Trash Cans With Lids vs Without Lids

As you know, trash cans serve a vital purpose, to store all of our refuse and unwanted items until they can be removed to their permanent location. There are various types of types of cans out there to choose from, but one of the most basic yet important decisions that you will make when buying a trashcan will not be about the size and functionality. The decision will be if a can with a lid or a can without a lid will be right for you or the purpose for which it is intended.

Where Will You Use It?


Outdoor Use

This is an important consideration when you decide to go topless or not. Let’s begin with outdoors. Many people will choose to use a lid on their outdoor trashcan or not depending factors such as the city ordinance governing garbage disposal, possibility of interference from wild animals or some other factor that can interfere with garbage placed outdoors. Unless otherwise specified, it is a good idea to keep the outdoor garbage in a lidded trashcan to avoid potential problems. It should also be locked to prevent the garbage being tampered with.

Indoor Use

For indoor use, again it’s all about the placement and individual tastes. As a general rule though, if the trashcan is visible, it should have a lid on it because refuse is usually unsightly and can also be unhygienic.


If you are placing the trashcan in the kitchen, you may want to go with a trash can with a lid or one that has a lid that is hinged so that you have the option of keeping it open or closed depending on your need at a particular time. For example, food waste tends to have an unpleasant smell and you may want to keep the trashcan in the kitchen covered to minimize the possibility of an odor coming from the trashcan. However, if you empty your trashcan every day, a can with a lid may not be as important to you.

In another scenario, you may prefer to have a can with a lid and keep that lid closed most of the time, except when you are cooking a meal and may need to access the trash can several times in a short period of time. In a situation like this, you should consider selecting a trashcan with a lid that can remain open until you choose to close it. If you live in an area where flies and other bugs can be a problem in the summertime then having a trashcan without a lid, whether visible or not, is probably not a good idea.

Bathrooms, Bedrooms

The choice of a trashcan with a lid in these areas again depends on if it will be visible or not. For visible trashcans, you can a choice between swing lids, push lids or those that open by depressing a pedal or bar with the foot. Your choice will depend on your preference as all of them work well in these settings.

Home Offices

In this setting even if the trashcan is visible, it does not necessarily need to have a lid because of the nature of the refuse in them, usually paper waste.

Regardless of the type of trashcan that you use and if it has a lid or not, it is important that it be kept clean at all times to minimize any possibility of germ spread. Be sure to check out the article on Trash Can Care and Cleanliness for some tips on that topic.

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