Household Decor: A Guide To Types Of Hampers

Today's hampers aren't just a utility room staple but they're stylish as well. These storage bins are both functional and nice to look at.

There are many different laundry hampers on the market to choose from, with designs to fit just about any lifestyle, from student to homemaker.

There are several things to consider when hamper shopping, such as where the hamper will be located and how much space you have for it. Is it for a small closet? You may want to measure the location before you embark on a shopping trip. Will it be in a wet area like the bathroom? If so, you will want to choose a material that won't be damaged by water. Or, will it be in the laundry room for easy access? In that case, functionality may take precedence over fashion.

Do you prefer a hamper with a lid to keep clothes hidden? Or, would you rather have an open hamper that allows you to simply toss clothes in? Is style more important than practicality? How far away is your laundry room from the hamper? How will you transport clothes when it's time to do a wash?

Wicker hampers have remained a popular choice over the years, partly because the texture of the weave allows for air circulation. It is important to have adequate circulation in a hamper to prevent damp clothing from mildewing. Today's wicker hampers come in many sizes and colors, from white to natural wicker tones. Some hampers also come with washable liners that are usually made out of cotton. Wicker hampers can also be coordinated with matching accessories, like laundry baskets, storage baskets, tissue-box covers and organizers. If you already have wicker furniture in your bedroom, a wicker hamper may be a good choice, although wicker probably wouldn't be ideal for a child's room (it can be easily damaged).

If you have children, a standard plastic vented hamper may be a solution. Plastic hampers tend to be durable, affordable and easy to keep clean. If you are looking for a hamper for your child's room, you may want to investigate one of the many styles designed specifically with children in mind. Many of these hampers are open style (no lid) and offer some sort of kid friendly design. If you are trying to get junior to stop throwing dirty clothes on the floor, maybe a hamper with his favorite athlete on it will inspire him to make a game out of tossing clothes into the basket.

If you have older children, you may want to consider one of the portable type pop-up hampers, which are lightweight and fold for storage or travel. For instance, if you are lucky enough to have a teenager who will actually bring his or her laundry to the utility room, this style hamper might work well. Of course, the next step in the process is getting your teen to wash their clothes, but that's another story. This type of hamper also works well for college students, who usually need to travel to do laundry. Some portable hampers have shoulder straps for easy carrying and pockets for laundry supplies.

Of course, there are variations on the hamper theme, with some designs that can even be called flashy. For those who enjoy a modern look, you may want to look at some of the ribbed style hampers available in a chrome-finish featuring metal frame construction. Some of these hampers also have a shiny silver polyester liner. This style hamper might be a good addition to a laundry room that features stainless steel appliances or a home with contemporary decor.

If you are looking for something a little less flashy, a wood hamper can be pleasing aesthetically and looks more like a piece of furniture than a place for dirty clothes. If you want to add a hamper to your bedroom and would like it to blend in, wood may be a good choice. Although wood hampers may be pricier than their counterparts, they do attractively hide laundry and can be painted or stained to match your color scheme. You can even put a plant on top to disguise the hamper as a piece of furniture.

On the very practical side, there are bin style hampers. If you have a laundry shoot, these bins can be situated to catch soiled clothes, making it easier to get laundry from one floor to the next. The bins are usually on wheels and often come with a bar that can be utilized for hanging shirts or air drying fine washables.

Finally, there are creative alternatives to conventional hampers. One idea is to hang a mesh laundry bag on the inside of a closet door. A laundry basket can also double as a hamper in a bedroom closet. For your small lingerie items, you might want to use a small plastic basket. Simply hang the basket on a hook and deposit your delicate items. These solutions not only help keep dirty laundry out of sight, they make trips to the laundry room easier.

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