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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
  • Covers up trash smell

Cons

  • None that we could find
2
Product image of Amazon Basics Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags
Best Value

Amazon Basics Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags

At an affordable price, you can get a great trash bag from Amazon Basics that is sturdy and flexible. Read More

Pros

  • Fits snug to trash can
  • Durable

Cons

  • Sides don't stretch
3
Product image of Hippo Sak Tall Kitchen Bags
Best Sustainable Trash Bag

Hippo Sak Tall Kitchen Bags

Made from plants, the Hippo Sak is the best sustainable trash bag for its durable design and ability to hold up to 60 pounds. Read More

Pros

  • Holds 60 pounds
  • Sustainable
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Slides down trash can easily
4
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
5
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

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 Amazon Basics (available at Amazon). They're durable and you're getting a ton of bags in the box.

A person throwing a trash bag into a trash bin.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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

Best Overall
Glad ForceFlexPlus Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags

After two rounds of testing, the Glad ForceFlexPlus remains the best kitchen trash bag we've ever tested thanks to its durable design. During our tests, the bag securely held 43 pounds of water without breaking. It is also extremely tear-resistant, remaining intact despite being loaded to the brim with sharp-sided objects.

The one downside, though, is that when the bag is at capacity, the plastic drawstring broke under weight of the bags contents which could result in a messy situation when you go to take out the trash.

When the time came to take out the trash, we found these plastic drawstring trash bags pulled together in one smooth motion. However, because these stretchy bags can accommodate huge loads, the drawstring was often strained under the weight of the garbage that we thought it might break.

The bags are scented but not overpowering. It kept the trash smelling pleasant rather than faintly rotting. The scent lasts all the way until it’s time to take out the garbage proving that these trash bags have it all.

With its ultra-flexible stretchy sides and a light scent, these trash bags are durable and will work overtime to handle your messy trash.

Pros

  • Strong

  • Flexible

  • Covers up trash smell

Cons

  • None that we could find

Two views of the Amazon Basics trash can against a light peach background.
Credit: Reviewed / Amazon

The Amazon Basics trash bags are affordable, and sturdy.

Best Value
Amazon Basics Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags

We retested the Amazon Basic Tall trash bags after they were rebranded from Solimo, and were seriously impressed by the 50 pounds of water weight they could hold before breaking. Unlike our Best Overall pick, the Amazon Basics bags are unscented and aren’t as flexible—they don’t stretch like our top pick does. However, they were still able to hold in any icky smells while they were tied up to take to the curb.

At 15 cents per bag, they’re about half the price as our top pick. While these bags don’t have stretchy sides or a light fragrance to cover up the smell of trash, they get the job done and can hold a substantial amount of weight without tearing. This makes them a great value.

Pros

  • Fits snug to trash can

  • Durable

Cons

  • Sides don't stretch

Two views of the Hippo Sak teal background
Credit: Reviewed / Hippo Sak

If you're looking for a sustainable trash bag, the Hippo Sak is the best option.

Best Sustainable Trash Bag
Hippo Sak Tall Kitchen Bags

Clean up what you put your trash in with a more sustainable trash bag like the Hippo Sak. While trash bags are usually made of plastics, these Hippo Sak trash bags are made from polyethylene derived from plants like wheat grain and sugar cane.

Structurally, the material feels just like thick plastic. While there isn’t much stretch to these bags, they can handle a lot of weight. They held 60 pounds of water, the most weight out of any of the bags we tested.

The handle design of these bags looks like plastic grocery bags and makes for easy toting around, however, without the drawstring, they frustratingly fall off the rim of the trash can.

Pros

  • Holds 60 pounds

  • Sustainable

  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Slides down trash can easily

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 Simplehuman Code P Custom Fit Liners
Simplehuman Code P Custom Fit Liners

We are big fans of Simplehuman’s sleek line of trash cans, and we have similar feelings about Simplehuman kitchen trash bags. These bags feel expensive as they’re made with thick plastic. They lack the stretch and flexibility of our No. 1 pick, and can sometimes rip if overloaded, however they held an impressive 45 pounds of weight before breaking..

Simplehuman trash bags are designed to specifically fit the different trash can models, however, its code ‘P’ bags should fit a standard 13-gallon kitchen trash can. They fit snugly around the trash can rim so they didn’t fall down when stuffing trash into them.

Pros

  • Sturdy

  • Fits trash can well

Cons

  • Plastic doesn't stretch

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

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 Samantha Mangino, a staff writer at Reviewed covering the home section. I review appliances and products so you can rest assured you're buying the best stuff out there. Living in an apartment, I want a sturdy trash bag that won't leak or break in the hallway or on the way to the garbage bin.

Dave Ellerby, the Chief Scientist in the Reviewed labs, assisted in these trash bag tests. He oversees our lab testing, develops tests for new products, and updates tests to ensure they’re as meaningful as possible.

Kevin Oliver and Georgia Kral were the original testers and writers of this buying guide.

The Tests

To find the best available trash bag, we put each bag in this guide through a series of practical tests. While kitchen trash bags can range in size from 12 gallons to 16 gallons, we tested the most common size kitchen trash bags, which is 13 gallons.

First, we inserted each bag into a 13-gallon trash can and, throughout the week, used it as, well, a trash bag to toss garbage into. 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 cumbersome it was to remove a full bag from the can once tied.

To determine durability, we turned to Reviewed’s chief scientist, David Ellerby, at our labs in Cambridge, MA. We 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.

When we redid our testing, we tested the durability of the trash bags through water weight. We held the bags up with a lift and filled them with water until they broke, noting the weight at which the bags faltered.

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.

While different types of plastics can end up in the recycling, are trash bags recyclable? No, trash bags are not recyclable so it's not recommended that you use them to bag up your recycling.

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

@georgiakral

In her career as a journalist, Kral has reported on topics ranging from restaurants and food to parenting and education. She lives in Montclair, N.J., with her husband and two children.

See all of Georgia Kral's reviews
Samantha Mangino

Samantha Mangino

Staff Writer, Home

@samanthamangino

Samantha Mangino is a Boston-based writer covering the home section of Reviewed. She began her career in restaurants before breaking into editorial. In her free time, you’ll find her swimming in the nearest body of water or reading on her back porch.

She received her Bachelors in Journalism from Emerson College.

See all of Samantha Mangino's reviews
David Ellerby

David Ellerby

Chief Scientist

Dave Ellerby is Reviewed's Chief Scientist, and has a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds and a B.Sc. from the University of Manchester.

See all of David Ellerby's reviews

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