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Updated Mar 24, 2022 11:38 AM

Storage bins come in handy when it comes to organizing your home office, children’s playroom, bedroom, basement, garage, or shed. They help to reduce clutter by corralling like items together and making your home tidier. Shopping for bins online, however, can easily become overwhelming since there are so many options. 

We’ll break down what to look for when shopping for the best storage bins for your home and discuss the key considerations to keep in mind as you shop. Read on for tips on choosing the best option, and explore our curated picks for the best storage bins on the market.

How We Chose the Best Storage Bins

Methodology 

While it’s easy to assume that all storage bins offer similar performance, a number of factors affect their functionality. Several years of experience covering home goods storage solutions as well as extensive product research went into choosing our final curated selection. We reviewed more than 30 storage bin options and weighed a number of practical considerations before making our recommendations. 

Material: We largely considered plastic bins for this piece since they’re the most useful and readily available. We made one exception for fabric bins, which are sometimes best for storing clothes. 

Lids: While some storage bins — like those used in a fridge or pantry — don’t require lids, for this piece we only included options that came with matching lids for sealed storage. 

Capacity: Since people require storage bins of varying capacities for different needs, we included a wide array of options with capacities ranging from 1.5 to 40 gallons. 

The Best Storage Bins: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: IRIS USA TB Clear Plastic Storage Bin

Iris’s plastic storage bins come in a pack of six and, with a 19-gallon capacity, work well for closet storage. IRIS USA

Why It Made The Cut: These plastic storage totes come in multiple sizes and feature weather-tight seals, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 4.75 gallons
  • Material: Polypropylene 
  • Number of Bins: 6

Pros:

  • Multiple sizes available
  • Weather-tight sealing
  • Includes pull handles
  • Made from recyclable material

Cons:

  • Not suitable for cold weather storage

This set of six bins from Iris are an excellent overall choice for most household storage needs. They feature weather-tight sealing due to their foam lid gasket and the latches they have on all four sides. Both the lids and bins themselves are translucent, allowing you to easily see what’s inside. They are designed to be stacked together, with each lid featuring a groove so that the base of another bin can be secured and won’t topple over. A pull handle in each bin’s base makes it easy to access them from a high shelf. 

The 19-gallon bins are perfect for clothing storage in closets, but the brand also makes larger and smaller models to best suit a variety of storage needs. 

While these bins are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use due to their weather-tight seal, they’re not the best choice for outdoor use for those living in cold climates. Since they’re made of polypropylene, the material is prone to cracking in cold temperatures. 

Best Value: Sterilite Quart Liter ClearView Latch Box

These 1.5-gallon latch boxes are perfect for storing shoes, crafting materials, or office supplies. Sterilite

Why It Made The Cut: Sertilite’s ClearView Latch Boxes come in a pack of 12, providing excellent value for organizing small items. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 1.5 gallons
  • Material: Plastic
  • Number of Bins: 12

Pros:

  • Multiple sizes available
  • Translucent finish
  • Stackable

Cons:

  • Not airtight

These bins from Sterilite come in a pack of 12, providing excellent value when creating a new storage system. This particular model has a 1.5-gallon capacity, making the bins perfect for storing a single pair of shoes, arts and craft materials, and office supplies. The bins can also be used in the pantry to hold cookie cutters, piping bag tips, and other baking accessories. 

Despite their small size, these bins are incredibly durable, and perform much better than most cheap storage bins, which are made from thin, flimsy plastic. There are also larger sizes available in the same style for higher-capacity storage needs. 

The bins are designed to stack together, making for a convenient modular system. Both the lids and bases are see-through, allowing you to easily identify what’s inside. It’s important to note that they’re not completely airtight, so they aren’t the ideal container for food storage.  

Best Heavy-Duty: Rubbermaid BRUTE Tote Storage Container

Best Heavy-Duty

With a 20-gallon capacity and high-density polyethylene construction, these bins are large and sturdy enough for your heavy-duty storage needs. Rubbermaid Commercial Products

Why It Made The Cut: These 20-gallon bins from Rubbermaid are made from high-density polyethylene, making them incredibly durable and capable of withstanding cold weather. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 20 gallons
  • Material: Polyethylene 
  • Number of Bins: 6

Pros:

  • Includes molded handles
  • Resistant to cold temperatures
  • Capable of carrying heavy loads

Cons:

  • Deep lid grooves collect water 

Those looking for heavy-duty bins for heavy loads should consider this selection from Rubbermaid. Ergonomically designed handles make carrying these bins safe and easy, even if you’re transporting a heavy load. These bins are made from high-density polyethylene, which is designed to withstand cold temperatures, allowing you to use them in a shed, basement, attic, or unheated garage without worrying about the material cracking. The lids snap on securely, keeping the contents safe in most weather conditions. 

The bins come in two sizes — 14 and 20 gallons — and two colors, gray and white. They’re available to purchase individually or as a pack of six. 

The lids feature deep grooves, making these bins safe to stack. One downside of the grooves, however, is that they can collect water if stored in an outdoor environment, leading to the growth of bacteria. There are, however, holes in the handles which are supposed to help with drainage. 

Best for Clothes: Gorilla Grip Clothes Storage Organizer

Best for Clothes

Protect clothes from dust and dirt in these breathable fabric containers from Gorilla Grip, which feature clear panels to let you see their contents. Gorilla Grip

Why It Made The Cut: While many cloth storage bins make it difficult to see what’s inside, these Gorilla Grip bins feature a clear panel that lets you easily see their contents.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 23.77 gallons
  • Material: Fabric, plastic
  • Number of Bins: 2

Pros:

  • Features clear plastic panel
  • Multiple colors available
  • Reinforced handles
  • 12-pound capacity

Cons:

  • Not airtight or mothproof

While many people opt to store off-season clothing in plastic bins, cloth containers are a better choice because they allow the materials to breathe. These fabric bins from Gorilla Grip feature a clear plastic panel that allows you to easily see what’s inside. They have a 23.77-gallon capacity, making them large enough to store a king-sized comforter, 12 towels, or 40 t-shirts. 

They’re available in packs of 2, 3, 4, or 6 bins depending on your storage needs. They also come in a wide variety of colors, which is useful if they’ll be stored in a visible spot in a walk-in closet. The reinforced handles make each bin capable of holding up to 17.5 pounds. 

One downside of fabric bins is that they aren’t airtight or mothproof, so while they’re ideal for storing clothes in your bedroom or closet, they aren’t the best choice for damp areas.

Best Wheeled: Sterilite 40-Gallon Wheeled Industrial Tote

Best Wheeled

Sterilite’s 40-gallon wheeled tote bin allows you to transport a high volume of goods without risking a back injury. Sterilite

Why It Made The Cut: Sterilite’s 40-gallon storage bins feature a set of wheels and an ergonomically-designed handle that rotates upwards, making it easy to transport their contents from one place to another. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 40 gallons
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Number of Bins: 4

Pros:

  • Includes wheels
  • Features an ergonomically-designed handle
  • Completely water-resistant
  • Large capacity

Cons:

  • Deep lid grooves collect water 
  • May be too large for some homes

With a 40-gallon capacity, these extra-large bins from Sterilite are perfect for storing gardening supplies, holiday decorations, sporting equipment, and other large or irregularly-shaped items. Each bin includes a set of wheels, so they’re easy to transport from one location to another without risking injuries or requiring another person. The ergonomic handle rotates upwards but can be tucked away when it’s not in use. 

The bins are completely watertight, so they can be used outdoors or in damp areas without risking the safety of their contents. Because of the deep grooves in the lids, however, they can cause water to accumulate, which may lead to a buildup of bacteria. 

These bins come in a pack of four, providing a total of 160 gallons of storage. They are quite large, so they’re best suited to households with plenty of storage space.

Things to Consider When Choosing Storage Bins

With so many types of storage bins on the market, choosing the right ones for your home requires careful consideration. Keep the following factors in mind while making your decision. 

Intended Use

The first thing to consider when shopping for storage bins is your intended use. The type of bins required for storing sporting equipment in a garage will have different properties than the ones you’ll use for organizing arts and craft supplies. Your intended use will dictate the size, capacity, and materials that are best in each individual situation. 

Dimensions and Capacity

The capacity of a storage bin is typically measured in quarts, liters, or gallons. While exact dimensions are relevant if your storage bins need to fit into a specific space, it’s easiest to compare bin sizes by their capacities. For ease of comparison, we converted the capacity of each of our recommended bins to gallons. A 1.5-gallon bin, for example, can hold a single pair of shoes, while a 20-gallon bin is ideal for storing clothes. The largest bins for standard home use typically have 40-gallon capacities. 

Material

Storage bins can be made from a wide range of materials depending on their intended use. Wicker storage bins, for example, are a great choice as a decorative option for storing items on a bookshelf, whereas acrylic bins work well in fridges and pantries. 

Large storage bins are typically constructed from plastic but can be made from either polypropylene or polyethylene. Polyethylene is the most durable option because it’s temperature-resistant and won’t crack in sub-zero conditions. Polypropylene is slightly less durable but can be crafted to be completely translucent, allowing users to easily see the contents of their bins. 

When it comes to storing off-season clothing in your bedroom or closet, it’s best to opt for fabric containers that allow for some airflow in order to allow the fabric to breathe while protecting it from dirt and dust. 

FAQs

Q: What’s the best material for storage bins?

Generally speaking, plastic is the best material for storing most things because it’s durable, affordable, and capable of accomodating heavy weights. There are some instances, however, such as when storing clothing, when it’s preferable to use bins made from different materials that provide better air flow. 

Q: Are all storage bins stackable?

Not all storage bins are designed to be stackable, but if they have lids they are usually designed to be stacked. 

Q: How many storage bins can I stack on top of each other?

When dealing with larger storage bins with capacities of 20 gallons or more, it’s best to avoid stacking more than three bins on top of each other to avoid injuries if they topple over. 

Final Thoughts

Our recommendations cover a variety of types and styles of storage bins to suit various needs. The IRIS USA TB Clear Plastic Storage Bins are our top pick because of their durable construction and watertight lids. For those on a budget, we recommend the Sterilite Quart Liter ClearView Latch Boxes, which offer excellent performance at an affordable price.

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