Garbage disposals are a common and convenient method to dispose of food waste.
If you’re in the market for a new garbage disposal, or this is your first time shopping for one — we can help.
With our list of the seven best garbage disposals, you’ll find one that suits your family and needs.
- Fast and clean
- Easy installation
- Dura-drive motor
- Easy swap installation
- SoundSeal technology
- Powerful high speed motor
- Magnetic guard
- Quality motor
- Powerful enough for families
- Powerful 2700 RPM motor
- Fairly quiet
- Eight-year warranty
- High-speed motor
- Quiet humming sound
- Easy to install
- Compact and lightweight
- Continuous feed
- Durable construction
What Do Garbage Disposals Do?
A garbage disposal is an electrical unit installed between a sink drain and a trap. It shreds food waste so that it’s small enough to fit through the pipes. When it’s on, a spinning disc or plate turns quickly in a grinding chamber which chops the food into tiny pieces so they can be washed away.
Are Garbage Disposals Good for the Environment?
It depends. Many areas have a wastewater system that is committed to turning food waste into energy. However, the food waste could be going into the sewer systems or directly to landfill, which contributes to waste. We recommend checking with your local area to see what the situation is.
Overall, the best way to deal with food waste is to minimize it. This can be done through meal planning, prepping or donating scraps. You can also compost food waste which is an eco-friendly option.
Do You Need a Garbage Disposal?
Even if you don’t have a lot of food waste, or manage to compost most of your food — it’s still a good idea to have a garbage disposal. Little bits of rice, pasta and vegetables can easily fall down the sink while you’re straining them. Or perhaps a family member always dumps out leftover cereal as they rush out the door.
Having a garbage disposal for these little tasks, or bigger ones, is great. Why? Because it means your sink is less likely to get clogged. Just turn on the garbage disposal and it will shred up the food waste into tiny pieces, saving you money on a plumber!
Types of Garbage Disposal Systems
There are two types of garbage disposal systems: batch feed and continuous feed.
Batch feed garbage disposals run in batches. First, there is a cover that goes over the disposal entrance. You need to manually put food in there before turning it on. This is great because it ensures premium safety. No accidental finger injuries, or automatic starting if you accidentally drop something special — like jewelry — into the sink. However, it does take longer and these garbage disposals can be more expensive.
Continuous feed garbage disposals are more common. They keep running from when you turn them on until you switch them off again. There are lots of different brands that make these, meaning you should find something within your budget. They can also handle more food, so they’re great for bigger families. The main drawbacks are that they aren’t as safe as batch feed garbage disposals and they use more water.
How to Choose the Best Garbage Disposals
Let’s look at the top details to consider when choosing a new garbage disposal unit.
Garbage disposals come in a variety of sizes.
Will Any Garbage Disposal Fit?
Garbage disposal units are not usually universal. So, you will need to find one that fits your sink. It’s best to get a plumber to investigate this.
What Size Garbage Disposal Is Best?
It depends on how many people live in your house. Garbage disposal capacity is measured in something called HP (1). For two people, a ⅓ or ½ HP model is good. For three to five people, we recommend a ¾ HP. And for a five to eight-person household, go for a one HP. You can also get two HP models for anything over eight people or residential units.
In terms of dimensions, garbage units typically have three fits: threaded plastic nuts, large hose clamps, and mounting-ring assembly. Look at your sink to see which attachment is best suited.
Before you buy, contact your local area or building authority to check that garbage disposal units are allowed in your community. Not all areas have sewage systems that are compatible with municipal waste. This leads to plumbing issues as it can easily clog the pipes. If this is already an issue for you, we don’t recommend a garbage disposal.
As mentioned, choose your unit based on how many people are in your household. That will determine the HP size to go for. On the other hand, if you generate a lot or little food waste, go up or down a size to suit those needs.
What Horsepower Garbage Disposal Should I Get?
HP means horsepower, and it’s how a garbage disposal unit’s efficiency and power is measured. These are our recommendations:
- ⅓ or ½ HP: For one to two people.
- ¾ HP: For three to five people.
- One HP: For five to eight people.
- Two HP: For eight people or more.
Here’s a brief explanation on what these units mean.
½ HP is the most affordable option and is good for tight spaces and minimal food waste. They’re quite noisy and require a lot of water. Stainless steel is recommended for these units.
¾ HP is the most common size choice. They’re effective at grinding up most leftovers and even stubborn foods, like potato peels. These disposals are pretty quiet and unlikely to jam, but they take up a bit of space.
One HP is the best choice for meat bones, coffee grinds, fruit peels and other tough foods. They’re much quieter than lower HP models and they’re unlikely to jam. However, they are more expensive and bigger, so keep that in mind.
Two HP is the most powerful of all. We aren’t recommending any of these today as they are more suited to commercial kitchens, such as those in restaurants.
Something To Note
Do All Garbage Disposals Have Power Cords?
Garbage disposal units are electrical so they need to be attached to a power source. Most models come with a power cord, but some of the cheaper options don’t. You will need to purchase your own, in that case.
Garbage disposals aren’t cheap, but they do come in a range of prices. If you want more bang for your buck, make sure to check out the warranty to get a rough idea of how long the unit should last.
Garbage disposals can be super quiet, or rather loud. The higher the HP, the more likely it is to be quiet because of the extra insulation. If you’re bothered by loud noises, look at the features. It might have sound-quieting technology, extra insulation or coated blades.
Ease of Installation
Most garbage disposals will come with instructions for relatively easy installation. This varies depending on the brand.
Do I Need a Plumber to Install a Garbage Disposal?
No, you can do it yourself. But if this isn’t the job for you, you can definitely hire a plumber.
Garbage disposals come with a range of warranty periods, but it’s important to look at this factor.
How Long Does a Garbage Disposal Last?
Your garbage disposal should last around 10 years, but hopefully it lasts up to about 15 (2). However, warranty times can range from one to 20 years.
How Much Does a Plumber Charge to Replace a Garbage Disposal?
It depends on your area, but the price generally varies from between $80 and $200 (3). Keep in mind this does not include the price of the garbage disposal unit.
The Best Garbage Disposals of 2021
We’ve spent hours researching expert advice and the science behind garbage disposal units. With that in mind, as well as looking at real customer reviews, we have the seven best garbage disposal units to recommend to you.
1. InSinkErator Garbage Disposal Evolution Excel
The InSinkErator is a one of a kind garbage disposal, especially when it comes to noise.
In fact, it’s the quietest garbage disposal unit currently on the market. It has advanced noise-reducing, insulated SoundSeal Technology. So when you run this unit, you’ll hardly notice it.
This disposal runs at only 45 decibels which is somewhere between the sound of a refrigerator and a light rainfall.
Why We Love It
Although it’s quiet, it’s powerful. It has one HP, so it’s perfect for larger families or people who dispose of a lot of food waste.
The 40-ounce grind chamber with a galvanized steel system can grind even the toughest food scraps. Plus, it has a LeakGuard Liner for extra durability, and 3-stage MultiGrind Technology to prevent the unit from jamming.
Fast and Clean
Make cleanup quick and easy with this garbage disposal unit. It also ensures your kitchen is clean and it leaves no mess behind. It quickly disposes of tough ingredients, even bones, without making much noise at all. So you can enjoy your meal and the cleanup process more than ever before.
It’s no problem to install the InSinkErator. The quick lock mount makes it super easy to install, especially if you have had an InSinkErator model previously. Once you’re with InSinkErator, you’re with them for life since they make the switching process so easy. Just twist off the old, and twist on the new.
Keep In Mind
Many customers have complaints about the rubber opening. It’s what helps keep the unit quiet, but it can be frustrating. It doesn’t let the water drain from the sink quickly, so it builds up and dirties your sink. Plus, it doesn’t have a super strong suction to pull down the water and floating food scraps.
|Noise Level||Quietest — 45 decibels|
|Dimensions||13 x 12 x 12 inches|
2. InSinkErator Garbage Disposal + Air Switch
While most of our recommendations are continuous feed, the InSinkErator Garbage Disposal and Air Switch is by far one of the best.
The innovative design features a ¾ HP Dura-Drive Induction Motor and 2-Stage Multigrind Technology. It also has SoundSeal Technology for low noise levels.
If you have a large family or a lot of food scraps, this is the perfect choice. It guarantees fast and efficient garbage disposal.
Why We Love It
With this unit, you’re getting a high quality and outstanding motor: Dura-Drive. It operates at ¾ HP, which is exclusive to InSinkErator.
Dura-Drive is long-lasting and utilizes high grinding force to tackle most food scraps, even tough or thick ingredients. The 2-stage Multi Grind Technology aids this feature, as it grinds up food into extremely small particles.
Easy Swap Installation
If you’ve previously had an InSinkErator product installed, it’s easy to switch it out for this new one. The Quick Lock feature is compatible with all InSinkErator products.
Simply twist off the old unit and twist on the new unit. It also comes with an included garbage disposal air switch that can be installed on your countertop. You can easily clean it while wiping down your countertops.
This is a super quiet unit, using SoundSeal Technology to keep the noise levels to a minimum.
The advanced noise reduction makes this the top quietest unit from InSinkErator after the Evolution Excel and Compact unit. Customers say that when this is on, you don’t even know it’s running.
Keep In Mind
The gasket on this unit is small, with a narrow opening. This helps to reduce sound but it makes it difficult for all food scraps to get into the unit. It also means it doesn’t drain super well, so this can dirty up your sink.
Always be careful when pushing food into the unit and make sure the disposal is switched off before you do this. Otherwise, you can risk injury.
|Dimensions||8.75 x 8.75 x 12.6 inches|
3. American Standard ASD-1250 Torque Master
If you want something with ultimate power — especially for big families — look no further than the American Standard Torque Master.
With the highest horsepower on our list, this unit comes in at 1.25 HP.
This is incredibly powerful and ideal for people with lots of food waste, tough ingredients to dispose of or more than eight people living in the house.
Why We Love It
Powerful High Speed Motor
The high speed motor boasts a 1.25 HP and 2800 RPM. This unit can quickly shred and grind up most ingredients — even chicken bones and fruit peels — in just a few seconds.
We also love that it’s quiet which is exactly what you need with lots of people living in the house. While the kids are sleeping, you can turn this on without waking anyone up. It has an Insulated Sound Shell which aids its low noise level.
This disposer comes with a Bio-Shield. Inside, there’s an antimicrobial agent protection that gets rid of garbage disposal smell caused by bacterial growth. So you can toss in any food — coffee, vegetables, and small bones — without the worry of bacteria or microorganism growth. Plus, it’s safe to use with septic tanks.
Included with this unit is a Silver Guard Magnet. It’s attached under the sink around the throat of the disposer. It captures the majority of metal objects so they don’t enter the disposer chamber.
This feature prevents damage to both cutlery, metal objects as well as the disposer. That way, you can save money on repairs and increase the lifespan of the unit.
Keep In Mind
Rubber Splash Guard
There’s not much to complain about this product. It’s slightly bigger than average units and maybe a little more difficult to install. But besides that, one thing to note is the rubber splash guard. It creates a good seal around the drain but the flaps warp easily which is both unaesthetic and inconvenient.
|Dimensions||15.5 x 8.7 x 8.7 inches|
4. Moen GXS75C Host Series 3/4 HP
There’s nothing more annoying about a garbage disposal than if it jams all the time. That totally defeats the point!
With the Moen GXS75C, that’s one problem you don’t have to worry about. It has a high ¾ horsepower. Combined with the 2700 RPM, the likelihood of jams is super low.
The high-performance permanent magnet motor is specifically designed to reduce jams since it finely grates up the food.
Why We Love It
This powerful unit has a ¾ HP — the ideal size for most families. It’s ideal for homes with between three and six people. If you have average or moderate food waste, this will be the perfect size.
The sleek and compact design of this unit makes it suitable for most homes. It’s lightweight and frees up space under your sink. Another bonus: it has a Universal Xpress Mount. Simply position, twist and lock it into place.
This unit has a high quality Vortex motor which is what makes it so powerful. It has exceptional grinding power to tackle most ingredients. The permanent magnet motor fires up at full speed as soon as it’s switched on. Plus, this motor helps to reduce jams.
Keep In Mind
Despite the Sound Shield insulation — this is a noisy unit. It has a loud click noise, and while it’s operating, customers say it’s far from quiet. If you want something with minimal noise, or live in an apartment building, this might not be the unit for you.
|Dimensions||9.69 x 9.69 x 14.88 inches|
5. Moen GXB75C Host Series
For ensured safety, many people choose a batch feed garbage disposal.
The Moen GXB75C only works once you’ve engaged and locked the batch feed stopper. This prevents unwanted items from getting in while the disposer is in use.
Sure, it processes a little at a time so it does take longer than a continuous feeder. But we like that you are in control of what’s in there and what’s happening.
Why We Love It
Powerful 2700 RPM Motor
The Moen GXB75C has ¾ HP which is perfect for families, even if you have a lot of dinner guests. It can handle most scraps of food and leftovers, of course, feeding it in using small batches. It grinds at 2700 RPM which does the job efficiently and reduces the chance of jamming.
This is one of our quieter options. While the noise level is still noticeable, it’s not too loud. It uses SoundSHIELD sound-deadening insulation to reduce noise levels without compromising the unit’s power.
With a lengthy eight-year warranty, you can rest assured you’re getting your money’s worth. This unit is on the more expensive side, but with eight year’s reassurance, you can sit back, relax and let your food grind!
Keep In Mind
No Protective Gasket
Unfortunately, there’s no protective gasket with this unit. So if something falls in, it’s in there. Of course, you can work on getting it out before you start the unit, but it would be much more convenient if there was a separate gasket to prevent this in the first place.
|Noise Level||Fairly Quiet|
|Dimensions||7.5 x 7.5 x 15.63 inches|
6. Waste King Legend Series 1 HP
Looking for extra reassurance when investing in a garbage disposal?
The Waste King Legend Series 1 HP comes with a 20-year warranty. If it malfunctions or fails to work — they will replace or repair it free of charge.
This is one of the best warranties in the business for garbage disposals. You can rest assured that you’re getting your money’s worth.
Why We Love It
With a high horsepower of one and 2800 RPM, this is a workhorse in the kitchen. It’s compact, but powerful. It keeps your kitchen sink clean, tackles everyday food scraps in a matter of seconds.
With this energy-efficient grinder, you never have to worry about jams or blockage again.
Quiet Humming Sound
You might think that the high horsepower and RPM means this disposal will be so loud that you’ll get a headache. Well, you thought wrong! This unit is super quiet, with customers comparing it to the sound of someone humming.
Easy to Install
You’ll love how quick and easy this garbage disposal unit is to install. The EZ mount makes it quick to install, and the removable splashback makes for easy cleaning.
It also has a pre-installed electrical cord. So you don’t need any electrical experience to be able to slot this thing under your sink and get it working.
Keep In Mind
Although this is a durable product, it still has a lot of plastic parts which don’t hold up as well as steel. For example, the grinder barrel is made with plastic on the top ⅔ of the barrel. The drain flange is mostly plastic. It’s not super secure, and it breaks more easily than if it were made of steel.
This unit is on the larger end of garbage disposals so it’s not good for tight places or if you’re limited on kitchen space. The dimensions are 8.5 x 8.5 x 16 inches so it’s much larger than average units. Make sure you have the space for this before purchasing.
|Dimensions||8.5 x 8.5 x 16 inches|
7. Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal
The Waste King L-111 is a popular product, especially if you’re on a budget. At this friendly price point, you still get a high-quality garbage disposal that is easy to install and has a continuous feed.
Because of the price, it does have a ⅓ HP motor, which isn’t the strongest.
However, if you use it properly, minimize your food scraps and ideally, live on your own, this is an awesome choice!
Why We Love It
Compact and Lightweight
If you’re tight on space, this is a good option. It’s very compact (5.25 x 5.25 x 12.75 inches) so it should fit under most sinks. It’s also lightweight (7.5 pounds) which helps make it easy to install.
The twist and lock design means this handy little unit is quick to install. Finally, a power cord is included.
Many families prefer a continuous feed, like what the Waste King has to offer. It is activated by a wall switch and it quickly grinds food waste continuously while it’s turned on. The blades can grind up most kitchen waste in a matter of seconds.
This garbage disposal is made with a high-quality, corrosion-resistant polymer grind chamber. It has galvanized steel grind components which are reliable, long-lasting and don’t rust. It also has a splash guard which makes cleaning the disposal a total breeze.
Keep In Mind
Because this is on the lower end of the HP scale — being at ⅓ — don’t expect incredible power. It can’t handle a lot of food, or stubborn scraps like fruit and vegetable peels, or bones from meat.
Although not many customers complain about jams inside the machine, when there is a jam — it can be hard to remove. The opening is very hard to access, so unclogging the unit is difficult and you can’t see what you’re doing. Sadly, there isn’t much manufacturer guidance on how to fix jams.
|Noise Level||Rather quiet, noticeable but not too loud|
|Dimensions||5.25 x 5.25 x 12.75 inches|
|InSinkErator Garbage Disposal Evolution Excel||Quiet||Continuous feed||1||Quiet||13 x 12 x 12″||7 years|
|InSinkErator Garbage Disposal + Air Switch||Continuous Feed||Continuous feed||3/4||Quiet||8.75 x 8.75 x 12.6″||9 years|
|American Standard ASD-1250 Torque Master||High-Capacity||N/A||1||Quiet||15.5 x 8.7 x 8.7″||N/A|
|Moen GXS75C Host Series 3/4 HP||No-Jam||Continuous feed||3/4||Loud||9.69 x 9.69 x 14.88″||5 years|
|Moen GXB75C Host Series||Batch-Feed||Batch feed||3/4||Quiet||7.5 x 7.5 x 15.63″||8 years|
|Waste King Legend Series 1 HP||Warranty||Continuous feed||1||Quiet||8.5 x 8.5 x 16″||20 years|
|Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal||Cheap||Continuous feed||1/3||Quiet||5.25 x 5.25 x 12.75″||2 years|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Size Garbage Disposal Is Best?
Firstly, you need one that will fit underneath your sink so always check the dimensions.
Secondly, check out the horsepower. This isn’t a “sizing” per se, but more a grinding capacity or power measurement.
For two people, a ½ HP model is grand. For three to six people, we recommend a ¾ HP. And for a five to eight person household, go for a one HP. We also have a 1.25 HP recommendation on our list which is great for families with over eight people.
Can You Run the Garbage Disposal While the Dishwasher Is On?
The dishwasher and garbage disposal most likely share the same drainage pipes. You can get clogged pipes if you don’t make sure food particles in the disposal are cleared before using the dishwasher.
However, you definitely can run the garbage disposal while the dishwasher is on. Just be cautious about how much you put down the disposal. But generally, the pipes are already pumping away waste, so go ahead and use it!
What Causes Garbage Disposals to Leak?
Here are a few reasons why your garbage disposal might be leaking:
- There is a loose seal somewhere. This is most likely on the sink flange. It can be fixed with some plumber’s putty.
- The internal seal in the garbage disposal unit is broken, which can happen over time.
- The drain lines have become disconnected. You’ll need to tighten or reseal the connections.
What Can I Do With My Old Garbage Disposal?
If it still works, you can donate it. If it doesn’t work, you can recycle it according to manufacturer instructions and your local area’s guidelines.
You could even upcycle it into a kind of blender. Clean it up, put it over a bucket and put fruit and vegetables through it to get nice, pressed juice.
Can You Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades?
Many garbage disposals don’t use blades — instead, they have a grind chamber. But to clean and sharpen the blades, or to clean out a grind chamber, try this method:
- Throw a handful of salt and 10 ice cubes into the garbage disposal with running cold water.
- Run the garbage disposal for one minute. The ice cubes will help to sharpen the blades. The salt will scrub the grind chamber.
- Flush with cold water for 15 seconds to drain away all remaining debris.
Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smell Like Sewer?
If this is the case, get it checked out as soon as possible. It’s likely that something has happened within the system, and it can be a health hazard. Some sewer gases can be toxic and irritable, especially to people with compromised immune systems (4). Call a plumber or professional garbage disposal service immediately.
Drain, Dice, Dispose
There’s definitely a lot of information about garbage disposals and it can be overwhelming. But hopefully, our comprehensive list helped you find the perfect unit for your home.
In general, we recommend the InSinkErator Evolution Excel, especially if you want something quiet. Our next best recommendation is the InSinkErator Garbage Disposal + Air Switch which has amazing power as a continuous feeder.
Lastly, you should definitely check out the American Standard ASD-1250 Torque Master as it has the highest horsepower. Amazing for large families!