The 12 Best Kitchen Trash Cans of 2023

Our best overall pick is the Simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can, which is sleek, durable, and hands-free.

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Best Kitchen Trash Cans

Target

The unglamorous truth is that we all have trash, and so we all need a place to put it. With that being said, the best kitchen trash cans can still be both a stylish and practical addition to your space.

When looking for the best kitchen trash can for your space, it’s important to keep in mind both look and function. If you have small kids or pets, for example, you’ll want to find a trash can with a lockable lid, or if you’re leaving your trash can out in the open, you’ll want something stylish to store away your garbage. 

Overall, the best kitchen trash can is the Simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can because it is made of stainless steel and features a silent close lid, a strong steel pedal, and a removable liner bucket that makes clean-up efficient and easy.

Best Overall

Simplehuman 50-Liter Rectangular Step Trash Can

4.5
Simplehuman Rectangular Kitchen Step Trash Can

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This trash can features a stainless steel design that is treated to be fingerprint-proof.

Keep in Mind: For the best fit, you’ll need to purchase the brand’s trash can liners, which are specifically made to fit this trash can.

Our pick for the best overall kitchen trash can is the Simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can. The trash can features an internal hinge that allows you to place it against the wall without the top making contact with it, so you don’t have to worry about your trash can lid leaving marks on your wall. 

The lid opens silently and smoothly, and there’s also an option to leave the lid open if you are chopping a lot of vegetables or cracking quite a few eggs. You also don’t have to worry about touching the trash can lid since there is a pedal at the bottom of the trash can that opens the lid.

Untreated stainless steel can be a magnet for fingerprints and smudges, but this trash can is made of fingerprint-proof, brushed stainless steel. It’s coated with an invisible silver-ion coating that also prevents the spread of germs. The inner buckets are made with 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, so it’s also a more environmentally-friendly choice.

Keep in mind that the trash can is built with the brand’s custom code Q liners, which means that you’ll either have to purchase them separately, or deal with the fact that your usual garbage bags aren’t necessarily the perfect fit. Overall, its durable and smart design makes it the best kitchen trash can. 

Price at time of publish: $140

Product Details: Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 25.7 inches | Capacity: 12 gallons | Material: Stainless steel

Best Budget

Rubbermaid 13-Gallon Classic Premium Step-On Trash Can

Rubbermaid Classic 13 Gallon Premium Step-On Trash Can

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It keeps your hands clean thanks to a hands-free pedal. 

Keep in Mind: Plastic trash cans may be less durable than other materials.

If you’re looking for a basic, budget-friendly option, the Rubbermaid Classic Step-On Lid Trash Can is the best kitchen trash can for you. This plastic trash can is available in black, gunmetal blue, white, and bronze, so you can match it to your kitchen style.

While plastic is not always the most durable of materials, this trash can was built to last. It is made of a strong resin material that lasts longer and is easy to wipe clean. 

The Rubbermaid Classic Step-On Lid Trash Can isn’t all plastic—it does have a long-lasting, stainless steel pedal that is durable and keeps your hands from touching the trash can. This trash can includes bag arms that helps to keep your trash bag from falling into the can and slipping off the sides.

It doesn’t have as many impressive features as other trash cans on our list, but because of its classic, reliable design and affordable price, it’s the best budget trash can.

Price at time of publish: $47

Product Details: Dimensions: 17.59 x 14.65 x 24.82 inches | Capacity: 13 gallons | Material: Plastic

Best Splurge

Simplehuman Rectangular Voice+Motion Sensor Automatic Kitchen Trash Can

simplehuman-voice---motion-rectangular-sensor-can

simplehuman

Why You Should Get It: It features both voice and motion activation. 

Keep in Mind: It’s suggested that you purchase Simplehuman’s liners versus a store brand option.

The Simplehuman Voice + Motion Rectangular Sensor Can offers innovative features that will make cleaning your kitchen much easier. This technology-forward trash can doesn’t feature a pedal to open its lid—instead, it’s voice-activated.

Simply say, “open can” and the lid will open automatically. If you want the trash can to stay open while you are cleaning, just say, “stay open.” It’ll close automatically after 10 minutes, but you can also say, “close can.”

If you do have a free hand, you can also motion over a sensor for easy opening. It is also smart enough to adapt to you and your surroundings, which means it won’t open randomly. You can power the trash can by using six AA alkaline batteries or an adapter, which is included with your purchase. 

This trash can comes in three finishes: brushed, white (with a silver top), and black. The coating on the brushed trash can is fingerprint-proof, so you don’t have to worry about handprints. You can also opt for a version that has two compartments—one for trash and another for recycling—to help organize your waste.

This trash can also includes a liner pocket that stores and dispenses liners from inside the trash can, making it easy to switch out trash bags. Though it’s not necessary to purchase them (you can use regular garbage bags), keep in mind that the Simplehuman liners are custom fit to the can.

Price at time of publish: $250

Product Details: Dimensions: 18.5 x 13 x 24.8 inches | Capacity: 15.3 gallons | Material: Matte black steel

Best with Motion Sensor

iTouchless 13-Gallon Oval Stainless Steel Sensor Trash Can

iTouchless 13-Gallon Oval Stainless Steel Sensor Trash Can

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It offers touch-free access, so your hand won’t get dirty. 

Keep in Mind: You’ll need to purchase batteries or a power adapter separately for this trash can.

The iTouchless SensorCan offers motion sensor technology and hand (and foot) free use. Just a motion of your hand opens the lid automatically, making it a hygienic choice for a kitchen trash can. This trash can fits 13-gallon trash bags, and it is made of stainless steel.

The iTouchless SensorCan is battery-operated, but the batteries (4 D batteries) are not included with the purchase. The trash can only draws power as needed, meaning that, if you go the battery route, they’ll last longer.

If you don’t want to use batteries, you can also opt for an AC Adapter that you can buy separately. If that’s your choice, keep in mind that you’ll need to find a place in your kitchen where your trash can is close to an outlet. 

This trash can features a carbon odor filter that helps keep your typical trash odors at bay so you won’t have to take out the trash quite so often.

Price at time of publish: $90

Product Details:Dimensions: 16 x 11.5 x 25 inches | Capacity: 13 gallons | Material: Stainless steel

Best with Recycling

Songmics 16 Gallon Dual Compartment Step-On Trash Can

Songmics 2x8 Gallon Garbage Can for Kitchen with 2 Compartments, Silver and Black

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It has a sleek look and is easy to use. 

Keep in Mind: The trash and recycling compartments each hold 8 gallons, rather than the usual 13 gallons.

If you are passionate about recycling, this is the best kitchen trash can for you. The Songmics Trash Can pulls double duty with two compartments—one for trash and one for recycling—in a relatively compact size.

Each compartment holds 8 gallons each, and both buckets are removable, which makes it easy to clean your trash can. Keep in mind that a typical trash can holds around 13 gallons, so you’ll have less space in each compartment for your garbage and recycling. 

Both compartments have their own pedal and lid, so you can keep one closed as you open the other. This makes it easy to keep odors where they’re meant to be: in the trash. You may want to purchase some kind of label for each compartment, that way you and your guests always know which is which. The lids are also soft-closing, so they won’t slam when they close. 

It’s available in several different colors including almond, black, brown, gray, silver and black, and white and gray. It’s made of powder-coated stainless steel, with a plastic inner bucket and lid. The stainless steel is rust-resistant and durable, with a fingerprint-resistant coating that’s easy to clean.

Price at time of publish: $150

Product Details: Dimensions: 23.2 x 12.8  x 25.7 inches | Capacity: 16 gallons | Material: Powder-coated stainless steel bin, plastic inner bucket, and plastic lid

Best Stainless Steel

Amazon Basics 10.5 Gallon Soft-Close, Smudge Resistant Trash Can with Foot Pedal

4.8
amazon-basics-105-gallon-soft-close-smudge-resistant-trash-can-with-foot-pedal

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It features a soft-close lid. 

Keep in Mind: At 10.5 gallons, it is on the smaller side for a trash can.

The Amazon Basics Trash Can is made of stainless steel and features a domed top, which means that even if you’ve let the trash pile up, you’ll still be able to keep the lid closed and odors locked in. It also comes in both a wide and a narrow style, making it ideal for any size kitchen.

The lid of the garbage is soft-closing, which means that it not only doesn’t make any noise, but it also extends the lifespan of the product. The lid also features a stay-open functionality so that you can easily replace the garbage bag when it’s time.

The Amazon Basics Trash Can has a heavy-duty interior plastic liner that can be easily taken out should you need to tend to any spills or messes inside.

Keep in mind that, though sleek and easy to match with other kitchen appliances and decor, stainless steel always carries the risk of smudging unless it is brushed stainless steel or has a special finish to prevent it. This trash can features a smudge-resistant finish and a pedal to make it function hands-free and prevent fingerprints. 

Price at time of publish: $92

Product Details: Dimensions: 14.76 x 13.58  x 26.38 inches | Capacity: 10.5 gallons | Material: Brushed stainless steel

Best with Step

Brightroom 45L Rectangular Step Trash Can

brightroom-45l-rectangular-step-trash-can

Target

Why You Should Get It: It’s less expensive than other options and comes in three colorways. 

Keep in Mind: The material may be prone to denting.

The Brightroom Rectangular Step Trash Can is our pick for the best kitchen trash can with a step because it is made of durable materials at an affordable price. It also keeps your hands away from your trash can and doesn’t make any noise while you use it.

The step is made of durable stainless steel, which means it can stand the test of time, and it includes a rubber grip, which keeps your foot from slipping off of the pedal when you’re using it. 

The lid of the trash can is quiet closing, so it won’t slam shut or make noise. It can also lock into place when open and is great for keeping odor trapped inside the trash can. 

These trash cans hold around 12 gallons of trash and can fit standard 13-gallon trash bags. It has a removable bucket liner, which makes taking out your trash and replacing the bag very easy. It also means that should your trash leak or create a mess, you can take out the liner to clean it.

The trash can comes in three colorways: silver, white, or gold. All of the finishes are made out of stainless steel that is treated to be fingerprint-, rust-, and stain-resistant. 

Price at time of publish: $55

Product Details: Dimensions: 13.38 x 16.38 x 26.19 inches | Capacity: 11.8 gallons | Material: Stainless steel

Best Round

Mainstays Round Step Trash Can

Mainstays Round Step Trash Can

Walmart

Why You Should Get It: It’s affordable and sleek, with a liner to keep your bag in place. 

Keep in Mind: It only holds 10.5 gallons, while a typical kitchen trash can holds 13.

If you prefer a round option, the Mainstays Round Step Trash Can is the best round trash can for your kitchen. The trash can is both sturdy and affordable while still having features like a pedal, soft-closing lid, and a liner to keep your bag in place. 

Made of durable stainless steel, this trash can features a soft closing lid that doesn’t slam and a sturdy step pedal for hands-free use. It also includes a plastic drip tray that makes cleaning it simple. Plus, the non-skid base means it won’t scuff your floors. 

It’s worth noting that the trash can holds up to 10.5 gallons, which is less than other similar styles. If you have a large family or are constantly cooking, you may find that you need to empty it more frequently.

The trash can has an attached bucket liner that offers a bit more support for your bag and keeps it from falling into the bin. Just pop it open, place your garbage bag inside, and then push it down over the edges to keep your bag in place. This is essential for a round trash can because they tend to be more narrow than your average garbage bag. 

Price at time of publish: $45

Product Details: Dimensions: 15.3 x 13.3 x 24.9 inches | Capacity: 10.5 gallons | Material: Stainless steel 

Best Large

GLAD Stainless Steel Step Trash Can with Clorox Odor Protection

glad-stainless-steel-step-trash-can-with-clorox-odor-protection

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It has a compartment for your trash bags and built-in odor protection.

Keep in Mind: It’s more expensive than other styles and changing the bags out takes some practice.

The Glad Stainless Steel Step Trash Can is the best kitchen trash can for those looking for a bigger size without compromising style. This 20-gallon trash can is brushed stainless steel, and comes in three different finishes: stainless, white, or pewter. 

The trash can has a step-on mechanism for easy, hands-free opening, and a step-on lid that gives you the option of keeping it upright. If you’re entertaining, you can step down on the pedal and push back on the lid, leaving it wide open for people to drop their trash. It also comes with Clorox Protection to help block any odors, a trash bag holder for easy access to your liners, and a dispenser on the back of the can for convenient changing. 

This trash can has bag rings designed to hold trash bags that are up to 20 gallons, which is a higher capacity than a standard trash can. For reference, a 13-gallon trash can is a typical size, as are garbage bags of the same size. The higher capacity makes it a great option for a large family or someone who cooks frequently, and the best kitchen trash can for someone who doesn’t want to swap style for functionality. 

Price at time of publish: $140

Product Details: Dimensions: 16.25 x 16 x 29 inches | Capacity: 20 gallons | Material: Stainless steel 

Best Plastic

Hefty 12 Gal. Slim Lockable Step-On Trash Can

Hefty Slim Lockable Step-On Trash Can

Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: It has a lock designed to keep kids and pets out. 

Keep in Mind: It has a smaller capacity than some other options and doesn’t have as stylish of a look.

The Hefty Slim Lockable Step-On Trash Can is the best plastic trash can because it’s less expensive than other styles, features a step to keep things hands-free, and comes with a lock on its lid to keep your trash where it belongs. As an added benefit, at 12.2 inches wide, it can easily fit into smaller spaces in your kitchen. 

This trash can hold up to 12 gallons, which is ideal for a family of three to four and impressive for a slim trash can. You can use standard, 13-gallon trash bags for this trash can. It also features a locking lid that keeps kiddos and pets at bay. 

It only comes in one color, black with a silver plastic lock, so it’s not as stylish as some other trash cans. If you’re looking for something to perfectly compliment your kitchen decor, or aren’t keeping it tucked away, it may not be the choice for you. 

Price at time of publish: $28 

Product Details: Dimensions: 18.11 x 12.2 x 24.31 inches | Capacity: 12 gallons | Material: Polypropylene

Best Slim

Home Zone Living 12 Gallon Stainless Steel Kitchen Trash Can

home-zone-living-12-gallon-stainless-steel-kitchen-trash-can

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The sleek trash can fits well in small spaces. 

Keep in Mind: It’s more expensive than some other styles.

The Home Zone Living Slim Kitchen Trash Can is the best trash can for someone looking to maximize kitchen space without skimping on form and function. At just 10.25 inches wide, this trash can is able to fit smaller or awkward spaces.

It is made of brushed stainless steel, which means that it isn’t as prone to smudges and fingerprints the way that non-brushed stainless steel is. You can also get it in a black, stainless steel finish, rather than just the typical silver finish.

The bottom of the trash can features rubber feet, which can help to prevent scuffs and scratches from getting onto your kitchen floor. Its slow-close lid prevents the lid from slamming and making a ton of noise while in use.

When it comes to trash bags, 13-gallon bags will fit inside the 12-gallon trash can, but they may be a little loose. Thankfully, the kitchen trash can includes a mechanism to secure the trash bags so that they don’t slip and fall into the chamber. Simply tuck the excess slack beneath the included rubber band.

Price at time of publish: $100

Product Details: Dimensions: 10.24 x 20.24 x 25.87 inches | Capacity: 12 gallons | Material: Stainless steel 

Best Lockable

iTouchless 13 Gallon Sensor Trash Can with Pet-Proof Lid

itouchless-13-gallon-sensor-trash-can-with-pet-proof-lid

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It features an odor filter that’ll keep any garbage smell at bay. 

Keep in Mind: In order to power the trash can, you’ll have to purchase either batteries or an AC adapter, which are both sold separately.

This kitchen trash is the best trash can for people looking to keep odors in and little ones or pets out. It features a motion sensor as the first defense to keeping unwanted hands or paws from getting into the garbage. It also has a lock that prevents the sensor-activated lid from opening accidentally.

There are two options for powering this trash can—batteries or an AC adapter. If you choose the battery option, note that this trash can does not come with batteries. If you choose the AC adapter, be aware that it will have to be purchased separately. The AC Adapter keeps you from having to replace the batteries, but you will have to find a space in your kitchen where you can spare an outlet for your trash can. 

The iTouchless 13 Gallon Pet-Proof Sensor Trash Can also features an activated carbon odor filter, which is meant to neutralize odors and keep your home smelling fresh. It is also made of brushed stainless steel, which means that it shouldn’t show fingerprints and marks the way that traditional stainless steel does, so you won’t find yourself constantly wiping down your trash can.

Price at time of publish: $95

Product Details: Dimensions: 13 x 11 x 28 inches | Capacity: 13 gallons | Material: Stainless steel

The Bottom Line

Overall, the best kitchen trash can is the Simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can because it’s functional, fingerprint-resistant, and sleek. 

What to Know About Kitchen Trash Cans Before Shopping

Dimensions 

Before purchasing a kitchen trash can, be sure to measure the area where you want to place it. Rectangular trash cans tend to be taller than round trash cans, usually landing anywhere between 13 to 19 inches.

Slim trash cans tend to be thinner and taller than standard trash cans, making them the best trash cans for tight spaces without skimping on how much they can hold. Round trash cans take up less space but tend to hold less than rectangular trash cans.

Capacity

Kitchen trash cans are meant to hold more waste than the smaller trash cans you’ll find in a bathroom or office. A standard kitchen trash can holds 13 gallons, though its capacity can be anywhere from 12 to 20 gallons. Standard kitchen trash bags tend to fit 13-gallon trash cans, which are suggested for families of up to four people.

Material 

Plastic and stainless steel are among the most popular materials for trash cans. Plastic is easy to clean and budget-friendly, while stainless steel is more expensive and more stylish (just be sure to look for one with a no-smudge finish so you don’t have to worry about fingerprints). Plastic trash cans tend to exhibit wear and tear faster than their metal counterparts. 

Your Questions, Answered

What is the average size of a kitchen trash can?

When talking about the size of your trash can, there are two things to consider—the dimensions and the capacity. Dimensions of trash cans will differ depending on shape and height, but most trash cans tend to hold between 12 to 16 gallons. The most commonly used size for kitchen trash cans is 13 gallons. 

The size you choose depends on how much space you have in your kitchen, but also the number of people in your household contributing to the trash. For example, if you have more than four people in your home, it might suit you to have a 20-gallon trash can so you can avoid having to empty it so frequently.

It also depends on the amount of trash you accumulate in your home. If you’re someone who cooks frequently, you should choose a trash can that holds more volume.

Where should you put a trash can in your kitchen?

Depending on the layout of your space, there are a few options for where to put your kitchen trash can. If you have under-the-counter space, you may find that keeping your trash out of sight works best for you and your family. In this case, stow it away in a pull-out drawer or underneath the sink. You can also store it inside a pantry to keep it out of sight.

If you don’t have space under the counter to stash away your trash, you’ll want to keep your garbage close to where you prepare your meals but far enough away that it is not near any of the fresh ingredients. It may also be wise to keep it closer to the exit of the room; that way it’s easily visible and usable for others.

Are metal trash cans better than plastic?

This is truly a matter of preference, but there are a few factors to consider. Trash cans are not cheap, but plastic trash cans tend to be more affordable than their metal counterparts. But if durability is more important than cost, metal trash cans (like stainless steel) often last longer than plastic trash cans.

Aesthetically, metal trash cans are able to blend into your kitchen appliances, whereas plastic trash cans tend to stand out. Consider your budget, your needs, and whether the style is important to you before purchasing a kitchen trash can. 

Who We Are

Andrea Wurzburger is a freelance writer for Better Homes & Gardens. For this story, she researched various products to find the best kitchen trash cans, keeping in mind each pick’s dimensions, capacity, and material.

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