11 Best Touchless Trash Cans to Keep Your Hands Clean

touchless trash can

Kohler, simple human, et al

Touchless or hands-free trash cans are a lifesaver. When your hands are full – or if you just don’t want to touch the lid, a sensor-or pedal-operated trash can is a much more convenient option. It can also be much more sanitary, considering all of the discarded food in your garbage, as well as the germs being wipe or swept into the trash from various kitchen surfaces. The same can be said for throwing away used tissue in your bathroom. (You could flush the tissue, but that wastes water).

That’s why a touchless trashcan is one of the best essentials needed to stay healthy during the quarantine – and beyond. However, there are a lot of options to choose from. We’ve selected the best of the best to help you narrow down the right trash can for your needs.

 

These Are the Best Touchless Trash Cans to Keep Your Hands Clean

simplehuman Rectangular Hands-Free Dual Compartment Trash Can Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 2 sides for trash and recycling
  • Numerous color options
  • Resists fingerprints
Price: $199.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Kohler Black Stainless Steel Hands-Free Trash Can Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Variety of finishes
  • Slow close lid
  • Stay open feature
Price: $134.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hOmeLabs No Touch Motion Sensor Trashcan with Butterfly Lid Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Uses batteries or adapter
  • Automatic and manual opening options
  • Available in 21-gallon and 13-gallon sizes
Price: $84.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Brabantia Newicon Step Trash Can with Silent Lid Closure Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Soft closing lid
  • Numerous color options
  • Odor-proof lid
Price: $65.06 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Hembor Dual Trash Can Hands-Free Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Smudge proof
  • Closes quietly
  • Sturdy pedals
Price: $122.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Zita Stainless Steel Motion Sensor Trash Can Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Opens sideways
  • Fits under the counter
  • Has sensitivity setting
Price: $77.60 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Townew Self-Sealing and Self-Changing Motion Sense Trash Can Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Self-sealing
  • Self-changing
  • Motion sensor
Price: $119.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Simplehuman Butterfly Stainless Steel Trash Can Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Innovative butterfly lid
  • Wide steel pedal
  • Lid opens in tight spaces
Price: $271.39 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
iTouchless Sliding Lid Automatic Sensor Trashcan With Odor-Absorbing Filter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Motion activated
  • Resists fingerprints and smudges
  • Doesn’t look like a trashcan
Price: $79.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Ninestars Automatic Touchless Motion Sensor Trash Can Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Water-resistant sensor
  • Uses standard trash bags well
  • Resists smudges and fingerprints
Price: $65.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Simplehuman Hands-Free Kitchen Trash Can Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Color choices
  • Soft-close lid
  • Trash bag dispenser inside
Price: $79.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. simplehuman Rectangular Hands-Free Dual Compartment Step Trash Can

    Pros:
    • 2 sides for trash and recycling
    • Numerous color options
    • Resists fingerprints
    Cons:
    • May be too large for some kitchens
    • 13-gallon bags may not fit 15-gallon trash cans well
    • May not fit under every counter

    If you want an elegant option for sorting trash and recyclable items, this simplehuman Rectangular Hands-Free Dual Compartment Trash Can is a beautiful choice. The 15-gallon  trash can has a wide steel pedal so you don’t have to be precise when touching it with your feet. The Nano-silver clear coat not only provides a sleek finish, but also resists fingerprints and germs. In addition, the lid closes slowly, without making noises. The trash can comes in a variety of sizes. Besides rose gold stainless steel, other stainless steel finishes include black, dark bronze, brushed, and white.

     

  2. 2. Kohler Black Stainless Steel Hands-Free Trash Can

    Pros:
    • Variety of finishes
    • Slow close lid
    • Stay open feature
    Cons:
    • Sticky label hard to remove
    • Lid may be loud when closing
    • Unnecessary roughness may break pedal

    A sample was provided for an honest review

    One advantage of black trash cans is that they don’t show dirt and stains. That’s especially true of this Kohler Black Stainless Steel Hands-Free Trash Can. The 13-gallon garbage can is fingerprint-proof to resist smudges and stains. With a durable metal foot pedal, and a quiet close lid, it’s easy to operate. In addition, the trash can has a raised liner and locking rim, so you won’t struggle to insert and remove bags. In addition to black stainless steel, it’s also available in all white, and stainless steel with a black top. The 13-gallon step can is the largest size, but there’s also an 8-gallon and a 2.5 gallon size.

  3. 3. hOmeLabs No Touch Motion Sensor Trashcan with Butterfly Lid

    Pros:
    • Uses batteries or adapter
    • Automatic and manual opening options
    • Available in 21-gallon and 13-gallon sizes
    Cons:
    • No finish options
    • Adapter must be purchased separately
    • No size small than 13-gallon

    This HomeLabs No Touch Motion Sensor Trashcan with Butterfly Lid comes in a 13-gallon size and also a 21-gallon size. Using infrared technology, it opens the trash can when motion is detected within 6 inches. However, it can also be set to open and close manually.  The butterfly opening – which can be adjusted for top or side activation – provides enough clearance to place the trashcan under low countertops. You can either use 4 C batteries or an AC adapter. The stainless steel is durable and easy to clean, and the lids open and close quietly.

     

  4. 4. Brabantia Newicon Step Trash Can with Silent Lid Closure

    Pros:
    • Soft closing lid
    • Numerous color options
    • Odor-proof lid
    Cons:
    • May not be big enough for some people
    • Color choices may be overwhelming
    • A few customers had dents during rough shipping

    A sample was provided for an honest review

    If you don’t have a lot of square footage in your kitchen, you may prefer a slim, space-saving option. This 8-gallon Brabantia Newicon Step Trash Can with Silent Lid Closure only takes up 11.5 inches of floor space, but with the lid closed, it’s almost 27 inches tall.  The garbage can has a light step mechanism and the odor-proof lid is very quiet as it is closing. It’s also easy to clean this corrosion-resistant trash can, which has a removable inner bucket. One of the best things about the Brabantia trash can is the variety of colors you can choose from: passion red, brilliant steel, clay pink, daisy yellow, metallic mint, moss green, platinum, black, white, metallic grey, and matte steel – and that’s not all of the color options.

  5. 5. Hembor Dual Trash Can Hands-Free

    Pros:
    • Smudge proof
    • Closes quietly
    • Sturdy pedals
    Cons:
    • Dual sides may not hold enough trash
    • A few customers say bags don’t stay in place
    • May be difficult to find trash bags that fit

    If you need a large trashcan that’s easy to carry, consider this 16-gallon Hembor Hands-Free Dual Trash Can. It has two compartments so you can designate one side for recyclable items. And since it’s 26” tall, you don’t have to bend over to discard waste. The inner buckets have a handle for easy removal, and the trash can itself also has side handles, making it easy to transport. In addition, the lid closes softly and silently, and the stainless steel pedals are sturdy and durable, easy for users of all ages. The fingerprint-proof brushed stainless steel is easy to clean, and is available in either black or silver finishes.

  6. 6. Zita Stainless Steel Motion Sensor Trash Can

    Pros:
    • Opens sideways
    • Fits under the counter
    • Has sensitivity setting
    Cons:
    • Requires batteries
    • With pets and kids, settings could require constant changing
    • Opening may be too small for some

    Here’s a uniquely-shaped trash can that also features an automatic closing. The Zita Stainless Steel Motion Sensor Trash Can automatically opens by sensor, and is smart enough to close when nothing is detected. However, it can also be adjusted to manually open and close. Instead of opening upward, the lid opens to the side – which results in less odor leaking.  It also uses a long-life battery that lasts two years, and has a battery exhaustion notification. The garbage  also has a sensitivity setting to help prevent toddlers and animals from opening it.

  7. 7. Townew Self-Sealing and Self-Changing Motion Sense Trash Can

    Pros:
    • Self-sealing
    • Self-changing
    • Motion sensor
    Cons:
    • Doesn’t come in a larger size
    • Only 2 color choices
    • Have to change batteries

    This Townew Self-Sealing and Self-Changing Motion Sense Trash Can is another one of those trash cans that doesn’t look like a trash can. It’s 4-gallon capacity is perfect for small spaces, yet, it’s 15.5” high to hold plenty of trash. The garbage can has a built-in motion sensor, and here’s the best part: with a touch of the button, it will self-seal and self-change. There’s a refill ring that holds up to 25 bags. So, how does this work? Hold the touch button to seal a full trash bag. When the sealing process is complete, remove the sealed bag. Then, the lid closes and pulls down a new trash bag. The trashcan, which is available in either teal and white, also has an anti-slip and anti-tip design.

  8. 8. Simplehuman Butterfly Stainless Steel Trash Can

    Pros:
    • Innovative butterfly lid
    • Wide steel pedal
    • Lid opens in tight spaces
    Cons:
    • May be too tall for some areas
    • A few customers complain of dent during rough shipping
    • Might be a small gap between lids

    It’s hard to resist the innovative butterfly lid on this 11.9 gallon Simplehuman Butterfly Stainless Steel Trash Can. The split doors of this 30” can open from the center, which makes this a great choice under low countertops – or placed right up against the wall. The lid shox technology ensures that the lids don’t make any noise while opening or closing. In addition, the steel pedal is wide and also strong. The fingerprint-resistant coating is available in both the stainless steel and black stainless steel finish.

  9. 9. iTouchless Sliding Lid Automatic Sensor Trashcan With Odor-Absorbing Filter

    Pros:
    • Motion activated
    • Resists fingerprints and smudges
    • Doesn’t look like a trashcan
    Cons:
    • Will need to replace carbon odor filter
    • Needs either 4 D batteries or optional AC adapter
    • Small kids may spill trash on top

    This sleek iTouchless Sliding Lid Automatic Sensor Trashcan With Odor-Absorbing Filter looks more like an air purifier than a trash can. Instead of a pedal, you merely need to wave your hand over the front to cause the lid to retract. The 14-gallon garbage can also has 1 natural carbon odor filter that’s designed to capture and neutralize any odors the trash might emit. This space saving trash takes up less than 11 inches of floor space. It is available in fingerprint resistant black steel, brushed stainless steel, and matte white.

  10. 10. Ninestars Automatic Touchless Motion Sensor Trash Can

    Pros:
    • Water-resistant sensor
    • Uses standard trash bags well
    • Resists smudges and fingerprints
    Cons:
    • Only available in one finish
    • Uses batteries
    • Does not use an adapter

    An inexpensive option for an automatic trash can, this 13-gallon Ninestars Automatic Touchless Motion Sensor Trash Can is great for budget-minded consumers. It has a touch-free motion sensor closing lid, and is designed to prevent the can from opening when pets and kids walk by. This delay sensing technology helps to preserve the life of the 3 C batteries. The infrared motion sensor is also water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about spills damaging the trash can. Also, the can is made of fingerprint-resistant stainless steel.

  11. 11. simplehuman Soft Close Lid Trash Can

    Pros:
    • Color choices
    • Soft-close lid
    • Trash bag dispenser inside
    Cons:
    • Made of plastic
    • Expensive considering material
    • Some customers complained regular bags don't fit

    This  simplehuman Soft-Close Lid Trash Can is another touchless option. It’s made of plastic, with a stainless steel liner rim. The pedal is extra wide – and also made of steel – so you can expect it to last a long time. You won’t have to keep up with trash bags since the trash can also has a liner pocket that dispenses bags one-by-one when you need them. Another neat feature is the silent close lid. The trash can is available in black, grey, and white – all with a stainless steel lid and pedal.

Do you really need a hands-free trash can?

There are numerous advantages to having a hands-free trash can. “All our contaminated paper towels and rags are thrown into the trash,” says Wesley Ward, vice president of marketing and merchandising at Hausera.

“You wipe up that raw chicken juice into your nice new undermount sink and grab that rag, then open the trash can or grab the handle to open it, then throw it away, then wash your hands.”

However, Ward asks, what happens when you have to do it again? “The handle for your can or cabinet is still contaminated from your last use, so you end up leaving that as a potential bacteria buildup spot for someone else to touch.”

He says that opening a trash can with your foot – or waving your hand is a good idea. “You don’t clean up chicken juice with your foot, and that’s why hands-free trash cans are the way to go.” 

“Madeleine Seah, interior design advisor at HomeRenoGuru, agrees that there are definitely advantages to using hands-free trash cans.

More hygienic

“The trash is a place where the proliferation of germs and bacteria is very high,” she says. “With a hands-free trash can, you can eliminate the risk of coming into contact with these harmful microorganisms, ensuring good hygiene.”

Saves time

“You don't need to pause while you're in the middle of a task to wash your hands after throwing something away,” Seah says.

Ergonomic

“These trash cans are kinder on your back since you don't have to bend over to open the lid while throwing trash away,” she explains.

What to consider when buying a touchless trash can

Location and function are two of the most important considerations.  “As a general rule, the higher the volume of waste created, the larger the size of the trash can,” says Seah.

“Larger trash cans are typically used in kitchens where most of the waste is generated.” On the other hand, she says smaller cans can be used in bathrooms and other places where you would generate less trash.


The shape of the trash can is another consideration. “Hands-free trash cans are available in a variety of shapes, such as square, rectangle, and oval.”

So how do you choose between all of these options? “A square or rectangular trash can be tucked in corners easily,” Seah says. “They are great if you intend to place them in smaller spaces.” On the other hand, she recommends oval trash cans in roomier places – because they take up more space. Keep in mind that trash cans aren't just for kitchens and bathrooms. They also make great home office accessories.

Also consider ease of use. “Some hands-free trash cans use motion sensors and tend to be easier to operate,” Seah says.  “Other models come with a foot pedal and you have to step on the pedal when opening and closing the lid.” If there are elderly people or those with disabilities in the home, she says a sensor might be a better choice.   

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