We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

The Best Small Trash Cans

🕚 Updated October 2021

Whether you're furnishing your new office or moving into your first dorm room, buying a small trash can is an essential part of keeping your space clean and organized.

Scroll Table to Left
  Most Durable Best with Lid Best Budget Most Compact Best Value Set
Treela Trash Can
1.2-Gallon Round Trash Can
Small and Slim Trash Can
0.4-Gallon Mini Countertop Trash Can
4-Pace of Plastic Resin Wastebaskets
Our SummaryA sleek trash can that's great for your bedroom or home office.A sleek stainless steel trash can that's ideal for a bathroom.An affordable trash can with a slender design for your bedroom or bathroom.A compact and reliable trash can that's great for bathrooms and laundry rooms.Accommodate your office space with this four-pack of plastic trash cans.
ProsIncredibly durable and sturdy, 4.5-gallon capacity, simple cylindrical design, classy.Comes with removable inner bucket and back-up bucket, nonskid base.Helps you save space, made of durable polypropylene, plenty of decorative appeal.Has an innovative design, doesn't take up a lot of space, plastic inner lining for easy cleanup.Durable and effective, economical in terms of price, multipurpose.
ConsNot ideal when it comes to saving space.Small capacity, requiring you to empty it more frequently.Can easily tip over and spill trash onto the floor.You will need to empty it often due to the 0.4-gallon capacity.Has a capacity of 7 gallons, so it will take up more space.
Scroll Table to Right
Who is LifeSavvy?
LifeSavvy is an independent publication focused on a single goal: helping you make the best purchase possible. We don’t just recommend the best Dutch oven for your needs, we show you how to take care of it so it lasts a lifetime and we recommend delicious recipes to help you get the most out of owning it too! Read More »
How Did We Research?

10 Models Evaluated

8 Hours Researched

19 Reviews Analyzed

The Best Small Trash Cans

A small stainless steel step trash can with a lid that's in a bathroom next to the vanity.

Small trash cans won’t take up valuable floor space or legroom. They’re ideal for bedrooms, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and office spaces since you don’t need a large trash can in those smaller rooms. They’re also great options for tight spaces like RVs and campers. Like regular-sized trash cans, small models come in various colors, sizes, shapes, and styles, so you can easily pick one that matches the rest of your room. Here are some great options we have picked out for you.

Buying Guide for the Best Small Trash Cans

A brown cylindrical trash can on a wooden floor.

Why buy a small trash can?

How else will you dispose of your used tissues, dryer lint, cotton swabs, gum wrappers, and other small items in your bathroom, laundry room, office, or bedroom? It’s important to establish a clean home or work environment. A small trash can helps you keep your spaces free of clutter and waste without taking up too much space.

What should you look for in a small trash can?

  • Size: You’ll want to make sure your new trash is the right size for what you need. For example, a 10-gallon can isn’t going to fit under your desk, and a half-gallon one might not be large enough to hold all the trash you need. Some models will also have wider bases than others, so you may want to measure your available desk space ahead of time in order to ensure you’re buying a trash can that’s the right size. You may also want to measure to make sure the trash can isn’t too tall for you to place things inside underneath your desk.
  • Lid: Another important thing to consider is whether the bin is open or if it has a lid. If you plan on throwing away any expirable materials, it’s probably a good idea to buy a covered trash can. Not only do lids help with undesirable smells, but they can also help to prevent rogue garbage from spilling out of the trash can and onto your desk.

Are small trash cans durable?

If your new trash can is going to sit atop your desk or be placed near a walkway, there’s a chance it’ll accidentally get knocked over and fall onto the ground. As a result, you’ll want to ensure that your trash can is made of the sturdiest and most durable materials possible so that it doesn’t break or dent if it falls off your desk or gets knocked over. Look for trash cans that are labeled as shatterproof or shatter-resistant or made of a material you know is reliably strong, like stainless steel.

Our Picks for the Best Small Trash Cans

Most Durable

Umbra Treela Trash Can

A sleek trash can that's great for your bedroom or home office.

Pros: This cylindrical trash can has a 4.75-gallon capacity and will fit easily under desks or in other small spaces. The strong, high-quality plastic material is both durable and shatter-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking if it gets knocked over. It’s also easy to clean to get rid of lingering stains or smells; simply wipe the inside clean with a damp cloth.  

Cons: You can find many other trash cans that are better at saving space. For example, this model wouldn’t fit in a cabinet or small compartment or on top of a desk or counter.

Bottom Line: With a classy and modern design, this trash can will blend in with many decor styles and hold a good amount of waste.


Best with Lid

simplehuman 1.2 Gallon Trash Can

A sleek stainless steel trash can that's ideal for a bathroom.

Pros: The bin alone can hold 1.2 gallons of waste and is about 12 inches tall. The trash can has a foot pedal that lifts the lid and an inner bin that holds the bag in place. The inner bin is removable, making it much easier to dispose of your trash, and it comes with a replacement bin if it gets gunky after a while.

Cons: In terms of overall capacity, this trash can is on the lower end, which means that you will need to dispose of your garbage a lot more frequently. This can become tedious, especially if you have a busy schedule.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a trash can with a lid, this step trash can is a great stainless steel and hands-free product to contain your waste. It’ll look and work great in your bathroom.


Best Budget

Umbra Skinny Trash Can

An affordable trash can with a slender design for your bedroom or bathroom.

Pros: Made of durable polypropylene, this trash can has a slim, unique, and compact design, but it can still hold up to 2 gallons of waste. It comes in many stylish colors, allowing you to mix and match with other decorative fixtures inside your home. Also, the slim construction of the trash can allows you to store it just about anywhere without getting in the way.

Cons: The slender base of the trash can makes it prone to falling over, which could potentially cause garbage to spill all over your floor. This is obviously a situation you will want to avoid, so you should be careful not to bump into the trash can accidentally.

Bottom Line: If you’re just looking for an inexpensive option to keep your room a little tidier, this garbage can gets the job done in a multifunctional, slender, and modern-looking shell.


Most Compact

simplehuman Mini Countertop Trash Can

A compact and reliable desktop trash can that's great for offices and laundry rooms.

Pros: At just over 7 inches tall and 5 inches in diameter, this innovative trash can won’t take up much space on your counter, desk, or floor. It has a balanced revolving lid that lifts off easily for trash removal. It might be small, but it can still hold around half a gallon of waste, so it’s great for pencil shavings, tissues, dryer lint, or other small items. The body is durable stainless steel that won’t rust, is easy to clean, and will hold up against accidental falls. The interior is made of a smooth plastic lining that’s also a breeze to wipe clean if needed. The exterior has a smudge-proof finish, so you won’t leave your fingerprints all over the shiny body for a clean, more attractive look.

Cons: This trash can doesn’t offer a large capacity to dispose of your trash, which means that you’ll have to empty it frequently. Some users might be annoyed by the lid.

Bottom Line: While almost any small trash can will serve well as a desktop or countertop wastebasket, this model was designed specifically for this task and looks great while doing it. Why waste your money on a trash can that doesn’t simplify the process of proper trash disposal?


Best Value Set

Rubbermaid 4-Pack of Plastic Wastebaskets

Accommodate your office space with this four-pack of plastic trash cans.

Pros: This four-pack of durable trash cans will allow you to save money when you buy in bulk. The plastic structure is incredibly durable and resilient, ensuring that you’ll get plenty of use out of these trash cans. You can easily fit them under a standard desk, and they also work well for bathrooms. They have the classic, simple “office trash can” appearance.

Cons: With a 7-gallon capacity, these trash cans are going to take up a lot more space, so make sure you have enough room for them. Moreover, not everyone will need four trash cans in one purchase.

Bottom Line: This four-pack offers you the right amount of value for the money you spend. If you need small trash cans at each desk inside your commercial office, this value pack is a great option.

Final Thoughts

If you need a trash can for your workspace, bathroom, laundry room, bedroom, or another smaller space, we’ve rounded up some great compact trash cans. There are multiple styles available, so think about your needs and your space, and check out our picks!

Nick Pappas Nick Pappas
Nick Pappas is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy from South Bend, IN. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and has written content and short stories for ABC57 News and Kansas City Voices. Away from the computer, you can find Nick traveling and filmmaking, though his interests are constantly changing! Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on a single goal: helping you make the most informed purchases possible. Want to know more?