The Best Colanders for Rinsing and Draining

Drain canned foods and pasta, rinse unwashed produce, sift powdered ingredients—today’s sturdy colanders can handle it.

By Sarah Littleton | Updated Jun 15, 2020 2:24 PM and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

The Best Colander Options


Draining pasta and other boiled foods is not the only task a colander is up for. The colander is an amazingly versatile kitchen tool: it’s ideal for rinsing rice and beans, washing fruits and vegetables, sifting flour or powdered sugar for baking—depending on its size, a metal colander can even be used as a steamer when placed in a pot containing water.

Colanders are often confused with sieves, which are made of finer mesh than colanders, and are ideal for fine-straining and sifting. While colanders can sift powders like flour and sugar, the grain will not be as fine as it would be if sifted through a sieve. Colanders are most often made of light metals like aluminum and stainless steel, while high-quality plastic and enamel options exist as well. The best colander will hold up to regular use without breaking down or rusting, allowing it to serve many functions over time.

Our Top Picks

Colanders come in different sizes, placement designs, materials, and price points. We’ve narrowed down the top-performing models on the market—choose the tool that best suits your cooking needs.

The Best Colander Option: Bellemain Micro-Perforated Colander


BEST OVERALL: Bellemain Micro-Perforated Stainless Steel Colander

Bellemain’s Micro-Perforated Stainless Steel Colander contains a closely-set pattern of tiny perforations in the 5-quart bowl, allowing contents to drain quickly without falling into the sink, while also making it suitable for finer sifting. The Bellemain contains heavy-duty stainless steel construction, including riveted handles for a secure grip. The colander is centered on a stable ring-shaped base, making it suitable for hands-free use as well. It’s spacious enough to drain five pounds of spaghetti at once and can tackle jobs for large family meals. The Bellemain is a sturdy, long-lasting, and effective colander at a reasonable cost, earning our top recommendation.

The Best Colander Option: Glotoch Kitchen Collapsible Colander


BEST SPACE-SAVING: Glotoch Kitchen Collapsible Colander

One of the biggest user complaints about colanders is that they’re difficult to store. Glotoch Express solved this problem with its collapsible strainer: this colander boasts a generous 6-quart straining capacity, but folds compactly flat inside its top rail to a height of only 2 inches. Two extendable, ergonomic handles brace the colander on the edge of a sink or bowl for hands-free use and a solid base holds it upright without the arms. This BPA-free silicone colander is heat-resistant up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit⁠—although it isn’t suitable for contact with boiling water, it can handle water at high temperatures and is dishwasher safe. While this Glotoch Express strainer is capable of almost all tasks in its category, its perforations do not allow for fine sifting. The Glotoch Kitchen Collapsible Colander is ideal for kitchens with limited storage space and travel.

The Best Colander Option: U.S. Kitchen Supply Premium Quality Colander


BEST OVER-SINK: U.S. Kitchen Supply Stainless Steel Oval Colander

Some cooks prefer a colander that braces against the sink for support instead of resting on a foot or pedestal. This is understandable: should the sink fill with drained water, an over-the-sink model ensures that the food in the colander stays clean. U.S. Kitchen Supply’s Stainless Steel Oval Colander is a highly adaptable over-sink model. This premium quality oval colander is 13 inches by 9 inches for a 6-quart capacity, while the extendable arms hold the basket securely suspended over the sink. The colander has resting feet for stability on the countertop or in the sink and is adjustable to the task at hand. The fine steel mesh makes this colander ideal for draining, straining, washing, and sifting wet and dry ingredients. This heavy-duty option is both rustproof and dishwasher safe, for longstanding wear and easy cleanup.

The Best Colander Option: HÖLM 3-Piece Micro-Perforated Colander Set


BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: HÖLM 3-Piece Micro-Perforated Colander Set

HÖLM’s set of three stainless steel colanders is highly useful for new and experienced cooks alike. The set includes 1-, 2.5-, and 4.5-quart colanders, so cooks can choose the right size for the job and not take up more space in the dishwasher than necessary. The finely perforated, stainless steel mesh allows for swift draining, with angled feet for hands-free support. Riveted handles and a solid steel edge offer stability to these rustproof and dishwasher-safe colanders. The set is offered at a price one finds for single, premium-priced colanders with comparable durability and function, so it’s a great choice for cooks on a budget.