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Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.

If you’ve been stashing your trash can in the pantry or hiding it underneath the sink because it’s a smelly eyesore, then it might be time to consider a fresh approach to waste management. The best kitchen trash cans have evolved past sad bins that struggle to handle heavy waste loads or can barely contain funky food odors. After taking stock of the latest and greatest in modern-day garbage marvels, we spotted a plethora of highly functional as well as aesthetically pleasing options.

Some beautifully blend in with and—dare we say—enhance their surroundings. Other models are built with odor-stifling materials and leakage-preventing airtight seals. There’s even one option that ties the bag on its own. Unlike that cheapo college receptacle you tossed balled-up ramen wrappers into while pulling an all-nighter, the best kitchen trash cans, featured below, are innovative and functional. And, best of all, you won’t feel compelled to hide these bins.

Our Favorites

Best Large Hands-Free: Simplehuman Dual Compartment Rectangular Kitchen Trash Can

Simplehuman Stainless Touch free Compartment rectangular
Dual Compartment Rectangular Kitchen Trash Can, Simplehuman ($300)

Style: Voice activated, motion activated | Material: Stainless steel | Size: 15.3 gallons

What we like:

  • Voice activated 
  • 5-year warranty
  • Refillable, colorful bottle design
  • Fingerprint-proof exterior  

Worth noting:

  • Battery operated

Why we chose it: This responsive container takes charge of the task with automated features, including voice commands and a quiet self-opening lid.

With this number, the magic happens when you utter the words “open can.” That’s the simple command that triggers its voice-activated lid to raise, meaning your hands never have to go anywhere near the bin. In the event that you do have to touch it, the exterior silver ion coating won’t hold onto unsightly fingerprints. Another lovely automatic feature is the motion sensor on the front of the container, which opens if you wave your hand over it. The interior holds a pair of compartments for trash and recyclables along with a liner pocket for easy storage and retrieval. One particularly impressed purchaser lauds it as “the Rolls-Royce of automatic garbage cans” due to its quiet lid and well-made design. Our digital director, Lindsey Mather, has this bin as well, and she loves that the bags are literally made for it—they never slip, she adds. Plus it’s quite efficient: It runs a full year off of just four AA alkaline batteries.

Best Small Hands-Free: Townew T1S Self-Sealing and Self-Changing Trash Can

townew trash can
Townew T1S Self-Sealing and Self-Changing Trash Can, Amazon ($159)

Style: Motion sensor | Material: Thermoplastic, amorphous polymer | Size: 4.1 gallons

What we like:

  • Auto-bag change function
  • Anti-tilt/slip technology

Worth noting:

  • Small size
  • Refill bag rings purchased separately

Why we chose it: Cut your trash tasks in half with this hardworking option. 

This taskmaster of a waste container is tiny, but its size obscures how incredibly useful it is. Our deputy commerce editor, Samantha Weiss-Hills, has one in her apartment kitchen, which she uses in tandem with recycling and composting—it’s just sizable enough for her and her husband’s household without taking up very much room at all. The bag design is innovative; essentially, one long bag comes on a ring, and the self-sealer clips it off as you go along, ensuring there’s no wasted space and you’re taking the trash out more often (so nothing sits too long in there). Its built-in rechargeable battery lasts up to 50 days with just a five-hour charge time. The motion sensor works up to 14 inches and is programmed to automatically raise the cover. After you press the “touch” button, the trash can shifts into “bag it up” mode. A single, preinstalled refill ring comes with every purchase, but add extras onto your order and you’ll be set for several months.

Best Value Hands-Free: Ninestars Auto-Open Infrared Trash Can

ninestars stainless steel motion sensing trash can
Ninestars Auto-Open Infrared Trash Can, Home Depot ($72)

Style: Motion activated | Material: Stainless steel | Sizes: 3.2 and 21 gallons

What we like:

  • Available in 2 sizes
  • Has manual and auto (power-saving) modes

Worth noting:

  • Plastic lid

Why we chose it: Dispose of waste in a hands-free, hygienic manner with this modern design.

The only time you’ll need to touch the top of this stainless steel can is to remove the lid for cleaning. Otherwise, the motion sensor will open it accordingly, and retainer rings hold the bag securely in place. It runs off three C batteries (not included) and can be opened and closed either manually or with the automatic, power-saving mode. Among the 5-star ratings are accolades for its smart design, affordable price, odor-tamping prowess, and ability to keep nosy puppies from raiding the trash. One reviewer explains, “This one did the trick! He can’t figure out the motion sensor.”

Best Budget Buy: Brightroom 30I Round Step Trash Can

brightroom step trash can
Brightroom 30I Round Step Trash Can ($30)

Style: Pedal operated | Material: Stainless steel | Size: 7.9 gallons

What we like:

  • Extremely reasonable price point
  • Soft close

Worth noting:

  • Only available in silver and black
  • No airtight seal to minimize odors

Why we chose it: A no-frills option that looks nice and performs well—without a hefty price.

If you’re looking to snag an affordable, functional can that also isn’t an eyesore, this Brightroom design is an ideal fit. The round receptacle, endorsed by our associate commerce editor, Morgan Bulman, holds nearly 8 gallons. It also comes fitted with a nifty bag holder, conveniently located inside the can to keep the liner from sliding down. While there’s no high-end tech to this trash can, we do find its stainless steel exterior and round silhouette to be simple and versatile—or, as one reviewer describes it, “sleek and low-profile.” Others, including Bulman, appreciate how easy it is to hide the bag beneath the pedal-operated lid, which closes softly. Although it’s a manually operated option, this trash can pick is approved for being practical and discreet.

Best Dual Compartment: Brabantia Bo Touch Top Dual Compartment Recycling Trash Can

brabantia Bo Touch Top Dual Compartment Recycling Trash Can
Bo Touch Top Dual Compartment Recycling Trash Can, Brabantia ($263 was $293)

Style: Touch closure | Material: Stainless steel | Size: 16 gallons

What we like:

  • Available in 6 colors
  • 10-year warranty
  • Slim profile makes it ideal for small spaces

Worth noting:

  • No holders to keep trash bags in

Why we chose it: This modern number holds a surprising amount of waste and suppresses unpleasant scents, to boot.

We rank Brabantia’s 16-gallon, dual-function, rectangular-shaped workhorse among our favorites for many reasons, but chief among them is how much capacity it has for both trash and recycling. Both the lid and liner are removable, and inside you’ll find two separate 8-gallon bins. Equipped with a soft-touch closure function, a gentle tap closes the lid tightly over both sides. Some reviewers take issue with the lack of trash bag holders, while others rave about how much it holds and its ability to stifle unpleasant odors. One particularly pleased buyer writes, “I’ve been so impressed with the amount it holds and how it contains the trash smell (maybe even a little too well).” Across the board, those who own the Bo Touch agree that it’s a worthy investment.

Best Multifunctional: Joseph Joseph Totem Waste Separation Bin

Joseph Joseph Totem Waste Separation Bin
Joseph Joseph Totem Waste Separation Bin ($190)

Style: Touch open | Material: Metal, plastic | Size: 10.5 and 15.8 gallons

What we like:

  • Available in 2 sizes
  • Has manual and auto (power-saving) modes

Worth noting:

  • Plastic lid

Why we chose it: Compost, discard garbage, and recycle with this all-in-one option.

This vertically designed bin keeps separate receptacles from consuming all your kitchen space. Available in two sizes (10.5 and 15.8 gallons), it comes with a removable 3-liter food waste caddy that you can neatly tuck into the top container; stash your recycling in the sizable bottom portion. Unlike some of our other picks, the Joseph Joseph doesn’t require custom-size liners, a perk current owners appreciate. According to the care instructions, you’ll want to replace the activated carbon odor filter once every three months and use hot, soapy water to occasionally clean the interior buckets. And some reviewers noted that the bottom pin doesn’t lock into place, so keep this in mind when purchasing. Available in three neutral hues—stainless, stone, and graphite—this two-tier trash can is far from an eyesore.

Best Foot Pedal: MoMA Erpa Trash Can

Simply the Best photo
Erpa Trash Can, MoMA ($325)

Style: Pedal | Material: Enamel, stainless steel | Sizes: 3.9 and 5.2 gallons

What we like:

  • Made in Germany
  • Vintage vibe

Worth noting:

  • Only available in 2 colors
  • 90-day warranty

Why we chose it: Dispose of waste in a hands-free, hygienic manner with this modern design.

Domino’s deputy editor, Julie Vadnal, dubbed this foot-pedal-operated number as a kitchen essential. Designed in 1928, the container is among the first of its kind. With this pick, worry no more about an overzealous lid: The sprung pedal mechanism locks it in place, allowing it to remain propped up as long as necessary. And when it’s time to take out the trash, simply remove the interior metal waste bin and do away with the garbage. The receptacle comes in two brilliant shades: navy and green. (Psst: If you’re a Museum of Modern Art member, you get a discount.)

Best Fashion Trash: Zara Kitchen Trash Can 

zara kitchen trash can cream
Kitchen Trash Can, Zara ($129)

Style: Pedal | Material: Iron, polypropylene, stainless steel | Size: 7.9 gallons

What we like:

  • Chic cream colorway
  • Removable liner with handles

Worth noting:

  • Pedal operated

Why we chose it: A great-looking bin that your Cali-cool kitchen deserves.

This Zara canister proves you can still maintain a polished appearance while performing one of the dirtiest jobs. It operates with a pedal opener and holds approximately 8 gallons, plus there’s a removable (and washable) liner with a large handle, which makes throwing out the trash a much lighter, and neater, affair. What immediately stood out about this option is its soothing cream colorway and stylish ribbed design. The fancy can doesn’t lean into new tech, but its modern aesthetic ensures it will enhance any kitchen it sits in.

We Also Like

Puebco Step Trash Can: The can’s weathered, steel exterior has intentional imperfections that give it a utilitarian feel, making it a suitable option in an industrial kitchen. We also appreciate that it’s made from recycled materials. Reviewers refer to the design as “clever,” “well made,” and “quality.”

puebco step trash can
Step Trash Can, Puebco ($180)

How We Chose These Products

To separate the treasure from the trash, we sought out containers made from sturdy materials (hence the stainless steel selections). After choosing some of the most durable trash cans on the market, we moved on to examining the design (touch operation, no touch) and innovative features (see our Townew T1S pick that seals bags on its own). We also kept in mind looks and choices from our editors, and then took into consideration price and how previous customers rated each of our selections.

Our Shopping Checklist


Not everyone has sprawling kitchen space, so we made sure to source trash cans in various sizes. Our selections range from 3.9 to 16 gallons. When shopping, here’s a list of things to consider: the size of your kitchen; the amount of space you’d like to designate for your bin; and the amount of garbage, composting, and recycling you accumulate on a regular basis.


Receptacles made from materials like stainless steel tend to fare better than, say, plastic alternatives over time. Steel is naturally more durable and more adept at containing odors, too. Some even have fingerprint-proof surfaces (like the sleek Simplehuman number we spied), so the bins maintain a neat, clean look. 


Consider how much (or little) contact you want to make with your trash can. If you can’t bear the thought of touching a garbage lid (no matter how clean), a motion-sensor-activated appliance might suit you best. If you’d rather have a classic design that costs considerably less and still minimizes contact with the container, then consider a pedal-operated design. If you recycle and compost, opt for an all-in-one design with separate bins.

Ask Domino

Q: Is a stainless steel trash can better than a plastic one?

While the more expensive of the two, a stainless steel trash can is easier to clean and attracts less dirt than plastic. Stainless is also more durable and resistant to rust and corrosion. 

Q: Where should I put a trash can in the kitchen?

A major rule of thumb is to situate your garbage bin as far away from fresh food as possible. Afterward, pick a spot where you prep meals and will need to quickly and conveniently toss out scraps and packaging. Depending on your kitchen size and layout, this spot could be near your sink or next to the island. To disguise it or stow it out of sight, place it in an enclosed pantry or opt for a pull-out number that fits inside a large kitchen cabinet.

Choosing the best kitchen trash can comes down to design preference, trash removal habits, and functional convenience. Gone are the days when garbage receptacles were doomed to hide shamefully in the shadows—today we’re shopping decidedly cool and capable cans.