best in class

The 12 Very Best Laundry Hampers and Baskets

Including a backpack “if you’re someone who despises the walk to your local laundromat.”

Photo: Marcus McDonald
Photo: Marcus McDonald

In this article

Having a productive laundry day comes down to the tools you use. Here at The Strategist, we’re quite obsessive about our laundry, trying out everything from actress Piper Perabo’s favorite detergent sheets to a no-rinse soap that helps slash annual dry-cleaning bills. But I’d argue that your hamper or laundry basket is just as important as the other essentials you haul to the laundromat (or to your in-house washer and dryer). It’s a real workhorse, separating the dirty from the clean. (It’s also a superior solution to a “clothes chair.”) The right hamper should hold plenty while still being easy enough to carry, which isn’t the simplest balance to strike — I remember one of mine almost completely falling apart in a dorm-room hallway (I had to drag it back rather inelegantly). So I asked experts — including professional organizers, cleaners, and one Strategist editor — about the laundry baskets and hampers they consider favorites. Below, you’ll find recommendations ranging from a Rubbermaid hip-hugger that’s “meant to be flung around” to a handsome (and stackable) Hay basket.

What we’re looking for


Two of the most common materials in the land of laundry baskets are rattan and plastic, both of which are known for their durability. Rattan is made from palm stems and is often the base for wicker (which is actually a kind of weave); it also scores points for being breathable, keeping clothes from becoming damp, explains home organizer Caroline Solomon. Similarly, wood and bamboo are known for their naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, says Lauren Saltman, owner of organizing company Living. Simplified. You should also consider what a hamper’s lining is made from — nylon, mesh, and canvas are among the most popular fabrics for how easy they are to clean, mentions Naeemah Ford Goldson, owner of Restore Order Professional Organizing.


The dimensions of a hamper or laundry basket will ultimately determine where it lives in your home and how portable it is. We’ve listed the measurements for each recommendation below in order of height, width, and length. It may also be helpful to consider the capacity of a basket relative to whether you have a weekly laundry day or tend to avoid the chore until you run out of underwear. I don’t personally measure my laundry by volume or weight but could see that being helpful if, say, you ever send your laundry to a wash-and-fold that charges by the bag or by the pound. And one of Saltman’s tips is to look up how many pounds of laundry your washer can handle at once, then choose your laundry bin accordingly to mirror the size of one load.


Hampers and laundry baskets are admittedly a product category concerned with functionality above all else (I have covered the trash-can-scape, so I understand). But the separation between a bad laundry basket and a good one often lies in those details you might miss at first glance. That could include a hook to hang your laundry bag to keep it off the floor or the option to collapse and stow a basket under the bed when you aren’t using it. Perhaps you need separate compartments for your lights, darks, and delicates. Whenever possible, I’ve described these features in detail below.

Best overall laundry hamper

Material: Steel, polyester | Size: 25.2” x 11.81” x 14.17” | Design: Collapsible, X-shape folding frame, handles

Yamazaki’s stellar reputation (its small-space-specific homewares have appeared all across our archives), combined with the smart design of the hamper itself, earned the Tower our “best overall” trophy. Structurally, the hamper features a foldable steel frame and an interior insert at the bottom of the bag to keep the shape when you lug it to the washing machine. Aesthetically, it’s a hamper “that doesn’t really scream hamper,” Solomon adds, applauding the “sleek, no-nonsense, minimalist” look. It “stores more laundry than you think it might,” she says.

I’ve had the chance to try the Tower, and it’s well made — the fabric tote feels sturdy enough that it won’t rip, even if it occasionally overflows. (Just note that if you fill it to the very top, it might not close completely and becomes harder to carry.) The fact that the Tower can fold is another plus when your laundry day’s done. If you’re into sorting, Solomon suggests buying one in black and another in white to color-code your lights and darks.

Best portable laundry basket

Material: Plastic | Size: 20.47” x 14.96” x 16.14” | Design: Gridded lines, looped handles

If you’d rather tote around a basket, consider this version from Japanese brand Like-It. It’s about $10 cheaper than the Yamazaki hamper that earned the best-in-class blue ribbon and is much-praised by another professional organizer: Britnee Tanner. It can brim with dirty laundry “without being too awkward or heavy to carry,” she promises. Tanner currently owns four of them so that each member of her family has their own. Its tall and slender silhouette fits into the corner of a room or in a closet without taking up much space, and Tanner’s have held up well for years. “It’s a trusty basket that is surprisingly durable for what you need it to do day after day,” she says. (You can also find it in a shorter size and in white, though it’s slowly selling out in that color.)

Best hip-hugger laundry basket

Material: Plastic | Size: 11.2” x 19.9” x 21.2” | Design: Cutout handles, curved shape

A hip-hugger-style laundry basket is as classic as it gets — which is why professional house cleaner Sara San Angelo (a.k.a. the Cleaning Lady) favors this one from Rubbermaid. “The folding mesh ones are flimsy and usually break, and the ones made of fabric or cloth tend to rip,” she explains. “The Rubbermaid ones are meant to be flung around.” The basket features a third handle on one side to make carrying it alongside your hip more comfortable. Since the handles are built-in, they can manage the weight of larger loads, she says. It’s also just remarkably durable — even as San Angelo has put these baskets through the wringer, “slinging them around and dropping them in rooms.” She adds, “If you want a laundry basket that will last, buy one like the Rubbermaid.”

Best stackable laundry basket

Hay Basket
From $23
From $23

Material: Plastic | Size: 9.65” x 22.64” x 14.76” and 24.6” x 14.8” x 22.6” | Design: Graphic lines, stackable

Danish design studio Hay is well respected among current and former Strategist staffers (we count ourselves fans of the company’s toaster, storage bins, lamp, and tube light, among other things). Its laundry basket has the clean lines you’d expect from a Scandinavian maker and comes in a number of pretty pastels (including a peach-sorbet shade) not usually seen in the hamper scene. “This basket is, without a doubt, one of the more beautiful options,” says Tanner. It also has the distinction of being stackable even across the two sizes it comes in, as the smaller one will nest on top of the larger one. (The plastic it’s made out of is durable enough for this, she assures.) Tanner compares this feature to kitchen mixing bowls that nest within one another. The taller size works well as a hamper and can hold your weekly laundry haul, while the smaller is great for lesser loads or to separate your delicates.

Best (less expensive) stackable laundry basket

Material: Plastic | Size: 19.38” x 19.13” x 13.88” | Design: Ventilation holes, grip handles

The “pleasing squareness” of this Sterilite is one of the reasons Strategist senior editor Jen Trolio has depended on it for more than a decade. She bought some of these baskets in bulk years ago (a set of four goes for about $25), and now uses six around her house — to collect dirty laundry as a hamper in her closet, hold clean laundry that’s fresh from the dryer, and sort folded linens and clothes that are headed to separate rooms to be put away. When the laundry is done, she stacks the baskets to save space (and sometimes nests them inside a version of this trolley, which is nice looking but harder to move around).

Best collapsible laundry hamper

Material: Polyester, plastic | Size: 13.25” x 15” x 23” | Design: Collapsible, steel top rim, loops

This CleverMade collapsible basket (which comes in a pack of two) is what Goldson uses in her own home for its versatility. It’s large enough for two loads of laundry, but what really sets the basket apart is its handles. They make the task of putting away folded, freshly washed items much easier as she’ll often loop the two handles onto one arm to carry her clean laundry up the stairs. It also flattens to fit inside a drawer, slide in between the washer and dryer, or sit on a shelf, Goldson points out. This is a big contrast to other baskets “that always felt bulky, and I never knew where to put them, so they would just live on top of my dryer until the next laundry day.” (An honorable mention: This Camco collapsible basket that Lisa Zaslow, owner of Gotham Organizers, recommends. Although it doesn’t collapse as flat as the CleverMade, Zaslow likes that it offers more structure than other pop-up hampers, holding clothes more securely.)

Best rolling laundry hamper

Material: Steel, polyester, cotton | Size: 24.25” x 14” x 18” | Design: Rotating wheels, wire frame, metal handles

When Rachel Winkler, founder of home-organizing service Tidyspot, lived in an apartment building with a communal laundry room, she turned to the Harvest Rolling Hamper. With its rotating wheels, the laundry-laden bin moves back and forth without a problem. You can add a removable and washable liner — which you have to buy separately — that’s meant to fit through the elastic-trimmed cutout handles, ensuring that the layer remains in place. Winkler recommends investing in the lining — which is made from a poly-cotton combo — to keep the laundry contained (and out of sight) and from snagging on the metal from the frame.

Best (less expensive) rolling laundry hamper

Because Natalie Schrier of Cut the Clutter has no washer or dryer of her own, this Sterilite on wheels helps with the back-and-forth between her apartment and her building’s laundry room on the first floor. It lightens the load — literally — as she rolls the hamper around like a suitcase. Made of durable plastic, it hasn’t failed her in more than seven years. And just in case you need to pick it up — say, to carry it up or down stairs — there are cutouts on the sides that double as handles.

Best hanging laundry hamper

Material: Cotton, polyester | Size: 27” x 6” x 16.25” | Design: Metal hook, zippered back, loops

If you don’t have enough floor space for a hamper, consider this hanging Household Essentials model that comes recommended by Strategist writer Erin Schwartz. They praise its “quality-of-life” design features, including an adjustable hanger that can be hooked onto different doorknobs and a zipper down the back that helps them transfer loads from the laundromat more easily (versus having to reach for items out of the top). Though it’s on the smaller side, it translates to about two Ikea bags’ worth of laundry whenever Schwartz is cleaning their sheets.

Best backpack-style laundry hamper


Material: Polyester | Size: 21.5” x 14” x 15” | Design: Foldable, straps, leather accents

Similarly, “if you’re someone who despises the walk to your local laundromat,” you should consider prop stylist Cait Gury’s pick: this CleverMade backpack. Instead of having to drag a hamper down the street, she likes that you can sling it over your shoulder or strap it to your back — whichever way you go, the drawstring top “ensures you won’t lose any socks along the way.” She adds, “It’s made the experience of going to the laundromat much less of a headache.”

Best two-compartment laundry hamper

Material: Steel, water hyacinth, cotton canvas | Size: 24” x 13” x 23” | Design: Two compartments, cutout handles

If you like the look of wicker weave, Mary Cornetta, owner of Sort and Sweet and creator of Organized Overall, directed us to this Seville Classics sorter. She owns two of them, one for each of her bathrooms — despite their dual-compartment design, the baskets don’t take up much floor space. The compartments save her time in having to separate colors and delicates, making laundry day a little less chaotic in the process. Each section comes with its own lid and handles on the top and side along with a machine-washable bag that attaches to loop fasteners. Cornetta can fit about a week’s worth of laundry between the two hampers, adding that even when they’re full, they’re still light enough to move around.

Best three-compartment laundry hamper

Material: Bamboo, metal, polyester | Size: 29.75” x 19.1” x 27” | Design: Three compartments, netted bottom frame

For mountains of dirty laundry, Ann Lightfoot, co-founder of Done and Done Home, recommends this Oceanstar multi-compartment hamper. The hooks on each end of the removable bags are what make it especially clever — as Lightfoot explains, these can be carried like a tote for easy transport and then hooked back onto the frame’s durable metal rods. There’s also a netted bottom on the frame meant to keep the bags from sagging. Lightfoot even suggests keeping one of these hampers in the mudroom, if you’re lucky enough to have one, so that wet or extra dirty clothes aren’t mixed in with other need-to-wash items.

Some more laundry baskets we like

4.1 stars 178 reviews
4.7 stars 780 reviews

Our experts

• Mary Cornetta, owner of Sort and Sweet and creator of Organized Overall
• Naeemah Ford Goldson, owner of Restore Order Professional Organizing
Cait Gury, prop stylist
• Ann Lightfoot, co-founder of Done and Done Home
• Lauren Saltman, owner of organizing company Living. Simplified.
• Sara San Angelo, professional house cleaner and a.k.a. the Cleaning Lady
Erin Schwartz, Strategist writer
• Natalie Schrier, founder of Cut the Clutter
Caroline Solomon, home organizer
Britnee Tanner, professional organizer
Jen Trolio, Strategist senior editor
• Rachel Winkler, founder of home-organizing service Tidyspot
• Lisa Zaslow, owner of Gotham Organizers

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

The 12 Very Best Laundry Hampers and Baskets