A garbage disposal can offer many benefits, from making it easier to clean your sink to providing an alternative to sending small food scraps to the landfill. Equipping your kitchen sink with a garbage disposal can also help to prevent larger food scraps from accidentally obstructing your plumbing pipes.
We know that choosing the best garbage disposal for your sink can be challenging, so we've conducted hours of research to find the best models available, evaluating each on its horsepower, noise, chamber material, and installation process. Our best overall pick is the InSinkErator Badger 5 Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal because it offers 0.5 horsepower, has galvanized steel components, and is affordable. Here are the best garbage disposals to keep your plumbing clear and your sink tidy.
InSinkErator Badger 5 0.5 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with Power Cord
Galvanized steel components
InSinkErator is one of the best-known names in garbage disposals and has a long history of reliability and customer service. The Badger 5 is our top pick because it's powerful, has galvanized steel components, and it's a great fit for a variety of households.
This garbage disposal has 0.5 horsepower, which is the typical recommended amount for most households. The grind components are made of sturdy galvanized steel, so you can be sure that they won’t rust or wear down quickly. This garbage disposal balances value with performance, so it's an easy choice for anyone looking to upgrade their kitchen.
One of our favorite features of this garbage disposal is how easy it is to install, considering it is a hard-wired garbage disposal. The kit comes with assembly instructions and everything that you need for installation. If you do have problems, the company offers responsive customer service.
Price at time of publish: $118
Dimensions: 11.5 x 6.3 x 6.3 inches︱Capacity: 26 ounces︱Feed type: Continuous feed︱Horsepower: 0.5 HP︱Grinding speed: 1725︱Chamber material: Galvanized steel
Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal
Two-year protection plan
Not great for extensive use
Generally, lower horsepower means lower cost when it comes to garbage disposals. The 0.33-horsepower unit from Waste King offers homeowners the chance to purchase a quality garbage disposal without breaking the bank. It has an EZ mount and power cord for easy installation and a two-year protection plan in case you have any issues.
The lower horsepower does mean that this garbage disposal won’t be able to handle as many large or tough jobs, so this is an ideal choice for occasional use. If you plan on running your disposal after most meals or meal prep, opting for a higher horsepower unit might be worth the higher cost.
Price at time of publish: $75
Dimensions: 12.75 x 5.25 x 5.25 inches︱Capacity: Not listed︱Feed type: Continuous feed︱Horsepower: 0.33 HP︱Grinding speed: 1900︱Chamber material: Reinforced polymer
InSinkErator Evolution Prestige Continuous Feed Noise Insulation Garbage Disposal
Power cord not included
A couple of standout features make the high-end InSinkErator Evolution Prestige garbage disposal worth the cost: Its high horsepower can tackle just about any disposal job with an ultra-quiet performance. It also has a large capacity of 40 ounces, which is almost double some of the other garbage disposals on our list.
You will need to purchase a power cord separately if required, which is an additional cost for an already pricey garbage disposal. The other option is to hard-wire the unit, but you will need some electrical know-how to do that yourself.
Price at time of publish: $439
Dimensions: 13.5 x 9 x 9 inches︱Capacity: 40 ounces︱Feed type: Continuous feed︱Horsepower: 1 HP︱Grinding speed: 1725︱Chamber material: Stainless steel
Best Stainless Steel
Waste Maid 1/3 Builder Anti-Jam Stainless Steel Garbage Disposal
Stainless steel construction
Power cord included
Another 0.33 horsepower option, the Waste Maid Anti-Jam Stainless Steel garbage disposal is a great budget-friendly choice that offers stainless steel durability. It also has an anti-jam system to tackle bigger particles than other 0.33 horsepower garbage disposals. This garbage disposal is easy to install with the standard three-bolt mount assembly. It also comes with a power cord so that all you need to do is plug it in to get it started.
Price at time of publish: $63
Dimensions: 12.8 x 5.2 x 5.2 HP︱Capacity: Not listed︱Feed type: Continuous feed︱Horsepower: 0.33 HP︱Grinding speed: 2400︱Chamber material: Stainless steel
Best High Horsepower
Moen GXS75C Host Series Garbage Disposal
The Moen GXS75C model has ultra-high horsepower to tackle food waste of any kind. It is designed for daily use, so you can chop and get rid of your toughest veggies without worry. It also features sound reduction for a quieter performance, so you can still enjoy a TV show while meal prepping.
Price at time of publish: $144
Dimensions: 14.88 x 9.69 x 9.69 inches︱Capacity: Not listed︱Feed type: Continuous feed︱Horsepower: 0.75 horsepower︱Grinding speed: 2700︱Chamber material: Corrosion-proof polymer
Best for Septic Systems
InSinkErator Septic Assist Quiet Series ¾ HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal
Solution breaks down food before it gets to septic system
Power cord sold separately
Septic systems have unique plumbing needs, and the last thing you want is to clog or damage your system with particles that aren’t septic-safe. The InSinkErator Septic Assist garbage disposal has a Bio-Charge solution that helps break down food waste even more before it gets to your septic system.
This garbage disposal has a powerful 0.75-horsepower motor, ensuring that larger food pieces, including bones and fibrous vegetables, are demolished. It features sound seal technology for a quieter performance. It comes with a Quick Lock mount system that allows it to be easily installed, although you will probably want to hire a professional for electrical hookup unless you are an expert. If you need a power cord, you will have to purchase it separately.
Price at time of publish: $279
Dimensions: 12.63 x 8.75 x 13 inches︱Capacity: 40 ounces︱Feed type: Continuous feed︱Horsepower: 0.75 HP︱Grinding speed: 1725︱Chamber material: Not listed
Best Batch Feed
InSinkErator Evolution Cover Control Plus 3/4 HP Batch Feed Garbage Disposal
Two grinding stages
Magnetic cover switch
While batch feed garbage disposals are not ideal for every household, you'll appreciate the InSinkErator Evolution 3/4 HP Batch Feed Garbage Disposal if you're uncomfortable with a wall switch-operated model. Rather than continuously running when a wall switch is flipped on, batch feed garbage disposal must be activated manually by placing a stopper over the sink drain. The stopper is magnetized to help align it perfectly for operation.
Inside, this disposal has two grinding stages to finely pulverize difficult foods like small fruit pits and even small bones. It's also equipped with SoundSeal technology, which promises ultra-quiet performance and allows for conversation at a normal volume. As with most batch feed disposals, this model is slightly more expensive than other options in our roundup. However, we still think it's a great choice for anyone who doesn't have a wall switch available in their kitchen, or who wants more control over ensuring nothing falls into their disposal feed.
Price at time of publish: $348
Dimensions: 16.25 x 10 x 10 inches︱Capacity: 40 ounces︱Feed type: Batch feed︱Horsepower: 0.75 HP︱Grinding speed: 1725︱Chamber material: Stainless steel and zinc
Best for Large Sinks
Waste King L-3200 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord
Compact size with high horsepower
Includes power cord
Includes splash guard
For large sinks that need to handle a good amount of food waste, the Waste King L-3200 garbage disposal provides a 0.75-horsepower motor without taking up a lot of extra space under your sink. It is also easy to install since it includes a power cord.
An included splash guard will keep your sink's interior sparkling and help ward off any unwanted odors. When it’s time to clean the disposal, remove the splash guard to use the cleaner of your choice. The disposal comes with an eight-year warranty standard if you have any issues.
Price at time of publish: $134
Dimensions: 13.75 x 7.75 x 7.75 inches︱Capacity: Not listed︱Feed type: Continuous feed︱Horsepower: 0.75 HP︱Grinding speed: 2700︱Chamber material: Reinforced polymer
Best for Small Sinks
InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal
Quick Lock mount works with other InSinkErator models
Power cord sold separately
Ideal for smaller spaces, the InSinkErator Evolution Compact garbage disposal has a shorter height than other garbage disposals. It works well even for high-use kitchens since it has a high horsepower motor and a two-stage grinding system. It uses a standard three-bolt assembly, but you must purchase a power cord separately. Hard-wiring is required, so electrical expertise is recommended for installation.
Price at time of publish: $357
Dimensions: 12.13 x 8 x 8 inches︱Capacity: 34.6 ounces︱Feed type: Continuous feed︱Horsepower: 0.75 HP︱Grinding speed: 1725︱Chamber material: Alloy stainless steel
Our top pick is the InSinkErator Badger 5 0.5 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal. It is a great mix of value and performance, with 0.5 HP and galvanized steel components. For something more affordable, consider the Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord. It has a lower horsepower, so is ideal for occasional disposal or smaller amounts of food waste.
What to Look for in a Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals in kitchen sinks can come in continuous feed models or batch feed models. Continuous feed disposals only require that you flip a power switch. Continuous feed models are very popular for residential kitchens. Batch feed disposals are less common and operate once a magnetized feed cover is in place. They're often more expensive, but they are a great option for households who don't have a power switch near their sink (or who don't feel comfortable using a wall switch-powered garbage disposal).
Garbage disposals come in a variety of horsepower, with the majority coming in at 0.5 or 0.75 horsepower. These will both work for most households. Low horsepower models can be rated at 0.33 horsepower, but you should be aware of the limitations of these garbage disposals when it comes to grinding up larger pieces of food. Disposals with the highest horsepower (those of 1 horsepower or more) are most commonly found in commercial kitchens and will be more than most home chefs need. Our "best high horsepower" pick, the Moen GXS75C Host Series 3/4 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal, is able to handle tougher debris like banana peels, small fruit pits, and even small chicken bones. A higher horsepower garbage disposal means fewer clogs, but be wary of overfilling it.
The garbage disposal chamber can be made of a strong corrosion-resistant polymer, galvanized steel, or stainless steel. All are made to work with the wear and tear of running a garbage disposal. It’s also important to know what the blade is made of to ensure that it will hold up. These are often made of stainless steel.
Your specific sink setup may dictate what type of installation you need for your garbage disposal. Start by mounting the actual disposal under your sink. Many come with a three-bolt mounting assembly that makes it easy to change out in the future. You will also need to set up the plumbing. Fortunately, many garbage disposals come with everything that you need. If you have an electrical outlet below your sink, look for a garbage disposal with a cord. Sometimes you can purchase a cord separately, and that will add to the overall cost. It is more common to have garbage disposals hard-wired. While it is not a difficult installation, it’s always best to work with a professional electrician if you are not experienced with electrical work. The Spruce has a visual guide to garbage disposal parts to provide a better understanding of the installation process.
Some garbage disposals have special mechanisms that prevent larger food particles from jamming the device. These can help ensure that the garbage disposal continues to work properly, lasts longer, and prevents issues from developing with your plumbing. If you have a septic system, it is very important to get a garbage disposal that will keep your system clear and functional.
Garbage disposals can be quite loud, especially those with high-power motors. That’s why many include sound insulation or noise reduction. Choosing a garbage disposal with noise reduction technology can lower the noise of your garbage disposal so that you can even hold a conversation next to the sink while the disposal is running. Our "best batch feed" pick, the InSinkErator Evolution Cover Control Plus 3/4 HP Garbage Disposal, has sound sealing technology to limit noise while grinding food. This model's magnetized cover also helps limit noise, in contrast to continuous feed models.
What horsepower garbage disposal is best for home use?
Unless you're a home cook who's consistently grinding up tougher waste, a garbage disposal with a lower horsepower should work fine for in-home use. “A 0.5 or 0.75 horsepower garbage disposal should work for most needs,” says plumbing installation expert Bill Richmond of BR Plumbers. “For most users, it’s best to spend money on other features like a quiet disposal, rather than high horsepower that they don’t need.”
What can and cannot go into a garbage disposal?
Generally, all food waste can go into the garbage disposal. This includes soft and leafy foods such as strawberry tops and leftover salad greens. For higher horsepower models, this can also include hard food waste, such as bones. A few things to avoid putting down the disposal include fibrous vegetables like celery, coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit pits, and any grease. It’s always best to read your garbage disposal’s user manual to find out what foods it can handle.
How do you clean a garbage disposal?
To clean a garbage disposal, start by cleaning the splash guard with dish soap. You may be able to run it through the dishwasher to get a thorough clean. Put a few ice cubes and lemon or orange slices into your garbage disposal to remove any food build-up and get a fresh citrus scent. You can also use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clear up any clogs that may be impacting the performance of your garbage disposal or causing odors.
How do you unclog a garbage disposal?
Minor clogs can be broken down using a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Pour baking soda down the disposal and follow it with white vinegar until it begins to foam. Let it foam for 20-30 minutes, which will dissolve the clog. Run hot water to wash any residue away and run the disposal to make sure it is operating properly.
For stubborn clogs, a plunger can help dislodge any large particles. You may also need to physically disconnect the disposal and remove any build-up in the unit itself or in the plumbing. Always make sure to unplug the disposal or turn off the power to the breaker, if hard-wired. If you are still unable to unclog the disposal, call a plumber to see if there is a larger issue that may be covered under your garbage disposal’s warranty. “It’s really best to call a plumber when you’re having issues,” says Richmond. “That last thing that you want is to keep running your disposal and to cause more damage.”
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. She has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. For this roundup, Begley considered dozens of garbage disposal models, carefully evaluating each model’s horsepower, noise, installation type, and value. She also took hundreds of customer reviews and write-ups from third-party websites into account. Additional input was provided by North Carolina-based plumber Bill Richmond. Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, refreshed this roundup to include additional buying guides and contextualize the different types of garbage disposals.