There used to be a time when I loved doing laundry – separating our loads, loading the washer, arranging items according to size on our ancient drying rack, folding everything, doing my neat little piles of ‘mine’, ‘Tom’s’ ‘baby’s’ on the sofa and ultimately ironing everything to perfection.
Friends used to make fun of me, as I used to iron everything. Even our socks.
What they didn’t realise was that this was me time back then. Tom would keep an eye on the kid(s) (while secretly keeping the other on the TV, I’ll bet), and I would get to tune out, decompress and declutter my mind over the laundry.
Needless to say, the habit has stuck, and to this day, I feel very calm doing the laundry. However, the appliances and other paraphernalia I now use have seen quite a few upgrades.
When we first had our eldest, we lived in this tiny place in Greater London above a shoe shop, which could barely fit all three of us in one room. So we used the same blue basin for everything: dishes, clothes, and occasionally giving baby a bath (she loved to be in water from day one, and we used to stick her in a kiddy pool in the summer for years – she’d never be as content).
One time, she managed to upend the empty basin and trap herself under it, which is a story we tell to this day, about losing our toddler in 300 square feet.
Fast forward to today, and my daughter’s baby not only has a tailor-made everything-you-can-possibly-imagine, they also have a collapsible laundry basket for their studio, that often comes to visit at ours.
While I do attach some serious sentimental value to our blue number, I can’t help but appreciate the practicality of the newer models.
So here, ladies (and gentlemen, if any of you happen to stumble across this piece), is my take on the different collapsible laundry bin options you can choose to buy, and make laundry a bit less of a chore.
Collapsible laundry basket considerations
As with anything else you buy, there are a couple of things to consider before making your final choice. While one laundry basket may sound much like another, you do want to look into the following:
- Volume of laundry per week: ideally, you want to base the size of your laundry basket on the amount of dirty laundry you pile up in a week (or less). That way, you won’t end up buying something too small, which will force you to increase your loads.
- Carry around or stay put: if you want a laundry bin you will carry around with you, it needs to be light, have handles you can easily grip, and it also needs to fit through your hallways. If you are going to house it in a specific corner at all times, the handles become less important.
- Material: you can go for a collapsible laundry basket made of plastic, or for a fabric option. Consider how you want to clean your bin as well.
- Size difference: since we are talking about a collapsible washing basket here, you might also want to consider how collapsible it really is, and how you want it to fit into your routine.
- Airflow: the last thing you want is for your dirty laundry to give off an unpleasant odour. And while dirty socks can’t help but smell, you want to find a laundry basket that lets your clothes breathe to an extent (that way they won’t get too smelly and grimy), but that doesn’t have the whole room smelling like feet.
- Clothes sorting: if you chuck all of your items in a single basket and divide when loading the washer, you can stick to just one. If you are the type of person who likes to have several baskets for your whites and colours (or for his and hers), you will need to consider how to fit more than one in the space you have at your disposal.
- Design: finally, your hamper will ideally also go with the room you keep it in, if you want to display it. If you choose to house it in a cupboard somewhere, things like patterns and colours become less important.
10 collapsible laundry baskets to consider
Here is my list of the 10 collapsible laundry baskets I think you should take a look at:
- Size: 42 x 25 x 36 cm
- Material: fabric
- Capacity: 1 load of washing
- Weight: 399 grams
This grey number from Brabantia is rather stylish – and can hold a decent amount of dry or dirty clothing. It might be a bit on the smaller side, but that’s nowhere near saying it won’t provide enough space (one load of washing can certainly fit).
It’s made of a canvas fabric, but the wiring lets it keep its shape when extended, and the solid base means you won’t have to deal with an unstable laundry basket.
The handles are sturdy and strong, and comfortable enough to grip (rather like a large shopping bag) + the fabric makes it easy to carry this one around.
It’s also waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about storing damp clothes in it.
You can use this laundry basket to also store toys, clothes, papers and anything else that comes to mind, so it’s quite a handy multifunctional item.
- Size: 60 x 44 x 28 cm
- Material: plastic
- Capacity: 27 litres
- Weight: 499 grams
Another grey item with white accents, this time made of plastic, that will help make laundry day a bit less of a chore.
It is very light and specifically designed for easier carrying, as it comes with soft-grip handles that are very comfortable and easy on the palms.
When folded, the Beldray can fit under a bed or even between cupboards or in the flattest of drawers, so it will save you plenty of space. It’s easy to expand and collapse, and when fully raised, it can still fit under the open door of your washing machine (in most cases).
It has a 27 litre capacity, so plenty of laundry can fit into it, and since it is so light, you can take it to the laundromat as well, without any fear or losing an item along the way.
This collapsible laundry basket is also easy to clean – all you need to do is wipe it down, and it’s ready to go.
- Size: 60 x 45 x 7.6 cm
- Material: plastic
- Capacity: 27 litres
- Weight: 980 grams
Another white and grey collapsible laundry basket makes it onto this list (grey really seems to be a trend here, doesn’t it?). This Denny International item has a 27 litre capacity, which makes it large enough to make a trip to the launderette worth your while.
Its combination of plastic and canvas means it is easy to fold down, but also sturdy enough to withstand whatever you throw at it, and it will be easy to carry as it won’t lose its shape.
It’s also easy to clean, and a great choice if you need to lug a lot of clothes (or other items) around for any reason. You can even keep one folded down in the boot of your car if you need to.
The one downside I’ve seen to this item is that some users have found theirs to not be as durable as advertised, while others love theirs and use them frequently: so there might be some duds in the mix as well.
- Size: 53.8 x 40.6 x 6.4 cm
- Material: TPE & PP
- Weight: 975 grams
Yet another grey and white item, this time from SAMMART, this is a BPA-free plastic collapsible laundry basket, large enough for a couple of loads of laundry.
It also has soft-grip handles that are kind to your hands, but the hand-holes are a bit on the smaller side than with some other models, so that might be a consideration worth looking into.
Other than that, it’s a nice and sturdy item that folds down to practically nothing, and that appears to be waterproof: as the manufacturer suggests you can also use it to ice beverages, or even to bathe your pets.
Of course, you can stick to laundry, toys and other storage, but if you do test out the bathing option, let me know how it works out!
- Size: 61 x 38.1 x 27.9 cm
- Material: plastic
- Capacity: 36 litres
Another grey and white mix, this time however in a slightly darker shade of grey (no pun intended).
It can fit 36 litres, and when collapsed it comes up to 2.5 inches, which makes it yet another great choice for both small homes, and those who are just looking to store their laundry basket out of the way when not in use.
It’s also easy to clean and easy to transport, as it has great handles and is light enough not to cause you any pain. You can store all kinds of things in it, including shoes and toys, as well as the obvious choice of laundry.
It’s made from BPA-free plastic as well, so you’ll know you’ve made the safe choice with this option.
All in all, another solid option you can choose to add to your home.
- Size: 38.1 x 38.1 x 71.1 cm
- Material: fabric
- Capacity: 82 litres
- Weight: 581 grams
We come across a bit of a different design with this one. It is shaped more like a bag than a basket, but it still comes with aluminium handles that both have a soft grip, and are tough and sturdy enough to enable easy lifting.
This item is made of fabric, and comes in six different colours which are all neutral enough, so you should be able to find one that fits into your decor nicely.
It’s also larger than the items I’ve talked about so far, so if you need something on a bigger scale, this is your option.
This laundry basket also folds down nicely, so you can make it a bit more compact when not completely full, and fit it under a table or a sink.
I’d suggest this one for students, and generally a younger crowd, as it has more of a laid back feel, and it can’t exactly vanish out of sight, like the models I have previously mentioned.
- Size: 56.59 x 39.19 x 38.1 cm
- Material: fabric
- Weight: 358 grams
Finally, we have an item that is perfect for families with babies and toddlers.
This collapsible laundry basket is made of natural materials and can also be collapsed to a relatively small and compact space. It’s easy to fold and easy to carry, and it also has an adorable elephant design.
You can use it to store laundry, but it’s also a great place to keep toys and other knick-knacks you need for the kids, and you can just take the basket with you from room to room, or from house to house.
As we all know just how cluttered a baby’s room can easily become, this is a great organiser, and it’s also super easy to get your young ones to remember that something lives in the elephant.
As this is the collapsible laundry bin that has started it all, I wholeheartedly recommend it: it’s soft, easy to clean and remember to take with you, and is genuinely appreciated by the youngsters.
To sum it all up
Ultimately, any collapsible laundry basket should be the right laundry basket – in theory.
But when choices are so abundant, it can be difficult to decide. I hope I’ve helped you navigate through the plethora of options, and save a bit of time on online browsing.
As you can already tell, a lot of the models I’ve listed here are quite similar – but their prices will vary a bit, and you might simply prefer one over the other.
Remember – even your hamper needs a wash or a clean sometimes, so factor that in when making your purchase. And try to see laundry day as Zen time, as opposed to ‘I can’t be bothered with this again’. I swear it helps.