We know what you’re thinking. A trash can’s a trash can, right? Well, sort of. Recent years have seen a great deal of research and development put into the humble vessel of kitchen detritus and some interesting features have emerged.
From models that open at the wave of a hand to soft close lids to perfectly calibrated pedals, there are few stones engineers have left unturned. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Ultimately, no matter how mesmerizing it may be to operate, it still has to function. Openings that are too small make it difficult to slide in scraps from a large cutting board or easily discard of awkwardly shaped containers. And how about the material? Is it easy to clean? Will it rust or stain over time? As always, those details matter.
To make sure your own kitchen is outfitted with the best new age trash can, we’ve round up our top four picks available on Amazon.
1. iTouchless Dual Step Trash Can
Deciding what should go in the trash and what should be recycled is hard enough. With iTouchless’ design, at least you’ll never be confused as to the appropriate bin given that the two included are color-coded. Featuring a stainless steel body, it is surprisingly smudge-proof for easy cleaning and minimal maintenance. Its dual lids, which open via pedals at the base, are likewise made from stainless and feature soft-touch technology to reduce noise and ware.
Pros: This model has soft-close lids so you never have to worry about them crashing shut again.
Cons: Some users might prefer an undivided interior.
2. Simplehuman Hands-Free Trash Can
Simplehuman makes the kinds of products that its name suggests: those produced with function and minimalism at the forefront. This modern trash can is a great example. Made from brushed stainless steel, it has a contemporary look that also lends itself to smudge-resistance and swift cleaning. Its wide steel pedal is specifically crafted to withstand 150,000 steps or more—that equals about 20 steps a day for 20 years. The soft-close lid is great for homes with children or adults who might be too quick to slam it shut otherwise.
Pros: The special liners are incredibly efficient to use.
Cons: The tall, narrow profile might make it tricky to store certain larger bits of trash.
3. HEMBOR Dual Trash Can
Crafted from brushed 410 stainless steel, HEMBOR’s receptacle is tough enough for both indoor and outdoor use. Like many of the models on our list, it has two interior compartments to make separating trash and recycling simple and each one comes with a bucket handle so it can be easily lifted out. Similarly, the built-in side handles aid in moving it to different spots in your home based on need. A special hydraulic system ensures that the two lids close gently and silently each time keeping any mess out of sight.
Pros: Both the built-in side handles and bucket inserts make it easy to maneuver.
Cons: Its footprint may be a bit too large for some spaces.
4. EKO EcoCasa II Kitchen Trash Can
Containing many of the best features from our other picks, this option represents great value. Removable dual compartments within make for easy disposal of garbage and separation of recyclables while built-in side handles allow users to pick up the entire piece with minimal strain. The brushed stainless steel exterior resists smudging, a feature especially great for busy family households. Though it has a convenient soft-close lid, it also comes with a stay-open feature for the busy times when it’s not worth opening and closing in such rapid succession.
Pros: The slender design is spacious enough to hold a generous amount of trash but has a minimal footprint.
Cons: This model has a single as opposed to dual lid like other designs on our list.