A standard garbage disposal makes more or less 80 decibels of sound. To give you some idea, that is louder than a vacuum cleaner but quieter than a food blender. That means they are loud.
I personally don’t have any issues with this noise; after all, I run them only for a minute or so. That is like no more than 5 minutes per day. I sure can bear the noise that longer. However, it is definitely nice if they could be quieter. And I know people who go looking for quiet garbage disposals even if they cost extra money. If people can spend thousands on an upgraded iPhone every year, I don’t see any problem with investing a few hundred on a disposal that will run for around 15 years!
Garbage disposal makers are investing heavily in research to reduce the noise coming from them. As a result, there are several whisper-quiet garbage disposals available to buy. Here I am listing the quietest of them;
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This is your best choice if you are looking for a quiet, reliable garbage disposal. It is not only whisper-quiet but also powerful, has high build quality, a long warranty, and most importantly, a long track record. This is one of the most sold models by InSinkErator. But it is a bit pricey.
- Quitest garbage disposal, as quiet as 30 – 35 dBA
- Powerful with 1 HP motor
- Anti-jamming technologies to prevent clogs
- 3-stage grinding system makes it possible to grind meats and fibrous items.
- Best build quality combined with a long warranty
- Possibly the priciest garbage disposal.
- Powercord should be purchased at an extra cost
InSinkErator Evolution Excel is the go-to choice for everyone whether they are looking for the quietest, most powerful, best-built, or the best of everything type of garbage disposal. It is definitely the best garbage disposal money can buy. But it is not cheap. If you are willing to spend around $400 on a new garbage disposal that will last more than 15 years stop reading and just buy it, you can’t go wrong.
Let’s talk about how quiet this is. An InSinkErator Evolution Excel garbage disposal is 60% quieter than a standard disposal. That is, it makes only 30 to 35 decibels of sound. How quiet is that? According to cdc.gov, a normal conversation is 60 decibels, and a whisper is 30 decibels. That means Evolution Excel is whisper-quiet, making it the quietest garbage disposal in the world!
While going through the reviews of this garbage disposal, I have seen one person claiming that he forgot to turn off the disposal because it was so quiet. I don’t know if this really happened, it sounded like an exaggeration, but still, there is this possibility.
This unbelievable quietness is achieved by the use of multiple insulation layers inside the garbage disposal, as well as by the use of some special anti-vibration fittings. InSinkErator calls this SoundSeal Plus technology, which is an advanced form of SoundSeal technology. You can read more about this technology later in this article. Still, to be brief, it includes special foam insulation around the motor and the grinding chamber of the garbage disposal to muffle all the sounds coming from it. It also has anti-vibration mounts and a special type of sink baffle for further noise reduction.
This is a 1 HP garbage disposal with multi-stage grinding, durable stainless steel construction, long warranty, and compact dimensions. There is more to know about this product, so I urge you to check the product page for more information as I am focusing only on the quietness aspect of it in this article.
KitchenAid Superba KCDS075T
This one is 40% quieter than a standard garbage disposal. That’s still as quiet as having a normal conversation with your friend. If you are looking for a feature-rich but affordable disposal, this one is a good choice.
KitchenAid garbage disposals are made by InSinkErator, so many of their technologies are used in KitchenAid garbage disposals too. This Superba model uses a similar noise insulation technology as in the Evolution Excel model, and it was also rated to be the quietest by ConsumerReports along with the latter.
If you are looking for a quiet garbage disposal with 3/4 HP power rating this is the one for you.
As I said before, this garbage disposal uses SoundSeal technology, which is a bit different from the SoundSeal Plus technology used in the Evolution Excel models. So this one is not as quiet as the other.
But still, it is 40% quieter than a standard disposal. That means it makes only 48 decibels of sound, which is a bit more than that of a normal conversation.
But how quiet is 48 decibels? The decibel scale is not a linear scale. That means if a machine A is making 10 decibels, and another one B is making 20 decibels, B is not making twice the sound of A; it is much more. The decibel scale is logarithmic; a 10 dB increase means the sound energy increased by a factor of 10, and a 20 dB increase means an increase by a factor of 100! Here is a good resource on the decibel scale for more info.
Although KitchenAid garbage disposals are not as popular as InSinkErator’s, they are pretty good. Both brands share the same technology, so you won’t be disappointed if you decide to choose KitchenAid Superba garbage disposal over one from a different brand.
InSinkErator Evolution Pro 1100 XL
Stands out for having the most powerful motor, 1.1 HP, among household garbage disposals. It is 60% quieter than standard disposals and has every feature such a product can have. This one is too good to skip.
Evolution Pro 1100 XL is a relatively new model in the long line of InSinkErator’s Evolution series. What makes it different from all other units is its power rating. It is powered by a 1.1 HP motor; making it the most powerful household garbage disposal in the market.
Evolution Pro 1100XL uses the same SoundSeal Plus noise insulation technology in the Evolution Excel model. It comes with Multi-Layer SoundLimited insulation, Anti-Vibration Mount, Anti-Vibration Tailpipe Mount, and a QuietCollar sink baffle; a bunch of things that help to keep this disposal ultra-quiet.
However, since this garbage disposal is a bit more powerful than the 1 HP Evolution Excel, it is a bit noisy too in comparison. Let’s say this one is the second quietest garbage disposal in the market.
Other than the power rating, Evolution Pro 1100 XL is almost the same as Evolution Excel in the specification. Both of them have the same dimensions, same construction, and the same features; the only difference is the former comes with a sink baffle with an anti-microbial coating on it. They also differ slightly in their pricing.
If you want the most powerful but also a quiet garbage disposal InSinkErator Evolution Pro 1100 XL is the best choice.
InSinkErator Evolution Cover Control Plus
This is the quietest batch feed type garbage disposal. It is also powerful thanks to its 3/4 HP motor and a 2-stage grinding system. Don’t forget to check its specifications and price before your buying decision.
InSinkErator Evolution Cover Control Plus is a batch feed type garbage disposal; and the quietest of the two of its type on this list. A batch feed garbage disposal differs from a continuous feed type disposal in the way food waste is fed. To a batch feed disposal, food wastes are fed in batches, while to a continuous feed type one, it is done continuously. For more information, refer to this article of mine; Batch feed vs. Continuous feed.
Are batch feed disposals less noisy than their continuous feed-type counterparts? The answer is yes. To run, batch feed disposals need to be closed with a specially designed magnetic cover. This cover muffles a good part of the noise coming through the sinkhole from the disposal. So compared to a garbage disposal that doesn’t use this cover, batch feed models are quieter. The extent of this quietness depends on the power rating of their motors. A more powerful motor will make more noise and vice versa.
Evolution Cover Control is another garbage disposal model that uses SoundSeal Plus technology, making it quieter than standard disposals by as much as 60%. It has a slight difference from the other garbage disposals using this same technology, though. Other disposals models use QuietCollar, a specially designed sink baffle to muffle sounds, but since Cover Control is batch feed type, it uses its magnetic cover instead.
Cover Control disposals are powered by 3/4 HP motors. They are made of stainless steel, they have a 2stage grinding system that cuts the food wastes into finer sizes, and they have a 7-year long warranty that covers parts and labor.
If you are looking for a quiet bath feed disposal, Evolution Cover Control is the best choice.
This is a quiet, compact garbage disposal and is a perfect fit for deep sinks. It is 40% quieter than a standard disposal and is only 12.25 inches tall. Check its product description to know more.
Essential XTR is another 3/4 HP garbage disposal from InSinkErator. It comes with Advanced SoundSeal technology which makes it as quiet as the KitchenAid Superba disposal listed above. Note that Advanced SoundSeal and SoundSeal Plus technologies are slightly different. SoundSeal Plus is the quietest, Advanced SoundSeal is the 2nd quietest and SoundSeal is the 3rd quietest. I will explain these a bit later, now let’s see how quiet Essential XTR models are.
The Advanced SoundSeal technology in Evolution XTR involves a layer of noise-insulating foam over its grinding chamber. It also uses anti-vibration mounts to minimize vibrations and thus noise. Besides, there is a QuietCollar sink baffle which is a specially designed baffle to muffle the noise coming through the drain hole of the kitchen sink.
All these noise insulation measures reduce the sound of Evolution XTR by 40%. By math, that gives us around 48 decibels of noise which is louder than a normal conversation between two people.
Evolution XTR also comes with a 2-stage grinding, stainless steel construction, and a long warranty. If you are looking for a quiet, continuous feed type disposal with a 3/4 HP rating, add this one to your list.
This is the second batch feed type garbage disposal on this list. It is as quiet as a normal conservation. It is also cheaper than most quiet disposals listed here. So make sure to check it before deciding your choice.
Moen is a well-known brand in the USA that makes kitchen and bathroom fixtures ranging from faucets to garbage disposals. They are relatively new in the garbage disposal business, but they have some good models to choose from.
GXB75C is a 3/4 HP batch feed type garbage disposal. This is the second batch feed type disposal on this list.
Moen uses a technology called SoundSHIELD to make this disposal quiet. It is similar to the SoundSeal technology of InSinkErator, and both of them even sound the same. But SoundSHIELD only includes foam insulation around the garbage disposal; it doesn’t include any anti-vibration mounts. Since a part of the total noise comes from the vibrations caused by the disposal’s running, this technology is not as effective as SoundSeal. So a Moen GXB75C garbage disposal is noisier than any of the above disposals by InSinkErator. Also, Moen uses a high-speed permanent magnet motor. Such motors’ noise is more unpleasant to hear than that from the induction motors used in InSinkErator disposals. I am not saying that this Moen disposal is noisy but merely stating that it is not as quiet as the ones I listed above.
That being said, the magnetic cover used to turn on the garbage disposals also acts as a noise insulator.
The high-speed motor of GXB75C runs at 2700 RPM. According to the company, this high speed eliminates the need for multiple grinding stages, and it also eliminates the chances of jams. The grinding components of this disposal are made of galvanized steel, and it is covered under a 10-year warranty. It is also priced pocket-friendly. So if you are looking for a budget, quiet garbage disposal, this one is an apt choice.
If your wastewater empties into a septic tank this is the garbage disposal you need to buy. Normally, garbage disposals are not recommended with septic tanks but this quiet disposal can be used. Read more to find out how.
Another quiet garbage disposal in this list is Evolution Septic Assist by InSinkErator. Septic Assist; why is it called so?
There is an ongoing debate between plumbers and disposal companies about the compatibility of garbage disposals with septic systems. Plumbers are against installing garbage disposals in houses with a septic system, while garbage disposal companies insist their products are safe to use with such systems. But the truth is somewhere between those claims; if you have a large septic system, you can use a garbage disposal with it. I would advise against it, though.
This particular garbage disposal model has a bottle attached to it. This bottle contains a special liquid with millions of micro-organisms. It is injected into the disposal while running. These micro-organisms help break down food waste in the septic tank, thus preventing the tank from overflowing.
I am not sure how effective this technology is as I never used any of them. However, trusting what the company says, InSinkErator Septic Assist is the quietest garbage disposal that is septic safe.
It is another garbage disposals model that comes with InSinkErator’s Advanced SoundSeal technology which makes it 40% quieter than a standard disposal. What makes it different from the other disposals in this list is its septic-friendly aspect mentioned before. There is nothing more than what. isalready said about the noise insulation on this garbage disposal.
Like all other Evolution series disposals, this one has stainless steel construction, a 3-bolt mounting assembly, a 2-stage grinding system, and an 8-year warranty covering labor and parts.
Evolution Compact is possibly the most popular InSinkErator disposal out there. It has everything, grinding power, good build quality, a long warranty, and it is also quiet. It ticks all the boxes, so don’t hesitate to read more about it.
There is hardly any ‘top 10’ list without including Evolution Compact garbage disposal. This one was made with the idea of a low profile garbage disposal suitable for installations under deep sinks. And that made this model very popular. Most of the other compact disposals by InSinkErator came after the introduction of this one.
The current Evolution Compact model is an improved version of the old one. Most of the changes are in its noise insulation capabilities. Evolution Compact was the 3rd quieter disposal since it used the basic SoundSeal technology. But according to its new spec sheet, InSinkErator made it quieter by adding Anti-vibration mounts and a Quiet Collar sink baffle which was not available with the older version. The noise reduction was only 30% for the old model, and now it is improved to 40%.
Evolution Compact comes with a 2-stage grinding system, stainless steel grinding components, and an 8-year long in-home warranty. It is more compact in size than Evolution Essential, with a height of 12.25 inches.
Possibly the cheapest garbage disposal on this list. Its manufacturer, Waste King, doesn’t specify its noise rating, however, it is comparable to those other units listed here. It is also very reliable, powerful and has an excellent warranty. Don’t be fooled by its looks, it is a pretty good choice.
Waste King is a strong competitor of InSinkErator. Moen is a sister brand of Waste King like KitchenAid is to InSinkErator.
Waste King L-8000 is a popular garbage disposal that uses the same SoundSHIELD technology used by Moen garbage disposals. It is also the cheapest garbage disposal on my list. So if you are looking for the cheapest and quietest garbage disposal Waste King L-8000 is the answer.
Even though it has noise insulation, this disposal is not as quiet as the InSinkErator models in this list. The sound insulation is basically a layer of insulating material around the motor. This does block some noise, and it is a good feature to be available at its price tag.
The specifications of this garbage disposal are not bad. Its grinding components are made of stainless steel, and its grinding chamber is made of corrosion-resistant, time-tested polymer. It comes with a life-long warranty, a 1 HP high-speed motor, and a pre-installed power cord to make the installation easier.
If you are looking for a low-cost garbage disposal with noise insulation you can’t find a better deal than this.
This one is another affordable garbage disposal on this list. It is 40% quieter than a standard disposal, has 3/4 HP power, and has a decent warranty. Continue reading to know more about it.
Last but not the least, Moen GXS75C is a powerful garbage disposal with noise insulation. This one is very similar to the GXB75C disposal listed above. The main difference is that the GXB75C model is a batch feed type model while GXS75C is a continuous feed type unit.
This also means that the GXS75C disposal doesn’t need a magnetic cover to operate, and due to that, this disposal is slightly louder than GXB75C.
GXS75C uses the same insulation used in GXB75C and Waste King L-8000. But this one is slightly quieter than the Waste King disposal. One reason is power. The L-8000 is powered by a 1 HP motor, while the GXS75C is powered by a 3/4 HP motor. The power reduction also reduces noise. Another reason is its mounting assembly. It uses a 3-bolt assembly, while the Waste King model uses an EZ mounting. The 3-bolt assembly is made of metal, while the other is made of plastic. Being firmer, the 3-bolt assembly helps to reduce vibrations.
Its pricing is also very close to L-8000, so GXB75C is another choice for those looking for a cheap, quiet garbage disposal.
There are more quiet garbage disposal models than what is listed above. Most of them belong to the InSinkErator’s Evolution series, and they are all very similar to each other. This is why I didn’t list all of them in this list. I also wanted to add more diversity since all the Evolution disposals are priced high.
How to make a standard garbage disposal quieter: DIY
Premium garbage disposals often come with noise insulations, and they cost more. Standard, wallet-friendly garbage disposals do not have such noise insulations to reduce their costs. But is there any way to make a standard disposal quieter?
Let’s identify where these noises come from a garbage disposal. The main sources of noise are;
- Sound of grinding food waste
1. Covering the disposal with sound insulation foam paddings
You can find many noise insulation foam paddings on amazon. Here is a good one:
Egg Crate Foam Cushion 2″ Thick 18″W x24″L Acoustic Panels Sound Proof Foam Padding, Foam Sheets, Foam Pad, Dampening Foam, Convoluted Packing Foam
The sound of the motor contributes to the overall noise from the garbage disposal. This can be muffled by wrapping a noise insulation foam around the garbage disposal. This is very simple to do. Just cut the foam to the size of the garbage disposal and wrap it around with duct tape. You can cut a hole for the drain pipes or wrap the foam around it in pieces, it doesn’t have to be perfect. This is a simple job and you can finish this within 15 minutes, you don’t even have to disconnect the disposal or any pipings.
The downside is, that your garbage disposal will look ugly. But since it is hidden under the sink I really don’t think it matters at all!
This simple technique can reduce the noise from your garbage disposal to a good extent.
2. Muffle the noise with a sink baffle
The main source of noise from a garbage disposal is the grinding noise of food waste. The motor’s sound is actually not that loud; it is the grinding noises that contribute the lion’s share of the overall noise. A major share of this grinding noise comes out through the sinkhole. This noise can be muffled by using a good, noise-insulating sink baffle. Here is a good one:
Sink Baffle QCB-AM , Replacement for Evolution Series, Garbage Disposal Splash Guards, Quite Collar, Drain Plugs, Disposer Accessories 3.25 Inch
It is suitable to be used will all brands of garbage disposals, and using it can reduce the noise by 70%. It works just like the QuietCollar sink baffle on some InSinkErator garbage disposals; by blocking the sound with a layer of water.
You don’t need this if you are using a batch feed-type garbage disposal. The magnetic cover used to close it muffles the sounds just like a sink baffle.
3. Reduce vibrations by tightening the disposal
The bolts used to keep your garbage disposal to the kitchen sink can get loose over time. This will cause the disposal to vibrate, and when used with a stainless steel sink, these vibrations can cause much noise. The simple solution is to tighten the screws of the mounting assembly so that the disposal is connected firmly to the sink, thus eliminating any vibrations.
You can also use flexible pipings to reduce the vibrations of the pipes.
Noise insulation technologies explained
Like I said before, manufacturers use different types of noise insulation technologies in their garbage disposal to make them quieter. Here are those technologies, and let us see how they differ.
SoundSeal is a technology used in top-end InSinkErator garbage disposals. It has three variations; SoundSeal, Advanced SoundSeal, SoundSeal Plus.
SoundSeal involves a single layer of open-cell insulation wrapped around the garbage disposal. This is called SoundLimiter insulation.
SoundSeal technology also includes an Anti-vibration mount and an anti-vibration tailpipe mount. The Anti-vibration mount provides a cushion between the kitchen sink and the garbage disposal, thus reducing the vibrations.
Advanced SoundSeal technology involves using a QuietCollar sink baffle in addition to everything that comes with SoundSeal. QuietCollar sink baffle is specially designed to keep a layer of water over to block the sounds coming through the sinkhole. It acts as a wall between the drain hole and the sink while letting the water flow freely into the disposal unit. This is a simple but genius invention.
SoundSeal Plus technology involves the use of a multi-layer noise insulation foam around the garbage disposal, in addition to everything that comes with advanced SoundSeal noise insulation. It muffles more noise than that is possible with a single, open-cell foam.
SoundSHIELD technology is a sound limiting technology used in Waste King and Moen garbage disposals. Here a noise insulation foam is wrapped around the garbage disposal to muffle the sound from the motor.