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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for Best bathroom wastebaskets

Are you thinking of upgrading your bathroom wastebasket? Now you can find one that is both functional and complementary to the rest of your bathroom décor.

Bathroom wastebaskets aren’t tiny, boring plastic trash cans anymore. Now they’re every bit as decorative as all other accessories in your bathroom, and sometimes they even come as part of entire sets. 

These days, you can find them in a wide variety of materials like wicker, bamboo, stainless steel, or plastic. If you’d like to go eco-friendly, you’ll be pleased to find bathroom wastebaskets made from recycled plastics or plant-derived materials. They’re also available in various shapes and sizes, some of which come with lids. 

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If you have a master bathroom with two sinks, you might want to invest in more than one bathroom wastebasket for the larger space.

Key considerations

Size

With so many bathroom wastebaskets to compare, you might be wondering how to narrow your choice. A good starting point is to consider the space where you intend to keep the wastebasket. If you only have a narrow space between your toilet and sink, you might be better served by an oval or rectangular design. For spaces where height is limited, you’re better off with a lidless wastebasket as opposed to one whose open lid could bump into a shelf or furniture. Round wastebaskets are popular, however they tend to have the largest footprint of all. 

Lid vs. no lid

Another way you can narrow your choices is to determine whether you prefer a wastebasket with a lid or without. There are far more lidless wastebaskets on the market, so it will be easy to find one to match your bathroom décor. Lidless wastebaskets are easier to clean and generally more affordable. 

On the other hand, a wastebasket with a lid is a more discreet option. This type often has a foot pedal mechanism, which is easy enough for adults to operate and secure enough to keep kids and pets from getting into the trash. The only downside with these wastebaskets is that they tend to look more functional and less decorative than their lidless counterparts.

Expert TIp
Keep germs out of your wastebaskets with some spray disinfectant.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Materials

When it comes to bathroom wastebaskets, the materials are also important to compare. Some are more durable, whereas others are easier to clean. Take a look at the pros and cons of these popular materials.

Plastic: Plastic bathroom wastebaskets are by far the most affordable and versatile. It’s easy to find them in a wide array of colors, shapes, designs, and silhouettes. They’re also easy to clean because you can simply wipe them down or rinse them out.

On the downside, not all plastic wastebaskets are particularly decorative, so you’ll probably need to spend a bit more for one that is more attractive. There are many plastic wastebaskets with lids, but these can malfunction if the mechanism isn’t well designed. 

Stainless steel: These bathroom wastebaskets offer a sleek, modern look, especially when they match the fixtures. Stainless steel is also easy to keep clean of dirt and fingerprints with the right products. 

On the downside, to get a reliable opening mechanism in a stainless steel wastebasket, you’ll probably need to spend a decent amount of money. Some can sustain dents or knicks. Depending on the design, they may be difficult to empty as well.

Wicker or bamboo: These wastebaskets are attractive, neutral additions to any bathroom. They’re lightweight, easy to empty, and can last for years. Many of these wastebaskets are also eco-friendly or ethically sourced.

On the downside, wicker and bamboo wastebaskets can attract dust, so regular cleaning is essential. Some designs can also eventually dry out or unravel, which means you could end up with sharp edges and possibly splinters. 

Features

Capacity

While you might be familiar with shopping for kitchen or other trash cans by capacity, it’s a bit different when it comes to bathroom wastebaskets. Not every wastebasket is clearly marked with its capacity; more often than not you’ll find its dimensions. With that said, the average bathroom wastebasket holds around 2 gallons, though it’s not a standard capacity by any means. 

Handles

Bathroom wastebaskets with handles are easy to move and empty. In plastic wastebaskets, they’re usually carved out of the body of the wastebasket. Wicker or bamboo wastebaskets usually have rope or leather handles. 

Expert TIp
To avoid ruining your bathroom wastebasket, use correctly sized trash bags. This helps gunk and things not collect at the bottom.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Plastic bags

There are some bathroom wastebaskets with compatible bag systems. These designs feature notches that help keep a plastic trash bag in place. Some manufacturers include this feature and even make their own model-specific bags, while others work with everyday plastic bags from grocery or department stores.

Touchless

If you’re familiar with the touchless trash cans seen in kitchens, you’ll be pleased to know that this technology has found its way to the bathroom. The design is the same with touchless bathroom wastebaskets: simply wave your hand over the sensor to open the lid to dispose of items.

Odor-neutralizing

Bathroom wastebaskets with this technology have grown in popularity. They utilize an odor-neutralizing insert or lining, which can be made of baking soda, charcoal, or citrus ingredients. These inserts can also be scented with a light, refreshing fragrance like lavender or vanilla.

Accessories

Trash bags: FORID Small Trash Can Liners
Look no further for eco-friendly bags for your bathroom wastebasket. We like these from FORID, which come in five charming colors. They’re made from environmentally friendly HDPE material and are odor-free.

Safety lock: Jool Baby Products Strap Lock
To keep your little one out of the bathroom wastebasket, affix a lid lock. We like this one from Jool Baby Products, which utilizes 3M adhesive that won’t damage your wastebasket. It fits over most foot pedal wastebaskets and takes seconds to install.

Bathroom wastebasket prices

Bathroom wastebaskets cost anywhere from $5 to $50, mostly depending on the design, materials, and if they’re manufactured by a prominent home products company.

Inexpensive

If you’re on a budget, you can pick up a bathroom wastebasket for $5 to $15. These mostly include lidless plastic, wicker, and bamboo designs. 

Mid-range

When you enter the $15 to $30 price range, you can find many foot pedal wastebaskets. The more you spend, the better and more reliable the mechanisms. This range also includes some designer wastebaskets.

Expensive

When you spend $30 or more on a bathroom wastebasket, you can find those manufactured by top designer brands, many with elaborate patterns. There are also wastebaskets with more reliable foot pedal mechanisms in this range. 

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Expert TIp
Give your bathroom wastebasket a thorough cleaning once a month. Most wastebaskets can be filled with water and rinsed out. I recommend using hot water to do so.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Tips

  • Choose a neutral color. If you can’t find a wastebasket that matches the rest of your bathroom décor, simply choose a neutral color. Cream, white, gray, or black can blend in with most other accessories.

  • Store spare plastic bags or liners nearby. To always make sure you have a fresh bag for your wastebasket, store extras inside your vanity or bathroom organizer.

  • Empty the wastebasket before guests arrive. To give your bathroom a tidy look for guests, empty your bathroom wastebasket before they arrive.

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Given its small footprint, a bathroom wastebasket can also be used under a desk in an office.

FAQ

Q. Should I buy a wastebasket as part of a set or purchase one separately?

A. It boils down to preference. If you already have several pieces of a bathroom accessory set, you can use the matching wastebasket. Some people assemble similar pieces from different sets or lines, which, if they have the same palette or pattern, look equally coordinated. If you need a specific type of bathroom wastebasket, such as one with a lid, expect to buy a stand-alone design.

Q. Do I need to use plastic bags with my bathroom wastebasket?

A. Many people use plastic bags inside their bathroom wastebaskets to make emptying them easier. This also helps to keep them clean by limiting their contact with waste. Other people choose not to use plastic bags with their bathroom wastebaskets to be eco-friendly, or they opt to use recycled or biodegradable bags. 

Q. Are there any bathroom wastebaskets with locking lid mechanisms?

A. There are very few bathroom wastebaskets whose lids can lock. As a result, some parents hide the wastebasket inside the bathroom vanity. Another option is to invest in a foot pedal-operated bathroom wastebasket whose design accommodates a child cabinet lock. 

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