Updated September 2021
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Buying guide for best laundry sorters

Doing a load of laundry is always easier when you can just dump your clothes, bedding, and other items right into the washing machine. It’s when you have to take the time to sort your laundry beforehand that it really starts to become a hassle. If you invest in a laundry sorter, though, you can eliminate that annoying step and drastically reduce the time you spend doing your laundry.

A laundry sorter is a container with different compartments that allows you to separate your laundry into specific categories as you go rather than right before you do a load. Once you’re ready to do your laundry, your items are already sorted into individual loads to save you serious time.

If you really want to make doing your laundry a piece of cake, though, it comes down to choosing the right laundry sorter. That means figuring out what type of sorter is best for your home, how many compartments you need, what capacity you prefer, and what other features can help make doing your laundry as easy as possible.

There’s no need to worry, though — our shopping guide has all the tips and tricks you need to find the ideal laundry sorter for your home. If you’re still not sure which model to go with, check out our specific product recommendations to make shopping even easier.

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Some laundry sorters feature containers that are printed with specific sorting options, such as “Light,” “Dark,” and “Colors,” to take all the confusion out of the process.

Key considerations


Hamper-style laundry sorters typically feature some type of frame, which is usually made of metal or plastic. A number of individual containers fit on the frame to allow you to separate your laundry and easily carry them to your washing machine to do a load. Most laundry sorters feature containers that are made of heavy-duty fabric, such as polyester or canvas, though some use lightweight plastic containers. A hamper-style laundry sorter is usually larger than a basket-style sorter, so it’s an ideal option for a family or household with multiple people.

A laundry-basket sorter is made up of a single container that features dividers that allow you to sort your laundry. Like the containers in a hamper-style sorter, laundry-basket sorters are usually made of a durable fabric, such as polyester or canvas, or a flexible, lightweight plastic. A laundry-basket sorter also has handles, so you can carry the entire basket to your washer. However, it tends to be smaller in size, so it’s best for individuals or households with only two people.

Number of compartments

When you’re choosing a laundry sorter, you need to ask yourself how many compartments or individual containers you need to separate your laundry. Most laundry sorters have three compartments or containers, which may be enough if you mainly sort your laundry by color in categories like whites, darks, and lights.

However, if you also like to separate out your jeans and other denim items or delicate items like lingerie, you may prefer a sorter with additional sorting compartments. Some models have four containers or compartments to allow you to sort your laundry into other categories, such as stained clothing or baby clothes and blankets that require a mild detergent for sensitive skin.

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Did you know?
Because most laundry sorters feature containers that can hold a full load, you always know when you have enough items to run a cycle.



Most laundry sorters separate your laundry into containers or compartments that are the approximate size of a full load in a standard washing machine. With your laundry sorted into loads that are ready for the washer, you don’t have to wait to collect more clothing or divide your items into multiple loads. You can simply dump all of the contents of a container or compartment into your washing machine and turn it on.

Keep in mind that some laundry-basket sorters are slightly smaller than standard laundry baskets, so you may not have full loads when the divided sections are full.

Hanging rack

Some hamper-style laundry sorters have an attached hanging rod above the sorter containers. This can be a convenient feature when you’re doing laundry because you can hang clothes from the rack to dry or hang items that have just come out of the dryer to prevent them from wrinkling.


If you want to keep a hamper-style laundry sorter in your bedroom or bathroom because that’s where you usually take your clothes off, it helps to choose a model with wheels. That allows you to easily move the sorter to your laundry room when it’s time to do a load without having to carry the individual containers to your washer.

Choose a sorter with wheels that lock, though, so you don’t have to worry about it rolling around when you don’t want it to move.

Ironing board

If you want your laundry sorter to be as multitasking as possible, opt for a model with an attached ironing board. The board usually lifts out above the sorter’s containers, so you can iron any items that are wrinkled after you’ve washed and dried your laundry. The ironing board surface also serves as an ideal spot to fold clothing after it’s come out of the dryer.

Laundry sorter prices

The most affordable models are usually laundry-basket sorters that don’t have a frame or any added features. They generally range from $15 to $70 and are ideal if you’re looking for a laundry-sorting solution for one or two people.

Hamper-style laundry sorters that feature a frame and have three to four sorting containers are slightly more expensive. While these models typically don’t offer many special features, they usually have wheels to make it easier to move the sorter. They cost between $20 and $90 and are an effective option for families.

The most expensive sorters are hamper-style laundry sorters that include special features, such as a hanging rack or ironing board. They usually have three to four sorting containers and wheels, too. These sorters range from $80 to $140 and are an ideal option if you want a one-stop laundry cart for your home.

"You may want to devote a section of your laundry sorter to items with serious stains. That way, you’ll automatically know which clothing needs to be pretreated before you add them to the washer. "


  • At a bare minimum, use your laundry sorter to separate your clothes into lights and colors. Throwing one red sock in with your light-colored clothing can turn everything pink.
  • If you want to take your color separating a step further, use your sorter to separate your laundry into white, light, and dark categories.
  • You can also sort your laundry by fabric weight. Separate lightweight fabrics from heavier items, like jeans and towels, to prevent damage to delicate materials.
  • If your laundry sorter’s containers or sections aren’t prelabeled, consider adding labels to each compartment, so you don’t accidentally throw a black shirt in the section meant for whites.
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If you have a baby with sensitive skin, you may want a laundry sorter just for their clothing, so you know which items you need to wash with mild detergent.


Q. Where’s the best spot to keep a laundry sorter?
For some people, placing a laundry sorter in your bedroom where you normally undress at the end of the day is usually the best option. However, if you’re using a single sorter for your entire family, you may prefer to place it in a shared bathroom. Some homeowners place their sorter in the laundry room, so it’s easily available when it’s time to do the laundry.

Q. Can I buy replacement containers for my laundry sorter?
Hamper-style laundry sorters usually feature individual bags or containers for sorting your laundry. Over time, these containers may show signs of wear and tear and require replacement. Some brands offer replacement bags, so you can still use the same frame. Other manufacturers do not sell replacement containers, and those from another brand may not be compatible with your frame. In that case, you’d need to purchase an entirely new sorter if the containers are no longer functional.

Q. Can I wash my laundry sorter’s fabric containers?
If your laundry sorter has separate containers for sorting that are made of fabric, they are likely machine-washable. However, not all bags or containers may hold up well to washing, so check the manufacturer’s instructions to verify that you’re able to wash your containers.

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