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The 5 Best Kitchen Trash Cans (2023 Guide)

A kitchen trash can keeps your home smelling fresh and looking clean. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best kitchen trash cans on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

kitchen trash can Courtesy iTouchless

If you’re looking for a new kitchen trash can to help you manage waste in your home, the This Old House Reviews Team is here to help. We’ve researched the best kitchen trash cans on Amazon and developed a buyer’s guide to help you purchase the model that’s right for you. Here are our top picks.

Top 5 Kitchen Trash Cans

Best Small Trash Can: Simplehuman 10-Gallon Step Trash Can

This trash can is slightly smaller than the standard 13-gallon can, making it best for people who live alone, families that don’t produce a lot of waste, or people who have small kitchens. Equipped with a stainless steel lid and body, this Simplehuman trash can is built to last 150,000 steps. It also includes a patented design that ensures that the lid won’t slam when you close it.

Key Features

  • 15.8 by 12.5 by 25.7 inches
  • 14.52 pounds
  • Step-on opening mechanism
  • 10 gallons

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked the soft-close lid, which prevented damage to the can’s body and loud slamming noises. However, dissatisfied reviewers complained that this trash can wasn’t fingerprint-proof like the manufacturer said.

Best Dual-Bin Trash Can: SONGMICS 16-Gallon Step Trash Can

This SONGMICS trash can has a second compartment to sort recycling or compost from garbage. It also comes with 15 high-quality trash bags that you can put in either bin, allowing you to use it immediately upon arrival.

Key Features

  • 23 by 12.6 by 25.6 inches
  • 20.1 pounds
  • Step-on opening mechanism
  • 16 gallons

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked that the compartments had inner buckets. These inner buckets were easy to lift out of the compartments to take the bags off. However, other customers said that the buckets were too small, which meant that they had to take the trash and recycling out more often.

Best Color Options: iTouchless 13.2-Gallon Step Trash Can

This trash can from iTouchless features a high-grade, stainless steel lid that’s opened with an easy-to-use pedal, giving customers a simple way to dispose of their trash. Customers can also choose between multiple finishes, including rose gold and white, to match the color scheme in their kitchen.

Key Features

  • 16.75 by 12.5 by 26 inches
  • 23.6 pounds
  • Step-on opening mechanism
  • 13.2 gallons

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praised the fit of trash bags in this can, which they reported was snug enough to stay put but not so tight that they were difficult to put in place. On the other side of the reviews, customers who didn’t like this trash can complained that the washer that held the can in place was poorly made.

Best Automatic Trash Can: iTouchless 13-Gallon Automatic Trash Can

This trash can from iTouchless features a wave-to-open design that’s powered by alkaline batteries or an AC adapter. This unique mechanism allows users to throw away waste and remove trash bags without touching the container. The can also features a built-in odor eliminator to keep your kitchen smelling fresh even with a full can.

Key Features

  • 10.8 by 12.8 by 27.9 inches
  • Eight pounds
  • Hands-free opening mechanism
  • 13 gallons

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praised the design of this trash can’s lid, which sealed over the body every time. However, some customers said that the bag-holding mechanism didn’t work properly, causing trash bags to slip into the can.

Best Value: Rubbermaid Step-On Trash Can

This affordable Rubbermaid trash can contains a long-lasting stainless steel pedal and a durable plastic shell for easy waste disposal. It also includes retaining bands that keep trash bags secure to the rim.

Key Features

  • 18 by 15 by 25 inches
  • 0.459 ounces
  • Step-on opening mechanism
  • 13 gallons

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praised this trash can’s pedal, which they found to be long-lasting and durable. However, reviewers who were unsatisfied with the product said that that quality construction didn’t extend to the lid, which fell off its hinges frequently.

Buyer’s Guide

Before purchasing a kitchen trash can, consider the following four factors.

Opening Mechanism

Kitchen trash cans are typically classified by their opening mechanism, with manual, step-on, and automatic trash cans being some of the most popular options. Manual trash cans require the users to manually lift the lid.

Step-on trash cans, such as the iTouchless 13.2-Gallon Step Trash Can, are popular because they open by stepping on the pedal at the bottom of the can. These models are a more hygienic alternative to manual trash cans, as they don’t require contact with the dirty can.

Automatic trash cans, including the iTouchless 13-Gallon Automatic Trash Can, use motion sensors activated by the wave of a hand or an item to open their lid.


A trash can’s capacity is typically denoted in gallons. Most kitchen trash cans have a 13-gallon capacity, though some models, such as the compact Simplehuman 10-Gallon Step Trash Can, have a smaller waste capacity.


Most trash cans are made of stainless steel or plastic. Stainless steel trash cans, including the SONGMICS 16-Gallon Step Trash Can, have a stylish look and a smudge-resistant finish. While more difficult to clean and less decorative, plastic trash cans are more affordable and lighter than their stainless steel counterparts.

Odor Control

Some trash cans, including the iTouchless 13-Gallon Automatic Trash Can, feature air filters that keep your kitchen from smelling like garbage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the standard size for a kitchen trash can?

Most kitchen trash cans hold around 13 gallons of waste. This size is compact enough to fit within your kitchen but large enough to carry a few days’ worth of food waste.

What size should my kitchen trash can be?

It depends on the amount of waste you produce and the size of your kitchen. If you have a large kitchen that can accommodate a regular 13-gallon trash can, that may be the best option for optimizing space and managing waste. However, if you don’t produce as much waste, look for a lower-capacity model, such as the Simplehuman 10-Gallon Step Trash Can.

How often should I clean my trash can?

In general, trash cans should be scrubbed with soap and rinsed with a garden hose once every few months to keep their container smelling and looking clean.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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