Fabric Storage Bins: Pros and Cons

Fabric storage bins can be a fantastic solution to your storage needs. Not only do they come in all kinds of patterns and colors, but they vary in size, too.

While we don’t recommend fabric storage bins to store your things in a storage unit, we do find value in them for at-home storage use. Fabric storage bins can check a lot of boxes, while completely missing the mark on others.

Read more to learn our take on the pros and cons of fabric storage bins.



Fabric storage bins are sturdy and last a long time. Since the fabric is sewn around a hard plastic or composite structure, it takes a long time for the structure to wear down and fall apart. The higher quality the fabric storage bin, the likely it is to last longer.

Easy To Move

Fabric storage bins are also easy to move. Most fabric storage bins have handles on the sides, making them easier to move than a regular, flat-sided box. Depending on the kind of fabric storage bin you choose, many come with different kinds of handles, big and small. 

People also love fabric storage bins because most collapse. This makes storing the bins between uses incredibly easy. You simply collapse the storage bin on top of itself. The box will lie flat and will be easy to stow away in closets and wardrobes. 

The convenience of fabric storage bins makes them a popular option for babies with ever-changing storage needs and college students with limited space.

Cost Effective

Fabric storage bins are incredibly cost effective, because they can last for a long time. You can easily get a set of fabric storage bins for less than $20 at any major retailer. But like previously mentioned, the higher quality, the longer lasting. If you know you’ll use the fabric storage bins heavily, then purchasing a well-made one would be a good idea.

Well made, high grade fabric storage bins can last for many years if used correctly. If you can use the same bin over and over, you won’t have to buy another—saving you lots of money in the long run.

Keeping your fabric storage bin in a safe place where it won’t be crushed will extend the life of the box. Utilizing a cubby-like space where the box fits neatly into the square would be ideal. This keeps your space looking clean and sleek, while concealing the innards of the storage bin. 

The cubby also protects the box. 

Element of Design

Fabric storage bins add an extra element of design that people love— especially when the box is being used in a place others can see. The fabric lends itself to the decor of any home, making it an easy solution to storing things in common areas. Anyone can dress up a drab storage space with fun fabric storage boxes. 

Fabric boxes come in a million different patterns and solid colors, some even offering interesting textures. Many fabric storage bins are made of rattan or wicker, too, bringing in a deep earthy element. And of course, a fabric storage box is much easier to look at than a clear plastic storage bin or a cardboard box.

Because fabric storage bins bring color and depth to any room, they are often commonly used in nurseries and offices, too. If you need just a little additional space, consider using a fabric storage bin. Coordinate the bin with the decor and main colors you’re working with in your living space.


Can Get Dirty

Fabric storage bins are made of fabric— meaning they will get dirty. Unlike plastic storage bins, in which you can simply wipe down, most fabric storage bins will stain or gather dust. They can be rather difficult to clean. 

Unfortunately, you can’t take the fabric off of the skeleton of the box. If the box gets dirty, you’ll have to either spot treat the fabric or wet a washcloth and scrub out the stain. This is a huge turn off to many people and can ultimately make or break a purchase. 

If you have kids, pets, or want to use a fabric storage bin in a heavy traffic area, consider the threat of dirt first. 

Weak Structure 

There are many great fabric storage bins out there with strong structure — but they aren’t the norm. Over time, especially with heavy use, fabric storage bins will fall apart. All it takes is a few rough uses, items thrown in that don’t fit  inside of the box, or too heavy of items to break down the structure. 

Because of the weak structure, people who use fabric storage boxes must be careful in how they use them. Over time, they will break down. This is one reason why fabric storage bins are not ideal for self storage. They can’t be stacked on top of each other because the frame of the box is not built for stacking.

Two home storage baskets on a shelving unit

Doesn’t Have a Lid

Fabric Storage bins do not have lids, making them impossible to use in any kind of stacking fashion. This also means that you can’t really protect what’s inside of the box. For this reason specifically, fabric storage bins are a terrible idea for self storage units. If you can’t put a lid on the box, that means you also can’t keep critters or insects out, either.

However, there are some fabric storage boxes that come with lids. However, the lids don’t latch closed. Bugs can still get inside of the box over time, along with dust. With plastic storage bins, or even cardboard boxes, you can tape the ends closed or latch the bin shut. That is not possible with fabric storage bins. 

Fabric storage bins are great ideas for some things, and as mentioned, aren’t great for others. If you’re looking for a simple storage solution for home use, fabric storage bins might be a good idea.

Alright, with that you should have a better idea if fabric storage bins are the way to go for you and your storage needs!


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