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The humble salad spinner may seem like an unnecessary kitchen tool, but we beg to differ: It's revolutionary when it comes to yielding crispy, fresh greens. The centrifugal force created by spinning draws the liquid from spinach, arugula, and more, warding off lingering moisture that might make your salad soggy or even moldy and pulling dirt particles hidden in ribs and crevices.
Our tester chose the Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner as our winner because it's durable, intuitive, and versatile; basically, it's everything you might wish a salad spinner to be. For another near-perfect product, wash mint, cilantro, and other small produce items with the compact Oxo Good Grips Little Salad & Herb Spinner.
To help you find the best salad spinner for your kitchen, we tested them side-by-side and evaluated each on its ease of use, design, size, ease of cleaning, and overall value. Lots of salad greens, fruits, and vegetables were washed and spun to make sure these salad spinners are truly the best.
Here are the best salad spinners, according to our tests.
Best Overall: Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner
Easy to use
Grip on bottom discolors over time
Bulky to store
Oxo is a widely recognized and trusted brand for durable, intuitive, and efficient kitchen tools. This salad spinner is no exception. With this model you can easily prep, wash, and dry a large amount of lettuce, strawberries, bulky root vegetables, canned beans, and so much more. At 4.95-quart capacity, the basket was able to handle enough food for a family meal when our tester put it through washing and spinning a large head of romaine lettuce, a pint of blueberries and a quart of strawberries, and finally 1 pound of cooked pasta.
Standout features include the patented plunger, which is incredibly easy to operate—even one-handed. Our tester lauded the minimal strength it took to depress the plunger while still feeling sturdy and comfortable in her hand. It only took 10 pumps to completely clean and dry a large head of romaine lettuce, and no berries were bruised after five efficient plunges and fast-action braking. The wide, flat base has a rubber ring that our tester noted held the spinner completely secure on the counter while processing across all three tests.
Like other Oxo products, this one is made to last, even when you use it as a colander for hot foods or a bowl as a serving dish. Our tester gushed about the heavy-duty, well-constructed design and said the clear bowl almost looks like glass for serving, but did not get hot when passing around the pasta she strained in the colander and then served in the bowl.
Cleaning and storage are equally simple. Our reviewer reported the lid popped apart for easy washing in the dishwasher, and the slots in the basket are evenly spaced to avoid hidden bits of greens or herbs. After cycling in the dishwasher, she noted there were a few water spots that wiped away easily, and after reassembling, she said the plunger neatly locked into place, making a flat top that was easily stored and stacked upon.
"Everything about this spinner felt intuitive, including the built-in lock that kept the plunger secure and easy to store, the quick-acting brake, and the heavy-duty, durable construction. I loved how stable it was during spinning because of the non-slip base, and the instructions on the box clearly explained each step in the process from setup to cleaning."
Best Steel: Oxo Steel Salad Spinner
Doubles as a serving bowl
Must dry after use to avoid rusting
Can't see greens unless colander is removed
If you're looking for a salad spinner that's efficient, but also modern and attractive, the Oxo Steel model is a great choice. It has the elements expected from Oxo's trusted brand, plus a sleek design that looks as good on the table serving your freshly spun salad as it does on the counter as a tool.
The 4.95-quart basket capacity was ample to clean and dry a large head of romaine lettuce in one of our tests. After a soak in cold water for five minutes, our tester recorded it took only 10 easy pumps to completely remove dirt and thoroughly dry chopped romaine. In another test, she cleaned and spun a pint of blueberries, but found the steel bowl caused bruising on the berries. She repeated the test with a quart of strawberries and was pleased with the thorough clean without any bruising. With that in mind, this model may not be a wise choice for more delicate berries.
The patented pump-action plunger makes one-handed operation easy, and the built-in brake mechanism skids your spinning to a halt quickly. When finished, the plunger neatly locks into position, making for easier storage. This model has a base coated in non-slip material that keeps the spinner stable during operation, and our tester found it stayed still across three tests.
You're not limited to spinning with this model. Our reviewer reported after using the colander to rinse an entire box of tagliatelle, she segued it to the table in the brushed stainless steel bowl for family dinner. She also used it to mix pancake batter and lauded its versatility for more than salad spinning. Her one negative comment was after following the manufacturer’s instructions to wash it in the dishwasher, she found water spots all over the stainless steel bowl that took some vigorous rubbing with a clean, dry hand towel to remove. She noted she would not wash the bowl in the dishwasher to preserve its beauty and longevity.
"I loved this product for its versatility as a salad spinner, pasta colander, and beautiful serving vessel. I do think the heavy nature of the stainless steel bowl makes it less adept when cleaning delicate fruits, but the durable construction, stable non-slip base, and elegant design make it a worthy purchase."
Best Compact: Oxo Good Grips Little Salad and Herb Spinner
Works as efficiently as larger version
Small footprint for easy storage
Great capacity for small households
Pricey for size
Sometimes you only need a petite spinner that stores compactly, but has the oomph of larger models. The Oxo Good Grips Little Salad and Herb Spinner is just right for small portions of lettuce, berries, and especially bunches of fresh herbs with its 2.5-quart basket. Our tester found it easily accommodated two heads of radicchio for one test, two bunches of cilantro for another, and one pint of blueberries for a third.
Just like the larger model, this one has an easy pump-action spinner and patented brake to stop with ease. In her test with the radicchio, our reviewer found the plunger was comfortable to grip, and it only took 10 pumps to completely clean and dry the greens. She appreciated the clear bowl allowed her to see when the greens were dry, and the brake was instantly responsive when she pushed it. She also loved the non-slip base for stability and the sturdy construction of the plastic bowl.
All parts were washed on the top rack of the dishwasher during testing, and our tester noted everything was completely clean after one cycle and snapped back together easily. She did report some water spots remained, but they wiped away with a quick rub of a clean, dry hand towel. She loved its diminutive footprint with the lock-flat plunger for stackable storage.
"I loved this spinner for its convenient, smaller household design. Its perfect for a cozy kitchen or someone just starting out, as the bowl easily fits a small head of lettuce, multiple herb bunches, or fresh berries, and the lid locks flat for easy storage. My daughter, who is home from college, loved it for its smaller profile and durable construction, and added it to her wishlist for the next holiday."
Best for Traveling: Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible Salad Spinner
Collapses for storage
Takes longer to dry greens
Road trips, camping, barbecues, and dorm life just got easier with the Progressive Collapsible Salad Spinner. If you need something that won't break, but can handle washing and drying smaller batches of lettuce, this 3-quart model with a silicone construction and collapsible design is a wonderful option. In testing, our reviewer found it actually reduces to just 3 inches when fully collapsed. Storage could not be more convenient.
The lid utilizes a large knob that operates the spinner in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions, and it stops on the spot via the built-in brake. Our tester found the knob and brake easy to operate when she washed and spun a head of green leaf lettuce, but did report it took longer to flush out the water because of the design on the brake around the circumference of the colander. It left less space for openings to allow water to escape while spinning. In a test with fresh blueberries, though, she observed the fruit washed and spun quickly with no bruising at all, but she did have to hold the spinner while processing to keep it stable on the counter.
It's safe to put this in the dishwasher on the top rack, making for no-fuss cleanup. Our tester found it easily fit in her loaded dishwasher, and it came out completely clean in one cycle. She also reported it maintained its shape post-wash and neatly snapped back together and collapsed for easy storage—even in small spaces.
"I loved the slim profile of this spinner, especially when storing it. It did feel a little flimsy when I unpacked it, but I think the size and ease of operation would make this a great choice for camping, road tripping, or traveling in general. It easily stores in tight spaces and is large enough for small heads of greens, herbs, or vegetables."
Best Large-Capacity: Farberware Professional Salad Spinner
Easy to operate
Meal prep for weekly lunches is made easy with the Farberware Professional Salad Spinner. With 5.5 quarts of capacity in the basket and an almost 7-quart bowl, you can easily wash and dry multiple heads of lettuce. Our tester washed and spun two large heads of romaine lettuce and observed there was still space in the bowl for more. It can also be used as a colander for other kitchen tasks, such as draining pasta or washing bulky vegetables.
Operation is easy with the pump-action plunger and stopper. Across two tests—one featuring lettuce and the other berries—our reviewer noted the pump was easy to operate with minimal strength required. She also appreciated the non-slip base, which kept everything stable during spinning. Lettuce came out clean, just glistening with moisture, and berries were unbruised and ready to be eaten. If you host larger family meals, the Farberware Professional Pump will make salad, fruit, and vegetable prep stress-free.
Our tester loved the capacious size for larger batches of greens for a week of lunch salads, but she did note it is quite bulky to store, even with the plunger locked for flat storage. It’s not dishwasher safe, either, but our reviewer noted it was easy to hand wash, and the wide slat openings on the colander made getting the bits of lettuce out a snap.
"I really liked the size of this one, especially for processing bulk greens and fruit at one time. The ease of the plunger, even with a full colander, and non-slip base kept everything stable and moving quickly. I did have to store it in a deep drawer because of its bulky profile."
How We Tested
We sent salad spinners to our experienced home cook and product tester, who tried each out with different types of salad greens and herbs, as well as delicate and firm fruits and vegetables (i.e. blueberries vs. strawberries), cooked pasta, and more. Each salad spinner was rated on ease of use, design, size, ease of cleaning, and overall value. Our tester then offered additional insights on each salad spinner's strengths and weaknesses.
Other Options We Tested
- Westmark German Vegetable and Salad Spinner: This salad spinner previously appeared on our roundup as the best pick for a hand-crank style, but our tester found its bulky size and protruding crank difficult to store. The lack of a non-slip base made stabilizing the spinner more challenging, and the plastic wasn't as heavy-duty as she'd wished. After one cycle in the dishwasher, the bowl and colander were misshapen and had to be bent back to their nesting formation even though the manufacturer claims they are dishwasher safe. That said, this does have an ingenious pouring spout that makes getting rid of excess post-spin liquid a cinch with no mess running down the side of your bowl. (This would also be great for other liquids that need to be poured, such as pancake batter). With a 5-quart capacity, it comfortably fit a head of chopped romaine lettuce easily and took 30 spins to fully clean greens. It was much more efficient with a quart of strawberries, taking only 10 minutes to go from cold soak to finished.
What to Look for in Salad Spinners
Type of Spin Action
- Knob-style spinners: This model features a small knob poised atop a gear disc. As you spin the knob, the inner basket begins to spin. It can be bulky for storing because the knob sticks out.
- Handle-style spinners: Easier on the hand than the knob variety, a handle-style salad spinner is also difficult to store because of the awkward shape. The extended handle is attached to the gears, and as you manually spin the handle, the basket spins.
- Pull-cord spinners: Think of your lawnmower—that's how a pull-cord spinner operates. You pull the cord to set the basket in motion. Though it takes light effort to operate, it's vulnerable to cord damage and is most likely to break.
- Pump spinners: This model can be operated one-handed and is often easy to use with just some pressure on the plunger. It's usually quite powerful, but requires little hand or arm strength to operate. Many also have plungers that lock into place to make for easier storage.
Appearance of the Bowl
Sometimes, you can find an outer bowl with a flow-through design with holes in the bottom to drain the water as you spin. The advantage is that the lettuce dries faster, but this has to be done over a sink to avoid messy spillage. Many types of salad spinners have an outer bowl that doesn't feature holes in the bottom, though. The upside is that you can do your spinning on the counter, but you must dump your bowl periodically to drain the water. There are some models, like the Westmark, that have pour spouts that allow for a more convenient draining experience.
As far as bowl material goes, for efficient spinning, you need to be able to see your product to know when it's dry. Clear bowls are best for this, but they're not as attractive if you want to also use it as a serving bowl. Stainless steel tends to be more expensive, but make attractive serving bowls.
There are two considerations here: How much storage space you have and the needs based on your family size. The largest basket has capacity for up to 6 quarts of greens, while the smallest can accommodate about 2.5 quarts. If you're feeding more than a couple people regularly, the larger model is the way to go, but if it's just you and one other person, the smaller model can get the job done.
With storage, the plunger models usually lock down and can be stacked, but they're still a little bulky and awkwardly shaped. Knob or handle models are not stackable and present even more storage challenges. If space is a consideration, the smaller models or even the collapsible types may be a better choice.
Keeping the spinner secure while operating is a concern. Look for a wide base to ensure stability and features like non-slip coating or feet that make them even more balanced and steady.
How do you use a salad spinner?
The answer to this will depend on the type of spinner you purchase, but as far as basics go, prepare your ingredients by chopping up vegetables, greens, fruits, or whatever you plan to wash and dry in the spinner. Place those ingredients in the basket (greens first and then other salad accouterments) and run cold water over the basket to thoroughly flush the dirt and debris. Place the basket in the work bowl and affix the lid. Start spinning via crank, plunge, pull-cord, or twist-knob, depending on your style of spinner. Stop once you see water in the bottom of the bowl with dirt or debris in it. Remove your ingredients and move to the next one.
How do you clean a salad spinner?
Many salad spinners are dishwasher safe, at least on the top rack, but you can also clean them by hand. To clean by hand, pour dish soap in the salad spinner, and then put warm water about halfway up. Replace the lid. Activate the spinner via plunger, cord, hand-crank, or knob, and make sure you get a good spin going to push all the bits of leftover food out of the holes. Stop the spinner and drain it. If your top comes apart, separate the lid pieces and place them in your drying rack. Clean the bowl and basket with a damp sponge to get any last bits of food debris, rinse the basket and bowl, and either dry by hand or place in the rack with lid pieces to dry.
If you choose to wash in the dishwasher (be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions to ensure this option is safe for your spinner), separate the lid pieces if they come apart. Place the basket, bowl, and lid pieces in the dishwasher (probably on the top rack). Run on a normal cycle. Once complete, make sure all parts are dry, or hand dry any still-wet parts. Reassemble and store.
Is a salad spinner necessary?
A salad spinner is not a necessity, but it does make meal prep a lot easier—and not just for greens. You can wash and dry a multitude of lettuces and other greens, like kale or collards, but you can also efficiently wash and dry fresh herbs, berries, and bulky vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes. You can even wash and dry your hand-wash-only laundry. It's an efficient way to complete the task, but you may want a separate spinner.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Carrie Honaker is a food writer who has prepped a lot of salads over the years. As a restaurateur and avid home cook, she knows the importance of thoroughly washing and drying your vegetables. She loves her Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner for its durability and functionality. It helps that it can be used for rinsing beans, washing and drying herbs, and lots of other tasks, as well. Carrie's work has appeared in many publications, including Bon Appetit, Allrecipes, and Wine Enthusiast. She personally tested all salad spinners on this roundup.