The Best (and Last) Kitchen Trash Can You'll Ever Buy

Taking out the trash is a chore no more. Wave goodbye to germs and hello to a touch-free trash bin that will change your kitchen game for good.

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August 25, 2021

I'm not exaggerating when I say that the simplehuman sensor trash can has changed my life. I should have titled this article "A Love Story" because that's how strongly I feel. I know what you're thinking: What makes this trash can so special? From the touch-free technology to painless bag removal to the beautiful, sleek design you won't mind leaving out, this trash can has it all — and more. It's no wonder simplehuman cans sit at the top of every "best of" list.

Photo courtesy of simplehuman

Photo courtesy of simplehuman

I began my simplehuman journey about five years ago when my sister gave me their ever-popular Step Can as a wedding gift. At the time, I felt bad registering for an expensive trash can, but I quickly realized that the price was more than justified. I was replacing a $20 plastic trash can about every six months — or when I couldn't stand the smell anymore — and every time, the experience was the same: nasty messes that couldn't be cleaned, bags that always slipped, ugly design that cluttered my tiny kitchen. Not to mention the plastic waste of tossing the spent cans. That maddening cycle ended with my simplehuman trash can.

Their new-and-improved Semi-Round Sensor Can (with liner rim!) is no exception. I didn't think my simplehuman experience could get any better, but this sleek, touch-free model is packed full of features I never knew I needed.

What I Love About This Trash Can

First, let's talk about how pretty it is. The brushed stainless steel is coated in a germ- and smudge-resistant, nano-silver clear coat and molded into a semi-round shape that suits a softer design aesthetic. It's a shame it has to sit in a closet in our house.

As I mentioned, you never have to touch this trash can. Simply wave your hand in front of the sensor and it opens smoothly and quickly. This is especially convenient when you have your hands full of raw chicken scraps or other germ-laden garbage. Simplehuman claims that their motion technology will adapt to you and the surrounding environment over time, but mine stays in a closet, so I didn't get to test that theory.

Then there's the liner rim. What a genius concept. My one complaint about my old simplehuman trash can was that it was hard to change out the liner. You had to lift the bucket out of the can, fit the liner around it, then put the bucket back in, which could be clunky and sometimes gross. That's no longer an issue with the sensor can. They designed an outer lid that lifts up for easy access to the liner, then closes tightly back over the liner when you're done, fixing it snugly in place until you change it again. There's no bucket to mess with, the liner never slips down into the can and the bag-changing process is extremely low-touch.

But my absolute favorite feature? There's a pocket inside the trash can that dispenses a new liner when you need it. Just drop a liner refill bag into a slot on the back of the can and a single bag dispenses from another slot inside.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

All simplehuman trash cans use custom-fit trash bags they call liners. These can be bought from a variety of retailers online and in-store but not at your local grocery store. This seemed like a turn-off at first, but the liners are high-quality and they last. I buy a bulk pack about every six months for $30, which saves me money in the long run.

The lid makes some mechanical noise when opening and closing, but it's not something I've ever noticed. Also, the motor is powered by AA batteries that last about nine months in a normal home-use environment.

This trash can isn't huge. It's about 12 gallons, which is slightly smaller than the standard 13-gallon cans you find at the hardware store. But it seems to hold so much more than the trash cans I've owned in the past, simply because the bag never slips, allowing you to stuff it full.

There's no locking feature on this trash can, which means small hands or curious pets may be able to access what's inside if it sits out in the open.

Photo courtesy of simplehuman

Photo courtesy of simplehuman

More Great Features

The sensor trash can is ADA-compliant, which means it's great for wheelchair users or other differently-abled folks. Simplehuman offers a five-year warranty and a 45-day risk-free return.

Final Thoughts

I've been using the simplehuman semi-round sensor trash can for about three months now, and it still looks and works like new. The slip-proof bag technology and smudge-resistant exterior keep it immaculately clean, no matter how much garbage I stuff in it, and the mechanics run like a new car. My toddler loves waving "bye-bye" to the trash can, and I love that nobody in the house has to touch a dirty can lid.

Conclusion: I'll never buy another trash can again.

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