Laundry delivery services might seem like a luxury to some, but in an age when you can get just about anything picked up or delivered (yes, even your groceries), wash and fold services are quickly becoming the new norm.
For busy parents, world travelers or just a career-minded person on the cusp of that next big promotion, the time savings gleaned from a laundry service can make it feel like a worthy investment.
According to an American Time Use Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends anywhere from five to 17 minutes per day on laundry. Added up over a month, this turns out to be 2.5 to 8.5 hours.
So if getting those laundry hours back every month sounds like a good deal to you, keep reading. Here are five of the best (and most affordable) laundry services on the market.
What Is a Laundry Delivery Service?
Put simply, laundry delivery services offer myriad pickup and drop-off services that keep your clothes, linens and other home goods clean. Most laundry delivery companies offer basic wash and fold services (in which someone picks up your dirty clothes and returns them clean, dry and folded), as well as dry-clean services and specialty services (like cleaning pillows, blankets or leather goods). Some may even offer garment-specific services like basic clothing repair or ironing.
Most laundry delivery services charge $1 to $3 per pound. They typically also charge various service fees, plus additional fees for the specialty services described above. How much you’ll spend on laundry services will depend largely on your location and how frequently you plan to have laundry picked up. Delivery fees can also vary quite a bit depending on how quickly you need your items returned. The faster the turnaround time, the more you’ll pay.
5 Most Affordable Laundry Services at a Glance
|HappyNest||Starting at $1.70 per lb||34 states||Customization||SEE DETAILS|
|Rinse||$1.95-2.25 a lb or subscription starts at $60/mth||8 major cities||Subscriptions||SEE DETAILS|
|Laundry Care||$35 per 13-gal bag||30 states||Bulk||SEE DETAILS|
|Press||~$2.25 per pound + $5.99 service fee||15 major cities||Eco-friendly||SEE DETAILS|
|Tide Cleaners||$2-$3 per pound + varying location-based fees||200+ locations nationwide||Convenience||SEE DETAILS|
1. HappyNest: Best for Customization
With the second-largest laundry service network on this list, HappyNest is a great choice for anyone looking for reliable, fast laundry delivery services. In fact, HappyNest is one of the only companies to offer free next-day delivery on all orders.
One of the best parts about using HappyNest? The customization. Using the company’s free app (or online portal), customers can specify their exact laundry preferences, from washer and dryer temperature, to products used and even folder styles. These settings can be saved or updated at any time.
The key thing to note about HappyNest is that it partners with local laundromats, so the quality of service can vary quite a bit. The other thing to note is the price. While the company says prices can be as low as $1.70 per pound, it doesn’t provide much more information on its fees and pricing policies. At the time of writing this, I was quoted $1.95 per pound for a weekly pickup in Denver with a $2.99 service fee per pickup. For irregular on-demand laundry pickup, the price jumped to $2.05 per pound plus the same service fee.
Cost: Starting at $1.70 per pound + $2.99 service fee (possible minimum order depending on location)
Locations: 34 states
Membership? Yes, weekly packages available at a discounted rate
Fastest turnaround: Next-day delivery (included)
Dry cleaning? No
Current promotions: Refer a friend and you’ll both receive a $25 credit.
2. Rinse: Best Subscription
If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the eight major metropolitan areas where Rinse is available (San Francisco Bay area, New York, Los Angeles, D.C. metro area, Chicago, Boston, San Jose, Oakland), and are looking for a reliable laundry subscription service, then you might want to give Rinse a try.
While you can use Rinse on an as-needed basis (for $1.95 to $2.25 per pound of clothes), the real savings are in Rinse’s subscription offering. The cleverly named subscription package Rinse Repeat waives all associated fees (including the $7.95 service fee, a $5 health and safety fee and optional $5 next-day delivery fee) as well as all restrictions (like the extra charge for washing things like a bath mat, duvet or comforter) and instead charges a flat fee based on the number of bags you’d like to have washed per month. The lowest tier of this subscription starts at $60 (for one bag) plus a per-pound rate that varies but can be as low as $1.39.
Besides wash and fold service, the company also offers dry cleaning, leather cleaning and basic clothing repair (like stitching a tear or sewing on a button) for an additional fee. You can sign up for your first Rinse pickup by entering your ZIP code and selecting a payment plan.
Cost: $1.95 to $2.25 per pound ($30 minimum order)
Locations: San Francisco Bay area, New York, Los Angeles, D.C. metro area, Chicago, Boston, San Jose, Oakland
Membership? Optional monthly subscriptions that start at $60 per month + $1.39 per pound
Fastest turnaround: Next-day delivery (free for subscribers, $5 for everyone else)
Dry cleaning? Yes
Current promotions: Refer a friend and you’ll both get $15 in Rinse Credit.
3. Laundry Care: Best for Bulk Orders
Available in major cities in 30 states, Laundry Care is an affordable choice for those in need of bulk laundry wash and fold services. Unlike many other companies that charge by the pound, Laundry Care charges a flat rate per 13-gallon bag. You can choose to purchase one of its reusable bags for a one-time fee of $3.92 or simply use any 13-gallon trash bag.
Flat rate fees vary based on your service area, but most seem to fall around $35 per 13-gallon bag, plus a $5 service fee per order. This flat rate includes stain treatment, delicate wash and air dry options, and a two-day delivery window. Next-day delivery is available for an additional 30%, which on a $40 order (one bag plus the service fee) would come out to roughly $12.
In addition to basic wash and fold services, the company can also wash other household items like pillows ($5) or comforters ($15-$25). Laundry Care also offers ironing services. Sign up online and get 10% off your first order.
Cost: $35 per 13-gallon bag + $5 service fee ($25 minimum order)
Locations: Available in 30 states
Fastest turnaround: Next-day delivery (additional 30% charge)
Dry cleaning? Not at this time
Current promotions: 10% off your first order
4. Press Cleaners: Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Service
If you prefer working with companies that support your eco-friendly values, take a look at Press for your laundry needs. Available in 15 major cities including Boston, Denver, Houston, Miami, St. Louis and Seattle, Press offers laundry delivery services as well as dry cleaning.
With a user-friendly app, customers can schedule their first pickup seven days a week and expect a return delivery within 24 to 48 hours. The company uses “perc-free” solvents and safe cleaning solutions, and it provides a branded reusable laundry bag at the time of your first delivery. While its pricing varies based on location, Press is pretty transparent and offers a full price list when users enter their ZIP code (no sign-up required). At the time of writing this, I was quoted $2.25 per pound plus a $5.99 service fee (for Denver service), with a $25 minimum on all orders. The company charges separate rates for dry cleaning as well as for cleaning special items (like bedding and jackets).
Another cool thing about Press? The company is partnering with the Salvation Army to pick up clothing donations in certain cities.
Cost: ~$2.25 per pound + $5.99 service fee ($25 minimum order)
Locations: 15 major cities
Membership? No but can schedule recurring pickups
Fastest turnaround: Next day
Dry cleaning? Yes
Current promotions: None
5. Tide Cleaners: Best Convenient Laundry Service
If you’re having a hard time finding a laundry service in your neck of the woods, try Tide Cleaners. With over 200 locations (not to mention thousands of drop-off lockers and campus programs for select universities) across the country, Tide Cleaners is by far one of the most accessible laundry services on this list. Besides wash and fold, the company also offers a laundry list (pun intended) of other services, including dry cleaning, alterations and shoe repair.
So why didn’t it make the top of our list? A few reasons. First of all, the company isn’t super transparent with its pricing. And that seems to be because it operates on a franchise model, with each store setting its own rates and terms, but many stores seem to charge between $2 and $3 per pound, on the higher end of national averages.
Cost: $2-$3 per pound, specific fees and prices vary by location
Locations: Over 200 locations and thousands of lockers
Fastest turnaround: Next day
Dry cleaning? Yes
Current promotions: Location dependent
How to Choose a Laundry Delivery Service
Choosing a laundry delivery service will largely depend on where you live. For those outside of major metropolitan areas, this narrows down the possibilities quite a bit. Another factor to consider is how closely your chosen laundry delivery service aligns with your needs. For example, if you have skin allergies and can’t be exposed to certain chemicals or products, this would be something to consider. Others might choose a laundry service for its fast turnaround times, eco-friendly values or fair pricing.
How to Save on Laundry Delivery Fees
Now that you know a bit about laundry delivery services and what you should expect to pay, here are some money-saving tricks to tuck in your (laundered) back pocket.
- Go halfsies with a roommate: As you’ve likely noticed, many laundry delivery services have minimum orders and service fees. Meet your minimums and save on fees by pairing up with a roommate or friend to split the costs.
- Consider a subscription: For some services, the savings of a subscription can make it worth your while, especially if you need regular laundry services.
- Take advantage of drop-off options: Drop-off options (like lockers) often mean fewer fees. Ask your preferred laundry service if it offers anything like this.
- Choose the standard delivery time: You’ll always pay more for a faster delivery. If you can wait the extra day or two, stick to the standard delivery time and save a few bucks.
- Shop local: This list isn’t exhaustive, and there’s likely a whole world of local laundry delivery services out there that are priced competitively with these big names. Check them out and shop around before settling on one.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is It Worth Paying for Laundry?
That depends on you! If you don’t have access to a washer and dryer, are traveling, or if your time is more valuable than the $1-$3 per pound (plus service fees), then paying someone to do your laundry might just be a worthy investment.
Why Do People Use Laundry Services?
People use laundry services for a bunch of reasons, but the main ones are convenience and to save time. For busy parents, travelers and people working a lot, the cost is worth it to get a few hours of free time back each week.
Is Doing Laundry at Home Cheaper?
If you have free access to a washer and dryer, then doing laundry at home will be cheaper than paying someone to do it for you.
How Much Should I Pay Someone to Do a Load of Laundry?
This depends on where you live and the quality of service you want to receive. For example, if you live in an expensive metropolitan area and want pickup and delivery included, this will cost more than if you live in a less-expensive place and transport the laundry yourself.
The Final Word
Like any service, getting your clothes professionally laundered can vary a lot depending on where you live and what you’re willing to pay. The best way to find a laundry service that works for your needs and budget? Ask around. If your friends and neighbors have a service they’re happy with, chances are you might like it, too.
Contributor Larissa Runkle frequently writes on finance, real estate, and lifestyle topics for Codetic.