Best Travel Laundry Bags

Updated November 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
How we decided

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

53 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
224 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Buying guide for best travel laundry bags

Last Updated November 2019

One of the downsides of travel is dealing with your dirty laundry when you return home. Half the time it's mixed in with any remaining clean clothes, so you're forced to wash the entire contents of your suitcase. If you take a travel laundry bag on your vacation, you can have all your dirty clothes sorted and ready to wash when you return, making your chores a little easier.

When picking a travel laundry bag, be sure to choose one of the correct size to suit your needs. Consider its material — is it important to you that the bag is waterproof or breathable? You'll also need to figure out what kind of closure type works for you.

The following guide contains all the information you need to select your ideal travel laundry bag, or you can choose from our top five options.

Many travel laundry bags are machine washable, so you can throw them in with a regular load if they're dirty or musty.

Benefits of travel laundry bags

  • With a travel laundry bag, you can easily keep clean and dirty clothes separate in your suitcase or backpack, so you know what's clean to wear when you get to your next destination or what you need to wash when you get home.
  • If you bring a couple of travel laundry bags, you can separate your dirty clothes into lights and darks, or standard wash and delicates. This way, your dirty clothes are ready to wash without any further sorting.
  • Bringing a travel laundry bag makes it easier to do laundry while traveling as you have a receptacle in which to take your clothes to the laundromat.
  • If you're willing to pay for someone else to do your laundry, you can easily leave your travel laundry bag out for housekeeping at a hotel.

Key considerations

Size

You don't want a travel laundry bag to be too large — you only need it to be able to hold the volume of clothes you take with you on your trip. If you're going away for an extra-long vacation, you probably intend to do some laundry while you're away, so it's unlikely you'll need a laundry bag to hold more than one or two weeks’ worth of clothes. That said, if you're traveling with a partner and/or kids, one of you might be the dedicated keeper of dirty laundry, while the other packs the clean clothes. In that case, your travel laundry bag will need to be large enough to hold your clothes plus the clothes of those you're traveling with.

Material

The majority of travel laundry bags are either made from cotton, nylon, or mesh, though you will find a handful of exceptions out there. Mesh bags have lots of small holes in them, so they're highly breathable. While the large amount of airflow does stop clothes from getting musty or moldy, it doesn't keep any odors in, so you can have issues if you're keeping clean and dirty clothes together in the same case or bag for extended periods. Cotton — as well as other plant-derived materials, such as bamboo — is naturally breathable to help prevent mustiness, and is better at containing odors from dirty clothes. Nylon will keep unpleasant smells locked inside the laundry bag, too, and tends to be inexpensive, but isn't particularly breathable, so you might have issues with mustiness.

Closure type

Travel laundry bags tend to have either a drawstring closure or a zipper closure. Both do essentially the same job, so choose whichever you find more convenient. That said, you can use the excess string on a drawstring laundry bag as a handle to make it easier to carry. Zippers on inexpensive travel laundry bags can be unreliable.

Single bag vs. set

Do you want a single travel laundry bag or a set of them? A set is useful if you want to separate your laundry so it's ready to wash straight out of the bag, or if you're traveling with family and each of you want your own laundry bag. Buying a set of laundry bags is often a better value than purchasing them separately.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re using an extremely compact travel laundry bag, you may be able to tie it to the outside of a backpack to save internal space.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Color and pattern

Ultimately, the color or pattern of your travel laundry bag won't affect how it performs, so it shouldn't be the most important deciding factor when selecting which to buy. But, if you find one in a color or pattern you love and it also happens to be of decent quality, buy away. It can also help to have a distinctive laundry bag if you're traveling with a group, as there's far less chance of mixing it up with someone else's bag.

Hanging hook

Some travel laundry bags feature a hanging hook, so you can hang them on a door knob or coat hook. This makes it less of a chore to throw your dirty clothes inside as compared to a standard laundry bag that you'll need open up each time.

Waterproofing

While we generally recommend using a breathable travel laundry bag, there are times when a waterproof bag is handy — to stop damp clothes inside from making the rest of your luggage wet. Ideally, you should always dry items before you pack them into a laundry bag to stop them from becoming musty, but sometimes it's impossible when traveling. For instance, you might want to stop at the beach before heading to your next destination with no time to dry your bathing suit and towel. In this case, a waterproof travel laundry bag lets you separate them from your dry luggage until you find the time to dry them.

Some travel laundry bags are made from ripstop material that helps prevent holes from getting bigger, even if the bag gets slightly torn.

Travel laundry bag prices

How much you should expect to pay for a travel laundry bag depends on a variety of factors, such as the size and material of the bag and whether it comes alone or in a set.

Inexpensive: Single synthetic travel laundry bags can cost as little as $5 to $10.

Mid-range: Small sets and those made from natural fibers are generally priced between $10 and $15.

High-end: Larger sets of travel laundry bags and those with a range of extra features cost roughly $15 to $20. 

Tips

  • Consider whether you'd like to be able to wash your clothes in your travel laundry bag. You can generally throw mesh bags straight in the wash with your clothes inside, which can help protect delicates.
  • If you don't travel frequently, choose a travel laundry bag you can also use at home. This way, you'll get more use out of it for your money.
  • Pick a travel laundry bag that's strong enough to hold your clothes. You don't want it to tear and have all your dirty laundry spill out as you tote it to the laundry room, or even worse, have all your clean laundry spill out onto the dirty ground.
  • Don't buy a travel laundry bag that's too big or bulky for you to carry around. It should be easy to handle and not overly large.
DID YOU KNOW?

Although not a common feature, some travel laundry bags come with an optional shoulder strap.

Other products we considered

If you're not sold on any of our top five travel laundry bags, we came across a number of other excellent alternatives while doing our research. If you're looking for some basic mesh laundry bags, consider the SimpleHouseware Mesh Wash Bag Set, which features three small and three medium bags that close with a zipper. The compact design is great for travel. The Handy Laundry Nylon Laundry Bag is larger than the majority of people need for travel, but it folds down to a compact size for easy packing and you don't need to fill it all the way up. It would also be an appropriate size for a family or a long vacation. The Augbunny 100% Cotton Canvas Travel Laundry Bag is made from all-natural breathable materials, which helps stop clothes from smelling musty. It comes as a set of two, so it's perfect for keeping light clothes and dark clothes separate. Hotel rooms can easily become messy with all your luggage around, but the Household Essentials Hanging Cotton Canvas Laundry Hamper hangs on a door handle or hook to keep it off the floor, making it easy to throw your dirty laundry straight inside.

You can find some extra-sturdy travel laundry bags with reinforced stitching — great for those who travel frequently or who are going on an extended vacation.

FAQ

Q. Can I wash my travel laundry bag with a standard wash?
A.
The vast majority of travel laundry bags are machine washable, but you should be careful of putting brightly colored bags in to wash with your clothes, as the dye could leak and stain your items, especially if you're washing the travel laundry bag for the first time. It's best to wash colored laundry bags on their own at first, to see if they're color-fast.

Q. Can I store clean clothes in a travel laundry bag?
A.
There's no reason why you can't store clean clothes in a travel laundry bag to keep them organized, a bit like a packing cube. Just be careful not to confuse your clean clothes with your dirty ones.

Q. Will a travel laundry bag take up much room in my luggage?
A.
No, travel laundry bags are extremely compact when empty and folded. Of course, they're larger when filled, but if your clothes fit in your luggage when they were clean, they'll fit in the bag when dirty.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey