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Updated September 2022
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Buying guide for Best laundry hampers

Like it or not, dirty laundry is a part of life. To keep it off the floor and organized, you need a place to stash it until you are ready to wash it. You don’t have to toss it in a corner, shove it under your bed, or hide it in your closet when you own a receptacle that is made especially for containing dirty clothes in between wash days. That’s why you need a laundry hamper.

Laundry hampers are available in different styles, from collapsible mesh baskets to attractive wood-slatted boxes. Some laundry hampers have dual compartments that make it easy to keep items sorted.

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Choose a laundry hamper made of fabric if you have limited space, as the flexible material makes it easy to store when not in use.

Choosing a laundry hamper

All laundry hampers share some common features, but they do vary a bit from one model to the next. A single-bin hamper with a flip-top lid is the most traditional design. Dual-sided hampers that divide your laundry (and help you sort) are also common. Collapsible laundry hampers are easy to carry and take up little space when not in use.

Here are a few questions to ponder before you set out to buy a new laundry hamper.

How much dirty laundry do you have?

The answer to this question will help determine if you need a roomy hamper or something with just enough space to fit a few articles of clothing.

Do you have kids?

If you do, you may be looking to buy more than one hamper. There are laundry hampers made especially for youngsters, with scaled-down sizes and fun graphics.

Expert tip
If your hampers start to smell stale, you can freshen them up with a deodorizing spray like OdoBan or Febreeze. 
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Is your space limited?

If so, look for a smaller hamper or one that folds or collapses when not in use.

Do you like to sort your clothes before laundry day?

Laundry hampers that have two or more bins provide the organizational help you need to separate clothes before you wash them.

Where do you plan to keep your laundry hamper?

If you plan to stash it in a closet, spare bathroom, or laundry room, aesthetics may not be a top priority. If you plan to keep it where guests will be able to see it, however, you may wish to buy something attractive.

Is your budget limited?

There are inexpensive hampers available that do the job without costing a lot of money.

"A dual-sided hamper is ideal for a family that accumulates lots of dirty laundry over the course of a day."

Laundry hamper features


If you plan to move your laundry hamper from room to room, handles — whether in the form of loops or easy-grab holes — are a must. They are typically situated on either side of a hamper, though hampers constructed of a flexible material like mesh or linen might have handles at the top for easy pick-up.


Not all hampers have lids, but those that do have a more finished look and conceal dirty laundry when closed. Some lids simply flip up and down, while others have hinges.

Dual bins

Some hampers have two separate compartments in one unit. This feature is great for keeping different types of clothes and linens separate ahead of laundry day.

Fabric liners

Made of cotton or polyester, a fabric liner inside a hamper can easily be taken out to haul dirty laundry to the washing machine. Most have drawstring closures for added convenience.

expert tip
Before choosing a laundry hamper, think about whether you’ll be going up and down stairs. This will help you determine which hamper design works best for you.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert


Wheels aren’t commonly found on hampers, but some larger models have them for maneuverability.


Hampers that are made of woven or slated materials or plastic with open holes offer the best airflow to the contents inside. This is important to help prevent the growth of mildew and other substances that thrive in dark, wet places.


Most laundry hampers are made of one of four types of materials: fabric, weave, wood, or plastic. Fabric hampers are usually made of linen, mesh, or a combination of the two. They are lightweight, affordable, and easy to move. Woven hampers aren’t too heavy, either, and are made of wood fibers, resin, or bamboo. Many woven designs are quite attractive, just like those that are made of solid wood. Wood isn’t a practical material for a laundry hamper if mobility is a concern, but if you want something that looks like furniture, it’s a great choice. Plastic hampers aren’t very stylish, but they are practical and inexpensive.

Shape and size

Hampers are typically found in square, rectangular, and round shapes. They’re available in a wide range of sizes. Whether you’re part of a two-person household or a ten-person household, you should be able to find something suitable.

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For your safety
Don’t allow children to play with or in an empty laundry hamper. They could easily catch their little fingers in hinges, fall into (or out of) the hamper, or tip the hamper over and cause an injury.

Laundry hamper prices


A good laundry hamper doesn’t have to break the bank. You can find efficient models in fabric and plastic designs that cost between $7 and $17.


Hampers made of fabric and inexpensive woven materials like resin or wood fiber generally cost between $20 and $45.


If you have a bit more to spend and want a hamper made of top-quality woven material or wood, expect to pay $50 to $200.

Hampers with lids, handles, and liners can be found across all price ranges, but you will likely pay a bit more for features like wheels or dual bins.


  • If you intend to put wet clothes in your hamper, choose one that’s adequately ventilated. This will cut down on odors and the likelihood of mold and mildew developing. Suitable options include mesh or plastic with an open-hole pattern or wood with slats.
  • If you choose a laundry hamper made of fabric or one with a removable liner, spritz it occasionally with a linen or fabric refresher to keep it smelling nice.
  • An easy way to wash a hamper liner is to simple throw it in the wash cycle with other clothes, towels, or linens.
  • A laundry hamper made of wood is a great choice for a home with wood trim or hardwood flooring; it pairs nicely with the décor.
  • A lightweight, foldable hamper made of fabric or mesh is easy to transport back and forth to the laundromat. It’s also a practical choice for college students who live in dorms and must carry laundry to wash areas.
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Teach your youngster to keep dirty clothes off the floor by placing a small laundry hamper in the child’s room.


Q. I like the idea of a hamper with a liner for toting my laundry to the laundromat. What are some tips for using and caring for the liner?

A. A laundry hamper liner is indeed handy, and many models have them. Remove the liner carefully when you take out your laundry and replace it promptly, so you don’t misplace it. Run it through the wash every few weeks with like colors to keep it fresh and clean.

Expert tip
Purchase a laundry hamper big enough to hold your laundry. An attractive hamper won't do you much good if it's too small and you have to pile your laundry around it until wash day.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Q. Are wicker laundry hampers durable? How can I extend the longevity of a wicker hamper?

A. It’s true that wicker isn’t the strongest structural material, but it’s attractive, lightweight, and breathable. If you choose a wicker hamper, keep it clean and dry. Don’t over-stuff it and avoid rough treatment. If treated properly, it should last for years.

Q. What are a few suggestions for sorting clothes in a double-sided hamper?

A. If you own a hamper with two bins, you can sort your laundry in several different ways. The most straightforward method is simply separating lights and darks into the two compartments. However, you could also sort clothes based on who they belong to or how they need to be washed (for example, you could have a “delicates” side and a “regular” side).

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