Trash cans are an important part of keeping your house clean. Almost every room needs a trash can, making them a necessary investment in the way your house looks and how clean you can keep it. That said, not all trash cans are created equal. One of the most popular designs is of the ‘step trash can’ variety, specialized receptacles that are available with step controls so that you don’t have to touch the grimy lid with your hands.
There are many step trash can options available on the market, which can make it hard to find the right one for you. That is why we reviewed dozens of step trash cans to find the best options. We looked at their size, their design, and how they work, too. Some are designed to save space while others offer special features to make them more useful. We compared all of these features to find the best step trash cans available.
Our top choice, the Simplehuman 13 Gal Semi-Round Step Trash Can, offers a combination of space-saving and ease-of-use features that help it stand out from other options. It is useful as a kitchen trash can, but its smart design makes it aesthetically-pleasing enough to include anywhere in the home.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Step Trash Cans
|Our Top Pick||Simplehuman 13 Gal Semi-Round Step Trash Can||4.2|
|Our Runner Up||iTouchless 13 Gallon Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can||4.1|
|Best Budget Pick||Mingol White Retro Step Trash Can with Soft Close||4.4|
|Best 13-Gallon Step Trash Can Pick||Tramontina 81200/558DS Rectangular Stainless Steel Step Trash Can||4.6|
|Best Stainless Steel Step Trash Can Pick||Simplehuman Brushed Stainless Steel Round Step Trash Can||4.3|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Simplehuman 13 Gal Semi-Round Step Trash Can
The Simplehuman 13 Gal Semi-Round Step Trash Can is our Top Pick for step trash cans. When it comes to step trash cans, the taller options stand out because of their larger capacity. Many step trash cans are designed to fit into kitchens in unseen and unobtrusive ways. However, this can is designed using a more artful aesthetic. With the availability of multiple colors and its well-planned design, you can work it into your home’s décor in multiple areas.
One of the best features of the Simplehuman 13 Gal Semi-Round Step Trash Can is its lid design. It is designed using slow-close technology like you see in cabinets and draws. The hinge prevents the lid from slamming shut, which is more pleasant for users and helps protect the can from damaging itself. That way, you can use it just about anywhere without worrying about how loud it is. The lid also has a lock so that you can keep children and pets out of the trash.
Another notable feature is the pedal. Step trash cans are often replaced because of issues with the pedals. This pedal is made out of sturdy and reliable stainless steel so that it won’t tarnish or rust. You can use this trash can for years thanks to its signature pedal design.
Simplehuman 13 Gal Semi-Round Step Trash Can Key Features:
- Soft-close lid and lid lock
- Stainless steel pedal
- Large capacity Design
- Fits well into home decor
Our Runner Up Pick: iTouchless 13 Gallon Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can
The iTouchless 13 Gallon Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can is our Runner Up Pick for step trash cans. This can incorporates a motion detector which automatically opens when you wave something over it, making for a more effective function of using the can without having to touch it.
One of the most useful features of the iTouchless 13 Gallon Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can is its odor control system. It blocks odors using an air filtration system that helps to filter the air inside the can. The filter is changeable so that you can get consistent and long-lasting odor control. It uses a natural carbon filter, which is healthy for the environment.
iTouchless 13 Gallon Stainless Steel Automatic Trash Can Key Features:
- Touchless design
- Battery or adapter-powered
- Odor control system
- Germ-resistant design
Best Budget Pick: Mingol White Retro Step Trash Can with Soft Close
This Mingol White Retro Step Trash Can with Soft Close is our Best Budget Pick. Budget trash cans can offer a lot of value at an affordable price. At just $30, this can give you a retro look with the updated functional designs of more modern trash cans. It resembles the old metal trash cans that you used to see before the larger plastic bins were developed. It is a nice accent piece for your home decor.
Despite its retro look, the Mingol White Retro Step Trash Can with Soft Close has updated functional features. It comes with a 1.3-gallon removable inner liner. It has its own handle so that the liner is easy to remove and transport. The lid is designed with soft-shut technology so that it closes without a sound, unlike those old metal trash cans.
Mingol White Retro Step Trash Can with Soft Close Key Features:
- Retro design
- Updated functional features
- Soft-close lid
- Metal pedal
Best 13-Gallon Step Trash Can: Tramontina 81200/558DS Rectangular Stainless Steel Step Trash Can
This Tramontina 81200/558DS Rectangular Stainless Steel Step Trash Can is our Best 13-Gallon Step Trash Can Pick. 13-gallon trash cans are often used in kitchens and standing workspaces because of their high capacity. This trash can has a rectangular design, which makes it look and feel more like an appliance. Plus, the rectangular design improves stability.
The Tramontina 81200/558DS Rectangular Stainless Steel Step Trash Can includes an air freshener system to keep odors under control. The lid and trim ring help form a solid seal that traps odors inside. It also helps to keep the trash bag firmly in place as you fill it up. The base of the can is vented as well to prevent the liner from damaging the floor.
Tramontina 81200/558DS Rectangular Stainless Steel Step Trash Can Key Features:
- Rectangular design adds stability and fits in spaces evenly
- Corrosion-resistant stainless steel body
- Wide steel pedal
- Vented base
Best Stainless Steel Step Trash Can Pick: Simplehuman Brushed Stainless Steel Round Step Trash Can
The Simplehuman Brushed Stainless Steel Round Step Trash Can is our Best Stainless Steel Step Trash Can Pick. Stainless steel is the metal of choice for most appliances. It is corrosion-resistant, smudge-resistant, and highly durable. This trash can has a brushed stainless steel finish so that it matches other appliances.
The Simplehuman Brushed Stainless Steel Round Step Trash Can has a clean look to it. With only a little trim around the base, it has a consistent and attractive aesthetic appeal. Even the pedal is coated in stainless steel, helping it to fit seamlessly into almost any home décor designs.
You’ll also like this trash can because of its ease of use. It boasts basic features that are not hard to use or maintain. That way, you can have this can for a long time. It has a removable inner container to simplify cleaning and trash removal. The inner liner’s design includes a bag lip to hold the trash bag in place, as well.
Simplehuman Brushed Stainless Steel Round Step Trash Can Key Features:
- Simple stainless steel look
- Basic features
- Sturdy handle
- Small size fits almost anywhere
Who Should Buy a Step Trash Can
Step trash cans offer several improvements over regular trash cans, and anyone should buy them. One of the biggest problems with trash cans is that you have to touch them to use them. Touching the can transfers germs and bacteria back onto your hands and can make a mess. Step trash cans resolve this issue by allowing you to use your foot to open the can. This reduces that amount of germ and bacteria transfers that happen so that you can avoid illnesses and messes.
A step trashcan is also a good idea if you don’t want to bend over to open a trash can. Since the pedal is at foot-height, you can open the can without bending, making this especially helpful for anyone with back issues.
Important Features to Consider
When considering which step trash can to get, there are many factors that go into finding the best one. They often have additional features that help step trash cans stand out from other options. Here are some of the features that we considered:
- Size. The overall size of the can is measured in both height and volume (gallons or litters). Step trash cans come in sizes appropriate for kitchens, bathrooms, and workspaces. Each size holds a different amount of trash and needs to be emptied at different intervals.
- Finish. The finishing material for the trash can determines how it looks. Many cans have finishes that match common appliance finishes so that you can have matching items in your home.
- Pedal width. This factor denotes the width of the pedal. A wider pedal is easier to use but takes up more space.
- Odor control. A method of limiting odors coming out of the trash can. Many trash cans have an odor control system that limits or eliminates odors so that the trash can won’t smell.
- Removable liner. Many trash cans have an inner liner that can be removed. This makes cleaning and trash removal much easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a step trash can and how does it work?
A step trash can is a trash can that has a pedal system to open the lid. You step on the pedal to raise the lid rather than touching the lid itself. The pedal is connected to the lid through a lever system in the back. This helps prevent bacteria transfers and makes it easier to use the trash can. You can open it without having to bend over.
What is a normal size kitchen trash can?
The size of a trash can is usually measured by its volume, or how much trash it can hold. The other measurements tend to follow volume measurements since the volume relates closely to the height and width of a trash can.
Most kitchen trash cans fall into the 11 to 13-gallon range. This will get you a trash can that is nearly 26-inches tall and 18-inches wide, although those measurements will vary somewhat. Kitchen trash cans tend to be tall and slim so that they fit flush against walls or in between walls and appliances. The goal is to keep them out of the way while still maintaining a high storage volume.
Some kitchen trash cans are noticeably smaller than this since they are designed to fit inside cabinets. In these cases, the trash can tends to not have a lid or a pedal since it will usually sit on a sliding rack.
Can you use regular trash bags with a step trash can?
Step trash cans use the same trash bags as other trash cans. The step mechanism is usually outside the can or encased in a plastic cover so that it will not interfere with the trash bag. The bag that you choose is determined by the volume of the trash can. In some cases where trash is always dry, you could forgo the use of a trash bag as long as the can has a removable trash can liner.
How big is a 13-gallon step trash can?
A 13-gallon step trash can will be 26 to 30-inches tall and 16 to 20-inches wide depending on its design. The dimensions of the trash can are close to those of regular trash cans. A few inches may be added to accommodate the pedal, but the overall design will stay roughly the same. It is the same dimensions as a tall kitchen trash can.
Other Step Trash Cans We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other step trash cans. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best step trash cans list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included within the listing.
- 13-Gallon Step Trash Cans
- Slim Step Trash Cans
- Stainless Steel Step Trash Cans
- White Step Trash Cans
13-Gallon Step Trash Cans
The Hefty 13 gal Step-On Trash Can (Bronze) can be a useful addition to your kitchen or workspace. Its tall design helps it fit into places with a smaller footprint. Plus, it is well balanced so you don’t have to worry about knocking it over when you step on the handle. At 13 gallons, it works well with Hefty tall kitchen trash bags. The lid is removable so that you can deep clean the whole trash can. This can is also available in silver to match appliances.
- 13-gallon capacity
- Tall design
- Deep bronze color
- Designed to work with Hefty trash bags
You may like the Kohler 20940-ST 13-Gallon Stainless Trash Can because its design fits with appliances better than most others on the market. It has a rectangular shape, which gives it a clean and organized look. Combined with a black or stainless steel finish, it looks like another appliance in your kitchen. The finish is also designed to prevent fingerprints and smudging. The flat rectangular shape makes it easier to fit larger objects into. Plus, the internal drum is removable to make easier to clean and empty. The handle extends from the bottom of the can so that it is easier to use.
- Rectangle design is sturdy
- Straight sides make it easier to fit things in
- Stainless steel finish matches appliances
- Handle extends outside the can
The Rubbermaid 13-Gallon Premium Step-On Waste Bin, Black fits in with your home furnishings well thanks to an all-black finish. The unique design of the lid helps hide the trash bag. That way, your kitchen looks cleaner. The pedal is made using stainless steel, which is both sturdy and prevents tarnishing. With the slanted sides, this trash can supports the trash bag better so it won’t tear as you fill it up and take it out. Any style of kitchen trash bag fits in this trash can so you can choose the bags that you like best.
- Stainless steel pedal
- Hides trash bag
- Fits any type of trash bag
- Black finish fits in with all home decor styles
Slim Step Trash Cans
The Home Zone Stainless Steel Kitchen Step Trash Can has a thin design. Rather than having the pedal on the front, it is on the side so that it can fit into smaller spaces. It fits well between appliances and walls, or even inside cabinets. With 2 gallons of storage space, there are plenty of trash bags that fit in it. Plus, you can remove the insert for easy cleaning and trash disposal. The body of the trash can is made out of stainless steel so that it won’t rust and is easy to clean making it a good choice for humid places like bathrooms.
- Slim design fits into cabinets and between appliances
- Removable insert for cleaning
- Textured pedal for easy use
- Works well in bathrooms and other places with limited space
The Rubbermaid Commercial Slim Jim Front Stainless Steel Step-On Trash Can fits into modern home designs well thanks to its fashion-forward design. The combination of a stainless steel body and colorful trim options let you customize it to your style. With a thin design, it fits up against walls in living rooms and other high-traffic areas without being in the way. Despite its small footprint, this trash can hold up to 24 gallons. There is a retainer band for the liner that can hold up to 159 lbs in the trash bag. The lid has a no-slam hinge so it opens and closes quietly.
- Thin design works well in tight spaces
- Attractive stainless steel body
- Available in different trim colors
- Holds up to 24-gallons
The simplehuman 10 Liter / 2.6 Gallon Stainless Steel Bathroom Slim Profile Trash Can gives you a better design for small places. At 2.6 gallons, it is just the right size for bathrooms and offices. The body is made entirely out of smudge-proof stainless steel so that you won’t have to polish the can continuously to keep it free from fingerprints. This trash can works best with the Code R custom fit liners but other brands and styles can fit as well. The pedal is also made out of stainless steel for a clean, shiny look and stability.
- Bright stainless steel finish
- 10-year warranty
- Works best with Code R custom fit liners
- Fingerprint-proof finish
This SONGMICS 10.6 Gallon Slim Step Trash Can takes a different approach to tall trash can design. It has a rounded front and flat back, which gives it a different look than other tall trash cans. This can holds up to 10.6-gallons in the removable inner can. Plus, there is a handle on the back that makes it easy to reposition. The outside is made of stain-free stainless steel that also protects against smudges and fingerprints. The pedal and lid are designed to have a soft, slow closing speed so that the lid won’t slam loudly.
- No-slam lid
- Unusual design
- Rear handle makes it easy to move
Stainless Steel Step Trash Cans
This EKO EcoFly II 45 Liter / 11.8 Gallon Stainless Steel Butterfly Open Step Trash Can can fit in relatively small spaces. It has a thin body design that makes it a good choice for kitchens and other high-traffic areas. The lid also uses a butterfly lid system where it has two smaller doors instead of one large one. This means that the lid needs less clearance when opening and closing, further reducing the space requirements for this trash can. Additionally, you can take the whole lid off to get the bag out easily.
- Butterfly door
- Hinged lid for easy removal
- Thin footprint design
- Trash bag holding system for liner
The Fortune Candy Rectangular Stainless Steel Trash Can is designed to fit into very small places in high-traffic areas. It has an anti-dent lid so having heavier objects dropped on it while you are standing won’t damage it. The pedal is coated in an anti-slip rubber padding to make it easier to use. The inner liner is removable so you can clean it. It has its own handle so lifting out of the can is very easy and clean. At 2.1-gallons, this can holds enough to last a while without needing to be emptied every day.
- Small design
- Handle on the liner for easy removal
- Dent-proof lid
- Anti-slip pedal
Glad has a reputation for making quality trash products. The GLAD GLD-74507 Extra Capacity Stainless Steel Step Trash Can holds up to 20-gallons, which pairs well with Glad’s 20-gallon kitchen trash bags. It has a storage compartment in the back for extra trash bags so you never have to go look for one. The square base makes it sturdy even when you are pulling the trash bag out. The lid has an anti-microbe protection design to keep harmful bacteria safely contained. The rim also includes a bag tensioner that holds the bag firmly in place.
- Anti-microbial design
- Soft-close lid
- Odor protection system
- Anti-fingerprint stainless steel body
The Home Zone Stainless Steel Kitchen Trash Can with Oval Design and Step Pedal looks different from many of the other options on this list thanks to its oval design which helps reduce its footprint, making it easier to fit in small spaces. It has a bright stainless steel finish with a black inner bin that is removable. It is easy to remove thanks to the cutout handle. The polished stainless steel finish is smudge-resistant and easy to wipe clean. The pedal is smaller than on other models which keeps it from being a tripping hazard.
- Oval design
- The inner bin has a cutout handle
- Small textured pedal
This NINESTARS CB-SOT-30-1/5-1 Stainless Steel Step-on Trash Can Combo Set gives you two matching trash cans. The taller can is 8 gallons while the smaller can is 1.2 gallons. They have no-slam lids that close quietly every time. The removable bins wash clean and have a round design that fits in tight spaces. This set is a good idea if you want to have matching pieces in different parts of your house. The tall one is perfect for kitchens while the smaller can is perfect for offices and bathrooms.
- Comes with two cans
- Polished stainless steel finish
- Commercial-grade stainless steel
- No-slam lid
The simplehuman 18 Liter / 4.8 Gallon Butterfly Lid Kitchen Step Trash Can includes design features that can save a lot of space. The butterfly lid uses two smaller panels instead of a large one and also has an internal hinge for the lid so that you can put the can right up against a wall. The thin design and tall height save floor space as well. The pedal is designed for durability and should last up to 150,000 steps.
- Butterfly lid
- Available in 4.8-gallons and 5.3-gallons
- Wide steel pedal
- Internal hinge
The SONGMICS 16 Gallon Stainless Steel Step Trash Can features two separate bins so that you can collect trash and recycling with the same can. Each bin functions separately with its own lid and pedal. Despite being two bins, note that it does not take up a lot of extra space thanks to its thin design.
- Separate bins for trash and recycling
- Folding handles on inner bins
- Fits flush against walls
- Separate pedals for each bin.
White Step Trash Cans
The Brabantia 111846 Step Trash Can, 5.3 gallon, White is designed to fit seamlessly into your home. It is available in white and other common appliance finished. The lid closes softly, but tightly for an odor-blocking seal. The base has an anti-slip rubber coating that keeps it from sliding around constantly. It comes with a sample pack of bags made for this type of trash can.
- Available in appliance finishes
- Soft-close lid
- Odor-proof closure
- Anti-slip base
The EKO Grace 5L Round Step Trash Can, 5 L, White Finish gives you a design that is subtle but also stands out. The white finish is clean and durable thanks to a powder-coating application method. The black trim accents add a bit of personality to it to make it stand out in a mostly white background. It has a soft-close lid to keep it from slamming shut as well.
- Powder-coated finish
- Soft-close lid
- Plastic liner
- black trim accents
This mDesign Matte White 5 Liter Rectangular Small Steel Step Trash Can fits into small spaces and has a clean white finish. The pedal is designed to be reliable and springy with enough tension to open the lid easily. The finish is easy to clean with a wet rag since it is a smooth polished finish.
- Small size fits into small spaces
- Clean white finish
- Reliable pedal
- Easy to clean
The Rubbermaid White Step-On Lid Slim Trash Can is designed to be lightweight and fit into tight spaces. It has a snap-on lid that you can remove for cleaning. The lid also helps keep the liner securely in place until you are ready to take it out. At 11.25 gallons, this trash can offers more storage space than other cans of its size.
- Tall design
- Made from lightweight plastic
- Half-recessed pedal
- Snap-on lid
The simplehuman White Stainless Steel Rectangular Step Trash Can is designed to hold liners in place until you are ready to take them out. It has a storage compartment for extra liners in the back. Plus, it has a full-width pedal that is easier to use than traditional step models. The pedal is designed to last for an impressive 20 years.
- Storage compartment on the back
- Extra-wide pedal
- Rectangular design for stability
- Liner lock-in mechanism
The Sterilite 10968004 11 Gallon/42 Liter White StepOn Wastebasket set comes with four trash cans to outfit your whole house. They fit up to 11-gallons of trash and are designed to work with 13-gallon bags. The pedal is made using titanium for durability and is recessed so that the cans don’t become tripping hazards.
- Recessed pedal prevents a tripping hazard
- Comes with four trash cans
- 11-gallon cans
- Fits a 13-gallon liner