Form and function may not always spring to mind when looking to buy a new kitchen trash can, but they are worth thinking about when choosing an item that is not only used every day, but often proudly out on display. Trash cans are available in two main types, the hidden, which we can keep in a kitchen cabinet or the visible or freestanding can that sits out on the kitchen floor.In this review we look at some of the bestselling hidden and visible trash cans on the market, and what advantages and disadvantages they offer to our kitchen. We also look at what you need to consider when choosing the best kitchen trash can such as its size, type of opening and its construction material.
The simplehuman slim black 10.6 gallon trash can offers a soft closing slim design with a secure slide lock to keep the smaller two legged, and the four legged family members out of the trash.
The Rubbermaid Step On 13 gallon trash can is a family-sized traditional black trash can made in the US.
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Kitchen Trash Cans
1. Simplehuman Slim Black 10.6 Gallon Trash Can
The simplehuman slim black 10.6 gallon trash can is suitable for smaller spaces such as in between kitchen cabinets. With a silent close lid utilizing lid shox technology, it also has a secure slide lock to prevent children or pets from accessing the trash. The can is made from durable black plastic and the foot pedal from steel for extra strength. It also comes with built-in wheels, which may cause the can to move slightly when being opened.This 40 liter can comes without its lid attached and some owners have experienced difficulties with attaching the lid as the instructions are not as clear as they could be. Custom fit liners are available for this can and it comes with a five year warranty.
2. Rubbermaid Step On 13 Gallon Trash Can
The Rubbermaid Step On 13 gallon trash can has a lid able to stay open without you needing to keep your foot on the pedal. The pedal is quite shallow though, so you will need to open it with minimal foot pressure to prevent any damage to the pedal. Some owners have also experienced difficulties with the design of the lid and struggled to attach the lid properly to the can.The bags that you put into this actually secure to the can rim, which means that they are not visible on the outside of the can. Made in Ohio, this black can comes with a one year warranty.
3. iTouchless 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can
A non-touch can, the iTouchless 13 gallon automatic trash can is opened by your hand motion. This is a stainless steel rectangular can that is fingerprint-resistant and takes common 13 gallon trash bags. Because it has no inner bucket, it offers more capacity than comparable cans, and it has a retainer ring to prevent the bags from falling into the can.
It has sensor lights to show you when the lid is ready to close, and if it detects motion again, it will automatically re-open to prevent it from closing on your hand. It takes four D size batteries (which are not included), or you can buy an AC adapter for it. It also incorporates a carbon filter to neutralize odor; one is included with the can.Although this can has a one year warranty, there is a fee to pay if you want to make a warranty claim.
4. NINESTARS DZT-50-6 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can
With a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel body, the NINESTARS DZT-50-6 13 gallon automatic trash can will open when your hand moves within 10" of the sensor, and, it can also detect unnecessary opening by children or pets. Operating with four D batteries, these are not included with the can.
You can also buy a sperate AC adapter from the manufacturer. This can takes manufacturer custom trash bags or common bags. It also has a ring liner to keep the bag in place. It comes with a two year warranty that will not charge for replacing any defective parts, although some owners have found it difficult to find contact information for the manufacturer.
5. Simplehuman 11.9 Gallon Stainless Steel Trash Can
The simplehuman 11.9 gallon/45 liter stainless steel trash can does not have an inner bucket which gives more capacity for trash. It has an extra wide steel pedal and you can store your trash bags at the back of the can for easier replacement, although this compartment is sized to fit custom bags only, so if you use standard bags, they may not fit as well and may be visible outside the can.
It has lid shox technology for quiet closing and a Nano-sliver coating that prevents fingerprint marks and microbes from reproducing. This trash can comes with a ten year warranty.
6. Simplehuman In-Cabinet Trash Can
The simplehuman 2.6 gallon/10 liter in-cabinet trash can is able to hang inside your kitchen cabinet door. This is a smaller capacity can and may be more suitable for smaller homes, RVs and cabins, but even in a family kitchen, its compact size makes it ideal for clearing kitchen scraps and small amounts of garbage.
It is a black durable plastic bucket with a lid that sits inside a heavy duty steel frame. The bucket easily removes for cleaning. This can either hang this over a cupboard door, or you can screw it onto the door as permanent fixing. You will need to carefully check that there is enough room for this in your cabinet around any garbage disposal or plumbing, and that your door is not too thick for the steel bracket. You can buy custom fit liners separately for this can and it comes with a five year warranty.
7. Simplehuman 12.2 Gallon Stainless Steel Dual Compartment Trash Can
The Simplehuman 12.2 gallon/46 liter stainless steel dual compartment trash can has one side for trash and the other for recycling. It is a step on can that operates with a steel foot pedal and its stainless steel body has an anti-fingerprint coating. The inner buckets are removeable for easy cleaning and custom fit trash bags are available from the manufacturer. As this is a smaller dual compartment can you may find it more suitable for use in a smaller kitchen or household.This can opens and closes quietly with lid shox technology and it has a non-skid base with rubber feet to stop it from marking your floor. This comes with a ten year warranty from the manufacturer.
8. GLAD GLD-74506 13 Gallon Stainless Steel Trash Can
The GLAD GLD-74506 13 gallon stainless steel trash can has a steel foot pedal for easy and quiet step on operation and it comes with Clorox antimicrobial protection on the lid. You can store your spare trash bags at the rear of the can and when you change the bag, there is a ring to hold it in place inside the can.Although this can is a standard 13 gallon, you may want to check measurements before you buy as it is shorter in height and wider than other 13 gallon trash cans, although you can buy custom bags from the manufacturer to fit this can. Its stainless steel body is resistant to fingerprints and it comes with a five year warranty from the manufacturer.
9. Umbra Venti 16 Gallon Black/Nickel Swing Top Trash Can
The Umbra Venti 16 gallon black/nickel swing top trash can is made from propylene that is durable and easy to clean. It has a neck ring to hold bags in place and is sturdy enough for commercial use as well as inside or outside the home. As part of the packing on this can, tape is used to hold the swing lid shut, so when you remove this it may leave some residue or damage to the nickel colored surface.
10. Simplehuman Under-Counter Trash and Recycler Cans
The simplehuman under-counter trash and recycler cans are on a commercial grade steel ball-bearing track to extend out from your kitchen cabinet by up to 3 ft, although this may not come as far out as may be expected from the cabinet.Coming with a five year warranty, its overall capacity is 9.3 gallon over two buckets, which may be too small for larger households. There are also no lids on these cans.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Kitchen Trash Can
Estimates suggest that one person produces around 4.4 lbs. of waste a day or a family of four will produce around 17.4 lbs. daily. With that in mind, here are four main things that you may want to consider when selecting a new can:
Size of Can
Most freestanding trash cans tend to be around 10 to 13 gallons. When you think about the size, consider not only the size of your household and how much room you have for the can, but perhaps most importantly, how often do you intend to empty it. Most of us do not want to empty the trash twice a day, but neither do we want a half empty can that starts to smell and is attracting pests by the middle of the week.
If you have the space, then you may want a dual compartment can, so you can separate recyclables easily. One con is that the recyclable compartment tends to be smaller than the trash, so if you recycle larger items, you will soon find it overflowing.
Whatever type of can you choose, always look for one that is durable and easy to clean. Mesh cans have their place in the home office but are unsuitable for wet kitchen garbage, even if you use bags – they often leak.
Cans that have inner buckets may be easier to clean, as you can rinse the buckets out in the yard and leave them to dry, while those without means you will have to get into the bottom of the can with some paper towels and Clorox.
Not So Easy Opening
If you have children and/or pets, look at how the can opens and closes, or with pets especially; how easy it may be for them to get at the trash.
Advantages of Hidden Trash Cans
Once you have decided on size, you can consider whether to have a hidden or visible can. Hidden options include those that fit into kitchen cabinets, attach inside cabinet doors or in pull out drawers under the countertop.
The main disadvantage of hidden cans is that they do take up a lot of cabinet space, so if you have a smaller kitchen it may not be the best solution. These types of cans may also be smaller than visible ones and rarely come with lids, so you may find odors developing quite quickly around the cans.
The Pros of Visible Trash Cans
With visible cans, the most popular type is either the lift top or the step on. The lift top design can be more awkward when your hands are full of garbage and the outer of lid can get microbially dirty very quickly. Although the step on type will keep cleaner, the pedal mechanisms on these are prone to breaking, particularly with heavy use.
Ideally you should avoid open visible cans as these are easy to access by pests. Swing top cans also have their issues, including not being able to fill the can to capacity as it stops the lid from swinging. When you do use a swing top, wet garbage may also end up being spilled on or around the swing lid.
When looking at visible cans, you may want to consider their design, such as whether they are round or square and also what color they are, as most of us want a trash can to blend into the kitchen rather than stand out.
Stainless steel is a popular choice as it tends to blend into most kitchen styles or color schemes, it also cleans easily and will not stain in the way that lighter colored plastics can. It is worth looking out for one that has a fingerprint-resistant coating though, especially if it is a lift top model, as it will soon become smudged.
Automatic Trash Cans
Automatic cans are also becoming popular as you do not need to touch them to open them. However, like anything which needs batteries, there is more risk of this malfunctioning over time. They may also drain batteries quite quickly, or you may need to buy a separate AC adapter, so you can plug it into an outlet. Sensor cans are often more expensive than traditional manual opening cans.
As well as thinking about the best type of can for our kitchen, such as an in-cabinet or step on can, other considerations such as the size, type of lid and construction material means we do need to put some thought to the form as well as function of our kitchen trash can.Whether your tastes are running to a durable black polypropylene or an anti-fingerprint stainless steel, with the wide range of trash can designs now available, we hope that these reviews have been useful and helped you in your choice of best kitchen trash can for your home.
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