You might assume that all colanders work the same way, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While they are all designed to drain water and strain other liquids, the different styles on the market all have different purposes. Not only that, but some designs are just not well-thought-out and can cause issues with proper drainage, making them a poor choice for your next purchase. Take the time to read our guide on how to find the best colander, and check out the reviews of the best colanders on the market today to help you get an idea of what you want to buy. By the time you’re done, even if you don’t choose something from this list, you’ll have a much better idea of how to buy the right colander for the job, no matter what you have in mind.
The LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander features professional-grade construction and durable materials, making it our best pick. It holds plenty with its large size and delivers quick straining with ease.
We chose the Bellemain Micro-perforated Stainless Steel 5-quart Colander as our budget pick, for its affordable price point combined with rust-proof design and impressive size. It features durable construction, as well.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 12 Best Colanders
- 1. LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander
- 2. Bellemain Micro-perforated Stainless Steel Colander
- 3. Comfify Collapsible Colanders Set
- 4. U.S. Kitchen Supply - Premium Quality Over the Sink Stainless Steel Oval Colander
- 5. Calypso Basics by Reston Lloyd Powder Coated Enameled Colander
- 6. ExcelSteel 731 Colander Set
- 7. Chef Craft 21311 Deep Colander
- 8. HÖLM 3-Piece Stainless Steel Mesh Micro-Perforated Strainer Colander Set
- 9. KUKPO EASY GRIP - 5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander
- 10. OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless-Steel Colander
- 11. Tiawudi Stainless Steel Colander
- 12. Qimh Colander Collapsible
- How to Choose the Best Colanders and Strainers for Every Cooking Need
Quick Comparison: Top 12 Best Colanders
The LiveFresh Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander is an ideal choice for those who want a professional-grade strainer that can accommodate all the foods and ingredients you may need to rinse or drain. This colander can even be used as a vegetable steamer in a pinch, and the sturdy base ensures that you’ll never have to worry about tipping or spilling your food into the sink. Plus, the riveted handles give you a long-lasting hold.This colander is dishwasher safe, rust-proof and features an indestructible design that is 20% thicker than the average colander. It is still lightweight, too, so it doesn’t add a lot of extra heft when it comes to draining high quantities of pasta or beans. The sturdy design holds up better than most home colanders for people who want something a little more high-quality for their kitchen.
This stainless-steel colander is designed with heavy-duty use in mind, featuring handles that are welded on for durable holding, no matter how heavy the load. Plus, the extra-wide base can go right to the table for your serving needs and will ensure that your food never tips or spills while straining.This colander is made of a thicker, higher quality stainless steel that is more durable so that you never have to worry about whether it can take whatever use you have in mind. With the ability to hold up to five pounds of pasta, you’ll never run out of room for food, no matter how many people you’re cooking for. When it comes to basic, quality kitchen tools, this colander really hits the mark.
3. Comfify Collapsible Colanders Set
This colander set includes colanders that are collapsible and available in various colors, giving you more than the average stainless strainer. The rubberized handles are safe, comfortable and rubberized so that you can enjoy comfortable straining. Plus, they are heat resistant up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, which means they can even be used for steaming directly in a pan of water.Anyone looking for basic kitchen tools or that needs multiple sizes will benefit from this set, which is affordably priced and can fit into any kitchen. The holes are too large for small grains like quinoa, but they will strain just about everything else quickly and efficiently. Plus, the durable design holds up to years of use and the black rubber grips make them easy to hold no matter what you’re straining.
4. U.S. Kitchen Supply - Premium Quality Over the Sink Stainless Steel Oval Colander
Those who are in the market for something a little more high-quality will be able to rely on the U.S. Kitchen Supply colander, which offers professional-grade materials and construction. This colander is made of durable stainless steel and features a basket-like design that is more effective at straining and draining than many shapes and styles on the market.This colander also features extendable arms, so it fits all sizes and shapes of sinks, buckets and basins. The super-fine holes are even great for sifting and filtering out impurities, making it a great multi-use tool to have in any kitchen. It also offers a secure grip with black rubber handles.
5. Calypso Basics by Reston Lloyd Powder Coated Enameled Colander
The Calypso Basics colander is a stylish choice that delivers effective straining for all of your needs. The large, rounded base ensures that all the water drains quickly and the colander remains sturdy at all times, no matter where you're draining or straining. Plus, it has durable stainless steel rims for added strength and can be used for hot and cold food prep.This five-quart colander has space for all kinds of food, including up to five pounds of pasta. These can even be used for gift baskets and fruit baskets when you want to do something different, adding a pop of color and style along the way. Even just as a kitchen tool, it will deliver the straining power that you need for all of your cooking and food prep.
6. ExcelSteel 731 Colander Set
The ExcelSteel 731 Colander Set includes three colanders in one package, giving you the perfect tool for every job. The oversized handles will ensure that you always have a good grip, while the perfect size of the colanders allows them to nest inside of each other to take up less space during storage. The wide hole design offers quick straining for a variety of foods, as well.These colanders are made of lightweight stainless steel, making them dishwasher-safe and easy to use for anyone. Plus, the affordable price-tag covers all three colanders and is less than what some single units cost on their own. The high-quality finish combined with the food-grade materials used for construction ensure that you’re making a solid investment in this colander set.
7. Chef Craft 21311 Deep Colander
The Chef Craft colander is one of the deepest on the market. Shoppers should not be deterred by its basic look and plastic design, because it is one of the bestselling colanders on the market right now for those who need large-scale kitchen tools and supplies. Plus, the plastic finish is dishwasher-safe even under high temperatures.This sturdy colander can be used on all kinds of foods, and the handles ensure that you have a good grip at all times. It can even make a great purchase for utility uses outside of the kitchen, giving you even more to appreciate. If you need something big and don't want to spend a lot, this colander should have everything that you need.
8. HÖLM 3-Piece Stainless Steel Mesh Micro-Perforated Strainer Colander Set
This three-piece strainer set includes all the tools you need in one. These strainers feature comfortable, easy-grip handles and an extra-wide base to provide a sturdy foundation for any use. The space on the bottom leaves plenty of room for water to drain out, no matter what you might be straining. The sturdy mesh will not snag, stretch, or warp with use, either.This colander set features a nesting design so that you can store all three strainers in one place, and the layout of the fine mesh holes means that more liquid will drain faster. This colander is great for washing fruits and vegetables, draining pasta, and so much more. Plus, the feet are welded on for extra durability.
9. KUKPO EASY GRIP - 5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander
The KUKPO EASY GRIP colander offers plenty of space for straining and draining a variety of foods. The professional-grade materials offer a better quality product than many plastic and other models on the market today, and the rubberized handles ensure that you can hold on, even if the colander gets a little hot. It is also dishwasher safe to make cleaning simple and easy.This colander is designed specifically for use with pasta and is great for all kinds of noodles and orzo. It can also be used to clean and drain fruits and vegetables, along with many other possible uses. This colander is a bit too large for rice and smaller grains like quinoa, but it is a great choice for pasta enthusiasts and others who need something larger, thanks to its 5-quart capacity.
10. OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless-Steel Colander
The OXO Good Grips colander in stainless steel delivers plenty of straining power with its large size and unique design. It also features feet, instead of a base, making room for more airflow and drainage underneath the bowl. This speeds up the process and ensures more thorough draining without shaking or tipping.The colander is lightweight in its construction and made from durable materials, and it offers a stylish look that is also functional. It comes with a warranty from the manufacturer to ensure your satisfaction, and it can be put in the dishwasher to make cleanup a breeze. All in all, this colander offers a decent choice for the money, although it might not be suited for grains like quinoa.
11. Tiawudi Stainless Steel Colander
This premium colander is designed to solve all of the problems that most colanders have, starting with the riveted handles and heavy-duty stainless-steel construction and design. This colander can be used for everything from cleaning produce to straining pasta, and so much more. Plus, it is rust-proof and easy to keep clean, thanks to its dishwasher-safe design.The Easy Grip Colander includes an extra-wide, solid ring base that will not only provide a sturdy foundation for the colander, but it also keeps water draining and ensures that there is no standing water left in the colander when all is said and done. This colander is compact and lightweight, while still offering plenty of capacity, and it continues to be one of the most affordably priced options on the market today.
12. Qimh Colander Collapsible
The Qimh Colander is a unique product, primarily because it is not a round bowl or colander like most of the models on the market today. This one can hold a lot of food, so it's great for families and large groups, and it features extendable handles so that it can rest on the sink rather than sitting down on the surface. It's also got a variety of cool colors to choose from to add a pop of color to the kitchen.This colander is a unique design that makes a great gift for Mother's Day, bridal showers, wedding showers, avid cooks, and so many more. It effectively speeds up food prep and makes a great tool that’s easy to hide away when you don’t need it. It features an easy-to-clean finish and can be washed with soap and water after each use, and the six-quart capacity is enough for any cooking need.
How to Choose the Best Colanders and Strainers for Every Cooking Need
A colander is an essential tool in almost every kitchen. While most have them, there may be a time when they need to be replaced, or you might just be in the market for a newer or better model. Either way, there is a little bit of information that you should learn first. Buying a colander might seem like an easy enough task. However, since there are so many different styles out there, it's important to understand what each offers. In the guide below, you'll learn all the details that are involved in choosing a colander, from its construction material to its handles, and more. Then, you'll be able to pick the best colanders for your needs with ease.
What is the Difference Between a Colander and a Strainer?
One of the biggest conversation topics in the world of colanders is what the heck the difference is between that and a strainer. Everyone has their own lingo for basic kitchen items, and since these two items are very similar, some people use the terms interchangeably. However, when it comes to technicalities, there is a very big difference between what qualifies as a colander and what qualifies as a strainer in the kitchen.
Strainers are typically smaller in size and will have a mesh-like design. They are used for liquids and small grains like quinoa, or for small quantities. Some strainers are also great as grease shields and used for sifting. Of course, this will vary depending on the products that you choose.
A colander, on the other hand, is designed for larger uses and will come in several sizes and styles. These tools will include larger holes, although there are some perforated and mesh colanders available that can do wonders for your draining and straining needs. Colanders are usually shaped like bowls and have larger holes.
At the end of the day, as long as you know the type of bowl or colander that you’re thinking about buying, it doesn't matter what you call it. Just remember that for the sake of technicalities, there is quite a difference between the two, which starts with the way that they are used.
What is the Colander Made From?
Colanders are constructed from several different materials today. There are stainless-steel colanders, which are quite popular, especially in professional and restaurant kitchens, as well as plastic and melamine colanders that offer a different finish or the option of different colors. Enamel-coated colanders are also popular because they offer the opportunity to get a variety of colors without having a plastic finish.
How do you choose the right material? The answer is that there really is no “right” or “wrong” material for a colander. Stainless steel and other materials all have their place. So long as it is rust-proof, however, the stainless colanders will typically offer more durability over the long term than something made of a plastic or composite material.
You should also be careful when considering a fine mesh colander for your cooking needs. These can be great for some applications, but they also clog easily with debris and grease, so you might want to purchase a colander with larger holes, as well.
Plastics and composite materials are durable and flexible, also offering the option of collapsible colanders so that you can save space with storage. This option is great for smaller kitchens or anyone who just doesn’t have a lot of cabinet space.
The Number and Size of Holes Matters
There is a reason that you see colanders and strainers with various sizes and placements of holes. A colander with large holes that is great for rinsing vegetables, for example, might not be ideal for draining or straining rice or orzo. Therefore, you’ll have to consider this in your purchase. A fine mesh strainer or sieve is best to keep on hand for smaller grains like quinoa, while something with larger holes might be perfect for washing vegetables or draining pasta.
Look for colanders that have a lot of holes in the bottom of the bowl. This is where the majority of the liquid will go, and it needs to be able to get out easily. Holes on the sides are also helpful, but once they get up so high, they become ineffective. The ones near the bottom are the ones to note.
This might seem like it is trivial, but it can have a huge impact on how well the colander works.
Feet, Handles, and Other Support
The most common accident with straining and using colanders happens during the transition—the colander gets upset by whatever is being poured into it and tips over into the sink, dumping all the food that you just worked so hard to cook. If you have cleaned the sink recently, it might not be a big issue. However, most people’s sinks aren’t sanitary enough for a save like this.
Therefore, you should always be looking at the support of the colander and how well it can stay upright on its own. Don't just look at it sitting empty on the shelf, either. Check out the base and see whether it includes a grip to add balance. Make sure that the base is wide enough to keep the colander balanced, and that it has feet or a flared base to leave room for the water to drain out.
Handles should be easily accessible and well-placed so that they can be used to pick up the colander with or without food in it. If you choose a multipurpose colander, you’ll want one that has an extendable handle or handles so that you have better support for all of the uses that you have in mind.
Colander Sizes and Whether You Need a Set
There are as many sizes of colanders as there are bowls and pans out there. The most common are the three-quart and five-quart colanders, but they are also available in one-quart, 2.5-quart, and even four- and six-quart sizes. Some are sold individually, while others come as a complete set of two, three, or more in one package.
How do you know what you need? Without actually seeing a colander in person, it can be hard to tell whether it will suit your needs. Take advantage of pictures and descriptions to see if the sizes are going to suit your needs for straining. If you want to make sure that you have tools for different jobs, consider getting a set that includes a couple of different sizes of colanders.
Buying a set may be more economical, and it makes sense to have different sizes so that you’re not wasting a huge colander for a small job. Of course, if you prefer to purchase one nicer model or just one that is more affordably priced, that’s fine as well.