Updated: November 2017

Best Laundry Baskets and Hampers

Laundry Basket Review - what you need to stay on top of your weekly laundry chores..
If you've got an average family household, chances are you produce and process a lot of dirty laundry every month. Storing all that dirty laundry doesn't have to be an ugly business, though, as laundry hampers and baskets can actually add to the overall decor of a bathroom or bedroom. Wicker hampers are a popular option, but there are several things to think about before you buy either a laundry basket or a laundry hamper. Is it going to hold up to use and abuse by yourself and/or kids over the years? Will it be easy to carry or empty? And are you going for a designer look or just something basic to toss into the closet? In this guide, we will take a look at some of the most popular laundry baskets and hampers on the market, and give you tips on what to look for and how much you should expect to pay.

In preparing this guide, we dug into sites such as Amazon and Consumer Review as well as publications like Good Housekeeping and Home and Garden (and their sites as well). They have helped us come to our conclusions which can help you select the best laundry baskets and hampers for your home.

Comfortable, long lasting, and high capacity laundry baskets

Of these two pieces of furniture so important to a home's laundry needs, baskets serve a more functional and less decorative purpose within the home. The laundry basket is of course what is used to transport the laundry from a room or a wicker hamper to the laundry machine itself. If you have a few laundry hampers in the house, you may only need one or two quality laundry baskets. On the other hand, you might choose to use only baskets instead of looking for hampers, and need a few more (in our house, it's baskets only). Whatever your decision, you are bound to be shocked at the sheer number of laundry baskets makes and models on the market today. Virtually every company with a stake in household goods produces baskets, from Rubbermaid to Sterilite to Bajer. And many of these companies make baskets in different styles and sizes, but which one works best? Well, Hip hugger models across all companies certainly seem to do well according to reviews on Amazon, View Points, and others. Hip hugging Rubbermaid laundry baskets and those from other companies are designed to make laundry transportation a little less stressful on the body. Instead of all the weight being put on the arms, shoulders, or worse the back, curves on the ends of the basket are made to mold to a person's hips. That way, your hip can support most of the weight, with your arm only being used for balance.

Because the best laundry baskets are used so much, they also have to be durable. Sterilite's Ultimate laundry basket (about $10/ea, comes in a 6-pack) actually has handles made from titanium on each side. This helps lend structure to the weight bearing parts of the laundry basket, so it lasts for a lot longer. Some companies make laundry baskets out of cloth and wire frames. The idea is that they are more convenient; you just take out the bag and head down to the laundry. However, without those convenient air holes in the baskets like the Rubbermaid Flex N Carry laundry basket, smells from the laundry can accumulate quickly. Also, setting up the frames and the cloth bag within the frames take a lot more time than just picking up an easy to carry model of laundry basket.

Laundry Baskets vs. Laundry Hampers

Because laundry hampers are often a decorative as well as a functional item, there are a wider assortment of styles of nice looking hampers than there are for laundry baskets. Hampers are supposed to remain stationary, so you don't have to worry about their comfort when carrying them back and forth to the laundry room. However, do keep in mind that laundry hampers have to be emptied regularly. This means that they have some features which either make picking them up easier, or eliminate the need to pick them up altogether. For example, many hampers come with a cotton or fabric liner, so you can pull the entire liner out like a canvas sack and carry it to the washer or dump it into your laundry basket. Wicker hampers such as the sets made by Honey have long been popular for several reasons. First, they are light and easy to pick up. Next, they look great in a bathroom or bedroom. Finally, they also have some breathability, so that the aforementioned smells don't start to accumulate (this is particularly important for a hamper in a bathroom). However, for people who don't like lifting a heavy bag or tipping the hamper upside down, there are better laundry hamper options than the stationary models. Hampton Bay is popular with reviewers at Home Decorators not only for appearance, but for convenience as well. The company makes a tilt laundry hamper which can easily be emptied into a basket when laundry day arrives.

Bamboo Laundry Hampers and other materials

Before you decide that wicker laundry hampers are the best choice for you, think first about other materials. While wicker looks great, it can also fall apart easily. With a lot of handling, you will probably start to notice sharp edges as the hamper starts to unravel. There are options for wicker hamper lovers out there, that can be both more economical and more durable than wicker. Faux wicker is one; made from synthetic material it has all the aesthetic qualities of a wicker pattern, but is much sturdier. Wooden models such as the mahogany laundry hamper by Oceanstar Design is also very durable, but you sacrifice a lot in the way of maneuverability with this heavy laundry hamper. Best recommendation here is a laundry hamper made from bamboo. They are light, incredibly tough, great to look at, and keep the contents aired well until laundry day rolls around again.