The Best Sensor Bins For Hands-Free Disposal

Want to get rid of your rubbish hands-free? These sensor bins make cleaning extra hygienic.

Best sensor bin

by Eleanor Weaver |
Updated on

If you hate dealing with the mess and want to stick your waste in the kitchen bin as quickly and efficiently as possible, our pick of the best sensor bins will be able to sense your approach and be open and ready to receive your rubbish. Perfect for when your hands are full, a sensor bin is super hygienic with absolutely zero contact necessary and the epitome of convenience. If you didn’t think you could get excited over a kitchen bin, prepare yourselves now.

We’ve shared everything you need to know and included the best sensor bins available to buy in the UK, available in a range of sizes and designs like a double bin to fit your kitchen needs.

Best Sensor Bins At A Glance:

Editor's choice: EKO DLX Phantom Sensor Bin, 45L - View Offer on Amazon UK
Best budget sensor bin: Tower 42 Litre Sensor Kitchen Bin - View Offer at Argos
Best voice control sensor bin: simplehuman Dual Rectangular Sensor Bin, 58L - View Offer at John Lewis

Using an Infrared Technology sensor, a sensor bin detects movement, i.e. when your hand is waved over the sensor and opens the bin automatically without the need to lift the lid. Offering quick and clean access to your bin, it’ll stay open and close after a few seconds of no activity so smells stay trapped within. Now, onto our buyer's guide - where we've answered your burning sensor bin questions...

Best sensor bins for your kitchen

Editor's choice

In a sleek, brushed stainless steel with a fingerprint-resistant finish, the EKO Deluxe Phantom Sensor Bin has a quiet, dual-opening lid so you easily drop your rubbish inside. Combining style and technology, it has a removable inner bucket for easy cleaning and a bin bag stabiliser that’ll hold any sized bin liner in place. Simply hover your hand over the lid to operate but there is a manual option available too if preferred.

Customer review: “I am slightly embarrassed about how excited I am about this bin - the whole family love it! Excellent capacity for a family, and the mechanism of no-touch open/close is fantastic. It fits our space perfectly and looks modern and sleek in our kitchen. Well worth paying a bit more for a bin which looks great and is a standard above the others.”

Pros

  • Modern and sleek
  • Standard bin bags fit nicely
  • Compact despite capacity

Cons

  • Some found the lid closed too soon for their liking

Best rounded sensor bin

simplehuman Semi-Round Sensor Bin
Price: $199.99
Alternative retailers
Target$199.99View offer
Walmart$199.99View offer
Macy's$199.99View offer
Wayfair$199.99View offer

In a neat, semi-circular design that’ll sit nicely at the end of a row of kitchen cabinets, this simplehuman Semi-Round Sensor bin is full of innovations. It has a pocket that’ll store and dispense bin liners from inside the bin for quicker changes (there’s nothing worse than opening the bin to find you forgot to line it). The surface has been treated to be fingerprint-resistant and anti-microbial, and it has dynamic sensing that’ll adapt to your tasks to avoid any false triggers.

Customer review: “Spent some time thinking about this purchase due to the cost as on the pricey side for a kitchen bin. However, we have been absolutely delighted and worth every penny. Have previously had a high-end touch bin but the spring in the lid broke less than 12 months after purchase which meant it only opened very slightly which made it difficult to use."

“Having taken the plunge and invested in this item could not be happier. The motion sensor works really well and I love the fact it is not necessary to touch the bin, so much more hygienic. The cat is not quite so happy and runs for the hills if in close range when we use it but he will no doubt get used to it.”

Pros

  • The motion sensor works well
  • Well suited to modern kitchens
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • In smaller kitchens, it may open if you get too close

Best for style

We’re a little obsessed with the Swan Retro Square Sensor Bin, available in a range of colours and in this stylish retro design. The colour-coated iron body is visually appealing and easy to clean, and fitted with the sensor it’ll open and close by itself for convenient, hands-free rubbish disposal. Not only does it look great, but it’s a great size too – at 45 litres, it’ll minimise the need to empty the bin in growing families.

Customer review: “I love this bin, easy to put together and so handy to use and love the fact that I do not have to use a pedal to open or shut, just a small wave at the sensor and that's it!! Chose the colour to match my other Swan kitchen items and really happy with my purchase, which arrived undamaged in good packing too. Definitely 5 stars!”

Pros

  • A fun range of colours
  • Good bag retaining ring
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Some found the mechanism to be a little loud

Best budget sensor bin

The Tower Sensor Kitchen Bin was the best, most affordable sensor bin we could find. With the sensor's silent lid mechanism, you can open the bin with a simple wave that closes after five seconds of inactivity. The removable lid is handy for bin liner changes, and if you’re not a fan of the grey, it also comes available in black, cream, and silver at the same low price.

Customer review: “Bought this to replace a previous sensor bin (different brand) after the lid stopped operating properly. Perfect size and looks great, although the bin is metal the lid is plastic which I find easier to keep clean than my previous lid which was metal. The only thing is getting used to the sensor as this is located front-facing whereas my previous one was on top of the lid bit getting used to it now and it stays open long enough to scrape any leftovers into. Would recommend.”

Pros

  • Really affordable
  • Straightforward to set up
  • Easy to empty and clean

Cons

  • The bin is a bit basic-looking

Best voice control sensor bin

simplehuman Dual Rectangular Sensor Bin with Voice Control
Price: $299.95
Alternative retailers
Wayfair$299.99View offer
Bloomingdale's$299.99View offer

At the other end of the scale, you can find the Simplehuman Dual Rectangular Sensor Bin with Voice Control, an expensive yet seriously high-tech bin that has everything you could want from a kitchen bin and more. It has dual compartments so you can neatly sort your rubbish and recycling, the same liner pocket as the Simplehuman Semi-Round Sensor Bin, and a hands-free motion sensor. On top of this, it comes with voice control so you can tell your bin to open and close with three microphones built-in for voice recognition accuracy, even in loud or busy environments.

Customer review: “Does exactly what it says on the can! Love that you don't have to touch it, so no fingerprints and no mess as it's open when you put messy things in it.”

Pros

  • Fingerprint-proof
  • Sleek and stylish
  • A dual bin for rubbish and recycling
  • Voice control

Cons

  • None

Best multi-compartment sensor bin

If you really want to customise the compartments within your bin, look no further than the Cook Professional Recycling Sensor Bin. It has a huge 75-litre capacity divided into different sections; the top general waste bin can be one bin or divided into two, and the same can be applied to the bottom section too. Have two to four compartments perfect for dividing rubbish, recycling and food waste all within one bin, with infrared sensors keeping your hands free and hygienic.

Customer review: “I have had this product for about a month, the product quality is very high, so pleased with it and the non-touch opening of the lid I find really useful.”

Pros

  • One bin solution to multiple
  • Easy to change bin bags
  • Space-saving

Cons

  • The bottom bin section is not sensor-operated - you will need to use your hands

Best For hygiene

Not only does this bin have smart sensors so you can operate it without even touching it, but it also comes with an oversized lid that’s been designed to cleverly hide any unsightly bag overflow. Unlike other sensor bins on our list, this EKO Horizon bin comes without an inner bucket – so you get more capacity in a compact bin – and it comes with handles for easy movement and transportation around your home.

Customer review: “This bin is super quality and great value for money. The hands-free lid opening and closing is brilliant so much more hygienic.”

Pros

  • Solid and sturdy
  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • Quality design and aesthetic

Cons

  • It needs six AA batteries to operate - not as eco-friendly as the brand claims to be

Best compact sensor bin

Morphy Richards has their own affordable sensor bin that doesn’t compromise on quality. Made from steel, the body is durable and non-corrosive, whilst the retainer ring keeps bin liners securely in place, no matter how heavy the weight of your rubbish. With this bin, you also get three, lemon-scented bin liners including an impressive five-year guarantee when you register your product online.

Customer review: “Nice and compact design means it fits away nicely. The gently sloping sides mean that bags can be removed easily. The sensor works well, and the bin opens and closes reliably. The motor isn't too strong so will not close fully if there is anything blocking it. A nice touch is the plastic ring that secures the bin bag to the base prior to the lid being placed on top. May be worth placing it in a position where there is not too much foot traffic, as the sensor is quite sensitive it can open the bin when you walk closely past it.”

Pros

  • Compact design for a decent capacity
  • Sturdy base
  • Easy to empty and clean

Cons

  • Motor isn't the strongest so it won't close fully if anything is blocking it

Best value large sensor bin

The Tower Recycling Sensor Bin offers a generous 70-litre capacity, great for both single and large households, with a top compartment that can be divided for rubbish and recycling, and a bottom compartment ideal for paper waste. The smart, silent sensor lid activates when objects are 15-20cm in front of the bin and closes five seconds later, convenient and hygienic, with a bin freshener holder in the bin to keep it smelling fresh.

Customer review: “Easy to use and most importantly clean. I like the flexibility of the different compartments as we currently don’t need both top and bottom splitting in half but we will in the near future so it will be very convenient and save us having to have extra bins.”

Pros

  • Good value
  • The flexibility of use with different compartments
  • Despite its compact size, it has a large capacity

Cons

  • Some customers have struggled to find suitable bin liners

Best sensor bin for small households

EKO DLX Phantom Recycling Sensor Bin
Price: £161.49 (was £189.99)

ekohome.co.uk

This sensor bin is designed very much the same as the EKO Deluxe Phantom Sensor Bin, just with a slightly lower capacity, better suited to smaller households, that has been divided into two colour-coded 20-litre buckets for separating recyclables from general waste. It looks equally as sleek in the brushed stainless steel with a dual opening lid with soft close hinges, activated with the motion sensor.

Customer review: “I LOVE my new bin. No more fingerprints. This is an elegant item, easy to empty and re-bag, a nice size for two of us and ultra-handy for the recycling division. Great product if a little on the pricey side. Overall though good value.”

Pros

  • Works reliably
  • Easy to use
  • Minimalist design
  • Manual option available with touch buttons

Cons

  • None

OUR VERDICT: Which Is The Best Sensor Bin?

The best sensor bin for you will depend on your household size and budget, but we would highly recommend the EKO DLX Phantom Sensor Bin and Simplehuman Semi-Round Sensor Bin. Both measuring 45 litres in capacity, great for the average household, each combines style and technology to create a hygienic sensor bin that’ll keep your bin liners firmly in place. With a curved and slim design, both would fit neatly in most kitchens whilst the sleek stainless-steel finish will remain free from fingerprints, even from enquiring little hands.

FAQs

Key Features To Look For In A Sensor Bin

Capacity: If you want to avoid taking the bins out too regularly, you should look for a reasonable-sized bin to suit your household. A 30-40 litre bin is good for small households, a 40-50 litre bin is ideal for families of two to four, whilst a bin with a capacity of 50+ is best for larger households who produce a lot of kitchen waste.

Material: The most common materials for kitchen bins are plastic and stainless steel with most sensor bins being made of the latter. It helps that this is the best material to look for in your kitchen bin. It’s sturdy, sleek, fire-resistant, and easy to clean.

Design: If like us, you’re all about aesthetics, you’ll want to look out for a bin that ticks all your boxes for style and functionality. Depending on the size and shape of your kitchen, you may prefer a rounded, square, or rectangular bin, whilst some come in different colours too. You might also prefer a sensor bin that comes with separate internal bins for your recycling. Or, you can choose a separate recycling bin to keep on top of your eco-friendly habits.

Do Sensor Bins Need Batteries?

Yes, for your bin’s sensor to work, you’ll need to kit them out with the required batteries. The type and number of batteries can vary from model to model. So, make sure to check this when you buy. You should also check if your bin comes with the batteries included. If not, make sure you have some to hand so can you start using it straight away.

How Do You Fix A Sensor Bin?

As a sensor bin is much more complicated compared to a standard kitchen bin, you may run into issues with the sensitivity of the sensor or lid-opening mechanism.

Luckily, any issues are pretty easy to troubleshoot:

Make sure the sensor is clean and the clear film has been removed

Make sure the bin is on a flat surface

Try brand new batteries or make sure the existing batteries are installed correctly

Follow the instructions to recalibrate or reset the sensor

If you find after all these attempts that your bin still isn’t working quite right, most of the sensor bins on our list come with multi-year guarantees so you can get them replaced.

Why Does My Bin Smell?

Banish those nasty smells that emanate from your bins, especially after a warm day. As well as making sure your bin is regularly emptied, it’s also important to regularly disinfect both your indoor and outdoor bins.

It's probably odd to think of cleaning the one spot where you throw away rubbish but it's certainly a must to get rid of those smells and give you peace of mind that your kitchen and household bins are hygienically clean. Products like spray disinfectants and antibacterial wipes are ideal.

We recommend Zoflora’s Multipurpose Disinfectant Cleaner which you can spray until a light coverage is achieved, before wiping down to remove grease and grime. Then in between bin cleans, use Zoflora wipes in our favourite scent, Sweet Pea, to eliminate malodours and leave behind a beautiful fragrance.

sensor bin in kitchen
©Getty Images

Where Should I Keep My Kitchen Bin?

Where you keep your bin can really depend on the size and shape of your kitchen. However, it’s recommended to keep your bin away from your fresh food, within reach of your food preparation area, and near other cleaning zones such as your kitchen sink. Depending on the position of the sensor on your sensor bin, you may also need to consider placing your bin in an area where it can’t be set off frequently.

Which Is The Best Type Of Waste Bin To Use In A Kitchen?

For optimal hygiene, a sensor bin is the best type of bin to use in your kitchen. But, we appreciate it might be a tad out of budget. If so, choosing a pedal bin is the next best option. With foot operation, it’s hands-free and the most commercially available style of kitchen bin if you’re looking for a choice of designs, sizes, and capacities.

Eleanor Weaver was the Deputy Homes & Garden Product Editor for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in kitchen accessories and appliances, including washing machines and microwaves. Having been a renter for a decade now, she loves looking for home inspiration in her spare time and is a master of DIY.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us