How We Tested
I’m Sarah Zorn, and I’m a professional food, lifestyle, and pet writer and cookbook author. I’m also a (current) NYC resident and an (actual) native, meaning I’m well acquainted with storage systems, and have ample experience with making the most of small spaces.
We attempted to pack each storage unit with a standard soft load (one blanket, a set of bed sheets, four bulky jackets or sweaters, two pairs of jeans, four t-shirts and four towels), followed by a standard hard load (four heavy books, 10 paperbacks, 4 cans of food and assorted boxes of food), as well as both loads together.
We oriented the units both vertically and horizontally under the bed to assess whether they fit or not. We also slid them in and out from under the bed to determine ease of access. Lastly, we took the addition and usefulness of special features (such as wheels) into account when tabulating our final ranking, as well as durability; what’s the point of a storage unit if it can’t reasonably stand the test of time?
Things to Know When Buying Under Bed Storage Bins
Hard plastic boxes with lids are ideal for under bed storage, as they’re generally spacious, can accommodate both hard and soft items, and keep your belongings airtight and dust-free.
Zippered plastic or cloth bags are also popular because they allow for more flexibility and versatility, and take up less room. They’re also light enough to stack in closets or on shelves. Either way, wheels or handles are key, especially for retrieving your items at will when they’re squirreled away under the bed.
Then you have vacuum bags, which are great for compressing stacks of clothes or blankets into tiny packages that take up hardly any space. Bins and carts tend to be the most attractive option, but they don’t often have covers, which are key in keeping grime off of your belongings.