10 Editor-Loved Colanders for Straining, Sifting, and Rinsing

published May 10, 2023
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someone is pouring vegetables and broth through a colander
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

In theory, colanders serve a single purpose, but in reality, you likely reach for yours much more often than you initially thought you would. Whether you’re draining cooked pasta, rinsing produce, or using it to sift flour, the colander comes in handy quite a lot when you really think about it. As a result, it’s important to find a good one that holds up to daily use. Chances are, you’ve been using the same perforated bowl for years, and it’s become battered, dented, and stained, or perhaps noodles now stick to its surface, leaving behind a stubborn residue. In any case, you’ve come to the right place, because our editors have tried dozens of colanders and deduced which ones are the best. Not only that, but our top picks also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so there’s something for every kitchen — even the ones that are seemingly out of storage space. Just take a peek below to find your next meal prep staple.

1 / 10

Use this double-duty bowl to soak berries and other produce before lifting up the built-in colander to strain them. You can also use the colander on its own to strain and thaw other foods, while the solid outer layer acts as a mixing or holding bowl. Contributor Shifrah says the gadget makes her kitchen sink feel like a professional work station, adding that the soaking colander "not only can be used either together or separately, but also can be stored together or separately, saving space as well as energy." Plus, it's dishwasher-safe!

2 / 10
was $29.99

Sure, many pasta pots come with strainers built right into their rims or lids, but you always risk accidentally letting go of the lid and dumping the contents into the sink when you strain. Eliminate that problem with this brilliant attachment, which takes up a fraction of the space of a regular colander but works just as well. Notably, the Snap N Strain tool lets you use both hands to get a secure grip on your pot handles, preventing accidents and burns. It's no wonder why Amazon shoppers call it a lifesaver.

3 / 10
Great Jones
was $90.00

In addition to top-quality cookware, Great Jones also produces multifunctional kitchen tools such as the popular Full Steam Duo. Each piece in this set can be used as a steamer, splatter guard, trivet, and, of course, a colander — plus, the duo is so easy to store. "Because they collapse down to just a few inches for super easy storage (yes, even in those tiny NYC apartment cabinets), I thought they might be a little flimsy when filled with food," contributor Stella wrote. "The Full Steam didn’t bend, sag, or topple over and spill my veggies to the floor. And, this is the smaller of the two!"

4 / 10
was $19.99

Another hands-free colander, this over-the-sink attachment expands to fit right onto your work station. In addition to using it for straining and washing, you can also employ the colander as a makeshift dish rack for glasses, utensils, and whatever else doesn't fit inside your regular rack. When you're done using it, simply reduce the tool back to its regular size and stow it away.

5 / 10

If you're going to buy a unitasker, make sure it's as useful and compact as this can colander. With this, you can strain your can's contents and rinse ingredients right inside without having to dirty a larger colander. "I’ve been using this thing with beans, vegetables, and even cans of tuna (just flip it around and use the base to compress the tuna and drain out the liquid)," wrote Lisa, Kitchn's former executive lifestyle director. "So while this definitely counts as a unitasker, I have found plenty of use for it in my daily life, which means it gets to stay."

6 / 10
was $14.95

We love the design of these nesting colanders — namely their angled handles — which allow for safer, more precise straining. And, even with the handles, each one can stand on its own (or potentially fit onto your sink's rim) so that you can hold your pot with both hands. Best of all, the colanders can be stored compactly and sell for just $13.

7 / 10

Berries are notorious for getting moldy annoyingly fast. The key to preventing this issue is soaking up as much moisture from their bin as possible, which can be hard to do with the plastic containers they're packed into. That's why contributor Rochelle suggests investing in one or more of these berry colander baskets. "I’m planning on bringing these with me to the farmers market when berry season gets rocking; I’ll ask the vendors to transfer the fruit from their containers right into mine," she wrote. "They’ll be just as useful at home, too." And it doesn't hurt that the baskets are super adorable!

8 / 10

If you're not that into plastic or silicone kitchen tools, you can't go wrong with this classic stainless-steel colander. It's so good, our former tools editor added it to her wedding registry. "The RSVP International Colander has tons of tiny perforations (so water easily flows out of it), secure handles, and a wide, tall base that ensures it stays off the bottom of the sink and drained water doesn’t flow back into it," Riddley wrote. It's also a great size for straining larger batches of food.

9 / 10

The cool thing about this expandable colander (aside from the expandable part, of course) is that its perforated area is made of stainless steel, while its feet and side handles are encased in rubber to prevent slips and scratches. The mesh is also easy to clean and ultra-durable, so you can rest assured that this tool will last for years without sustaining any serious damage.

10 / 10
was $16.98

Collapsible colanders are one of the best options for smaller kitchens. Another great alternative is this two-in-one perforated Joseph Joseph scoop. Contributor Aly loves that it has hooks on the underside so that you can clip it right onto a pan for draining and that the utensil lets you scoop straight out of a hot pan. "The possibilities are nearly endless, and I’m looking forward to using it for everything," she wrote. "It’s truly a game-changer for anything that needs to be drained, strained, or scooped while cooking, and I can really see it becoming a mainstay in my kitchen." You'll also find this tool incredibly easy to store.