The Best Kitchen Trash Cans

The Best Kitchen Trash Cans

Nicole Lund
Jul 19, 2018

They hide your garbage, but that doesn't mean they have to be as unsightly as what's in them. While the most important thing to look for when shopping for a kitchen trash can is functionality, style doesn't have to be sacrificed. We rounded up our favorite design-friendly trash cans that are as stylish as they are functional, and come in at all price points, so you can take the bin out from under the sink and make it a real, functional part of your space.

How This Works

Every week we research new product categories and bring our final picks into the office, where we haggle and decide which ones make the final list. Everything is based on quality, appearance and price. These are what we could choose for our own home.

Maxwell's Favorite:

Simplehuman Dual Compartment Trash Can

(Image credit: Amazon)


I've long been a fan of simplehuman trash cans, and this newer version does not disappoint, for several reasons. First of all, the older can I used to have had a really funky, noisy motor in it that got erratic pretty quickly. This new generation has solved those problems. The lid opens quickly and smoothly and you can't hear it at all.

One of the classic design features of simplehuman cans is how plastic bags are stored and held in place. I love how they are stored on the back, with a hole through to the inside so you can easily pull them out when changing. AND now they have a nice big rim that closes down over the bag so that it is firmly held in place.

It's an investment at just under $200, but considering how often we use our kitchen trash cans and how long this one will last, I think it's worth it.


Mint Retro Galvanized Trash Can

(Image credit: World Market)

World Market

If you take your small space living seriously, this little trash can from World Market might be just right. With only 2.5 gallon capacity, it's smaller than most kitchen trash cans, but its retro look and pretty mint color will look right at home in any space. Alternatively, it's a great option for recycling or composting bins, separate from your usual trash can.


(Image credit: IKEA)


Discreet and straight-forward, this trash can from IKEA has 16-gallon capacity at a budget price. It has a top touch lid and ring around the rim that holds the bag in place...and that's about it. The lack of features isn't a flaw though—the GIGANTISK is a super practical pick for those who want an upgrade to the classic plastic bins without going overboard.

Brushed Black Step Trash Can

(Image credit: CB2)


A modern update on a vintage classic, this sleek trash can from CB2 makes the most of minimalist design and can easily be tucked away in a corner. The black matte shade adds style to a product not usually known for its attractiveness, and the slim shape distinguishes it from similarly rounded cans we've seen. As far as details go, this bin has a removable plastic liner and a rim that easily tucks and conceals bags.


Brabantia Bo Touch Bin

(Image credit: Amazon)


A new design from Brabantia, the Bo Touch Bin is "a new way of looking at waste." Aside from being cute (a word I never thought I'd use to describe a trash can), it's also totally customizable. You can choose for your bin either a single bucket, two different-sized buckets, or three equal-sized, smaller buckets. This personal touch makes the Bo stand out, especially since it means you can change your setup as your needs evolve.

Kohler Steel Step Trash Can

(Image credit: Container Store)

Container Store

Found at the Container Store, this trash can from the experts at Kohler is an easy choice for those who are looking for something easy and dependable. It holds 13 gallons, has a step lid and a removable inner bucket that makes taking the trash out much easier.


Simplehuman Semi-Round Sensor Can

(Image credit: Amazon)


It's no surprise we're big fans of simplehuman here at Apartment Therapy, and that love especially applies to the brand's incredible trash cans. This one excites us because it has a motion sensor that allows the can to open with a wave of the hand—no touching necessary. It's also super easy to use, with the liner fitting over the can and staying hidden under the large outer lid, and a liner pocket to keep your extras close by.

Wesco Pushboy Trash Can

(Image credit: Amazon)


For something more on the retro side, check out the classic Pushboy trash can. It comes in a variety of fun colors and is made of durable stainless steel, including the top flap, keeping odors at bay. Is it particularly practical? Not exactly, but it's nostalgic and looks different from your typical kitchen trash can, and is seriously made to last.

Joseph Joseph Totem 60

(Image credit: Amazon)


The Totem 60 is large, but that's because it's pulling double-duty as a waste separation and recycling combination unit. Inside you'll find a food waste caddy, 9 gallon trash bin and a 6 gallon recycling drawer with removable divider—plus a replaceable odor control filter. The whole Totem line is impressive, but we love the Totem 60 for its larger size and separate food waste bin.

Tips for Deodorizing Your Trash Can

  1. Baking soda is magical. Sprinkle some baking soda in your trash can or directly on your trash and the odors will be neutralized. Of course, this isn't a longterm solution, but it'll last until you take the trash out.
  2. Don't forget to clean your trash can too. Over time all those garbage odors will stick to the surface of your bin, adding to the smells of your old leftovers. To prevent this from happening, clean your bin every few months with a mixture of 1 cup baking soda to 1 gallon water.
  3. Essential oils work too. Essential oils can be used for both cleaning and deodorizing. Put a few drops on a cotton ball and place it under the liner to keep your bin smelling fresh—we recommend lemon, lavender, or peppermint.

Our Best Kitchen Trash Can Posts:

Other Good Resources:

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)
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