You didn’t know you needed a great waste bin, but trust us: you do. And thanks to the rigorous testing of GQ’s Best Stuff, you’re going to get the very best one.
Simplehuman Rectangular Step Can
You may think it’s strange to invest in a nice trash can, a product that is expressly designed to hold nothing of worth, but you are wrong. A good waste bin not only holds garbage, it keeps the smell of last night’s uneaten pad thai from escaping into the room, and looks sharp doing it. But a great waste bin does one more thing: it kinda makes you excited to throw things out. It makes the act so satisfying, you come to appreciate the trash can like another member of the family. Which is why most of us here at GQ swear by waste bins made by Simplehuman, the Apple of trash management. They’re popular in restaurant bathrooms, since they can withstand the never-ending usage of a bustling dinner rush. In particular, we like the “regular step” (also a good description for my middle-of-the-road dancing skills) because it makes cooking so much easier. If Oscar the Grouch launched a lifestyle foodie blog, this is where he would live.
I know what you’re thinking: $130 for a trash can?! I get it—that’s expensive! But it’s a quiet life upgrade that’ll change your relationship to the kitchen. If you’ve ever had your hands full of potato peelings or a pot of uneaten mashed potatoes, you can attest to the value of having a reliable step can. Plus, the step action is so pleasing in its mechanical smoothness. You’ll never get tired of it.
So toss out that plastic Ikea bin you’ve had since college and graduate to a waste bin you can be proud of. Because being a grown-up means realizing that sometimes you just need something indispensable for all the things in your life that are.
4 Reasons We Love the Simplehuman Regular Step Can
1. It keeps in that stank: If you’re like me, you only take the garbage out whenever it starts to reek. The Simplehuman cans keep things so nice and tight that it’ll take several days of rotting fish for a nasty aroma to leak from your kitchen. (I, sadly, speak from experience.) But this means only taking out the trash when it’s full, which means fewer trips to the curb.
2. Stainless steel = painless steel: On those rare occasions you buck up and clean your trash can, the stainless steel body of the SimpleHuman step can makes it breeze. Just a single wipe down and you’re good to go.
3. Puts the pedal to the (literal) metal: If a trash can is gonna cost this much, it should last forever. Which means the pedal has to work. Simplehuman pedals in particular is engineered to last 150,000 steps, which in FitBit parlance is called “a shitload of steps.”
4. It doesn’t look like trash: A waste bin occupies a decent amount of space in your kitchen, which means you want something that looks good but doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. (Though if the silver look is a little too boring for your tastes, you could also try it in the surprisingly sharp rose gold or dark bronze finishes—we’d just avoid the white one because it gets dirty too easily.) Also, one reason we like this SimpleHuman model over the others is that it hides the liner, which is always the messiest looking part of a trash can. A tidy waste bin to inspire a tidy kitchen.
Two More Trash Cans We Like
The Budget-Friendly, Color-Loving Pick
Brabantia Pedal Bin
The Brabantia is sturdy, looks pleasingly retro, and comes in enough colors to give a Crayola box envy. We like the subdued neutrals—almond, platinum, and olive are pictured here—but there are bolder options if you want your trash can to draw attention away from your sink full of dirty dishes.
The Even-Higher-End, Design Object Pick
Originally created in Copenhagen in the 1930s, the VIPP has barely changed in design over the course of nearly a century. Yeah, the price will make you cough, but this trash bin will probably live longer than you, and look damn good doing it. And dads: According to GQ’s digital managing editor Louise Hart, the VIPP15 is the only waste bin she’s found that can wrangle the smell of dirty diapers.