The IndyBest team are under no illusions that a laundry basket is hardly the most exciting of home essentials, but essential it most definitely is, unless you want clothes, towels and sheets strewn all over your home.
There are two main things to consider when buying a laundry basket: how much space you have for one and how much laundry your household generates. There’s no point placing a large basket in a tiny bathroom or on a small landing that you have to skirt your way around every time you walk past it. Neither is it useful to choose a small, compact design that can barely fit a day’s laundry if you’re a family of four or more.
Always check the dimensions of space you want your laundry basket to go in to ensure what you choose will fit – don’t guess. Once you’ve got a spot and a size in mind, there are other factors to consider that could make wash day a little easier.
If organisation is your priority, consider a basket that is divided into sections for lights and darks (and even colours), so everything is already separated by the time it makes its way to the washing machine. If it’s a space-saving design you’re after, look for foldable or collapsible baskets that can be tucked away when empty.
Unsightly washing can be a real bugbear if you want your house to look as neat and tidy as possible, so a basket with a lid or a drawstring top is a good idea to keep washing out of sight and out of mind. Finally, a word on handles. Most laundry baskets have them to make transporting washing to the machine that much easier, so if you’re someone who moves your laundry basket around often, make sure you go for one with handles.
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The best laundry baskets for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Brabantia bo laundry bin hi: £190, Brabantia.com
- Best for small spaces and small households – H&M canvas laundry bag: £19.99, Hm.com
- Best for large families –Cox & Cox two striped laundry baskets: £150, Coxandcox.co.uk
- Best forhaving out on display –Made hadid laundry basket: £85, Made.com
- Best for the kids’ bedroom – Matalan bear laundry basket: £35, Matalan.co.uk
- Best for eliminating bending – Lakeland laundry on legs laundry basket with folding legs: £19.99 , Lakeland.co.uk
- Best for organised wash days – Garden Trading dark & lights laundry chest: £150, Gardentrading.co.uk
- Best for tight budgets – IKEA torkis laundry basket: £10, Ikea.com
- Best for a simple yet stylish look – Amara evora laundry bin: £39, Amara.com
Hats off to Brabantia for making less-than-glamorous household items both sleek and stylish as well as functional. The company has been doing it for years and this laundry basket is no exception. It looks like a neat, compact cabinet and suits a bathroom perfectly. The cotton inner bag, which is divided into two sections, is removable and washable and has a 90-litre capacity in total, which is more than enough for a family of four. The best thing about it, though, is the back-friendly height. It made us wonder why more laundry bins aren’t raised on legs to cut down on bending. It’s also fairly slim (32cm deep) considering its large capacity. A clear winner, especially for fans of minimalist or Scandi design.
Best for: Small spaces and small households
We really like this design for its simplicity and also the drawstring opening at the top, because no one wants their dirty washing on show. It measures H43cm x W40cm x D25cm, making it perfect for those who don’t have a lot of space – but because it’s made of canvas it’s got a bit of give in it for expansion, should you get a little behind on the washing! It’s very lightweight, too, and was really easy and safe to carry downstairs, filled with washing, to the washing machine. We think this would be perfect for a single person or a couple and represents fantastic value at less than £20.
Best for: Large families
Got plenty of space and a seemingly constant stream of washing to do? Then get a pair of matching baskets instead of one. It makes sense to pop one of them in the bathroom or on the landing, and the other in your children’s room (be they babies or teenagers) as kids seem to generate piles and piles of washing! Or, why not have one for light-coloured clothing and the other for dark? We really like the rustic look of these seagrass and jute baskets, they feel durable yet not overly rigid and both have lids to keep everything hidden. They’re not cheap, but they’re so versatile and stylish they could easily be used for general storage, not just for laundry.
Best for: having out on display
This stylish design from Made looks absolutely nothing like a laundry basket, and that’s what makes it so great. It’s roomy at H55cm x W34cm and is hand-woven from natural rattan with a painted black wash – this is a basket that you’ll want to show off. We popped it in the bathroom for several days to see how it would cope in a warm, humid environment and it was perfectly fine – no moisture build-up insight. A really lovely, on-trend laundry basket that’s too good to hide away.
Best for: The kids’ bedroom
Most children seem to leave their clothes on the floor on the very spot where they’re taken off, so encourage little ones to put them in the laundry basket where they belong with this cute design from Matalan. It’s made from incredibly lightweight wicker with a removable lid and is 56cm x 39cm in size – ideal for a corner or at the end of a bed if you have space. A really fun, charming buy that will hopefully instil good habits (but we’re making no promises…). Be warned – these sell out fast, but put your name down and you can snap one up as soon as it’s back in stock.
Best for: Eliminating bending
Trust Lakeland to come up with a nifty idea that we wish had been invented sooner. Simply push the buttons located under the handles to release the legs, and pull the sliding section that hides the mechanism back up towards the handle to retract them. It’s really simple to operate and, when the legs are released, positions the basket at a much more convenient height for hanging out washing. It made us realise how much bending and stooping is cut out from this already tedious chore – and we love it. The legs feel nice and sturdy too, even when the basket is filled to the brim with wet washing. A brilliant idea at a brilliant price.
Best for: Organised wash days
We love the rustic, country-style look of this super-solid rattan laundry basket and the fact it’s a different shape to most other laundry baskets: short and squat rather than tall and narrow. Its dimensions also make it ideal if you want to slide it underneath a table or a console to keep it tucked away. The lid flips up to reveal two labelled compartments, so you can sort your washing easily as you go, and looks like a smart piece of storage furniture when the lid is down. Perhaps the most striking thing about this laundry basket is its sturdiness; it feels very well made and could certainly handle a few knocks and bumps.
Best for: Tight budgets
A roomy, no-frills laundry basket that is divided into two sections and is really functional – exactly what we’ve come to expect from IKEA products. It has a steel frame and a polyester bag which, unlike some natural materials, will not absorb moisture or odours from the laundry or environment, so it’s a good choice for a humid bathroom. Despite only costing a tenner, it has a lid flap that can be pulled over to hide the washing, and the entire basket can be folded away if needed. It’s really easy to assemble and requires no tools to do so, and the bag (which is held in place with Velcro strips) can be removed in a flash. You can’t go wrong for such a low price.
Best for: A simple yet stylish look
Similar to H&M’s canvas bag in that it’s a very unfussy-looking laundry basket with handles and a nifty drawstring top, but this one from Amara has a much larger capacity. It measures H70cm x W40cm x D40cm, making it ideal for a family of four or more, yet is sturdy enough so it doesn’t lose its shape when filled with washing. The polyester material is really practical and the gorgeous flax colour means it would slot seamlessly into almost any style of decor (it’s also available in dark grey). A really good all-rounder.
The verdict: Laundry baskets
The combination of sleek looks, separate compartments, a large capacity and the clever raised design puts the Brabantia laundry bin at the top of the pile (pun very much intended). A 10-year guarantee is not to be sniffed at, either. And the laundry on legs basket from Lakeland definitely deserves a mention here – anything that cuts down on bending and stooping, whether you have back problems or not, can only be a good thing.
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