Best Laundry Hamper of 2021
Out of the entire test group, our favorite laundry hamper is easily the BirdRock Home Premium Double. This dual-compartment hamper is quick to set up or collapse, and it's available in a variety of color options. It will hold up to 61.6 liters of dirty clothes in each of its two sections, which are handy for keeping darks and lights separate. Compared to many hampers, this is one of the heavier models. However, the liner bags in each compartment are mesh and removable, so you can detach them and easily tote your laundry to the washer instead of needing to pick up the unit itself. We also appreciate the magnetically sealed lid, which keeps smells locked in.
Although the removable liner bags are great, we wish they were easier to re-attach. It would also be nice if the hamper had a pocket where you could store items such as detergent or dryer sheets for folks who have to lug their laundry to a laundromat or communal washer. Regardless, we think this hamper is a solid choice, and it's our top recommendation.
The Lifewit 72L Freestanding hamper is a straightforward and functional dirty clothes receptacle. This is a bag-style hamper constructed from a sturdy terylene cotton fabric and is themed with sailor stripes that we find aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, the Lifewit's long handles accommodate the overflow of its 72-liter capacity, perhaps making it a bit more appealing to those readers who are prone to putting off chores.
The Lifewit is a simple product, but it isn't without its limitations. For starters, it isn't as sturdy as we would like for a so-called freestanding unit. It will collapse if clothes are not set into the bottom of it. It also lacks a lid, so less than desirable fragrances can waft freely around the room. This hamper is also easily collapsible, making it a good choice for trips to the beach or poolside, and it's lined with plastic, which is handy for wet towels or swimsuits.
The Handy Laundry Mesh Pop Up is the kind of laundry hamper that's there for you when you need it and gone when its need has passed. This disappearing act is facilitated by the twist to fold metal stays that provide structure to the basket when erect. When the basket is required, one needs only to toss it in the air, and it will pop open before it hits the ground. Pretty sweet, eh?
The convenience of the Mesh Pop Up is nearly unparalleled; however, it is not without its limitations. To begin with, it's pretty small. As a result, it isn't suited to multiple users. There is no lid, and the mesh can cause issues with brassiere clasps and the like getting snagged. That said, this hamper is inexpensive, lightweight, easy to carry, and offers a pocket to store detergent or similar items.
The KEEPJOY XL Hanging hamper is a go-to for clearing up floor space as it conveniently hangs from the top of a door. The unit offers a single hole for putting items in, but it has a zipper on the bottom that makes it a breeze to unload it into the machine when laundry day rolls around. Additionally, the bag is easily removed from the hooks that hang from the door. While it doesn't have the largest capacity — around 40 liters — the KEEPJOY XL comes in a two-pack, so one can spread the joy around.
The obvious shortcoming — pun intended — is that this might not be the best choice for shorter folks. Not only is the hole for inserting articles into the bag a bit high, but the hooks on which it is hung are also higher still. If you can't touch the top of your door frame, then this unit probably isn't the best choice. Given these limitations, we thought that this laundry hamper would appeal to those traveling frequently (it folds up to about the size of a T-shirt) or those of at least average height or for use in a closet suspended from the hanger rod.
The Birdrock Home Compact Corner hamper is a good option for those with tight laundry rooms or those that just like the tidy look of a corner unit. This hamper is one of the few in this review that has a wooden frame, which, in our opinion, establishes a modest air of taste and quality. Supporting this notion is a lid that keeps odiferous items contained.
While the Birdrock Home Compact Corner is cleverly shaped to be out of the way and, at the same time, accessible, it is not a perfect hamper for a number of reasons. For starters, its 53-liter capacity is hardly capable of accommodating a family's worth of dirty clothes. Moreover, the liner that is supposed to make it easy to extricate the clothes is pretty fiddly to get out as it gets caught on the lip of the frame. Finally, this model doesn't fold up, nor does it have handles for transport. Despite these limitations, this hamper is built to last, saves on space, and looks sharp to boot.
If you want a bare-bones but effective hamper, look no further than the Simple Houseware Foldable. This unit offers decent capacity in its 67.2-liter single compartment. It's also sturdy, so you can huck your jeans at it, and it won't collapse under the force of the impact. It also has comfy, plastic-capped handles that make carrying it to the laundry room an easily forgettable task.
While we like simple products — mainly because there's less to break — simplicity comes at the expense of some features that may be desirable. For instance, the Simple Houseware Foldable lacks a lid, a removable liner, and partitioned compartments for presorting. Additionally, its cardboard structure left us with concerns about its long-term durability. That said, we did not encounter any failures in our testing aside from a heavily wrinkled exterior material that may require ironing. All and all, we like this basic hamper because it does not put on airs and it is easy to transport as well as fold up when not in use.
The Simple Houseware Double With Lid is a humdrum hamper that has a few bright spots. First, the split compartments provide 109.6 liters of a stinky sock, skivvy, and shirt storage space. The divider allows for some pre-wash sorting as well. Additionally, the lid helps to keep the odoriferous contents from offending your olfactory organs when passing by. While these are indeed good features to have in a hamper, they may not outweigh this unit's multitude of shortcomings.
When a product is shoddily designed and constructed — as is the Simple Houseware Double With Lid — we think that it is better to just state the facts rather than belabor the reader with a list of critiques. Suffice it to say, this unit is constructed with wonky cardboard and covered with ill-fitting polypropylene fabric. Though it's easily collapsed and the liners are removable with little effort, these features, and those listed above, do not mitigate the fact that this hamper is not built to last.
The DOKEHOM 17.7-Inch Large Drawstring hamper has the sailor stripe pattern that, given the several color options available, will fit a multitude of decors. Its drawstring is helpful for keeping dirty clothes, and their funk contained. Additionally, the leather handles have a throwback appeal to simpler times. However, this is where the complements of this product end.
In our reviews, we try to pull our punches on lower-quality products, preferring instead to let the comparative format speak for us in these cases. However, this writer would be remiss in his duty if he failed to point out that a respected colleague described this product as "hardly a hamper, more like a wrinkled sack." While this may seem harsh, the unit is not sturdy, the handles are quite small, and the 41.6-liter capacity is limiting. That said, the DOKEHOM 17.7-Inch Large Drawstring hamper would be good for gathering up wet articles on water-related outings or teaching kids to bring their dirty clothes to the laundry room.
The Household Essentials Double Hamper looks a lot like its betters. It has an unassuming (and unwrinkled) plastic patterned outer, dual sorting bins with removable liners, and a lid. Not bad, right? There are several color/pattern options, too. Yet, we have our reservations about this hamper.
Firstly, the structure of the hamper is provided by low-quality cardboard. The covering material is also of questionable quality, and the removable liners are a real pain to get in and out. All told, for the greenbacks, you can get a much better hamper by choosing one of the other options above.
Why You Should Trust Us
Senior Research Analyst Austin Palmer and Senior Review Editor Nick Miley have a combined experience of over a decade testing cleaning and storage products. However, they have been using clothes hampers and doing laundry for more than thirty years each. Laundry hampers are not overly complicated, but they do require a discerning eye for quality, durability, and function, which we have honed on much more complicated and involved products.
Despite the simplicity of the laundry hampers here reviewed, we nonetheless made an exhaustive analysis of these products with a series of hands-on evaluations that allow the reader to make apples-to-apples comparisons between products. We accomplish this end by establishing a series of metrics — namely capacity, construction, design, and options — that guide our investigation. Collectively, these metrics cover all aspects of hamper functionality and allow the reader to quickly compare products.
Analysis and Test Results
Online shopping isn't always as easy as scrolling and clicking. Often, products look and perform differently than how they are pictured in 2-dimensions. To address this frustrating reality, we purchased the leading laundry hampers on the market and tested them so that you'll be able to make the right pick for your needs and budget. Read on for the details of our analysis and discussions of the products the fared best.
The construction metric looks at the materials used in building each hamper as well as the quality of the assembly. We favored models that are constructed with durable materials such as wood for the frame and heavy fabrics such as canvas for the bags. The Birdrock Home Compact Corner stood out in this regard. This hamper is constructed of bamboo with a heavy cloth liner, both of which speak to quality construction and durability.
The next in rank in the construction appraisal is the BirdRock Home Premium Double, which uses masonite (hardboard) to create the structure of the square bins. While this is not our preferred material, it is certainly better than the models like the Simple Houseware Foldable and Simple Houseware Double that use cardboard for the structural elements in their builds. Despite the lack of internal structure, the Lifewit 72L is constructed of heavy terylene cotton that is coated internally with PEVA (a plastic material that acts as a water barrier). We favor the Lifewit's construction materials, including its stout canvas handles.
Placing value on a laundry hamper's capacity is a subjective exercise. As such, we do not rate these products but rather measure and list their capacities. All the products here reviewed can accommodate a single standard laundry load, some much more. For example, the Household Essentials Double Hamper is a behemoth at 145.6 liters. Close on its heels is the BirdRock Home Premium Double, boasting 143 liters. On the other end of the spectrum are the DOKEHOM and the KEEPJOY XL at 41.6 and 40 liters, respectively.
The larger hampers are often best suited to families, couples, or those that prefer to do laundry in bulk. Conversely, the smaller models will likely appeal to those that have to transport their clothes to a laundry facility or like to clean their clothes one load at a time. Models like the Lifewit 71L (71 liters) and the Birdrock Home Compact Corner (53 liters) split the difference.
For the purposes of this review, design refers to the number of compartments in the hamper, including pockets for storing detergent, and whether or not the unit has a lid. Starting with the later design feature, the BirdRock Home Premium Double and Compact Corner, the Simple Houseware Double and the Household Essentials Double Hamper all have lids covering their compartments. Additionally, all of the above models have removable lids.
Those models with double bins supporting pre-wash organization are the BirdRock Home Premium Double, Simple Houseware Double, and the Household Essentials Double Hamper. As mentioned above, these models are among the largest capacity as well. While all the double bin models have lids, the BirdRock Home Compact Corner and the DOKEHOM are single bin models with lids or drawstrings closures in the latter's case. Finally, the Handy Laundry Mesh Pop Up hamper is the only one we tested with organizational pockets in addition to a clothes bin.
The options metric refers specifically to the color and pattern options available to the consumer. Those models that offer color options make it easy to match the hamper to the laundry room, bathroom, or bedroom decor. The Simple Houseware Foldable offers consumers the most color options (beige, black, brown, blue, red, dark gray, gray, pink, turquoise), but the Simple Houseware Double With Lid is a near second (beige, black, brown, blue, red, dark gray, pink). The Lifewit 72L also offers a number of options (gray, pink, blue, and black stripes on white), as does the Household Essentials (black, grey, brown chevron, sand, cobblestone, and coffee), the Handy Laundry Store Mesh (black, white, red, and blue) and the BirdRock Home Premium Double (brown, gray, and black). The remaining models come in just one color.
This hands-on review of laundry hampers evaluates several of the top products on the market. Specifically, we measure the capacity, evaluate the construction materials, assess design features, and list the color options of each model. While many hampers look similar when shopping online — or even in a brick and mortar store — we can tell you that when you line them up side-by-side, they do not all meet reasonable expectations of performance and durability. The above review does the hamper sorting so you can get on to sorting laundry.
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer