaceable charcoal filter design, extremely sturdy build quality, stainless steel design looks great in a kitchen, small enough to fit easily inside a cabinet

Cons: Can is not air-tight, unit is too small to use as your only garbage can

Buy the Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin on Amazon for $22.95

The best bathroom trash can

The best bathroom trash can
The unique center-split lid of the Simplehuman Butterfly Stainless Steel Step Trash Can is an interesting and functional design that stands apart from other options.

The double-flap lid that opens in the middle gives the Simplehuman Butterfly Stainless Steel Step garbage can a really cool, almost futuristic design. You might expect a Star Wars-like ship to fly out of the can when the lid opens. Additionally, the stainless steel construction and the high-quality step pedal that's rated for 150,000 uses allow this Simplehuman can to stand up to rough treatment.

Reviews Wise mentions the impressive and stylistic design of this Simplehuman garbage can, which fits in with almost any decor. According to Idea Hacks, the can's design includes lid Shox technology, which smoothly controls the movement of the lid's two flaps, allowing it to close silently.

One Amazon customer reviewer acknowledged the high price tag of this Simplehuman Butterfly Stainless Steel Trash Can but said it's a great value because of its high-quality construction and long-lasting design. We've said it before, and we'll say it again — Simplehuman makes beautiful trash cans.

As an added benefit for pet owners, the Dog Guide calls the Simplehuman Butterfly Step Trash Can one of the best garbage cans for thwarting dogs from opening it, thanks to its unique butterfly-style lid opening design. However, as one Amazon customer points out, be careful of the sharp corners on this garbage can.

Pros: Dual-flap lid opens with step pedal, lid's design gives the garbage can a futuristic look, high-quality materials used in can's construction, works great to thwart nosy pets

Cons: High price point, center-split lid design makes inserting large objects difficult

Buy the Simplehuman Butterfly Stainless Steam Step Trash Can on Amazon for $159.99-$169.99

The best hideaway trash can

The best hideaway trash can
If even a sharp-looking garbage can doesn't convince you the trash can should be visible in your kitchen, the Rev-A-Shelf Pull-Out Waste Container slides in and out of a cabinet, hidden from view.

No matter how much a garbage can manufacturer attempts to beautify kitchen trash cans, there's always one problem: It's still a trash can, and everyone who sees it knows it's a trash can. If you hate the idea of having a garbage can visible inside your home, the Rev-A-Shelf Pull-Out Waste Container is a great idea.

You will have to dedicate a section inside a cabinet to this small garbage can. It uses a wire frame attached to roller bars to make sliding the Rev-A-Shelf trash can in and out of the cabinet easily. The trash can included in the Rev-A-Shelf system provides 35 quarts of volume (nearly nine gallons). The bracket system supports up to 100 pounds, an impressive level of sturdiness.

One Amazon customer reviewer was impressed with the quality of the bracketing and the plastic trash can itself. However, another reviewer on Amazon said the trash can wobbles inside the bracketing, giving it a cheaply constructed feel. We suspect it's all in how you install the brackets, so many it sturdy.

The Bower Power Blog review mentions the ease of installation as a great feature of the Rev-A-Shelf garbage can. Additionally, because you're hiding the trash can out of sight, it's also out of reach of pets and young children, Doggy Toggery points out.

Pros: Garbage can hides in a cabinet, sliding mechanism makes moving garbage can back and forth easy, can remains out of reach of pets, shelf rated for 100 pounds of weight

Cons: Smaller than average garbage can volume, can may wobble inside bracket

Buy the Rev-A-Shelf Pull-Out Waste Container on Amazon for $43.99-$50

The best large trash can

The best large trash can
If a common 13-gallon trash can isn't big enough for your kitchen, the Brabantia Touch garbage can offers a 16-gallon capacity.

If you consider yourself an above average volume cook, you may find yourself needing a kitchen garbage can with an above average capacity level. Although a 13-gallon trash can is the most common size, the Brabantia Touch trash can provides a 16-gallon capacity. That may not sound like a big difference from the standard garbage can, but it's about 23% larger. That means fewer garbage bags used and fewer times emptying the can.

The Trash Recycling Compost review said this stainless steel trash can features an excellent build quality, and the large opening on the Brabantia can makes it easy to remove the garbage bag. Sink HQ notes the ability of the stainless steel construction of the can to resist smudges from fingerprints.

Brabantia's Touch trash can appears in multiple sizes, although the 16-gallon model marks the largest size. Sandhya's Kitchen discusses the excellent touch mechanism found with all of Brabantia's Touch garbage cans, regardless of capacity. The system requires only a light touch on the lid of the garbage can, causing it to open quietly and smoothly.

Finding adequately sized garbage bags remains one potential drawback to using a larger-than-average capacity garbage can. One Amazon customer reviewer reported using tall size 13-gallon bags successfully in the large capacity Brabantia can, however. Brabantia also provides bags that will fit the 16-gallon bin properly. The most common complaint among Amazon customers regarding the Brabantia family of garbage cans is units arriving damaged.

Pros: Stylistic stainless steel garbage can, larger than average capacity level, multiple capacity sizes available in this design, easy-to-use touch-enabled garbage can lid

Cons: Difficulty in finding garbage bags that fit 16-gallon can, high price point

Buy the Brabantia Touch Trash Can (16 Gallon/60 Liter) on Amazon for $119.33

The best narrow trash can

The best narrow trash can
If you have a tight space into which you'd like to store your garbage can, the Simplehuman Slim Open Top trash can provides a normal volume capacity in a thin can.

With a 10.7-inch width, the Simplehuman Slim Open Top trash can represents one of the thinnest 13-gallon stainless steel garbage cans available on the market. So for those kitchens where space remains at a premium, a narrow garbage can works well.

With such a narrow can, the opening in the top of the can measures narrower than average, too, unfortunately. This means it's difficult to fit large objects into the garbage can without spilling. Fortunately, the brushed stainless steel or rose gold steel finishes on the Simplehuman Slim Open Trash Can provides an easy cleanup process.

The can has no lid, either, so odors may be a problem. Additionally, pets easily gain access to the garbage can with the lack of a lid, although one Amazon customer reviewer says the height of the can makes it difficult for a dog to tip the can and spill it.

Despite some drawbacks, Amazon customer reviews of the Simplehuman narrow garbage can remain overwhelmingly positive. One Amazon buyer says the slim can design makes changing the garbage bag easier than with a round design can. Another reviewer acknowledged the high price point of this Simplehuman slim garbage can, but said its sturdy build quality makes it a good value over the long run. In general, we agree that Simplehuman trash cans are worth the extra money.

Pros: Thin can fits well in narrow spaces, high-quality construction, sharp looking metal designs, narrow can offers common 13-gallon capacity, easy to clean garbage can shell

Cons: No lid to minimize odors, high price point

Buy the Simplehuman Slim Open Top Trash Can on Amazon starting at $122.38 (price varies by color)

Check out our buying guides to the best cleaning supplies

Check out our buying guides to the best cleaning supplies
The best bathroom cleaning products you can buy

Your bathroom always needs a good cleaning, and having the right tools on hand is essential if you want it to be squeaky clean. We've tested tons of cleaners to find the best bathroom cleaning products you can buy.

Whether you need disinfecting wipes , a new scrub brush for the tub , an excellent shower cleaning spray , or an effective mop , we've got you covered. Our bathroom cleaning product recommendations include:

The best dish soap you can buy

A top-quality dish soap has a pleasant scent if it has a scent at all, cleans the most stubborn pots and pans, and is eco- and hand-friendly. Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soapis our top pick because it's effective on grease, safe for the environment, and gentle on your hands.

You might prefer the Dawn Dish Soap Platinum Power Clean Dishwashing Liquid , theSeventh Generation Dish Liquid , the Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner , and the J.R. Watkins Liquid Dish Soap .

The best dish racks you can buy

A top-quality dish drying rack has a large capacity without taking up too much space, is designed for easy water run-off and efficient drying, and is easy to clean. The Premium Racks Professional Dish Rack is our top pick because it is customizable and can hold all of your odds and ends.

ou might prefer the Surpahs Over the Sink Roll-Up Dish Rack , the OXO Good Grips Convertible Foldaway Dish Rack , the Chef'n CleanGenuity Garden Dish Rack , and theSimplehuman Kitchen Steel Frame Dish Rack .

The best kitchen towels you can buy

Top-quality kitchen towels are durable, absorb the biggest spills, and handle easily. TheAunt Martha's Flour Sack Dish Towels are our top pick because they can get into hard-to-reach spots, dry quickly, and they won't leave any lint behind.

You might prefer the Fecido Classic Kitchen Dish Towels , the Cotton Craft EuroCafe Waffle Weave Terry Kitchen Towels , the Williams Sonoma All Purpose Pantry Towels , and the Gryeer Bamboo and Microfiber Kitchen Towels .

The best sponges you can buy

Scrubbing dirty dishes and surfaces is less of a pain with the right sponge. We tested several sponges to find the best ones. Scrub Daddy's innovative sponge is our top pick because it's effective, has good scrubbing power, and dries fast to avoid mold and mildew.

You might also like the Nano Sponge , the O-Cedar Multi-Use Scrunge Scrub Sponge , theNatural Sea Sponge , and the Kuhn Rikon Stay Clean Silicone Scrubber .

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