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While laundry day isn’t typically something most people look forward to, this essential chore is often much easier if you have the proper tools at your disposal. In addition to a powerful washing machine and good detergent, a quality laundry basket will help you power through your laundry and get back to the things you enjoy.
What makes a good laundry basket? For one, it should be big enough to comfortably hold a load of laundry—but not so big that it’s unwieldy to carry. It also needs to be durable and breathable to prevent laundry from getting musty.
With these things in mind, here are the best laundry baskets for your home.
Best Overall: Sterilite Ultra Square Laundry Basket, Set of 6
The Sterilite Ultra Baskets are the creme de la creme of laundry baskets—they’re the perfect size, extremely sturdy, and easy to stack when not in use. Each of the baskets can hold 1.5 bushels of laundry, which is big enough for a large load, and they have an oval hole pattern on the sides to provide ample ventilation.
The comfort-grip handles make these baskets easy to carry without plastic digging into your fingers, and the reinforced rim prevents cracking or warping over time. Plus, the square shape of the baskets takes up less room than traditional rectangular ones, and they can be nested inside each other to save space.
Best Plastic: Rubbermaid Laundry Basket
There are numerous benefits to plastic laundry baskets, including that they’re inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to clean. In particular, the Rubbermaid Laundry Basket is a top choice for any laundry room, as it comes in both large and small sizes and sports three handles, allowing you to carry it in different ways.
This plastic laundry basket can hold 2 bushels of clothing, and it has a unique curved shape that’s designed to sit comfortably on your hip for one-handed carrying. There are cut-outs on all sides that provide ventilation for your laundry, and the smooth plastic construction prevents delicate clothes from snagging—a common issue with wicker laundry baskets.
Best Woven: Crate & Barrel Wicker Laundry Basket
Woven wicker laundry baskets are another popular style, and this one has a spacious 20-pound capacity, as well as two sturdy handles for easy lifting. The basket is made from natural rattan that’s handwoven in the Philippines, and the material has a lacquer finish to protect the color and integrity of the wood. The tapered shape is easy to carry, and the basket is so pretty that you won’t mind having it around the house when it’s not in use.
Best Wire: Yamazaki Home Laundry Basket
This wire laundry basket from Yamazaki Home offers a sleek modern appearance paired with unbeatable functionality. It’s made from steel wire with a white finish, and there are two collapsible wooden handles that make it easy to move around your home.
The airy design of this basket helps to keep clothes fresh, but make sure you consider the dimensions before you buy. At 12.2 x 16.3 x 10.6 inches, this product is smaller than traditional laundry baskets, so it might be best for specific types of laundry, like towels and washcloths or dry cleaning.
Best Folding: Smart Design Deluxe Mesh Pop Up Square Laundry Basket
As its name suggests, this mesh laundry basket pops up when you need to use it and folds flat for compact storage—ideal if you’re living in an apartment or small home. The basket is a 17-inch square and 14 inches tall when open, and it features two reinforced fabric handles and side pockets that are ideal for transporting supplies like detergent or a change purse.
While it might not be the most aesthetically pleasing choice out there, this option is perfect for small spaces or anyone who needs to carry clothes back and forth to a laundry room or laundromat.
Best Tote: SnapBasket XL Collapsible Laundry Tote
If you have to bring laundry to a laundromat, the SnapBasket XL Laundry Tote is the perfect way to carry your belongings. The spacious bag can hold up to 55 pounds (or 1.8 bushels) of laundry, and it features two over-the-shoulder straps for comfortable carrying. The bag itself is made from durable polyester, and it folds flat when not in use, allowing you to easily stash it in your closet.
Best Rolling: Honey-Can-Do Chrome Triple Laundry Sorter
Instead of manually carrying heavy loads of laundry to your washing machine, you can simply push the rolling Honey Can Do Laundry Sorter around your home. This popular product has a rust-resistant steel frame mounted on four caster wheels, and it comes with three white sorting bins with metal handles for easy lifting.
The multiple compartments are ideal for separating loads of laundry, and the unit is easy to move around your home, even when it’s full to the brim. Plus, when you want the basket to stay in place, you can simply lock its wheels. Just be sure you have enough space to store this unit, as it is larger than most traditional laundry baskets.
Best Stackable: The Container Store White Stackable Laundry Basket
You’ll be able to sort laundry with ease thanks to these stackable laundry baskets from The Container Store. Each of the plastic baskets has heavy-duty handles that can be flipped in, allowing you to stack several of the units on top of each other. It’s a great option if you want to keep your family’s laundry separated but are short on floor space.
Best Collapsible: SAMMART Collapsible Plastic Laundry Basket
Traditional laundry baskets take up quite a bit of room, and if you want to be able to tuck your basket away, you need something like this collapsible model. This basket has a plastic frame with flexible sides, allowing you to fold it down into a compact 3.5-inch form when empty. Then, you can simply slip it in beside your washing machine for storage.
This collapsible basket comes in eight colors, and because it doesn’t have any ventilation holes, you can also use it as a small tub to hand-wash clothing, if desired.
Best with Lid: Rebrilliant Bamboo Rectangular Laundry Hamper
Don’t want to look at your piles of dirty laundry? Go ahead and cover them up in this bamboo hamper, which conveniently comes with a lid. The design comes in two colors, and it features rope handles on either side so you can carry it around your home as needed.
In addition to its lift-off lid, this laundry basket comes with a removable fabric liner—not only does this allow you to carry laundry around without bringing the whole hamper, but it also helps to ensure delicate clothing doesn’t get snagged.
The best laundry basket is the Sterilite Ultra Square Laundry Basket (view at Walmart), which wins points for being lightweight, stackable, and fairly compact. If you're looking for a pick that will help you keep your whites and darks separated, the Honey-Can-Do Chrome Triple Laundry Sorter (view at Walmart) is a a good pick, although it's bigger and less portable up and down stairs.
What to Look for in a Laundry Basket
Laundry baskets are commonly made from several different materials, each of which has their own benefits and drawbacks. Plastic laundry baskets are lightweight, but some can be brittle and crack over time. Wicker baskets are more durable and sustainable, but they’re also prone to snagging delicate items. You can also find mesh and fabric laundry baskets, but they’re less sturdy than other options.
Laundry baskets come in all shapes and sizes, and the best choice for you depends on how much laundry you’re dealing with. Basket size is often measured in either bushels or pounds—a basket that can hold 1 bushel is a good size for one or two people, while a 2 bushel basket is better suited for a small family.
Traditional laundry baskets can be tricky to store when they’re not in use, as they’re often quite cumbersome. If you have a small home, you may want to look for a product that’s designed for easier storage—there are pop-up and collapsible laundry baskets available, as well as ones that nest or stack.
Why do laundry baskets have holes?
Laundry baskets have holes in them to promote better airflow to your clothes. Even when taken fresh out of the dryer, clothes can have trace amounts of moisture in them, and the holes provide ventilation to reduce any possible mold and mildew. It’s a design idea that likely started from more traditional woven baskets and influenced the way plastic baskets were made. In addition, the holes make the baskets more lightweight, so you can pile them up with clothes and carry them with ease
How many laundry baskets do I need?
A good rule of thumb is to have at one to two 1.5 bushel laundry baskets so that when you sort out each load, you can fold the clothes and put them into a respective basket—without any overflow. If you’re short on space and find yourself needing more, consider stacking laundry baskets as a viable option. Remember that laundry baskets are different than hampers, which are typically placed in each bedroom or closet to collect dirty clothes that need to be washed.
How should you store laundry baskets?
The best place to store your laundry baskets is nearest to your wash and dryer. If you’re lucky enough to have a closet or cabinet space in your laundry area, this is a great spot to put your baskets. If not, consider placing them on a shelf or counter near your machines.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and expert on all things home. She’s used several styles of laundry baskets throughout her life, but her all-time favorite is still the Sterilite Ultra Laundry Basket, thanks to its lightweight yet durable construction. Her cat is also a big fan of these baskets, and he frequently sits inside them whenever he gets the chance. Additional reporting was done by Mackenzie Dunn, a lifestyle writer and editor whose work has appeared in Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, HelloGiggles, Real Simple, MyDomaine, and more.