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.
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.
3. Amazon Basics Soft-Close Trash Can
The bigger your trash can is, the less you have to empty it out. But sometimes you don’t have the space for something that takes up too much space. Fortunately, Amazon Basic’s 50-liter model has a small footprint allowing you to easily tuck it into any corner. There’s more to this satin-nickel trash can than its compact size, though. It also has a reliable soft-touch lid that can be triggered with a tap of your toe as well as an easy-to-use “stay-open” mode for when it comes time to empty it out and change the liner.
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.