Whether you're whipping up a salad for a lunch with friends or you're craving pasta in the middle of the night, a colander is definitely a kitchen essential. Its handles and holes make it much easier for you to wash ingredients and drain noodles. However, looking for the right colander for your kitchen can be quite... draining.
But you're in luck, because mybest came up with a 10 best list of the best colanders just for you. At the top of our list is LiveFresh's micro-perforated stainless steel colander, which is equipped with drainage holes that will efficiently drain out water but keep your ingredients from falling out. Check out the rest of the awesome colanders on our list and give our buyer's guide a read while you're at it!
Jim Quast (JQ) is a lifelong professional restaurant and corporate R&D chef that loves everything food-related and the tools both big and small to make those great food memories. He's a super huge BBQ, grill, and kitchen gadget fanatic. JQ has spent the last 30+ years trying to figure out what works to make your kitchen life easier and fun. If you can use it to slice it, dice it, cook it, smoke it or store it, he's been there checking it out. Food = Life! https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-quast-59769011/
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
Make sure you get a colander with an appropriate capacity. It's important that it can keep itself elevated and that it's easy to store. Choose one made of sturdy and safe material as well as one that has holes that are the right size.
Colander sizes are normally measured in quarts. Some can hold just three quarts, while others can hold up to thirteen! There are also strainer-type colanders that hold less than a quart. These are usually used in meal preparations for a single serving.
If you’re cooking a meal just for yourself, then a colander with a small capacity should do. However, if you’re preparing food for a number of people, then a big colander won’t require straining multiple times. Your cooking time will be made much more efficient.
A standing colander has to be raised up a little more than an inch from the sink for it to do its job properly. Some colanders have a curved and hollow base that serves as a stand. This allows water to drain out of the colander holes without any blockage. It's also more hygienic since it keeps your food from touching the sink.
Other colanders have handles that you can rest on either side of your pot. These features keep your colander elevated.
Some colanders have asymmetrical handles with one being short, stubby, and round while the other is long like a panhandle. This type of colander can be shaken like a pan and held at a distance. This comes in especially handy when you're running water over something, such as washing berries or rinsing cooked noodles.
Like symmetrical handles, you can also rest two asymmetric handles on the edges of a basin or bowl so that the colander is kept elevated. If the colander is big enough, then you may be able to rest it on your sink. Some colanders even come with expandable handles that you can pull farther apart to fit a bigger span.
Since colanders can be quite big and bulky, you might want to consider getting one that has a feature that makes it easy to store, especially if you have limited storage space in your kitchen. While many colanders have a fixed shape, others are made of a material that makes them collapsible.
Collapsible colanders cave in on themselves, which makes for flat storage. While most have a round shape, others are rectangular. Other space-saving colanders are in unique shapes, while others have stackable features.
There are also colanders that have holes in the handle so you can hang it on a hook. Ultimately, you want to make sure that the colander you get matches the available space that you have in your kitchen.
Metal colanders are sturdy and have a fixed shape. However, since metal is such a great conductor of heat, if you’re going to strain something you’ve just boiled, then you’ll have to be extra careful not to burn yourself when you touch the handles!
Some metal colanders have mesh, with tiny holes between a criss-cross of super-thin wires. These ones are a better fit for draining fine grains like quinoa since it won’t be able to fit through the holes. Keep in mind, though, that some types of metal mesh can be a bit spiky, causing cuts and scrapes.
Other colanders are made of silicone. Silicone is bendable, but it’s also a durable material. It’s resistant to staining as well as stickiness. This is perfect if you plan on draining something sticky, mushy, or something that is a deep color. It’s not hard to wash.
Though plastic and heat don't go together, if your draining doesn't involve hot water, then you could consider getting a plastic colander. After all, certain fruits and vegetables can be eaten after a quick wash under cold water.
There are also more unique and classy colanders that are made of stoneware and handcrafted. Though you want to be extra careful with these ones since pottery can crack, they make great aesthetic pieces for your kitchen!
Colanders have to have the right-sized draining holes, or else food could slip through! A regular-holed colander is perfect for draining pasta like spaghetti, ravioli, and penne. These also work for draining fruits and vegetables.
However, if you're planning on draining ingredients of a small size, you should get a colander with holes that are big enough to let water out, but small enough to keep rice, grains or seeds inside. For example, if you're going to be washing quinoa, you need a colander that has mesh holes that are tiny.
On the other hand, if you're draining large ingredients, then holes that are too small might get clogged. So make sure you get a colander with holes that match up with the size of food you plan to drain with it.
Click to purchase
Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander
Drain Food Fast and Easily With a Sturdy, Rust-Proof Colander
Hold Food over The Sink and Save Space With This Collapsible Colander
Nest Colanders Stackable Set
Stack This Set of Nest Colanders With Easy-Pour Handles
Powder-Coated Enameled Colander
A Colorful Colander Fit for Hot and Cold Draining
Over-the-Sink Strainer Basket
Drain, Rinse, and Dry Fine Grains Over the Sink
Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Colander
Strain the Finest Foods With Ease
Quinoa and Small Grains Washing Colander｜11166900
A Colander Made Just for Small Grains
Geoff Walsh Pottery
Don't Worry About Drips With This Beautiful Handmade Stoneware Colander
3 in 1 Dish Tub and Colander Set With Lid
Drain and Store Your Food With This 3-in-1 Set
Stainless Steel Colander With Soft-Grip Handles
Designed to Drain Fast Without Losing Any Food
This stainless steel colander is built to last, with heavy-duty and rust-proof steel, a sturdy ring base, and riveted handles. It's equipped with microperforated holes that drain quickly and keep ingredients from falling out.
This colander can be used to drain rice, thanks to the small size of its holes. Its base is also designed with a drainage port which prevents liquid from staying trapped at the bottom.
Some reviewers pointed out that though the holes are small, they're not small enough to be used for quinoa and other kinds of grains of a similar size. Others said that it has rough and sharp spots, which make it a bit challenging to clean.
However, many reviewers praised this colander for its top-tier quality. Users liked that it's sturdy, well-designed, and strains well. Its large size was also something that people appreciated. Oh, and did we mention that it's dishwasher-safe too?
This large silicone colander can be collapsed into a height of under two inches. Its non-slip handles are telescopic and can be pulled farther apart to hold the colander over the sink's edges. Its materials are BPA-free.
Some reviewers found it hard to dump pasta out of, and others said that because the drainage holes are only found at the bottom, water tends to collect there. On the other hand, a lot of reviewers loved the foldable feature of this colander that makes it much easier to store. The adjustable handles were also a hit.
This set of nest colanders is a space-saver, thanks to the shape and stackable feature of the two colanders. Each has a vertical handle which makes it easy to use as well as easy-pour corners. The set gives you a selection of a big and a small colander.
Reviewers loved the ergonomic vertical handle, which makes it much easier than traditional ones that have the double tab handles on each side because they only need one hand. They also say it's durable, big enough for a family to use, and well-designed.
This powder-coated enamel and steel colander is stylish yet super functional. Its materials make it suitable for both hot and cold food preparations. Its handles are chrome-plated, making them extra durable, and it comes in many beautiful colors you'll want to display.
Some reviewers said that the enamel gets chipped and then rust can form. However, many liked that this colander is user-friendly and easy to clean. The poppin' color design was also something buyers liked. Some own them in several sizes and use them to hold fruit on their counter.
This unique colander is shaped like a basket. It's got expandable stainless steel handles that are wrapped in rubber, giving them a non-slip feature. The colander's fine mesh is rust-proof. It also has a thicker stainless steel base support that keeps the mesh slightly elevated.
While some reviewers said that food tends to get stuck on the colander's mesh, others said that the sharp edges at the bottom scraped their skin.
However, on the upside, many reviewers who had smaller-sized sinks said that the colander is perfect for their kitchen. Others really liked that the colander is sturdy and really easy to use!
This strainer has a pan-like handle that allows you to hold its double-mesh bowl under running water from a distance. It also has another balance handle that will let you set the colander on top of a bowl.
The stainless steel mesh allows you to use this colander for small ingredients like quinoa, rice, and dishes like soup stocks, and flour. It's also designed with a rounded finish which prevents food particles from getting stuck between the mesh and the rim of the colander.
Some reviewers had issues with the handle, saying that it isn't sturdy and tends to snap. On the upside, others liked that its mesh has holes that are large enough to drain out water, but small enough to hold grains as tiny as quinoa. Users also liked that the mesh is durable.
There's nothing more saddening than watching good, healthy grains go down the drain because they fall out of your colander holes. Not only is it a waste of money, but it's also a waste of great food! This colander's tiny, square-shaped holes are designed specifically for small grains like quinoa, buckwheat, and even barley.
It has extra drain holes by its pour spout to help drain any remaining liquid. Its soft, non-slip handles help you get a good grip on the colander, preventing any unintentional spills.
Some reviewers found the holes a bit too small, and that quinoa would get stuck in some of them. The small holes are also what some said make the colander difficult to clean, as a toothpick is usually the only thing that can push stuck food out. Others said that water tends to drain slowly because of the size of the holes.
However, on the bright side, some users said that the water draining out slowly gives them a chance to get a hand in and agitate the grains for better rinsing. For the most part, many said that this colander is fit for grains like quinoa. People loved that it helps reduce unnecessary waste.
This compact colander is perfect for serving fruit right after draining, thanks to the placement of its holes, which are on the side. Because there aren't any holes at the bottom, you aren't likely to get drips all over the floor when you move this colander. It's also got a mug-like handle.
Aesthetic is met with function when it comes to this hand-made pottery piece. It also makes a great decorative kitchen accessory!
Reviewers loved the visual beauty of this colander. Others liked how it serves as both a colander and a fruit bowl. They say it's sturdy enough to serve fruit snacks to kids without worrying it'll break easily. Many even bought it for loved ones as a gift.
This colander set gives you a tub, a strainer, and a lid. The basin lets you catch water, which can free up your sink space if you need to use it while waiting for all the water to drain out of the colander.
If you plan on serving the newly-drained ingredients, then the cover definitely comes in handy as it will help keep the food fresh and untouched by flies and other critters. Some reviewers found the set too big, though, especially for their refrigerators.
Others found the lid a bit too tall. However, on the upside, users liked that the large size allows you to wash a lot of ingredients at once. Others liked that the colander set also functions as storage space for fruit. It lets juice drain away from cut fruits like watermelon.
This colander is quite the time-saver, thanks to its perforated stainless steel mesh. Its pan-like handle is equipped with soft-grip material which makes it easy on your hands. It also allows you to keep the colander a safe distance away whenever you're working with hot water.
Some reviewers didn't like the quality of the handle, saying that it's on the flimsy side. Others said that the mesh can be sharp and cause cuts and abrasions. However, many liked the overall sturdy design of the colander in its entirety. Others like the length of the handle and how big the colander is.
Forget fancy restaurants. You can make your own delicious meals at home! Try these kitchen tools that will make cooking much easier and fun.
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: LiveFresh｜Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander
No. 2: QiMH｜Collapsible Colander
No. 3: Joseph Joseph ｜Nest Colanders Stackable Set
No. 4: Reston Lloyd｜Powder-Coated Enameled Colander
No. 5: Makerstep｜Over-the-Sink Strainer Basket
View Full Ranking
The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
AppsBusiness apps, Cooking apps, Dating apps
Home goodsBath supplies, Ceremonial occasion supplies, Cleaning supplies
Home electronicsAir conditioners and coolers, AV accessories, Blenders and food processors
PCComputer supplies, Desktop computers, Tablets
CameraCamera bags and backpacks, Camera supplies, Digital single lens cameras
BeautyBlushes, Bronzers, Cleansers
HealthBody care products, Health accessories, Health foods and supplements
Food and drinksAlcohol, Breads and jams, Cocktails and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages
KitchenCoffee and tea products, Cooking utensils, Cups
FashionFootwear products, Men's shoes, Sandals
AccessoriesWristwatches, Accessories and jewelry, Umbrellas and parasols
Kids and babyBaby carriers, Baby food, Baby formula
InteriorBeds, Beds and bedding, Chairs
HobbiesAromatherapy products, Art supplies, Arts and collectibles
OutdoorBarbecue grills and fire pits, Camping beds and cots, Camping gear
Home, garden, and toolsAgricultural materials and gardening supplies, Exterior and garden furniture, Materials and repairing agents
Sports and fitnessSports shoes, Surfing supplies, Badminton supplies
PetsBird and small animal supplies, Cat supplies, Dog supplies
MediaBooks and magazines, CD, Children's books, picture books and illustrated encyclopedias
GamesGaming accessories, Nintendo Switch games, PC games
AutomotiveCar accessories, Car navigation systems
GiftsChristmas gifts, Father's Day gifts, Gifts for children
Mobile devicesMobile phone and smartphone accessories, Wearable devices and smart watches