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Best Garbage Disposal: A Complete Buyer’s Guide

Best Garbage Disposal: A Complete Buyer’s Guide

Whether you’re replacing your trusty garbage disposal with a newer model or looking for your first one, you want to find the best garbage disposal within your budget. With so many options on the market, starting your search can be a little confusing.

Which features are the most important? What models consistently get the best customer reviews? How much should you pay for a garbage disposal? We want to make the search easier for you.

Our Top Picks At A Glance

5 Best Garbage Disposal Models for Your Home

We’ve reviewed the best garbage disposals on the market to create a definitive list of the top 5 models.

Along with a list of the best and their features, prices, and specs, we’ve created a useful buyer’s guide to help answer any questions you might have about buying a new garbage disposal.

Keep reading to see the five best garbage disposal options and check out our complete buyer’s guide. You’ll be well on your way to easy kitchen cleanup in no time!

Best Performance: InSinkErator Evolution Supreme SS Continuous Feed Disposal

Best Performance
Insinkerator supreme ss

The Rolls Royce of residential garbage disposals. While pricey, it's worth it.​

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Our Score

  • Grinding Speed: 4/5 (1725 RPM)
  • Horsepower: 5/5 (1 HP and Dura-Drive induction motor)
  • Capacity: 5/5 (40 oz. grind chamber)
  • Warranty: 5/5 (10-year in-home service warranty)
  • Total: 19/20

Key Features

  • Continuous-feed garbage disposal
  • 1725 RPM grinding speed
  • 1 HP
  • Three grinding stages
  • 40 oz. grind chamber
  • 10-year in-home service warranty
  • Average 4.9-star reviews

This is the Rolls Royce of residential garbage disposals. Featuring a 1 HP Dura-Drive induction motor, it’s one of the most powerful for garbage disposals. With three grind stages, it’ll ensure every bit of food waste is sufficiently handled.

No need to worry about it being noisy because it comes with Sound Seal technology and promises “ultra-quiet performance.”

With a big 40-ounce grind chamber, there’s enough room for 5 cups of food scraps and waste. This garbage disposal is impressive, but the included 10-year warranty is even better.

For ten years, InSinkErator covers your garbage disposal with a parts and in-home service warranty. They’ll come to your house to fix or replace the garbage disposal anytime something goes wrong! This warranty is hard to beat.

Second Opinion

Most Safe: InSinkErator Evolution Cover Control Plus Batch-Feed Disposal (3/4 HP)​

Most Safe
InSinkErator Garbage Disposal Evolution Cover Control Plus Disposal

A good choice for those seeking power with a little extra protection.​

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Our Score

  • Grinding Speed: 4/5 (1725 RPM)
  • Horsepower: 4/5 (¾ HP and Dura-Drive induction motor)
  • Capacity: 5/5 (40 oz. grind chamber)
  • Warranty: 5/5 (7-year in-home service warranty)
  • Total: 18/20

Key Features

  • Batch-feed garbage disposal
  • 1725 RPM grinding speed
  • 3/4 HP
  • Two grinding stages
  • 40-oz. stainless steel grind chamber
  • 7-year in-home service warranty
  • Average 4.9-star reviews

If you want the best but want to shave a few dollars off the price of the InSinkErator Evolution Supreme SS, the Evolution Cover Control Plus is a perfect option. This is a batch-feed garbage disposal, so it works a little differently than the continuous-feed models.

The Cover Control Plus comes with a magnetic stopper (required to start and run the disposal) that makes it incredibly safe, even if you have small children in the home.

Two grind stages and a 3/4 HP Dura-Drive induction motor make it one of the more powerful and reliable garbage disposals on the market.

It also boasts a big, 40-ounce grind chamber that fits 5 cups of food waste at a time for your convenience. This model is ultra-quiet, long-lasting, and backed by a great 7-year in-home service warranty.

InSinkErator will come to your home to cover replacements and repairs for the life of this warranty. Quick-lock installation should be a breeze, even for inexperienced homeowners.

Second Opinion

Best Grinding Speed/Size: MOEN Host Series Continuous-Feed Space-Saving Garbage Disposal (3/4 HP)​

Best Grinding Speed
Moen EX75C EX Series 3/4 Horsepower Garbage Disposal

A solid, affordable garbage disposal from a trusted and reputable brand.

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Our Score

  • Grinding Speed: 5/5 (2700 RPM)
  • Horsepower: 4/5 (¾ HP and permanent magnet motor)
  • Capacity: 4/5 (32 oz. grind chamber)
  • Warranty: 5/5 (10-year in-home service warranty)
  • Total: 18/20

Key Features

  • Continuous-feed garbage disposal
  • 2700 RPM grinding speed
  • 3/4 HP permanent magnet motor
  • 32 oz. grind chamber
  • 10-year limited in-home service warranty
  • Average 4.2-star reviews

MOEN is a well-known brand that many consumers already trust. It makes sense that their garbage disposals are highly rated as reliable and high-performance.

This model is compact and takes up less space than other, similarly-powered models, so it’s perfect for smaller spaces or when you have limited space under your sink.

One of the best features this garbage disposal offers is the powerful, 3/4 HP permanent magnet motor. These are rated as more efficient than induction motors. It’s considered very quiet, has galvanized steel parts, and has an impressive grinding speed of 2700 RPM.

Installation is easy, and hardwiring is optional because it comes with a power cord pre-installed. The included 10-year warranty covers replacements and repairs, with in-home service included.

Second Opinion

Most Reliable: InSinkErator Badger 900 Continuous-Feed Garbage Disposal (3/4 HP)​

Most Reliable
InSinkErator 79024-ISE Garbage Disposal, Badger Continuous Feed Disposal

Quiet, powerful, and reliable. This is one of the best garbage disposals on the market.

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Our Score

  • Grinding Speed: 4/5 (1725 RPM)
  • Horsepower: 4/5 (3/4 RPM and Dura-Drive induction motor)
  • Capacity: 3/5 (26 oz. grind chamber)
  • Warranty: 4/5 (6-year in-home service warranty)
  • Total Score: 15/20

Key Features

  • Continuous-feed garbage disposal
  • 1725 RPM grinding speed
  • 3/4 HP induction motor
  • 26 oz. grind chamber
  • 6-year limited parts and in-home service warranty
  • Average 4.5-star reviews

The InSinkErator brand has so many garbage disposal models available, and all have different features and strengths. We chose the Badger 900 for its performance, quiet operation, powerful motor, compact size, and great warranty.

The Badger 900 features a 3/4 HP Dura-Drive motor that is reliable enough to run for 10+ years. Don’t be fooled, though; this model is ultra-quiet thanks to the induction motor. The size is small enough to fit in the most compact spaces.

The parts are crafted from stainless steel, and anyone who hates complicated installation projects will appreciate its Quick Lock sink mount installation. Enjoy a 6-year limited warranty when you buy this model.

It covers replacements and repairs, plus InSinkErator will send a qualified repair tech to your home for any needed service on it during the length of the warranty.

Second Opinion

Best Value: Whirlpool Continuous-Feed In-Sink Garbage Disposal (1/2 HP)​

Whirlpool GC2000XE 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal
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Our Score

  • Grinding Speed: 4/5 (1725 RPM)
  • Horsepower: 3/5 (1/2 HP)
  • Capacity: 3/5 (26 oz. grind chamber)
  • Warranty: 2/5 (1-year limited warranty)
  • Total Score: 12/20

Key Features

  • Continuous-feed garbage disposal
  • 1725 RPM grinding speed
  • 1/2 HP
  • 26 oz. grind chamber
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Average 5-star reviews

A great, low-cost option is the Whirlpool 1/2 HP in-sink garbage disposal. This is an all-around winner.

Affordable, plenty of power from the 1/2 HP motor, overload protector, galvanized steel grinder, shredder ring, manual reset options, and a just-right 26-ounce grind chamber make this a good choice across the board.

It gets great reviews and costs around $100. When you buy this garbage disposal, you get Whirlpool’s 1-year limited warranty covering replacement parts and labor. In all, this is a nice continuous-feed disposal at a lower price point than you’d expect.

Second Opinion

How to Pick the Best Garbage Disposal

Finding the best garbage disposal is easier when you know what to look for.

Use our buyer’s guide to find out everything you need to know about garbage disposals: what they do, different types, maintenance requirements, dos and don’ts, special features to look for, pricing, warranties, lifespan, and more.

What Is a Garbage Disposal?

A garbage disposal under a kitchen sink running to chop up various bits of food

A garbage disposal is an appliance installed in a kitchen sink to eliminate food waste. These appliances discreetly grind up food scraps, leftovers, fruit and vegetable peels, and more to reduce the amount of organic food waste that goes into your garbage can and the landfill.

Throwing food waste into your garbage can gives it a chance to begin rotting and giving off an unpleasant smell. This is especially true if your garbage can won’t be emptied for a day or two.

Garbage disposals eliminate this problem entirely. They grind food waste into small particles that are easily flushed away through your home’s plumbing. Garbage disposals keep food waste out of sight and out of mind.

These small kitchen appliances also help you keep your kitchen drains from clogging. Without garbage disposal, small bits of food waste can lodge in your drains and create stubborn clogs.

With a garbage disposal, any bits that fall into the drain can be safely ground up and rinsed away with less clogging risk.

Homeowners on sewer and septic systems can benefit from using garbage disposals in the kitchen. If you have a septic system, just make sure you choose a model that is specifically rated for that use

Continuous-Feed vs. Batch-Feed Garbage Disposals

Comparison chart illustrating the difference between a continuous feed and batch feed disposal

There are thousands of models available, but only two types of garbage disposals are available: continuous-feed and batch-feed. These types of garbage disposals are very different.

Continuous-feed disposals are by far the most common. These are the garbage disposals you see most often. Continuous-feed disposals are usually hardwired into the wall above the kitchen sink and can be flipped on and off with a switch.

These types are open, with no cover or stopper required. Food scraps are placed into the disposal, cold water is run, and the disposal is switched on to grind the waste up.

Batch-feed disposals are much less common. They have been around since the 1960s. These disposals are more powerful and have fewer safety risks because they only operate while a special cover or stopper is in place.

They are more expensive than continuous-feed disposals, but they run more quietly, are easier to install, and tend to perform better than continuous-feed models.

With these differences in mind, consider which type would be more appropriate for your kitchen. Most people go with a continuous-feed model because there is simply more to choose from at a lower price point.

There’s also one less step involved in using them (no cover or stopper needs to be placed). However, if you have small children in the home or a kitchen sink on an island with no way to hardwire continuous-feed disposal in, a batch-feed model could be a good choice.

What Can You Put in a Garbage Disposal?

Illustrated chart showing things you can and cannot put down a garbage disposal

If you’re planning to buy a garbage disposal, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of using these handy appliances.

Here’s what you can safely run through a garbage disposal:

• Fruit and vegetable peels
• Small chunks of non-meat foods
• Fruit pits and cores
• Corn cobs
• Soft bones (such as fish bones)
• Non-greasy liquids
• Cleaning products (vinegar, baking soda, specialized products)

What Can’t You Put in a Garbage Disposal?

Not every type of food scrap is appropriate to put in a garbage disposal. Certain items, even some that are commonly put into disposals, can clog it or reduce its lifespan.

Here’s what to avoid putting in a garbage disposal:

• Noodles, rice, pasta, and bread
• Non-food items
• Greasy or fatty foods or liquids
• Fibrous items (like onion skins, celery stalks, and coconut husks)
• Hard bones
• Eggshells
• Nuts and nutshells
• Shellfish shells
• Certain cleaning products (bleach, corrosive agents, etc.)

Maintaining a Garbage Disposal

Illustration of a garbage disposal maintenance tip list

Keeping a garbage disposal in top condition does involve a little maintenance. After all, it doesn’t matter if you buy the best garbage disposal if you find your garbage disposal not working within a few months!

Here are some recommended garbage disposal maintenance tips to keep in mind once you buy your new disposal. 

1. Always run cold water in the sink as you grind food scraps in your garbage disposal. Continue to run the water for about 30 seconds after using the disposal. The water helps keep your disposal clean, stops the motor from overheating, and ensures all food waste is carried away.

2. Don’t cut the disposal off before it’s finished grinding. Premature shutoff leaves food waste and scraps in the blades, which can create clogs and unpleasant smells.

3. Clean the garbage disposal with a simple combination of baking soda and vinegar. Just sprinkle baking soda into the disposal, then add vinegar and allow it to bubble up. Wait a few minutes, then run cold water and turn the disposal on. Avoid other cleaning remedies, like rock salt and ice or lemon peels. These can damage your disposal.

4. Never use bleach to clean your garbage disposal, especially if you’re on a septic system. Bleach damages internal garbage disposal seals, which will leak over time. It also kills the beneficial bacteria in a septic system.

5. Don’t ever leave non-food items around the sink (sponges, washcloths, scrubbing brushes, etc.). It’s easy for these items to get knocked into the sink inadvertently, and if they get caught in the garbage disposal, they will jam it and burn out the motor.

6. Check your disposal closely for any leaks, cracks, or problems as often as you can. It helps to get as familiar with your disposal as you can (make sure you read the owner’s manual) so any problems will be noticeable right away. Checking your disposal regularly also keeps small issues from becoming bigger problems that could lead to the need for replacement.

Top Garbage Disposal Features and Specs

These are the features and specifications you should look for when shopping for a garbage disposal. We’ve highlighted each one of these features and specs in the descriptions for each of the top 5 garbage disposals on our list.

As you look at different models, consider and compare horsepower, grind chamber capacity, grinding speed, and any advanced grinding options


When shopping for a new garbage disposal, one of the first things you should consider is the horsepower each model has.

In general, garbage disposals range in horsepower from 1/3 HP up to 1 HP. That may not sound like much, but for a small appliance like this, it’s more than enough.

Higher horsepower typically means a quieter-running garbage disposal. Most people should look for 1/2 or 3/4 HP motors. For tougher jobs, like grinding up small bones or fibrous materials, opt for a 1 HP motor.

Grind Chamber Capacity

The amount of food waste you can run through a garbage disposal at one time is an important thing to consider. Each garbage disposal’s grind chamber capacity will help you determine how much food fits into the grind chamber at one time.

Most garbage disposal grind chambers range from about 20 oz. to 40 oz. Larger grind chambers are always a bonus, but if your household is small or if you don’t cook often, you’ll be fine with a smaller grind chamber.

Grinding Speed

Make sure to check the grinding speed for any garbage disposal you’re considering. It’s measured in RPMs, or revolutions per minute. Most have a 1725 RPM grinding speed, but it’s not uncommon to see faster speeds of up to 2700 RPM.

The higher the grinding speed, the quicker the disposal will be able to clear out food waste. But an average grinding speed of 1725 is sufficient for most households.

Advanced Grinding

Multi-grind technology, different grinding stages, and adjustable grind settings are all garbage disposal features to look for. These settings give you more control over how your garbage disposal handles food waste.

For small jobs, you can select a less powerful setting. For tougher grinds, you can select a stronger grind or take advantage of a 2- or 3-stage setting that ensures every bit of waste is ground up.

Garbage Disposal Pricing

Pricing is also important to consider. How much do garbage disposals usually cost? The pricing range varies quite a bit among garbage disposals, mainly due to the different performance levels, sizes, brands, and types of disposals.

In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to about $400 for a residential garbage disposal. You may find some basic models priced slightly lower, and ultra-high-performance models can easily rise above $500+.

You can expect to get a really nice garbage disposal with a decent warranty and included features for about $200–$350.

Garbage Disposal Warranties and Lifespan

As an image for a piece on the best garbage disposals, a question and answer to highlight how long a garbage disposal lasts

Another thing to consider as you shop for a garbage disposal is the included warranty and expected lifespan for each model. On average, garbage disposals tend to last about 10–12 years.

It’s a good idea to look for garbage disposals that come with warranties covering the disposal for at least six years.

Garbage disposal warranties vary widely by manufacturer. Some come with limited parts and replacement warranties as short as one year.

Others come with generous 10- to 12-year warranties covering parts, labor, in-home service, and complete replacements.

Be sure to choose a quality disposal that comes with a good warranty. This indicates the manufacturer expects it to last for a long time.