If you generally use the term strainer to describe any kitchen vessel with drainage holes, you’re not alone. Colanders, sieves, and similar tools all allow liquid to drain out, although there are some subtle differences between them. For example, colanders tend to have larger holes, and fewer of them, to drain liquids as quickly as possible. Colanders are often used to strain pasta or wash vegetables. On the other hand, if you need to strain or drain out smaller amounts of liquid, a sieve is your best bet.
Some of the most common types of materials for colanders include plastic and metal. While plastic colanders are inexpensive and easier to move around, they may not hold up as well over time. Metal colanders tend to be sturdier, although a few may rust over time. Additionally, some metal colanders can take longer to drain due to their generally smaller holes.
Take a look at the list of our picks for the best colanders below. If you don’t see the right product, browse a wider selection of colanders on Amazon for more options.
1. Raishi Colander
This stainless steel colander is available in medium and large sizes. The medium colander has a 5-quart capacity, compared to the 6-quart capacity in the larger version. Other features include a sturdy heavy stainless steel construction and riveted handles for added security. You can safely run this colander through the dishwasher. It’s also a bit narrower than others, making it more compact for storage.
Price: $24.99 (29 percent off MSRP)
- Available in two sizes
- Heavy stainless steel construction
- Narrower design simplifies storage
- Narrower design can be an adjustment
- Some say it’s slow to drain out the bottom
- A few mention the rim edges feel sharp
2. OXO Good Grips Colander
The OXO Good Grips Colander is available in 5-quart and 3-quart versions. Comfortable, non-slip handles let you safely and securely transport food as necessary. You can also get a solid grip to drain out the last bits of water. This colander also has several feet on the bottom to keep it stable and secure. Its perforated construction promotes efficient straining.
- Non-slip handles
- Multiple feet on bottom for added stability
- Available in two capacities
- Some find the rubber can deteriorate in the dishwasher
- Several note the feet may slip
- A bit pricey
3. KitchenAid Colander
The plastic KitchenAid Colander, available in several different colors, features a 5-quart capacity. It also comes with larger handles so that you can easily grip it or transfer food as necessary. The handles are large enough to use for storage if necessary. A raised base keeps contents from sitting on sink and countertop surfaces. This colander is dishwasher safe for added convenience.
- Available in different colors
- Large handles
- Dishwasher safe
- Plastic may melt when exposed to hot temperatures
- A few note the legs on the bottom tend to make it quite tall
- Some mention the plastic can develop small cracks over time
4. Utopia Kitchen Colander
Unlike most colanders, which have larger holes for drainage, the Utopia Kitchen Colander features smaller holes that are close together. Not only does this promote even drainage, it also prevents smaller particles of food from escaping. The colander, made with high grade stainless steel, is dishwasher safe.
Price: $9.49 (68 percent off MSRP)
- Micro-perforated design
- High grade stainless steel
- Dishwasher safe
- Several note the material seems quite thin
- Quite wide
- Doesn’t have feet on the bottom for stability
5. KUKPO Colander
When you look at the KUKPO Colander, you’ll probably first notice the large, non-slip handles. These handles are outfitted with rubber to help keep your hands cool and safe, even when working with hot foods. The colander has a 5-quart capacity and features a sturdy stainless steel construction. A perforated design, complete with larger holes, facilitates water drainage. The colander is dishwasher safe.
Price: $11.97 (8 percent off MSRP)
- Large, non-slip handles
- Perforated design
- Dishwasher safe
- Smaller holes can make hand-washing challenging
- Doesn’t have a non-slip surface on bottom
- A few mention the lighter weight material can dent
6. Chef Craft Colander
The Chef Craft Colander is a budget-friendly option with enough space to drain pots of pasta in addition to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Handles on both sides make it easier to drain water and move the colander as needed. This colander has a 5-quart capacity and is dishwasher safe for your convenience.
- Includes handles
- Dishwasher safe
- Those with larger hands may find the handles a bit small
- Smaller bits of food can slip through the holes
- Some question the long-term durability of the plastic
7. Bellemain Colander
If you’re looking for holes that are large enough to allow sufficient water drainage, yet compact enough to keep smaller bits of food from sliding out, consider the Bellemain Colander. This 5-quart colander is also dishwasher safe. A draining ring at the bottom elevates the colander enough for proper drainage, while keeping it from tipping over when full. Other features include riveted handles and a solid rust-proof 18/10 stainless steel construction.
Price: $16.95 (52 percent off MSRP)
- Rust-proof stainless steel construction
- Draining ring at bottom
- Riveted handles
- Small holes can be tough to clean
- Quinoa and other small grains can slip through
- Larger base means it takes up a lot of space in the dishwasher
8. Norpro Berry Colander
Sometimes, all you need is a small colander to rinse berries and other smaller items. If you’re looking for a compact colander, consider the Norpro Berry Colander. The colander is available in three sizes, from 6.25 inches to 9.5 inches. You can also choose the 8-inch colander. Instead of your average uniform holes, this stainless steel colander stands out for its distinctive strawberry cut-outs.
- Comes in three sizes
- Strawberry cut-outs
- Ideal for rinsing berries
- Not dishwasher safe
- Some find it’s slow to drain
- A few note drainage can be slow
9. Cuisinart Over-The-Sink Colander
The handles on the Cuisinart Over-The-Sink Colander extend out to hold it securely in place on top of your sink. The handles feature a non-slip cover for added stability. With its 5.5-quart capacity, this colander has enough room for draining pasta as well as an assortment of fruits and vegetables. It’s also dishwasher safe and is made with durable stainless steel.
- Non-slip handles that extend out
- Fits over most sinks
- Dishwasher safe
- Food can get stuck underneath mesh lip
- Several mention the small holes make it tough to clean
- Material may dent
10. Comfify Colander Set
Collapsible colanders are particularly handy for those with limited storage space or smaller kitchens. The Comfify Colander Set, available in multiple colors, includes two folding strainers. The smaller strainer has a 2-quart capacity, while the larger one has a 3-quart capacity. When collapsed, the strainers are no higher than 2 inches. The strainers have rubberized handles and are heat resistant up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re also dishwasher safe.
Price: $11.49 (62 percent off MSRP)
- Set includes two sizes
- Available in multiple colors
- Collapsible design
- May melt if exposed to high temperatures
- Larger holes can make it easier for smaller food to slip through
- Can take longer to drain as it only has holes on the bottom