Last updated: September 24, 2017
No kitchen is complete without a safe and hygienic place to put your rubbish – a bin. Why not enjoy some of the finer leaps in technology and get yourself a bin that opens automatically with no need to touch it? We do truly live in the future.
Automatic sensor bins make use of a simple motion sensor that can detect movement – usually a hand wave – and open automatically. This stops you from having to touch any part of the bin directly, avoiding contamination and keeping your house more hygienic.
In addition to being more hygienic, sensor bins are also more convenient as you can easily get rid of waste food even when you have both hands full.
We’ll be taking a look at five of the best sensor bins on the market and comparing them. All of the dustbins on this list are great quality products that would work great in any kitchen, but you should consider the features that are important to you. How large do you need the bin to be? How would you prefer the sensor to work?
1. VonHaus Waste Bin for Kitchen with Automatic Motion Sensor Lid
Dimensions: 73 cm high x 37 cm wide x 30 cm deep
Capacity: 50 litres
Batteries: 3 x D
With a 50-litre capacity, this stylish stainless steel bin from VonHaus is a good size for the average household.
The VonHaus Waste Bin features an infrared LED sensor with a 40 cm range. To open the lid, you just wave your hand over the lid. The lid automatically closes after 5 seconds. The sensor requires three 1.5V (D) batteries, which unfortunately aren’t included. If for some reason you don’t want to use the sensor, you can manually operate the lid using the ‘open’ and ‘close’ buttons.
This bin is designed to firmly grip bin liners and allow you to change them quickly. The stainless steel finish looks very smart, and won’t smudge or collect fingerprint marks. To summarise, this bin is very hygienic, stylish and carefully designed.
2. Morphy Richards 42-Litre Square Sensor Bin
Dimensions: 75 cm wide x 34 cm wide x 25 cm deep
Capacity: 42 litres
Batteries: 4 x AA
This sensor bin offers great design at an extremely reasonable price point. It features a 15cm range sensor, pointed upwards. Unlike many other sensor bins, Morphy Richards have designed their bin to avoid the sensor triggering when someone walks past.
This is ideal in a smaller kitchen. It features a sleek modern design that would fit in nicely into any kitchen. It takes 4 AA batteries, which are cheap and easy to replace.
It’s worth noting that this bin is a tad smaller than most of the other bins on this list. If you’ve got a large family, it might be best to opt for a higher capacity. Furthermore, the design of this bin doesn’t hide the bin liner, unlike many other sensor bins at this price point.
All in all, this is a great sensor bin that’s worth the money. Though, give it a miss if you’ve got a large family.
3. 1home 58L Stainless Silver Steel Automatic Sensor Touchless Waste Bin
Dimensions: 67 cm high x 40 cm wide x 28 cm deep
Capacity: 58 litres
Batteries: 4 x D
Sometimes you need a little more capacity in your kitchen bin. The 1home Touchless Waste Bin offers a great 58L capacity, as well as a 68L variety if you need it.
The large capacity on this bin makes it great for large families. The useful features don’t end there. This bin features a little LED display that shows you how long the bin will remain open for.
Additionally, the bin can be opened and closed using a pair of buttons, for when you need longer than 5 seconds to get everything into the bin. There’s also a rolled lip at the top of the bin that stops bags from tearing.
Our only real concern with this bin is that the lid is feels a bit flimsy. In short, this is a great sensor bin with some great features. Perfect for the family kitchen.
4. Dihl Automatic Sensor Bin, 58L
Dimensions: 68 cm high x 40 cm wide x 28.5 cm deep
Capacity: 58 litres
The Dihl Automatic Sensor Bin is another excellent large capacity bin on a budget. This bin is also available in a 68-litre variety if you want that extra space. It lacks many of the extra bells and whistles that more expensive models have, but it does include button operation unlike some other budget bins which makes it a very attractive option.
It also includes a switch at the back of the bin so that the batteries don’t get worn out when nobody is using it. This bin features the bare essentials plus a little bit extra. Though, the build quality is still lacking compared to more expensive options and the sensor can be very easy to trigger accidentally.
If you’ve got a small kitchen, look for a more reliable sensor. However, this is a very solid sensor bin overall.
5. Deuba Automatic Sensor Kitchen Waste Bin, 56L
Dimensions: 76 cm high x 37 cm wide x 37 cm deep
Capacity: 56 litres
Batteries: 4 x AA
If you need a sensor bin on a budget, then the Deuber Sensor Kitchen Waste Bin is a fine choice. It features all the essentials for a sensor bin at a very attractive price point. It features an extremely functional sensor and a very reasonable capacity.
If you need a no-frills solution to your kitchen waste needs, then the Deuba checks all the boxes. This all being said, this bin lacks the build quality of a number of the higher end models, and the sensor doesn’t keep the lid open for long enough.
If you want a sensor bin and don’t want to spend a fortune, then Deuba have created the product for you.
About Sensor Bins
Are sensor bins any good?
Sensor bins are a relatively new type of technology, so you might be wondering how well they work. Here are a few common issues with sensor bins:
- The lid-opening mechanism can break after a few months of use
- They can get through batteries quickly
- The sensor can be too sensitive (or not sensitive enough)
It’s a good idea to read reviews of sensor bins online to see if other people have had these problems with the model you’re looking at. Some models, such as the VonHaus Waste Bin (our #1 favourite sensor bin), are very reliable and well constructed. However, no sensor bin is perfect and since they are more complicated than regular bins, there are more things that can go wrong.
How does a sensor bin work?
Sensor bins contain an infrared motion sensor on the lid that detects when you put something in front of it. They usually have a range of about 15-40 cm. When the sensor detects movement within this range, the lid springs open. After a set time period such as 5 or 10 seconds, the bin will automatically close again. This lets you put something in the bin without touching it, so you can keep your hands clean.
Many sensor bins also have manual ‘open’ and ‘close’ buttons that you can use instead of the sensor mechanism.
This video provides a visual example of how a sensor bin works: