Your trash bags hold a bunch of gross stuff. The last thing you need is for the bag to break and for its contents to spill onto you and the floor. That’s why we’re here to recommend to you the best trash bags on the market.
Whether you need a biodegradable option, a bag for leaves and lawn items, a drawstring option, or something else — we can help you find the best of the best.
- 12 mil thickness
- Drawstring handles
- Leak proof & tear resistant
- Mostly plant-based
- Puncture & leak proof
- Fits tall trash cans
- Convenient drawstring closure
- Tear- & leak-resistant
- 39 gallons of space
- Odorshield technology
- Two layers to prevent leaks
- Three-ply drawstring
- 95-gallon capacity
- For commercial & household waste
- Leak- and tear-proof
- Convenient drawstring closing
- Made mostly from recycled plastics
- Convenient drawstring mechanism
- 3-ply construction
Are Trash Bags Sanitary?
Yes, they’re perfectly hygienic for keeping your trash. Trash bags are the best place to store your trash. They keep everything contained so that things don’t spill out when you’re taking out the trash. Plus, they keep the inside of your trash can clean.
A lot of people also use trash bags for packing and moving, which is totally fine. However, some people think it’s okay to use trash bags for storing food. That’s actually a dangerous decision.
Garbage bags are not made with food-grade plastic, so it’s not safe to store food in them (1). The chemicals in the bags can easily contaminate your food. Instead, store your food in reusable tupperware to save money and cut down on plastic waste.
What Makes a Trash Bag Strong?
High-quality materials and superior construction make a trash bag strong.
One thing that a strong trash bag has is elasticity. So when it’s super full and heavy, it doesn’t rip open. Instead, it stretches slightly to distribute the weight better.
Next — a good trash bag will feel slightly thick. If it’s really thin, it will puncture easily, which leads to tears and leaks.
Lastly is the trash bag density. Similar to thickness, if a trash bag is low density, it’s going to be thicker, more flexible and resistant to tearing. If it’s high density, it’s going to be thinner. These are a great choice for office and bathroom trash cans where most of the waste is paper.
How Long Do Trash Bags Take to Decompose?
Some sources state it can take between 10 and 20 years for a plastic bag to decompose (2). However, plastic bags haven’t been around for that long, so we don’t know exactly how long some plastic takes to decompose. Some sources predict it could take upwards of 500 years (3).
So, overall, it can take between 10 and 1000 years for a plastic bag to decompose in landfill (4).
How to Choose the Best Trash Bags
When you shop for trash bags, it’s normal to grab the first one you see on the shelf, especially if it’s on sale. But to really get the best of the best, here are the top details to consider when buying new trash bags.
How durable is the bag going to be? The best way to measure this is to check the density. A low-density trash bag is going to be most durable.
Second, check the thickness, which is measured in mils. We recommend going for something 0.9 mils or higher. This is the standard thickness for a kitchen bag, but the higher this number — the more durable the bag.
As mentioned, it can take around 20 years for a plastic bag to decompose. Maybe even longer. So if you want to cut down on plastic waste, choose an eco-friendly bag.
Some are made from recycled plastic, which definitely eases your carbon footprint. Others are compostable, so they will biodegrade much quicker. This is definitely way kinder on the environment. However, eco-friendly trash bags aren’t that popular yet — so we only have a few options on our list.
Garbage waste can be really stinky. If you are sick of the stench, choose a garbage bag that has added odor control.
Most kitchen trash cans are around 13 gallons, but yours might be different. Always check the size of your trash can first before buying new trash bags. For instance, are you buying trash bags for your bathroom bin, kitchen bin or outdoor bin? Then you’ll need a different size of trash bag.
We always buy trash bags with a closing mechanism. It makes it so much easier to tie the bag and take out the trash. You can get bags with handles, ties or even better — drawstrings — which make this nasty chore a little bit easier.
Finally, how versatile is the trash bag? If you’re looking to save some pennies, you might want something that works in different areas of the home.
Maybe you want a bag that fits a few different trash cans. In that case, we recommend going for a bigger size so you can fit it into all trash cans.
Maybe you want something that serves as a trash bag but also storage while you’re packing and moving. In that case, we recommend something extra durable.
The Best Trash Bags of 2021
We’ve spent hours researching real customer reviews, expert advice, as well as applying our own insight to recommend to you the seven best trash bags on the market.
1. Aircover 8-12 Gallon Biodegradable Trash Bags
The Aircover trash bags are our top pick for a biodegradable option. They use technology to ensure the trash bags decompose into carbon dioxide and water by microorganisms in soil. However, they still break down naturally in landfill. The sunlight and heat is the catalyst for this process.
It takes about two years for these trash bags to biodegrade which is significantly quicker than regular plastic trash bags. However, it’s still long enough to ensure that they won’t start decomposing when they’re in use or stored in your home.
- Decompose within two years.
- 1.2 mil thickness.
- Drawstring handles.
- Leakproof and tear-resistant.
|Durability||1.2 mil thickness, holds up to 66 pounds|
2. Plant-Based - Hippo Sak Tall Kitchen Bags
If you have a tall trash can, you need a tall bag! The Hippo Sak Tall Kitchen Bags are the way to go. They have a 13 gallon capacity, and the dimensions are 15.5 inches X 8.5 inches X 29 inches. Make sure to measure your trash can before ordering to make sure they fit!
What makes them so great? First, they have wide useful handles which makes it easy to take them out the trash can and tie them for mess-free removal.
Next up, they’re super strong. Even though they’re made from mostly plant-based materials, the bags are still leak-, tear- and puncture-proof.
Finally, they have a reinforced bottom, making them 10 times stronger than similar trash bags. So if the bag is really heavy, the bottom won’t split and spill.
- Made from mostly plant-based and renewable materials.
- Puncture and leak proof.
- Fits tall trash cans.
- Reinforced bottom.
- They aren’t biodegradable or compostable.
|Durability||1.02 mil thickness, reinforced bottom|
|Eco-Friendliness||At least 80% plant based materials, but not biodegradable or compostable|
|Size||13 gallons for tall trash cans|
|Closing Mechanism||Wide handles|
3. Member's Mark 39 gal. Power-Guard
For disposing of your lawn waste, go for the Member’s Mark Power-Guard option. It holds up to 39 gallons of waste, so you have space for everything you want to dispose of.
The bag itself is leak- and tear-resistant. So if you’re disposing of sharp objects, twigs, or branches — you don’t need to worry about the bag rupturing. Dispose of your trash with confidence!
The top of the bag is twice as strong than the rest of the bag. This ensures that when the bag is full to the brim, it doesn’t tear open. As for the rest of the bag, it uses Power Flex technology to expand around larger objects without ripping.
- Twice as strong as the leading national brand.
- Convenient drawstring closure.
- Elasticated plastic so it’s tear- and leak-resistant.
- 39 gallons of space.
- Drawstring sometimes rips.
|Durability||2.2 mil thickness, Power Flex technology|
4. Glad ForceFlex Drawstring Trash Bags
For ultimate durability, we recommend the Glad ForceFlex Drawstring Trash Bag. It uses two layers of protection to limit leaks and tears. The inner layer, in particular, is super strong and resists tears before they can reach the outside of the bag.
The Leakguard technology traps liquids inside the bag and the outer layer protects against any leaks. So no matter what is lurking in your trash bag, there won’t be any leaks on your floors or shoes.
Finally, this trash bag neutralizes odors. The 3-in-1 OdorShield traps, locks and eliminates bad smells. This protects your kitchen and house from smelly diaper waste, cat litter disposal and other sources of odors.
- OdorShield technology.
- Two layers to prevent leaks and tears.
- Tall size, so they fit narrow and tall trash cans.
- Three-ply drawstring for easy removal.
- The added Febreze scent is overwhelming.
- They don’t fit regular-shaped trash cans. Best for tall ones.
|Durability||0.95 mil thickness, two layers of protection|
|Size||13 gallons for tall trash cans|
5. Veska Gallon Clear Garbage Bags
The Veska trash bags have a 95-gallon capacity so are ideal for larger trash cans or outdoor bins.
They’re made of strong, low-density plastic which handles all household and commercial waste. So whether you’re using this for your home, or your business, it’s a top choice.
Although the trash bags are clear, they are extremely durable. They have been designed to hold 95 gallons of trash without tearing or leaking. So you don’t have to worry about spills inside your trash can or all over your shoes when taking out the trash.
Plus, they’re puncture-resistant and flexible. You can definitely use these trash bags to clean up yard waste, too.
- 95-gallon capacity.
- Handles commercial and household waste.
- Leak- and tear-proof.
- Works great for yard waste.
- No closing mechanism.
|Durability||1.5 mil thickness|
|Closing Mechanism||None — you have to tie it yourself using the plastic top of the bag|
6. Solimo Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags
The Solimo trash bags are at a more budget-friendly price point, but they are still quality trash bags. If you want something that’s worth the money, but doesn’t cost a bomb, then we recommend these.
Keep in mind that these trash bags are suited to fit tall trash cans. That being said, they have a great 13-gallon capacity.
They are 0.9-mil thick, which is decent. The handy drawstring closing mechanism makes them easy to tie, lift and remove from the trash can without getting your hands dirty.
- Best value for money and budget-friendly.
- Convenient drawstring closing mechanism.
- Unscented. Great if you’re sensitive to chemical smells.
- One year satisfaction guarantee.
- They aren’t puncture-resistant.
- Not super stretchable so won’t fit on every trash can. Best for tall, narrow ones.
|Durability||0.9-mil thickness, not as durable as other options|
7. GreenPolly Blue Trash Bags with Drawstring
Drawstrings make closing a trash bag easier. So removing it from the can and to the outdoor waste facilities is a simpler (and less gross) task.
The GreenPolly Blue Trash Bags have an excellent, durable drawstring mechanism. It’s easy to use and makes carrying the bag to the outdoor bins a total breeze.
These bags are also made of 80-90 percent post-consumer plastic and reusable sources. Although this doesn’t make the bags compostable or biodegradable, it’s better than using virgin plastic like most companies do.
Lastly, these bags have three-ply construction so they’re less likely to leak or tear. However, they are on the lower side of thickness, being only 0.9 mil, so some customers have found they do puncture easily.
- Made mostly from recycled plastics.
- Convenient drawstring mechanism.
- 3-ply construction.
- May puncture and tear if overstuffed.
- May not fit standard kitchen trash cans.
|Durability||0.9-mil thickness, not as durable as other options|
|Eco-Friendliness||Made from 80-90 percent recycled plastic|
|Aircover Biodegradable Trash Bags||Biodegradable||Biodegradable||8-12 gal.||Drawstrings||80 bags|
|Hippo Sak Kitchen Bags||Tall||80% plant-based||13 gal.||Wide handles||45 bags|
|Member’s Mark Power-Guard||Leaves & Lawn||No||39 gal.||Drawstrings||90 bags|
|Glad ForceFlex Drawstring Trash Bags||Durable||No||13 gal.||Drawstrings||100 bags|
|Veska Gallon Clear Garbage Bags||Extra Large||No||95 gal.||None||25 bags|
|Solimo Tall Drawstring Trash Bags||Value for Money||No||13 gal.||Drawstring||120 bags|
|GreenPolly Blue Trash Bags||Drawstring||80-90% recycled plastic||13 gal.||Drawstring||90 bags|
What Can I Use Instead of Trash Bags?
Although trash bags are common and convenient, there are some other options.
- Reusable plastic bags: You know those heavy-duty reusable plastic bags you can get at the store? You can fashion that into a trash bag. While it’s best for paper waste and recycling — since this won’t dirty the bag — you can use it for general trash. Just be sure to wash it between uses.
- Reuse other items: If you have other items you’re going to dispose of anyway, why not put them to good use first? For example, you can upcycle your pet’s empty food bag or a big cardboard box into a temporary trash bag. That way, it gets another life before it needs to be thrown out.
- Go bagless: You could go bagless. This cuts down on plastic waste entirely. Although it means more maintenance for cleaning your trash can, and perhaps a little bit more odor, it’s a sure way to save money and cut down on plastic.
It might seem a little unfamiliar spending so much time and thought when choosing your trash bags. But no two are the same! With our seven best trash bag recommendations, we’ve narrowed it down for you so the choice is a little easier.
In general, our top pick is the Aircover 8-12 Gallon Biodegradable Trash Bags which are better for the environment, yet still super durable.
For your tall kitchen bins, we recommend the Plant-Based Hippo Sak Tall Kitchen Bags. While they’re not biodegradable, they’re still made of mostly plant-based materials. So these are kinder on the environment.
Lastly, check out the Member’s Mark 39 gal. Power-Guard bags for all your lawn and leaf waste.