The 7 Best Colanders of 2022

Spoiler alert: OXO’s Good Grips Stainless Steel Colander is our top pick.

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Best Colanders of 2022
Courtesy of Amazon

Perfect for washing produce, straining pasta, and rinsing rice, colanders are a multi-purpose kitchen tool that you may have overlooked in the past. There are colanders that fit over the sink, some designed specifically for rinsing and storing berries, and even options that collapse down to maximize storage in small kitchens.

With so many different designs, capacities, sizes, and even types of drainage holes, it can be tough to pick which model is right for you. That's why we turned to the experts to help us narrow down the seven best colanders on the market. Our top choice, the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Colander, is the right fit for any kitchen. Read on to learn more about all the best colanders that made our list.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Colander

Best Colanders of 2022
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel.

Pros: The nonslip handles offer a steady grip on your colander, while the feet on the bottom keep it solidly in place.

Cons: This colander may take up a lot of space in your cabinet when storing.

As our best overall pick, the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Colander is what Roger Sitrin, Lead Recreational Chef Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, uses while teaching aspiring chefs. "I personally love this one," he says. "It has a gripping rim instead of handles and it comes in two sizes."

The handles are soft with a nonslip grip that feel comfortable to the touch, and there are five rubber feet on the bottom that prevent the colander from moving around the counter even when wet. In addition to the five-quart size, it is also available in a smaller three-quart version for smaller batches.

Price at time of publish: $33

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 11.38 x 5 inches
  • Capacity: 5 quarts

Best Collapsible: Frieling Multi-Function Silicone Pot Insert

Best Colanders of 2022
Courtesy of Food52

Also available at Wayfair.

Pros: These pot inserts collapse and expand for easy storage and serve multiple functions in the kitchen.

Cons: The larger holes are not ideal for washing small grains.

Sitrin appreciates how "multifunctional" this pot insert by Frieling is. Available in two sizes (including nine-and-a-half and 11 inches), the smaller version collapses down to less than two inches, which is perfect if you're short on kitchen storage. "They are collapsible and very versatile," Sitrin says.

In addition to using it as a colander, it functions as a steamer for veggies and dumplings, and can even be used to prep perfectly hard-boiled eggs. When collapsed, try using it as a splatter screen to protect yourself from grease or even as a trivet.

Price at time of publish: $46

  • Material: Silicone
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 5 inches
  • Capacity: 5.25 quarts

Best Clip-On: Auoon Clip-On Food Strainer

Best Colanders of 2022
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: This is a space-saving option that can attach to multiple pot sizes.

Cons: This is not ideal for rinsing produce or smaller grains.

For a colander that won't break the bank and takes up minimal storage space, this clip-on colander from Auoon is the way to go. Featuring a clip on both ends, it easily attaches to most pots and pans and eliminates the process of transferring your cooked pasta from the pot into a colander and back into the pot. Made from heat-resistant durable silicone, this is available in five different color options to suit your kitchen's style.

Price at time of publish: $20

  • Material: Silicone
  • Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 3.5 inches
  • Capacity: N/A

RELATED: The 7 Best Steamer Baskets for Fast, Healthy Meals

Best Over-the-Sink: Ginkgo Over-the-Sink Colander

Best Colanders of 2022
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: This colander expands to fit different sink sizes, doubles as a dish drying rack, and is available in a variety of colors.

Cons: This won't work for rinsing rice and other small grains because of the larger hole size.

This best-selling over-the-sink colander not only collapses down for fuss-free storage in tight spaces, but it also has an adjustable body that can extend from 14 to 19 inches to fit small and large sinks alike. Once you find the right length, the colander rests easily in your sink, so you can strain pasta, rinse produce, and even wash kid's toys. If it gets a little dirty with time, it separates into two pieces that can easily be placed in the dishwasher. Plus, you don't have to settle for just one color option. This is available in seven different shades to match any kitchen.

Price at time of publish: $20

  • Material: Silicone
  • Dimensions: 14 x 7.9 x 2.75 inches
  • Capacity: N/A

Best for Berries: Chef'n Bramble Berry Basket

Best Colanders of 2022
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Crate & Barrel.

Pros: This provides a way to clean your berries effectively and store them properly.

Cons: This colander can only be used with berries.

Rinse and store your berries in one container with this easy-to-use berry basket. Shaped like a classic berry container, this gets an upgrade with an outer plastic shell and lid that keeps all of your favorite berries fresh for longer. The bright red interior stands out in your fridge and allows for proper air circulation thanks to the slotted design. Rinse your produce as needed in the red basket and pop them back into the clear outer container, which stacks easily if you're short on space in the fridge.

Price at time of publish: $10

  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 4.4 x 4.4 x 4 inches
  • Capacity: 16 ounces

Best Stainless Steel: LiveFresh Micro-Perforated Colander

Best Colanders of 2022
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: This container's micro-perforated holes and sturdy handles are ideal for quickly and efficiently draining water.

Cons: This could be bulky to store since it doesn't collapse.

This sturdy colander is made from 18/10 stainless steel and has micro-perforated holes that drain liquids quickly. These holes are small enough for the finest strands of pasta and grains, and you'll feel secure picking this up thanks to the elongated riveted handles.

Underneath, the pedestal base provides stability to keep your colander elevated, which also features drainage ports under each handle to prevent backflow. Overall, Sitrin says this is "a great metal colander that is solidly made, has well-attached handles and feet, and has micro-perforations that allow for great flow!"

Price at time of publish: $35

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 12.56 x 12.28 x 5.28 inches
  • Capacity: 5 quarts

RELATED: The Best Salad Spinners, According to Chefs

Best Plastic: OXO Good Grips Colander

Best Colanders of 2022
Courtesy of Oxo

Pros: This colander is a budget-friendly pick that is dishwasher-safe and drains quickly.

Cons: This option is on the smaller side compared to other colanders.

If you don't want to spend too much on a stainless steel or silicone option, this OXO colander is a budget-friendly pick. Made from BPA-free plastic, this colander is lightweight and has elongated holes for efficient draining. The rubberized grip on the handles is comfortable to the touch and makes it easy to hold, even if your colander is full of heavy pasta. It stays elevated off the bottom of the sink thanks to four feet at the base, and can be thrown in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

Price at time of publish: $12

  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 13.25 x 9.68 x 6 inches
  • Capacity: 3 quarts

Our Favorite

Colanders are useful tools in your kitchen that serve multiple purposes. Our top pick is the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Colander, which feels secure in your hands thanks to the nonslip gripping rim. For an over-the-sink option, check out the Ginkgo Over-the-Sink Colander, which extends to accommodate different sink sizes.

Factors to Consider

Design

There are multiple designs available, including colanders that can attach over the sink, ones that collapse, and the classic large stainless steel versions. It's ultimately up to personal preference when picking which style of colander you like best and that will be the most suitable for the needs of your kitchen.

Material

You will most commonly find stainless steel, plastic, and silicone colanders on the market. Stainless steel is typically the most durable and rust-resistant; however, it can also be on the pricey side. Silicone is flexible, rust-resistant, and won't warp or melt like plastic can. Plastic is typically the most budget-friendly of the three and can also be durable but not as much as the others.

No matter what material your colander is, Sitrin says the handles should be an important factor in your purchasing decision: "Just avoid the cheaply made versions where the handles are poorly attached. I've had experiences using a colander and the handles broke off mid-use, leaving me covered with hot liquid."

Size

If you regularly cook large batches of pasta, you'll want to invest in a larger colander. If you tend to make just a couple of servings, a smaller colander will do the trick. For those who have the space, Sitrin recommends buying various sizes of colanders for different-sized jobs. "The basket inside my salad spinner can serve as a colander in a pinch. There are also heat-resistant collapsible colanders that are great if you don't have a lot of storage room."

Pro Panel Q+A

What is a colander?

Colanders are perforated with holes and allow liquid to drain out while keeping the larger items inside. They are usually made of stainless steel, which is lightweight and sturdy but can also be made of ceramic, plastic, and silicone. "A colander is more appropriate for separating water from cooked pasta or washing garden vegetables, greens, and herbs," Sitrin says.

What's the difference between a strainer and a colander?

A strainer and a colander are two different items, and both can be useful tools in your kitchen. Strainers typically have smaller holes and are made out of metal mesh, while colanders have larger holes and are commonly made of stainless steel or plastic.

A strainer can be used to filter out smaller particles, whereas a colander will allow larger particles to flow through. "Examples of when to use a strainer is when removing solids from stock or making sure there are no large pieces of cooked egg in custard," Sitrin says.

Can you use a colander to steam?

As long as your colander is made of a heat-resistant material (like metal or silicone), it can be safe to use as a steamer. However, there are a few more things to keep in mind: "You would also want to select a colander that is smaller than the vessel used to contain the steaming liquid so that it can neatly fit inside, plus a tight-fitting lid that can be used to seal in all of the precious steam," Sitrin says.

Our Expertise

Jacqueline Weiss is a professional food writer and a lifelong lover of working in the kitchen. To write this article, she spoke with Roger Sitrin, Lead Recreational Chef Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education. She then used his insights and her own expertise and market research to curate this list.

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