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As sure as night follows day, a shampoo bottle will somehow leak while sitting in a suitcase. But no worries – a good toiletry bag will save the day.
As well as keeping your clothes safe from unsightly spills, a toiletry bag can also make life easier. Nifty pockets and compartments ensure shower gels, sanitary products and plasters are all easy to find.
The trick is picking the right wash bag to suit your travel style and family size. Are you that mythical beast that can travel with hand luggage only? Or do you need all your potions and lotions to make a trip away feel like a real holiday?
Whatever your budget, suitcase size or destination, you should be able find a toiletry bag to suit your needs in our roundup below which includes plenty of recommendations from the Mumsnet forums.
Here are the best toiletry bags to buy in the UK in 2021.
1. Best overall toiletry bag: Reisenthel Toiletry Bag XL
Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon
"It’s lovely and roomy, lots of pockets and compartments, and you can hang it on a hook as well" - bookbook
This good quality toiletry bag is a firm favourite with Mumsnetters. It comes in different colours and designs and the compartments hold full-sized bottles as well as keeping smaller bits and bobs organised. There’s also a sturdy hook for hanging it up in bathrooms and a handy little mirror too.
It’s not the bag to choose if you have plans to travel light, but its generous size should save you packing a separate makeup bag.
- Size: 28 x 25 x 10 cm
- Material: Polyester
2. Best budget toiletry bag: FIYUK Clear Tote Bag
Price: £9 | Buy now from Amazon
"You can see what you have inside, so it is easier to pack. Then, when you are there, you can find everything!" - BranchingOut
This transparent, wipe-clean toiletry bag is made from robust PVC and is a great option for the price. Its size means there shouldn’t be any problems fitting in full-sized shampoo bottles and toothbrushes. Hang it on the back of a door using the long handles or save some suitcase space, and double it up as a beach bag. It’s too big for carrying toiletries through airport security, but otherwise it’s a practical choice.
- Size: 32.5 x 28.5 x 4.6 cm
- Material: PVC
3. Best large toiletry bag for families: Lekesky Hanging Toiletry Bag
Price: £16 | Buy now from Amazon
Trying to fit everyone’s toiletries into one bag can make packing for a family holiday feel like a game of Tetris. That said, this water-resistant, expandable wash bag provides a helpful solution.
The main compartment is roomy and the inner mesh pockets will keep smaller items visible and in place. There are even side compartments with slots for four toothbrushes. The hook means it can hang on the back of a door so you can save some of the hassle of unpacking and repacking.
- Size: Folded size: 28 x 14 x 20 cm, Unfolded size: 53 x 14 x 54 cm
- Material: Waterproof nylon
4. Best compact roll-up toiletry bag: Osprey Ultralight Washbag Roll
Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon
"This proper travel one is really good" - bingohandjob
Weighing less than 400g, what this toiletry bag lacks in style it makes up for in no-nonsense practicality. It can roll up small, has a sturdy hook for hanging and even has a small mirror.
The larger main compartment will keep travel-sized bottles safe. The mesh pockets are good for toothbrushes and other bits and pieces and although it’s too compact for a family holiday, it’s a great wash bag for a night away or a trip to the gym.
- Size: 15.2 x 7.6 x 22.9 cm
- Material: Nylon
5. Best luxury toiletry bag: Stackers Blush Hanging Washbag
Price: £65 | Buy now from Amazon
This chic toiletry bag, made from blush pink vegan leather, lives up to Stackers’ reputation for clever, high-quality design. The main compartment holds full-sized bottles, and there are plenty of handy pockets too. The champagne-gold hanging hook and zips add a touch of elegance. The removable, clear wash bag is a brilliant little extra; it fits in the main bag but is also ideal for overnight trips and slipping into hand luggage.
- Size: 26 x 14 x 27 cm
- Material: Faux leather
6. Best large clear toiletry bag: Space NK Travel Bag Large
Price: £20 | Buy now from Space NK
Stylish yet practical, this toiletry bag keeps rummaging to a minimum. Everything is held in the one transparent compartment, meaning tweezers and hairclips can’t hide. Tall enough to fit in full-sized bottles, yet not too bulky, it can be wiped down when faced with an inevitable spill. The pretty faux-leather trim means – for a wash bag at least – it looks rather lovely.
- Size: 23 x 18 x 8 cm
- Material: PVC and faux leather
7. Best clear toiletry bag for airport security: BlueSye Airport Security Liquids Bag
Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon
These transparent toiletry bags come in packs of six and should ensure minimum faff at airport security. Designed to conform to Civil Aviation Authority guidelines, the bags are designed to fit 100ml travel bottles. They’re made from one sheet of good-quality PVC, so they’re stronger than cheap freezer bags and the fact they’re reusable adds to their eco-credentials. The loop handle is a convenient plus when you are juggling children, passports and multiple cases.
- Size: 22 x 21 cm
- Material: PVC
8. Best compact drawstring toiletry bag: The Flat Lay Co. Make Up Bag
Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon
For packers who prefer the quick and simple approach, this drawstring toiletry bag is ideal. Lay it out flat, and it’s easy to see where everything is. Select what you need, then quickly scoop it all back up. There are two outer pockets, an inner pocket and a few elasticated holders for added organisation. When rolled out, it can also double as a handy cosmetics mat to protect any surfaces or linen from stray powder or lipstick smudges.
- Size: 18 cm across when closed with a 51 cm diameter when opened
- Material: Woven polyester
9. Best toiletry bag with compartments: OneNine5 Eco-Friendly Travel Wash Bag
Price: £49 | Buy now from Amazon
Keen on a helpful compartment? This smart, eco-conscious wash bag is too – the seven separate pockets are great for keeping everything organised. What’s more, the larger, transparent bag detaches and can be used for taking travel-sized toiletries through airport security.
The lining is made from recycled plastic; the outside is crafted from water-repellent, vegan leather. It isn’t as spacious as some other toiletry bags, but its slim design and hanging hook make it a practical, elegant option.
- Size: 18 x 23 x 7 cm
- Material: PU Leather and 100% recycled polyester
How to choose the best toiletry bag
Start by thinking about the toiletries you want to fit into the bag. Are travel size bottles and a handful of essentials normally enough for you and your family? If so, opt for a compact wash bag that will save on suitcase space.
If you don’t want the faff of decanting shampoos and shower gels into smaller bottles, a more generous toiletry bag may be the answer. In which case, it might be a good idea to measure the bigger bottles in your bathroom cabinet to make sure they’ll fit.
Either way, a quality toiletry bag can be a good investment, so it might be worth spending a little more on something that will last for years.
What’s the best material for a toiletry bag?
Above all, a toiletry bag needs to contain any leakages. So water-resistant PVCs, nylons, polyesters and faux leathers all work well. Also, consider how easy the bag will be to clean. Choosing a reusable wash bag is a good choice for the environment; selecting a bag made from recycled, cruelty-free materials is even better.
What is the best toiletry bag to buy?
We love the chic Stacker’s hanging toiletry bag and the eco-friendly option from OneNine5. However, in terms of quality for the money, the Reisenthel Toiletry Bag XL gets our vote. It’s generous size and hanging hook makes it a practical choice for families. It’s also stylish enough for a girls’ weekend away.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out what toiletry bags were being recommended.
We then did some research across the wider web, looking at what toiletry bags had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best toiletry bags online at the moment.
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