OXO Stainless Steel Salad Spinner
Credit: Amazon

The Best Salad Spinners, According to Chefs

Get rid of grit and water residue with our top pick, OXO’s Stainless Steel Salad Spinner.
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The perfect green salad starts with fresh, crisp lettuce free of grit and insects from the field as well as grime that might accumulate before it reaches your kitchen. After a refreshing bath under the kitchen faucet, leaves need to be thoroughly dried before you dress them. If not, the oil in your vinaigrette will slide right off the wet leaves, pooling as a soupy mess in the bottom of your salad bowl. If you do dry your greens, an emulsified salad dressing will evenly coat each leaf.

The best salad spinners don't slip or wobble across the counter as they spin, still drying greens quickly and thoroughly without much user effort. We assessed salad spinners on criteria such as size, material, and ease of cleaning before naming the Oxo Stainless Steel Salad Spinner our Best Overall, as it combines sturdy construction with an easy-to-use but powerful push-button spinning mechanism. Read on for our full list of the best salad spinners.

Our Top Picks

best salad spinners
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Overall: Oxo Stainless Steel Salad Spinner

View at Amazon ($64)

Also available at Williams Sonoma and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Pros: It has a sturdy build, and the push-button spinning mechanism dries greens quickly and thoroughly.

Cons: At more than double the cost of the plastic model, occasional users may not justify the additional expense.

Oxo has a well-deserved reputation for making high quality, user-friendly kitchen tools of all stripes, and their line of salad spinners proves to be no exception. In addition to the easy-yet-powerful push mechanism that is universal to Oxo's salad spinners, in this model we especially like the added durability of the stainless steel bowl (as opposed to the plastic or glass options). The sturdy bowl is both attractive and practical, since there's no risk of it breaking or absorbing any aromas or flavors like plastic can.

Kristy Mucci, author of Salad Party, also likes its versatility: "I like the strong grip of the non-slip base, and it's good for more than just salad spinning. I dress my salads in it and I reach for it whenever I need an extra prep bowl or a lidded container for refrigerator storage. I also think it's nicer looking than any plastic salad spinner, plus it'll stay nicer looking longer because stainless steel doesn't get sad with age the way plastic does."  

  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 10.5 x 8 inches
  • Spinning Method: Push button
  • Capacity: 6.34 quarts
best salad spinners
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Value: Oxo Good Grips Plastic Salad Spinner

View at Amazon ($30)

Also available at Crate & Barrel and Target.

Pros: A sturdy spinning mechanism dries greens quickly and thoroughly.

Cons: The plastic degrades over time, turning cloudy and prone to cracks, though hand washing would help maintain it. 

The Good Grips salad spinner integrates Oxo's reliable engineering with lower cost materials, making it a strong budget competitor to our top pick – especially if you don't mind hand washing. If you do, know that this BPA-free plastic salad spinner is dishwasher safe on the top rack. 

All of the chefs and experts we consulted recommended some form of an Oxo salad spinner, and the plastic model comes in both eight- and 10-inch diameters. Chef Abra Berens, author of the book Ruffage, sums up the merits of her "very trusty Oxo salad spinner," saying, "I've always had a little one and then asked for the larger version for a wedding present. Fifteen and 10 years later, respectively, they are still going strong. I use the little one for herbs and the big one for greens of all sorts. I also tend to use the basket to rinse fruit like berries and then let them drip dry in the base of the bowl. I'm sure there are other brands and options out there, but until these two break, I won't look!"

  • Dimensions: 6 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches for large; 6 x 8 x 8 inches for small
  • Spinning Method: Push button
  • Capacity: 6.22 quarts for large; 3 quarts for small
best salad spinners
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Large Capacity: Chefmaster 5-Gallon Salad Spinner

View at Amazon ($142)

Also available at Wayfair.

Pros: It dries five to six heads of lettuce at once, which makes it great for a gardener cleaning a harvest or for a big party.

Cons: You'll need to be washing a lot of greens on a regular basis to justify the bulky size as well as its cost. 

If you find yourself regularly needing to wash and dry a mountain of greens, working in batches can become a real chore. Instead, opt for a large spinner that can clean your haul all at once. Our pick for this category stands up to the demands of professional kitchens. "We use a lot of local kale that comes covered in sea island sand, so our Chefmaster salad spinner gets put to good use," says Tom McFall of Huriyali in Charleston, S.C.

The hand crank mechanism requires a good bit of elbow grease to spin five to six heads of lettuce at a time. At nearly 18 inches high, the unit takes up a good bit of storage space and can't fit in the dishwasher. "Most consumers would probably find it absurdly bulky for a typical home kitchen," McFall says. Still, if you need a salad spinner with a large capacity, this one delivers.

  • Dimensions: 17.72 x 17.72 x 17.13 inches
  • Spinning Method: Crank
  • Capacity: 5 gallons
best salad spinners
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Pull Spinner: Mueller 5-Liter Salad Spinner

View at Amazon ($30)

Also available at Walmart.

Pros: Its corner spout allows you to pour out water between spins without removing the lid, and it stays stable when spinning.

Cons: It's noticeably louder than other spinners we considered. The basket would benefit from a cover that would keep to greens getting caught in the spinner.

Though OXO is our overall top pick, our second favorite model is Mueller's. The lid features a grated hole in one corner so users can pour off water as they spin, and because the sturdy bowl is more square-shaped instead of perfectly round, the water pours out in a tidy, narrow stream. It's also powered by a pull mechanism rather than a push button, which some may prefer for arthritic hands or other  reasons. 

  • Dimensions: 8.19 x 10.2 x 10 inches
  • Spinning Method: Pull Bar
  • Capacity: 5.28 quarts
best salad spinners
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Spin Knob: Cuisinart Salad Spinner

View at Amazon ($17)

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy's.

Pros: It's easy to control this salad spinner's speed for delicate greens, herbs, or berries. 

Cons: Hand crank machines tend to be slower, which can be a nuisance for everyday use.

A salad spinner with a turning knob is great for produce that requires a gentler approach than setting it into motion with a push button. "Personally, I prefer salad spinners with a manual spin knob," says Jennifer Chandler, author of Simply Salads. Because it only rotates as quickly as you spin it, "the manual spin knob gives more control than the pump or string-pull spinning mechanisms, allowing you to spin even the most delicate of lettuces and fresh herbs."

  • Dimensions: 6.75 x 8.25 x 8.25 inches
  • Spinning Method: Hand-powered knob
  • Capacity: 3 quarts

What Didn't Make the List

best salad spinners
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Eva Solo North America Green Tools Spinning Colander

View at Perigold ($65)

This salad spinner gets high marks in design, but its good looks don't make up for the reality that, because it only has drainage on the bottom of the basket, it dries much less efficiently than competitors.

best salad spinners
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Zyliss Easy-Spin Salad Spinner

View at Sur La Table ($35)

Though once a favorite, this salad spinner has had some design tweaks in the last couple of years that have compromised its efficacy at drying.

Pro Panel Q+A

Q: How do salad spinners work? 

A: Nearly all salad spinners share the same basic construction: a basket set inside a larger bowl, topped with a lid that houses a spinning mechanism that is powered by either a cord, crank, or pump that uses centrifugal force to spin the basket, sending the residual water on the leaves out while holding the greens in.

Q: Why should I wash my lettuce and greens?

A: Lettuce and greens are delicate, low-growing crops and are susceptible to a range of environmental influences as they grow. Unwashed lettuce can result in everything from a benign but unpleasant mouthful of gritty salad to ingesting dangerous bacteria like E. Coli or listeria. According to the Food and Drug Administration, raw produce can be contaminated by animals, harmful substances in the soil or water, pesticides (organic or inorganic), and improper human handling. Per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), after produce is harvested, "it passes through many hands, increasing the contamination risk. Contamination can even occur after the produce has been purchased, during food preparation, or through inadequate storage."

Q: How can I keep my greens fresh?

A: Because moisture speeds up decomposition, the best way to keep greens fresh is to wait to wash them until the day you'll eat them. If you do want to prep them in advance, store washed greens between layers of dry-to-damp paper towels (depending on how dry your greens are) in a sturdy, lidded container in the fridge – like a salad spinner.

"Don't just use your salad spinner to clean lettuce. It's also the best way to store your lettuce in the fridge," says Chandler. "The spinner allows air to circulate around the lettuces, keeping it fresher longer than if in an airtight container like Tupperware or a resealable plastic bag."  If you don't have room for a larger container, a large zip-top bag will do the trick, but you risk greens bruising in the shifting and stacking of normal fridge traffic. If you notice your lettuce looking a little sad, submerge the leaves in cold water for 10 to 20 minutes to crisp them back up, then dry and enjoy. 

Factors to Consider

Size

There's no denying that a salad spinner is a bulky contraption, but if you make a lot of salad, it's worth making room to store it. Storage aside, consider the volume of salad you'll be making to determine what size is right for you. A three-quart model will do the trick for side salads for a few people, but for anything more than that, a six-quart model is the way to go.

Material

Depending on whether you prioritize versatility, durability, or price, different salad spinners will best suit your needs. If you want your salad spinner to do double-duty to both dry greens and function as a serving bowl, glass or metal is worth spending a bit more. Metal stands on its own as the only option that will never crack or shatter, but if you don't need your spinner to do anything but occasionally dry some greens, an inexpensive plastic model will suit your needs just fine.

Cleanup

"Being easy to clean is key for any kitchen gadget to actually get used more than once," says McFall. Fortunately, all of the models we included are straightforward to care for: just wash them with hot, soapy water and let them dry completely between uses. All of these models are also dishwasher safe, but be aware that plastic is prone to warping or discoloration when dried with heat in the dishwasher. "Though the manufacturer may say that a salad spinner is dishwasher safe, hand wash your spinner," says Chandler. "Even the sturdiest of plastic spinners can warp in the dishwasher. I think the reason mine has lasted so long is that I always hand wash it."

Our Expertise

For this story, we consulted five chefs who know their way around a sinkful of greens: Kristy Mucci, author of Salad Party; Abra Berens, chef, farmer, and author of Ruffage; Jennifer Chandler, author of Simply Salads; Jackie Sappington, owner of Harlow Cafe in Portland; and Tom McFall, owner of Huriyali in Charleston, S.C. 

Liz Mundle sourced the spinners and did the interviews. She is a writer, editor, and chef in New York City with over a decade of experience in kitchens and magazines. Her writing has appeared in Food & Wine, Saveur, and Domino, among others. She is opening Circus Provisions, a specialty grocery store in Brooklyn, later this year.