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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 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Rubbermaid Stainless Steel Metal Step-On Trash Can
Elite Stainless Steel Sensor Trash Can
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

A simple and stylish hands-free trash can with neat features for convenience and usability.


Has a minimal and clean design. Motion sensor opens and closes the lid quietly and softly. Lid lock allows the lid to stay open while in use. Interior bucket is removable for easy cleaning and liner changes.


On the high end of the price range.

Best Bang for the Buck
iTouchless Automatic Sensor Touchless Trash Can
Automatic Sensor Touchless Trash Can
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Bottom Line

Thanks to its numerous features and affordable price, this option is a great value.


Quiet operation, 4D battery/electric operation, and highly accurate sensor. Attentive customer support. A carbon filtration system reduces odors.


Sensor has been known to malfunction after a few months.

simplehuman Semi-Round Sensor Can
Semi-Round Automatic Sensor Can
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Bottom Line

With a sleek design and battery-powered motion sensor, it works well at home or in an office.


Space-saving semi-round shape, smooth open/close gear system, and liner pocket that holds extra bags. Comes with 4 AA batteries. Liner pocket for easy changing.


Price tag is a little steep for some.

Glad Stainless Steel Trash Can
Stainless Steel Trash Can
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Odor Control
Bottom Line

Featuring Clorox odor protection, this option retains scents in the can.


Holds a 20-gallon bag. Made from sturdy stainless steel. Additional bag roll holder. Motion sensor lid opens handwave. Closes automatically.


While lid can be set to stay open longer, it still closed too quickly for some shoppers.

SensorCan Battery-Free Trash Can
Battery-Free Trash Can
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Most Versatile
Bottom Line

If you like the idea of a touchless choice with versatile power options, this is a great choice.


Can be used with a charger instead of batteries. Hand motion to open. Oval design makes it easy to add/remove bags. Compact size for home or office.


A few users wish the lid closed a bit slower.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best touchless trash cans

When you’re looking for the right trash can, you want it to contain germs, not spread them. But it isn’t especially sanitary when everyone has to touch the lid to open it. A touchless trash can has hands-free operation, with a motion sensor that opens a battery-powered lid. Move a hand close to the sensor and the lid opens and stays up long enough for you to toss in your trash before it closes again. And less touching means less cleaning and more peace of mind for you. 

You can choose from touchless trash cans that are powered by batteries or plugged into an outlet. And they come in various sizes. Most kitchen bins are about 13 gallons, while a bathroom or office trash can is smaller, about 2 gallons, with a slim design to fit in a confined space.

We tested and assessed a touchless trash can for functionality, style and ease of use and selected eight models that work well for daily use. We chose our top pick, the Rubbermaid Elite Stainless Steel Sensor Trash Can, for its modern look and variety of features that make it easy to use and keep clean.

Touchless trash cans

Rubbermaid Elite Stainless Steel Sensor Trash Can 

Our top choice from a trusted brand has a stylish contemporary dark charcoal finish and slim profile, which means it looks great in any room, not just the kitchen. The special coating won’t show smudges or fingerprints and is easy to wipe clean. This touchless 12.4-gallon trash can is crafted to be durable and easy to use.

Wave a hand over the sensor and the battery-powered lid opens; press a button and it stays open. When it closes, the lid moves slowly and noiselessly. Batteries are included. A built-in liner cinch holds 13-gallon trash bags securely. When it’s time to change the bag, convenient handles on the liner bucket make it easy to lift out.

The price puts this model near the top of the range for touchless trash cans, but if you want a dependable product backed by a five-year warranty from a well-known brand, this is a great pick.

iTouchless 13-Gallon Automatic Trash Can

You’ll love this touchless trash can if you’re looking for a solid, compact option at half the price of our top pick. Some users want to be able to move the trash can around, and some don’t want to deal with batteries, so it’s nice to have the option of using batteries or buying an AC adapter to plug the bin into an outlet. One of the best features of this touchless trash can is the carbon filter that absorbs odors and keeps them inside the bin.

The lid has a small handle in case you need to open it by hand and a lock to hold it open or closed, something families with small children will appreciate. Standard 13-gallon trash bags, held in place by a retainer ring, work well in this bin. Fingerprints don’t show on the stainless steel finish, and the black top helps hide spills.The textured bottom of the bin minimizes slipping.

Simplehuman 12-Gallon Semiround Automatic Sensor Trash Can

This is the touchless trash can for you if you’re looking for an elegant stainless steel finish that resists fingerprints and looks great in the kitchen, with a shape that fits against a wall or cabinet. The sensitive motion sensor opens the lid quietly and swiftly. Our testers found that with the lid closed, odors are trapped inside. And because it runs on batteries, you can place this trash can anywhere in the house. 

Our testers loved the sturdy custom liners whose size and shape conform to the inside of the trash can. You can use regular liners, but this bin works best with its dedicated liners. The liners fit in a built-in dispenser for quick and easy liner changes. 

Glad Stainless Steel Touchless Trash Can

This trash can, from a well-known maker of high-quality kitchen products like trash bags and plastic wrap, is the only 20-gallon option on our list. It’s a good pick for individuals and families who toss out a lot of trash. There is also a standard 13-gallon kitchen trash can available. When you’re cleaning and don’t want to wait for the lid to open repeatedly, you can press a button and the battery-powered lid stays open. You’ll appreciate the stainless steel finish that hides fingerprints and the lid’s odor protection provided by Clorox. Bag rings hold the liner securely inside the bin, and a built-in liner dispenser in the back keeps everything conveniently in one place.

SensorCan 13-Gallon Battery-Free Automatic Trash Can

Those who don’t want to worry about buying batteries will appreciate this plug-in touchless trash can. But if you prefer a cordless bin, it also has a battery compartment. You have the option of using the motion sensor to open the lid automatically or pressing a button to lock the lid open or closed, and red and green lights alert you to the lid status. Grooves make it easy to open the lid by hand, and the opening is wide enough to fit bulky food cartons like pizza boxes with ease. 

This compact garbage bin holds 13 gallons and retains odors thanks to a built-in carbon filter. When you’re ready to change the bag, lift the top lid, pull out the old liner and the new liner stays in place thanks to a retainer ring. This touchless trash can is backed by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Ninestars Automatic Touchless Trash Can

If you think your hands-free trash can will get a lot of wear and tear, you’ll appreciate Ninestars' two-year warranty. However, there’s a good chance you’ll never need it since this bin is made of durable stainless steel with water-resistant sensor technology. Any 13-gallon trash bag will fit inside the rectangular bin, and it’s easily secured with the built-in liner ring.

The lid over the large opening opens automatically or at the push of a button, and the motion sensor’s slight lag prevents it from opening the lid with every nearby movement. The lid moves quietly and closes softly. The textured bottom keeps the bin from sliding, but you can easily move this battery-powered trash can anywhere you need it.

EKO Mirage-T 13.2-Gallon Touchless Trash Can

This straightforward battery-powered bin has a spacious and slim design that fits well in almost all kitchen styles and sizes. Regular 13-gallon trash bags fit in this hands-free can, so you don’t have to worry about buying custom liners. The lid opens automatically and closes gently after a few seconds. You can also operate the lid with buttons or manually and lock it open with the touch of a button.

Fingerprints won’t show on the stainless steel finish, and you don’t have to worry about handling a messy interior bucket thanks to the liner rim that holds the bag in place. The base and top have a black finish that helps hide dirt and grime.

Elpheco Motion Sensor Bathroom Trash Can

There are plenty of touchless trash cans for the kitchen, but this simple white plastic bin is perfect for the bathroom. It complements most decor, and its small size means it can fit in tight spaces or be hidden under cabinets. This battery-powered touchless trash can is also waterproof, a real plus in the bathroom. If you’re looking for a sanitary trash bin for a bathroom that sees a lot of use, this is a good choice.

This trash can holds 2.5 gallons. The company makes custom trash bags to fit the slim shape, which are held inside by a liner ring, but most small trash bags and even grocery bags will work as well.

How we tested

After researching the most popular touchless trash cans on the market, we narrowed our list to the top eight above and put the SimpleHuman Semi-round Automatic Sensor Trash Can to the test to see how it did in the following areas.

Ease of use 

  • Liners: We analyzed the convenience of a built-in liner dispenser and if using custom or standard bags made a difference.
  • Motion sensor: We tested the sensitivity of the motion sensor by walking nearby and waving from different angles. We also evaluated its effectiveness while we were cooking and throwing out trash.
  • Cleaning: We evaluated whether it was easy to clean grime from the both exterior and interior. 


  • Longevity: We used this trash can for an extended period of time to test its durability and battery life.
  • Odor removal: We tested how well the touchless trash can concealed odors over time with garbage inside and the lid closed.
  • Noise level: We evaluated whether the lid was noisy when it opened and shut.
  • Battery life: We noted how long the battery lasted in a high-traffic area where more motion can trigger it to open versus a low-traffic area. 

What to consider before you buy a touchless trash can


Touchless trash cans are typically made of either metal or plastic.

  • Metal: Metal touchless trash cans are the most common. They are a popular choice because they’re extremely durable and don’t retain odors as easily as plastic. They offer a sleek look, too. While stainless steel is the most common finish, you can also find metal touchless trash cans with brushed nickel, gold, rose gold, bronze and even colored finishes.
  • Plastic: Plastic touchless trash cans aren’t as durable as metal options, and they are more likely to retain odors and stains. They’re usually less expensive, though, and they are available in a variety of colors, including neutrals like black, white and gray.


Touchless trash cans range in size from small 2-and-a-half-gallon models to extra-large, 30-gallon options. The standard size for a kitchen trash can is 13 gallons, so that’s a good option if you’re not sure what size to choose.

However, if you want a touchless trash can to place inside a cabinet, opt for a smaller model that holds 4 to 7 gallons. On the other hand, if you have a large household that generates a lot of trash, a 15- to 20-gallon touchless trash can is a better option.


Touchless trash cans are available in square, rectangular, oval and round shapes. If you plan to use the trash can in a smaller space, a square or rectangular style is the best option because you can easily tuck the can in a corner. Round or oval touchless trash cans require more space, so they’re a better choice for larger kitchens and bathrooms.  

Motion sensor

It’s important to know what features to look for in a touchless trash can’s motion sensor.

  • Upward-facing: Keep the touchless trash can from accidentally opening by choosing a model with an upward-facing motion sensor. It’s less likely to detect people or pets walking past, so the lid won’t open when you don’t want it to.
  • Waterproof: Choose a touchless trash can with a waterproof motion sensor. It’s common for liquids to spill inside a garbage can, so you want a sensor that won’t stop working if it gets wet.
  • Distance: For the most convenient touchless control, select a trash can with a sensor that detects motion from as great a distance as possible. Opt for a model that can sense motion from as far away as 10 inches.


Some touchless trash cans are equipped with a carbon filter that absorbs odors, so your garbage doesn’t smell. It’s a feature that you’ll pay extra for, but it’s worth it if you’re concerned about odors. Keep in mind that you’ll need to replace the filter in your touchless trash can periodically, which adds to the expense of the trash can.


If you choose a touchless trash can with a motion sensor, it’s best to choose a model you can lock if you have pets or small children in the house. In most cases, the locking mechanism is simply an on/off switch for the motion sensor. When the motion sensor is turned off, the lid won’t open, so garbage won’t spill all over the floor if your pet or child knocks it over.

Tips and tricks for using touchless trash cans

  • Always keep the motion sensor on a touchless trash can clean and dry. The trash can may not open properly if moisture or debris blocks the sensor.
  • Keep the touchless trash can’s motion sensor out of direct sunlight, which can keep the sensor from working properly.
  • Place a touchless trash can in a spot where the lid isn’t blocked from opening or closing. That means you may not be able to set it beneath a countertop depending on the size of the trash can.
  • Be careful not to overfill a garbage bag in a touchless trash can. Because a garbage bag fits inside a touchless trash can so snugly, it can easily tear when you pull it out. You may also have trouble removing an overfull bag.


Q. How much do touchless trash cans cost? 

A. Touchless trash cans vary in price based on material, size, and other features, but you can typically expect to spend between $30 and $200.

Q. Are touchless trash cans worth the cost?

A. Touchless trash cans are a good investment, especially since many of them fall in the same price range as manual trash cans. They are much more convenient when you’re cooking or cleaning, and they help minimize the spread of germs in your home.

Q. What should I use to clean a touchless trash can?

A. Keep the motion sensor clean by carefully wiping it with a slightly damp cloth. Plastic trash cans can be cleaned with most antibacterial sprays or wipes. Stainless steel cleaner works well on hands-free metal trash cans.

Q. How long do touchless garbage cans last?

A. Each touchless trash can is different, and how long it lasts depends on the frequency of use. Some garbage cans need new batteries after a few months, while the batteries in others last for a year or more. The mechanisms in touchless bins can break, so it’s worth noting what any warranty does and doesn’t cover. It’s also helpful to get a hands-free trash bin that can be used manually if the sensor malfunctions.

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