In cities and states that have banned single-use plastic shopping bags, reusable grocery bags are a must-have item for easier shopping. “If you are going to invest in your own reusable grocery bags, they’re only going to help the environment if you remember to use them,” says Melissa Homer, the Chief Cleaning Officer at MaidPro and a member of The Spruce’s Cleaning and Organizing Review Board. “The more compact and easy to store they are, the better!”
Everyone’s shopping needs are different, so we researched the best reusable grocery bags on the market, evaluating each on capacity, material, durability, and washing requirements.
Here are the best reusable grocery bags to make your shopping run easier.
Bagpodz Reusable Shopping Bags
Zippered storage pod holds all the bags
Pod clips to a shopping cart
Each bag can carry up to 50 pounds
Handles can’t fit over your shoulder
Don’t stand up on their own
The BagPodz Reusable Shopping Bags are our top pick thanks to their ultra-compact and convenient design. These bags are stored in a zippered pouch (or “pod”) that clips right onto your shopping cart. The pod makes the bags easy to store together, which we find convenient for grocery shopping—plus, the bags can be removed one at a time, so you can grab however many totes you need when you’re in the checkout line. While the pod itself is small enough to fit in a glove compartment or cup holder, each bag measures over 12 inches in length and height (not including the handle) when fully opened. The ripstop nylon material is extremely durable, and each bag can hold up to 50 pounds.
We were thoroughly impressed with the BagPodz bags’ capacity and packability when we tried these bags at home. Our tester was able to fit a week’s worth of groceries (for a family of three) into four bags. We also appreciated the zipper and the drawstring opening on the pod, which make it easy to access and reload the bags. However, we did find one major design flaw: The handles aren’t long enough to sling over a shoulder. Instead, you have to carry the bags in your hands, which can be tiresome if you have a long distance to walk.
The BagPodz Reusable Shopping Bags are machine washable for a quick and thorough cleaning. They are sold in packs of five or 10, and they come in four solid colors. These bags are more expensive than other nylon options, and they also aren’t insulated, which could be a drawback if you have to trek to your nearest grocery store. However, we think their convenient design and impressive performance still makes them worth the splurge.
Price at time of publish: $27 for five bags
Dimensions: 12.5 x 4.5 x 12.5 inches | Material: Ripstop nylon | Colors: 4 color options | How to Clean: Machine wash
Reroucky 6 Pack Reusable Shopping Grocery Bags
Come in fun colors
Attached storage pouches
Not as large or sturdy as other options
If you’re looking to save a few bucks, this set of reusable grocery bags from Reroucky offers some of the convenient features of higher-end options at a slightly lower cost. Made with tear-resistant polyester fabric, these bags can handle loads of groceries weighing up to 35 pounds—which, it should be noted, is less than our best overall option. We read a few reports of rips and tears, but they hold up well on the whole. As a perk, they’re machine washable for a quick and easy cleanup.
These bags come in one pack with assorted colors, so you can designate colors for specific tasks. For on-the-go convenience, they can be folded into the attached pocket-size pouch, which is small enough to fit into a purse or car console. Like our best overall option, these reusable bags aren’t as structured as some others. They tend to flop around and they won’t stand up on their own. Also, the bags don’t have any insulation, so they aren't the best choice for transporting dairy and frozen foods a long distance.
Price at time of publish: $10 for six bags
Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.7 x 13.6 inches | Material: Ripstop polyester | Colors: 1 option with assorted colors | How to Clean: Machine wash, air dry
BeeGreen Reusable Grocery Bags
Can hold up to 50 pounds
Fold into a compact pouch
Available in fun colors and prints
Handles tend to slip off shoulder
The BeeGreen Reusable Grocery Bags offer a compact, portable design. Each grocery bag folds down into a pocket-size square pouch, which you can use to store it when it’s not in use. The pouches are small enough to store in your car’s center console or a purse. Thanks to their convenient and compact design, you can have multiple bags at the ready all while occupying a minimal amount of space.
Made of ripstop polyester, these bags are resistant to water and rips—and, best of all, they can go in the washing machine for quick cleanup. The bags are super spacious, featuring a width of 15 inches and a height of 16 inches (not including the handle). Their large capacity is equivalent to two or three conventional grocery bags.
These bags come in a set of six and you can choose from a variety of colors and prints, including unique animal- and holiday-themed sets. Their handles allow for easy carrying—and while you might be able to fit the handle over a shoulder, we read reports that they tend to slip off. It’s also important to note that these bags have very little structure, which means they won’t stay upright in a trunk.
Price at time of publish: $20 for five bags
Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 15 inches | Material: Ripstop polyester | Colors: Multiple color and print options | How to Clean: Machine wash
Creative Green Life Reusable Grocery Shopping Box Bags
Stand up on their own
Fold flat for storage
Not machine washable
A rigid box structure and durable design make these Creative Green Life Reusable Grocery Bags a great heavy-duty option. Thanks to the reinforced sides and bottom, the bags stay open and upright, making them easy to load and unload. Even when fully loaded with groceries, they maintain their shape. While they don’t collapse down into a small pouch like other options, you can shift the bottom insert out of the way and fold each bag flat.
These bags are sold packs of three, and their total capacity is equivalent to 10 single-use grocery bags, according to the manufacturer. The long 12-inch handles allow you to carry taller items (this is particularly helpful since the bag interior only stands 11 inches tall) and comfortably sling the bag over your shoulder.
Note that these bags are not insulated, which could be an issue if you’re a good distance from the grocery store. They aren’t machine washable or leakproof, either—so you’ll need to handle groceries that might leak with extra care. However, these sturdy boxes stay put in a trunk and won’t flop around or fall over.
Price at time of publish: $28 for three bags
Dimensions: 13 x 10 x 11 inches | Material: Not listed | Colors: 3 color options | How to Clean: Wipe clean
Hydro Flask 35 L Insulated Tote
Keeps food cold for up to four hours
Attractive, versatile design
Exterior pocket storage
Bulky to store
Not machine washable
If you’re looking to keep your food cool, Hydro Flask’s Insulated Tote is an excellent choice. Its insulated design keeps contents cold for hours, and an ice pack can keep the temperature down for longer. To effectively contain spills, it has a fully lined interior and water-resistant zippers. It also has an exterior pocket, which makes small essentials like grocery lists, pens, and keys easily accessible.
In addition to all its convenient features, this tote is very stylish to boot. It comes in seven striking colors—blackberry, snapper magenta, alpine, orca, gulf, eggplant, and cactus—and it can hold up to 35 liters. Weighing less than 2 pounds, this tote is incredibly lightweight when empty. With soft exterior handles, it’s comfortable to carry while you run errands. This tote is significantly more expensive than standard reusable grocery bags, but it’s backed by a five-year warranty to ensure your full satisfaction. It’s also versatile—it’s a great option to tote snacks and drinks on road trips or days at the beach. The structured design makes it a bit bulkier to store when it’s not in use, though.
Price at time of publish: $67 each
Dimensions: 20 x 7.75 x 15 inches | Material: Fabric | Colors: 7 color options | How to Clean: Wipe clean
UnCommon Goods Embroidered Thank You Tote
Handmade with recycled fabric
On the pricier side
Bag is sold individually
Doesn’t come with a storage pouch
Ditch those plastic grocery bags with this cleverly designed tote, which is embroidered with phrases commonly found on plastic bags: “thank you” and “have a nice day.” It comes in an assortment of colors so you can really make a statement. In contrast to the single-use plastic options it replaces, the reusable bag is handmade with 100 percent recycled taffeta and can be machine washed—another major bonus, especially for the bright white versions. Just make sure to hang it up to dry to keep the embroidery in good condition.
The dimensions are listed as roughly 13 inches by 20 inches, but we think that includes the handle length. With that in mind, this single bag is ideal for a quick grocery run—not so much for a full shopping trip. It also doesn’t come with any kind of storage pouch, so it might not be the easiest option to tuck in a purse for impromptu shopping. Since it is somewhat pricey, the cost will add up if you buy more than one of these crafty recycled totes. But if the design charms you and you’re looking for a recycled option, we think it’s worth considering.
Price at time of publish: $38 for one bag
Dimensions: 13 x 20 inches | Materials: 100% recycled polyester taffeta fabric, polyester thread | Colors: 3 color options | How to Clean: Machine wash, air dry
Organic Cotton Mart Canvas Grocery Shopping Bags
Sturdy, durable design
Made of certified organic cotton
Interior compartments for fragile items
Can shrink or wrinkle after washing
No storage pouch
Plainer than other options
These reusable canvas grocery bags from Organic Cotton Mart are lightweight yet incredibly durable. They’re roughly equivalent in size to a brown paper grocery bag. However, the canvas material is sturdy and thick enough to handle heavy loads of groceries—without ripping or tearing. The wide 24-inch handles make these bags comfortable to carry. Another standout feature is the compartments on the interior of each bag. These pockets can prevent glass bottles from colliding and accidentally breaking, or can be used to separate out smaller grocery items.
They’re made from 100% organic cotton, which means they’re free of dyes and bleach. The bags are machine washable, but it’s important to note that the canvas may shrink or become excessively wrinkled after washing. Be sure to reshape it while it’s still wet and allow it to air dry. They don’t come with a storage pouch, and even when folded up, the thick fabric makes them bulkier than some options. Still, they’re a sturdy, reliable canvas option for grocery shopping. They can be purchased individually or in sets of two or three bags.
Price at time of publish: $34 for three bags
Dimensions: 13.5 x 8 x 14 inches | Material: Canvas | Color: 1 color option | How to Clean: Machine wash, air dry
CleverMade SnapBasket Luxe
Attractive design with chic accents
Stands up on its own or collapses for storage
Likely not machine washable
This canvas tote from CleverMade is as stylish as it is functional. It comes in an assortment of patterns and colors to suit almost any style, and it can hold up to 30 pounds of groceries. This spacious bag has a sturdy structure when popped open, and it stays put in the trunk of a car. For convenient storage, it collapses flat to a thickness of 1.75 inches.
It has two long handles with faux-leather accents for comfortable carrying, plus an inside pocket to store your keys and other valuables. Due to its good looks, it’s no big surprise the CleverMade SnapBasket LUXE is one of the most expensive options on this list. Just keep in mind that it isn’t insulated, which could be an issue if transporting temperature-sensitive groceries. Like all reusable grocery bags with an open design, it’s also not completely spill-proof. The manufacturer doesn’t list care instructions, either—so it’s best to assume you’ll have to wipe it clean, rather than machine wash it.
Price at time of publish: $40 each
Dimensions: 18 x 11.5 x 11.25 inches | Material: Canvas, faux leather | Colors: 8 color options | How to Clean: Not listed
Best Small Capacity
Public Goods Reusable Cotton Produce Bags
Great for produce and grains
Made from 100% organic cotton
Can keep vegetables fresh in the fridge
Not transparent like single-use produce bags
May shrink in the wash
Measuring just 9.5 by 11.8 inches, these reusable bags from Public Goods are the perfect size for produce. They’re made from 100 percent organic muslin cotton and feature a convenient drawstring closure. The woven cotton is also sturdy enough to hold fine-grain items such as flour and quinoa. Since the bag is also breathable, you can dampen and refrigerate it to keep your greens fresher.
To top it all off, these versatile produce bags are machine washable. We read a few reports of the bags shrinking after washing, so be sure to wash them in cold water and hang dry. We appreciate the durable cotton construction of these bags, but it’s important to note that since they’re not transparent, it may take a bit longer for your cashier to find labels on produce. The bags come in a set of two and are very reasonably priced.
Price at time of publish: $7 for two bags
Dimensions: 9.5 x 11.8 inches | Material: 100% organic muslin cotton | Color: 1 color option | How to Clean: Machine wash
Best Large Capacity
Scout Errand Boy Tote Bag
Spacious and can hold up to 75 pounds
Stands on its own and folds for storage
On the pricey side
No interior compartments to keep items in place
At over 2 feet wide, this extra-large tote from Scout can carry up to 75 pounds of groceries—an impressive feat. It’s made of all-weather polypropylene, which is durable, water-resistant, and easy to wipe clean. The bag comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and it’s stylish enough to use as a beach bag, too. It features a zipper closure and a nylon lining, so you can contain and easily clean up any spills. To store smaller items securely, it also has a zippered pocket on the interior.
With heavy-duty, 9.75-inch-long shoulder straps, this tote is comfortable to carry on a large-scale grocery run. Since it doesn't have any compartments, heavier items can shift around if the bag isn’t perfectly balanced. It offers a collapsible, fold-flat design for easy storage, which is a nice plus. This Scout Errand Boy Tote Bag is pricier than other options, but it’s one of the largest and most attractive bags in our roundup.
Price at time of publish: $60 each
Dimensions: 26 x 12 x 13 inches | Material: Polypropylene | Colors: 7 color options | How to Clean: Wipe clean
Best Flat Bottom
Earthwise Deluxe Collapsible Reusable Shopping Box Grocery Bag Set
Stays open and upright
Won’t slide around in the trunk
Folds flat for compact storage
Available in multiple colors and patterns
These reusable shopping boxes from Earthwise have a rigid bottom that keeps them flat and sturdy in your trunk. Made of heavy-duty polypropylene and recycled cardboard walls, they’re tough enough to handle large loads of groceries. Since they’re able to stay open on their own, the boxes are easy to load. For versatile carrying options, they have short side handles as well as 12-inch shoulder straps.
When not in use, the boxes fold completely flat for convenient storage. They are sold as a set of three and come in an assortment of colors and patterns. Note that they don’t have any insulation, so they won’t keep your food cool on the drive home, and they aren’t machine washable.
Price at time of publish: $29 for three bags
Dimensions: 14.5 x 10 x 10 inches | Material: Polypropylene | Colors: 8 color options | How to Clean: Wipe clean
The BagPodz Reusable Shopping Bags earn our top spot because they’re spacious and durable enough to hold heavy loads of groceries. Plus, they come in a convenient carrying case and can go right in the washing machine. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Reroucky Reusable Shopping Bags are fairly durable and machine washable.
What to Look for in a Reusable Grocery Bag
It pays to know how much you can load up a set of reusable grocery bags. If your bags won’t hold enough, you’ll be stuck taking home disposable bags, too. And if you overload your reusable bags, you risk a tear or the handle ripping. Some can hold up to 50 pounds, while others have a much lower weight capacity (in the 20-to-30-pound range). Our top choice for large capacity, the Scout Errand Boy Tote Bag, is strong enough to hold up to 75 pounds of groceries.
Shape and Style
Many reusable bags are designed to collapse into very compact packages. “More pliable reusable grocery bags, especially those made of polyester or nylon, can be squished into a small storage pouch, making them ideal to toss in the trunk or even the bottom of your purse,” Homer says. However, these typically lack the ability to stay upright when in use, which makes them more likely to tip over in your trunk.
Bags that have a sturdier structure are able to stay open and upright. They’re also more likely to stay put in a trunk and prevent your groceries from sliding all around. Boxier reusable grocery bags are often bulkier to store, but some have a foldable design that makes storage a bit easier (though, they’ll typically still be bulkier than a bag made of thin fabric). Our top choice for flat bottom bags, Earthwise Deluxe Collapsible Reusable Shopping Box, stays upright when in use and folds flat for storage.
Material and Durability
Reusable grocery bags come in a lot of different materials, but polyester, nylon, and canvas are the most common options. Nylon is extremely lightweight and foldable, making it the best choice for on-the-go convenience and compact storage. If you’re carrying heavy items, a canvas bag with long, sturdy handles is a more comfortable option. While transporting temperature-sensitive groceries like dairy and frozen foods, an insulated bag will help prevent food from thawing, melting, or spoiling on your way home. Our “best insulated” pick is the Hydro Flask 35 L Insulated Tote, which keeps groceries cool for up to four hours.
Toting groceries can become a messy job—a spilled container of blueberries or a package of meat that leaks on the way home can introduce stains, odors, and bacteria to your bags. With this in mind, you’ll want to consider how the reusable bag can be washed. While some bags can only be spot-cleaned, others can go in the washing machine for a thorough cleaning. “Polyester and nylon grocery bags share the advantage of being machine washable, so they can last for years with the right care,” Homer notes. Just keep in mind that most machine-washable bags need to be air-dried to avoid shrinking.
How long does a reusable bag last?
With proper care, a sturdy reusable grocery bag could last for years. To ensure its longevity, you want to carefully follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. It’s also important to never load the bag beyond its weight capacity. Doing so will likely cause rips, tears, and premature wear.
What is the best material for reusable grocery bags?
“Of all the fabric options for reusable grocery bags on the market, ripstop nylon is the best of all worlds,” Homer says. “It not only resists tears like its name indicates, it is also washable, water resistant, and super strong even when woven really thin.”
How do you store reusable grocery bags?
Depending on their shape, reusable grocery bags can either be folded in half or folded into a small pouch for compact storage. Positioning the bag with the folded side up will make it easier to retrieve. Follow these tips for more precise folding instructions. If you’ve accumulated numerous bags like so many of us do, you can store them in a bin or an open, flat-bottomed shopping bag for easy access.
How often should you wash reusable grocery bags?
To avoid cross-contamination, reusable grocery bags used for carrying meats, produce, and other uncooked foods should be washed after each use. If you wash a canvas or cloth bag, wait until it’s completely dry before you bring it to the store. Any dampness in the fabric can encourage mold and mildew to grow.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Sage McHugh, a home and lifestyle writer who has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019. To select the best reusable grocery bags on the market, she considered dozens of products, carefully evaluating their capacity, material, durability, and washing requirements. Sage consulted hundreds of customer reviews, as well as recommendations from third-party websites. For expert insight on reusable grocery bags, Sage interviewed Melissa Homer, The Spruce's Cleaning Review Board member and Chief Cleaning Officer at MaidPro.