Simplehuman 40-Liter Slim Plastic Step Can Full Review

simplehuman trash can profile


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simplehuman trash can 40litertrash bags three quarter

Today I review the Simplehuman 40 liter slim plastic step can in full detail. Why would I spend the time reviewing a trash can in depth you ask? Well for the small subset of people out there who love to research in-depth before pulling the trigger on an actual product, this is for you. I love to do the research, especially if it’s going to be a product I’m going to use on a daily basis.

simplehuman trash can top

trash bags three quarter

See I, like many others, wouldn’t normally give the kitchen trash can much thought. However after moving apartments and using a trash can which would never really properly open when stepped on, I thought it would be a great opportunity to do a bit of research and after checking out many reviews online, I decided on a Simplehuman trashcan for a few reasons:

1.)  It was available in white (out of three possible colors, white, black, or grey)

2.)  I liked the idea that Simplehuman had tested their peddles and they go on to say a figure of 150,000 steps (20 steps a day for 20 years)

3.)  Simplehuman trash cans are easy to find in any store to test before buying

4.)  I liked the idea of a silent lid close. (some of their smaller bins don’t have this)

5.)  5 year warranty on their bins apparently backed by good customer service

The 40l (10.57 gallons) was a good size to put next to the counter-top in our kitchen. The white compliments the white cabinetry that we have. I also liked the idea of a plastic bin which has more of a subtle design cue than a bold stainless steel can.

Without further ado, here are the ins and outs; the full review:

Getting the trash-can

I ended up going straight to Simplehuman themselves and ordering off of their website, but they are available in tons of stores and on Amazon.

With standard packaging post (through Canada Post) the trash-can arrived alongside a smaller bin I had ordered separately and the bags for the 40l bin in just under a week. But oddly enough the lid did not arrive. A quick call to customer service and one was sent out immediately, they did say it was odd to which I agreed.

Front view simplehuman trashcan 40l40l slim trashcan backsimplehuman trashcan profilesimplehuman trash can profile

Another week later the lid arrived. Assembly was pretty straight forward. There were instructions on the inside of the lid in the form of a sticker. Just involved hooking the lid onto the main trash-can part and popping it into the hinges. Easiest way to do it was to hook the lid on, then close the lid, then bang on the lid with your hands where the hinges are to lock the lid in.

The trashcan and lid both had stickers on them which I normally hate peeling off, but they came off super easy. Now I was good to go!

Style and design

As a designer myself, I liked the sleek modern look of this bin. The matte white finish does make dust a little more noticeable, but it forces me to put my trash into the can in a slightly slower and controlled fashion vs. just dumping it in.

inside of simplehuman 40l slim

40l simplehuman slim white trashcan

simplehuman trashcan opening

The slim design has about the same depth as an actual kitchen cabinet (well our cabinets anyway), so it sits alongside nicely without sticking out too much at all. The chrome lock for the lid is a nice touch, but I’ve noticed after a few weeks that the finish is starting to wear off on this, nothing major, just along the top sharp edge, but for a bin this price I would have expected a finish that is a bit more durable.

The chrome finish foot peddle is nice and tucks in under a recess at the bottom. There is also a bit of styling at the top of the bin to give a slightly edgy look (kind of like a Lamborghini – yeah I just compared a trashcan to a Lambo..)


I love the rectangular shape. It really does maximize the space outside and inside compared to a round bin. I bought the 50 pack Simplehuman type plastic bags to go with this bin as I wanted an easy fit and something that wouldn’t explode with the amount of garbage this takes.

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I think if you are going to get this bin, then the bags are definitely a good buy. $20 for 50 would last about a year by my calculations for 2 adults after testing this bin for a few weeks (about a bag a week — some obvious math for ya there)

The bags are nice and roomy and fit inside the bin well. However it is a bit finicky trying to overlap the bag without anyone seeing it from the outside with the lid closed. It takes me a few minutes every time to wrap the bag around the lip and adjust so with the lid closed the bag doesn’t show. So not super easy, but not super hard here.

Every day usage

A lot of reviews online said that the bin held odour really well. This was a potential dealbreaker for me as the bin is in close proximity to our dining table. However I’m happy to say the bin holds the smell in really well when the lid is closed. Obviously you smell the contents when the can is open, especially given that it can hold 40l, so food scraps at the bottom will cause a slight smell after a while.

The lid is easy to open, but requires a controlled stomp down or the lid will fly up. Doesn’t take long to get used to it, so no big issues. The closing is buttery smooth however, I have to give it to Simplehuman here, they did a great job with that mechanism.

The inside has a lot of grooves and knooks in the bottom due to the wheels on the outside. I think cleaning this by hand would be a little tough. But the Simplehuman bags seems strong enough to not to tear, so a crazy trash explosion incident probably won’t happen (fingers crossed as it hasn’t happened to me yet).

Simplehuman trash can bags

I went with the size ‘K’ liner size. These are a great fit, but as mentioned above require a little bit of shifting around to get into place so they remain unseen with the lid closed.

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simplehuman size k garbage bag

The bags have an awesome drawstring at the top which makes lifting and tying the bags extremely easy. Top marks here Simplehuman!

trash bags full view size k

The actual plastic seems durable enough to hold a full can of trash easy. In my time so far I have put mildly sharp objects in, lots of food scraps, cardboard and other bits and pieces and the bags have held up fine. Trust me – if there was an explosion you’d here about it here.

The wheels

For a trash can of this nature I don’t really have the need to wheel it. Others may wheel theirs, but I see no need to have to wheel this thing. It’s so light to pick up, even with garbage in it. And when emptying I just grab the whole bag and tie it up.

simplehuman trashcan wheel

So for me the wheels are just pure aesthetics with no use to me, BUT if you want that sort of thing, they seem to do their job well enough after trying to roll this bin around a bit for testing across a tiled kitchen floor and a wooden floor. Not sure about carpet though, but the wheels are large enough I’m sure they will go fine.

The final verdict

simplehuman bin with bag insideSimplehuman really did a great job with this 40 liter trash-can. The design is well thought out and for a bin at this price range $40 USD, $50 CAD, I can’t think of anything else that you would go for. There are a few quirks like the lid being easy to fly open or the chrome finish on the lock fading easily, but the benefits of this trashcan are awesome.

Simply put – you don’t have to worry. No more worrying about smell, no more worrying about the foot peddle breaking, no more worrying about finding the right bag size, and no more worrying about an ugly trashcan (okay maybe the last point is only for the design-minded).

Shelling out $50 CAD and another $20 for the bags is totally worth it over buying a crappy $30 bin that will break after a year anyway. I’d highly recommend this trashcan if you’re looking for an easy to use good looking bin at this price range and size.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments, or if you think there are better alternatives out there in the $50 range!


Author: Edwin

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