Anyone who has ever struggled to carry a heavy stack of clothes down a flight of stairs knows how harrowing it can be. That's where having the right bin comes in. The best laundry baskets for stairs include a range of softshell styles, like backpacks, totes, or oversized bags made from sturdy, lightweight materials that make getting up and down several flights a breeze. Of course, a wheeled option can offer convenience, but unless it's specifically designed for maneuverability on stairs, it may scratch your floors or break easily.
Portability is the first thing you want to consider if your laundry room is a couple of floors up, down, or even a few blocks away. The most no-fuss options come in the form of backpacks or over-the-shoulder totes, with long straps that allow you to have your hands free on tricky stairs and ease the strain on your forearms. Carrying a week's worth of heavy jeans and sweatshirts can cause some spillover, though, so depending on how far you have to travel with your clothes, a drawstring closure may be important. That said, if you like to be able to literally toss your dirty laundry into a basket when you get home, an open-top model will be an ideal catch-all, but look for elements (like a wireframe) to ensure it stays upright.
Hauling your items on stairs also means your basket will need to be crafted from the right materials. A mesh option will be the most lightweight and inexpensive, but if you want something that will last — especially if you're taking it outside — look for heavy-duty canvas or polyester. Bonus points if the bag itself is washable and/or waterproof. And you don't have to forgo style in the name of utility. For instance, a wicker basket can function as an elegant decor piece and remain stationary while you remove a cloth liner and bring it to your washer instead.
In terms of size, most styles can hold at least two big loads of laundry, but a "load" will vary depending on the size of the machines you are using: Smaller washers might hold up to 6 pounds, whereas a large one could fit as many as 18 pounds. So to give you a true volume comparison, take note of the capacity figures as you shop.
The best laundry hampers for stairs can make wash day feel way less of a chore. To get you started, check out the variety of shapes and styles from Amazon below.
1. The Best Laundry Tote
Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.3 x 18.5 inches (length x width x height)
Designed with a reinforced steel rim, a rigid baseboard, and heavy-duty polyester sides, this CleverMade SnapBasket tote can comfortably carry up to 55 pounds of laundry, or roughly two large loads. It also has stable feet to prevent tipping while you're loading the washer (important given the open-top design) and durable carry handles to keep it elevated comfortably as you climb your steps. Plus, among the more than 3,400 five-star reviews from Amazon fans is plenty of praise for how incredibly sturdy it is. The bag folds flat between uses and comes in seven additional colors, like black (pictured), cream, teal, and gray. It's also easy to wipe clean with a wet cloth, though it is not machine-washable.
One promising review: "I needed something to make carrying laundry up and down stairs easier. This works perfectly. It holds a full two loads of laundry (even heavier loads like towels), is very sturdy and allows me to carry the laundry with one hand while holding onto the stair railing with my other hand. It's well made and I love that it collapses to just a couple inches thick, making it so easy to store."
2. The Best With Wheels
Dimensions: 24 x 15 inches for the bag (height x diameter); 18 x 11 x 36 inches for the dolly (length x width x height);
The dbest products Stair Climber Laundry Trolley Dolly is great for anyone who is looking for a souped-up wheeled option — there are six rotating wheels (three on each side) that are designed to make it a cinch to go up and down flights of stairs with minimal effort. In fact, the wheels should run smoothly across both hardwood floors and uneven cement surfaces. When it comes to carpet, however, the brand doesn't specifically call it out, but a few reviewers confirmed it does function on soft surfaces without a problem. Inside the faux burlap outer bag, you'll get a removable, washable liner that closes shut with a drawstring. The laundry component can hold up to 75 pounds, however, you can use the metal dolly on its own to carry up to 110 pounds of any other items, like groceries. Either way the padded handle will give you a comfortable grip and the foldable design will let you store it away.
One promising review: "Love it. So much easier than carrying a basket. Works well on non-standard stair heights as well (old houses). Very light, holds as much as the large size standard basket."
3.The Most Affordable
Dimensions: 13 x 23 x 15 inches (length x width x height)
For an affordable option for dorm rooms, apartments, or any living condition in which you value extra space, this pop-up Smart Design Store mesh laundry bag will meet your needs — just look at the 4.7-star average amassed from 1,500+ Amazon shoppers as proof. The lightweight softshell material and the long handles make it easy to throw it over your shoulder, and it comes with a removable divider (great for sorting colors or delicates). A flexible, steel wire frame will keep it upright as you load in your clothes, but when it's not in use, the softshell structure collapses inside itself for easy storage. Though the brand doesn't specify how much this model can tote in pounds, they do indicate it can "hold two loads." If you need something a little bit bigger, it's also available with three compartments.
One promising review: "Super convenient to take from room to room, upstairs and down stairs! It’s a good size to fit about 2 loads. I love that I can just fold and place in between machine and wall gap."
4.The Most Stylish
Dimensions: 22.75 x 13 x 24 inches (length x width x height)
If you love the look of a handwoven basket but have no interest in lugging it up or down to a laundry room, this Seville Classics wicker hamper gives you both style and ease. The basket has two separate compartments inside, each lined with machine-washable canvas bags. When it's time to do laundry, simply take one or both bags out and carry them by their reinforced handles. Each bag holds up to 25 pounds of clothes and the hamper itself can accommodate up to 70 pounds. The container is tightly-woven synthetic wicker strands that are water-resistant and durable. This oval basket also comes in gray and lighter water hyacinth.
One promising review: "I do laundry once a week and we put whites in one side and colors on the other, saves me the sorting time! The wicker is solid, doesn't smell, mold, or come unraveled. The removable linen bags inside are perfect for running up/down stairs, and they say in place. Would definitely buy again."
5. The Best Laundry Backpack
Dimensions: 29 x 13 inches (height x diameter)
Not only does this backpack have enough room for up to 44 pounds of laundry, but it also has a handy front mesh pocket big enough for a standard detergent bottle and dryer sheets. It also has a small inner pouch for keys and a laundromat card. The bag is made from tear-resistant 600D polyester oxford and is waterproof and machine-washable. A drawstring cord ensures that nothing gets lost on the trips to and from the laundry room and the wide straps are adjustable so that you can ensure you're avoiding back strain. This popular option — it boasts 2,600 five-star reviews — is available in five other prints and colors, including yellow and a starry blue.
One promising review: "I live on the second floor of an apartment building that has narrow, winding and just plain evil stairs. I have to do laundry elsewhere so lugging bags of clothes is inevitable and used to fill me with dread but no more!I am able to pack a lot of clothing in this bag eliminating the need for more than one trip. Better yet, the two straps let me wear it like a backpack leaving my hands free. The weight is evenly distributed so my shoulders and back aren't sore after going up and down the stairs."
6. The Most Versatile
Dimensions: 25.6 x 19.3 inches (height x diameter)
This 100% cotton braided basket's tapered shape and long handles make it easier to carry than other, similar styles. It will also keep laundry from spilling out. Though there's no weight capacity specified by the brand (they do mention it can fit a volume of 105 liters) reviewers find the sturdy handles can take about 30 pounds or two small loads with no problem. The laundry basket is available in five soft, natural color combinations and has amassed 1,200 five-star ratings. Reviewers mentioned they have successfully washed it and many reported that it's stylish enough to be used in a living room as storage for blankets or toys.
One promising review: "I was afraid with it being so heavy that the straps would rip. They are VERY sturdy and feel like they will hold whatever you throw at it. I also have to carry the basket up and down two full [flights] of stairs to the basement to do laundry and Im not afraid it’s going to rip and fall. I highly recommend this hamper to anyone with constant laundry."