The 9 Best Trash Cans of 2021

A necessity you shouldn't forget about

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Finding the right trash can for your office might seem simple, but there are a lot of factors to consider. In addition to size, there are a variety of materials (from mesh to wood) and features to choose from. To help you narrow down your choices, here are the best trash cans for every style and budget.

Best Overall: Simplehuman Steel Trash Can

The Simplehuman 13 Gallon Trash Can is one of the most versatile options on the market. Its rectangular shape and generous size make it ideal for all types of waste. While it can fit under some sinks or inside cabinets, it has a modern look.

As a step-on trash can, it features one of the easiest lids to open and close. Simplehuman’s patented technology assures a silent closure without falling or slamming shut. This steel trash can is also compatible with most garbage bags, though Simplehuman’s Q liner is specifically designed to sit flush. To clean, use standard multi-purpose spray or soap and water inside the can, though it's best to use stainless steel wipes or spray for the outer surface.

Best Budget: Rubbermaid Vanity Trash Can Wastebasket

For a no-frills, budget-friendly option, look no further than this wastebasket from Rubbermaid. It's made of white plastic for a minimalist look that'll easily blend with most office decor.

With a 6-quart capacity, this trash can is compact, yet not so small that you’ll need to constantly empty it. It's also sold individually or in packs of two, four, or six cans, making for a great value. Better yet, it’s manufactured in the United States.

Best Splurge: Kassatex Rattan Wastebasket

Stylish and sleek, the Kassatex Rattan Wastebasket has an embossed rattan-inspired design that'll complement both modern and traditional spaces. It's part of the brand's Rattan Bath Collection of bathroom accessories, though it also looks great in offices.

Keep in mind that the wastebasket measures 7.5 by 9 inches, so it isn't large enough for food or other heavy waste. This wastebasket is also made of 100 percent porcelain, which makes it more cumbersome to pick up and empty than other wastebaskets. Note that porcelain is one of the least durable materials, so it’s likely to crack or break if dropped. 

Best Mesh: Rolodex Steel Trash Can

Rolodex 4.5-Gallon Black Steel Touchless Trash Can

If you aren't using a trash can for food or liquid waste, consider going with a mesh option as it's easier to gauge how full it is when used without a bag. Plus, mesh tends to be more stylish than plastic.

The Rolodex 4.5-gallon black trash can is a great pick, as it's made of a durable steel mesh that’s double rolled. Because this can weighs around 1 pound, it shouldn't fall over easily, even when stuffed to the brim. The open, lidless design also makes it easy to dispose of larger or irregularly-shaped rubbish.

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Best Wooden: Umbra Woodrow Open Waste Basket

Perfect for mid-century modern home offices, the Umbra Woodrow Waste Basket is a stylish and versatile option that offers excellent value. It has a two-toned look that’s available in several different colors, including Black, White, and Espresso. Made of naturally treated wood, the interior has a neutral color that accentuates the texture of the wood grain.

This trash can also has a 2-gallon capacity and features cutout handles to easily empty it out into a larger can or bag.

Best Compact: mDesign Rectangular Small Trash Can

The mDesign Rectangular Trash Can is an excellent choice if you have minimal office space. Measuring 5.5 x 10 x 10 inches, it’s the right size to tuck away in a corner or keep inside a cabinet.

This trash can also wins points for quality and durability; the strong steel material has a rust-resistant finish, making it suitable for humid climates or windowless spaces like bathrooms. It's also available in several different colors, including Light Yellow, Light Purple, and Cream.

Best Smart: Secura Automatic Trash Can

Though pricey, smart trash cans are worth looking into, like Secura's 13 Gallon Trash Can. Its technology works through a built-in sensor that opens and closes the lid automatically in just seconds, and it’s engineered to operate quietly. Even more, this trash can has two power sources: It can either be plugged in or powered with four AA batteries.

In addition to being hands-free, this trash can is designed to keep your home or office odor-free. There’s a compartment with an activated bamboo charcoal filter, which helps absorb food, pet, and other unpleasant smells. While it needs to be replaced on occasion, one filter is included with this purchase. Garbage bags also stay hidden in the trash can, which gives it a clean look.

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Best for Recycling: Simplehuman Dual Compartment Trash Can

The Simplehuman Dual Compartment Trash Can is a smart way to recycle in your office. It has two color-coded compartments, one for garbage and another for recycling. Or, you can use both bins to keep different types of recyclables separated. 

The blue compartment is for recyclables and has a handle for easy removal, while the white bin is designated for waste. There's also a hidden compartment in the back to stash extra garbage bags. In addition to Brushed Stainless Steel, this step-on 15-gallon trash can is available in Rose Gold and Black colors.

Best for Style: Vintiquewise Hyacinth Round Waste Basket

Ideal for both traditional and contemporary spaces, Vintiquewise's Round Waste Basket adds a nice decorative accent to any office. Made of a natural water hyacinth that’s handwoven over a wire frame, the basket offers great value for an artistically-crafted product.

With a 2.5-gallon capacity, it features a round shape and lidless design. Note that the basket's material is only useful for throwing out dry garbage. Liquids and food waste may seep through and end up creating a larger mess. 

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