The 9 Best Kitchen Trash Cans of 2021

Sleek and functional waste-management options

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The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

Every kitchen needs a designated container for waste. The right trash can for your home depends on your lifestyle, available space, kitchen layout, design theme, and personal preferences. You can find large, wide, narrow, rectangular, and round receptacles, as well as options with swing tops, butterfly lids, step lids, motion sensors, and attached recycling bins.

Here, the best kitchen trash cans available today.

Our Top Picks
This high-quality trash can has a silent-close lid, a pedal that lasts 20 years, and a 10-year manufacturer warranty.
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This durable plastic bin is made to last and conveniently fits underneath most kitchen sinks.
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Choose from black, white, or silver stainless steel with a fingerprint-proof finish.
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The motion sensor automatically opens the lid when you're within six inches and closes it when you walk away.
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Best Swing-Top:
Umbra Grand at Amazon
The swinging domed lid opens swiftly and closes smoothly to conceal the contents of your trash.
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When the infrared sensor detects your hand, the butterfly lid will glide open and then automatically close when you move away.
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This 20-gallon bin has built-in odor protection and interior rings to keep large, heavy bags in place.
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The slim round design looks sleek and can be placed anywhere in your kitchen.
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This double-duty steel receptacle has two inner plastic bins and a step pedal on each side.
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Best Overall: Simplehuman 50-Liter Rectangular Step Trash Can

simplehuman 50 Liter / 13.2 Gallon Rectangular Kitchen Step Trash Can

For an all-around high-quality option with convenient features, we recommend the simplehuman 50 Liter Rectangular Step Can. It's made of fingerprint-proof brushed stainless steel and has an extra-strong pedal that's engineered to endure more than 20 steps a day for two decades. Patented technology ensures the lid closes slowly and quietly, and internal hinges prevent it from bumping the wall when it's open.

This trash bin measures 19.8 x 12.8 x 25.7 inches. With a 13.2-gallon capacity, it's compatible with any large kitchen trash bags. Don't worry about filling it to the brim, either, because built-in wheels make it easy to move around your kitchen if it gets heavy. Also, simplehuman backs this product with a 10-year warranty, so you can have peace of mind about your purchase.

Best Budget: AmazonCommercial 10 Gallon Commercial Waste Basket

AmazonCommercial 10 Gallon Commercial Waste Basket

If you're looking for something with a lower price tag, check out the AmazonCommercial 10 Gallon Waste Basket. It's made of super-resilient plastic and has a rolled rim, which increases its durability. While this trash can is designed for heavy commercial use, it's suitable for homes too. Measuring 15.5 x 11.31 x 20.5 inches, it has a convenient space-saving shape that fits under most sinks.

Best Splurge: Kohler Stainless Steel 13-Gallon Step Trash Can

 Kohler K-20940-ST 13-Gallon Stainless Trash Can

For those interested in a high-end option, this 13-gallon Kohler trash can is an excellent choice. It's made of top-tier stainless steel and comes in silver, black, or white, each with a fingerprint-proof finish. This kitchen trash bin is 16.81 x 13 x 26.44 inches with a space-saving profile that fits right up against a wall.

The metal foot pedal makes it easy to open without touching the canister. Also, the lid has a special hinge design to prevent wall scuffs, and it closes gently and silently every time. It has a removable plastic liner that's easy to clean and a locking rim for effortless bag changes.

Best No-Touch: iTouchless 13-Gallon Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can

iTouchless 13 Gallon Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can with Odor

The best no-touch kitchen trash bin is the 13-gallon iTouchless Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can. With the wave of your hand, the lid opens up, allowing you to throw things out without touching the canister. It automatically closes when you walk away, but you can also set it to remain open if needed.

This high-tech trash can has a 12-inch diagonal opening and fits all standard tall kitchen bags. A replaceable activated carbon filter absorbs and prevents odors. It runs on four D batteries (not included), which you'll only need to replace every one to two years.

Best Swing-Top: Umbra Grand Swing Top 10 Gallon Kitchen Trash Can

Umbra Grand Swing Top Kitchen Trash Can

If you're looking for a classic swing-top design, we suggest the Umbra Grand. This round trash bin is 26 inches tall with a 13-inch diameter around the top and a 10-gallon capacity. It's made of durable and easy-to-clean thermoplastic with a sleek and versatile black finish.

The domed swing-top lid is easy to remove and secure back into place. It swings open effortlessly and then gently swings back, concealing the contents of your trash.

Best Butterfly-Top: Ninestars Automatic Touchless Infrared Motion Sensor Trash Can

NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Infrared Motion Sensor Trash Can

The best butterfly-top option is the Ninestars Automatic Trash Can. With a semi-round design and a 13-gallon capacity, it's the perfect size and shape for kitchens. You can place it along a wall, up against your island, or inside a walk-in pantry.

When your hand passes within 10 inches of the infrared sensor, the butterfly-style lid will automatically glide open. Once it senses that you've moved away, it'll close after three seconds. This stainless steel trash bin runs on two C batteries (not included) and comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty.

Best Large: GLAD Extra Capacity Stainless Steel Step Trash Can

GLAD Extra Capacity Stainless Steel Step Trash Can

If you need something a bit larger than the standard kitchen size, the GLAD Extra Capacity Stainless Steel Step Trash Can is your best bet. This 20-gallon canister fits 50 percent more than a regular 13-gallon bin. Interior rings help keep large, heavy bags secure and in place.

While the large size means you don't have to take your trash out as often, you won't have to worry about unpleasant smells. This can has built-in Clorox protection, which inhibits bacteria and prevents odors from developing.

Best Round: simplehuman 30 Liter Round Step Trash Can

simplehuman 30 Liter / 8 Gallon Round Step Trash Can

For something a little smaller, you might consider the simplehuman 30 Liter Step Trash Can. The sleek round shape fits almost anywhere and complements most kitchen designs. Plus, it has a silent-close lid and a durable steel pedal designed to last 20 years. And like all simplehuman products, it comes with a 10-year warranty.

At just 8 gallons, this trash can is on the smaller side, but it's big enough for couples or families who do a lot of recycling and composting and may not have as much trash day-to-day.

Best with Recycling: Step N' Sort 16-Gallon 2-Compartment Trash and Recycling Bin

Trash and Recycling Bin

If you want something with a recycling component, we recommend the Step N' Sort 2-Compartment Trash and Recycling Bin. This 16-gallon waste-management system has a durable steel frame and two heavy-duty plastic bins. The trash and recycling sides have their own step pedals for hands-free opening without the need for batteries. Choose from silver, black, or red.

Final Verdict

The best kitchen trash can overall is the simplehuman 50 Liter Rectangular Step Trash Can (available at Amazon) thanks to its sleek, versatile design and handy features. That said, if you want a no-touch option, the iTouchless 13 Gallon Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can (available at Amazon) is a great high-tech choice.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This roundup was written by Theresa Holland, a Portland-based homeowner and professional writer specializing in household goods and interior design. In addition to The Spruce, she regularly contributes to MyDomaine and Byrdie.

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