How to Buy a Laundry Hamper

A laundry hamper is an important item in most households. Choosing the right hamper to store your dirty clothes and linens can help make laundry chores easier by ensuring that your items are organized and ready to be washed. Hampers come in a wide variety of shapes and styles, and choosing the right one involves a number of factors. Here are some tips on how to buy a laundry hamper.


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    Decide how you want to manage your laundry. Your strategy for laundry sorting will depend on the type of laundry you're washing.
    • Sort by colors, such as whites, brights and darks, to ensure that like items are washed in the appropriate temperature, using the appropriate detergents and laundry additives. Some hampers come with 3 separate compartments, and even have labels to denote what color laundry they hold.
    • Sort by type, such as machine washable, hand washable and dry-clean only, to make sure items are not ruined by improper cleaning methods. Depending on the volume of laundry you have for each category, you may want to choose different sizes of laundry hampers for each one.
    • Sort by person in your household to encourage individual responsibility for laundry. Different styles or colors of laundry hamper work well for this, and some laundry hampers can be labeled or embroidered with the owner's name.
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    Consider how and where you will transport your laundry hamper. You may need to transport laundry up or down stairs, or even to your car. The conditions under which you plan to move your hamper will determine whether you need one with wheels, handles or a curved shape to balance on your hip. Transport needs may affect the size of hamper that works best for you, since a fully-loaded hamper can be heavy.
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    Determine the location of your laundry hamper. The appearance of your hamper will matter more if it is in a place visible to guests than if it is hidden away. Additionally, if you're short on space, a compact design might be the best choice.
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    Assess the level of moisture in clothes that will go into the hamper. If you'll frequently fill your hamper with damp items like towels or workout clothes, you should choose one with substantial ventilation. This will help prevent odors and mold.
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    Think about the volume of laundry you have. A hamper that holds large bath towels will need to be larger than one that only holds hand-washable undergarments. If you do laundry once a week, you might need a smaller hamper than someone who does laundry once a month. Babies (especially newborns) can go through a great deal of laundry in a week, and might actually need larger hampers than school-aged children.
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    Consider the style of hamper you want to buy.
    • Choose a plastic hamper if you want something relatively inexpensive, durable and easy to clean. Plastic hampers are lightweight and easy to carry, but they are not always attractive.
    • Pick a cloth hamper if you want a hamper that is lightweight and breathable. Prices can vary widely depending on the design, but generally cotton fabric hampers are cheaper than canvas ones. Cloth hampers can be embroidered with the owner's name or the type of laundry that they're intended to hold. Some cloth hampers can be machine washed.
    • Select a wicker hamper or bamboo hamper if you want a range of attractive styles to choose from. These hampers tend to be more expensive than cloth or plastic, and most cannot be easily cleaned.
    • Choose a wooden hamper if you want something to match other wooden accessories in your home or to create a designer look. Wooden hampers are generally the most expensive options, and you must make sure they aren't exposed to wet laundry, since damp wood can warp.
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    Shop for your laundry hamper. Discount stores, department stores, home furnishing stores and stores that sell organizing items are all places that usually have multiple types of laundry hampers in stock. Prices generally range from $10 to 100, depending on the style and brand of hamper.


  • Wash the lining of cloth-lined hampers when you do your laundry. This ensures that the hamper remains clean and odor-free. Putting a box of baking soda in your laundry hamper will also help reduce odors.


  • Beware of the metal spring in pop-up laundry hampers. If the hamper is not securely stitched or the fabric is thin, the sharp metal spring that causes them to pop up can poke through and create a hazard. If you choose a pop-up hamper, inspect the stitching around the metal spring to ensure that it is secure.

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Categories: Laundry