The 12 Best Laundry Baskets and Hampers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Dotdash Meredith and Yahoo Inc. may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below.
Our picks include everything from spacious laundry sorters to stylish wicker hampers.
The best laundry baskets and hampers make schlepping your dirty clothes over to your washer and dryer (or the laundromat) a breeze. Though the terms are often used interchangeably, hampers are typically used as a receptacle for dirty clothes, while baskets are used to carry your clothes from one place to another.
To come up with this list, we tested 29 laundry baskets and hampers, evaluating them based on ease of use, design, and durability. For expert insight on how to shop for hampers and baskets, we tapped Patric Richardson, host of The Laundry Guy and author of Laundry Love.
While every type of laundry basket (like hampers, plastic bins, and totes) has its pros and cons, Richardson prefers using oversized hampers for his laundry needs because they can hold more dirty clothes. “If I was going to use a regular basket, I would find a slightly smaller one so it's easier to carry,” he says.
Whether you’re looking for a stylish hamper to leave on display or a simple plastic basket to transport your clothes, our recommendations below will help make laundry day easier.
HomeHacks Large Laundry Basket 2-Pack
Best Overall Laundry Hamper
Who it’s for: People looking for a multi-use laundry hamper with a durable design.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a hamper with ventilation holes.
The HomeHacks Large Laundry Basket is a well-made, multipurpose laundry hamper. In our testing, we loved the practical design that makes it convenient to transport to the washing machine. It has long handles that allow us to drag the hamper on the ground if needed for heavy loads. The handles also are double-reinforced to prevent tearing for extra longevity.
While this laundry hamper has a metal frame, it was very lightweight and easy to carry during our tests. The fabric has a waterproof lining, so you don’t have to worry about accidental spills or muddy clothes damaging your hamper. With a capacity of 75 liters, it’s big enough to fit a standard load of laundry. But keep in mind that it doesn’t have any ventilation holes, which can cause odors to accrue.
Another benefit of this laundry hamper is its versatile design. Besides using it for laundry, we also envision others using it to store things like extra linens and toys. Since it comes in a pack of two, you could easily use one hamper for dirty clothes and another to store household essentials. Plus, the simple gray-striped design can match a variety of home decor styles, so you can keep it displayed rather than smushed in a closet.
Price at time of publish: $25 for 2
Type: Laundry hamper and basket
Size: 15.7 x 11.8 x 24.4 inches
Sammart Collapsible Laundry Basket 2-Pack
Best Overall Laundry Basket
Who it’s for: People in need of a laundry basket that can fit into compact spaces.
Who it isn’t for: People who frequently do oversized loads of laundry.
If you’re looking for an easier way to carry clothes from your hamper to your laundry room, this collapsible laundry basket will do the trick. We like that it’s made of plastic and rubber, which are two lightweight and durable materials, and that it has three handles that are very convenient to use. During our testing, we found it easy to carry and balance this basket on one hip because of the extra handle on the long side. The laundry basket is also collapsible, so you can easily tuck it into a closet when not in use.
While this laundry basket is designed for transporting clothes, we also used it as a hamper to collect our laundry and were pleased with its performance. Its 41-liter capacity is suitable for medium to large loads, but we think that bigger loads would tumble out, especially since this basket doesn’t have a lid. However, it comes in a set of two, so you can use the extra basket to hold overflow clothes, or even sort your laundry by lights and darks. One thing to note is that this laundry basket is not the most stylish, so if you were looking for something you could display in your home, you may want to consider other options.
Price at time of publish: $47 for 2
Type: Laundry basket
Size: 17.9 x 10.5 x 22.8 inches
Home Logic 2-Bushel Plastic Laundry Basket
Best Budget Laundry Basket
Who it’s for: People looking for an affordable laundry basket that’s lightweight yet sturdy.
Who it isn’t for: People who live in small spaces and don’t have room for a larger basket.
Those seeking a basic, no-frills laundry basket will find exactly what they’re looking for in the Home Logic Lamper Laundry Basket. Aside from the four handles that make it more portable, this basket doesn’t offer a lot of exciting features. But don’t let its simple design fool you: In our testing, we found that its strong build and generous capacity allow you to tote oversized loads of laundry with ease.
This laundry basket is made from thick, durable plastic, which feels sturdy and easy to carry despite its heft. We appreciate that the handles, which are on all sides of the basket, are comfortable to hold (especially when you’re trying to squeeze through tight spaces). This basket can easily hold a large load of laundry, however, we found it to be a bit bulkier than other laundry baskets, so keep that in mind if you live in cramped quarters.
Because it’s made out of plastic, this laundry hamper is low-maintenance. If it gets stained by dirty clothes, all it takes is some soap and water to make it appear fresh and clean again. While it’s not the most attractive basket out there, we appreciate that it’s affordable and durable.
Price at time of publish: $12
Type: Laundry basket
Size: 21.65 x 16.96 x 18.86 inches
Steele Canvas Basket Corp Small Bag Caddie
Best Splurge Laundry Basket
Who it’s for: People looking for a durable, easy-to-use laundry basket that isn’t an eyesore.
Who it isn’t for: People looking for a laundry basket with handles.
We never thought we’d use the word “beautiful” to describe a laundry basket, but this one certainly catches the eye. Made from rugged canvas and sleek steel, this basket creates a catch-all space for your laundry while bringing a rustic charm to your home. We love that this laundry basket comes in several different colors and styles to accommodate various needs, such as narrow, corner, and wide with divider options.
While the price may be steep, each basket is handmade in Massachusetts by the Steele Canvas Basket Corp., which has been making top-notch home products for over a century. We found the quality of the laundry basket to be up to snuff, with a frame that is sturdy and wheels that glide over surfaces like wood, carpet, and tile. The canvas bag also features heavy-duty stitching so you don’t have to worry about it ripping, and you can wash it in case it gets dirty.
This pick is meant to be pushed, not carried, so it may not be ideal if you have to travel up or down stairs to get to your laundry room. While you can remove the canvas bag to carry your clothes, it could be cumbersome to do so if you have an oversized load of laundry—which this basket can definitely fit.
Price at time of publish: From $129
Type: Laundry basket and hamper
Material: Steel, canvas, and vinyl
Size: Multiple sizes available
Songmics 4-Bag Laundry Cart Sorter
Best Laundry Basket Sorter
Who it’s for: People looking for a laundry cart that makes it easy to sort and transport clothes.
Who it isn’t for: People hoping to sort large loads of laundry.
This laundry basket is one of the most practical ones we tested. It features four bags on a wheeled metal cart, so you can sort your clothes by lights, darks, and more. In our testing, each bag was able to fit a medium-sized load of laundry without a problem—but we wouldn’t recommend it for oversized loads. The wheels move effortlessly, and when you get to your laundry room, we love that you can easily lift each bag out of the sorter and dump the contents into your washer. Plus, its sleek, all-black design will blend seamlessly in any home.
The frame of this laundry basket sorter is made from steel and has a shelf at the bottom to prevent it from twisting due to heavy laundry bags, so it’s quite resilient. Additionally, two of the four wheels have brakes on them, so if the floor of your home is slanted, you don’t have to worry about the cart running away while you’re sorting through clothes.
While this sorter will give you a lot of space if you’re hoping to sort laundry for one person, you may find it lacking if you were hoping to give each member of your household their own laundry bag.
Price at time of publish: $57
Type: Laundry hamper
Material: Polyester, metal
Size: 37.4 x 16 x 34.6 inches
Better Homes & Gardens Laundry Deluxe Service Canvas Tote
Best Laundry Tote
Who it’s for: People looking for a laundry tote that makes going to the laundromat less of a chore.
Who it isn’t for: People looking for something with a divider to separate clothes.
This laundry tote offers an efficient way to carry clothes for people who live in dorms or use a laundromat. We love that it has such a generous capacity: In our testing, this tote easily held two large loads of laundry while still being easier to carry than traditional laundry baskets. It’s made from cotton, a material that can stand up to lots of weight and tugs, and it comes with easy-to-grip aluminum handles. In case the laundry tote gets dirty, you can easily toss it in the wash for a quick clean.
We also like how this bag can collapse and fold while not in use, making it a space-saving pick for people living in small spaces. However, if you like this tote’s vintage design, you can leave it out as a hamper (we found that it stands up on its own and holds its shape well). However, the tote itself is pretty minimal—there aren’t any dividers for sorting your laundry or pouches to keep spare detergent pods.
That said, if you’re looking for a sturdy, portable tote to make laundry days less of a hassle, this would make a great choice. (Better Homes & Gardens is owned by Real Simple’s parent company, Dotdash Meredith.)
Price at time of publish: $12
Type: Laundry tote and hamper
Material: Polyester, cotton
Size: 43.2 x 21.6 x 64.1 inches
Warm Grey Company Washable Paper Laundry Basket
Best Laundry Bag
Who it’s for: People looking for a nice laundry bag they can display in their home.
Who it isn’t for: People looking for a laundry basket with handles.
Paper may be an unconventional material for a laundry bag, but don’t let it stop you from considering this versatile option. Technically, it's made out of natural cellulose fiber, which makes this bag much sturdier than your average sheet of paper. We love that it looks nice enough to be kept out in one’s room and that it can be used to hold more than just laundry, making it a practical choice for spaces lacking storage.
While this laundry bag doesn’t have any handles, we found it was still convenient to transfer clothes from the hamper to the washing machine. It’s also easiest to carry this bag from the bottom because it has a sturdy base that gives you a better grip. Though, if you have to move your laundry bag often, you may prefer to use this bag as a hamper instead.
The paper laundry bag also comes in five neutral color options so you can pick something that matches your decor, and it’s offered in two sizes—XXL and giant—to accommodate all laundry needs. The material is resistant to creases and wear, and it can also be spot-cleaned or hand-washed in case it gets stained.
Price at time of publish: From $34
Type: Laundry bag
Material: Cellulose paper
Size: 10 x 10 x 18 inches (XXL), 14.5 x 14.5 x 30.5 inches (giant)
CleverMade Collapsible Fabric Laundry Basket
Best Fabric Laundry Basket
Who it’s for: People looking for a collapsible laundry basket to save space.
Who it isn’t for: People looking for a washable laundry basket.
For anyone seeking an alternative to a bulky plastic bin, this polyester basket is a space-saving solution. It has a collapsible design, which we think will be easy to tuck away into a closet or drawer when not in use. (This is especially great if you don’t have room to store an extra basket.) Plus, the fabric laundry basket has the same ease of use as a plastic option: It’s lightweight, and we didn’t have any issues carrying it, even with a full load.
This basket comes in a two-pack, so you can separate colors or clean and dirty clothes to make laundry day a little less inconvenient. You could also use this basket for other purposes beyond laundry, like bringing in groceries, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
Each basket is 25 inches long by 15 inches wide, which is big enough to hold a standard to large load of laundry. It comes in two colors, and it has fabric handles that are sturdily attached to its sides. While this basket isn’t washable, you can wipe it clean with soap and water and let it air dry. However, it can stain more easily and hold odors more than a plastic basket would—but if that’s not an issue for you, you’ll enjoy the convenience this collapsible fabric basket provides.
Price at time of publish: $45 for 2
Type: Laundry basket
Material: Polyester, steel, linen
Size: 23 x 15 x 13.25 inches
Caroeas Rolling Laundry Hamper
Best Narrow Laundry Basket
Who it’s for: People looking for an all-in-one laundry hamper to fit in a compact area of their home.
Who it isn’t for: People who tend to do big, heavy loads of laundry.
It can be challenging to find a laundry hamper that fits in your small abode, but the Caroeas Rolling Laundry Hamper offers a practical approach to meet your needs. In our tests, this hamper was a great size for small and large loads of laundry, comfortably fitting clothes, bedding, and towels. It’s less than 9 inches wide, so it can easily squeeze into a tight closet space, and it comes with a removable mesh laundry bag, so you don’t have to make room for a separate laundry basket.
The hamper is made with waterproof fabric, and it was easy to wipe away dirt stains in our experience. It also comes with wheels to make hauling your laundry to your washing machine less of a hassle.
Unfortunately, this hamper is a bit difficult to use when it’s filled to its maximum capacity. The buttons on the handle popped off when we tried to use it with extra-heavy loads, so it may be more cumbersome to use. Still, this hamper can help keep your laundry room organized thanks to its slim build, mesh liner, and wheels.
Price at time of publish: $23
Type: Laundry hamper and basket
Size: 16.14 x 8.6 x 27.56 inches
Yamazaki Tosca Wire Basket
Best Small Laundry Basket
Who it’s for: People looking for a nice-looking basket that can be used for laundry and other storage needs.
Who it isn’t for: People who need a laundry basket that fits a standard load or larger.
If you’re looking for a compact basket to transfer your clothes from your hamper to your washing machine, consider the Yamazaki Tosca Wire Basket. Even though this basket won’t be able to fit a standard load, we think it works wonderfully for small loads (like delicates and mid-week laundry sessions). It’s made of metal, which makes it nice and sturdy, and it has collapsible wooden handles that give this basket a chic look.
Because of its materials, this basket is heavier than plastic options—but since it’s meant for smaller loads, it won’t be too bulky to carry. It’s small enough to store in a closet or under a bed, but we preferred to keep it out because of its stylish appearance. We also like that this basket can be repurposed for other uses aside from laundry (like holding towels), making it versatile and functional.
This basket has natural gaps for ventilation, making it ideal for carrying workout gear that needs to be washed. During our testing period, we frequently used this basket to hold sweaty workout clothes throughout the week and transport wet clothes from the washer to the clothes drying rack, all without any mildew issues. While this basket is on the expensive side, it’s worth it if you’re looking for a practical laundry basket you can proudly showcase in your home.
Price at time of publish: $52
Type: Laundry basket
Material: Wood, steel, plastic, metal
Size: 16.34 inches x 12.2 inches x 10.63 inches
Seville Classics Woven Laundry Hamper
Best Laundry Hamper With Divider
Who it’s for: People looking for a hamper with dividers that’s pretty enough to pass as decor.
Who it isn’t for: People shopping for hampers on a budget.
The Seville Classics Woven Laundry Hamper has a classic wicker look—we particularly like that it looks nice enough to leave out in your room. It also comes in multiple colors so you can choose the option that best matches your space. We were able to fit an entire week’s worth of laundry in this hamper, which features two compartments for your laundry-sorting needs. Each is lined with a breathable canvas bag, and the liners are machine-washable, so you can toss them in the wash along with the rest of your laundry to get rid of any stains and odors.
We think this hamper is pretty lightweight yet durable, and while it has handles, they may be difficult to reach if you’re petite. Because the hamper is so wide (likely due to the divider), one tester who’s 5’3” found it hard to grip both sides at the same time. If you plan on using the removable canvas bags or a separate basket to carry your clothes anyways, this won’t be too much of an issue.
While this laundry hamper is more expensive than other options on the list, we think its style and compartments make it a smart investment for your home.
Price at time of publish: $90
Type: Laundry hamper
Material: Polyethylene wicker, canvas
Size: 22.75 x 13 x 24 inches
Sterilite Hamper With Wheels
Best Wheeled Laundry Hamper
Who it’s for: People looking for a simple laundry hamper with wheels.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a stylish hamper or one with dividers.
The days of lugging heavy baskets of clothes to your laundry room are over thanks to this Sterilite hamper. It has wheels that glide across wood and carpet alike, and it comes with a lid to keep your clothes from spilling out. It also has a retractable handle, which we found pretty comfortable to use in our testing. But if you’re on the taller side, it might not extend long enough for it to feel natural when pulling it behind you.
Style-wise, this hamper isn’t anything to write home about, but it makes up for that with its ease of use. It’s made out of plastic, which is practically weightless, easy to clean, and resistant to smells. We found that it can fit standard and oversized loads of laundry, but it’s not super bulky, so it’s easy to store it in the laundry room. However, you aren't able to separate clothes in it.
That said, the wheels make it more convenient to carry a heavy load of laundry to and from your washer.
Price at time of publish: $53
Type: Laundry hamper
Size: 20.98 x 13.74 x 28.39 inches
Our favorite laundry hamper, the HomeHacks Large Laundry Basket, has a durable, stain-resistant design that can withstand heavy loads of clothes. But if you’re looking for a laundry basket, we recommend the Sammart Collapsible Laundry Basket for its lightweight build, collapsible design, and three-handle style that makes it easier to carry.
Our Testing Process
To find the best laundry hampers and baskets, we tested a variety of laundry hampers and baskets throughout a two-week period. We used these baskets every time we did laundry with a variety of load sizes.
To evaluate the ease of use of each laundry basket, we took note of how easy or difficult it was to carry it up and down stairs with a heavy load of laundry. We also considered the overall weight of the basket and how comfortable it was to hold when filled.
Next, we examined the design of each laundry basket. We evaluated its overall appearance, noting whether it looks nice enough to be left out in one’s home and if it seems to be overly bulky. We also considered whether it can hold a standard or oversized load. For laundry baskets and hampers with special features, like wheels, removable liners, and collapsibility, we evaluated how effective these features were. We also noted whether the baskets could be used for purposes outside of laundry, like storing other household essentials.
Then, we assessed the durability of each basket. After carrying heavy loads of laundry throughout the testing period, we checked to see if the handles seemed like they would rip, break, or crack. We inspected each item for ventilation holes that would potentially reduce mildew, and we took note of how easy it was to clean the materials.
Lastly, we determined the overall value of each product by considering the price and its performance in our tests.
How to Shop for Laundry Hampers and Baskets
The first thing to consider is whether you need a laundry hamper or basket (or both). Laundry hampers are a place to keep dirty clothes until you’re ready to throw them in the wash. Typically, they have a tall, narrow design and are meant to fit in your closet. Hampers often have lids to create a neater look, as well as a more stylish design. They may also have some type of ventilation to prevent odor.
On the other hand, a laundry basket is “something to transport the clothes from the hamper to the laundry and then to be put away,” Richardson says. They’re usually lighter in weight than hampers and have handles to make transportation easier. Instead of a lid, a laundry basket will just have an open top. However, if you go to a laundromat, a backpack hamper or laundry tote (like the Better Homes & Gardens Laundry Deluxe Service Canvas Tote) will be a more comfortable way to carry your clothes.
If you’re more serious about your laundry—like if you prefer to separate clothes by color or style to wash them—then a laundry sorter may be a better option. This style usually comes on wheels and features multiple bags, so you can organize each load by washing instructions or colors. A laundry sorter is also a good option for people who share a space since each person can dump their clothes into their corresponding basket. In our tests, we found that the Songmics 4-Bag Laundry Cart Sorter fits a medium-sized load in each compartment.
Both laundry hampers and baskets come in a wide assortment of materials. “The most common are wicker, plastic, and canvas,” says Richardson. Ultimately, the best material for your laundry basket will come down to your laundry situation and preferences; however, whatever you pick should be strong enough to stand up to the weight of your load.
For laundry baskets, plastic and polyester are often considered top choices because they’re lightweight, resistant to smells, and sturdy. If you want something made of more environmentally friendly materials, consider bamboo and rattan baskets, which are durable and more stylish.
When shopping for a laundry hamper, look for something lined with a smooth fabric that won’t snag clothing, like cotton, nylon, and canvas. If you live in a cramped space, such as a dorm room or studio apartment, you may want to opt for a collapsible mesh hamper, which can easily tuck into a crevice in your closet. While some hamper materials claim to prevent mildew, it’s still best practice to air-dry your clothes before dumping them into your hamper.
There isn’t one best size for a laundry hamper or basket—it all depends on your space and needs. Richardson likes to have “a big oversized hamper” in the bathroom for his dirty clothes and recommends having a larger hamper in general. “It will hold more so it doesn’t get that ‘running [out of] time to do the laundry’ look, and if you need to toss in a few extra clothes it still stays neat,” he says.
When it comes to laundry baskets, Richardson prefers using a canvas bag instead because it’s easier to store. A laundry tote has straps that are easier to carry around, and the soft material is “easier to squish into places and navigate up and down the stairs with,” Richardson says, which makes it ideal if you live in a smaller space.
Though, if you prefer using a basket, Richardson suggests going with a compact option. The Sammart Collapsible Laundry Basket was incredibly easy to carry in our testing, and it’s also convenient to store since it’s collapsible.
If you aren’t sure which size hamper is best for your home, start by picking a spot to store your hamper, then measure it to narrow down your search. You’ll also want to consider how wide you want the opening of your laundry basket to be. If you fold your clothes in the laundry room, opt for a basket with a larger opening to make it easier to place stacks of clothes inside.
More Laundry Baskets to Consider
Sterilite Ultra HipHold Laundry Basket: This basket is both lightweight and sturdy, and it has a smart handle design so it’s convenient to tote around. However, we found it to be too small for an entire household’s laundry, requiring more trips back and forth from the washing machine. It’s better suited for one person’s weekly laundry load.
Better Homes & Gardens 3-Bag Wheeled Laundry Sorter: We like that this laundry sorter has wheels for easy transportation and three bags that help keep a laundry room more organized. However, its laundry bags aren’t waterproof like the Songmics 4-Bag Laundry Cart Sorter, so it is more prone to stains. (Better Homes & Gardens is owned by Real Simple’s parent company, Dotdash Meredith.)
Gocan Cotton Rope Woven Basket: While this hamper is lightweight and offers more than enough space to store dirty clothes, sheets, and towels, we wish that it had a lid to hide laundry piling up in it. We also found its size made it awkward to carry, but it would make a great storage basket for other household essentials.
Questions You Might Ask
Should your hamper have a lid?
Laundry hampers don’t need to have a lid. “But if yours will look messy, a lid is great,” says Richardson. He also mentions that lids are handy “if you need to put your hamper somewhere unexpected, like a hallway or the bedroom,” because they help keep a neater appearance. Plus, if you have pets, a lid can also prevent them from getting into your dirty clothes and making a mess.
What should you not put in a laundry hamper?
“I wouldn't put anything wet in a hamper; let it dry out first,” Richardson states. Mildew thrives in dark, damp environments, so even if your hamper has a waterproof liner, mildew can still grow. Richardson also avoids putting in “anything that just needs a steam,” like clean clothes that are wrinkled, and instead recommends that you let them “hang out in the shower steam.” (You can also use one of our favorite clothes steamers to remove wrinkles.)
Lastly, you may also want to avoid putting in clothes covered with dirt or grime, which can stain your hamper if it’s not made out of a washable material. The Warm Grey Company Paper Laundry Bag can be spot-cleaned and hand-washed, while the Seville Classics Woven Laundry Hamper comes with machine-washable canvas bags that you can pop out and throw in the wash.
How quickly does laundry get moldy in a hamper or basket?
Mold can grow in as little as eight to 12 hours, but that amount of time will vary based on the material of your hamper or basket. “If your hamper is made from a breathable material, like wicker or canvas, the clothes should stay pretty dry and mold won't be an issue,” says Richardson. “If your hamper is plastic, your clothes could mildew in a few days in the right conditions.”
If your laundry is moldy, you’ll probably notice a mildew smell, which means that bacteria started to grow. You may want to give your clothes another wash (with a mold remover for laundry) to be on the safe side.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Jen Woo, a freelance design, lifestyle, and culture writer and content strategist with over 10 years of experience. To write this article, we tested 29 laundry hampers and baskets, evaluating them on material, quality, durability, and ease of use. For expert insight on how to shop for laundry essentials, Jen spoke with Patric Richardson, host of The Laundry Guy and author of Laundry Love.
What Is Real Simple Selects?
Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn’t an option. All products go through the same rigorous process, whether they are purchased or sent by the company.
Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.
Related:The 10 Best Laundry Stain Removers of 2023, According to Our Tests
For more Real Simple news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on Real Simple.