Picking the best kitchen sink strainer can be a difficult task. There are many options available, and though they appear simple, some are highly engineered. If you are in need of a new kitchen sink strainer, we are here to help.
In this guide, we look at the things you should consider when buying a kitchen sink strainer, the types of strainers available, and make some recommendations of what we feel are some of the best kitchen sink strainers on the market.
Here’s a quick summary of our top picks and why we selected them:
|Product Name||Why We Picked It|
|Fengbao 2pcs Kitchen Sink Strainer set Check Price on Amazon >>||
|OXO Good Grips Silicone Sink Strainer Check Price on Amazon >>||
|Kone Garbage G231 Check Price on Amazon >>||
|Kohler 48694 Duostrainer Basket Strainer Check Price on Amazon >>||
|Helect 3-Pack Kitchen Sink Strainer Basket Check Price on Amazon >>||
What is a Kitchen Sink Strainer?
A kitchen sink strainer is one of the most valuable pieces of kitchen equipment you can have and one of the most often overlooked items in the kitchen.
In simple terms, they are porous baskets that trap large food particles and other solid debris while allowing drain water to flow out of your sink.
They come in many different styles, from mesh baskets with micro-perforations that trap small food particles to a silicone basket with large holes. Most sink drains have a rough strainer built into their drain hole.
While they may seem unimportant, a sink strainer serves a very important function by preventing clogged drains and protecting your entire drainage system from food residue buildup, which can lead to bacterial growth and clogged pipes.
Considering the many benefits and maintenance savings they can provide, it is easy to understand why purchasing the best kitchen sink strainer you can afford is money well spent.
Types of Kitchen Sink Strainers
A kitchen sink strainer isn’t a complicated device, but there are several types of strainers that you can choose from and many variations within each category. Each has its pluses and minuses. To help you pick the best kitchen sink strainer for your home or business, here is a short description of each.
Double Cup Sink Strainer
As the name implies, double cup strainers are comprised of two separate pieces. One is normally fixed to the sink drain, and the other nests inside and catches debris.
These are easy to clean and are usually made of stainless steel or durable plastic.
Flange Sink Strainer
Flange strainers are the ones you most commonly see in kitchen and bathroom sinks. They have one piece that goes under the sink, which the drainpipe attaches to, and a flange that screws in from inside the sink.
The flange is usually sealed with a rubber or silicone gasket to prevent leaks.
Black Nut Sink Strainer
This is the second most popular type of kitchen sink strainer. It is comprised of a cup that sits inside your sink on top of a gasket and is held in place by a nut that screws on from the bottom. Traditionally this nut is black, which is where they get their name.
Stopper Sink Strainer
Stopper strainers function as both a strainer and a plug. Most are equipped with either a pull or knob that allows you to switch between plug and strainer without the need to remove the strainer basket.
This type of kitchen sink strainer is ideal for draining soapy water after hand washing dishes.
Drain Sink Strainer Basket
Drain strainers are the simplest and can be the most economical type of kitchen sink strainer. They can cost anywhere from a few pennies to several dollars for a durable stainless steel model. Many are nothing more than a wire mesh basket with a lip to hold them above the sink drain. Others resemble a cheaper version of a basket strainer and are made of stainless steel with a porous basket.
These just sit inside the sink’s drain and do not actually seal and can allow water to flow under them. They are, however, easy to remove.
Level Sink Strainer
Level sink strainers are mesh baskets that sit over the kitchen sink drain, level with the bottom of the sink. They do not have rubber gaskets, and can their stainless steel rim can trap food scraps under their edges.
Most of these sink strainers are stainless steel mesh and dishwasher safe.
Basket strainers are commonly found in food preparation areas of commercial kitchens. Unlike other sink strainers, these fit inside the basin drain and are used to prevent food debris from entering the plumbing system. Nearly all basket strainers are made of rust-resistant stainless steel with very small holes, and some have a center post to make them easier to remove.
Most sinks in homes will not accept basket strainers, but some garbage disposal units will come with a similar sink strainer though it may be a plastic or silicone basket.
Things to Consider Before Buying The Best Kitchen Sink Strainer
When shopping for the best kitchen sink strainer, there are a number of factors that you may want to consider before buying and a few things you will want to verify. You will need to know which type of kitchen sink strainer will mate with your sink basin, the size sink strainer you will need, and do you need any special attachments for a dishwasher or your garbage disposal.
If you have any doubts about these areas of concern, it is best to consult a plumbing professional to make sure you get the right kitchen sink strainer.
If you’re confident in your DIY skills, here are the areas to consider when looking for the best kitchen sink strainers for your home or business.
Regardless of the style of kitchen sink strainer, you favor there is no doubt that durable stainless steel construction is always the best option. While there are many lower-priced plastic strainers on the market, the best kitchen sink strainers are all made of rust-resistant stainless steel.
Still, modern plastics are extremely durable and stain-resistant. They can last a lifetime with proper care and often come at a lower cost.
You can pay as little as a dollar or two for two strainers at the grocery or well over twenty for a top-quality stainless steel kitchen sink strainer. Both will keep food garbage out of your sink drains, but that doesn’t mean they are equal.
Naturally, the more you can spend on a kitchen sink strainer, the more options you have.
Drop-in metal strainers are notorious for allowing food particles to slip out of your sink and into the plumbing system. They are not the most effective drain guard but far superior to having no protection for your kitchen sink drain.
If you go this route, pay close attention to the outer diameter and inner diameter to ensure they fit properly and avoid the risk of your entire strainer slipping down the drain.
You can buy a kitchen sink strainer in many different styles, but most sink strainers will have a metal mesh basket with a stainless steel rim, have a porous basket of some material of a slotted pattern.
The simple truth of the matter is that the finer the openings in your sink strainer, the better job it is going to do removing food particles. That being said, the small holes in your sink strainer make it easier for it to stop up with food debris.
What is the best size holes for a sink strainer will depend on your personal use. Do you just want to keep larger food scraps from entering the drain, or would a sink strainer with micro-perforations that catch all the food particles trying to escape your sink be of more interest?
That you have to decide for yourself.
Some sink strainers have no stopper at all but most come with one of two types of stoppers. Either a dedicated stopper that you push into the top of the strainer or one that is operated by the center post of the strainer itself.
The stopper types are usually associated more with garbage disposals but not always. These are easy to operate, but some have tall handles that items in your sink can catch on.
The ones that switch from open to close and back sit below your kitchen strainer and allow you to drain your sink without the need to remove the stopper itself. However, they can be difficult to operate in greasy dishwater.
Which is best is up to you.
Most strainer baskets will either have stainless steel mesh held in place by a ring made of stainless steel material or perforations in the basket that allow water flow through them.
Both can be equally durable when properly cared for, but a mesh strainer will clog easier and be more difficult to clean because of their small holes. Then again, most perforated baskets allow more food particles to flow through your sink strainer basket.
As with most things, this is a matter of personal preference.
Durability is always a concern with a strainer for a kitchen sink. Unless you are just using a drop-in drain guard (basket strainer), replacing the strainer in a kitchen sink is not a job you want to perform on a regular basis.
Rust-resistant stainless steel material is still considered the king of the hill, but many of the modern plastics are very tough and not just rust-resistant but rust-proof.
In our honest opinion, the choice for maximum durability is now more about the quality of the strainer than the material it is made of. Buy quality, and you will get quality.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is an area that is often overlooked when discussing strainers for a kitchen sink, but the truth is little irritations can become major pains over time.
A stopper that constantly gets pulled because the handle is too high. A mesh strainer that won’t come clean even if it is dishwasher safe. A kitchen sink that constantly runs slowly because your sink strainer guard is always slipping can drive you crazy.
Carefully consider the total design of your sink strainer before making a purchase.
How Do You Measure a Sink Drain Opening?
The easiest way to determine what size sink drain you need is to inspect under your sink. If yours is a newer home and the drain has never been replaced, then you will likely find the manufacturer’s instruction booklet taped to the back of the sink.
The majority of standard sinks today will have an opening that is 3 1/2 inches across, but other sizes are sometimes used. Older houses have a much wider range of drain sizes, and commercial sinks have a great variety of drain sizes.
To know for sure which size drain strainer you need to purchase, you will first need to remove the old drain and measure the opening in the sink. Drains are measured by the diameter of the hole they need to fill.
If you get an odd measurement, round up to the next available size. Most sink drain holes can be slightly enlarged but not made smaller.
A second measurement you will need is the diameter of the actual drain pipe that connects the sink drain to the building’s plumbing. This can be critical in older homes or in commercial buildings where the use of compression fittings was the norm.
5 Best Kitchen Sink Strainers
Fengbao 2pcs Kitchen Sink Strainer set
Fengbao 2pcs kitchen sink strainer sets are not your average drop-in drain protectors. Made of stamped 2ply stainless steel with 2 mm holes, they handle heavy loads of debris and the bumps and bangs of pots and pan washing for years without a bobble.
Fit most common drain sizes
Allow water to flow until completely full
They can be difficult to clean, even in the dishwasher
Some buyers have complained of them being difficult to remove
OXO Good Grips Silicone Sink Strainer
OXO Good Grips Silicone Sink Strainer is ideal for those times when you are washing fruits, vegetables, or berries and want to protect your pipes but keep water flowing freely. Made of food-grade silicone, they are heat resistant, chemical resistant, soft, and pliable but have a stainless steel rim to hold them firmly in place.
The fact that they are so flexible makes them very easy to clean. You can simply grab the handle in the middle and turn them inside out to dump debris. When deeper cleaning is needed, they are dishwasher safe.
Made of food-grade silicone and stainless steel for a long service life
Stain-resistant and dishwasher safe to look good a long time
Works well over garbage disposal drains
Some buyers have reported basket is too deep for their sinks
It does not function as a stopper
Some users have complained the silicone basket traps food odors
Kone Garbage G231
We consider the Kone Garbage G231 to be one of the best kitchen sink strainers because it takes many of the features normally found in a commercial kitchen and makes them available in your home.
The Kone G231 comes as a complete kit, and you will need some basic DIY skills or the assistance of a plumber to install the unit. The good news is that, other than the rubber gaskets, the entire unit is made of stainless steel and should give many years of service.
The drop-in basket is very deep and will hold loads of debris without clogging, and has a flip-up handle that makes it easy to remove even when full.
Made of 304 stainless steel
Easy to clean
Strainer basket holds a large amount of debris
The stopper can be used with the basket in place
Some buyers have reported that gaskets are too thin to properly seal in thinner-walled stainless steel sinks.
Kohler 48694 Duostrainer Basket Strainer
You normally don’t think of your kitchen sink strainer basket when color matching your home. The Kohler 48694 makes it possible to do just that. They come in a variety of vanishes, including chrome, black, brushed steel, and others.
This sink strainer basket is about more beauty, though. As you would expect from Kohler, they are made of heavier metal than many on the market, and the fit and the finish are worthy of note.
A perforated basket design with a center post, the 48694 is easy to remove and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
It Fits 3½ to 4-inch outlets
Available in a variety of finishes
The stopper has a replaceable O-ring seal
Body and tailpiece sold separately
Not all models are made of stainless steel
Users have reported center post falls down easily and is hard to reset
Helect 3-Pack Kitchen Sink Strainer Basket
This sink strainer basket from Helect has a very well-thought-out design. They have a 4 1/2 inch outer lip and 3-inch inner cup, making them useful in a range of drain sizes, 0.08-inch perforations to catch fine food particles, and are pressed from solid stainless steel stock to resist bending and provide a lifetime of service.
Perhaps, best of all, they come three to a pack making them very economical to install throughout your home.
Solid stainless steel construction
The baskets perforated all the way to the top to allow water to flow freely.
Very economical to buy
It can be difficult to remove when full
Though deep, they can clog quickly with coffee grounds, tea leaves, etc.
Whether you need a strainer to sit over your disposal when rinsing food or a complete drain unit, there are many options available for kitchen sink strainers today.
They come in a wide variety of designs, and you can find them made from plastic, silicone, stainless steel, and other metals. You can spend as little or as much as you want and can even coordinate your kitchen sink strainers with your home’s decor.
There is no single kitchen sink strainer or strainer basket that will fit the needs of every user, but we hope the information provided in this guide will help you pick the one that is right for you.
Hey, I’m Joey. I’ve been cooking since I was a little kid and love everything about it. You can find my writing about food, kitchen appliances (such as blenders) and much more. Thanks for stopping by!