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.
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."