Our editorial staff evaluates products and services independently, but Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links. Learn More

 
Best Picks

The Best Trash Compactors of 2017

Fewer trips to the curb, more space in the kitchen

The Best Trash Compactors of 2017
Trash Compactors
Broan Elite
GE Profile Series
Gladiator Garage
Kenmore Elite
Viking
Whirlpool

Trash Compactors Review

Why Buy a Trash Compactor?

If your family constantly argues over whose turn it is to take out the trash, you should consider buying a trash compactor. Waste compactors use ram force to reduce the volume of your trash by 75 to 80 percent. This means five times less trips to the curb. There is also an environmental impact. Trash compactors mean less space in landfills and less plastic trash bags. Your kitchen will look nicer and, with built-in air fresheners, smell better. Home trash compactors are easy to use and fit conveniently under your counter. Three of the top trash compactors on the market are the Broan Elite 15XE, Whirlpool TU950QPXS and the KitchenAid Architect KUCS03FTSS.

Trash Compactors: What to Look For

Your first concern when it comes to a garbage compactor is finding the space. It’s essential to take accurate measurements before you start shopping. Most compactors are available at a width of 12 to 15 inches and a height of 34 to 35 inches, which will fit under most counters. Once the size is clear, you should consider looking at how much power you need, what additional features interest you, and how much extra time you’ll need to maintain the unit and buy supplies.

Power & Performance
Trash compactors offer a range of 1.4 cubic feet to 1.7 cubic feet and will have a compacting force between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds. In most cases, more force means a higher price. Also, you should look at the horsepower of the motor. A high capacity with a lower horsepower means a louder compactor. The garbage compactor will include a compaction ratio. For example, if the ratio is 4:1, it means the compactor will fit the average volume of four bags into the size of one. Remember, the more trash in a bag, the heavier it will be, so you should consider how much you can safely lift before solely buying the highest compaction ratio available.

Features
Beyond compaction, waste compactors are designed to be safe and convenient to use. One handy feature you should look for is a simple toe bar. This is a switch on the floor that will open the compactor automatically when you click it with your foot. When your arms are full of larger items to throw away, it will make your life a lot easier. The trash compactor you choose should also include air freshener compartments or charcoal filters to reduce odor. If you have small children, you might also want to consider removable key-knob controls, which prevent accidental use, as well as anti-jam sensors to alert you if the compactor is overfilled.

Maintenance & Supplies
Except for the usual cleaning required with most appliances, trash compactors should be maintenance free. You should consider how far the compartment will extend out of the cabinet. The farther it opens, the easier it will be to clean. You will also need to replace the bags as usual. Some trash compactors will use regular bags, while others have proprietary bags that only work with their units.

You should keep in mind that trash compactors are only for compaction. For organic foods, consider using the garbage disposal. You’ll also need to keep a separate container if you recycle. That being said, there is nothing more unsightly than a large garbage can in the middle of your kitchen taking up space. And small, under-the-counter cans need constant replacement. Trash compactors match your décor and keep garbage out of sight, where it belongs.