Searching for a storage bin? We chose 11 of the most promising storage options available today for side-by-side testing to find the best. We packed them with blankets, clothes, and books, tumbled them down the stairs, stacked them in the garage, and used a hose to determine weatherproof capabilities. Leaving no bin unturned, we measured every contender, checked their stackability, and toted them while fully loaded. Whether you need a burly bin for your truckbed tools or a delicate fabric cube to blend into your living room decor, we can help you find the perfect option.If you're hoping to do some home organization projects or a closet revamp, we can help with that. Our reviews of the best clothes hangers, our favorite irons, and top-rated laundry hampers can help get your closet in order. From the best shoe organizers to your Tupperware collection, we've tested the top products side-by-side, awarding the worthy products to make your online shopping experience easier.
Our Top Picks
The Iris Weathertight is our favorite storage bin for nearly any organizational need. We've been using this bin for years, organizing office supplies, medical supplies, keepsakes, and holiday decorations. The numerous latches all around the lid provide a secure fit and seal, keeping contents safe. With nearly straight sides and interlocking lids and bottoms, they're easy to stack and fill with just about anything. The 26.5 quart size we tested is one of our favorite sizes — it's large enough to fit a lot of stuff while still small enough that you don't have to dig too deep to find small items.
As with any storage container made from polypropylene plastic (spoiler alert: most of them are), the Weathertight isn't meant to take the cold. Temperatures below freezing make it brittle and prone to cracking — not great for garage, attic, or vehicle storage. These are also relatively expensive, but we think their strength, superb latches, and impressive usability at every size make them worth it.
Number in Tested Set: 3
Another offering from Iris, the Stack & Pull boxes are a bit less expensive and a pretty solid value item. These bins are opaque enough to hide the details of the potential mess contained within while still allowing enough to come through that you can easily find what you're looking for. While the design is simple, there's still an over-the-top latch on each end for added security. We tested the handy 32-quart size, but it's also available in many other sizes and shapes.
On the downside, these bins lack a little bit of oomph regarding stability. The sides are fairly flexible, and we noticed they bow outward when overstuffed — which we managed to do with just three throw blankets. During regular use, the latches pop off frequently and unexpectedly. We didn't have an issue popping them right back on, but we would prefer that they stay latched. Despite these shortcomings, if you're shopping on a budget and have a lot of stuff to store, the Stack & Pull bins are reasonably priced for multiple bins.Material: Polypropylene
Number in Tested Set: 6
There are plenty of seemingly alike collapsible fabric bins out there, but not all of them are as friendly on the wallet as the Simple Houseware Foldable Cubes. These budget-friendly fabric boxes easily fold up when you want to collapse them, and they are attached on the inside to prevent you from losing pieces. Accent fabric around the rim adds a tinge of classiness that other contenders don't offer, and they come in many colors. And though we have a hard time using the word "sturdy" when talking about a fabric-covered cardboard bin, these are pretty solid for what they are.
Of course, an essential factor for most fabric cubes is ensuring they fit in the space you have. We measured these to help you figure that out more easily — but we found them to be a bit on the small size for anywhere other than a specific cube storage system. And if you're hoping to store a bunch of books or stacks of magazines, these flimsy cardboard-lined boxes just aren't up to the task. But if they fit in your cuboid slot and you're ready to store some mittens, shoes, or puzzles, the Simple Houseware Cubes' price is ideal for a decent performance.Material: Fabric exterior, cardboard within
Number in Tested Set: 6
If finding the best bin to maximize under-the-bed storage space is your goal, you've found it. The Rubbermaid Cleverstore is the right height for sliding under a bed or perhaps a tall couch. This little box goes beyond the basics to be impressively helpful. Its clear lid allows for easy viewing of the contents, and snap-on latches keep the cover in place. Rather than being super long and skinny, like some others, this bin combines the perfect length and width for most people. Two of these boxes fit perfectly end to end under a queen-sized bed, allowing us to fit a combined total of six bins underneath. And the perks don't stop there. As the name suggests, these containers can stack on top of each other.
More bins are better because this lid's long length and two latches on far ends mean it can easily bow upward if overstuffed. The latches aren't the best either. Not only are they a bit thin and flimsy compared to some beefier models, but they're an odd crescent shape that allows the corners of each latch to easily catch on the lid, making it slightly more challenging to snap closed. With a bit of practice, this is easy to manage. We think this is the best storage bin for keeping items under a bed or closet floor.Material: Polypropylene
Number in Tested Set: 4
The Rubbermaid Action Packer is built for weathering just about anything you could expect to put a plastic box through — and it does it well. Made of high-density polyethylene, this storage bin can handle the cold temperatures of your garage or a truck bed on the open road. It features lockable latches and comes in a few very useful sizes. It's an efficient shape for stacking several side-by-side on a shelf in the shed, maximizing internal space while minimizing external frills. It's also one of the only bins we tested without an indent in the lid that might collect rainwater if left out in the elements.
The disadvantage of the non-indented lid is it makes the bins more challenging to stack, but that's a trade-off we're willing to make for such a sizable container. The lockable part of the latches gave us some grief, so we investigated the issue. What we found was that a travel lock, a standard-design Master lock, or a locker-style combination lock will do the trick. The inside lip is slightly unfinished and sharp, and the handles aren't quite as deep as we want. Also, it's expensive. Still, we gladly recommend the Action Packer to anyone needing a serious storage bin that can handle just about anything.Material: High-density polyethylene
Number in Tested Set: 1
If you're hunting for a moderately sized storage bin to help you organize right out in the open, the Prandom bins are our top choice. Though they have the same fabric-over-cardboard construction as pretty much every other fabric box out there, these are cleanly constructed of attractive materials that look impressively professional. Thanks to their functional lids, they can easily stack in a closet or corner of the room, and the simple metal-lined handles don't waste any space. We wouldn't recommend using them to carry textbooks around, but they had no problem when full of shoes or board games during our testing.
The handles are located on the longer sides of the bin, which we can't decide if we love or hate because it's a little more awkward to carry. We appreciate the simplicity of the handle design, but filling the bin with rigid items means you won't have any space left to slide your hand into that handle. These are only available in limited color options, mainly subdued neutral tones, and are more expensive than many other models we tested. Considering everything, we think the price is worth it for their performance and appearance.Material: Fabric exterior, cardboard within, metal-rimmed handles
Number in Tested Set: 3
Though it won no awards this time, the Sterilite Gasket Box with Latches was the second-highest scoring bin in our review. Like the Iris Weathertight, the Gasket Box is sturdy, with easy-to-use latches that snap into place and a seal to keep contents confidently safe. The 20-quart size we tested proved to be a great option for everything from small craft supplies to heavy magazines. Sterilite also makes several other size options to fit whatever you're trying to store.
As with any polypropylene bin, the Gasket Box becomes brittle in temperatures below freezing and can break easily. The tall, narrow configuration isn't quite as versatile as long, low boxes, which is something to keep in mind. Still, if this brand has the size you need, we think their performance is genuinely Silver Medal-worthy.Material: Polypropylene
Number in Tested Set: 6
This thick, sturdy bin is a solid budget choice for rugged protection in trying conditions. Made of high-density polyethylene, the Homz Tough Durabilt Tote Box is ready to take on both hot and cold temperatures. The oversized lip and lid offer excellent protection, while simple pressure latches allow for easy removal — after a bit of a learning curve, that is (pull the sides of the latch points out away from the bin while pressing down on the top with your thumbs). Strategic holes around the top let you add zip ties for extra security during transit or long-term storage.
If space in your storage shed is at a premium, the Durabilt may not be the most suitable choice. The oversized lid is excessively wide, leaving a lot of wasted space between bins stored side-by-side. Yet, if you stack them, they sit beautifully in a tower due to the very deep lid. On the other hand, if you store them where they're exposed to the elements, that deep lid can quickly become a collection tray for rainwater and breeding insects. If the shape is right for your space, the robust Durabilt is a good value buy.Material: High-density polyethylene
Number in Tested Set: 2
The Homz Snaplock Clear Storage Bin is a long and low bin that slides under any piece of furniture with more than 6.2" of clearance. It's a very narrow bin that we don't like quite as much as the Rubbermaid Cleverstore. We can't quite fit two rows of sweaters inside, and its slender dimensions are less adaptable to the many spaces in which you might want to put it. However, it is a simple bin that works well with the right contents and offers a solid value if you're in the market for this style.
If you're the type to overfill things or need to store bulky items (like bedding or winter clothing), this model probably isn't the best for you. The Snaplock has a few design shortcomings. For instance, two pressure latches hold either end down, leaving plenty of space along the long edges for both sides to bow outward and the lid to bow upward, exposing the contents. Then there are the awkward handles that pinch your fingers on an already difficult-to-carry, super long bin. When using multiple bins, the opaque lid also means you'll have to peer inside to see the contents rather than knowing before you start digging. While the design leaves something to be desired, it can still be a pretty good buy if you pack it right.Material: Polypropylene
Number in Tested Set: 2
The StorageWorks Decorative Storage Boxes are exactly how they seem. They offer the familiar fabric-covering-cardboard construction and an interesting aesthetic that might be exactly what you're looking for. Their rope handles come unattached, allowing you to choose the length that works best for you — or leave them off entirely. Deep lids stay in place well and make these storage bins impressively stackable.
Oddly, the lids are also collapsible, leaving them with weak corners that fold inward every time the lid is lifted off the body, making it a more cumbersome endeavor to put them back on. Ours also had some rather untidy construction, with edges showing and sloppy seam endings. And if you're trying to maximize space, the large knots needed to keep the rope handles in place take up a lot of room inside the box. But if you're willing to make a few sacrifices for the sake of the design, we do appreciate their aesthetic value.Material: Fabric exterior, cardboard within, rope handles
Number in Tested Set: 3
The Amazon Basics Collapsible Fabric Storage Cubes are standard collapsible fabric boxes. These simple containers work exactly as you'd expect from a collapsible cardboard box covered in fabric. Helpfully, they're also inexpensive, making it easier to organize your home on a budget.
Compared to similar fabric cubes, this isn't our favorite option. The unimpressive materials and construction, with sloppy seams and loose ends, don't inspire confidence in their ability to hold up to years of use. They're also not available in many color choices — though you may find a hue that works with your decor at a nominal price.Material: Fabric exterior, cardboard within
Number in Tested Set: 6
Why You Should Trust Us
We spent hours researching hundreds of different storage bins for this review before selecting the most promising for hands-on testing. The competition spans the full spectrum of bin usage, from super tough to super cute. They were all purchased at full price for side-by-side testing. We put them through the wringer, going far beyond packing them full of blankets, sweaters, books, and art supplies. We measured their dimensions, pushed them down the stairs while full, carried them fully loaded, and checked their weather protection with the help of a garden hose. We did our best to find their limits and provide the inside details to select the perfect bin for your storage needs.
Leading the charge testing storage bins is Senior Review Editor Maggie Nichols. Maggie loves a clean home and is passionate about everything having a specific spot to live. Over the decades, she has tried, tested, and broken hundreds of storage bins for just about everything, from living out of her teardrop trailer to organizing her mittens (yes, really). Regardless of whether it's her drawing supplies or her camping gear, Maggie is adamant about keeping it all organized and stored. She's been testing home goods and outdoor gear for GearLab since 2017.
Analysis and Test Results
Like all of our reviews, assessing these bins combined a wide range of testing across the full spectrum of attributes. By dividing each contender's performance into four mutually exclusive metrics (each complete with its own set of specific tests) and then weighting those metrics according to their overall importance, a comprehensive picture of each contender's overall performance emerges. Keep reading to dive into the specific tests and performances within each metric.
We tested each bin's ability to protect your stuff from an array of possible assailants, including water, dust and insects, and user error. We checked the supposed seals with a garden hose. We bent sides and lids, filling each with heavy items (like books) and oversized belongings (like blankets), checking to see how they withstood the weight and pressure. We tumbled them down the stairs to see if they'd pop open or break. We also considered their material and any specific attributes.
Not all plastic bins are built to withstand the same conditions. In fact, most plastic storage solutions are made of polypropylene, which becomes brittle and easily broken in temperatures below freezing. This not only makes them a poor choice for garage or attic storage in cooler environments but can also cause them to break while being shipped to your house on the back of a cold delivery truck in the winter. If you need cold storage, look for boxes made of high-density polyethylene. This plastic polymer is better equipped for handling temperatures well below zero.
The Rubbermaid Action Packer is hard to beat when it comes to serious protection. This bin is constructed from high-density polyethylene and is designed to withstand the weather. The clever construction also makes this box nearly waterproof (enough to keep out driving rain) without collecting debris in the lid. Even full of awkward camping gear or heavy books, the Action Packer stays strong and tough. The Homz Durabilt is also made of high-density polyethylene and is a pretty sturdy bin. However, its shape isn't quite as conducive to being battered around, as it has a large lip and plenty of edges that can catch.
The Iris Weathertight and Sterilite Gasket Box may be formed from the less cold-compatible polypropylene. Still, they both feature fully sealed lids that help protect contents from moisture, dust, and insects. They're also thicker than many others, less flexible, and sturdier overall. For keeping items safe indoors, these two are our favorites by far.
We started our packability testing by measuring the actual dimensions of every model. We evaluated the diversity of objects we could fit inside and considered the efficiency of their overall size vs. capacity. We jammed them to the brim and then tried to find specific objects buried within. We tested lids and latches, considering their effectiveness and ease of use. We also took into account the optional sizes and colors in which each bin can be purchased.
Cube shelving and cube-shaped fabric boxes have been a fairly popular way of organizing indoor living spaces for some years now. However, just because your cube system shows images of fabric boxes on its packaging doesn't mean it's compatible with just any cuboid box. Be sure to measure the actual dimensions of your cube cubbies before purchasing matching bins. Subtract at least half an inch from every dimension to ensure the boxes you buy will easily slide in and out of their spots.
The Iris Weathertight bins are some of the best available for efficient use of space. Their long, low design and nearly vertical sides are adaptable to different sized contents while keeping things close to the surface and easy to find. The Iris Stack & Pull boxes are also fairly easy to use and come in a staggering array of sizes and shapes for all your storage needs.
The Sterilite Gasket Box is another impressively packable option. With a taller, narrower design, it's better suited to different types of belongings or organizational styles. Its clear exterior makes it easy to find exactly what you're looking for, even within a closet of identical bins. The Rubbermaid Cleverstore is also more packable than other storage bins of the under-furniture variety. It combines slightly wider dimensions with a slightly shorter length, helping it to be both packable and easy to store — clever indeed.
To test each model's versatility, we stacked them (if we could) in as many places as possible to see where they work best. We put them on garage shelves and closet tops, sliding them under beds and into cuboid living room shelves. And though the aesthetic appeal of anything is very subjective, we also evaluated their general look and where they're best suited to "living."
When it comes to the versatility of contents, we reach for the Iris Weathertight every time. Over years of organizing and storing items, we've found the many sizes of this bin to be exceptionally versatile in their capacities. Their lids and bottoms stack together impressively well, allowing you to create secure stacks. The Rubbermaid Cleverstore is another excellent option, fitting in interesting places and made very well for maximizing space under furniture and on the bottoms of closets, which is easily overlooked. In terms of aesthetics, we love the look of the rope handles and almost nautical colors of the StorageWorks fabric bins. The Prandom boxes are another crowd favorite, looking equally at home in the corner of the living room and on a shelf at the office.
Testing this metric involved a lot of toting around full bins. We checked handles for placement, comfort, and security. We considered the box's dimensions for easy carrying down steps and through doorways. And we scrutinized how gracefully each could handle a load of hefty books.
Naturally, smaller, lighter bins are easier to carry. But in evaluating handles and dimensions through doorways, several winners emerged. The Iris Weathertight and Sterilite Gasket Box both have deep, rounded handles that make them easy to carry even when packed full of heavy papers. The rope handles of the StorageWorks fabric boxes are also very easy and comfortable to use. Most others proved to be more than up to the task of toting, but the Homz Snaplock let us down. It has an awkward shape that indents just a very narrow section, almost pinching your fingertips within.
As you can see from the results of our intensive testing, not all storage bins offer the same level of performance. We hope that our rigorous testing process has helped you determine which bin is the best container for your belongings.
— Maggie Nichols