The 7 Best Trash Compactors for Every Home and Budget: Buyer’s Guide

Best Trash Compactors

The 7 Best Trash Compactors for Every Home and Budget: Buyer’s Guide

No one likes to bag or dispose of their own garbage, whether it goes to a dumpster or the recycling bin, but a great garbage compactor can help you reduce the volume of waste you generate.

But what size do you need? Where are you going to place it in your house? And how powerful should your trash compactor be? Fear not – we’ve done the research to help you select the perfect trash compactor for your home and budget constraints.

Like garbage compactors, garbage compactors allow you to take out garbage less frequently and reduce the volume of waste in your home, minimizing your environmental impact. Unlike normal trash cans, trash compactors have a manual or hydraulic metal ram that condenses the trash. They can also be used for recycling if your family disposes of a lot of boxes or cans. Read on to learn more about choosing the best trash compactor for your home.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Trash Compactor?

When buying a trash compactor, there are a few key factors to consider. The following sections detail some of the most important qualities to consider when shopping for the best trash compactor.

Manual vs. Automatic

Trash compactors can be manual or automatic.

Manual Trash Compactors: These are not powered by motors, but rather rely on your body to provide compression force. They are less powerful than automatic models and are not recommended for condensing glass or cans.

Automatic Trash Compactors: These are powered by electricity and must be plugged into an electrical outlet. They have powerful motors that offer high compression force to condense your junk.

Size and Capacity

Most trash compactors on the market are sized to fit inside standard kitchen cabinets. They are typically 12-15 inches wide, 34-35 inches tall, and 24 inches deep. If you opt for an integrated model, it is important that you take steps to make sure it fits.

The capacity of the trash compactor depends on the type. Automatic models typically have a capacity of 1.4 to 1.7 cubic feet. Manual models tend to measure their capacity in gallons and can hold between 5 and 15 gallons of waste. For reference, common capacity for 1.4 cu. Ft. Automatic models are approximately 10.5 gallons.

Compression Force

High-quality automatic trash compactors have powerful ⅓, ½, or ¾ horsepower motors that provide optimal compression force. Compressive force (also known as compaction force) is typically measured in pounds. Most models on the market have a compression force between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds.

The high compression force contributes to a high compression ratio. Automatic models tend to have maximum compression ratios of 4: 1, 5: 1, or 6: 1. A ratio of 5: 1 means that the compactor can compress the average volume of five garbage bags into a single bag.

Controls and Sensors

Automatic trash compactors have control panels that allow you to operate the device. While the functionality of most trash compactors is relatively simple, some have added features like a bag hold button that ensures the trash bag does not slip. Hidden control panels provide a stylish appearance and touch control panels that do not have raised buttons are easier to clean.

Many automatic models also include sensors that can detect when the drawer is open and, as an added safety feature, prevent the machine from operating. Some also have a sensor that alerts you when the dumpster is full.

Opening System

When your hands are full, it is not easy to maneuver the lid of a trash can. Some of the best trash compactors have hands-free opening systems, allowing you to use your foot to open the trash compactor.

Air Freshening and Odor Control

One of the main concerns for those considering a trash compactor may be the potential odor. Because trash compactors allow you to take out the trash less often, unpleasant odors from multi-day trash are unavoidable.

Fortunately, many models are equipped with odor control systems and carbon filters to prevent the emission of unwanted odors, which will keep your kitchen smelling fresh.

The 7 Best Trash Compactors for Every Home and Budget: Buyer’s Guide



This GE Profile trash compactor is worthy of being crowned the most stylish on this list due to its overall design. There are no visible buttons and you can easily mistake it for a cabinet.

This built-in compactor is completely stainless steel and we believe this adds to the overall modern look of the unit. But if your kitchen has a black or white theme, you can also go for those styles. Note that the manufacturer also offers the option of having a sculpted handle on certain models.


Brand: GE
Material: Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 24 x 14.88 x 35 Inches
Installation Type: Built-In
Weight: 135 Pounds


  • Modern look
  • Hidden controls and foot pedal
  • Quiet and fast cycling
  • Anti-jamming function
  • Removable key lock
  • Removable drawer


  • Pricey
  • No delay function
  • Access to compressed trash can be tricky
  • Flimsy door



The next trash compactor on our list is the Whirlpool GC900QPPB, and it just happens to be our top pick. The unique thing about this model is that it allows two modes.

It is a freestanding model that you can convert as a built-in and install together with your cabinets. It accepts wrap-around panels and you can even purchase Whirlpool’s custom panel trim kit to achieve the perfect look with your kitchen. You can also choose between black and white.

This compactor is a convertible. It has a feature called Easy Roller Installation Wheels. This makes it easy to move and slide into place without the need for multiple people.


Brand: Whirlpool
Color: Black
Material: Plastic
Installation Type: Convertible, Freestanding, Built-In
Certification: ADA
Dimensions: 24 x 15 x 34.13 Inches


  • Can be used as freestanding or built-in
  • Easy Rollers Installation Wheels
  • Clean Touch Console
  • Quiet operation
  • Anti-jam
  • Removable key
  • Slide-out drawer
  • Touch-toe drawer opener


  • Pricey
  • Basic features



Another convertible trash compactor is the Krushr K012. You can use it as a freestanding model or install it under the counter for a neater look in the kitchen. The Krushr K012 even has removable legs to give it an overall height of 34.69 inches.

For us, the overall look of this unit is somewhat reminiscent of the previous GE Profile. You can also buy a stainless steel door and hide the control buttons from view. However, if you want a uniform kitchen look, you can also fit a cabinet door with this model. Unfortunately, buying a separate door can be a detour simply because the unit itself is already expensive.


Brand: Krushr
Color: Black
Capacity: 1.4 Cubic Feet
Material: Stainless Steel
Form Factor: Built-In
Installation Type: ‎Freestanding
Dimensions: 22 x 11.88 x 31.88 Inches


  • Can be used as standalone or built-in
  • Quiet
  • 85% compression ratio
  • Energy saving mode
  • Child lock
  • Removable bin


  • Stainless door sold separately
  • Requires custom compactor bags



The next trash compactor on our list is the Gladiator GACP15XXMG. It is also somewhat classy due to its hammered granite finish. It has a sturdy tread plate design that some homeowners may love or find too rustic. However, this exterior offers durability more than aesthetics. This is because the exterior resists corrosion thanks to its SilverTread Powdercoat finish.

When looking at this model, you will notice that it has wheels on the bottom. And you can safely assume that it is meant to be a portable trash compactor. Thanks to the wheels, you can easily roll it outside or in the garage. Having a trash compactor close to where most items are disposed of will be more convenient.


Brand: Gladiator
Color: Gray
Installation Type: ‎Freestanding
Warranty: 1 Year
Weight: 168 Pounds


  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Portable with locking front wheels
  • Single-knob control
  • Foot pedal drawer opener


  • Pricey
  • Loud operation
  • Bag installation is tricky



So far, all we reviewed are automatic trash compactors. And from now on, we will take a look at manual machines. First up is the iTouchless Squeeze Trash Compactor.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that it has a brushed stainless steel body. We appreciate that it looks more than good because this exterior is fingerprint-proof and smudge resistant too. It’s easy to clean, so it’s easy to maintain and keep it spotless.

When purchasing this unit, you will also receive a replaceable carbon odor filter, three compactor plate covers, and two garbage bags. If you’ve read our buyer’s guide beforehand, you know that we like an odor management system. Considering you are compacting kitchen garbage disposals, something that will contain and control odor is a must.


Brand: iTouchless
Capacity: 13 Gallons
Material: Stainless Steel
Finish Type: Brushed
Shape: Rectangular
Opening Mechanism: Motion-Sensor


  • Smudge-resistant exterior
  • Carbon odor filter
  • Compactor plate covers
  • Sensor-operated lid
  • Wide opening
  • Foldable compressor tool on lid


  • Compressor lid is flimsy

FAQS: The 7 Best Trash Compactors for Every Home and Budget

Do Trash Compactors Need Special Bags?

Yes, you will have to look for heavy-duty low-density trash compactor bags. We recommend getting the recommended ones for your chosen machine to avoid inconvenience.

Trash compactors use high pressure, so you need a bag that has been designed to withstand this. Compactor garbage bags can hold more weight than everyday garbage bags.

Why is purchasing a trash compactor a good idea?

Trash compactors are an excellent means of efficiently storing and processing kitchen waste, saving you time.

Because they mean fewer trips to take out the trash and fewer bags used as a result, their use is good for the environment. They are considered to have a positive impact and play a role in reducing the volume of waste in landfills.

How to Clean Your Trash Compactor?

Trash compactors require maintenance to keep them running efficiently and odor-free. First, you can minimize dirt on your top panel with 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 into contact with the paper instead of directly touching the trash.

For cleaning, remove the trash bag and drawer from the unit. Next, use a vacuum cleaner to clean the garbage collector thoroughly. You can also clean the drawer inside out with warm water and a mild antibacterial cleanser.

Please note that depending on the material of your compactor, you must use a suitable cleaner.

Cleaning your model will also vary, especially when the manufacturer has specific instructions for your model. Make sure you adhere to their guidelines for extending the life of your model.

What are the benefits of a trash compactor?

Trash compactors allow you to fit more trash into your garbage can, reducing the number of trips to take out the trash. Compacting trash also deters pests, minimizes odors, and makes trash collection more efficient.

What maintenance does a trash compactor require?

Regular compactor walls and ram cleaning is recommended to control odor and sanitize the unit. Oil or lubricate moving parts about once a month. Replace hydraulic oil every 3-5 years. Call a technician for major repairs.


With the growing concern about environmental pollution, an increasing number of people are choosing trash compactors over standard trash containers. The accessory looks like the standard container and also takes up a reasonable amount of space.

Also, this accessory will probably handle a much larger volume than the usual non-compacting container of exactly the same size. It does this by compacting the garbage and therefore reducing the area it occupies.

And if the accessory is easy to locate, perhaps not every item is worth the effort, money, or time. Some will likely be somewhat cumbersome, others may include a mechanism or handle that is not very powerful, although some may not be able to handle a demanding atmosphere.

By providing you with all the best trash compactor reviews, we aim to make choosing a fantastic item easy and less stressful.

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