A laundry basket made with the wicker process.
Once again, the worlds of engineering and consumerism collide – this time in the form of laundry baskets. There are a surprising number of different laundry baskets to choose from, depending on factors such as laundry volume, home or laundry use, portability, and durability. Some laundry baskets can cost as little as a US dollar, while wheeled baskets for home use can cost $30 or more.
Some laundry baskets are made specifically for taking to the laundry.
One of the oldest styles of laundry baskets still sold today is made from a wooden fabric called wicker. Wicker laundry baskets are extremely sturdy and can hold several pounds of dirty clothes, but they can also be heavy and cumbersome. Wicker weave provides ventilation for clothes removed from the dryer, but moisture from wet clothes can weaken the basket. Individual strands of wicker can also come loose, creating a potential hazard. Wicker laundry baskets are best for home laundry, when wet clothes can be removed quickly.
If a person needs to carry things like bleach, a basket with compartments can come in handy.
Most laundry baskets sold today are made from molded plastic. Round versions have vertical and horizontal straps for safety and ventilation. The top opening is rounded to eliminate sharp corners. As the process of making round plastic laundry baskets is very cheap, they can be found in retail stores and other outlets at deep discounts. These laundry baskets are stackable for easy storage and have generous handles along the edge for carrying clothes. The main disadvantage of round laundry baskets, especially in single models, is the tendency for individual straps to break under pressure. High-quality laundry baskets like Rubbermaid or Sterilite can use thicker plastics with a rubber backing.
Most laundry baskets are made from molded plastic.
A variation on the plastic round laundry baskets is the low profile rectangular model. These laundry baskets can hold an equivalent amount of laundry, but their height is noticeably smaller than their round cousins. Consumers may be confused by this feature until it’s time to remove clothes from a front-loading washer or dryer. The appliance door should swing just above the edge of the basket. This allows users to place the basket directly under the dryer door and take out clothes in bulk. With round laundry baskets, users may have to pull smaller batches by hand and transfer them to the basket itself.
Many laundry baskets designed to hold dirty clothes until wash day can also double as laundry baskets. Some basket models have wheels and handles to facilitate maneuvering. Hampers almost always have more capacity than traditional laundry baskets and clothes can be pre-sorted in whites, permanent presses or other specific wash categories. Mesh laundry bags can also double as a basket shape, but they don’t offer the same level of stability. Recently, a form of mesh freestanding laundry bag has become popular for people who need to conserve as much space as possible.