Trash Compactors Buying Guide

A trash compactor is an appliance that flattens household garbage. It can help you reduce the volume of your garbage by 75 percent -- and significantly decrease the number of times you need to take out the trash. Take a look at this buying guide to learn more about this handy appliance and figure out which model is right for you.

Types of Trash Compactors

Types of Trash Compactors

Before you shop for a trash compactor, you should decide where you want to install it. Most trash compactors share similar features, but some are designed to be freestanding units, while others are suitable for installing between kitchen cabinets for a built-in look. If you don't have room for a trash compactor in your kitchen's work zone, consider installing it in your garage or pantry.

Freestanding Trash Compactors

These compactors have a finished top and can provide additional counter space -- but they don't offer the seamless, built-in style that undercounter models can provide.

shop Freestanding Trash Compactors
Gladiator
$679.00 $611.10

Now you can have all the benefits of a trash compactor without taking up valuable kitchen space. This Gladiator 15 in. compactor f...eatures rugged Gladiator brand styling, and casters for easy mobility. It is perfect for minimizing the volume of trash,... read more

Whirlpool
$749.00 $674.10

Easily install this convertible compactor to take care of the trash anywhere. With a portable design, it can even go in the garage... or pantry. The generous 1.4 cu. ft. capacity holds more, so you can take the trash out less. Easy rollers installation... read more

Whirlpool
$749.00 $674.10

Easily install this convertible compactor to take care of the trash anywhere. With a portable design, it can even go in the garage... or pantry. The generous 1.4 cu. ft. capacity holds more, so you can take the trash out less. Easy rollers installation... read more

Whirlpool
$49.66

Descriptions Whirlpool Trash Compactor Power Nut Whirlpool Trash Compactor Power Nut

Undercounter Trash Compactors

These models are designed to be installed between cabinets and do not have a finished top. Trim kits are available so you can add a custom cabinet panel to the front to blend the compactor with surrounding cabinetry.

shop Undercounter Trash Compactors
Whirlpool
$719.00

Whirlpool Gold 1-cu ft undercounter trash compactor minimizes your trash volume so you take less trips to the curb. 13-HP motor pr...ovides maximum compacting power to simplify your trash collecting needs. Wrap-a-round panel adds a sleek look to your... read more

Whirlpool
$854.00

Whirlpool 1. 4-cu ft undercounter trash compactor helps reduce trash into a smaller and more manageable load. 13-HP motor reduces ...household waste to its original volume so you take out the trash less often. Stainless steel finish with fully-integrated... read more

Whirlpool
$674.00

Whirlpool Gold 1-cu ft undercounter trash compactor with a convertible design can be built-in or freestanding based on your prefer...ence. 13-HP motor provides maximum compacting power to simplify your trash collecting needs. Wrap-a-round panel adds a... read more

Whirlpool
$911.14

Make fewer trips to the trash can with a built-in trash compactor that helps streamline your kitchen. The generous 1.4 cu. ft. cap...acity holds more, so you can take the trash out less. Easy Rollers(TM) installation wheels help you easily position the... read more

Convertible Trash Compactors

Convertible models can be installed either as a freestanding unit or as an undercounter unit.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

When shopping for a trash compactor, inquire about size and capacity, as well as the compacting force. Also look for features that make it easier to open the compactor and unload trash, extra insulation to reduce noise, and safety features that prevent accidental operation. Most trash compactors operate similarly, but higher-end models come with additional bells and whistles and may offer more compacting force and storage space. When comparing prices, be sure to look at the price of the trash-compactor bags; some bags can be expensive and will add to the operating cost in the long term.

Size/Capacity

Trash compactors are usually 12-15 inches wide. Height and depth also vary somewhat between models, so make sure you measure your space carefully before shopping, and take into consideration the trim kit when measuring for an undercounter model. Trash compactors offer capacities ranging from 1.4 cubic feet to 1.7 cubic feet and use a compacting force of 2,000-5,000 pounds. Compactors with a stronger force will work better. Also look at the horsepower of the motor. The power and capacity of the unit determines the compaction ratio, which denotes how many bags can be compacted into one bag. This ratio usually ranges from 4:1 to 6:1. Keep in mind, though, that the more compacted the bag, the heavier it will be.

Safety

Because trash compactors operate with such crushing force, it's particularly important to buy a model with plenty of safety features -- especially if you have young children in the house. Look for anti-jam features and tilt sensors that prevent the compactor from running if it's not level. Also be sure to choose a model that includes a safety lock and a removable key.

Convenience

Most trash compactors have a number of features that ensure the unit is easy to open and unload. A toe-door latch allows you to open it with your foot when your hands are full, for example. Many models also feature a full-extension trash compartment to make it easier to remove trash. Look for built-in air fresheners or charcoal filters that eliminate odors, and extra insulation to decrease noise. Some models are programmable so you can run the unit every day at a time that's convenient for you.

Finish

White, black, and stainless steel are the most common finishes. Undercounter models also accept cabinet panels so you can integrate the appliance with surrounding cabinetry.

Home Improvement on sale

KitchenAid
$1,149.00 $1034.10

Simplify your trash collecting and recycling efforts with this built-in trash compactor. Selecting the Solid Pack Control allows y...ou to reduce trash volume by up to 80%. Not only will you use fewer bags, but with the odor management system, the trash... read more

Whirlpool
$93.50 $88.40

9871770 whirlpool trash compactor panel-frt.wrap.sst oem 9871770 * 9871770 whirlpool trash compactor panel-frt.wrap.sst oem 987177...0 * 90 day warranty from manufacturer * brand new oem part * oem quality * all parts are model specific, please message us... read more

Whirlpool
$949.00 $854.10

This built-in compactor offers a sleek, fully-integrated look while helping you save time and energy by reducing your trash volume... and trips to the curb. The generous 1.4 cu. ft. capacity holds more, so you can take the trash out less. Easy rollers... read more

GE Profile
$949.00 $854.10

GE appliances provide up-to-date technology and exceptional quality to simplify the way you live. With a timeless appearance, this... family of appliances is ideal for your family. And, coming from one of the most trusted names in America, you know that... read more

GE Profile
$849.00 $764.10

GE appliances provide up-to-date technology and exceptional quality to simplify the way you live. With a timeless appearance, this... family of appliances is ideal for your family. And, coming from one of the most trusted names in America, you know that... read more

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