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The Best Trash Compactor

Last updated on October 30, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Trash Compactors and dug through the reviews from 160 of the most popular review sites including My Pet Needs That, The Top Pro, Industry Ears, Business Insider, Today, Paramatan and more. The result is a ranking of the best Trash Compactors.

Best Trash Compactor

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Our Picks For The Top Trash Compactors

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall
  The Best Value

iTouchless

Squeeze Trash Compactor

Overall Take

Best for Large ItemsFor households with large items that need to be compacted, this iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor is the best option.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus BestReviews, Happy Body Formula, Industry Ears, Best Garbage Disposal Units, Freshnss, Kitchenistic. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The lid is touch free, and odor control is built in. Holds 13 gallon. Stainless steel outer can resists smudging. When trash is manually compacted with included tool, the process is hygienic for the user."
Cons
"The compactor does not fit under the sink. It’s cheaper than the others, but also not as durable."

Household Essentials

Trash Krusher Manual Trash Compactor

Overall Take

Best ValueThis Household Essentials Trash Krusher Manual Trash Compactor does the job of a motorized compactor without the expense.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus BestReviews, Savant Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Happy Body Formula, Industry Ears, The Spruce and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" This stainless steel does not smudge/show fingerprints. Foot-operated pedal is convenient. Comes with an impressive 10-year warranty."
Cons
"The lid has been known to break. The manual compactor inside can come off easily."

Gladiator

Modular Garage Trash Compactor

Overall Take

Easiest to UseThis Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor easily crushes garbage to one-fourth its original size.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus BestReviews, Top Ten Reviews, Savant Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Best Products, Happy Body Formula and 9 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Freestanding unit that can be moved around. Durable, heavy-duty machine. Good at compacting tough materials."
Cons
"This item weighs just over one hundred and fifty pounds.It’s not as stylish as some of the others."

iTouchless

Stainless Steel Automatic Trash

Overall Take

Best for Odor ControlIt can be tough to keep your trash can odor free, but this iTouchless Stainless Steel Automatic Trash has a built-in odor filter.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus All Top Ten Reviews, BestReviews, 10 Best Product, Do Best Products, Dotbeasts, Recycling.com and 47 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Target and Best Buy.
Pros
" The capacity of this trash can is similar to the last one. It has a 13-gallon capacity and offers automatic operation. It has an odor absorbing filter. The odor absorbing filter ensures that you don’t need to worry about any..."
Cons
"Sensor has been known to malfunction after a few months of use. Battery life is limited and the AC adapter is a separate purchase. A few reports of "lemons.""
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the trash compactors available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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160

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: My Pet Needs That, The Top Pro, Industry Ears, Business Insider, Today.

70,641

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and 3 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Trash Compactors and also dug through the reviews from 160 of the most popular review sites including My Pet Needs That, The Top Pro, Industry Ears, Business Insider, Today, Paramatan and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Trash Compactors.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor

Our Expert Score
9.0
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
6.6
6 user reviews
Our Take

The iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor is great if you need to compact large items, like pizza boxes. The extra-wide opening also allows you to squeeze those items in. You'll use a provided tool to manually compact your garbage, making it a quiet, affordable alternative to traditional motor-driven compactors.

What other experts liked
The lid is touch free, and odor control is built in. Holds 13 gallon. Stainless steel outer can resists smudging. When trash is manually compacted with included tool, the process is hygienic for the user.
- BestReviews
August 1, 2019 | Full review
This machine requires no touching. It has a touchpad on top of the can. It’s the standard size of most compactors but can crush your trash better than all the others. The I-Touchless Compactor is a perfect choice. It’s hands-off,...
- Happy Body Formula
It has a tight-sealing top and odor-control filters that perform well to ensure the environment is odor free. What’s more, the smooth interior and exterior are easy to clean. The unit, like other top choices, is made of stainless...
- Industry Ears
March 7, 2019 | Full review
With the ITouchless Squeeze Compactor Sensor Trash Can, it is easy to compact trash. It is the most hygienic trash can on the market and also the easiest to use. It is designed with a touch-free, sensor-activated lid, and built-in...
- Best Garbage Disposal Units
December 13, 2018 | Full review
The iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor is a particularly unique device that offers features you do not see in many of the compactors that are currently available. What makes this particular device so unique is its touchless operation. Many devices are...
- Freshnss
The clever and innovative design of this garbage compactor saves you both time and money. The touch-free lid is automatic and opens when you motion hand. This prevents you coming into contract with dirt and germs.
- Kitchenistic
June 19, 2019 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Carbon odor filter must be replaced. Not an automatic appliance; you must initiate compaction manually with a tool.
- BestReviews
August 1, 2019 | Full review
The compactor does not fit under the sink. It’s cheaper than the others, but also not as durable.
- Happy Body Formula
Foldable rod is not that strong. Weighs a lot.
- Kitchenistic
June 19, 2019 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

1. iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 7

2. Household Essentials Trash Krusher Manual Trash Compactor

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 10

3. Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 18

4. iTouchless 13 Gallon Stainless Steel Automatic Trash

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 58

5. simplehuman Rectangular Kitchen Step Trash Can

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 9

6. NINESTARS Automatic Touchless Trash Can

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 25

7. simplehuman Touch-Bar Trash Can Recycler

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 4

8. simplehuman Round Step Trash Can

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 12

9. NINESTARS Automatic Motion Sensor Trash Can

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 24

10. simplehuman Rectangular Dual Compartment Step Can

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 18

Our Findings

iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor

What We Liked: The iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor is great if you need to compact large items, like pizza boxes. The extra-wide opening also allows you to squeeze those items in. You’ll use a provided tool to manually compact your garbage, making it a quiet, affordable alternative to traditional motor-driven compactors.

Household Essentials Trash Krusher Manual Trash Compactor

Also Consider

Household Essentials Trash Krusher Manual Trash Compactor, 40 L, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)


List Price: $101.96 USD
New From: $101.96 USD In Stock
Used from: $101.96 USD In Stock

What We Liked: A manual compactor like the Household Essentials Trash Krusher Manual Trash Compactor will help you save money while still giving you the convenience of compacting your trash. Simply remove a section of the lid, and press down on your trash.  This trash can also has a switch that will hold your lid open while you’re cleaning it.

Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor

Upgrade Pick

Gladiator GACP15XXMG Modular Garage Trash Compactor (Tools & Home Improvement)


List Price: 0
New From: $798.32 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: With a 1/3-horsepower motor, the Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor can crush even your toughest containers and food items. You’ll get 2,200 pounds of force per square inch when you fire this compactor up, plus anti-jamming capabilities. Since it weighs 150 pounds, you’ll need to rely on the wheels to get your garbage to the outdoor trash cans for pickup.

Our Expert Consultant

Vicki Liston 
Home Improvement Expert

Vicki Liston writes, produces, and narrates “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.

Home improvement and all things DIY have been Liston’s passion since she bought her first house in 2007 and she started making video blogs in 2014. She’s performed hundreds of DIY projects, from small ones to major, wall-smashing renovations and can teach you how to make a trendy DIY barn door for cheap. The proceeds earned from “On The Fly…DIY” are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations. You can find her show on Prime Video.

 

 

Our Trash Compactor Buying Guide

If you’re taking the trash out far too many times each week, a trash compactor could be just the solution you need. A compactor consolidates your trash so that you can go longer between trips. Large families find compactors handy every day, but even a smaller household will find it useful when friends or relatives are visiting.

At one time, if you wanted a trash compactor, you had to go with a motor-equipped unit. Having a motor automatically upped the price you’d pay. While compactors that use motors are still around, there are also trash cans that make it easy for you to manually compact. You’ll just use a tool and some elbow grease to consolidate your trash as you notice the can is beginning to fill.

One thing to keep in mind before you buy a trash compactor is that your garbage doesn’t reduce in weight because you’ve crushed it. For that reason, many compactors come with wheels so that you can more easily transport your garbage to your outdoor trash bins. If you don’t have this feature, you’ll want to at least occasionally test the weight of your bags to make sure you can carry them.

Whether you buy a trash compactor or regular trash can, sensors can come in very handy. Instead of touching the lid or pressing a foot pedal to open it, you simply wave your hand near the top. Newer trash cans also automatically close as you’re walking away. This hands-free operation helps keep your hands clean so you can continue working in the kitchen without worrying about bacteria.

By their very nature, trash cans harbor odors. This can be a problem if your can is in your kitchen, where you’re also trying to cook and eat. If you’re buying a trash compactor, you’ll be dealing with food sticking around even longer before you take it to your outdoor cans.

“I highly recommend looking for a trash compactor with built-in odor control,” says our home improvement pro Vicki Liston. Her award-winning show, “On The Fly…DIY” has tons of fun home tutorials. “Think about it — you are using this appliance so you can squeeze four to six times more garbage in per bag. More garbage means more smell and more room in that can means longer timeframes between taking it out. You are definitely going to want constant and continuous odor control so your kitchen doesn’t smell like a landfill.”

If you’re shopping for a trash can that compacts your garbage, you’re likely concerned about how much your can will hold before it needs to be emptied. Although many compactors have similar capacities to trash cans, that capacity is calculated before the trash has been compacted. So you’ll need to look at a compactor’s rate of reduction. If you can cut a full can of garbage down by 50% or more, you’ll find those trips to the outside cans are dramatically reduced.

DWYM Fun Fact

The goal of a trash compactor is to help you shrink down your waste. It’s similar to pressing down on your trash to make a little more room, only with more power than you have on your own. The crushing process works due to a metal ram, which exerts force on waste to compress it. In commercial trash compactors, crushed trash goes into a bag inside a bin, where it can later be retrieved for removal. If you’re placing wet items, like food, into your trash compactor, it may help to put some paper between the items and the crushing mechanism. Otherwise, you’ll need to regularly clean the metal ram to keep bacteria and odor to a minimum.

The Trash Compactor Tips and Advice

  • As popular as home automation has become, it’s especially useful with your garbage cans. Touchless technology means you keep your hands clean. Many trash cans get around this by including a foot pedal, but the iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor and iTouchless Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can both let you wave your hand over a sensor to open the lid.
  • The first big decision you’ll need to make is whether to go with a manual or automatic compacting process. The Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor uses a 1/3 horsepower motor to break your garbage down. This motor has the power to crush 2,200 pounds of force per square inch.
  • Manual trash compactors have their benefits as well. They’re more energy-efficient, and they keep things simple. The iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor provides a tool that you use for the compacting operation. The Household Essentials Trash Krusher Manual Trash Compactor’s tool is built into the lid. Just push the garbage down when you need to make more room.
  • If you’re looking for an advanced trash can without the compactor feature, the iTouchless Stainless Steel Automatic Trash is worth considering. This trash can has touchless operation that runs on batteries. The lid opens and closes with minimal noise. Best of all, you only have to step within a certain proximity for it to open automatically. As you move away, it drifts closed again.
  • The Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor has an anti-jam feature to keep the motor working no matter what you’ve put inside the can.
  • When it comes to compacting, the Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor will require the least amount of labor on your part. The 1/3-horsepower motor can crush at a rate of 2,200 pounds of force for each square inch. That means your trash will be reduced to as much as 1/4th what it originally was. While manual compactors do a great job, having a motor behind it does give you far more power behind your compression.
  • The wide openings on the iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor and iTouchless Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can make it easy for squeezing in large items, like pizza boxes. The smaller opening on the Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor can make it tough to slide the trash out once you’re ready to get rid of it.
  • The iTouchless Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can has a built-in retainer ring that makes sure your bag stays in place as you drop trash in.
  • Nobody likes a stinky trash can. Sure, you can buy trash bags with built-in odor control, but those often just use scents to overpower any issues. The iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor and iTouchless Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can use carbon odor filters to neutralize those bad smells. You’ll need to replace the filter occasionally, but it’s a handy feature you won’t find on many other garbage cans.
  • Many trash compactors hold 10 to 13 gallons, but when compacted, you’ll get much more. With the iTouchless Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can, you’ll only get 13 gallons uncompacted, but that’s still an impressive capacity. The Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor impresses with its ability to compact at a rate of 75 percent.
  • Occasionally, you’ll need to clean your trash can. The Household Essentials Trash Krusher Manual Trash Compactor has a switch that keeps the lid open while you clean it out. The iTouchless Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can is also antimicrobial to keep your family healthy.
  • One of the biggest reasons to opt for a manual trash compactor is cost. Motor-driven compactors like the Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor are very expensive. By choosing the iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor or Household Essentials Trash Krusher Manual Trash Compactor, you’ll get the convenience of trash compacting without the expense.
  • Trash compactors go through a little more wear than regular trash cans. The Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor is built to withstand smashing gallons of trash, week after week, year after year. The iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor is also durable, but the foldable rod isn’t as strong as it should be. The Household Essentials Trash Krusher Manual Trash Compactor is not only durable, but it comes with a 10-year warranty. You may need that warranty on the part of the lid that compacts, as it can break with extended use.
  • Compacted trash can be heavy, especially when reducing by 75 percent. For that reason, the Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor is built to move on wheels, making it easy for you to transport it outside so you can empty it into your larger cans. You’ll need those wheels, too, as this compactor weighs a whopping 150 pounds. It’s designed for garage use, so if you’re looking for a kitchen-based model, this may not be your best option.
  • If you have a smaller kitchen or simply want to take up less space, look for a non-compacting garbage can like the iTouchless Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can. The 7-pound weight and slim profile make it easier to maneuver and store. However, since it doesn’t compact trash, you’ll lose the convenience of taking the trash out less often.
  • Although the motor on the Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor is very powerful, you will have to deal with a little noise when it’s running. Manual compactors don’t have motors, so they operate noiselessly.
  • Although attractiveness is subjective, the iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor and Household Essentials Trash Krusher Manual Trash Compactor have a design similar to what you’ll find with traditional garbage cans, such as the iTouchless Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can. The Gladiator Modular Garage Trash Compactor is definitely attractive, but it has a more industrial look, making it better suited for a garage than a kitchen.
  • If you’ve got kids, you have some extra trash compactor considerations to make. “Homes with small children will find compactors with hidden controls or removable knobs and child locks to be essential features,” says our home improvement pro Liston. “Trash compactors have the potential to be extremely dangerous for kids, and these features will bring valuable peace of mind.”

About The Author

Avatar
Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She's also a foodie who loves trying out new cooking techniques and tools. She is addicted to meal preparation kits and regularly shares photos on social media of her creations. Her favorite thing about traveling is trying out new restaurants and tasting different cuisines.