The best laundry hamper
Sure, there's nothing glamorous about dirty laundry, but you still need somewhere to put it. Thankfully, you can find laundry hampers that are both stylish and functional. They make it easy to keep dirty clothes in one place and off the floor. In fact, the possibilities are endless when it comes to style, level of organization, and even portability.
Read our buying guide to find the right laundry hamper for your needs. We're including our top pick, BirdRock Home's Oversized Divided Hamper with Liners, which features an all-natural woven design that complements bedrooms and bathrooms alike.
Considerations when choosing laundry hampers
Your household size plays a role in choosing your laundry hamper size. After all, you're trying to avoid stray socks and towels pilling up around an overfilled hamper. Think about how many people throw their clothes in the laundry hamper and how often.
Laundry hampers are usually rectangular, round, or oval, with a few outliers in odd shapes. If space isn't an issue, you can opt for any laundry hamper. In small spaces, it's most common to utilize rectangular hampers, given their smaller footprint.
Lined vs. unlined
Laundry hampers are either lined or unlined. This isn't simply a decorative difference between designs -- it often means you can clean the lining to keep odors, dirt, and bacteria at bay.
There are some laundry hampers whose linings are removable laundry bags, making them convenient for carrying as well as washing. When it comes to unlined designs, those made from plastic are popular since they're low-maintenance and wipe to clean.
If you're heading to the laundry room or a laundromat, you need a hamper with portability features. Those with handles are easy to tote between rooms or even the car. Laundry hampers on wheels allow you to effortlessly transport dirty clothes instead of lugging them between rooms.
If you have kids or pets or you'd like to be discreet with your dirty laundry, opt for a hamper with a lid. More often than not, they hinge open, though there are designs with magnetic or hook-and-eye closures.
Laundry hampers usually have one or two compartments. It helps to keep laundry organized between family members, or to keep solids, lights, or whites together. There are also laundry hampers with as many as four bins, and those with adjustable bin sizes.
There are a broad range of materials to choose from when it comes to laundry hampers. Woven wood and wicker, plastic, polyester, or mesh are some options.
When comparing materials, consider how they impact the laundry hamper's durability. Mesh is lightweight and breathable but can be a bit flimsy for heavy use. Conversely, if you need a laundry hamper with portability, heavy wood designs might not be practical.
If you're on a budget, you can pick up a lightweight laundry hamper for less than $20. For a design with better durability and curb appeal, expect to spend closer to $45. High-end laundry hampers with high levels of organization can cost as much as $200.
Q. Should my family all use the same hamper, or should we have separate ones?
A. It depends on the dynamic in your household and how often laundry is done. Some family members prefer separate hampers if they do their own laundry. If one person at home is solely responsible for laundry duty, it might be more convenient for everyone to put laundry in a single hamper.
Q. Where should I keep my laundry hamper?
A. Most people keep laundry hampers in bathrooms or bedrooms. If you share the hamper with other members of your family, the bathroom is probably your best bet since it's a high-traffic area.
Laundry hampers we recommend
Best of the best: BirdRock Home's Oversized Divided Hamper with Liners
Our take: A great-looking hamper that matches almost every style of décor.
What we like: Intricate weave is both attractive and durable. Convenient double hamper design.
What we dislike: On the larger side, so you need enough space for it.
Best bang for your buck: Household Essentials' Double Hamper Laundry Sorter
Our take: Value buy for a double sorter with a durable and lightweight design.
What we like: Soft-closing lid with a magnetic flap. Great for homes with nosy pets or children.
What we dislike: Overfilling one compartment can cause the hamper to warp in shape.
Our take: This pop-up portable design is popular for apartment or dorm living.
What we like: Mesh construction lets odors air out instead of settling. Easy to carry, even if filled to capacity.
What we dislike: Handles could be a bit thicker.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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