The 9 Best Storage Bins Will Have You Organized in No Time
We’ve got collapsible, budget-friendly, and all kinds of colors.
Published Dec 21, 2021 1:48 AM
The best storage bins do it all: They protect your belongings and preserve their integrity, all while contributing to the style of your space. And while the phrase storage bin might conjure visions of mysterious cardboard boxes or unlabeled oversize plastic containers, we’re here to tell you that storing items in a design-forward, practical, and functional vessel is very much a possibility.
Here at Domino, we love anything that multitasks—reducing physical and visual clutter. Whether you’re looking for the best way to hide (er, thoughtfully manage!) the chaos in your closet or that funky forgotten corner, we’ve carefully culled options that roll, collapse, and carry in canvas, metal, handwoven abaca, and more.
- Best collapsible: Hay Colour Crates
- Best set/modular: Container Store Modular Bins & Lids
- Best metal: Pillowfort Metal Stackable Storage
- Best metal basket: Yamazaki Home Storage Basket
- Best felt: Open Spaces Storage Bins
- Best value: IKEA Kuggis Box
- Best splurge: The Citizenry Sundak Storage Basket
- Best corner: Domino x Crate & Kids Corner Hamper
- Best rolling: Serena & Lily Riviera Rolling Storage
Dimensions: 4 ¼-by-6 ¾-by-10 ½ inches (small) | Color: Varies | Material: Polypropylene | Stackable: Yes
What we like:
- Wide range of colors
- Three different sizes
- Collapsible design makes for easy storage when moving or not in use
- Design is functional, but not exactly clean and minimalist
- Largest size is only available in four colors
Why we chose it: Tons of colors and a variety of sizes make this affordable, collapsible bin one that we could imagine stacked in multiples or broken down and ready for an easy move.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect pastel or a brilliant bold, these crates from Hay, purveyor of Danish design, offer plenty in the way of flexibility and practicality. They are available in three different sizes (small, medium, and large) to house your desktop accessories, bathroom toiletries, and more. They were specifically designed to be modular, so that the smaller sizes fit inside larger ones, enabling you to get down to the minutiae of organizing. Thanks to the perforations along the walls of the bins, they’re light and ventilated—and collapsible, to boot. The crates are stackable, so they work particularly great in multiples, allowing you to create the color combination (or rainbow!) of your dreams.
Best Set/Modular: Container Store Modular Bins & Lids
Dimensions: 5 ½-by-3 ⅝-by-2 ⅜ inches (small) | Color: Varies | Material: BPA-free SAN plastic | Stackable: Yes
What we like:
- Great range of sizes
- Can be used with or without lids
- Lids double as trays
- Handles on small and extra-small sizes act as large holes that tiny objects can slip through
- Food-safe, but bins can’t be microwaved
Why we chose it: Clean, simple, and with lids made of renewable materials, the four different sizes of these bins make it easy to say yes to a decluttered life.
If Scandi-clean is the look you’re going for, search no further than the Container Store’s bins and lids for all your organizational needs. With four sizes ranging from extra-small to large, they accommodate a number of items and can work as open containers or lidded ones that enable them to be stacked. But it’s really the thoughtful details we like: smooth-edged handles for easy holding, a clean white exterior made of 100 percent BPA-free SAN plastic, and two lid options (a matching plastic one that doubles as a tray or a sustainable bamboo flat one). And while you can’t microwave them, they are safe for dishwashers and refrigerators, so they’re perfect for just about everywhere—bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and beyond.
Best Metal: Pillowfort Metal Stackable Storage
Dimensions: 13-by-13-by-13 inches | Color: Varies | Material: Steel | Stackable: Yes
What we like:
- Sturdy, stackable design
- Cute colors work together or separately
- Cutout at the front allows for easy retrieval or storage of items
- Space for a label—perfect for families with multiple children
- Only two sizes—small and large
- When stacked, bins can still move around
- Metal design might not be ideal for small children
Why we chose it: Stackable, lively, durable, and available in six cute colors—what’s not to love?
If you’re looking to contain a messy room with style and ease, your search is over. These painted steel bins are chock-full of smart details, from handles that flip in and out (for stacking) to an open front with a name tag or label slot. The bins are available in six colors—black, white, a lively yellow, an earthy green, pink, and a deep blue—but if you can’t decide on just one, we understand. Good news: The color palette works just as well when mixed and matched as when flying solo.
Best Metal Basket: Yamazaki Home Storage Basket
Dimensions: 9-by-6-by-14 inches | Color: White | Material: Wood and alloy steel | Stackable: No
What we like:
- Simple design with a touch of warmth from wood handles
- Easy to clean with water and a damp cloth
- Not stackable
- Not recommended for wet spaces
Why we chose it: These bins are all about simple storage for items ready to be on display.
From the Japanese organizational gurus at Yamazaki comes the Home Storage Basket, aka the perfect pantry or hobby organizer. With an oversize, open-basket matrix and wood handles for easy transportation, it’s great for holding larger kitchen items like bags of snacks or produce, but it also works just as well for containing clothing, toys, or crafting supplies. Its painted steel construction feels strong and sturdy, with a durable powder-coated finish that gives it a glossy, lightly textured look. We can see these lined up neatly in a closet, filled to the brim with goodies that stay where they’re supposed to.
Best Felt: Open Spaces Storage Bins
Dimensions: 19 ½-by-12 ½-by-9 ½ inches (10 inches with lids) | Color: Gray | Material: Compressed felt | Stackable: Yes
What we like:
- Sturdy felt construction
- Sleek metal handles make for easy movement
- Thoughtful proportions
- Only one color available
- Lids are sold separately
Why we chose it: Soft, elegant, and made of recycled materials, these bins have won us over, whether they’re lidded or not.
Thoughtful proportions in storage bins go a long way, and Open Spaces hit the nail on the head with its large felt bins: The flexible and functional size fits everything from printer paper to toy trucks. They combine the best of a soft, cozy compressed felt with a wood lid for a nice balance between style and hygge that a messy toddler or a minimalist neat freak would intuitively find appealing. On top of it all, the bins are made from recycled plastic bottle fibers, reducing environmental impact while maximizing your organizational skills.
Best Value: IKEA Kuggis Box
Dimensions: 10 ¼-by-13 ¾-by-6 inches | Color: Varies | Material: PET plastic (minimum 50 percent recycled) | Stackable: Yes
What we like:
- Simple and elegant design
- Works well with common IKEA furniture lines like Billy and Besta
- Stacks nicely
- Affordable price point so you can buy in multiples
- Lid does not lock or click into place
- Color selection is limited
Why we chose it: A simple storage statement at a price that won’t break the bank.
Minimalist in both design and color selections, we love the discreetness of the Kuggis storage bin and its tiny—but effective and graphic—thumbhole. It’s particularly great for storing bath toiletries, where its sleek look keeps privacy intact. And rest assured: It fits perfectly with IKEA classics like Billy shelves and Besta storage units. While the color selection of white, dark turquoise, or light green might not be the neutrals we’d expect, we like the idea of making storage the pop of color or moment of fun in a closet or cabinet.
Best Splurge: The Citizenry Sundak Storage Basket
Dimensions: 14-by-14 ½ inches + 3 ½-inch handle (medium), 15-by-19 inches + 3 ½-inch handle (large) | Color: Light abaca | Material: Locally sourced abaca bark | Stackable: No
What we like:
- Two sizes are generously proportioned for a range of bigger items
- Handles on either side allow it to be picked up
- One-of-a-kind, unique shape that doubles as decor or art
- No two baskets are identical
- Color and texture of weaving varies
Why we chose it: Handwoven in Indonesia, these baskets are a beautiful blend of functionality and artistry.
If you thought woven baskets were the vessel of choice for knitting grandmas or old-school gift baskets filled with fruitcakes, think again. The Citizenry’s Sundak baskets are unique and organic in form and color, with each basket handwoven out of sustainably sourced abaca plants in Indonesia. The chunky weave means the baskets are surprisingly sturdy—think: hefty enough to hold several yoga mats and some weights—and two big handles make for easy transportation. Available in two sizes, they create a nice ensemble when paired together, but work separately as well, bringing a bit of organic warmth to any nook or cranny in need of some storage.
Best Corner: Domino x Crate & Kids Corner Hamper
Dimensions: 15-by-15-by-32 inches | Color: White and orange | Material: Cotton canvas and steel | Stackable: No
What we like:
- Perfect for that empty corner
- Whimsical but practical design
- Detachable canvas bag
- Limited colors available
- Only comes in one size
Why we chose it: The cutest—and most functional—way we can think of to use a corner.
Not everyone might consider a hamper to be storage, but just because it’s traditionally home to dirty clothes doesn’t mean it’s a one-hit wonder—this corner number is great for storing blankets, toys, and more. We love this stylish version not only because (ahem) we helped design it, but because it cleverly utilizes those tricky parts of a room and brings a touch of fun and whimsy with its curved shape. Its nonlidded design makes it feel almost basket-like, and the off-white canvas bag is removable for easy cleaning or transportation. The two colorways—white and orange—can either be a pop of color or a seamlessly blended neutral.
Best Rolling: Serena & Lily Riviera Rolling Storage
Dimensions: 22-by-14-by-17 inches (low bin); 17-by-14-by-27 ½ inches (tall hamper) | Color: White/gray or white/navy | Material: Plastic and rattan | Stackable: No
What we like:
- Two colorways—neutral white and eye-catching blue and white
- Cutout handles make it easy to pull out
- Coordinates with other pieces in the Riviera collection
- Main material is woven plastic with sustainably sourced rattan handle
- No lids or tops available
Why we chose it: It provides summery, beachy storage—on wheels.
The name really says it all: The Riviera Rolling Storage bins combine the classic beachy South of France vibes with the practicality of wheels. Full of personality and designed to coordinate with other pieces in Serena & Lily’s Riviera collection, these bins are available in two sizes that can roll: a lower, smaller one suitable for books, toys, and other medium-size items, and a larger, taller option that feels more like a traditional hamper in its proportions. But however you use these, we’re such big fans of S&L’s graphic woven pattern and rattan trim that we’d be hard-pressed to hide them away in a closet—and would end up keeping them on full display.
How We Chose These Products
Here at Domino, design and aesthetics always play an important part in our decision-making. In fact, when we vetted our selections for the best storage bins, these two factors were just as important as the practical side of things, like materials, dimensions, and functionality. And our experts, from organizational pros to interior designers, agree: It’s not form over function but instead form and function when it comes to this essential organizational tool.
Our Shopping Checklist
When it comes to storage bins, the design encompasses a range of factors like color, material, and details. Lids, handles, openings, and even casters can really elevate the bin and make it something you’d want to display, not to mention carry or wheel from room to room. Not sure if you really need a lid? “If you’re placing items in a visible space like a bookshelf, you may like a lid so you don’t have to see the contents; who wants to look at office supplies or papers?” professional organizer Laura Cattano points out.
Storage bins can come in many different materials, including metal, plastic, and natural options like rattan and canvas. So how to know what will work best for you? Consider what you’re storing and any special requirements it might have. If you’re storing food, make sure the bin is food safe, for example. On the other hand, “if you’re storing makeup or hair products, you’ll want a material that’s easy to clean like plastic. If you’re storing sweaters, you’ll want something smooth that won’t snag the fabric,” says Julianna Strickland, founder of Space Camp Organizing. At the same time, though, Strickland adds, “I personally don’t want to see a wall of plastic when I walk into a closet, so I always tend to lean towards bins made of natural materials like canvas, cotton rope, or wicker.”
Capacity and Size
If you’re looking to hide away the tiniest trinkets or the most oversize toys, fear not: There are storage bins big or small enough for all storing needs. Generally speaking, “a bin should be big enough to fit a category of item, but not so big that small pieces will fall to the bottom never to be found again (think about what might happen if you dumped Legos and doll clothes in a large cloth bin!),” recommends Lucy Milligan Wahl, founder of LMW Edits. But regardless of the size you’re looking for, “be sure to measure twice once you know where you’re putting a bin. Nothing is worse than getting something that’s an inch too big and doesn’t work for the space,” says Cattano.
What You’re Storing
Sometimes the biggest challenge isn’t what kind of storage bin you need, but something even more basic: What exactly do you want to store? Some of the most common items that are stored are seasonal, like winter clothes and holiday decor, while others might be used throughout the year such as toys or craft supplies. Consider what you’re storing and how often you’ll be lugging it out before you purchase.
Durability is intrinsically linked to materials and construction quality, so be sure to read the fine print. If the bin is made of metal, take a look at any coatings that are applied and examine the construction of the corners for unfinished edges. For fabric bins, materials that can withstand lots of use like leather, felt, or even a high-quality canvas is the way to go.
Quantity and Multiples
Some storage bins—particularly those without lids—are designed as individual vessels that are meant to be one-off, unique, and maybe even artfully arranged on a shelf. Others, though, are specifically created so that they work well in multiples, whether that’s stacked vertically, nested inside one another, or just placed horizontally next to each other. If you’re having trouble figuring out whether you want to purchase multiples, consider what you’re going to be storing; if it’s of a similar size; and if it will be sitting in the same area or on the same shelf, suggests Cattano. If that’s the case, she recommends getting multiples of the same bin to reduce visual clutter.
Q: The choices are dizzying—what are the general sizes of storage bins?
Storage bins come in a range of sizes and shapes, but most frequently you’ll find bins that are circular or rectangular in shape. Sizes can range from small at about 5-by-3-by-2 inches (about the size of a box of pasta) to oversize that can handle dozens of quarts (think: 26-by-16-by-14 inches). However, the more design-forward ones tend to be in the small to medium range, with the larger sizes featuring more practical motifs that you’d probably use to store stuff in the basement or attic, not keep out on display.
Q: What should I do with old storage bins?
If you’re looking to move on from some old storage bins that you already have, consider relegating them to a secondary location in your house, like the garage, basement, or attic. And if that isn’t going to work for you, says Strickland, “your best bet is to give them to a friend or neighbor, or donate them to places that can always use clean bins in good shape.”
Q: Can I store photos in plastic storage bins?
If you’re storing photographs, especially if they’re old or delicate, acid-free is the way to go. “This could mean sorting photos into large acid-free envelopes and then storing those envelopes in a plastic bin, or it could mean using photo boxes and forgoing the plastic bins altogether,” says Strickland. Caroline Solomon of Neatly Organizing recommends using archival storage boxes that are acid- and lignin-free, which will prevent the yellowing of photo materials. Plastic, she notes, will keep moisture and other insects and rodents at bay, but “it’s not the ideal choice for photo storage, as it’s unclear how plastic reacts with photos over time,” she explains. And you’ll want to think about where the bins are stored as well, since temperature can have an impact: “If they’re in a temperature-controlled setting, it’s not likely that the photos will be severely damaged in a plastic bin,” comments Strickland. On the other hand, if they’re being kept in a hot garage in Arizona, for example, “you definitely want to make sure your photos are stored properly in acid-free envelopes or boxes,” she adds.
Q: How can I keep pests out of storage bins?
Since pests are more interested in the goods inside a bin than the bin itself, “make sure your storage bin seals well, or that the contents are cleaned and free of items that might be appealing to pests,” suggests Wahl. Adding cedar blocks when storing fabrics will help keep out moths, and avoiding cardboard is a good idea as well because, as Wahl says, “creepy-crawlies love it!” When in doubt, “invest in the highest-quality bin you can afford,” whether that means airtight containers or adding cedar balls or disks to sweater bins, says Strickland.
The Last Word
Whether you’re looking to put away your winter apparel for the season or keep your crafting supplies neatly sorted and easily accessible, the best storage bins will not only keep your goodies clean, safe, and free from moisture or pests, they’ll add a little something to your abode—whether that’s a simple, minimalist shape or a bright pop of color. And our recommended choices have been thoroughly and thoughtfully vetted so that they fit just about any toy or tchotchke and work in just about any space, whether that’s corner, closet, or kitchen.
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