Best Toiletry Bags

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

117 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
399 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best toiletry bags

Last Updated September 2019

There’s a big world out there to be explored. If you’re a curious globetrotter with a thirst for culture, history, and geography, then chances are you’re planning your next big excursion. Less is more when traveling, which is why you need the right luggage to accompany you on your trip. It’s especially true when it comes to travel-size personal hygiene items, which is why a toiletry bag is a staple item for every traveler.

Toiletry bags are essentially mini-bathroom cabinets, holding smaller versions of products we use every day, from shampoo to shaving cream. Toiletry bags are designed with easy access in mind and utilize an assortment of compartments and pockets to store your belongings neatly and securely.

It isn’t always easy to find your everyday products while abroad, which is why it’s high time to invest in a toiletry bag you can bring with you. We examined the best ones out there and recommend our favorites here. And we’re ready to help you pinpoint the perfect toiletry bag for your next journey.

Make a list before purchasing toiletries for a vacation. It will optimize your time during the shopping trip and eliminate any guesswork when it comes to items you still need.

Key considerations

Size

Toiletry bags are designed to fit a collection of items, though it’s important to keep in mind they should be filled with travel-size items to make the most of their space. A good rule of thumb is to follow the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) approved guidelines for bottles. Not only will you avoid checkpoint hassles but you can also fit far more individual pieces inside your toiletry bag. If you need more of a single product, you can purchase more than one travel-size version or fill more than one of your TSA-approved travel bottles.

As far as makeup goes, you’ll find it fits in a toiletry bag marvelously well. There’s even plenty of space for full-size brushes and beauty tools, since they’re the same size as regular toothbrushes, which generally fit in toiletry bags. In fact, if you’re looking for a dedicated bag to house all your makeup, you could opt for a toiletry bag for everyday use.

Style

Toiletry bags come in a number of shapes and sizes, though they’re generally divided into three main categories: traditional, hanging, and makeup bag.

Traditional: The traditional toiletry bag consists of a main compartment and handle. Some have additional compartments, but for the most part, the bag is intended to keep everything in one spot.

Hanging: The hanging toiletry bag has grown in popularity because it’s incredibly convenient. You can hang it from the hook on the back of the hotel bathroom door so it doesn’t take up space on the counter.

Makeup bag: This style looks like a soft tote with a distinct closure. While these bags sometimes include a hanging feature, they’re intended to be opened and used on a vanity or counter.

Classy and durable

 

This vintage design in classic, coffee-colored PU leather embraces travel nostalgia. The luxurious, bag features a main compartment and an additional full-length pocket beneath it. With a waterproof lining, you can rest assured that this bag is leak-free. Its mesh pouches and compartments keep the moderately sized bag organized, particularly if you carry a razor, comb, and shoeshining accessories. Vetelli also provides a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

Closure

Because toiletry bags are kept inside larger luggage and jostled around, they have tight, secure closures. Zippers are the most common, and some bags have a double zipper for added security. Some bags have a flap that fastens over the zipper to keep the contents in place in the event the zipper opens by accident. One thing to keep in mind, especially in toiletry bags with a nylon lining, is that the zipper can catch on the lining, though this is somewhat less common if the lining is thick.

Compartments

Toiletry bags offer many storage and organization options. Some bags have one main compartment for all your items while others have dedicated areas for items of different sizes.

Pockets: Interior pockets store a variety of materials. While most items are housed inside the toiletry bag, there are also some styles with exterior pockets for additional items, such as a larger bottle of sunscreen.

Elastic straps: If you have a collection of makeup brushes or pencils, there are some styles that feature slots with elastic holders to hold these more securely.

Mesh compartments: These are often zippered and come in various sizes. There are usually multiple mesh compartments in a toiletry bag because it’s an inexpensive yet sturdy material.

EXPERT TIP

Check that all travel-size bottles are tightly sealed and closed to prevent spills that could leak out onto the rest of your belongings inside your luggage.


Staff  | BestReviews

Toiletry bag features

Design

Toiletry bags used to be basic and unexciting, but they now feature a full assortment of colors and designs. You can find toiletry bags that coordinate with other bags or luggage of the same line, so if matching is your thing, you have lots of choices. Keep in mind that some toiletry bags that come in more than one design could have variations, so check the manufacturer’s description carefully before purchasing, especially if you’re sold on a specific design.

Budget-friendly organization

This sturdy hanging bag is prepared to be filled to the brim with your personal hygiene products, especially since its hook is much stronger than those found on many other bags. Quality zippers prevent snagging and catching, so you can easily open and close compartments. The ivory lining makes it easy to view all your belongings at a glance. If you plan on keeping this toiletry bag readily available in the bathroom, you’ll be glad to know the exterior is water-resistant ripstop nylon. 

Materials

Synthetic: Nylon and polyester are popular materials for toiletry bags. They’re lightweight, inexpensive, and malleable enough to fit even in tight spots. Best of all, they can be easily spot cleaned if you get any makeup or product stains on them.

Waterproof: Some toiletry bags are equipped with a waterproof lining to minimize damage if your bottles leak or spill. Often the lining itself is nylon, which is not waterproof or water repellent, so the layer beneath is made of vinyl or some other nonporous material. Some bags are treated to repel water, so they won’t get completely soaked if something spills.

Leather: Traditional toiletry bags were leather or suede, and many still are. These bags stand up to years of wear and use, though they tend to be much heavier. Some leather bags are sealed or treated with water-repellent chemicals as well.

Mesh: Mesh is the most common material used for internal compartments in toiletry bags. It’s breathable and provides enough visibility to see what item is in each compartment. Some toiletry bags have mesh compartments on the exterior as well, with either a zipper closure or elastic top to secure items.

EXPERT TIP

Avoid keeping electronics in your toiletry bag unless they’re waterproof, like some electric razors. With an abundance of bottles, there’s a good chance there could be a leak, and the last thing you want is to be abroad without a usable phone, tablet, or e-reader.


Staff  | BestReviews

Toiletry bag prices

Toiletry bags cost between $10 and $50, so they’re definitely affordable additions to your luggage set.

Inexpensive: For the budget-minded shopper, you’ll find toiletry bags with one main compartment and some smaller ones that cost between $10 and $20.

Mid-range: Bags that cost $20 to $35 incorporate several features and benefits, including strategic designs with focused compartments, sturdier materials, and mirrors.

Expensive: Toward the higher end of the range, between $35 and $50, you can expect stylish bags that deliver the most in space optimization and practicality, made with high-quality materials like leather and suede.

Tips

  • Lubricate the zipper. Opening and closing your bag a lot could stress the zipper. Lubricate it with WD-40 or lip balm to help tough zippers continue on their track.
  • Use resealable snack bags. Snack bags are small enough to fit into a toiletry bag. Use them to separate small, important items like earring backs, contact lenses, and earplugs.
  • Turn brushes with bristles facing inward. If you put your hairbrush in a mesh compartment, turn the bristles inward so they don’t get caught on the mesh.
  • Give toiletry bags as gifts. If you’re attending a wedding, purchase a matching pair of toiletry bags for the happy couple. They’ll appreciate an extra bit of organization for their honeymoon, and it’s a practical gift they can enjoy for years to come.
  • Remove unnecessary items. Toiletry bags are designed to hold the bare essentials, so if you have difficulty closing yours, it’s time to downsize your inventory.
EXPERT TIP

If you’re traveling with a pet, a toiletry bag is the perfect size to store pet accessories. Store a favorite toy, treats, and collapsible food and water bowls for easy access on the road.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

If you don’t see what you’re looking for in our matrix, we have a couple more options for you. When it comes to colorful travel organization, the attractive Narwey Hanging Toiletry Bag comes in a wealth of designs and colors. This waterproof organizer has three main compartments and plenty of pockets and slots to store makeup, toiletries, and medications, all easy to access with O-ring zippers, especially when it’s hung from its hook behind a door. Best of all, it’s designed to accommodate TSA-approved travel-size toiletries. The simplicity of the ProCase Toiletry Bag packs a punch with several features found in larger models. It’s made from high-quality nylon, and the sturdy side strap makes it easy to tote. This bag has a single main compartment that’s large enough to hold toothbrushes and even some full-size bottles. It has a hook to hang for each access, so it’s easy to reach the additional zipped compartments around the front and inside the bag. The exterior is water repellent, making it an ideal pick if you plan on keeping your toiletry bag in the bathroom or poolside.

If you’re checking your toiletry bag with the rest of your luggage, make sure you keep any medications with you in your carry-on. In the event your luggage is lost, you won’t need to scramble to get emergency refills.

FAQ

Q. Will I be able to fit my full-size bottles in a toiletry bag?
A.
Some larger bags can accommodate a few full-size bottles; however, toiletry bags are generally designed to hold a collection of small, travel-size accessories. If you plan on bringing your toiletry bag with you on the plane, you’re limited to TSA-approved sizes anyway. If you plan on checking it with the rest of your luggage, feel free to opt for a larger model to fit everything you need, full-size or otherwise.

Q. Should I purchase a separate toiletry bag for my child?
A.
Yes. Toiletry bags have limited room, so you’ll want to have plenty of space in your bag for your own items. Purchasing a separate one for a child is also a great opportunity to teach them how to pack for a trip and become savvy travelers. There are tons of colorful designs for your child to choose from as well.

Q. What is the best place to store my toiletry bag when I’m not traveling?
A.
You could keep it inside your suitcase, though you might want to store it somewhere else so it’s always within reach. If you have all-day outings to the beach, water park, or day spa, a toiletry bag is an ideal size for carrying the essentials. Keep yours in the closet, bedside table, or linen closet so you can just grab it and go.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kailey
    Kailey
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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