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The Best Trash Bags of 2022

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Editor's Choice Product image of Glad ForceFlexPlus Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags
Best Overall

Glad ForceFlexPlus Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags

The Glad ForceFlex Plus is both strong and flexible. Read More

Pros

  • Strong
  • Flexible

Cons

  • Not many bags
Editor's Choice Product image of Solimo Tall Kitchen Bags - 13 Gallon
Best Value

Solimo Tall Kitchen Bags - 13 Gallon

The Solimo are easy to use and tie up, and no unpleasant odors escaped the bag. Read More

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Stretchy
  • Comes with a lot of bags

Cons

  • None that we could find
Product image of Hefty Ultra Strong - 13 Gallon

Hefty Ultra Strong - 13 Gallon

The Hefty Ultra Strong is a great option because it’s very durable and simple to use. Read More

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • None that we could find
Product image of Glad ForceFlex - 13 Gallon

Glad ForceFlex - 13 Gallon

The Glad ForceFlex contains odors like a champ and is very stretchy. Read More

Pros

  • Stretchy
  • Contains odors

Cons

  • Not very sturdy
Product image of Kirkland Signature Flex-Tech Kitchen Trash Bags, 13 Gallon

Kirkland Signature Flex-Tech Kitchen Trash Bags, 13 Gallon

With 200 bags to a box, you'll want to be sure you enjoy the product before you buy. We don't think you'll be disappointed with this one. Read More

Pros

  • Strong
  • Moderate flexibility
  • Comes with a lot of bags

Cons

  • Drawstrings don't cinch up as tightly as others

It’s easy to underestimate the value of a great trash bag—that is, until you have to take out the garbage in a weak, leaky bag. Even if you're sold on the necessity of a good garbage bag, it's tough to know which to buy. As they don't come in sample sizes, trying out a new brand of trash bag could mean that you’re stuck using month’s worth of bags less than impressed with.

Fortunately, we're here to help.

After spending weeks researching and testing the most popular trash bags on the market, as well as some notable store brands, we’re confident the Glad ForceFlex Plus (available at Amazon) are the best option, for most people. They tie up easily and can accommodate large, heavy loads. If you're looking for something more budget-friendly, you'll want to check out the Solimo (available at Amazon). They're durable and you're getting a ton of bags in the box.

These are the best trash bags we tested:

  1. Glad ForceFlex Plus Tall
  2. Hefty Ultra Strong
  3. Glad ForceFlex
  4. Kirkland Signature Flex-Tech
  5. Solimo Tall
  6. Up & Up FlexGuard Tall
  7. Great Value Tall
  8. 365 Everyday Value Tall
  9. Glad Guaranteed Strong
  10. Hefty Strong
A person throwing a trash bag into a trash bin.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The The Glad ForceFlex Plus trash bags are both durable and strong.

Best Overall
Glad ForceFlexPlus Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags

The Glad ForceFlex Plus Tall trash bags are easy to use and come in a box of 68 bags.

During weight testing, the ForceFlex Plus was able to contain up to 35 pounds of dumbbells before it finally gave in and split open. The majority of the other trash bags in this guide tore open at 25 pounds or less. The bag’s ability to hold so much weight also speaks to its capacity to resist tearing when sharp-side objects are jammed into it. This resilience could mean the difference between you making it to the curb with your trash bag in one piece or, having it split open three steps out of your home, spewing garbage all over your front steps.

When the time came to take out the trash, we found these plastic drawstring trash bags pulled together in one smooth motion. Once tied, a tight seal was created which helped keep the unpleasant smell of the garbage inside of the bag from wafting through our kitchen.

Pros

  • Strong

  • Flexible

Cons

  • Not many bags

Our Best Value trash bag.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Solimo trash bags are affordable, sturdy, and stretchy.

Best Value
Solimo Tall Kitchen Bags - 13 Gallon

Available exclusively for purchase online, Amazon’s Solimo Tall trash bags come in packages of 120: enough to keep most people from having to order more, for a good long time.

During our weight test, the Solimo was able to support 30 lbs of dumbells before tearing under its heavy load. Unlike our Best Overall pick, the Solimo bags are unscented. However, they were still able to hold in any icky smells while they were tied up to take to the curb.

Pros

  • Sturdy

  • Stretchy

  • Comes with a lot of bags

Cons

  • None that we could find

How We Tested Trash Bags

Three rolled up trash bags in a row.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

To determine the relative strength of each bag, we designed a test to push the limits of each bag until it broke.

The Testers

I’m Georgia Kral, a journalist and professor. I’ve been testing products for Reviewed and other sites for a few years now. As a mother of two young kids, you’d be correct to assume a lot of garbage is produced in my house, including diapers! I know the importance of a good trash bag, which is why I decided to put these products through the wringer.

Kevin Oliver was the original tester and writer of this buying guide.

The Tests

To find the best, we put each product in this guide through a series of practical tests. We focused our product testing on tall kitchen bags, as opposed to contractor bags or other sizes meant for lawn or heftier use.

First, we inserted each brand of bag into a 13-gallon trash can and used it as, well, a trash bag to toss garbage into, throughout the week. We specifically used 13-gallon trash bags because they're the most common size. We paid special attention to how easily each bag fit into our trash can, how difficult it was to tie while still in the can, and how hard it was to remove a full bag from the can once full and tied.

To determine durability, we turned to Reviewed’s chief scientist, David Ellerby, at our labs in Cambridge, MA. Dr. Ellerby tested the maximum weight capacity of each trash bag, by adding dumbbells to each bag in five-pound increments, until the bag finally surrendered under its load and broke. Most of the bags gave way under 30 pounds of weight. Others couldn’t hold more than 25 pounds.

What You Should Know About Buying Trash Bags

While not all trash bags are the same, you can expect certain characteristics to be present in each.

  • Size: If your trash bag hangs over the receptacle by four inches, it’s too long. It’s way more bag than you realistically need. Ideally, you’d want the trash bag to hug the circumference of the barrel by an inch or two. You don’t want to waste money on a bag that’s way too big.

  • Material: Most trash bags available today are made out of low-density polyethylene, which is a lightweight plastic that’s relatively tough and tear resistant. This type of plastic takes years to degrade, though, so it’s not very eco-friendly. If you’d rather go the biodegradable route, we’d recommend checking out reusable trash bags.

  • Durability: For kitchen barrels and outdoor bins, you’ll want to go with a low-density trash bag. They’re thicker and more durable than most run-of-the-mill trash bags. Not only are they able to hold heavy loads, but they can also withstand objects with sharp or pointed edges like cardboard or wood. A more durable trash bag also lends itself, potentially, fewer liquid leaks.


Other Trash Bags We Tested

Product image of Hefty Ultra Strong - 13 Gallon
Hefty Ultra Strong - 13 Gallon

The Hefty Ultra Strong trash bags are quite durable. There’s 80 bags per box and they can hold up to 35 pounds of dumbbells weight before failing, which means it can handle larger loads and bulkier items. The drawstrings also fastened tightly when we cinched the bag shut. While they performed similarly to our top pick, we preferred the ForceFlex Plus’ scented bags to the Ultra Strong’s unscented ones.

Pros

  • Durable

  • Easy to use

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of Glad ForceFlex - 13 Gallon
Glad ForceFlex - 13 Gallon

The Glad ForceFlex trash bags contains odors like a champ and there are 120 bags per box, so it should last you a while until you’ve got to hit the store again. The bag can hold up to 30 pounds of dumbbell weight, making it a reasonably durable option. The drawstrings also cinched up the bag nice and tight, and it was easy to put the bag in a trash can. They performed similarly to our top pick. However, during testing, we discovered that the ForceFlex holds less weight than its Plus variation.

Pros

  • Stretchy

  • Contains odors

Cons

  • Not very sturdy

Product image of Kirkland Signature Flex-Tech Kitchen Trash Bags, 13 Gallon
Kirkland Signature Flex-Tech Kitchen Trash Bags, 13 Gallon

Available in boxes of 200, Kirkland Signature Flex-Tech trash bags are a good option for anyone looking to buy in bulk.

During day-to-day use, these bags withstood any trash we threw at them and were able to accommodate larger items, without tearing. During weight testing, these bags proved capable of holding up to 35 pounds of weight

Unfortunately, we found that when the time came to take out the trash, its drawstrings couldn’t cinch up as tightly as other trash bags in this guide.

Pros

  • Strong

  • Moderate flexibility

  • Comes with a lot of bags

Cons

  • Drawstrings don't cinch up as tightly as others

Product image of Up & Up FlexGuard Tall Kitchen Trash Bags - 13 Gallon
Up & Up FlexGuard Tall Kitchen Trash Bags - 13 Gallon

The Up & Up FlexGuard bags from Target held 25 pounds of dumbbells before finally tearing open. They might be a good choice for use in an office environment, where lighter items tend to end up getting chucked in the garbage, more often than not. However, for kitchen duty, you’ll want to consider using one of the more durable bags, found in this guide.

Additionally, there are only 25 Up & Up bags in each box, meaning that you’ll find yourself running out to buy more, a lot more often than you might like.

Pros

  • Stretchy

  • Strong

  • Made of thicker plastic

Cons

  • Not many bags per box

Product image of Great Value Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags - 13 Gallon
Great Value Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags - 13 Gallon

Walmart’s Great Value Tall trash bags come in a box of 40. We noticed that they felt thinner than other bags we tested for this guide. Subjectively, there’s not much stretch to them and they felt a little flimsy.

During testing, they were only able to hold about 25 pounds of dumbbell weight before breaking.

Pros

  • None that we could find

Cons

  • Thin

  • Flimsy

Product image of 365 Everyday Value Tall Drawstring Kitchen Bags, 13 Gallon
365 Everyday Value Tall Drawstring Kitchen Bags, 13 Gallon

The Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value Tall trash bags can hold up to 30 pounds before they’ll break. They have easy-to-handle drawstrings that allow for a tight when you’re taking out the trash.

However, they’re only available in boxes of 20. If you’ve got a lot of trash, you’ll blaze right through a single box.

Don't avoid them if you see them at Whole Foods, but don't go out of your way to pick them up.

Pros

  • Drawstrings are easy to work with

  • Decent flexibility

Cons

  • Don't support much weight

Product image of Glad Guaranteed Strong Trash Bags, 13 Gallon
Glad Guaranteed Strong Trash Bags, 13 Gallon

In terms of everyday use, the Glad Guaranteed Strong trash bags get the job done without much fuss. Available in a box of 90 bags, they held about 30 pounds of dumbbell weight before tearing apart. Additionally, its drawstrings were sturdy and fastened tightly at the top, making it easy to lift a full bag out of the trash can.

Pros

  • Sturdy drawstrings

Cons

  • Don't support much weight

  • Not that flexible

Product image of Hefty Strong Trash/Garbage Bags (Kitchen Drawstring, 13 Gallon)
Hefty Strong Trash/Garbage Bags (Kitchen Drawstring, 13 Gallon)

The Hefty Strong trash bags held up to 30 pounds of weight. There are also 90 bags per box and it comes unscented. Unfortunately, we detected a small dribbling leak during daily use, which is why it got bumped down the list.

Pros

  • Decent strength

  • Surprisingly flexible

  • Seals up tightly

Cons

  • Not many bags per box

Meet the testers

Kevin Oliver

Kevin Oliver

Contributor

@kevintheoliver

Kevin Oliver is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

See all of Kevin Oliver's reviews
Georgia Kral

Georgia Kral

Contributor

Georgia Kral is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

See all of Georgia Kral's reviews

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