Choosing the best garden waste bag might not be at the top of your list of gardening priorities but when you're replacing an old, worn-out bag there are various points to consider.
Material, capacity, shape and additional features such as handles and internal supports can all contribute to how easy the garden waste bag is to fill and empty, as well as how long it lasts.
The most common materials used include polypropylene fabric and canvas, although more environmentally-friendly options such as waterproofed paper and jute are becoming more common. Polypropylene fabric is often used for heavy-duty garden waste bags because it's tear-resistant, lightweight and relatively cheap.
The size of bag you choose will largely depend on what gardening tasks you intend to carry out and the corresponding waste these will create. If its main purpose is to hold waste from everyday tasks such as weeding or clearing leaves, a smaller capacity such as 75 litres should suffice. A capacity of 125 litres and above should be considered for bigger jobs.
Below, we explain the most popular types of garden waste bags and share a suggested list of some of the best garden waste bags to choose from.
Types of garden waste bags
Garden waste bags can vary in shape, size and material. The three most common shapes are cylinder, square and a traditional sack shape. However, dustpan-style bags that are flat on one side to aid with sweeping up leaves are also an option.
For those that are trying to be more eco-conscious, there are a number of bags now on sale that are biodegradable or compostable and can make a good alternative to plastic garden waste bags.
Pop-up garden waste bags
One of the main benefits to pop-up garden waste bags is that they can be folded down and stored flat. This makes them a great option for anyone with limited space in their shed or garage.
Most will also have internal support in the form of a loop or spring mechanism that should ensure the bags keep their shape and are easy to fill.
Dustpan garden waste bags
Dustpan-style garden waste bags come in a semi-circle shape that allows them to lie flat on the ground lengthways. This style is particularly useful for gathering swept leaves and other debris on the ground.
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Handles are usually found along the rounded side of the garden waste bags to make them easy to pick up and empty once you're done clearing the leaves.
Compostable garden waste bags
Though most garden waste bags are made from polypropylene fabric, compostable and biodegradable options have become more common.
Made from waterproofed paper or jute, these garden waste bags are best suited to lighter or everyday gardening work. The size can vary but they typically have a small to medium capacity.
Eight of the best garden waste bags
From paper to pop-up, browse our selection of the best garden waste bags, below.
All-Green 75 Litre Paper Compostable Garden Waste Sacks
Made from two-ply waterproofed paper, these garden sacks are 100 per cent compostable and biodegradable. With 10 in a pack, each provides a capacity of 75 litres and a composting guide is supplied with the bags.
Buy All-Green Paper Garden Waste Sacks at Amazon
Bottlewise Pop-Up Garden Waste Bag
With a 85-litre capacity, this pop-up garden waste bag is more than big enough to hold the waste from any typical day or even weekend in the garden. Made from Oxford cloth that's abrasion-resistant it features a built-in steel ring support. Handles are attached to both the top and bottom of the bag to aid with emptying.
Buy Bottlewise Pop-Up Garden Waste Bag at Amazon
IvyH Canvas Fabric Heavy Duty Bags
These heavy-duty garden waste bags are made from durable canvas material with two rubber handles to make them more comfortable to carry. A PVC elastic band in the rim keeps them round and easy to fill. They come in a pack of two and each has a capacity of 125 litres.
Buy IvyH Canvas Fabric Heavy Duty Bags at Amazon
Fiskars Large Pop-Up Garden Bag
With a 175-litre capacity, this bag is large but is easily folded down and stored flat when not in use. An internal spring mechanism makes it simple to unfold and the two handles are tear-resistant.
Buy Fiskars Large Pop-Up Garden Bag at Amazon
Giant Heavy Duty Garden Bag
Made from UV-resistant and wipe clean polythene, this bag includes a stiff band that can be inserted into the top rim to keep it upright and open. Handles can be found on the top and side of the bag to aid emptying.
Buy Giant Heavy Duty Garden Bag at Crocus
Symple Stuff Garden Composter Bag
Made using UV-stabilised PE, this bag is designed to provide a home for garden waste that you wish to breakdown into compost. It's available in two different sizes and features include a zipped lid to maintain temperature and keep out rain, and a front-opening panel for easy access to compost.
Buy Symple Stuff Garden Composter Bag at Wayfair
Jute Leaf Bags – pack of three
If you’re just clearing away leaves, check out these jute leaf bags. They’re compostable, so fill them up and put them in a to produce excellent leafmould.
For more help with clearing away leaves, check out our guide to the best leaf blowers.
Buy Jute Leaf Bags from Crocus
This product guide was last updated in September 2022. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.