The Best Editor-Tested Laundry Baskets That You Can Buy Right Now

updated Feb 27, 2023
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Basket with dirty laundry on floor in bathroom with best list seal in corner
Credit: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

If you own and wash clothes, towels, or bedding, a laundry basket is a must-have for keeping piles of them from taking over your space. Although laundry hampers are a solution by design, sometimes they pose their own problems. Yes, hampers can shield the world from the consequences of our messier family dinners and toughest workouts, but can they promise not to snag our delicates in the meantime? There’s a lot to consider when choosing a laundry basket, especially if you’re particular about the treatment of your linens or if aesthetic is important to you. While wicker baskets offer attractive storage, they aren’t usually the best for holding finer fabrics. And those foldable, portable, mesh guys we know from college dorm days? They seem to collapse every chance they get, spilling their guts and your investment basics all over your floor.

Fortunately, we went ahead and gave a range of laundry baskets and hampers the ol’ college try, from those with handles and lids to those with wheels and wall-mounting. We found the best of the best — the laundry hampers that work for what you need and are well constructed, thoughtfully designed, safe on most fabrics, and easy on the eyes.

The Best Laundry Baskets

What to Consider Before Buying a Laundry Basket

How often do you do laundry? About how much do you accumulate between washings? Are you collecting laundry for just yourself, you and a partner, or the whole family? Even beyond considering the volume and cadence of your laundry routine, choosing the right hamper also has to do with what you’re washing. For example, it’s probably not the best idea to toss delicates in, on, or around wicker. Damp bath towels deserve their own special pre-laundering treatment as well. Read on for our tips on finding the right laundry hampers for your needs.

Size and Material

Take stock of how much laundry you do. If you have a full-on laundry room or generally enough space to set up a hamper as big as your washing machine, more power to you. But if you’re working with a smaller space, you’ll need something more deceptively spacious or at least easy to transport. Some materials, like cotton and polyester, produce woven fabrics that hold their shape while offering a bit of stretch and flexibility. This is perfect for encouraging more airflow through the hamper’s contents. Baskets made from harder materials like wood, bamboo, and metal put the work on your clothes and linens to do all the compressing, which is a great solution for sheets and bedding that are dry and usually highly packable.

Are you keeping your basket in your closet? One with a bit of flexibility can prevent doors from jamming, hanging clothing from getting snagged or tangled, and can be easily pulled out for washing. If your space is limited, don’t shy away from larger hardshell hampers like rattan or wicker. Because they hold their shape, they’re more easily stackable. A little collection of these could keep laundry types separated while also elevating the room’s decor. When it comes to keeping a laundry basket fresh, the occasional spot clean is usually the way to go. Be sure to check, though, that you can in fact clean the one you want as needed with your preferred solutions or it could hold onto odors and become that thing in your home that you don’t touch — a bowl of worn workout-attire potpourri.

Lining

Laundry hampers with liners are common, and for good reason. To be able to quickly lift laundry away from its harder-shelled basket and head to the washer or laundromat makes doing laundry a breeze. But a lot of the hard hampers that come with liners are designed with efficiency in mind, not necessarily appearances, so either the shell is unattractive or the liner is no good. Investing in a quality vessel for your laundry routine and a soft liner bag separately means you get the perfect laundry setup for yourself, but if that seems like a hassle, rest assured there are picks in our list designed to remove excess effort from your laundry routine.

Ventilation

A biggie that often gets forgotten when it comes to laundry baskets, ventilation — either from the wider weave of wicker or intentionally placed holes in a solid frame — can make or break your experience. Unlike with kitchen trash cans, for example, there has to be a way for the vessel to encourage airflow both throughout the laundry in the basket and from the basket to the fresh(er) air. Cotton liners in wicker or rattan baskets encourage airflow with both breathable layers. But if you’re opting for a hamper that’s not made of mesh or obviously porous, you’ll want one that has holes included in its design somewhere.

What We Look for in a Laundry Basket

We tested a wide range of laundry baskets and hampers, judging them on the following criteria:

  • Functionality: Does it help to consolidate and/or hide laundry? Is the hamper’s material safe around delicate fabrics? Does it have a softer liner? Is it ventilated?
  • Aesthetic: Does the hamper look good in a certain space? Is it obvious or incognito?
  • Portability: Is it heavy? Does it have handles or wheels? Is it easy to transport as needed, be it to the laundry room or laundromat?

The Best Laundry Baskets

Brabantia makes some of the most modern and elegantly designed laundry bins (among other things!). While the brand’s classic Bo Laundry Bin is also a champ, their cork-lidded model comes out on top for its ergonomic shape, ventilation, soft cork entry barrier, and clean look. While it’s not the cheapest on the list, it’s certainly not the most expensive either. But the price is justified the moment this bin is unboxed and its supremely high-quality construction is revealed. Assembly also takes all of two minutes, and the included machine-washable cotton liner actually fits and sticks around the perimeter of the bin, thanks to its non-skid top. The bin’s bottom is also non-skid, adding a safety anchor that is especially necessary if you’ve got little ones at home.

The cork top has multiple benefits: For starters, it helps the bin to contain smells like coffee spilled on sheets and wine… also spilled on sheets (if you’re new here, this is a safe space). In AT contributor Kendall’s tiny 8′ x 10′ room, no odors were detected at all. The cork also acts as a kind of funnel, allowing you to safely toss or drop in laundry piece by piece, so there’s room for airflow and nothing gets shoved into any wrinkly positions. Lastly, against the black base, the cork adds a touch of Scandi charm. If you’re looking for a bin that does it all and looks good doing it, Brabantia is it.

Specifications:

  • 15″ x 25″
  • 9.2-gallon capacity
  • Steel frame, cork lid, and cotton bag
  • Ventilated
  • Available in 2 colors: black or white
  • Spot-clean cork; wipe-clean frame; machine-washable liner
  • 10-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who want something sturdy and non-corrosive; those who want a hamper everyone can use for all linens; those who want something ventilated.

Good to Know: This could also be our best pick if you prefer to keep your hamper in the bathroom, as it won’t mold, rust, or mildew over time.

Drawn in by its price, I was able to grab the Lifewit Freestanding Hamper for under $20! However, other than its affordability and plentiful positive reviews, I didn’t really know what to expect. Fortunately, all the great feedback this hamper received actually does measure up in person. It arrives folded and easily expands into a full-fledged bin. There are two U-shaped wire rods in the top rim of the hamper to hold its rectangular shape, and the bottom is flat so it can stand on its own. It’s made of polyester with a polyethylene-coated interior to make it waterproof and, while it has some stiffness to it, there’s no boning sewn into its body to make it rigid.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a heavily structured hamper, so it’s going to have some bumps and wrinkles if you overpack it. I’ve been known to stuff it past a reasonable capacity and the fact that it hasn’t ripped or fallen apart yet is a true testament to its strength. However, I don’t recommend testing its limits — not because of potentially destroying the hamper, but because the more clothing you cram into the bin, the heavier it’s going to be. Why put yourself through the heavy lifting? On the plus side, when you do have to carry this hamper, it has two extended handles that make it a breeze to carry, even up and down stairs! As for how well it holds up over time, I’ve been using it as my primary hamper for nearly three years and have no plans to get rid of it any time soon.

Read our full review of the Lifewit Freestanding Laundry Hamper.

Specifications:

  • 15.7″ x 11.81″ x 23.6″, roughly 1 pound
  • 19-gallon capacity
  • Polyester body, wire frame, reinforced cotton handles
  • Polyethylene-coated interior
  • Waterproof
  • Foldable
  • Available in 3 colors and 3 sizes

Who It’s Best For: Those who want an inexpensive large hamper that won’t fall apart in months.

Good to Know: Because it’s waterproof, this hamper lacks a lid to keep it breathable. That said, don’t pile in damp linens and forget about them or you’ll risk ending up with mildewy everything.

Yamazaki is an editor-favorite brand with a number of products that grace the homes of AT staffers, including magnetic organizers, pet food containers, and more. They’re often a first stop when it comes to organizing products for the home, so it’s only natural that they’ve earned a spot on this list with the Tosca Rolling Wire Basket. It ranked high for portability, and it’s spacious enough to store bedding and towels despite its slim profile. “I love the overall look of the basket, especially how the open weave doesn’t look overwhelming in my bathroom,” says our shopping director, Jada. “Even when it’s full of a week’s worth of clothes, it’s easy to roll and carry down a few steps from the bathroom to my laundry room.”

The Rolling Wire Basket is the latest hamper in Yamazaki Home’s laundry collection, and stands out as one of the most portable in the lineup. It’s made of coated steel and has a wood handle, making it a sleek and stylish addition to your laundry tools. Water-resistant, rust-resistant, and lightweight, this cart has a refreshingly breathable design and rolls smoothly for optimal mobility. As soon as you attach its four swivel caster wheels, you’re ready to tackle your laundry in style.

Specifications:

  • 18.7″ x 11.02″ x 24.02″, 3.97 pounds
  • 14.5-gallon capacity
  • Steel body, wood handle
  • Includes 2 standard swivel caster wheels and 2 locking swivel caster wheels
  • Water- and rust-resistant
  • Comes with wrench for minimal assembly
  • Wipe clean and wipe dry

Who It’s Best For: Those who need something light and easily moveable; those who want a sleek hamper that doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Good to Know: Though they’re a high point of the hamper, the wheels might be difficult to attach with its included hardware. Fortunately, once they’re on, they’re on for good!

After trying out the Lustroware Modern Feel Storage Tote Basket, I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a small hamper on the go, whether it’s to head off to the laundromat or hand off to your laundry pickup service. It’s ideal for a single load of laundry, making it useful for separating clothing, such as delicates, lights and darks, or even “clean” clothes that have been worn but don’t necessarily need to be washed again just yet. A single load might not sound like a lot, but this hamper can take on much more than it appears! It’s the smallest out of all my baskets and only comes up to my knee (if that high), but it can hold nearly as much as our budget-friendly pick without overflowing. Of course, it all depends on what’s being thrown into it.

Because of its size, bedding, bath towels, and other heavy linens can fill this hamper quickly, but it’s great for clothing, smaller bedding (like pillowcases and sheets), stuffed animals, and could even make a really great toy bin. The handles can be raised and lowered as needed without getting in the way and are sturdy for carrying. This hamper’s convenient portability might make you want to stuff it as much as you can, but be careful not to overload it weight-wise. It’s small and meant for hauls that are on the lightweight side, if you really want it to last.

Specifications:

  • 18.5″ x 12.5″ x 16.25″, 1.96 pounds
  • Plastic
  • Ventilated

Who It’s Best For: Those who need something to take to the laundromat; those not wanting to spend over $40 on a nice hamper; those who need an extra hamper to separate clothing more easily

Good to Know: There’s a product sticker on one side that will leave behind a sticky residue if removed. The residue can be cleared away with Goo Gone, but it’s better to leave the sticker on if you don’t want to make the effort.

Hands down, my absolute favorite thing about owning the SAMMART Collapsible Laundry Basket is that it folds into itself and I can store it just about anywhere when I’m not using it. When flattened, the basket is under four inches high, which allows it to easily go behind the sofa, between a washer and dryer (if you’re lucky enough to have them at home), underneath a low shelf, or stacked on top of a high one. It functions primarily like a standard laundry bin; however, since it doesn’t have holes, it can also be used as a tub for hand-washing delicate garments.

I’ve used this hamper to hold hand-washed wet clothes while I was hanging them to air dry. Beyond clothing, the basket can be used as a storage bin or carrier if you need to move items from one room to another, or even from the car into the house. It’s also thick enough to hold ice and drinks, too, but it needs to be completely dry before it can be collapsed again to avoid trapped water and potential mildew. If you’ve got an eye for color, this basket comes in eight of them, including a monochromatic black and gray.

Read our full review of the SAMMART Collapsible Laundry Basket.

Specifications:

  • 22.5″ x 17.5″ x 10.5″, 3 pounds
  • 8.4-gallon capacity
  • Plastic with comfort grip handles
  • 3.5″ height when collapsed
  • Available in 8 colors

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a hamper they can store out of sight when it’s not in use; those who want a dual-purpose hamper for laundry and hand-washing.

Good to Know: To collapse the hamper, it’s easiest to press it down on one side and then the other. If pushing both down at once, the middle section might not always fold in the right direction and would need adjusting to correct it.

Best Rolling: Mesh Handy Bin

If you need a laundry basket that’s easy to move around, then a rolling hamper could be your best bet. Wheels help to take away the strain of carrying around loads of laundry that can sometimes be heavy and overwhelming. A rolling laundry cart is also beneficial if your laundry is kept in a separate room or in a cabinet, because you can roll it out of its hiding place to retrieve the linens and garments, then roll it back into place in one smooth motion. The Mesh Handy Bin ranked high on our test for portability, storage, and ventilation; and is a solid choice for a multi-functional bin that’s been used for organizing sporting equipment and toys along with laundry.

“When I agreed to test this laundry basket, I was concerned that it wouldn’t fit a week’s worth of laundry,” says senior commerce editor Alicia, who shares a laundry room with others in her building. “I go to the gym five times a week, go to the office twice, and have to wash my sheets, so my pile is usually pretty high by Sunday, but this durable basket can handle it — even when I squish everything down. I also love that it has wheels, so I can move it out of the corner of my bedroom and have space to load up my portable laundry bag. It’s also way more stylish than my previous plastic laundry basket.”

Specifications:

  • 14″ x 26″, roughly 7 pounds
  • 11″ wide at the base
  • 15-gallon capacity
  • Steel mesh with epoxy finish
  • Includes 4 caster wheels
  • Ventilated
  • Available in 2 finishes

Who It’s Best For: Those looking for an inconspicuous rolling hamper with good ventilation; those looking for a multipurpose cart that’s useful for laundry and other needs around the home.

Good to Know: The wheels of this hamper do not lock. While damp items in the basket are OK, it’s not recommended for outdoor use or wet environments.

The elegant Bamboo Wall-Mounted Laundry Hamper from West Elm has a unique design for those in small spaces, especially those living alone or looking for a safe storage spot for delicates awaiting laundry day. Our tester, AT contributor Kendall, tried this one in the bathroom as a multitasking towel rack and washcloth laundry basket. After allowing the cloths to dry on the rack, they’d go right into the hamper. Rinse, repeat. She even threw a bath towel in there, and after over a week of collection, it finally had its fill. “It’s the perfect little storage unit, complete with an interior liner with handles that lifts right out when it’s time for washing,” she says.

Not only is it well-suited for small spaces like bathrooms and closets, but it’s also ideal for small-home living in general as well as households with pets, kids, or even pests. Though it’s double lined, the breathable material of each layer keeps laundry from soiling further before washing. Not to mention, it’s obviously incredibly chic and looks even better in person.

Read our full review of the West Elm Bamboo Wall-Mounted Hamper.

Specifications:

  • 21″ x 8.3″ x 26.1″
  • 11-pound capacity
  • Bamboo frame and cotton liner
  • Includes mounting hardware
  • Spot clean and air dry

Who it’s Best For: Those looking for a hamper that stays off the floor; those who want a dedicated closet or bathroom laundry basket; those with limited floor space; those who prefer to keep laundry away from kids or pets; those who want a laundry basket that’s not obvious.

Good to Know: You have 30 days to return this luxe hamper, but we already know you won’t.

One thing that AT editors love is a storage solution hidden in plain sight. The RiverRidge Wood Composite Laundry Hamper combines charming style with a convenient secret compartment for laundry that tilts out for a clothing toss. To make it blend into your home further, this hamper can be dressed up by placing plants, photos, and books on top of it. “I hate having my laundry visible and my closet is simply not big enough to store a hamper, so I was excited to try this laundry hamper cabinet from Lowe’s,” says Alicia. “It wasn’t exceptionally hard to put together, but I did have to take some time out of my Saturday to assemble it — it was well worth it. The cabinet looks sleek (I can even put decor on top of it), and I feel like a real adult every time I pull the cabinet open to grab my laundry out.”

Though she wishes the hamper interior was a little larger, Alicia says it “can easily handle my boyfriend’s weekly load of laundry but not mine,” so if you wash somewhat frequently, its size shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The inner laundry bag is also removable, making it that much easier to cart around if you wash outside of your home. The cabinet body of the hamper can also be anchored to the wall for increased stability and safety.

Specifications:

  • 18″ x 14″ x 30″, 50 pounds
  • 11.5″ interior depth
  • Painted MDF with shutter door and polished silver knob
  • Includes removable hamper bag
  • Anchors to wall for added stability
  • Available as dual-compartment hamper

Who it’s Best For: Those who want to combine laundry storage with decor; those who want their laundry hidden without much effort.

Good to Know: Decor and other items can be placed on top of the cabinet as long as you don’t exceed its weight capacity of 40 pounds.

Best Dual Compartment: Romoon 4-Bag Laundry Sorter Cart

If you have the space to accommodate it, a hamper with multiple compartments is extremely useful for laundry organization. The Romoon Laundry Sorter Cart has a whopping four sections that can be utilized to separate clothing and linens efficiently. “I do not enjoy sorting dirty laundry into piles,” says AT contributor Shifrah. “It feels unsanitary, I end up with piles on the floor, and it’s extra work that can be avoided. Having compartments in the hamper means we can just toss our laundry into the right section, effectively sorting it each time we take off clothes. My four compartments are lights, darks, whites, and hand-wash.” If you’ll be moving it around, the cart rolls smoothly on four wheels, two of which lock as a safety feature to keep it in place.

The Romoon laundry cart has a durable rust-resistant frame, comes in two colors, and each of its bags can hold up to 25 pounds. They also have a waterproof lining to protect them from damp garments that might be thrown inside. “The compartments can be easily lifted out of the hamper, so I can take one load at a time downstairs to the washer,” Shifrah adds. “This is so convenient and eliminates yet another step of transferring clothes into a laundry basket.”

Read our full review of the Romoon 4-Bag Laundry Sorter Cart.

Specifications:

  • 39.37″ x 16.93″ x 31.5″, 10.53 pounds
  • Rust-resistant cast iron frame with metal lacquer finish
  • 21.26″ x 8.66″ x 14.17″ removable bags
  • 25-pound capacity per bag
  • Waterproof lining
  • Includes 2 standard caster wheels and 2 locking caster wheels
  • Includes laundry sorter accessories and assembly tools
  • Available in 2 colors: black or grey
  • 24-month warranty

Who It’s Best For: Family homes; those who want to separate their laundry without creating a mess.

Good to Know: The warranty does not cover man-made damage to the hamper.

Best for Small Spaces: Poppin Laundry Hamper

When living in a small space, there are often factors to consider outside of function, especially if you’re forced to leave items that are typically hidden out on display. The Poppin Laundry Hamper is slim enough to be tucked into a closet, if needed, and stylish enough to be placed discreetly anywhere in the home. Its lid also helps to hide laundry when you don’t want it to be seen, and the inner cotton canvas liner acts as a laundry bag that you can take with you on wash days.

“The basket is very functional, roomy, and lightweight when empty,” says commerce editorial assistant Nikol. “I also like that the inner lining is removable and washable, so it can be used as a laundry bag when I go to the laundromat. It’s tall and wide but also narrow, so I can store it between furniture.” Additionally, the Poppin Laundry Hamper’s exterior collapses so you can store it or pack it up to move. It comes in six colors, including neutrals that will blend into any aesthetic.

Specifications:

  • 11.25″ x 19.5″ x 26.25″
  • 25-gallon capacity
  • MDF, polyester, taffeta, and silicone construction
  • Integrated handles and fitted lid
  • Removable cotton canvas drawstring bag
  • Spot-clean exterior with soapy water and damp cloth
  • Collapsible
  • Available in 6 colors

Who it’s Best For: Those living in small spaces, including dorms; those looking for a lidded hamper; those looking for a hamper with a removable laundry bag.

Good to Know: The removable bag is machine-washable, so you can keep it just as clean as the rest of your laundry on wash day.