Pros / It has two compression cycles.

Cons / The air freshener discs wear out quickly when it’s very hot or the air is dry.

 Verdict / The Kenmore Elite 14733 is the best trash compactor because it compacts better than most models, has an air freshener system and is relatively inexpensive considering how many helpful features it has.

The Kenmore Elite 14733 trash compactor has a compaction ratio of 5-to-1, so it can make five bags of trash the size of just one. This can reduce your home’s trash volume by up to 80 percent. In addition, it has a second compression setting, something not found on the other models we reviewed.

Kenmore’s Normal Pac cycle lasts about a minute and compresses trash well. The second cycle, called EXTRA PAC, continues putting pressure on the already compacted garbage so it doesn’t expand on its own, which increases the trash bag’s capacity by as much as 25 percent. When you’re ready to add another load, you flip the switch to off to bring the ram back to its starting position.

You open this device with a toe kick on the bottom. There’s also a convenient side-release feature that allows you to remove the heavy bag without lifting it straight out – a motion that can strain your back. In addition, the compactor includes an anti-jamming feature that stops the machine if anything goes wrong during a compression cycle.

The Kenmore Elite 14733’s solid air freshener system helps control odors, though the compactor doesn’t come with the needed freshener discs. This system doesn’t have a fan, and the discs need to be replaced every four to six weeks. According to the manufacturer, the discs tend to wear out faster in high temperatures and dry air, so you need to buy refills more frequently if you live in a hot, arid climate. You can also remove the bin from the compactor when it’s time to clean the unit, so you can wash it thoroughly both inside and outside – something that also helps control odors.

This Kenmore model’s controls are hidden behind the front door, so the machine looks sleek. You can choose a stainless steel, black or white finish. The hidden control panel also makes this compactor a good fit for a family because it keeps kids from playing with the machine. In addition, there’s a key you can remove to disable the control panel.

Kenmore covers this garbage compactor with a one-year warranty, which is typical for this type of appliance. If you like the brand’s appliances but don’t want to pay for this Elite model, consider the Kenmore 14729 trash compactor – it has plenty of features and costs less.

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