why do laundry baskets have holes

Why Do Laundry Baskets have Holes?

Looking for the right laundry basket is quite tricky, considering the fact that the consumers of today are spoilt for choice. With numerous options ranging from bamboo, willow, seagrass and rattan traditional wicker baskets to modern plastic, fabric and wooden varieties, you might be torn between two or more options.

It is also not a wonder to look at specific features and begin to battle various questions including why do laundry baskets have holes.

Why do Laundry Baskets have Holes?

The main reason as to why a laundry basket has holes is to allow proper air circulation in between the clothes. As you might well know, dirty clothes contain moisture from sweat, spills and water-based stains. And sometimes, they are generally wet. When you pile them together in an enclosed space, they begin to develop molds, mildew and a stench that hardly disappears even after washing. A laundry basked with holes helps you to prevent these problems.

Secondly, holes make a laundry basket lightweight. That being the case, you can comfortably move it from one place to another even when it is filled with clothes. And moving a laundry basket can be a regular task depending on how often you launder your clothes

If you are hand washing, you might need to use your laundry basket to move your dirty laundry to the bathroom, outdoors or elsewhere to do the job. Similarly, it might come in handy when moving laundry to your washer. Most importantly, it becomes more useful when taking laundry to a laundromat.

Another benefit for having holes in a laundry basket is to tell whether it is fully loaded. You can use the holes to see through your laundry basket and determine how much more laundry you can push in there.

Lastly, the holes allow you tell whether clothes are properly sorted. Sometimes the temptation to throw clothes straight into the washer is usually irresistible. With a laundry basket that has holes, you can avoid a careless mistake by looking through the holes quickly.

The History of Laundry Baskets

traditional laundry basket

It is safe to say that the history of laundry baskets is fairly unknown. Generally, many cultures around the world have a tradition of making unique baskets or hampers from bamboo, seagrass, willow or rattan. This gives them the right to claim the origin of traditional baskets.

One historical account notes that the history of laundry baskets dates back to the 11th century. According to Virginia Hayward, the French brought the first woven baskets to England. The baskets were used to transport fruits and other edibles.

During the Victorian age, the idea of using woven baskets to transport foodstuffs and clothes as well as send gifts to loved ones gained a lot of popularity especially during festivities.  

In the recent years, laundry baskets especially modern types made from plastic and fabric have seen wide adoption across the globe.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Laundry Basket

The choice of a good laundry basket boils down to the various factors that impact the usefulness of the option you acquire. For example, you have to consider the weigh of a basket if your laundry routine involves moving clothes to a laundromat. In the section below, I break down the factors that you should have in mind when looking for a good laundry basket.


The size of a laundry basket should depend on your laundry needs. Generally, a small laundry basket may work if you only need it for personal clothes and you have a routine of washing twice or three times a week. Sometimes personal needs may call for acquiring a large laundry basket. For instance, if you change several sets of clothes daily to suit your professional and casual needs, having a large laundry basket keeps your dirty clothes organized.

Large households may opt for one large laundry hamper or several small ones. A large family hamper requires spacious storage space and thus, it is best suited for homes with a laundry room. Small laundry baskets or hampers are much easier to store. You can have one in each bedroom, under the bed or in other hidden places.

Another advantage of owning a collection of small laundry baskets is using them to sort laundry. You can effortlessly separate whites from brights and darks or sort your laundry in any other way.


In most cases, the choice of material is mostly about personal preference. Personally, I find traditional hampers the best looking. That said, they are not the best if you live in humid places. Dirty clothes can easily stink and develop molds. Sometimes you will even notice dark moldy spots on these kind of hampers.

Plastic baskets rarely attract molds. I would attribute this to numerous holes that lead to increased air circulation in between the clothes.


You need a laundry basket in the first place to store your dirty clothes in a way that they receive airflow. Do not make the mistake of choosing a laundry basket that is incapable of serving this purpose. Unless, you like to spend your free time washing irredeemable moldy clothes.

Plastic and traditional baskets have visible air spaces. However, you have to be extra keen when choosing a fabric hamper. Ensure that the material is light and keep the basket in a place with proper airflow.


The choice of color may not seem like a big deal but can affect the aesthetics of your laundry room, closet or another space that you intend to place your laundry basket. Ideally, the best way to determine the color and style of your laundry basket by looking at the rest of your laundry room or bedroom décor. If your room has a rustic style, a wooden or traditional hamper might be the best. Fabric and plastic hampers are more suited for modern houses.

How to Clean a Laundry Basket

How you clean and care for a laundry basket depends on the material used to make it. Have in mind that you cannot clean some hampers with water, and the only way to maintain their original beauty is to keep them in a dry place and avoid loading them with heavily soiled clothes. Occasionally, you can remove all the dirty clothes from your traditional basket and shake it outside with the top facing downwards to get rid of dirt particles. They you can finish up by wiping it with a dry rag.

Some traditional hampers have a thin liner that is machine or hand washable. You can wash it every time it gets dirty and place it back in the basket after drying it.

As for plastic baskets, you can wash them in warm water and mid or regular detergent. Place the basket in a solution of water and detergent, the use a soft brush to wash it. Rinse out the soap thoroughly with clean water and let the basket air-dry completely.

If you have a fabric laundry basket, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to wash it.

The 5 Best Laundry Baskets

Now that you know why laundry baskets have holes and criteria to follow when choosing the right basket, I go ahead and recommend the 5 best options to look into.

BirdRock Home Oversized Divided Hamper (Best Seagrass Option)

There is no doubt that a seagrass laundry basket is a perfect solution if you are looking to complete your laundry room or bathroom with a natural touch. This BirdRock hamper decorates and provides ample storage space for your pile of dirty clothes.

Not to mention, it is divided into two compartments and each compartment is lined with a light material bag that you can detach from the main hamper when carrying your laundry to the washer.

KOUBOO 1030001 Rattan Hamper (Best Rattan Option)

You can dig piles of reviews in the internet but you will hardly find a rattan laundry basket as good as this one. It is sturdy, functional and stunning. You can literally use it somewhere in your living room after loading it with dirty clothes and no one would guess what’s inside.

It comes with a removable cotton liner that is machine washable.

Seville Classics Industrial Hamper (Best heavy duty option)

If you are looking for a heavy duty hamper with industrial strength, you can never go wrong with Seville Classics Industrial Hamper. It is made with large households in mind, and it can also be used in restaurants, dormitories and hospitals.

Made of double layered canvas polyester, a set of four wheels compliment the strength of the fabric by allowing you to load it even with blankets without worrying about the trouble of lifting it from one spot to another.

Sterilite 2 Bushel 6 Pack Laundry Baskets  (Best plastic option)

You can opt for a 60 liter single unit plastic laundry basket or choose this set that gives you more space and a perfect solution to laundry sorting. With this, you can actually distribute each hamper to every member of your household and use them to separate clothes after washing and tumble drying. You can also stack them in a way that serves your laundry needs more conveniently.

When the laundry baskets are not in use, you have the option to keep them organized by stacking them on top of each other.

DOKEHOM 90 L Collapsible Laundry Basket (Best budget option)

Organizing laundry can drive you bananas but it doesn’t have to. With a 90 L collapsible hamper, you can keep all your dirty clothes in one place, and be left with enough space for baby toys. This basket is made with sturdy and durable fabric and you can easily wash it in the washing machine.

It has strong aluminum handles, which make it easy to move your clothes to the washing machine. Lastly, you can collapse and store it neatly whenever it is not in use.

How to Hide Laundry Hampers

Your laundry hampers might be the last thing you want people to see when they visit your place. This is particularly important if you live in a small house or a bedsitter.

Under the Bed

One of the best places to hide your laundry basket is under the bed. If you push the basket under there and make your bed neatly, no one will notice. All the same, have in mind that not all hampers can sit comfortable in such a limited space. You have to make the right choice of a hamper for the height of your bed.

In the Closet

The only hiding place for your laundry basket that is better than the closet is using it as décor. The closet seems like the perfect place because you keep the rest of your clothes there. Organizing your dirty clothes nicely and placing the laundry basket there creates the impression that they are clean. And what’s better than making even the dirty things in your house look clean?

Use your Laundry Basket as Décor

If you buy a seagrass, rattan or woven basket, you can get way with pretending that it’s a nice piece of décor. All that matters is where and how you place it in your house. A great tip is to ensure that your basket has a tight sturdy lid. This prevents you from little embarrassing moments when the kids knock the basket off during their playful moments and the lid comes off, revealing dirty clothes in front of a guest.

Leave a Reply