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The best bathroom wastebasket

Which bathroom wastebasket is best?

Among the most frequently used items in your bathroom, a wastebasket is at the top of the list. While it doesn’t have the most glamorous job in the world, an attractive, well-designed bathroom wastebasket can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

In addition to a wide variety of shapes and sizes, bathroom wastebaskets are available in myriad finishes and colors. In fact, you might find one that matches your fixtures or other decorative accents in your bathroom. Some bathroom wastebaskets are appealing or functional enough to be used in dorms or offices.

To find the right bathroom wastebasket for your space, give our buying guide a read. We’re sharing shopping tips, plus a few recommendations at the end. Our top choice, mDesign’s Round Metal Trash Can, features a versatile, stainless steel finish and is compact to suit small spaces.

Considerations when choosing bathroom wastebaskets

Finding the right design

The trickiest part of choosing a bathroom wastebasket is finding the right shape to fit your space. Round wastebaskets are attractive, especially embellished ones, but they tend to have the largest footprints among designs.

 If you’re looking for one that fits in a tight area, like between the toilet and vanity, aim for a slim design. If you intend to keep your wastebasket in a space without much clearance, or stow it away in a vanity, stick to shorter, lidless designs.

Lid vs. no lid

It’s easy to toss garbage in lidless wastebaskets, plus they’re relatively simple to empty. Lidless wastebaskets are usually more aesthetically appealing than those with lids.

Wastebaskets with lids, on the other hand, enclose trash for a more aesthetic look. Lids may be operated either by a foot pedal or a touchless sensor. If you have kids or pets, they’re ideal to keep curious personalities from getting into the trash. Some wastebaskets with lids come with locking mechanisms, albeit very few.


Plastic remains a popular choice for bathroom wastebaskets, as they’re both affordable and easy to clean. Stainless steel designs offer contemporary curb appeal and tend to be more durable than other options. Wicker and bamboo are attractive and neutral. They can be used in other rooms, or double as planter sheaths.

Features of a bathroom wastebasket


The average bathroom wastebasket holds approximately two gallons, though you’ll find plenty of lower- and higher-capacity alternatives. As far as choosing a wastebasket by capacity, you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s not always listed as part of the product specifications. Rather, many wastebaskets only list their height, width, and length — and sometimes weight.


Many lidless designs are equipped with handles, which make them easy to tote or empty. Plastic and stainless steel wastebaskets usually have molded or carved-out handles, whereas wicker or bamboo designs often feature rope or leather handles.

Plastic bags

Certain bathroom wastebaskets are designed with compatible bag systems. With these, the wastebasket manufacturer either produces their own product-specific bags, or the wastebasket is compatible with a standard plastic bag. While convenient, this is considered a premium feature, so be prepared to spend more on these designs.

Bathroom wastebasket price

Budget-friendly bathroom wastebaskets cost $15 or less. If you prefer one with a foot-pedal-operated lid or more aesthetic value, you’ll spend closer to $30. Premium wastebaskets with better-quality foot pedal mechanisms, as well as those made by designer brands, cost $30-$60.

Bathroom wastebasket FAQ

Q. Are there any high-tech bathroom wastebaskets?

A. Yes. There are touchless bathroom wastebaskets, whose lids open when you pass your hand over their sensor. Other wastebaskets have odor-neutralizing technology, in which they’re equipped with odor-fighting linings. These wastebaskets often have antimicrobial linings, or are compatible with odor-neutralizing inserts.

Q. How do I repair the foot pedal on my bathroom wastebasket?

A. Your best option, and probably the least frustrating, is to invest in a new wastebasket. Unfortunately, it’s common for these foot pedals to break with regular use. Inexpensive designs are often made with weaker metal components, which are known to break or warp. Premium designs last longer, but may eventually malfunction, too.

Bathroom wastebaskets we recommend

Best of the best

mDesign’s Round Metal Trash Can

Our take: Simple, easy-to-clean trash can well-suited for smaller bathrooms.

What we like: Rust-resistant, stainless steel design. Modern and sleek, and easily matches bathroom fixtures.

What we dislike: At only 10 inches tall, it’s a bit smaller than other options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck

Umbra’s Skinny Trash Can

Our take: Budget-friendly option with contemporary curb appeal through an asymmetric design.

What we like: Available in seven colors. Skinny profile means it fits in tight spaces, such as between the toilet and vanity.

What we dislike: Can sustain scuffs and stains from regular use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Simplehuman’s Mini Round Step Trash Can

Our take: Solid choice if you need a wastebasket that closes.

What we like: Discreet design hides trash in a sleek way. Available in multiple brushed metal finishes.

What we dislike: Using the foot pedal forcefully can cause the can to tip over.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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