The Modern Mindful Mom

Review of the Simple Human Voice and Motion Sensor Trash Can

Review of the Simple Human Voice and Motion Sensor Trash Can

Simple Human is a California based company that makes all sorts of modern improved versions of many household items. The company was founded in the year 2000 and describes itself as creating “tools for efficient living”. They seem to be making a pretty good effort so far. If you browse their website you will see many types of household products ranging from mirrors to toilet brushes. All of the products seem to have sleek design with some improvements or innovations that the standard version of the product we are used to does not have. Things like a magnetic neck for the toilet brush with replaceable brush head, spring loaded paper towel holder so the whole roll doesn’t unravel when pulled and rechargeable sensor soap dispensers that last for months on a charge. The sleek modern design and materials of their products also has many people comparing them to Apple. 

Simple Human prides themselves in over engineering and extensive testing of all their products. Their is even a video of their voice controlled trash cans being tested using recorded commands via speaker continuously.  

With all this in mind, we decided to upgrade our kitchen trash situation to the 58L rectangular Voice and Motion Sensor can finished in rose gold. Our previous trash situation consisted of a small trash and recycle bin under the kitchen sink. Being so small, the trash filled up so quickly that we found ourselves constantly changing bags and taking the trash out. The under sink placement wasn’t the ideal situation either but we didn’t want a visually unattractive bulky bin placed in our kitchen. The new larger can allowed us to reduce the amount of times we took the trash out and use fewer bags.

Simple Human Voice Activated Trash Can in Rose Gold


The Simple Human 58L bin can come in dual bin and and single bin configurations. The dual bin option is designed to separate recycle and trash and adds $50 to the price. The 58L bin can also be had in several color variations as well (brushed, rose gold, black stainless steel, white and dark bronze).  The dark bronze color is an additional $70 cost. We decided on the rose gold colored single compartment bin because we felt it would add a bit more style to the kitchen than a traditional steel look that more traditional cans typically have. Also, with moving the trash receptacle out from under the sink it had to be just as attractive as utilitarian to us. 


Simple Human Voice Activated Trash Can Rose Gold Recycle
Simple Human Voice Activated Trash Can Review


As fans of highly engineered products in general, we were attracted to the Simple Human trash bins because of the promise by the company of superior engineering. That combined with innovative features and many positive reviews online, we decided to bite the bullet and order one. 

The motion sensing can is equipped with two infrared sensors at the front, one pointed vertically and the other horizontally. The vertical sensor is just like in most other standard sensor operated trash cans. It senses when you or your hand is above the lid about to place an object in it. The horizontally oriented sensor in the Simple Human can works in conjunction with the other infrared sensor to determine if you are standing in front of the can. When the lid has been opened and it senses that you are still standing in front, it keeps the lid open until you move out of the path of the sensors beam. The can does that so you can stand in front of the receptacle and throw away multiple items for longer than the standard lid opening cycle without having the lid closed on you. 

In addition to the dual infrared sensors, the lid can also be operated by voice command. You can simply say commands like “open can” or “stay open” if you need the lid open for a longer period of time (like if you are cutting items above the can).  The voice features come in handy when tossing something into the can from more than an arms length away, if you have your hands full or if you are holding a dripping item that you don’t want it to drip all over the lid. Before we began to use the can, we thought the voice activation feature may be somewhat of a gimmick and just a party trick sort of feature. During the first day of use, we realized how great talking at your trash can was and wondered why it wasn’t the standard for motion sensing cans. 

Simple Human Voice Activated Trash Can Review


The motor and hinge design for the lid operation is very small and does not obstruct the path of your garbage into the bin. Another added benefit to the size and functionality of the lid mechanism itself is how quiet the motor is when operating the lid. It produces only 52Db of motor noise and also softly lowers the lid against the can so no tapping or slamming can be heard at the final moment of closing. 


The can liners (aka trash bags) designed for the can are of a high quality feel and fit the can perfectly. The best feature of the Simple Human liners is they come packaged in a way that allows up to 20 of them to fit inside the small liner storage compartment within the bin itself. When it is time to replace the liner, simply pull one out from the compartment and replace! In the case of the liners, you do pay more for the custom fit and function.


Simple Human Voice Activated Review


Simple Human bin liners are noticeably more expensive than your standard name brand trash bags. The good news is that standard tall kitchen bags will still fit the Simple Human 58L bin although a bit more snug than the bags designed for the bin. A downside to using standard name brand bags is that you then have to store the bags elsewhere since they don’t conveniently fit into the built in liner storage cubby. The cost savings may just be worth it.

One comforting feature of the Simple Human trash can that is the exterior surface is coated with a layer of  nano-silver particles for microbial and fingerprint resistance. It is nice to know that the bin is less likely to be harboring harmful microbes on its surface with a young child around. So far in our daily use with a toddler in the house we notice that it does repel mostly fingerprint smudges. It’s not completely smudge proof though, so the goo found on a toddlers hands still attaches to the bins lid and walls, but it is easily wiped off with a damp cloth.

When it comes to placing the Simple Human trash bin in the kitchen, it’s nice that the can doesn’t have to be stuck near a power outlet if you don’t want it to be. It can be powered by 6 AA batteries for cordless use. This allows placement anywhere you like which is a plus for our family. During busy cooking and food prep times, many of the kitchens outlets are utilized for other things from mixers to coffee makers to crockpots. It would be inconvenient to have a power outlet taken up by a trash can. Of course, if you do have a perfect location for the bin that is near a seldom used power outlet, the Simple Human trash can does have a power cord that can be connected and used in place of the cordless battery setup. Both options are included in the box upon purchase. 


Simple Human Trash Can Review
Simple Human Trash Can Review
Simple Human Trash Can Review

Overall, the Simple Human 58L rectangular sensor can has served us well in the short time (several weeks) that we have had it. The setup was simple and required almost no work. It was mostly just taking the lid and bin out of the box and putting batteries in it. Very easy and self explanatory. The bin also came with a pack of liners to get us started. We have had absolutely no issues with the Simple Human can’s operation so far. We will be sure to post an update if anything ever does go wrong in the future.  

One slight concern we do have owning the can is fear that something may go wrong. When looking at various comments placed in various places online, there are a number of people who are complaining about issues with either this specific can and the sensor not working or other Simple Human products failing. The company does appear to be swiftly responding to issues by reaching out and replying to the posted complaints. The overall feel online is that most people absolutely love their Simple Human 58L sensor can and the company’s other products. 

One unexpected benefit to getting this trash can is that it improved the independence and confidence of our 18 month old.  We try to include her in as many practical life activities as possible. However, we usually had to assist her when throwing things away since the prior process was multi-ste: opening the cabinet then putting the garbage in the can.  Once we got the Simple Human trash, she was immediately drawn to it and closely observed how we used it. It didn’t take long for her to figure out how to wave her hand in front of the can to open it. She is drawn to the trash can as much as we are.  She is now a great help and loves throwing things away! Her independence and confidence has flourished with this one simple change! Thanks Simple Human!

We definitely recommend the Simple Human voice and motion sensor trash can based on our user experience so far!



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