The Best Kitchen Trash Cans
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.
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 $200, but considering how often we use our kitchen trash cans and how long this one will last, I think it’s worth it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Totem trash can 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, a trash bin, and a recycling drawer with removable divider—plus a replaceable odor control filter. The whole Totem line is impressive, but we love this piece for its larger size and separate food waste bin.
Tips for Deodorizing Your Trash Can
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.