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Best Kitchen Trash Can

Are you in the market for a new kitchen trash can? There are so many options available today, and the choices can get confusing. Do you want stainless steel or plastic? A hidden or visible trash can? One with a foot pedal, a regular lid that you open with your hands, or an automatic opening mechanism? Larger capacity or smaller?

The trash cans on the market today are quite wide ranging but the perfect model is out there. Here is a list of some of the most highly rated brands available today, their special features, and their pros and cons:

Kohler 13-Gallon Stainless Trash Can K-20940-ST

This rectangular step can makes quite a fashion statement. Sleek and elegant, with a slim profile and space saving, discreet presence, this trash can will maintain your kitchen’s upscale décor. It sits flush against the wall and will look elegant in your home.

It has a brushed nickel look, although it is actually a slightly matte version of stainless steel. It is fingerprint-resistant.

This trash can has some practical features, too. Its lid opens and closes gently and quietly, even if you step on the pedal too hard. You can also lock the lid in an open position, which makes it easy to change the bags. Then simply lock the bags into place. The lid is attached with a hinge in a way that ensures it will not hit your wall when opened.

It is designed to fit 13 gallon trash bags from any manufacturer.

The foot pedal is durable and makes your operation of the trash can hands-free, but some users have complained about it breaking over time.

This trash can is easy to clean with a damp microfiber cloth. Refrain from using abrasives or cleaners.

One drawback is, once the bag in the trash can gets heavy, it can slip off the frame, which gets messy. Also, the only way to keep the lid open is to hold down the foot pedal, which can make it inconvenient if you have a lot of things to throw out over a period of time. In addition, many users have complained that the can is delivered with a sticker affixed to the outside which is hard to remove.


  • Sleek and elegant, with slim profile and discreet presence
  • Made of slightly matte stainless steel which looks like brushed nickel
  • Durable foot pedal makes your operation of the trash can hands-free
  • Lid opens and closes gently, even if you step on the pedal too hard
  • Lid can be locked in open position, for changing bags
  • Lid is attached with a special hinge that prevents banging onto your wall


  • Expensive
  • Trash bag can slip off the frame if it gets too heavy
  • The only way to keep the lid open is by holding down the foot pedal
  • Foot pedal may break over time

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Rubbermaid Swing Lid Trash Can FG280300BISQU

This affordable, off-white, resin kitchen trash can is not fancy, but it gets the job done. It has an easy to open lid and lots of space inside to hold trash. The lid is a swing style, which makes it easy to drop your garbage in. The lid swings inward or lifts up, whichever you prefer. And it has a one-touch system which springs your lid open for easy trash disposal.

It’s a great trash can for any room in your home, not just in your kitchen. Try using it in your nursery, garage, foyer, or at the office.

At just over 11 gallons of capacity, users feel it is the perfect size – not too big or too small for your average size trash bags. With the lid on, it is a bit too tall to fit under your kitchen sink; however, if you’re OK without the lid, it will fit perfectly.

The trash can has LinerLock wires that secure your trash bag to its rim. This stops the bag from slipping into the trash can.

This trash can is long lasting. Some users have had it for 25 years with no problems. It is also easy to clean.

One drawback is the lid is not actually attached to the can. It sits in a groove on top, and once you line the can with a trash bag, the lid no longer sits in the groove.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to open, swing style lid with one-touch system that springs your lid open
  • Lid swings inward or lifts up
  • Good size at 11 gallons capacity
  • LinerLock wires secure your trash bag to the rim of the trash can
  • Long lasting


  • Lid is not actually attached to the can, which poses a problem when the can is lined

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GLAD Extra Capacity Stainless Steel Trash Can GLD-74507

This jumbo kitchen trash can has 20 gallon capacity. For many families, that is enough to hold an entire week’s worth of trash or recycling. It can hold 50% more trash than your average 13 gallon can. That means fewer trips outside to empty your garbage can. Users call it the best ‘huge’ trash can available today.

It is made of durable and attractive stainless steel which has a fingerprint-resistant coating so it always looks clean.

With this trash can, there are two lids – the inner and outer lids. The outer lid is hinged to the frame, and it stays open when you want it to, such as when you need to take out the bag and replace it with a new one. The trash can also has a convenient and quiet step operation that gently closes the lid in a controlled manner.

One nice feature is the CloroxTM odor resistance, which is incorporated into the lid and lid frame. This technology protects these items by stopping the growth of bacteria that can cause odors. This helps extend the life of the trash can and its lid.

The trash can bag holder is very handy. It has a ring that keeps the bag neatly tucked in place without falling in. And it has a soft-close, controlled, and quiet lid that avoids banging.

This trash can has a compartment in the rear where you can store extra bags. They are dispensed through the sides so you do not have to move the can.

One drawback users have mentioned is the removal of a filled bag is not that easy. It requires you to pull out the bag while also holding up the inner lid, which can be a cumbersome task.


  • Jumbo, 20 gallon capacity holds 50% more garbage than your average trash can
  • Made of durable, attractive, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel
  • Outer lid is hinged to trash can and stays open when you want it to
  • Quiet step feature closes trash can lid in controlled manner
  • Clorox odor resistance feature protects trash can lid from bacterial growth
  • Trash can bag holder keeps bags firmly in place; compartment at rear holds extra bags


  • Removal of filled trash bag can be a challenge due to need to hold up inner lid

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iTouchless SoftStep Stainless Steel Trash Can PC13RSS

This kitchen trash can is expensive but it has received five star ratings from users all over North America. It has many features such as its large capacity, attractive design, and the smoothness with which its foot pedal works and its lid opens and closes.

It is sophisticated and elegant, made of fingerprint-proof and smudge-resistant stainless steel which makes it easy to clean. It is also slim and space saving. A stylish addition to any room, you can use it in your kitchen or anywhere in your home or office.

It is a standard 13 gallon capacity, which means any average sized trash bag will fit well.

It has a large, sturdy, ergonomically designed steel pedal that requires only slight pressure in order to open the lid. The pedal is built to last for over 200,000 steps. That’s the equivalent of stepping on it 20 times a day for more than 25 years. The raised pedal ridge is non-slip and secure.

It also has a durable, high grade stainless steel lid that smoothly and seamlessly opens and closes. It has a built in air damper that enables the lid to open and close gently and quietly every time.

The inner bucket is removable, which enables you to empty the trash quickly, without making a mess. This inner bucket is durable, light weight, and easy to move into and out of the trash can.

One notable feature is odor control. This trash can has a latch underneath the lid that holds bags of activated charcoal. The charcoal keeps everything smelling nice, and the bags are replaceable. This charcoal technology also filters out harmful volatile organic compounds.

This trash can has rubber pads on the base that keep the can steady and make sure your floors don’t get scratched.


  • Sophisticated and elegant, slim and space saving
  • Made of smudge-proof and fingerprint-resistant stainless steel
  • Large, sturdy, ergonomically designed pedal requires only slight pressure to open lid
  • Lid smoothly and seamlessly opens and closes
  • Inner bucket is removable, which enables you to empty trash quickly
  • Has activated charcoal odor control feature which also filters out volatile organic compounds


  • Expensive

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What to look for in a kitchen trash can

As you can tell from the brands mentioned above, there are numerous types of kitchen trash cans available to match any budget and décor. Here are a few things to consider when you are looking for a trash can.

Size and shape

Most trash cans hold about 10 to 13 gallons. So that is a good size to aim for. But consider how much trash your family actually produces. Maybe you only need a small trash can. Or maybe your family produces a lot of waste every day and needs a large size 20 gallon version. One thing is for sure, you do not want trash sitting around in your home for too long, so keep that in mind too when thinking about size.

The shape is also important, as trash cans come in round, square, and rectangular varieties. Make sure it fits into your space properly.


You want your kitchen to look good, and your trash can should do the same. Think about the aesthetics of the trash can, and the material. Stainless steel suits most types of kitchen décor, although some people prefer a white plastic bin. Always make sure, if you choose a trash can that is visible in the kitchen and not hidden in a cabinet, that it has a lid. Otherwise, it will be too easy for pests to get into your trash.

One alternative to having to think about looks is to choose a trash can that is hidden away. The drawbacks of this option is it may be too small because it has to be stashed underneath a counter top, it may take up too much cabinet space, and it may not have a lid, which can lead to odors.

Opening mechanism

There are many choices in this department. You can get a traditional removable lid, a swing opening, a pedal mechanism, or even a touch-free version that opens with the wave of your hand. They all have their pros and cons. Most notably, a removable lid contains odors well but you need two hands to lift it. Also, a touch-free trash can requires batteries or an electrical outlet, and the latter may affect where you can place the can.

Easy clean up

Always look for a trash can that is durable and easy to keep clean. A can with an inner bucket is ideal because you can take out the bucket and rinse it whenever needed. If your can does not have an inner bucket, you will find yourself having to reach way into the bottom of the trash can to clean it.

If you choose a stainless steel trash can, try to buy one that is fingerprint- and smudge-proof.

Other features

Here are a couple of other features to consider:

  • Compartments – some trash cans have dual compartments so you can put trash on one side and recyclable items on the other.
  • Odor minimizer – check around to see if the trash can has the capability of containing odors. This is a very handy feature.

With a quick scan of the most popular models on the market today and their pros and cons, along with a review of the features that most appeal to you, it will be easy to determine which trash can most suits your lifestyle and family. Happy shopping!

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