Although emptying the trash seems like a mundane task, it still demands some effort and time. And if we’re talking about the bin in the kitchen, it’s bound to get full faster. So how can you slow down the volume of trash from filling the bin? The answer is to reduce their size using a compactor. This way, you can maximize the capacity of your trash container. If the bin can fit more trash, then you won’t have to empty it as frequently.
Trash compactors also help for a cleaner kitchen. Not only do they eliminate the eyesore of an overflowing bin, but they also reduce its nasty odor. And as a bonus, you’re also helping the environment by reducing the use of plastic with lesser trash bags. In turn, this will also save space on a landfill.
There is not a lot of trash compactors in the market. However, this also makes it as hard as it is to choose when you have a lot of options. Because the number of units to choose from is lesser, you have to be extra picky to get the best trash compactor and not just settle for a so-so.
We have reviewed 7 trash compactors, so all you have to do is to create your own criteria. Weigh the pros and cons of each unit and compromise wisely. You can also visit our buyer’s guide to get a gist on the factors to consider when choosing one.
Best Trash Compactor Comparison Table
|GE Profile UCG1680LSS||Automatic||24||1.4||15|
Best Trash Compactor Reviews
E Profile UCG1680LSS – Best Modern-Looking Trash Compactor
Low-Key and Professional-Looking
Our first model might urge you to take a double look. This GE Profile trash compactor is worthy of being crowned the most sleek in this list because of its overall design. There are no visible buttons and you can easily mistake it as a cabinet.
This built-in compactor is fully stainless steel, and we think this adds to the overall modern look of the unit. But if your kitchen has a white or black theme, you can also opt for those styles. Note that the manufacturer also gives the option to have a sculpted handle in certain models.
Installing the GE Profile onto your kitchen is easy because it has retractable legs. This feature gives you an adjustable height between 33 3/4 inches and 35 inches. While its width, on the other hand, is exactly 14 7/8 inches. We think these measurements can provide suitable fittings for most standard counters.
Quiet and Fast Cycling
As we have said earlier, there are no visible controls on the GE Profile. Instead, you’ll find them behind the door. However, this compactor doesn’t have a lot of additional functions. Using it only involves flipping the switch, and the cycle will begin. The cycle lasts less than 30 seconds, and you’d be surprised how quiet this machine works.
Maximum 5:1 Compaction Ratio
The GE Profile has a 1.4 cubic feet capacity. In most households, this leaves a good amount of space for different items. It uses a 1/3 HP motor which provides a 75% compression ratio with a ram force of 2,300 pounds.
Once the ram finished compressing, it will automatically move back into place ready for the next load. But do note that you can’t expect other functions that’ll keep the trash compacted. With this price point, we wish GE Profile has a clock option, or a hold and delay function for added convenience. On the bright side, this compactor automatically prevents jamming for a delay-free cycling.
As for its safety, the GE Profile has a removable key. The lock function will keep the compactor drawer secured when you using it, and you can only start a cycle using the key. Since you’re removing the key once the compactor is working, the drawer would be impossible to open during mid-cycle. This safety feature is useful for preventing children from hurting themselves or putting random items in the bin.
Once you’ve unlocked the machine, or if you’re putting the items inside, you can use the toe pedal below the cabinet. This adds to the hygiene and convenience of usage, especially when you’re holding items with both hands. It is also worth noting that this pedal is not visible and is hidden below the cabinet. Owing to that fact, you won’t have to worry about children playing with it.
Side-Release Bin and Removable Drawer
Cleaning the GE Profile is easy because you can remove the drawer completely. Just click the drawer and then take it out under your counter. However, the front of the compactor doesn’t flip down, so you have to take the contents out vertically. Consequently, this can be a drag considering compacted trash is heavier.
Whirlpool GC900QPPB – Editor’s Choice
The next trash compactor in our list is the Whirlpool GC900QPPB, and it happens to be our top pick. What’s unique with this model is that it allows two modes. It is a freestanding model that you can convert as built-in and install along with your cabinets. It accepts wrap-a-round panels, and you can even buy Whirlpool’s custom panel trim kit to achieve a seamless look with your kitchen. You can choose from black and white as well.
Easy Rollers Installation Wheels
As we have said earlier, this compactor is a convertible. It has a feature called Easy Rollers Installation Wheels. This makes it easy to move it around and slide into place without the need for multiple people.
Clean Touch Console
While Whirlpool doesn’t hide its control panel, it uses a Clean Touch Console. What makes this feature different is the buttons are smooth, without any crevices for the dust to get into. All you have to do is wipe the panel, and you’re done. Overall, the machine uses three buttons for turning it on or off and starting it.
Quiet and Jam-Free with Safety Feature
Whirlpool uses a 2,300 ram force but functions quietly using its Quiet Pack Sound Conditioning feature. It has a compaction ratio of 4:1 with an anti-jam feature. This means the compression ram will automatically reverse if the door gets opened during usage. But don’t worry because it also has a hidden removable key as a safety feature.
Touch-Toe Drawer Opener and Slide-Out Drawer
As you can see, Whirlpool has a lot of similarities with the previous GE Profile. But the resemblance doesn’t stop there. This compactor also has a slide-out drawer and a pedal-operated drawer opener. Of course, the former helps with easy clean-up and a foolproof removal of the contents. And since Whirlpool has a Touch-Toe Drawer Opener feature, multitasking is easy.
Krushr K012 – Best Trash Compactor for Sturdy Items
Freestanding or Built-In
Another convertible trash compactor is the Krushr K012. You can use it as a standalone model or install it under the counter for a neater look in the kitchen. The Krushr K012 even has removable legs to give you a total height of 34.69 inches.
For us, the overall look of this unit is somewhat reminiscent of the previous GE Profile. You can also purchase a stainless steel door and hide the control buttons from the view. However, if you want a uniform kitchen look, you can fit a furniture door with this model as well. Sadly, buying a separate door can be a turnoff simply because the unit itself is pricey already.
Quiet and Efficient Compaction
The Krushr K012 is impressively quiet during operation. It uses a scissor-crush mechanism which means its compressing arm extends far down. In turn, this feature provides a higher compaction capacity per square inch.
Energy-Efficient Hyper Crush Mode
This compactor is capable of 85% compression ratio, which is excellent for crushing various kitchen packaging waste from plastics to cans. You can even choose a more energy-efficient approach and select the model’s hyper crush mode. And if you’re worried about safety, the Krushr also has a child lock to keep prying hands away.
Like the previous compactors, accessing the internal compartment of the bin is easy with the Krushr. Its door extends pretty far and you can even remove the bin entirely. The door also slides smoothly thanks to the 4 patented spring modules that hold the bag in place. However, you need to purchase the manufacturer’s proprietary bags for a better fit.
Gladiator GACP15XXMG – Best Portable Trash Compactor
The next trash compactor in our list is the GACP15XXMG from Gladiator. It is also somewhat stylish because of its hammered granite finish. It has a rugged tread plate design that can be either loved or found too rustic by certain homeowners. Nonetheless, this exterior offers durability more than aesthetics. That is because the exterior resists corrosion thanks to its SilverTread Powdercoat finish.
Upon looking at this model, you will notice that it has wheels at the bottom. And you can safely assume that it is meant to be a portable trash compactor. Because of the wheels, you can easily roll it outside or in the garage. Having a trash compactor close to where you’re disposing items the most is going to be more convenient.
However, you can just keep the Gladiator in your kitchen as you would with the previous units. The rubber wheels of this compactor feel sturdy and smooth to use. But the front wheels also lock into place, so you don’t have to worry about stability if it is freestanding in the kitchen.
75% Less Garbage Volume
The gladiator has a 1/3-HP motor that is capable of providing a compression force of 2,200 pounds per square inch. What these numbers mean is that you can get a 4:1 compaction ratio in your items. It can reduce waste ranging from bottles, cans, and papers into ¼ of their original volume.
The Gladiator uses a single knob for turning the device on or off and starting the cycle. This control is also slightly recessed so even if it’s visible, it still looks integrated on the machine. Because of the lack of other buttons, operating this compactor is straightforward.
The compression ram will also automatically reverse, similar to the GE Profile model to prevent jamming when the door opens. The Gladiator also utilizes a foot pedal for opening the drawer. Again, this gives you the convenience, especially when your hands are full.
iTouchless Squeeze – Best Hygienic Trash Compactor
Smudge-Proof Stainless Steel Body
So far, everything that we reviewed are automatic trash compactors. And starting now, we will be taking a look at manual machines. First is the iTouchless Squeeze trash compactor. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that it has a brushed stainless steel body. We appreciate that more than good looks, because this exterior is also fingerprint-proof and smudge-resistant. It’s easy to clean so maintenance and keeping it pristine-looking is easy.
Comes with Carbon Odor Filter and Compactor Plate Covers
Upon purchasing this unit, you will also get a replaceable carbon odor filter, three compactor plate covers, and two trash bags. If you have read our buyer’s guide beforehand, you know that we like an odor management system. Considering that you’re compacting kitchen disposals, something that will contain and control odor is a must.
The compactor plate covers are all disposable. What they do is act as an extra layer of protection for the compactor plate. This way, the plate won’t come in contact with the garbage during operation. In turn, cleaning the compactor plate will be less of a hassle.
Automatic Touch-Free Lid
This lid automatically opens once it detects your hand. Think of it as an upgraded hands-free opening that step pedal units offer. But instead of pressing a pedal, you’ll just slightly move your hand. You can check the compactor’s light indicator to check the lid’s status. If it is green then it will stay open, and it will turn red if it is about to close.
Putting the contents inside the bin is easy. Besides the touch-free lid, the opening measures 12 inches so even bulky items will fit smoothly. The overall capacity of this unit is up to 13 gallons which we think is fairly efficient for daily kitchen use.
Foldable Compressor Tool
The compressor tool of the iTouchless is conveniently placed in its lid. This way, you won’t have to worry about misplacing it. You just need to unfold it and lock it into the opening before you start pushing it down to compress the trash.
Household Essentials – Best Manual Trash Compactor
The last trash compactor in our review is the Trash Krusher from Household Essentials. Like the iTouchless, this compactor is also operated manually. And another similarity it has with the iTouchless is that it also has a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel exterior.
Manual trash compactors might be overlooked, especially with commercial kitchens who compress a large volume of trash. However, manual units can perform efficiently enough for most households.
Wide Stainless Steel Pedal
The Trash Krusher uses a stainless steel pedal that opens and closes the lid. It is also wide, so you don’t need pinpoint precision, and a mild tap is enough to trigger the lid. The secret behind this is because the damper will force air out. This air will then push open the lid. On the contrary, the damper will let the air back using resistance for closing the lid. And for your convenience, you can use the compactor’s locking device to keep the lid open for you. Getting the lid locked makes the clean-up and taking the bags out way easier.
Use Any Bags
Speaking of which, you can save money and effort because the Trash Krusher can use any bags. This way, you don’t have to fret about finding specialty bags, which in the long run, can cost you more. The bags will also stay put because this model has a bag locking mechanism.
Basic Operation But…
Using the compactor is as easy as pushing the lid inside the bin. It has a single large handle that feels sturdy, so it’s pretty comfortable to use. However, we recommend that you put a lining on the trash to save you time in cleaning the detachable compressor plate. Consequently, this comment is connected to a potential drawback with this model. Because of the way the compressor operates, you might end up getting dirty arms, especially with food waste.
If you want to go really old school, we also included this compactor as an option. The previous models might demand manual operation, but for us, the Squash-It Mini is the embodiment of ”manual” usage. We know that this product might be too remotely different from the kitchen trash compactor that you have in mind. However, the Squash-It might still be something that you’ll like to have as a “helper.”
First of all, it has no bin. What you’ll be getting is basically a compression plate attached to a long handle. The handle measures 20 inches long and the plate is at 4 by 8 inches. This compactor also has a hook so you can attach it to trash bins for safekeeping.
Although this compactor almost works like elongating your hands for reaching inside the bin, it still prevents you from touching the contents. And because the handle is quite long, you don’t have to hurt your back by bending.
Squash-It also has a shorter 18-inch trash compactor, as well as models with circular plates with varying sizes.
Overall, the Squash-It Mini does the job, which is to compress the trash for you. However, some people might feel like they can just improvise for a lower price.
Read Also: Best Electric Can Opener
Types of Trash Compactor
There are different types of trash compactors, but you can separate them into different categories.
First, you can categorize trash compactors based on how you operate them:
- Manual trash compactors, from the name itself, work with manual intervention. The compactor is attached to a handle, and you’ll use this to compact the trash yourself.
- Automatic trash compactors, on the other hand, does the compressing themselves with a push of a button.
Another feature that separates trash compactors into two are their placements:
- Built-in trash compactors install onto your kitchen cabinets, giving a sleek, low-key look.
- Freestanding trash compactors, on the other hand, are like regular trash bins that you can place anywhere with an outlet. And some of them, like the Gladiator, even have wheels. This feature allows mobility, so that you can bring the compactor elsewhere as well.
You can also separate compactors into fully-integrated and full-console types:
- Fully-integrated trash compactors have their controls hidden.
- Full-console trash compactors have a fully visible control panel.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Trash Compactor
Compaction Force and Performance
We listed force and performance as the first factor to consider. It is without a doubt worthy of this rank because they affect the usability and convenience of the unit.
Choose a force that will match with the materials that you’ll put in, as well as their overall volume. If you are usually putting more robust, and harder items, then you can opt for a force around 3,000 pounds. This is the maximum force available, but if you’re not using the compactor commercially, you can go with a lower force.
Another capacity that affects the performance of the unit is its compaction ratio. For example, a 3-to-1 ratio means that the model can compress three bags to achieve the size of just one bag. The higher the ratio is, the more space that you can get in the container. But consequently, you’ll be carrying heavier bags out of the compactor because of the higher volume it crushed.
Type and Size
As we have previously discussed, you can separate trash compactors into two using different categories. Should you opt for a manual or an automatic? What about choosing between a built-in and a freestanding model? Your choice will depend on your personal preference, meaning what’s going to be more convenient for you.
Manual compactors cost less, but they require effort since you’ll be the one exerting the compression force. Automatic models, on the other hand, are bulkier and costs more than their manual counterparts.
Going with a built-in model gives your kitchen a neater look. And depending on the manufacturer, you might even find a finish to match the compactor with your appliances. However, depending on your available space and the size of the model itself, you might opt for something smaller without the need of remodeling the area.
But if you need a more adjustable model, portable compactors give you the convenience of bringing it elsewhere. Some of them even have a flat surface that you can use for preparation.
Odor Management System
Manufacturers like ITouchless have come up with different features to manage odor. These systems can vary from using an air freshener, to even a charcoal filter/cartridges to combat the smell.
Convenience and Safety
Some compactors work like step-pedal trash cans. What we mean by this is that they have a pedal that you’ll just push with your foot to open the lid. We think this feature is nice to have, especially when you’re using both hands in holding the trash.
Besides convenience, safety is also something that you shouldn’t neglect. Models like Krushr has a child lock, which can make a huge difference to stop a prying toddler. This feature will prevent the child from potentially hurting themselves if the compactor turns on. GE Profile and Whirlpool even have removable keys so it’s impossible to open the machine during operation.
How to Clean Your Trash Compactor
Trash compactors need maintenance to keep them working efficiently and odor-free. First, you can minimize the dirt from your top panel using one simple step. All you have to do is place a newspaper on top of the trash beforehand. This way, the top panel will come in contact with the paper instead of touching the trash directly.
For the clean-up, remove the trash bag and the drawer of the unit. Then, use a vacuum to clean the trash collector thoroughly. You can also wipe the drawer inside out with warm water and mild antibacterial cleaner.
Cleaning your model will also vary, especially when the manufacturer has specific directions for their model. Make sure to abide by their guidelines in order to elongate the lifespan of your model.
Trash compactors can save you time and effort when it comes to disposal. With the right use and care, you can keep your kitchen more hygienic. At the same time, you won’t have to worry about the eyesore and odor from garbage and waste. And because you are compressing the trash, you’re also putting a lower volume of waste on landfills.
Our top pick as the best trash compactor is the Whirlpool GC900QPPB. It might be pricey, but you’re investing for a quality model. You can easily use it anywhere in the kitchen because it has wheels, or opt to install it under your countertop. We also like that it quietly operates and performs well without the need for manual intervention to prevent jamming. It also has a removable key to keep any children from investigating. And lastly, its slide-out drawer makes clean-up easier.
What about you? What’s your favorite trash compactor in our review?