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Best women's wallets and purses: store cards and cash in style with our top picks

It’s something we can’t live without, so why is it so hard to find the perfect purse? Here are the best women’s purses and wallets that offer both style and substance.

By Alice Cruickshank | Last updated Mar 24, 2022

Woman with a wallet

Even in these cashless times, a good quality purse remains a handbag essential. A large purse can act as a card and phone holder-in-one, as well as providing space to file away receipts and other important bits and bobs. Alternatively, if you’re more of a minimalist, then a small purse or card holder is a must to keep your precious necessities safe. 

Whether you’re looking for a big and luxurious purse or a compact and practical wallet, here are the best buys for all budgets. 

1. Best overall purse: Mulberry Medium Continental French Purse

Mulberry Continental purse

Price: £310 | Buy now from Mulberry

"I have the Mulberry medium continental purse and love it. Had it for nearly two years now - very well used and not a scratch on it. I got the deep amber colour as it’s easier to find at the bottom of my bag!" - Newusernames

"I have a Mulberry Continental Wallet in Oak. It’s the best purse I’ve ever had. I’ve had 3 years now and it’s still as good as new. Plenty of space to keep lots of cards cash and change. Never lost anything from it either" - BJHair

"DH bought me a Mulberry purse for my 40th birthday. It is now over 20 years old and still going strong - remarkably good value despite being expensive at the time" - QueenOfTheDoubleWide 

A good quality purse can be a lifelong investment, and Mumsnetters are in love with the Mulberry Continental Purse. With its timeless design, buttery soft leather, and variety of colours on offer, it’s easy to see why. Equipped with 11 credit card slots, a spacious area for cash and receipts, as well as a zipped compartment, this is a great mid-sized option for everyday use. If you like your purse extra roomy then we recommend upgrading to the Continental Wallet option. 

Key specs

  • Material: Leather
  • Size:  11cm x 15cm x 2.5cm

2. Best budget purse: LUROON RFID Blocking Women’s Large Purse

Luroon wallet

Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

This affordable women’s purse by LUROON is anything but basic. You’ll find an impressive 24 card slots, all with RFID blocking technology to keep you safe from fraud, as well as a zip section for notes and receipts. There’s also two clear ID sections, and a handy wrist strap. This purse is available in nine colours, including vibrant blue and red options that will be easy to find in the depths of your bag. 

Key specs

  • Material: Leather
  • Size: 19cm x 10cm  x 3cm

3. Best leather purse: White Stuff Lottie Leather Purse 

White Stuff leather purse

Price: £35 | Buy now from White Stuff

A quality leather purse doesn’t have to break the bank, and this colourful choice from White Stuff is lovely. As well as a stylish leather outer and printed inner cotton lining, this mid-sized purse offers six card slots, two zipped sections, and two note compartments. The Lottie Purse is available in three jazzy colours - Mid Teal, Dusky Pink, and Mid Chartreuse. 

Key specs

  • Material: Leather outer with cotton lining
  • Size: 19.5cm x 10.5cm

4. Best vegan purse: Will’s Vegan Store Continental Wallet

Wills vegan purse

Price: £57 | Buy now from Will’s Vegan Store

Not all vegan leathers are equal, with most made from plastic that sadly doesn’t last. If you’re after a vegan purse with ethics and sustainability at its core then this Continental Wallet from Will’s Vegan Store is hard to beat. The faux leather is carbon neutral and high quality, and produced in an ethical factory. Even better is its roomy interior, with a zip-up coin compartment, six card slots, two wide slots and a slim pocket. The hand strap means you could also use this purse as an alternative to a bag for a night out or a quick trip to the shops. 

Key specs

  • Material: Vegan leather
  • Size: N/A

5. Best coin purse: Anlyzer Soft Mini Coin Purse

Amazon coin purse

Price: £6 | Buy now from Amazon

"I have a soft coin purse I chuck my cards in to and I use a small cross body bag (purse size) when I'm going out light" - ChishandFips33 

A large purse or wallet can feel clunky (especially if you're a fan of Apple Pay), so if you like to keep things light then this mini coin purse is a brilliant day-to-day option. As well as the main pocket to house your loose change, there’s also an external zip pocket that’s just the right size for your card. Best of all, this purse is available in 20 bold and bright colours. 

Key specs

  • Material: Leather
  • Size: 11cm x 8cm x 0.7cm

6. Best large purse: Kate Spade Zip-Around Continental Wallet

Kate Spade zip purse

Price: £129 | Buy now from Kate Spade

"I've got a Kate Spade one that I've had for 7 years now and it's still going strong" - usernotfound0000

"My Kate Spade purse is 4 years old and still looks new - I love it" - Crazydogmumma 

If you’re someone that finds themselves laden with receipts and loyalty cards, then this continental wallet from Kate Spade is perfect for you. You’ll find space for 12 cards and it has three slip pockets and an external pocket. This purse is even spacious enough to fit most iPhones into. The saffiano leather exterior is robust and scratch-proof, making this a worthy investment. We like the Crushed Watermelon colour to add a pop of colour to your day (and to make this purse easy to find amongst all the general handbag rubbish!). 

Key specs

  • Material: Leather
  • Size: 19.5cm x 11cm x 2.5cm

7. Best small purse: SENDEFN Small Bifold Compact Womens Wallet

Sendfen purse

Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

If the continental-style wallets feel rather large to you, then this compact alternative still offers plenty of space without the bulk. There are six RFID-blocking card slots, a clear ID photo window, a zipped double coin segment, and a notes compartment all packed into this little purse. There’s also an additional removable card holder with an ID window that offers extra storage or can be used separately. At less than £20, this high quality purse is a bargain too!  

Key specs

  • Material: Leather
  • Size: 13cm x 10cm x 2cm 

8. Best card holder: VULKIT RFID Blocking Automatic Pop Up Card Wallet

Vulkit wallet

Price: £16 | Buy now from Amazon 

"I have one of these and it’s brilliant. Holds several cards very securely (and blocked from readers) Fits into pretty much any pocket, and feels really good quality too" - Fabellini 

As more of us go cashless, a streamlined cardholder is a great replacement for a bulky purse. The VULKIT aluminium card holder is extremely slimline, and holds five cards securely while taking up less space in your pocket than even your phone. Unlike traditional clamshell-type card holders, this one has a fancy slide-up action to access your cards. Some of the colours of this card holder feel a little industrial, but we like the vibrant blue and orange options to make this practical item fun. 

Key specs

  • Material: Aluminium
  • Size: 10cm ×6.3cm × 0.8cm

9. Best minimalist purse: John Lewis & Partners Leather Foldover Purse

John Lewis leather purse

Price: £36 | Buy now from John Lewis 

Keep things simple with this sleek and stylish purse from John Lewis. While its design might be minimal, this foldover purse is still packed with useful features, including 10 card slots, slip pockets for notes and receipts and two zipped compartments for coins and valuables. The soft, pebbled leather and gold hardware gain extra style points. 

Key specs

  • Material: Leather
  • Size: 11cm x 19.5cm x 2.5cm

What should you carry in a purse?

Conventionally a good purse would offer space for notes, coins, and cards, with ID slots and other useful features a bonus. These days a purse can still be useful for keeping a mixture of cash and cards, or even as a handbag replacement. Some purses and wallets offer space to keep your phone and offer a wrist strap, to make this an invaluable all-rounder for every time you leave the house. 

What’s the best material for a women’s purse?

Conventionally women’s purses are made from leather, as this is a hard wearing and stylish fabric. Many purses and wallets are now made from Saffiano leather, a luxurious form of leather that is highly durable, scratch-resistant, and repels water and stains. Canvas is another popular option, though this can get dirty quickly. 

As many of us move to a plant-based or sustainable lifestyle, there is an increasing range of leather alternatives available, including plant-based leather and even cork. 

What is the best women’s purse to buy?

We evaluated the most popular, useful, and stylish purses available to buy, and looked to the Mumsnet forums to see which purses and wallets Mumsnetters are raving about. Mumsnetters’ most recommended women’s purse is the Mulberry Medium Continental French Purse and it’s easy to see why. With its spacious interior and stylish design, this purse is a brilliant investment buy. 

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like real recommendations from real parents, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which women’s purses and wallets discerning Mumsnet users had bought. We compiled a list of purses and wallets they recommended, noting how practical they found them, and whether they were particularly good for any certain needs.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which purses and wallets had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers’ reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the women’s purses and wallets we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.

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