A colander is a kitchen utensil with holes in it that let you drain water from, well, pretty much anything. You can use it to strain pasta or pre-cook rice (an easy way to turn leftovers into an entirely new meal). It’s also good for washing and rinsing fruits and veggies, like potatoes, carrots, or melons.
Plus, a colander can be used for drying herbs after you chop them. But though the colander has many important functions—you can even use one to aid in making the occasional lava lamp.
Here are the best colanders to help you find the perfect one for you and your household.
Our 5 Favorite Best Colander
Wirecutter Best Colander Reviews:
1. OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Steamer
Freshly steamed vegetables are a snap with the OXO Good Grips Steamer with Extendable Handle. The telescoping handle extends and locks into position for filling and transporting, and retracts to accommodate pot lids while steaming. For extra reach, a fork can be inserted into the handle. The feet on the Steamer fold for storage and open up to 1 3/4″ so plenty of water can be used for steaming. Simply remove the handle when the entire basket is needed for steaming large items like fish fillets. The sturdy, stainless steel Steamer is dishwasher safe.
- Removable handle extends and locks into position for filling and transporting and retracts to accommodate pot lids while steaming
- Perfect for use with a pressure cooker or multicooker
- Handle hole for fork keeps hands away from steam
- Steamer fits pots 8” in diameter and up
- 1 3/4” feet elevate Steamer above water and fold flat when not in use for compact storage
- Sturdy, stainless steel construction. Dishwasher safe
- Note: The handle of this product wobbles by design – the range of motion allows the handle to retract to accommodate pot lids while steaming
2. HÖLM Micro-Perforated Strainer Colander
Whether you’re looking for a simple spaghetti strainer or a robust colander that can handle grains, the hölm 3 piece colander set is here to help you prepare food faster, easier, and cleaner. Perfect for seasoned cooks and novices alike!
- THREE CONVENIENT SIZES: 1-Quart, 2.5-Quart and 4.5-Quart sizes for all your cooking, straining and preparation needs. Large 11″ x 3 1/2″ (with handles – 13 1/4″) – Medium 8 1/2″ x 3″ (with handles – 11″) – Small 6 1/2″ x 2 1/4″ (with handles – 8″)
- DURABLE STAINLESS STEEL: All Stainless Steel heavy duty construction for maximum durability at an unbeatable price. Sturdy handles and durable mesh make this strainer set a must-have. Will not rust even in the dishwasher! BPA free, so it wont leach plastic chemicals into your food.
- STURDY BASE: Footed design facilitates fast, easy drainage for faster preparation, a cleaner rinse, and more efficient cooking. Makes a great alternative to handheld spider strainer.
- SUPERIOR DESIGN: Fully-perforated mesh strainer and footed design provide superior drainage with minimal loss. Mesh is sturdy and will not warp , stretch, or snag even under heavy foods. Also, it’s 100% Dishwasher Safe and easy to clean.
- DRAIN ANYTHING: This steel strainer set is great for washing, rinsing or draining pasta, rice, quinoa, grains, fruit, vegetables, berries, canned goods, beans, spaghetti, hamburger, tuna, cooked meats and eggs.
3. ExcelSteel Colander set
Perforated design allows for fast and thorough draining or rinsing. Used to prepare fruits, vegetables, pasta and even meat. Constructed of high-quality stainless steel, the large handles allow for a firm, comfortable grip. Featuring a mirror-polished innterior and exterior. Each colander nests for convenient storage. A sturdy base provides for secure placement on the countertop or in the sink.
- Features 1-Quart, 2.5-Quart and 4-Quart sizes
- Constructed in high quality stainless steel
- Sturdy base to sit on the countertop and sink with ease
- Oversized handles makes handling food comfortable
- Lightweight stainless steel for easy handling
- Featuring a mirror polished interior and exterior
- Each colander also nests for convenient storage
4. DLD Stainless Steel Micro-Perforated 5-Quart Colander
Made from food grade 304 stainless steel, our colanders are corrosion resistant and won’t rust over time like some lower-quality strainers. Our metal are completely dishwasher safe and continue to look like new after washing and years of use.
- TOP OF THE LINE – We strive to provide only products that will exceed your expectations and will always satisfy you to the most. That is why our kitchen strainer is made of first class Stainless Steel that is rust free and will never affect the taste of your food!
- PERFECT FOR GRAINS AND PASTAS: The holes in this colander are small enough that you can strain cooked grains, including rice, quinoas, pasta and most beans, pastas, as well as fruits and vegetables without any worries of clogging. Our robust sieve holds onto your spaghetti noodles and stops small foods from falling through. Perfect to rinse, sieve, cooking, and even as vegetable steamer!
- MICRO-PERFORATED HOLES DRAIN FASTER AND PREVENT FALL-THROUGH – Small closely spaced holes on every surface allow for super-fast drainage so you don’t have to tilt the bowl to get all of the water out. A big difference over both old-fashioned colanders with gaping holes and mesh colanders.The sturdy solid ring base keeps the colander from tipping over so that you can fill it up without fear of dumping your food. Precision-cut drainage ports are added to the base to prevent backflow.
- STAINLESS STRAINER FOR BERRIES TO ANGEL HAIR PASTA – Our pasta colander is perfect for beans, fruits and vegetables, noodles and spaghetti, even for broth of bones and scraps of meat. You may use this metal strainer with handle to rinse rice or quinoa.
- 100% customer satisfaction-can double as a strainer bowl for a fruit basket. We believe you will like our steel filter. However, because the goods are imported, they may be damaged during transportation. If you are not satisfied with our small colander, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will give you a 100% satisfactory solution
5. ExcelSteel Stainless Steel Colander
This 5QT Colander is constructed in high quality stainless steel with large handles to make carrying food comfortable and easy. The sturdy base allows it to rest easily on the countertop or sink. Rinse your salads, vegetables, and fruits in this multi-purpose colander. Easy to clean, use and a must have in the kitchen.
- Easy grip handles
- Constructed in durable stainless steel
- Dishwasher safe, clean with ease
- Mirror polished finish for high shine
- Lightweight stainless steel for easy handling
6. Qimh Collapsible Colander
The Kitchen Qimh Collapsible Colander will exceed your expectations.Quality and comfort meet here to create the perfect Strainer. Suitable for all kinds of needs, everything from fresh fruit to green vegetables.
The handles are made from extremely durable materials making it heat resistant up to 302°F.
Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. BPA free, so you can use it without any worries.
Three strainers included in this package 2 pcs 4 Quart and 1 pcs 2 Quart.
- Foldable and Space Saving Design – Ergonomic, space-saving design. Strainers are foldable, so they do not take up much room in your kitchen cupboards.
- Easy to Use – This round colander used for draining most foods like spaghetti, pasta, potatoes, broccoli, green beans, carrots, spinach and other veggies, to rinse your salad leafs, fruits and fresh vegetables.
- Safe – Using environmentally friendly Rubber and plastics materials,no smell.
- Multi Use – You can used in or over a sink and freestanding on a counter or table.
- Good Service – If you are not satisfied with the collapsible colanders,please feel free to contact us,we promise help you solve any problems within 24 hours.
7. U.S. Kitchen Supply 3 Quart Stainless Steel Colander
Cooking should be Fast, Easy, and Enjoyable!
Our strainer colander basket can rest in your pot, in the sink, or on a countertop, so that your hands are free to you focus on other things, so you can cook faster, easier, and with better results while avoiding the unpleasant messy part of the cooking experience.
- Professional Grade Mesh Strainer Basket: A durable and sturdy high performance 3 quart (8-1/4″ diameter) stainless steel mesh net strainer basket with wide handles and 3 resting feet. It features a sturdy outer mirror finished wide rimmed framework design, and has a rust-proof firm mesh strainer basket net with securely attached wide handles. This basket is built to last for a lifetime of repeated daily use.
- Helping Hand to Prepare and Cook Food: Our strainer colander basket can rest in your pot, in the sink or on a countertop, so that your hands are free to you focus on other things. Our basket allows you to be more efficient in the kitchen, because you’ll be able to cook faster, easier and with better results! It’s easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
- Sift, Strain, Rinse and Steam: 3 quarts is the preferred basket size needed to handle most straining, seiving, sifting, filtering, rinsing, steaming and cooking tasks. The baskets concave mesh net easily catches and sifts, strains or drains small ingredients. The sealed steel rim prevents food from getting trapped between the mesh and the rim. Strainer baskets are an essential tool for busy kitchens, and one of the secrets to making consistent quality meals.
- Multiple Uses: Our colander basket strainer is great for sifting, filtering and straining out impurities and for breaking up clumps in both wet or dry ingredients. Sift flour, sugar and rice. Use for food preparation like rinsing and washing fruits, vegetables, grains and pastas. Strain thick or thin wet ingredients like sauces, lumpy gravy and broths. Use in a pot to steam vegetables, fry foods like french fries or to cook pasta. The uses are unlimited.
- We assure you that our stainless steel mesh strainer basket is built to last, and if you’re not satisfied with it at anytime, we’ll provide a full refund.
8. RSVP International Stainless Colander
“Size: 5-Quart A Cook’s Illustrated favorite colander because of the hundreds of holes for fast draining and durable 18/8 stainless steel construction. Measures 11-inches by 13-inches (including handles) by 5-inches tall. Dishwasher safe. “
- Great For The Kitchen: Our original design RSVP Precision Pierced Colander is covered from top to bottom with tiny, precision pierced holes that allow water to drain freely.
- Stainless Steel Colander: Wide rim base holds the colander above the floor of the sink and provides stability when pouring hot water into the colander; wide rim base also keeps the food inside the colander.
- Perfectly Sized: Holds up to 5 quarts. 11 inches by 5.25 inches. Made of superior quality 18/8 stainless steel for a smooth, polished, corrosion-resistant surface.
- Fantastic Quality: A long-time favorite of Cook’s Illustrated. Not even the smallest of orzo or angel hair pasta will escape.
- Easy To Use And Clean: Not a drop of liquid will remain in this colander when rinsing. Dishwasher safe.
9. QiMH Collapsible Colander and Strainer
The Kitchen Qimh Collapsible Colander will exceed your expectations. Quality and comfort meet here to create the perfect Strainer. Suitable for all kinds of needs, everything from fresh fruit to green vegetables.
It can also heat resistant up to 302 °F, so you can immerse them in boiling water to drain, strain and contain practically anything; Boiled fresh veggies, lettuce, cabbage, pasta, potatoes, berries, poultry, meats..etc.
Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. BPA free, so you can use it without any worries.
Easy to Drain and Clean
The perforation design is very easy to drain,widely used for draining most foods like spaghetti,pasta, potatoes,broccoli, green beans, carrots, spinach and other veggies. It could clean easily, wash with soapy warm water or place in dishwasher after use and keep dry.
Convenient, Comfortable Handdle
Sturdy handle design for comfortable holding when strain and drain food. Greatly enhance your effectiveness of kitchen work.
The sturdy plastic base can maintain a stable balance when placed on any countertop or sink, while also being non-slip.
Save More Space
These colanders are the perfect solution to small kitchens and crowded cupboards, they are only 1.8 inch when folded.
10. KitchenAid Gourmet Stainless Steel Colander
This KitchenAid stainless steel colander is ideal for use with pasta, fruits and vegetables. Features large, soft grip handles. Raised feet for straining in sink. Durable stainless steel construction. Easy to clean, dishwasher safe.
- Ideal for use with pasta, fruits and vegetables
- Large, soft grip handles
- Raised feet for straining in sink
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Easy to clean, dishwasher safe
How to Choose a Colander
Colanders must first and foremost be heat-safe, making metal, enamel, plastic, and silicone all good materials for production. “When given the choice, I would turn to a metal colander any time I’m cooking!” says Hamp. “Stainless steel is rust-resistant and stands the test of time in the kitchen. I’ve used my set almost daily for years and it still looks brand new.” Additionally, they can be put into pots to be used as steamer baskets, making them more than just strainers.
However, when buying a metal colander, it’s important to take note of the kind of metal used and the way it’s finished. Some alloys can rust, thinner layers may dent, mirror-polished types can get noticeably scratched, and edges can scratch pots, your sink base, and even you. Feel the inner surface and outer rims to make sure it’s smooth and uniform to the touch.
Plastic colanders bear the benefit of being lightweight, typically inexpensive, easy to clean, and available in a variety of shapes, colors, and finishes. However, as Hamp points out, they don’t age as well as perennial materials like metal. “Plastic options can experience some color and surface dulling over time,” she says, not to mention cracking with extended use, and staining if rough-textured and light-colored. Anyone who has ever put tomato sauce leftovers into a plastic container can attest to that!
“I also try to avoid bringing plastic products into my kitchen for environmental reasons,” says Hamp, another valid point to consider. Many plastics are recyclable, and you can seek out colanders made of recycled material, but the fact of the matter is, colanders are usually made from new plastics.
Silicone is a new darling when it comes to kitchenware, and more and more manufacturers are offering options made of it. It’s flexible, heat resistant, and doesn’t hold onto odors. Moreover, “Silicone colanders are typically collapsible, which is great if you’re tight on space in your kitchen,” says Hamp. The downside is that they can get punctured or melt, and it can be annoying or challenging to clean thoroughly.
“Enamel options often come in beautiful colors and patterns, and can double as a beautiful fruit bowl since it allows for air circulation,” Hamp concedes. Enamel colanders are typically dishwasher-safe, but ought to be gently hand-washed. Another downside to enamel is that it may chip or crack, which makes it necessary to handle them with more care than other materials.
Common hole patterns in colanders—in order of fineness—include mesh, micro-perforation, round, angled, and vertical slits. The best colanders have a high concentration of draining holes, and have more perforated surface than solid. Regardless of the shape the holes take, the closer they are to one another, the faster your food will drain.
What shape does impact, though, is what you can drain in the colander. “Spaghetti and angel hair can slip through colanders with vertical slits or round dot patterns, and those options don’t have as many draining holes as I’d like to ensure a rapid drain,” says Hamp. “I’ve found that the draining holes in plastic, silicone, and enamel colanders are too large to catch small pasta shapes, like orzo, but work well for rinsing and drying fruit and greens,” she adds.
Another point of consideration is how easy it is to clean. Most things you strain in a colander are just in water, keeping cleaning to a minimum, but that doesn’t mean debris can’t get caught. In these cases, note that mesh can shred or capture sponge or scouring pad pieces and round holes may be hard to get crumbs out of. A good dish brush can do the trick for either and is especially effective for vertical holes.
Most users prefer colanders that are slightly elevated. Raising the base of the colander eliminates the problem of pooling, keeps your food farther from unhygienic surfaces like your kitchen sink, and increases airflow for more even and faster liquid elimination.
Pedestals and feet are the most popular built-in ways colanders keep their contents from stewing and steaming, and you’ll find these in freestanding colanders with handles. The colanders that will last you the longest will have pedestals or feet integrated into the body, if not sturdily attached.
It’s trickier with metal colanders, whose bases must be attached. Their feet or pedestal rings are often glued on, so just make sure it’s secure if it’s not part of the mechanical structure.
And there you have it! If you’re in the market for a new colander, this list is a great place to start. Or, if you want to explore even more options, our picks above should help pique your interest. After all, choosing the best colander is all about knowing what’s out there—and that was the goal of this article. I hope it was helpful, and best of luck with your shopping!