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Laundry Baskets: A Definitive Guide
A laundry basket is an essential tool for any home, however mundane or taxing laundry sorting can be, the right laundry basket can ensure that all dirty items are kept organised--out of sight but ready when it's time for the weekly wash.
Surprising as it may seem, there is more to the laundry basket than meets the eye, from the plethora of designs, material type (which dictates longevity), clever space-saving engineering, and many others!
This is your definitive guide to the humble laundry basket that's filled with all sorts of information to help you find the one which will perfectly suit your lifestyle, keep reading below to get started!
There are many types of materials used to create laundry baskets, some are geared towards aesthetics, others for longevity, while some are inclined towards eco-friendliness/sustainability.
At the end of the day, the goal is to find the right one that should fit your home's requirements while prioritising ease of use and practicality.
Let's take a closer look at each of the materials used in manufacturing laundry baskets:
Plastic Laundry Basket
Simple, affordable, and completely lightweight – that’s what plastic laundry baskets are known for!
You can choose from a variety of colours and features plus it’s definitely long-lasting despite its cheap price tag.
Even the larger ones are still less heavy than wicker laundry baskets or laundry hampers made out of a different material – so it would be easy to carry and store wherever you want.
Plastic laundry baskets are also multifunctional – not limited to keeping your laundry items in place.
You can use it for putting away wet shoes and muddy trainers along your entryway, keep toys and knickknacks off the floor, and even store wet items (which will prevent mould growth).
Willow Laundry Basket
If you want to go the eco-friendly route and completely abandon your plastic dependency at home.
A good place to start is having your home filled with furniture and products made from natural materials.
Laundry baskets, for example, are a good place to start. It might be one of the most ordinary, pragmatic devices around your home that you’ve probably haven’t given a considerable thought of.
Willow laundry baskets are a good choice because its material came from the Willow family of trees known for its carbon-sequestering, soil-purifying characteristics.
When you choose a laundry basket made from willow, you know you’re doing Mother Nature a huge service because it’s a renewable material that won’t contribute to more carbon emission.
Plus, there is a wide variety of willows that can be designed into different types of willow laundry baskets – to suit any preference and expectations of homemakers.
Rattan Laundry Basket
Rattan is a natural material from the family of palm trees in Asian countries. Its native flexibility makes it one of the most enduring materials to be made as laundry baskets, among other products in the market.
It’s light but strong, flexible but very weather-resistant, low-maintenance and very affordable as compared to laundry baskets made from synthetic materials.
Rattan also has a very distinct design that makes it stand out among other naturally-woven products which is why rattan laundry baskets can be a multifunctional device that can be used for other purposes inside and outside your home.
Bamboo Laundry Basket
Bamboo laundry baskets are usually made from highly selected natural bamboo to ensure that it can bear high stresses (or heavy volume of items) without deformation.
Most bamboo laundry baskets in the market are designed with inner liner (made from cotton or canvas) which allows the user to carry the items without removing the laundry basket in place.
Some laundry baskets have lids while some have hand grips – both of which can add to the functionality of the device.
Regardless of design and features, bamboo laundry baskets are fantastic in appearance and sturdy in construction – blending seamlessly with any home design and well enough to be used mainly for story dirty laundry items or for other uses around the home.
Water Hyacinth Laundry Basket
Water Hyacinth is a natural material similar to reed and rattan but it is a more ecologically responsible option for a laundry basket as it can be used as it is – in its natural state. Less brittle and lighter, too!
Because Water Hyacinth is an extremely fast-growing plant that quickly replenishes itself, you won’t feel guilty in having to choose this as your laundry basket material as it requires minimal manufacturing process.
Plus, a Water Hyacinth laundry basket is a lot smoother and softer to touch as compared to those made out of cane or bamboo – so you’ve got a completely green and aesthetically-pleasant option altogether.
Wicker Laundry Basket
Wicker laundry baskets are famed for its rustic, old, heart-warming connotation – a great choice if you want something elegant in appearance yet still very functional.
However, wicker actually refers to the technique (like a style of weaving) rather than the material itself.
The material can be rattan, bamboo, or reed but the final product can be called wicker.
Regardless of these technicalities, wicker laundry baskets have remained surprisingly popular for homemakers throughout the years because of its practicality, lightweight quality, and ability to be easily paired with existing home décor or style.
Because they let air pass through them, it makes all those laundry items a little less foul-smelling (before you’ve had the time to deal with them).
Woven Laundry Basket
Laundry baskets made out of woven material are usually thick, sturdy, and well-made piece of handiwork – great for storing large or small volume of dirty clothes and stuff.
Like wicker, this refers to the method of handling any type of raw material to create a product like laundry baskets.
So woven laundry baskets can be made out of a variety of natural or synthetic materials – handcrafted using a general pattern or something that would represent a local culture or history.
For the ultra-dedicated homemakers, there are dizzying choices that will certainly add some pizzazz to an otherwise boring laundry day.
Woven laundry baskets come in different sizes, colours, depth, and designs.
Wooden/Wood Laundry Basket
Wooden laundry baskets are what you choose if your main goal is durability and sturdiness.
A well-built wooden laundry basket is easy on the eyes, won’t quickly crumble underneath volumes and volumes of dirty items, and wouldn’t look out of place in a modern home setting.
Some wooden laundry baskets can serve as a multifunctional tool for storing kids’ toys and shoes, even towels and bath.
Others can double as an attractive furniture piece that can keep a room neat and organized without disrupting the décor.
Wire Laundry Basket
When you say wire laundry baskets, your mind instantly dwells in images of an ancient farmhouse or storerooms during colonial times.
Wire is a slender, flexible component of metal and can be used for a variety of products including laundry baskets.
Wire laundry baskets are usually seen in commercial coin Laundromats and dry cleaning boutiques across the United States.
They come in different sizes and features (collapsible, pullout, with washable liner) but almost all of it bears that distinct yet wonderful vintage style.
Its rustic design is effortlessly balanced by its durable construction which is often accompanied by horizontal supports and sturdy legs – sometimes even castor wheels!
However, many online stores also sell wire laundry baskets with a contemporary design for those who prefer it that way.
Metal Laundry Basket
Metal laundry baskets can refer to different items made from wire, aluminium, stainless steel, or with a mix of other cloth materials.
Metal laundry baskets are perfect for homes whose household consists of members with varying needs – babies, elderly, or individual with special needs.
You can put soiled garments, linens, or other heavy duty items in it – and keep everything out of sight.
The metal part keeps bugs or marauding pets from feasting on what’s inside while the inner lining makes it easy to carry everything to the laundry when it’s due to be washed.
Fabric Laundry Basket
Fabric is the general term for the material that can be made into innumerable types of products – the most common of which is the clothing that we wear but also even fabric laundry baskets.
Needless to say, there are many different categories of fabric and this goes to classifying fabric laundry baskets too.
Tools, trends, and technologies throughout the centuries have enabled manufacturers to create and design fabric laundry baskets to cater specific needs and expectations of users.
Fabric laundry baskets, therefore, come in a variety of designs, textures, features, colours, and sizes – many of which are merged with other types of materials or constructed with additional components to highlight a specific function that would make laundry tasks easier and more convenient.
Canvas Laundry Basket
Canvas, which means hemp in Latin, is made from the linen fabric and has an extremely durable characteristic.
It is used for creating and manufacturing different products throughout the centuries because it is very inexpensive and always readily available.
Canvas laundry baskets, unlike those made from heavier types of material, are very lightweight in design and easy to carry which made it very popular among homemakers – especially for those with large families or always dealing with extra-large laundry loads.
It is very receptive to chemical treatment so you can always find canvas laundry baskets of all sorts of designs and style in the market these days.
Nevertheless, its sturdiness and low-maintenance quality also makes it a top choice even for those in the hospitability businesses.
Mesh Laundry Basket
Mesh is a synthetically-manufactured material from nylon or polyester.
It is characterized by its lightweight heft and loosely-woven, permeable texture resulting to distinct tiny holes all over the whole material itself.
So when you mesh laundry baskets, these usually refer to collapsible types which are easy to carry and quick to pack away as needed.
It comes in different colours and sizes but what remains is its see-through design and space-saving quality.
Cotton Laundry Basket
Cotton is a natural seed fibre characterized by its visual appeal, durability, natural comfort, and value.
Its amazing versatile nature makes it one of the most preferred materials for creating and manufacturing any fabric type or product in the world.
Cotton laundry baskets, for example, can either be made from 100% cotton material or mixed with other fabric or material, depending on the purpose of the final product.
You can find that most cotton laundry baskets in the market today are washable (hand-washed or machine-washed, as instructed), lightweight and easy-to-carry, as well as very handy not just for keeping dirty items hidden but also for storing home items and accessories.
Polyester Laundry Basket
Polyester is a synthetic fibre that is resistant to stretching and shrinking but is also non-absorbent and non-breathable.
Polyester laundry baskets, though not as comfortable and luxurious as cotton laundry baskets, are a good choice for high stress outdoors use or if you want to keep water and moisture away from your laundry items.
Laundry Baskets by Features/Styles:
Laundry Basket With Handles
Laundry baskets with handles clearly belong on the top of the list of the most meticulous homemakers and discriminating buyers.
It’s because the basic function of a laundry basket (other than being the designated storage solution for all your dirty clothes and stuff) is to make it easy to carry your laundry to where it’s supposed to be.
Good to know that when it comes to hauling your laundry from one location to another with as little inconvenience as possible, there are all sorts of laundry baskets with handles to choose from: laundry baskets with lift-up handles and laundry baskets with cut-out handles.
Whichever you choose, laundry baskets with handles are designed to minimize user efforts and inconvenience.
Laundry Baskets with Lift-Up Handles
Fixed in place: raised upwards on each side and made from strong materials that won’t bend when picking the basket up
Fold down (fall flat on the sides): some are sturdy enough to stay put without going limp while others are straps like in tote bags
One-hand carrying: flexible enough to be folded together and to be lugged with just a single hand
Laundry Baskets with Cut-Out Handles
Cut-out handles are also called grip handles or reach-through handles. These are already built-in – either just plain openings on each side or reinforced with non-slip material for stronger grip.
Size of holes may vary depending on the overall design of the laundry basket.
Laundry Basket With Lid and Cover
Keep your bathroom (or bedroom) clean and tidy with a lidded laundry basket.
A covered laundry basket is not exactly a peacekeeper – but keeping dirty clothes off the floor and away from sight can do wonders to your sanity on a busy week.
Laundry baskets with lid/cover come in various designs, material types, and sizes but the truth remains: once you close the lid, you can forget about what happens inside.
Eyesore no more!
Laundry Baskets on Wheels /With Wheels/Rolling
All the mundaneness and tiresomeness associated with lugging a laundry basket to and fro can only be redeemed by wheels or casters!
And that is essentially the end goal of rolling laundry baskets or laundry baskets on wheels – to make laundry transport faster, easier, and less inconvenient.
No more shoulder/hip/back pains
Prevent accidental movements
No need to always ask for help
Reduce return trips
Won’t damage your floor
A must-have for upper-stories apartment dwellers
With all its obvious benefits, a wheeled laundry basket is a life-saving device that can save you a lot of potential heartaches and troubles.
Stackable or Stacking Laundry Basket
For space-challenged homes, a laundry basket that can be stacked up can free valuable floor acreage that can be allotted for other purposes.
Even the most spacious bathrooms and bedrooms will look better if the focal point isn’t that enormous laundry basket containing all your dirty clothes.
There are open-faced stacking laundry baskets with side handles designed to hold the weight of the basket above it.
On the other hand, lidded stackable laundry baskets can be placed on top of the other with ease and comfort – with the cover serving as the base for the next basket.
Compartmentalised Laundry Basket
A laundry basket with several compartments is a joy to behold for all the hyper-enthusiastic homemakers who are meticulous about sorting dirty clothes into its right place.
To separate whites with coloured items, a two-compartment laundry basket is an ideal solution.
But for those who can’t seem to curb their OCD nature and (gasp!) wouldn’t dare mix sweaty shirts with luxe lingerie and designer pieces, a laundry basket with four sections can do the trick.
Compartmentalised laundry baskets are usually accompanied with things such as magnetic lids, lockable wheels, and washable liners – excellent features that can elicit endless squeals of delight for all the tidiness goddesses out there.
Hanging Laundry Basket
The general idea is to keep the laundry basket off the floor – maximising vertical space and making the room feel larger and less stuffy.
That is exactly what the hanging laundry basket is all about: with a sturdy hook that allows the item to be suspended on a doorknob or over a back door.
Pop-Up or Foldable Laundry Basket
Foldable laundry baskets are usually made from mesh, cloth, or canvas material which allows the item to be folded down or be shrunk to a smaller size when not in use.
Collapsible Laundry Basket
Collapsible laundry baskets are similar to foldable ones but these usually refer to those made from sturdy, flexible type of plastic material that can be collapsed for a space-saving look or expanded again as needed.
Pull-Out Laundry Basket
Pull-out laundry baskets have multitasking purposes: they keep your dirty clothes in place and out of sight; and they are designed to fit into available space such as under sinks and plumbing, behind doors, or within cabinets.
With pull-out laundry baskets, you can transform tricky spaces into functional storage.
Those ready-to-use items come in different sizes, colours, and material types – to be positioned in your allotted area while others require minimal DIY skills to build it around your existing space.
Tilt-Out Laundry Basket
These are similar in concept and function with the pull-out laundry baskets; the only difference is the manner of movement in which you access the product.
Tilt-out laundry baskets are slanted in position so it’s like tipping it outwards in order to get or remove your dirty items, hence the name.
Breathable Laundry Basket
Breathability of a laundry basket is an innate quality for plastics, mesh, or other materials designed to promote proper air circulation within it.
With a breathable laundry basket, sweaty items won’t get mouldy or stinky.
A breathable laundry basket made from mesh material has tiny holes all over the body while plastic ones have perforated slots on the side; on the other hand, wooden products have evenly spaced-out slats to allow plenty of air flow.
Removable Laundry Basket
Laundry baskets with removable liners keep clothing clutter at bay but also make toting your dirty items to the washer a breeze.
These laundry baskets usually have solid exterior body containing inner liners – durable enough to hold everything together but very lightweight for easy transport to the laundry room.
Most liners are also breathable and washable to avoid that lingering musty smell inside the laundry basket.
Waterproof Laundry Basket
Waterproof laundry baskets are the best options for those who always have to deal with lots of sweaty, moist, wet clothing items on a regular basis.
It may be the liner or the bottom and even the entire basket itself that is waterproof but the general idea is to keep the inner part dry and deter any bugs from feasting on the laundry items.
Kids' Laundry Baskets
These can seamlessly combine functionality with style to get your kids excited about the idea of putting away their dirty clothes and stuff.
From animal-shaped containers and brightly-coloured hampers to hoop-inspired baskets and cartoon-themed bins – there are all sorts of kids’ laundry baskets that can also double as a storage container or serve as a playful décor.
Eco-Friendly or Non-Toxic Laundry Baskets
If plastic laundry baskets are low on your list because of your growing concern for Mother Nature, there are plenty of options to go natural!
Eco-friendly laundry baskets made from biodegradable, renewable materials will not leave even a tinge of guilt feelings.
From wicker and bamboo to rattan and seagrass, the choices are limitless!
Whether it’s hand-woven, quilted, locally crafted – you can be sure it’s a non-toxic, sustainable way to keep dirty clothes organized without causing further damage to the environment.
Other Factors Pertaining to Laundry Baskets
This is a matter of personal preference.
Buying a laundry basket from a specific brand may be borne out of overall positive perception.
As a matter of fact, it already has from being in business for many years or from the number of loyal customers using its products.
It can also be that a certain store chain or home depot is what is accessible to your home or that it’s the one that always provides wide selections and great deals.
There are also homemakers who choose retailers or sellers of laundry basket based on principle – if the laundry basket is made of environmental-friendly materials or supporting local workers.
Laundry baskets come in different colours – some are neutral and minimalist while other single-toned and bright or patterned and multi-hued.
Laundry baskets are not something you want to splurge on with especially if you’re on a tight budget or have other essentials to spend your hard-earned money on.
Cheap laundry baskets work the same way as the expensive ones but these might not last for a long time.
Laundry baskets with a higher price tag are sold that way because of the guaranteed durability of the product even after continued use.
A laundry basket with added features such as magnetic lids, washable liners, and floor-friendly wheels is understandably more costly than a pop-up mesh laundry basket.
It all boils down to your particular laundry needs, your willingness to indulge in such items, and your capacity to afford the right laundry basket for your home.
Steps to Determine the Right Laundry Basket for your Home
1. The way you manage your laundry
Your own strategy for sorting out your dirty clothes and items is a major factor for choosing the right laundry basket.
Sort by person: This can refer to the number of persons within your household or the type of person (infants and toddlers, teenagers, elderly or with special needs).
You can assign a laundry basket for specific individuals to make a distinction on his or her private items or to encourage personal responsibility.
Sort by type: This refers to laundry items as being machine washable or strictly for hand washing or dry cleaning only. If your clothes and/or household items are made of different types of fabrics (some may be too delicate than others), you definitely need separate laundry baskets to ensure that these items won’t be ruined by improper cleaning methods.
Sort by colour: It would make sense to assign a laundry basket for whites, darks, or brights – whether you’re alone or living with other people under the same roof – especially if the items need to be cleaned using specific temperature, amount of detergent, or laundry additives.
2. The transport method of your laundry
While most homemakers need only a short trip from where the laundry basket is to where it’s going to be washed, there are those who have to go through a more complicated process in order to finish the process:
Go through a flight of stairs (for multi-storey homes or apartment complexes)
Bring to the car and take to a laundry shop
Move through different areas around the house before reaching the laundry room
A laundry basket with hip-hugging comfortable shape, non-slip handles, or lockable wheels is an ideal option especially for seniors, pregnant women, or those with health issues.
3. The volume of your laundry
A large laundry basket can hold much more amount of dirty items than a small one.
But having different-sized laundry baskets can also be logical if you want to separate those that need to be washed more frequently (like clothes for newborns or school uniforms) from those that can wait until the weekend (like curtains, table linens, and large bath towels).
You also may need a smaller laundry basket for items that are more moist or sweaty than others (like swimwear or work clothes) so that as soon as it gets filled up, it will serve as a signal that it’s time to put them into the washer already.
We made this comprehensive list of laundry baskets based on what is readily available for purchase online. Use our definitive guide to quickly find the most appropriate and most reliable laundry basket option in suitable price range for your home.