Kitchen trash cans are vital in keeping our homes free from odor, and they help us have somewhere safe to deposit food waste and to recycle. Not all trash cans, however, are created equally.

In this article, we look at four hugely popular kitchen trash cans, all with distinct differences, to give you a better understanding of what they offer. As you’ll see, we’ll crown the Ninestars DZT-50-9 Trash Can as our HowToHome pick because it has motion sensing capabilities, which is useful when you want to avoid germs.

  • 13-gallon capacity
  • Motion sensor for automatic opening
  • Soft-close lid
  • Fingerprint resistant

  • 13-gallon capacity
  • Spring-top lid
  • Liner lock technology
  • Durable resin construction

  • 18-gallon capacity
  • Odor control system
  • Removable inner bucket
  • Soft-close lid
  • 1-year limited warranty

  • 12.2-gallon capacity
  • Dual compartments for waste separation
  • Stay-open lid
  • Patented silent-close lid


If you want a bit of technology incorporated in your trash can, then the Ninestars model satisfies that desire. It comes with a motion sensor that means the lid opens when your hand gets near. It even works when your hands are wet, and the beauty of having a trash can like this is you never have to touch the surface. If you value high levels of hygiene, then this is the trash can for you!

You needn’t worry about the trash can opening every time the family pet passes by because the sensor is equipped with a delay feature to avoid false opening. It has a 13-gallon capacity, like most featured in the review, and it also has a soft close lid as well as a removable ring liner that holds the trash bags in place for a better seal. Plus, the stainless steel body of the trash can is fingerprint resistant to keep it looking its best no matter what you throw at it.

On the downside, the battery compartment door is made of cheap plastic, and there are some reports of the door falling off and the batteries coming loose. In addition, the on/off button may trigger when the trash is filled to the top. That said, we love the technology and the fact that you never need to touch the trash can to operate it.

Pros

  • Motion sensor works with wet hands
  • On/off button
  • Trash bags are sealed inside the bin
  • Stainless steel construction

Cons

  • Battery compartment door breaks easily
  • When full, the on/off button triggers


Rubbermaid is a trusted name and was recently voted in the top 100 companies for “Brand of the Century.” So, when you buy this trash can, you are purchasing quality. Unlike the others featured, this model is constructed from plastic resin, which means it can still take all the hard knocks and scratches of daily use without costing a lot of money.

It opens via a spring-loaded lid, which means that it is easy to use and has a wide opening for more substantial items of trash. Also, the trash bag is secured using Rubbermaid Liner Lock technology, which wires the bag to the rim of the trash can so it shouldn’t come loose or fall into the can. This is also the lightest of all the trash cans featured, weighing in at just over 4 lbs, and yet because of the construction material it is also the most durable. It means that emptying it should not put a strain on your back.

Unfortunately, the Liner Lock system can be challenging to attach the trash bag, and many people report that once attached the bag can rip. That said, as our budget option and with the pedigree that the brand has, this durable trash can is lightweight and a great price.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Great price
  • Excellent brand
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Liner lock is fiddly to attach
  • Bags can rip once attached

What sets this iTouchless trash can apart from the competition is that it’s the best at tackling odors, because it comes equipped with an AbsorbX odor control system. It consists of a built-in deodorizer in the sidewall of the trash can that contains an active carbon filter to neutralize any volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) that occur as food waste breaks down.

It also comes with a replaceable air damper that keeps the soft step mechanism operating flawlessly for years to come. The lid has a soft open and close feature, and the capacity of this soft step trash can is a massive 18 gallons, easily the largest of any of the trash cans featured. The outer body is constructed from stainless steel, and it has a special coating on the surface of the can to ensure germ-free fingerprint resistance to keep it looking good.

The soft step element comes from the perfectly weighted lid that is balanced precisely so you only need to apply minimum pressure on the pedal.

The trash bags, however, have a minimal grip on the top of the trash can, and many have commented on the build quality for such an expensive item. Regardless, we rate this trash can highly because it does something that no other trash can does on the list: prevent odors.

Pros

  • Germ-free construction
  • Active carbon filter
  • Huge capacity
  • Soft step pedal mechanism

Cons

  • Trash bags don’t grip
  • Poor build quality

So far, the trash cans featured have been single-use for general waste, but this Simplehuman model has two containers for you to separate the recycling from the food waste. In addition, if you use the dedicated custom fit liners  with this trash can, you shouldn’t experience any leaks or tears that might contribute to unpleasant odors.

The capacity is 12.2 gallons, which is about average when compared to others in the same class, and the body of the can is constructed from brushed stainless steel, so it will fit any color scheme and keep its good looks. It also benefits from fingerprint resistance.

The step pedal is robust, and because the lid hinge is on the inside of the trash can, it will sit flat against the wall to take up less space.

On the downside, it costs a lot, and you have to buy Simplehuman dedicated trash bags, which adds to the expense. MOreover, the two containers are small, so some buyers have resorted to buying a second trash can to separate the recycling. Aside from these small detractors, this is a quality trash can that will help you in the fight to recycle and look good in your kitchen for years to come.

Pros

  • Helps you recycle more
  • Robust pedal action
  • Dedicated trash bags to stop leaks
  • Clever design features

Cons

  • The containers are small
  • Trash bags are expensive and hard to find

Comparison Chart

Ninestars DZT-50-9 Trash CanRubbermaid Trash CaniTouchless Soft StepSimplehuman Compartment Trash Can
PedalXX
Odor controlXXX
Motion sensorXXX
Soft-close lidX
Capacity13-gallon13-gallon18-gallon12.2-gallon
Price$$$$$$$$
Dimensions 11.4 x 16.2 x 28.417.2 x 25.5 x 14.916.5 x 11 x 28.525.7 x 12.8 x 19.8
Weight8.38 lbs4.08 lbs16.85 lbs17.6 lbs
Warranty2-year1-year1-year10-year

Buyer’s Guide:

Kitchen Trash Can

There are many features associated with kitchen trash cans, but we thought we would share our thoughts on what we consider the vital considerations.

Robust

Having a kitchen trash can that can withstand the rigors of daily life, still perform flawlessly, and look good is vital. Whether you have a stainless steel variety or the plastic resin model, both should stay in top condition and not show the scars of daily use.

Looks Stylish

Modern kitchen designs demand that every last accessory matches the color scheme and overall look, even down to the humble trash can, and stainless steel or brushed stainless steel does that admirably. They look good in any setting, and because they are fingerprint and germ-free, they won’t show any blemishes.

Capacity

If you have a larger family, there is likely to be more waste, so opt for a trash can with significant capacity. Some of the largest cans on the market have as much as 20 gallons, but trash cans like the iTouchless Soft Step come in sizes ranging from 13 gallons to 18 gallons.

If you don’t need greater capacity, then a smaller trash can will suffice. As an aside, try not to overestimate the size of trash can you will need, or you run the risk of having food waste in your kitchen for too long.

Final Thoughts

Try living without your trash can for a week and you will see why they are so important. They fight smells, bacteria, and keep our kitchens clean, so when you are on the hunt for a new Kitchen trash can, look no further than the Ninestars DZT-50-9 Trash Can. Not only does it look good, but it has smart sensor technology for the ultimate in hygiene control. That’s why we named it our HowToHome pick.

For the more basic model, the Rubbermaid Trash Can is the one to buy. It is a no-frills choice with a robust plastic resin construction and a spring-loaded lid. It fulfills its role without all the bells and whistles, which is why it is the standout budget choice.

If odor control is something you feel strongly about, then the iTouchless Soft Step is the one to go with because of the active carbon filter to neutralize any bad smells. If you are passionate about recycling, then look no further than the Simplehuman Compartment Trash Can, because it has two compartments: one for food waste and the other for recyclables.

Whichever kitchen trash can you choose; hopefully, we’ve highlighted the differences in each model to make your choice that much easier.

Further Reading

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