best kitchen trash cans
Credit: Amazon

The Best Kitchen Trash Cans for a Tidy, Odorless Home

From round to rectangle, step pedal to swing top, we've rounded up the best receptacles for tossing your trash.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Trash cans are far from the most glamorous piece of kitchen equipment, but they're one of the most important. A poor choice of trash can may lead to a bad-smelling home, not to mention the growth of mold and mildew. To keep our kitchens looking organized and avoid overwhelming our garbage disposals, the right trash can is necessary.

With capacity, material, style, and overall value in mind, we determined our favorite kitchen trash cans on the market, including our top choice the Simplehuman Rectangular Kitchen Step Trash Can. Below, you can learn more about all the options that made our list of the best kitchen trash cans of 2022.

Our Favorites

Best Kitchen Trash Cans
Credit: Amazon

Best Overall: Simplehuman Rectangular Kitchen Step Trash Can

View at Amazon ($160)

Also available at Target and Wayfair.

Why It's Great

  • Sleek finish
  • Soft-close lid
  • Built-in wheels
  • Convenient foot pedal 

Grain of Salt

  • On the pricier side

We love this 13-gallon kitchen trash because it's as functional as it is attractive. Simplehuman thought of every basic kitchen need for this trash can, including built-in wheels for easy movement, a lid that closes slowly and silently, and an internal hinge that allows you to place the can directly against the wall. 

Thanks to the nonskid base, the trash can will stay exactly where you put it and won't scratch the floor if you move it. The inner container might seem less than convenient for some, but the fact that it's separate means that you can keep everything extra clean by washing it out as needed. 

The Details: Brushed stainless steel; measures 12.8 x 19.8 x 25.7 inches; 13-gallon capacity

Best Kitchen Trash Cans
Credit: Target

Best Budget: Room Essentials Swing Top Wastebasket

View at Target ($17)

Why It's Great

  • Works well in small areas
  • Low profile
  • Smooth texture for quick cleaning

Grain of Salt

  • Doesn't fully trap odors

For a full-size trash bin that can discreetly fit into small rooms, this Room Essentials Swing-Top Wastebasket is a sound choice. It's quite budget-conscious at under $20, yet is large enough for any kitchen needs.

The swing top feature is dual-action, which means it can swing in both directions, making it simple to place. The top stays open when lifted, so you can dispose of larger items without worrying that it will swing back shut before you finish placing them in the bin. Plus, its smooth plastic surface is a breeze to clean. 

The Details: Plastic; measures 17.25 x 13.5 x 27.25 inches; 13-gallon capacity

Best Kitchen Trash Cans
Credit: Amazon

Best Swing Lid: Umbra Grand Swing Top Kitchen Trash Can

View at Amazon ($40)

Why It's Great

  • Made from recycled materials
  • Suitable for small spaces
  • Modern look

Grain of Salt

  • Slightly smaller capacity than others

Swing-lid designs are not always the most visually appealing option, but this Umbra trash can has a modern appearance that belies its middle-of-the-road price tag. It's made out of recycled materials, so don't be bothered by the fact that it's plastic — it's the most eco-conscious version of plastic possible.

With a 10-gallon capacity, this pick is slightly smaller than many others on our list, but it's an excellent choice for those with small kitchens. Overall, it's lightweight, sleek, and a reasonable price. 

The Details: Recycled plastic; measures 13.39 x 13.39 x 25.2 inches; 10-gallon capacity

Related: These Are the Best Compost Bins for the Kitchen Counter and Beyond

Best Kitchen Trash Cans
Credit: Amazon

Best with Recycling: Simplehuman Rectangular Dual Compartment Trash Can

View at Amazon ($250)

Also available Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, and Target

Why It's Great

  • Large capacity
  • Fuss-free liner rim
  • Available in different finishes

Grain of Salt

  • Expensive

An all-in-one option for trash and recycling is a space saver, providing one convenient place to toss both your garbage and your recyclables. This Simplehuman rectangular two-in-one recycling and trash bin gives you this ability, and it even comes with a silently closing lid as well as a nonskid base. 

Another perk of this trash can is that it has a flippable rim that covers the trash bag's liner, keeps trash bags secure, and makes it easy to remove full bags. Even though this model is on the pricier side, it's well worth the money if you value organization and aesthetics. 

The Details: Brushed stainless steel; measures 14.2 x 22 x 25.8 inches; 15.3-gallon capacity

Best Kitchen Trash Cans
Credit: Amazon

Best for Large Families: Glad Stainless Steel Step Trash Can

View at Amazon ($120)

Also available at The Home Depot

Why It's Great

  • Large capacity
  • Traps odors inside
  • Extra bag storage

Grain of Salt

  • Doesn't have a liner

With a capacity of a whopping 20 gallons, this Glad kitchen trash can holds 50 percent more trash than the standard 13-gallon bin does. While this would usually lead to concerns about trash sitting and growing odorous, that's not the case here thanks to the Clorox odor control system. It blocks and traps odors inside the can, so you'll never have a bad-smelling kitchen due to trash.

Because you can store extra bags directly inside the back of this can, it also saves on space for bag storage. It doesn't have a removable liner inside the trash can, which can be both a pro and a con. The downside is that it might be hard to clean, but the plus side is that it's easy to remove bags. 

The Details: Brushed stainless steel; measures 16 x 16 x 29 inches; 20-gallon capacity

Best Kitchen Trash Cans
Credit: Amazon

Best Touchless: iTouchless Touchless Sensor Trash Can With Odor Filter

View at Amazon ($90)

Why It's Great

  • Odor trapping filter
  • Press button to hold open or closed
  • Excellent sensor system

Grain of Salt

  • May close too quickly for all needs

Like touchless soap dispensers, automatic trash cans keep life extra free of germs by enabling you to throw away your garbage without ever touching the vessel. You might not expect that a private chef would be eager to share about her own kitchen trash can, but here we are: This is the one I own and love and have had for several years now. No matter what I place inside, there is never any odor. And because it's touchless, I'm able to use it periodically throughout a cooking session without having to pause to wash my hands yet again. 

Several years in, this can is still on the same battery I bought with it, but it also has an AC adapter option for anyone who wants to avoid batteries. It doesn't smudge easily, and small pets trying to get in won't make it topple over. 

The Details: Alloy stainless steel; measures 12.6 x 11.6 x 31.3 inches; 13-gallon capacity

Best Kitchen Trash Cans
Credit: Amazon

Best for Pet Owners: Simplehuman Semi-Round Kitchen Step Trash Can

View at Amazon ($60)

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Walmart

Why It's Great

  • Locking lid
  • Custom-fit liners
  • Available in different colors

Grain of Salt

  • Two hands needed to unlock

Owners of large dogs know that trash can be a messy temptation. Thankfully, Simplehuman has made life easier with a kitchen trash can that comes with a locking lid. Even the largest and most clever pets won't be able to open this trash can once locked, so you can be free from worrying about a messy kitchen.

Available in modern color choices, this trash can holds a standard 13 gallons of waste. Its semi-round shape can be placed fairly closely against a wall, though you'll need to leave an inch or so of room behind it to allow the lid to rise when stepped on. 

The Details: Plastic; measures 14.4 x 18.7 x 26.2 inches; 13-gallon capacity

Related: The Best Meal Prep Containers for Your Food Storage Needs

Best Kitchen Trash Cans
Credit: Amazon

Best for Under Sinks: Rev-A-Shelf Pull-Out Kitchen Trash Can

View at Amazon ($70)

Why It's Great

  • Comes with a pull-out system
  • Suitable for compact spaces
  • Stays out of sight

Grain of Salt

  • Small capacity

In some kitchens, storing a trash can under the sink is the only option; however, that can get tricky and cumbersome when you need to store other goods in that same cabinet. Luckily, the Rev-A-Shelf kitchen trash can comes with a wire pull-out system that enables you to maximize as much space as possible. 

The wire frame construction is heavy-duty, and its installation takes just four simple screws. Once in place, you'll use the system to pull out the trash can as needed. You can add a lid to the trash can, or leave it open as is. 

The Details: Plastic; measures 10.63 x 22 x 19.25 inches; 8.75-gallon capacity

Our Takeaway

We selected the Simplehuman Rectangular Kitchen Step Trash Can as our best overall pick because of its attractiveness, durability, and helpful features, including a soft-closing lid and wheels for fuss-free portability. It has a higher price tag than other models, but it's a sleek and functional option for those who have their trash can out in the open instead of tucked away in a cabinet or pantry.   

How to Pick the Right Kitchen Trash Can

Style

You'll want to be sure that the style of your trash can suits your overall kitchen look, especially if you're choosing a trash can that will be on display in your kitchen. It should fit nicely in your space, not sticking out inconveniently in place or in appearance. Opt for the best shaped bin to suit your kitchen, knowing that you can always move it if it doesn't fit precisely where you figured it would. 

Capacity

The average kitchen trash can is 13 gallons, but you may want to go smaller or larger depending on both your kitchen size and the amount of trash you regularly throw away. For smaller kitchens, a 10-gallon or an under-the-sink model might be the wisest choice. And for large families, one with a bigger capacity will help reduce the number of times you have to replace bags. 

Material

Stainless steel and plastic are the two most common kitchen trash can materials. Plastic is less expensive but easier to clean. Stainless steel is more refined in appearance and will last longer. If you opt for stainless, you may want to choose a model that specifically notes it is smudge-proof; otherwise, every fingerprint will show, which can quickly grow bothersome. 

Common Questions

What is the standard size of a kitchen trash can?

A standard kitchen trash can is 13 gallons. That said, kitchen trash cans can range from as little as 8 gallons to as many as 20. Most will work with 13-gallon size trash bags.

Where should I put my kitchen trash can?

Put your kitchen trash can in the area of your kitchen where you perform your cleanup. That way, when you're ready to throw garbage away, the trash can is right there. For reasons of sanitation, it's advisable to keep your trash can away from areas of the kitchen that have food. 

Are stainless steel trash cans better than plastic ones?

Stainless steel trash cans will likely last longer than plastic trash cans. However, they can be trickier to clean and typically cost more. Plastic trash cans are generally easier to clean and are less expensive.  

Why Take Our Word for It?

Freelancer Ariane Resnick, CNC spent far too many years with under-the-sink trash cans before moving into the world of touchless containers, and she'll never go back. As a private chef, she has cooked in homes with the highest end equipment, so she fully understands the wide range of kitchen trash cans available.