A hamper or a laundry basket? That’s the question on every college student’s mind.
They both have their advantages. But when you’re living in a dorm or a small apartment, a hamper is definitely the right choice.
But how would you choose the right hamper for you from the thousands of products on the market?
I researched the best laundry hampers for college students, so you don’t have to. I shortlisted the top products that suit every need, space, and requirement.
Here are the recommended laundry hampers in no particular order.
- Best Portable: Dormify Rolling Pop Up Laundry Hamper
- Best for Storage: MCleanPin Large Laundry Hamper Collapsible
- Best Versatile: Dalykate Backpack Laundry Bag, Laundry Backpack with Shoulder Straps
- Best Budget: Mesh Popup Laundry Hamper
- Best Waterproof: Caroeas 90L X-Large Laundry Basket
- Best Double Hamper: Lifewit Double Laundry Hamper with Lid
- Best Washable: MCleanPin Laundry Hamper with Lid and 2 Removable Liners
As you might expect, every laundry hamper has some features that make it stand out. But some hampers are just better than others. In the end, it all comes down to personal preferences, budget, and the space you have for the hamper.
Read my reviews to narrow down your selection.
What Is the Difference Between a Hamper and a Basket?
Although many people use the words laundry hamper and laundry basket interchangeably, those two are very different things with different purposes.
The laundry basket is a portable basket made of plastic that you carry around the house, collecting dirty laundry to take to the washer.
When the laundry is done, you put them in the same basket to either air outside or, if it’s already dry, take it to the wardrobe.
A laundry hamper, on the other hand, is taller than the basket and is stationary. You place it next to the washer and drop the dirty laundry in it.
When it’s full, or you have time to do the laundry, you empty it into the washer. Once you put the hamper somewhere, you don’t tend to move it around.
What to Look for in Laundry Hampers for College Students
College students are not known for their impulsive buying habits. They compare products, shortlist the ones that stand out, and make a decision based on their needs and budget. The following qualities will help you make the right choice.
- Quality of Materials: The materials of the hamper will impact its durability. Look for a laundry hamper with a steel frame and fabrics made of polyester for strength and durability.
- Portability: Since the hamper is often heavy, you need it to be portable. Some hampers come with wheels to help you move them around the dorm. Other hampers are collapsable, making them more convenient to move and store.
- Capacity: The ideal laundry hamper should have enough capacity to accommodate more than one laundry load. When you’re busy with your studies and college life, laundry is something you do once a week. A large hamper will hold all the dirty laundry you throw in it until you have time to do the laundry.
- Handles: You’ll need a laundry hamper with handles not just to carry it around but also for accessibility. Although this is not a required feature for hampers with a frame, other hampers need handles to help you add or retrieve the laundry easily.
Best Laundry Hampers for College Students
Please keep in mind that all of the links to the recommended products are paid, and will take you to Amazon.
1. Best Portable: Dormify Rolling Pop Up Laundry Hamper
The main advantage of the Dormify, besides its high capacity and durability, is that it has wheels. You’ll understand the meaning of this when your laundry hamper is chock full of laundry, and you want to take it to the washer.
Naturally, your dorm doesn’t have enough space for a laundry basket, which means that you’ll have to lug the hamper to where you do the laundry. The wheels will save you that trouble.
The hamper has a high capacity and can double as a storage space which is almost a necessity in the limited space in the dorm. It can accommodate multiple loads, and as a busy college student, you don’t have time to do the laundry that often. But above all, this is a sturdy and durable laundry hamper. It has a collapsible steel frame to keep it stationary. All the more reason to fit it with wheels and make it portable.
The body of the hamper is made of polyester. A durable and sturdy material that handles the rough and tumble of dorm life and stands to the test of time. It also comes with handles to pull it, drag it, or push it in front of you like a trolley. When it’s empty, you can collapse it and fold it to save space.
2. Best for Storage: MCleanPin Large Laundry Hamper Collapsible
The MCleanPin is more than a large laundry hamper. It also comes with two removable laundry bags. Now, in a dorm, you know what that means. When you fill one laundry bag, zip it shut and replace it with the second laundry bag.
Meanwhile, you can remove the laundry bag and use the large hamper as a storage trunk. Now, you got your laundry stored neatly in the bags, and you got more storage space as well at your disposal.
The hamper also has another convenient feature that will come in handy when adding laundry. It has a sorting card to help you group the clothes by color or type.
Homewear will go in one laundry bag, while clothes to wear outside and for classes can go in a different bag. And did we mention that this is a collapsible hamper? When you don’t need it, just collapse it to save space.
The hamper itself holds up to 2 laundry loads. But since you get two laundry bags with you, you have a storage capacity of 6 laundry loads at one time. You can keep everything from clothes to bed linens in it until it’s convenient for you to do the laundry.
3. Best Versatile Hamper: Dalykate Backpack Laundry Bag, Laundry Backpack with Shoulder Straps
Although Dalykate is not your typical laundry hamper, it does have some features that will make it appealing to college students living in small dorms. For one thing, this is a laundry bag.
But in reality, it’s more of a backpack than a regular bag. It has shoulder straps and drawstrings, which make it easily double as a hamper. Moreover, since it’s portable, you can use it as a laundry bag to carry the laundry as well.
But why would you need a backpack laundry bag as a hamper? For the simple reason that it’s more portable than a hamper with wheels. The adjustable shoulder straps make it easy to carry it around.
You can also use it as a regular backpack to carry your stuff when you go camping or go back home. The 1.9-inch wide straps give it the support you need to carry the bag even when it’s full.
The mesh pocket with a zipper on the side is an added advantage. You can store small things in it like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving cream, and so on. And when using it as a hamper, the pocket can store the delicates, underwear, or other clothes that can get dank inside the laundry bag.
4. Best Budget: Mesh Popup Laundry Hamper
We all know what happens when you leave dirty laundry in the hamper for a long time. Moisture breeds mold and mildew, and the whites get small gray or light brown spots on them. That’s for the lack of ventilation. This is what the Mesh Popup is here to address.
Since it’s made of a collapsible frame with walls of mesh, ventilation is guaranteed. No more dank or funky smells or mold on the dirty laundry.
The simple mesh hamper doesn’t cost much either. Which makes it a good option for students on a budget who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a hamper but still want it to be sturdy and durable.
It also has a lightweight metal frame that can be twisted to collapse and fold the whole hamper to save space and pack it away neatly when not in use.
The handles are made of durable polyester to carry the hamper when full. It doesn’t need wheels since it’s lightweight enough even when packed full with clothes.
5. Best Waterproof: Caroeas 90L X-Large Laundry Basket
In a dorm, the most likely place for the laundry hamper is under the sink. You wouldn’t want it in the bedroom for obvious reasons. But keeping the laundry hamper so close to a water source means that the dirty laundry can get wet easily.
Unless your laundry hamper is made of waterproof materials like the Caroeas 90L. It protects the laundry against dampness and moisture to prevent mold build-up.
Another distinguishing feature of this large laundry hamper is the pair of handles with their distinct shape and padding. The light metal handles allow you to carry, drag, or lift the hamper with ease. The padded handles will not hurt your hand, no matter how heavy the hamper is. The hamper is tall and narrow to save up space while still holding between 2 to 3 laundry loads at a time.
But the main reason you’d want to get this hamper is the material. It’s made of high-density 600D oxford fabric with an EVA coating. It keeps moisture to keep the laundry dry inside.
The coating prevents the build-up of odors. The tall hamper is quite balanced even when it’s half fully or even empty. It stands firm and takes up less space, especially in tight corners.
6. Best Double Hamper: Lifewit Double Laundry Hamper with Lid
Lifewit is the answer to the problem of sorting out the laundry. Whites, colors, lightly soiled linens, towels, homewear, denim. It’s hard to keep them separated when you only have one hamper. But a double hamper with two laundry bags to spare might just be what you need.
The collapsible hamper has a divider and a lid. When the two laundry bags are full, you take them out and continue to use the hamper.
The stand-alone hamper is made of 300D cationic fabric and 1.2mm adhesive-coated EVA foam. The walls are sturdy enough to stand firm and not get banged out of shape when full.
They also protect the laundry against moisture and odors. It comes in three neutral colors: black, blue, and gray, to fit in any setting. The double hamper can hold up to 4 loads of laundry at a time. With the extra bags, you double that capacity.
7. Best Washable: MCleanPin Laundry Hamper with Lid and 2 Removable Liners
This hamper wraps up this roundup of the best laundry hampers for college students. It comes with two laundry bags which triples the capacity of the hamper.
The hamper and the laundry bags are made of linen and cotton to easily wash and get cleaned up. It comes with a secure lid that keeps the dirty laundry out of sight. And with its elegant design, you can keep it in the dorm with you.
The hamper has the capacity to hold two laundry loads at a time. And with the two removable laundry bags, you get to hold 6 loads of laundry at one time. The laundry bags have drawstrings to close the bag shut. When the hamper is not in use, fold the two laundry bags inside, collapse the hamper, and neatly stow it away.
When it comes to laundry hampers for college students, durability, size, and capacity matter. You’d want a hamper with a high capacity to hold a few loads of laundry at a time.
It shouldn’t take up a lot of space since college dorms are not known for their spaciousness. And it should be durable. I’m sure you’ll find the right laundry hamper for your dorm needs in the list above.
I’m an expert organizer and a big laundry enthusiast. I’ve created this website and Organizing TV on YouTube to share practical guides about some of my favorite subjects; making clothes fit well, doing laundry and folding clothes effectively, and organizing wardrobes with a focus on saving space since I live in a home with limited space myself. You can learn more about me here.