The 10 Best Laundry Hampers
This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in June of 2015. Keep your home tidier by stashing dirty clothes out of sight and streamline your household chores with one of these laundry hampers. From traditional baskets to more modern designs, we've included options in a variety of sizes and styles that can blend in with the rest of your decor and suit your family’s needs. There should be something for most budgets and space requirements on this list. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 15, 2020:
We believe that hampers should be more than simple receptacles in which you toss your dirty laundry. They can also be decorative pieces, they can quickly act as a basket when it's time to move them to the washer and dryer, they can contain odors, and they can even help keep you organized. For that reason, we looked for hampers that go above and beyond the basic options.
All hampers must eventually wind up in the laundry room, which means you need to move them around. For that reason, we like that the Whitmor Round and the Seville Classics WEB182 sit atop wheels for easy maneuvering. The CleverMade SnapBasket, with its long straps and folding design also ticked many boxes for portability. Unfortunately, the Krugg Brushed Copper simply couldn't remain on the list, because it has no handles or any features that make it easy to carry. The AcmeSoy Rolling lost its spot due to portability issues, too, because, contrary to what its name promises, its wheels get stuck too much. The Rubbermaid Flex n' Carry also lost its place as its handle covers pop off, making it uncomfortable to transport.
Families or even individuals who simply don't like to wash clothes often will need a hamper that can hold a lot, so we like that the Oiahomy Woven can hold several week's worth of dirty items in some cases. The Household Essentials Collapsible is available in a two-compartment model that can accommodate quite a bit of laundry, too. However, the OXO Good Grips is no longer on the list because its capacity is just too small.
Though we've already mentioned it, the Seville Classics WEB182 earns repeat honors because, in addition to acting as a hamper, it also has an ironing board, so if you don't have a tabletop one, this can give you a place to press your clothes.
L.L. Bean Two Bushel Small Carry Basket with Casters Made with heavy-duty canvas, leather handles, and a steel frame, this laundry hamper is ready for years of heavy use and has a charming semi-retro look. Sitting on four casters, it's convenient to move from room to room, and at 18 inches deep, it can hold quite a bit of garments and linens. llbean.com
Uashmama Laundry Bag The Uashmama Laundry Bag is available in nine colors, so if you need several hampers so each member of the family gets their own and you want them all to be easily identifiable, it's a good choice. It has a snap-button system that allows you to attach it to others, and a tall, narrow design that makes it easy to fit into tight spaces. uashmama.com
How To Choose A Hamper
A hamper takes up space after all, so sometimes the best way to enjoy your living arrangements is by making them adaptable.
Many people think of a laundry hamper as nothing more than a spot to toss dirty clothes before the garments go to the washing machine or the laundromat. But if you loathe the idea of dirty clothing strewn about on the floor, chances are that you also don't like the idea of unsightly furniture in your home.
And when you start to see a laundry hamper in those terms -- as furniture -- perhaps your appreciation for this humble unit will change. For indeed a hamper is a piece of furniture, and it's one you will see and use almost every day of your life. Choose your hamper well, and it can not only mitigate the mess in your bedroom, bathroom, or laundry room, but it can in fact accentuate the very decor of your home.
You'll want to start by deciding on the capacity you and/or your family need from the unit. You can check a prospective option's dimensions (e.g. height, width, and depth) as compared to load capacity of your washing machine and try to select a unit with a roughly one to one size match, for example.
The importance of storage capacity not withstanding, the look of your laundry basket may be the deciding factor. Many great hampers have a wicker (or faux wicker) exterior that not only looks great but that can also be easily wiped clean. A hamper with wooden slats might accentuate the look of a modern bathroom, while a cloth exterior hamper can match a carpet or wall color.
Next look for features like built in removable laundry bags, which make for easier transport of laundry and which can themselves be cleaned. These bags might limit the storage capacity of the unit, though, and are in fact disliked by some people who find that they make the process of getting laundry out of the bin more laborious.
Of course there is another approach to choosing a laundry hamper, and it's quite the contrast to the aesthetic and style questions with which we have so far been concerned. You always have the option to select a hamper that can be quickly collapsed and folded up when not in use. Many hampers use thin frames that can be quickly folded flat and tucked away under a bed, in a closet, or even in a large drawer.
When living space is limited in a smaller apartment, a dorm room, or when you are spending a few days in a hotel, one of these hampers is a great choice. A hamper takes up space after all, so sometimes the best way to enjoy your living arrangements is by making them adaptable. While most collapsible hampers aren't much to look at, they are often quite affordable, which certainly helps to compensate for appearances.
Lend Your Hamper A Hand
Even though your hamper is intended to hold dirty clothing, that's no reason not to try and keep the piece as clean as possible. For while the clothing within will soon be laundered and clean again, a hamper itself is seldom washed out. Keeping you hamper clean and odor free can do much to keep the room in which it sits feeling fresher and more welcoming.
Even a garment that was only mildly dirtied can begin to grow pungent if left sitting in the darkness of the hamper for a long period of time.
For starters, just don't let clothing sit in the hamper for too long. Even a garment that was only mildly dirtied can begin to grow pungent if left sitting in the darkness of the hamper for a long period of time. This is especially true if it was damp upon entry. And never let your hamper become so full that the clothing inside it is compressed or that the lid can no longer even shut fully. If this happens frequently, you either need to begin doing laundry more often, you need to upgrade to a larger hamper, or perhaps both.
As for odors, try to stop them from escaping from your hamper by using an odor capturing product that fits right into the unit. A charcoal air purifier bag can do much to capture and neutralize odors right there inside your hamper, and most options are quite affordable. Tuck one at the bottom of the hamper or take the few seconds to always lay it atop the laundry pile for maximum efficacy.
If you know you are going to have a particularly pungent or dirtied batch of laundry coming up, such as may follow a kid's sporting event, a day spent skiing, or after intense yard work, you can always line your hamper with a plastic trash bag. These bags trap odors, moisture, and any dirt or debris that might fall from a garment. In fact, a decent trash bag is a cost effective stand in for a hamper's cloth liner bag should you lose yours, should it rip, or should your hamper never have had one.
The History Of Laundry In America
Examining the way in which laundry is handled can do much to show the student of history the changes through which America has gone in the past two centuries. The story of laundry is one of technological advances and gender role definition.
Over the course of the 20th Century, these machines largely migrated from the laundromat to the home.
For thousands of years laundry was cleaned in much the same way in most of the world: it was rinsed and wrung in rivers, lakes, or other sources of freshwater. (Laundry is still cleaned by hand in naturally occurring bodies of water in much of the world.)
In the 17th and 18th Centuries, the public washhouse began to supplant the river or stream in many part of the world, particularly in Europe and the Americas. In a washhouse, naturally occurring freshwater would be diverted or carried to large open pools or else dispensed into buckets or basins. People -- historically women in these eras -- would use their hands, a posser -- a stick often affixed with a perforated copper dome and which was used to "beat" laundry in a tub or basin -- and/or a washboard to scrub away dirt, grime, and stains.
The Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century ushered in the development of new washing machines which soon led to most laundry in America being handled by automatic devices instead of by hand. Over the course of the 20th Century, these machines largely migrated from the laundromat to the home.