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If you have a large family that can’t help but creates a lot of waste in the kitchen, you need a trash can that can provide the right capacity. A 13-gallon option should be the ideal size to handle large quantities without becoming difficult to manage.
But, there are lots of different trash cans out there at this size. Some look to be a bit cheap and unattractive while others are expensive and stylish or full of clever features. So, which is the best 13-gallon trash can for you and your family?
In this guide, I compiled a list of 13 options starting from some cheaper, yet effective tools, working our way through mid-range smart systems and ending with some high-end designs.
This range should give you a better idea of what is out there within your budget. There are pros and cons to each choice based on their features, design, and ease of use. Before that, let’s talk about some of the most important considerations for choosing the right 13-gallon trash can for your kitchen.
What should you look out for when choosing the best 13-gallon trash can?
1) What is it made out of?
The materials used in any trash can will play a big part in its functionality and longevity. At the lower end of the price scale, you have those bins that are mainly plastic and a bit more flimsy.
This is fine as a budget item. However, stainless steel is much stronger and can look a lot nicer. Furthermore, odor and bacteria don’t cling to stainless steel in the same way as plastic, making them more hygienic in the long run.
That is why the products in this guide are stainless steel on the outside with plastic interior containers.
2) How long do you have to physically touch the bin?
These trash cans are more hygienic when you use a pedal to lift the lid so you don’t have to touch the surfaces – unlike swing lid trash cans or those with manual flaps. Ideally, the only time you touch the bin will be to lift out the inner container by its handles and then deal with the trash bag.
Some brands take this even further with smart sensors that open the lid when you put your hand near it. The best of these have LED timers and adjustable settings. The downside here is that you do need an electrical outlet or batteries.
3) Are there any other clever features to improve cleanliness?
In addition to this hands-free approach, some of the more high-end bins will include other features like air vents and filters to improve the functionality and the smell of the bin.
Charcoal filters are great and mean that you don’t get that unpleasant garbage smell when you lift the lid. But, you might not get many in the box so this could be an added expense over time.
4) What other features are there to make life easier for users?
A lot of the best 13-gallon trash cans had little details in the designs to improve the user experience. A common feature here is the use of a soft-close lid.
The idea here is that this minimizes the noise created and stops it from banging shut if people use it at an unsociable hour. As mentioned above, it also helps if there are handles on the inner removable bin to make it easier to empty it out.
Other features may include rubber feet to stop the bin from sliding around on the floor.
5) How does it look?
You might think that a receptacle for disgusting waste doesn’t need to look good. However, this is a prominent feature in your kitchen, so why not take advantage of some of the nicer designs. Brushed stainless steel is common for its clean-looking shine.
Some brands take this further with effects and other colors. Or, they might add trim for a pop of color. Some also make a point of putting the pedal in a recess or making the bin sit flush against a wall to minimize the footprint.
My top pick in the 13-gallon trash cans.
It was difficult to pick a winner here because there are different routes that you can take. You can go simplistic with clean lines and a focus on basic hygiene, or you can go for a smarter choice.
In the end, I picked a smarter model because the features and design offer value when compared to the cheaper and more high-end alternative.
The Secura 13 Gallon Automatic Trash Can isn’t perfect, but the smart sensor with its adjustable range and LED timer is great for a customized hands-free experience. The addition of the odor filter makes it one of the best value options here.
13 of the best 13-gallon trash cans on the market right now.
I want to start this list with a pretty standard everyday pedal bin. This one is at a higher price than other similar models but is also the cheapest in this guide at $85.99. This higher price reflects the quality of the item.
You get a familiar look with the shiny cylindrical can made of stainless steel. Inside is a secondary plastic container to lift out to make things easier. There is the promise of high-quality materials throughout for longevity and a good seal between the can and the lid. The pedal system is straight-forward and easy to use.
There aren’t really any problems here when you take this product at face value. It does exactly what it was designed to do and offers enough quality for that price point.
But, you have to ask yourself if you would be better off with something more high-tech for a little more, or something similar for a little less.
This next trash can has a similar idea in terms of its function and general look, only this one is oval rather than round. That shape shouldn’t make a big difference when it comes to the practical side of this product.
Here there is the promise of a soft close lid that will also stay open as needed to increase the ease of use. There is also a similar interior container for the trash bag.
There is a lot about this trash can that makes it a stylish choice for most kitchens. However, there are a couple of features missing compared to other products at this price point.
The first is that it doesn’t have the same stainless steel shine to it, which could have an impact on its visual appeal. Then there is the fact that there isn’t a handle on the inner container, which could make it harder to empty out.
Next, we switch to a rectangular design, and a black one at that, to show some of the different ideas out there. The black doesn’t have that clean shine, but can still look good in the stylish kitchen.
A feature that stands out to me here is the durable pedal, which the company says “is engineered to last over 150,000 steps without fault”. I know you aren’t going to keep count, but it sounds like a reliable system.
The bin also has the same soft-close lid that you can expect to see on a lot of these top trash cans.
The biggest issue here seems to lie with the dimensions. A lot of companies go for the taller, slimmer approach to trash cans for two reasons. One: you don’t have to bend down as far to put garbage in it.
Two: it is easier to fit the trash bags into the container. Here, the bin is shorter and fatter than some users would normally like.
Things are starting to get more high-tech now. I wanted to include a couple of these smart bins so you can see what you can get if you are willing to plug your bin in and take advantage of some electronic features. This one has a more basic motion sensor that opens the lid when it detects movement nearby.
This means that you don’t have to lift the lid with your hand and deal with mess or germs. There is also a naturally activated carbon filter to help you deal with any nasty odors each time the lid raises.
Overall, this is an affordable version of a smarter bin, at under $100, and a good introduction to what you can get.
If this were a stand-alone review for this product, it would come out very well as there isn’t much that I can say against it. However, when we compare this model to the one below, we start to see some omissions in the functionality.
This is great, but the next option is a lot smarter.
This next option is the more high-tech cousin of the one above. Personally, I prefer this because you get a lot more room for customization. This time, the motion sensor in the lid has an adaptable range, which could be a benefit to parents that don’t want small children playing with it as though it were a toy.
The small console on the lid also has an LED countdown with six counter-clockwise LED lights, this is a neat way of telling you when it is about to close. As with the other version, there is a carbon filter, the option for batteries or AC power, and strong stainless steel construction.
This product is really smart and convenient for most households. The combination of features is why I highlighted this model as my top pick. However, there is one downside that I can’t overlook.
There is no inner bin here. You have to pull the bag directly out of the can. This could be a problem if the trash bag splits or sticks to the side.
At this point in my list, we have jumped up to products around the $150 mark. This is getting a little pricer but there is also the promise of good quality and often some nice additional features. This is certainly the case with this Halo trash can.
There are plenty of important elements here like the smooth motion on the pedal, the durable stainless steel with the gleaming finish, and the strength of the materials.
But, there are also plenty of additional features like the carbon odor filter, the air vents at the bottom, rubber feet, and an extra stabilizing bar to keep it in place.
To be completely honest, there are no problems in the design that are immediately obvious. This product ticks a lot of boxes if you want a clever design that doesn’t rely on technology.
The only reason that this wasn’t a top pick is that the smarter trash cans are more interesting and this one is a bit pricier.
There isn’t that much to say about the features of this trash can, and that simplicity may be more appealing to some buyers compared to the complex features of the smarter products. Personally, I prefer the more interesting ones, but I wanted to include this as an alternative.
Here we are back to the more traditional design. You get the same soft-close lid, quality stainless steel build, the right capacity for large amounts of waste, a plastic inner bucket, and an anti-slip base.
The biggest difference is that you get a rose gold finish instead of the more traditional stainless steel look.
In many cases, these products can justify their price tag because of their quality, the range of features on offer, or some sort of unique selling point. I struggle to see that here.
Why is this so much more expensive other than the fact it has that rose gold color. Is that enough to make people spend the money?
Going back to Halo for a moment, we have another product with an interesting selling point. This trash can boats an intelligent pedal sensor that is meant to recognize commands. If you tap it once, it opens normally so you can drop trash inside.
If you tap it twice, it stays open for 5 minutes. This is for cleaning scraps off plates and other longer tasks. Other benefits here include the carbon odor filter and the fingerprint-proof stainless steel.
Again, there isn’t much here to say against this trash can in terms of the features on offer. My only reservation here is that the design might not appeal to everyone.
The boxier shape and the colored rim does have a more commercial look than some other bins for the home. Still, it is nice to have that choice between a black, red, or white trim.
This next option is the first of two dual-purpose 13-gallon trash bins in this guide. As with all products here, I chose to add these to create more diversity in the list of products and to show you what is available.
You may not have realized that a dual-compartment option for trash and recycling was an option for your kitchen.
This is a great idea in theory and many users will find that these separate containers are useful. A lot of the features are familiar, with the soft-close lid and the removable interior components. That soft-close system has an ABS hydraulic slowdown design to make it more reliable.
Of course, the downside of having 13 gallons separated into two compartments is that you have less space for trash. Also, the configuration of the compartments might not be the most user-friendly option.
It might be more difficult to empty them out compared to the side-by-side approach below.
At this part of the guide, we are really getting into the high-end models. This can be great for those willing to spend more to get a long-lasting product that also has all of the features they need. This one definitely ticks boxes on basic necessities and the look of the can.
There are the same stainless steel exterior can and equally durable interior containers. The hinged lid has the soft-close feature via the foot pedal and it should be easy to use. It should look great in your kitchen and provide the same reliable motion time and time again.
When it comes to criticism here, again I have to look at the value for money. Everything that is here is great and well made. However, there is nothing interesting in the features and no clever element that makes this more appealing than similar, cheaper pedal bin models.
There is no mention of any stabilizing elements, no odor control feature, and nothing else to draw us in.
The most interesting feature for me about this Rubbermaid trash can is the idea that it has so many deliberate features for a smaller footprint. The can is wide enough to ensure that it has enough capacity for all your trash. But, there is also a wall-hugging design thanks to the shape of the hinge.
The position of the pedal also means that this doesn’t take up too much room either. From there, you can also appreciate the soft-close lid, the neat retainer system for the garbage bags, and the general ease of use.
This is another option where the high price tag is questionable. There are some nice features here but there isn’t anything that we haven’t seen before.
Even the design with the colored trim is similar to a previous model. There is also the fact that this one doesn’t seem to have the same odor control system as other trash cans.
For our penultimate option, we have one of the most expensive choices and one that is a high-end alternative to another model above. Here we have another dual-compartment system that separates regular trash from recyclable materials.
This is a better approach as it is side-by-side, rather than stacked. This allows for a cleaner look. There are also rubber pads, a soft close lid, and an inner bucket. So, it should be nice and stable and not make too much noise when dealing with the trash at night.
Again, this high-end option is a little short on features for the price paid. You get the right amount of space and conveniences you would expect for $100 less.
In an ideal world, you would pay the price of our cheaper dual-compartment model for this side-by-side design. Still, it is a better model and better looking, giving buyers a bit of a dilemma.
I like to throw a wild card option into these guides to give you something to think about, and that is how we are going to end this list of top trash cans. This one stood out to me because of the design.
This is one of the best looking trash cans in this guide because you get the combination of the rose gold effect on the lid and pedal alongside a wood-effect on the sides.
It is a softer feel that would work in other rooms of the house, or in a more rustic setting. It is also a practical option with the soft-close lid and pedal system.
The reason that this is my wild card in the pack is that this is actually 12 gallons, not 13 gallons. I know that this will disqualify it for those that are certain that they need 13 gallons – no more and no less.
But, it is worth sacrificing a gallon to get this sort of aesthetic for your home?
Choosing the best 13-gallon trash can for your home.
In the end, your choice has to come down to your budget as well as those features you value the most. The smarter systems with motion sensors are really convenient when you get a reliable option that is also well made.
More expensive products can offer longevity, but you don’t always get such a feature-rich specification. You may also be surprised at what you can get for around $100 less.
Shop around and take your time to compare your options. As long as it is affordable, spacious, user-friendly, and hygienic, you should be onto a winner.