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Take Out the Trash Less Frequently with the Best Trash Compactors

  1. JennAir Built-In Trash Compactor
  2. KitchenAid Trash Compactor
  3. Gladiator Trash Compactor
  4. Whirlpool Gold Full Console Trash Compactor
  5. GE GCG1580RSS Profile 15" Stainless Steel Built-In Trash Compactor
  6. Buyer's Guide

While trash compactors aren’t a mainstream item, they’re an essential tool for some households. Other than the convenience factor of taking the trash out less frequently, trash compactors are very useful for those who don't have trash pickup very often, or for those who live where there are expensive surcharges for multiple bags of trash.

The best trash compactors in 2021 we've selected are mostly built-in models, with the exception of the portable Gladiator GACP15XXMG. We've chosen models that have enough strength to drastically reduce the volume of trash, with a 4:1 compaction ratio or better. These best trash compactors are also durable and easy to use, and offer a bucket size of 1.4 cu. ft. or larger. Finally, our selections, with the exception of the GEGCG1580RSS, all have some form of sound insulation and odor management for the minimal intrusion into your daily life.

Comparing the Best Trash Compactors for 2021

best JennAir Built-In Trash Compactor

JennAir Built-In Trash Compactor - Best Trash Compactor Bags Overall

The Maytag MTUC7500ADM is relatively affordable for a trash compactor, especially considering the performance it has to offer. With a price tag of under $1,000, this built-in trash compactor features a 5:1 compaction ratio and 2,300 pounds of compaction force, good to reduce trash volume up to 80 percent. This rivals much more expensive models, while the all-welded construction ensures durability. Sound insulation, an odor control fan, and a charcoal filter are included, keeping the sounds and smells of trash management out of the home. It also features a capacity of 1.4 cubic feet which is fairly standard amongst trash compactors. Available in stainless steel, black, or while, the MTUC7500ADM has simple controls and is easy to use, making it an excellent choice for an affordable trash compactor.

best KitchenAid Trash Compactor

KitchenAid Trash Compactor - Runner Up

The Broan 15XESS offers a compelling combination of both style and function. With a 6:1 compaction ratio, the 15XESS delivers 3,000 pounds of force to trash, reducing its volume by up to 84 percent. This 15 inch built-in trash compactor has a 1.55 cubic foot bucket that holds up to 30 pounds of trash, all tucked away behind a sleek stainless steel door with intuitive controls.

The 15XESS offers excellent sound and odor management, with insulation in the door and an odor disk that lasts for about six months to absorb odors. This trash compactor even offers the ability to program functions and has a battery backup to prevent the loss of settings in the event of a blackout. With easy trash removal, plenty of power, and safety features such as a child lock, the Broan 15XESS easily justifies its higher price tag.

best Gladiator Trash Compactor

Gladiator Trash Compactor - Honorable Mention

The Gladiator GACP15XXMG is one of the few portable trash compactors available, offering the ability to have the convenience of a trash compactor without the need for a built-in unit. This model even includes casters for added portability, allowing you to roll it from room to room, or outside to the garage. The GACP15XXMG has a 4:1 compaction ratio and 2,200 pounds of compaction force, which is enough power to reduce trash volume by up to 75 percent.

Its capacity of 1.4 cubic feet is about the same as most built-in trash compactors. Although this model is simple, it has an anti-jam feature, a sturdy design, and offers ease-of-use and affordability. If the versatility of a portable and affordable trash compactor appeals to you, the Gladiator GACP15XXMG should be a top option.

best Whirlpool Gold Full Console Trash Compactor

Whirlpool Gold Full Console Trash Compactor - Consider

The Whirlpool GX900QPPS is very budget-friendly. With most trash compactors costing upwards of $1,000, this user-friendly model can often be had for under $800 online. While the GX900QPPS does sacrifice a bit of power, with a 4:1 compaction ratio and 2,000 pounds of compaction force, its ability to reduce trash volume by 75 percent is plenty of power for most households. It offers a standard 1.4 cu. ft. capacity.

Features include a sound management system for quiet operation, and an anti-jam feature if the door is opened during use. The basic black and stainless steel design in inoffensive, and controls are easy to use. If you're looking for a no-frills, budget-friendly trash compactor, the Whirlpool GX900QPPS is a good choice.

best GE GCG1580RSS Profile 15" Stainless Steel Built-In Trash Compactor

GE GCG1580RSS Profile 15" Stainless Steel Built-In Trash Compactor - Best Trash Compactor

The GE GCG1580RSS trash compactor offers a sleek appearance and solid performance, despite lacking many of the features that one might expect (odor control, functions such as delay). This basic trash compactor offers a 1.4 cubic foot capacity and comes in a stainless steel finish, with the controls hidden away. A 4:1 compaction ratio and 2,300 pounds of compaction force are fairly standard, allowing it to effectively reduce the space your trash takes up by about 75 percent.

An automatic anti-jam feature is included and the drawer locks so it can’t be opened during use; a key is actually needed to start the cycle. The drawer is also removable for easy cleaning and the entire unit sits on leveling legs and rear wheels. Although the foot switch can be prone to being bumped accidentally and even jamming, this relatively affordable trash compactor focuses on simplicity. A one year warranty is included.

Buyer's Guide

Homes, especially larger ones, are rubbish-producing factories, generating tons and tons of trash in very little time, from waste paper to kitchen waste to plastic. Your trash can fills up in next to no time, making it so you have to make the tiresome trip to empty your garbage cans a lot more frequently than you'd like. How would you feel about cutting those down? How would you like it if you only had to take out the trash once a week, as opposed to once daily? If you could afford to save kitchen real estate by installing a smaller trash can, without increasing your workload? Well, with a trash compactor, you can!

What Is A Trash Compactor?

A trash compactor is a mechanized trash can used to reduce the volume of waste material by the process of compaction. This machine features a hydraulic-powered metal ram that compresses garbage into a small, dense package that can be easily bagged and disposed of in your outdoor garbage can or at any local waste removal facility. They are usually installed in kitchens. Trash compactors can be freestanding, under-the-counter, or convertible.

How Do Trash Compactors Work?

Trash compactors are typically very easily operable. They consist of a metal ram that compresses the trash, a bin that holds the trash, and a switch that powers the unit. To use them, you typically place your waste into the bin, and when it's full, you close it and turn the machine on. Trash compactors are powerful appliances, so the utmost care must be taken when operating one. Children shouldn't be allowed to operate one unattended.

Why Should I Buy A Trash Compactor?

Trash compactors serve to reduce the volume of waste you produce, reducing the frequency with which you empty your trash cans, your home's environmental footprint, and waste removal costs.

What Factors Should I Consider Before Choosing A Trash Compactor?

If you do decide to buy a trash compactor, it is important that you buy the right unit for you, one that is durable has a large enough capacity, and the right safety features that suit your household. With so many brands on the market now, with each manufacturer claiming theirs is best, making a choice can be a tricky prospect. We recognize this, and we realize that even with the list of the best trash compactors we have provided, more detail is required of us. Here, we run through those factors you should pay attention to when shopping for a trash compactor, to further simplify your choices.

Case Construction

Trash compactors come in 3 main configurations, built-in or under-counter, freestanding and convertible, with each offering various benefits. The freestanding trash compactors come with a finished top and are usually about the same height as your kitchen counter, and so, they can act as additional counter space. They take up space, however, and are not suitable for crowded spaces. Built-in compactors are typically smaller and don't have finished tops, they are designed to fit under your existing workspace as a dishwasher does. They are ideal for smaller spaces. Convertible trash compactors, as the name suggests, can be installed as freestanding or under-counter. Mobile trash compactors also exist, these come with wheels and so can be easily moved from place to place.

Trash Compactor Size

You should pay attention to the height, depth, and width of the unit you are looking to purchase, and compare these dimensions to the size of the space you have available in your kitchen. For under-counter compactors, your measurements should include the trim kit. Compactors typically range in width from 12 to 24 inches, with most being 15 inches wide, height from 34 ⅛ to 35 inches, and depth from 24 to 24 ¼ inches.


The most common finish for trash compactors is stainless steel. White, black, and chrome finishes are also fairly common. Although the finish doesn't have much to do with the functionality, it does play a considerable part where aesthetics is concerned. And so, it might be worth getting one that matches your kitchen space. Some trash compactors come with customizable doors that can be made to match your kitchen décor, but these are more expensive.

Degree of Compaction

The motors in trash compactors can generate compacting ram force typically ranging from 2000 to 5000 pounds. The ram force determines the degree of compaction the unit offers which usually varies from 60% to 85%, depending on the material being compacted. Higher degrees of compaction mean smaller volume waste and heavier waste. The degree of compaction is usually given in ratios, with higher ratios meaning more compaction.


Another parameter to note is the volume of trash a compactor can take and compact at a time. The capacity of a compactor is dependent on its depth and width. If your household generates large volumes of waste, a larger capacity compactor would be appropriate.


Many compactors these days come with anti-tilt and anti-jam sensors that prevent the machine from working if there is a problem or if the compactor door is open. Some compactors also have sensors that sense if the trash bin has been incorrectly filled. These features serve to protect your machine and yourself.

Noise control

The noise a compactor makes is dependent on the type of material being crushed. Compactors come with insulation with varying degrees of functionality for noise control.

Odor Control

Compactors can be used to crush a wide range of waste materials, including kitchen waste. And because a compactor can fit larger amounts of waste, odor control becomes essential as biodegradable substances can sit in the bin for longer than they would in a regular waste bin. The best compactors come equipped with methods to control the odors that may be generated. Some of these include charcoal filters or compartments for air fresheners.

How Much Do Trash Compactors Cost?

The price of trash compactors varies very widely. They can cost as little as $150 or as much as $2000. The cheapest models are ordinary trash cans with a handheld paddle that you press on to compress waste. Electronic models usually cost upwards of $500.


Q. What can I put in my trash compactor?

A. You can put almost any kind of waste in your compactor, but it is advisable that you read and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Generally, aerosol cans, wood and batteries should not be put in compactors.

Q. Do I need to use special bags in a trash compactor?

A. You don't need to, but it is advisable to. Trash compactor bags are tougher than regular garbage bags and can more easily withstand the forces generated by the compactor.

Q. Should I get a trash compactor or a garbage disposal unit?

A. Garbage disposal units are more suited to food waste and other small waste items, they eliminate the need to take out the trash for items they are suited to. Trash compactors, however, are more versatile. If you can't afford to have both, trash compactors are the better option.

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