Most of us these days have at least one wheelie bin, and maybe more. And though having large bins that are easy to move around is generally a good thing, there's one big downside: wheelie bins are ugly.
Fortunately, there are ways to hide your bins. You'll have plenty of choices though, which can get overwhelming. Which is why we're here to help. We've got everything you need to know about buying wheelie bin screens and vinyls, as well as a closer look at some of the best wheelie bin screens available right now.
Table of Contents
Why You Need a Bin Screen
The basic problem is that wheelie bins are unattractive. Many people choose to buy one of our wooden wheelie bin stores to solve this problem.
However, bin stores can be pricey, and they're not suitable for all gardens or properties. Luckily, there are two further options out there, both of which are more affordable and pretty easy to set up. A bin cover or screen can be a great way to keep those unsightly bins out of the way and to keep your property looking good.
What Are My Options?
As we said above, there are really two solid options here. Which one you go with will really depend on your needs, but here are the broad categories:
Probably the most common option is to use a bin screen. A screen will usually be wooden (or perhaps raffia-style), will be anchored into the ground in some way (meaning they can't be installed on concrete, unfortunately), and will hide your bins from sight. This is the more expensive of the two options and requires a bit more work on your part, but a good screen can really disguise those bins.
Pros: Does a great job of hiding bins, pretty affordable, attractive
Cons: Requires some work to install, not suitable for all properties (can't be installed on concrete generally)
Best For: Those with a higher budget, those willing to do a little work to really hide their bins away
Bin Covers / Vinyls
A bin cover is a kind of vinyl sticker that you put over your bin. There are a couple of different kinds, those that cover your bin completely, or those that allow you to add several stickers to make your own design. They're cheap, easy to apply, and usually weatherproof. They don't do the best job of hiding your bin, however, though they may make it blend into the background better, or at least make it look more attractive.
Pros: Very cheap and easy to use
Cons: Don't completely hide your bins from sight
Best For: Those on a budget, or those looking to just make a small change to make their bins a little more attractive.
What Do I Need to Think About Before Buying?
As with anything you buy, there are a few things that you'll need to think about before making your investment:
What Is Your Budget?
This should certainly be your first question. How much are you willing to spend? Be reasonable, be realistic, and don't spend more than you can afford. Since covers are usually cheaper than screens, your budget may determine which solution is right for you.
What Kind of Commitment Do You Want?
Bin covers or stickers can be changed fairly easily and quickly. Bin screens can't. So are you looking for a solution that you can change? If you're planning on staying in your property for only a short time, it might not be worth investing in a bin screen (since it won't be able to move with you). On the other hand, a sticker is likely to peel after a while, so if you're looking for a longer-term solution this might not be for you.
What About Location?
Location is a key point whether you're looking for screens or stickers. If you're in the market for a screen then you'll need to choose an area that's suitable, not only for the size of screen you want but also for installation.
It's not impossible to erect a screen on concrete but it's can be difficult without a wall to hold it against, so that might be something to think about.
If you're opting for a sticker and you want your bin to blend into the background then the location will determine what kind of sticker you should buy (if your bin is against a hedge then leafy green designs are better than bright flowers).
What About Maintenance?
Are you willing to do any maintenance or upkeep? Neither screens nor covers require much maintenance, but you may find that some manufacturers recommend wooden screens to be stained or treated against rot.
How Much Time Do I Have?
This is a simple one. Erecting a screen is going to take longer than putting a sticker on your bin. It's also going to require more know-how and tools. How much time are you willing to devote to this project?
What Size Do I Need?
Finally, there's the question of size. If you're buying covers then do ensure that you're getting ones that are designed for your size of bin (yes, wheelie bins come in different sizes!). If you're buying a screen then again, ensure it will hide a bin or bins of your size. Plus, you might want to hide more than one bin (screening your recycling bin, for example), so take that into account too!
What Features Should I Be Looking For?
Both screens and covers are pretty basic, so you shouldn't be too overwhelmed with features. However, there are a few things you can look for when comparing different models:
- Ease of Set-Up/Application: You probably don't want to devote an entire weekend to hiding your bins, so do look out for screens and covers that are easy to set up or to apply. The fewer pieces, the better!
- Weather Resistance: We all know that the weather in the UK isn't as great as it could be. That means that it's important that your screen or cover is weather resistant. Don't assume that something is just because it's in the garden section! Look for products that specifically state they are weather resistant.
- Opening/Hinges: For those shopping for screens you will find options that have openings or ‘gates' that allow you to take bins out. In the case of screens that have ‘gates' ensure that there are sturdy hinges since you're likely to be opening and closing them a lot!
- Security: It may sound strange to speak of security, but with theft and fly-tipping being rampant it's not a great idea to have rubbish bins that are terribly identifiable. Bin screens don't provide much security, so do ensure that you place them in back yard areas that can't be reached from the street. Bin stickers do nothing for security and may mean that people find it easy to identify which bin belongs to your home (meaning, for example, they know you've just bought a new TV since you threw away the box…). If security is a top concern then a more expensive bin store is probably the way to go.
Maintaining Your Bin Cover/Screen
The good news is that you're unlikely to need to do much maintenance here at all. Both covers and screens may need a hose down once in a while to keep them clean and looking good. Some screens, particularly those that use wood, may need staining or treating annually. You'll need to read and abide by the manufacturer's instructions on this, though for the most part screens do tend to be maintenance-free.
How We Selected Our Top Screens and Covers
Right, before we get to the nitty-gritty of actual models, let's first explain how we went about choosing our recommendations. We looked at both screens and covers, keeping an eye on features as well as budget and sizes so that there should be something for everyone here. We looked for durability and reliability, always important when shopping. And we of course looked at customer reviews to make sure that others had good experiences and it wasn't just our opinion!
On top of this, since we produce our own bin stores, so we know the market well and see these kinds of products every day.
Now you know how we made our choices, let's get down to it. Which bin covers or screens should you be looking at? Here are our top options!
The Best Wheelie Bin Screens and Vinyl Covers
You should now have a better idea of what exactly you should be shopping for. However, you still might find that there are lots of models to choose from. So we've got some top recommendations to get you started!
Gr8 Garden Patio Willow Screen (Screen)
Our first choice is a very classic one, a woven willow screen that would be a wonderful addition to any garden. This traditional screen comes in various sizes, and can be used to cover one, two or three wheelie bins, so there should be a model for everyone.
Set up is as simple as deciding where to place it and how to anchor it. You can easily anchor the screen into soft ground, or attach it to other fencing for more stability. The side panels are hinged for easy access, and since this is willow it's really maintenance-free.
On the negative side, it may be a little pricey for some people. And it also might not be as stable as you'd like, since willow is quite light-weight. However, if you really want to hide those bins away, this is a beautiful way to do it.
A little pricey
Might not be sturdy enough for some
Gaps in willow may not completely cover bins
Woven Willow Wheelie Bin Screen (Screen)
Another quite classic choice, but by no means a bad one, is to use wicker screen to hide your bins. You'll find that this screen is very low maintenance and it does a fantastic job of hiding away that unsightly bin.
Set up is very easy, with wall hooks included to allow you to secure the screen anywhere you like. The metal frame makes for sturdy construction and one that won't rot if the ground is damp. The side panels are securely hinged, giving you easy access.
As for negatives, while durable, these screens do not last forever. But if you're looking for a simple, cost-effective solution to hide your bin, this screen is a good option.
Easy to set up
No maintenance required
Not as stable as a bin store
Raffia might not be to everyone's taste
Ivy Leaves Wheelie Bin Sticker (Cover)
Given how popular ivy is in UK gardens, this is probably the most convenient wheelie bin cover if you're looking to blend your bin into your property, rather than just make it look attractive. The panel features high definition printing of ivy leaves, giving a truly realistic look.
There are four size variants, so there should be something for everyone here. The panels are pre-cut so you won't need scissors, are weatherproof and easy to apply as well. The stickers are specifically stated to be for outdoor use, so there should be no problems there!
Easy to blend bin in with the foliage
Weatherproof and waterproof
Easy to apply
Doesn't really hide the bin
Might not be the best option if you don't have ivy!
Oypla Arched Trellis Garden Screen (Screen)
This is definitely one of the most flexible options on this list, and it's also a very affordable one. This trellis screen doesn't need to be anchored (though it can be). It can be moved easily, or if you prefer, you can simply leave it in place and use it as support for plants whilst it still covers your bins.
The fact that the trellis is extendable means that you can cover as many or as few bins as you like (the construction extends to up to 1.8 metres). There are no doors or side panels, so pulling bins in and out is easy and convenient. Though there are obviously large gaps in the trellis, growing plants up it would reduce bin visibility.
On the downside, this is all wood, so you will be doing a little maintenance (most notably ensuring there's no rot). And if you're not growing plants then the trellis doesn't really cover much at all, nor is it very stable without the added protection of plants. It is a very attractive and cheap option once you've decided to plant around it though!
If planted will look very natural
May not be sturdy enough for some
Doesn't hide bins well unless you plant
Does involve some maintenance
Instant Hedging Artificial Screening (Screen)
Finally, a more unique solution than some of our other options. This is a flexible screen option that includes artificial leaves to make this look just like a piece of hedging or the foliage in your garden. If you want to not only hide your bins away but also to thoroughly disguise them, then this is the option you've been looking for.
The trellis included is extendable, stretching to a maximum of three metres, so you'll have plenty of space. There are no side panels, so getting bins in and out is easy. You can easily secure the screen either to the ground (you'll need to buy anchor supports though), or to a wall or existing fence. And since this is all fake, there's zero maintenance required.
As for the negatives, well, this design obviously won't fit every garden. And without additional anchoring, this isn't the most robust model around, nor is it the cheapest option. But if you're going for a full-on disguising of your bins, this screen could be just what the doctor ordered.
Won't fit every garden
Could be sturdier
May be a little pricey for some
Let's face it, with often grim weather, the UK could definitely use a few more bright flowers. So why not make your wheelie bin a symbol of sunshine? This wheelie bin cover will put a smile on your face every time you see it.
This is a front panel sticker that's waterproof, weatherproof, and easy to apply (no scissors necessary since again, it's pre-cut). At just around £10 it's affordable too, and you won't spend more than a few minutes getting your bins looking great.
However, this is a front panel only cover, so it won't cover your whole bin. And bright yellow flowers might not be to everyone's taste (though it's definitely cheerful). Plus, there's always the chance of colours fading in the sun.
Cheerful and bright
Easy to use
Flowers might not be to everyone's taste
Covers front panel only
Colours made fade in the sun
Final Alternative: Wheelie Bin Storage
The final option is to choose one of our wooden wheelie bin stores. While not the best solution for those on a tight budget, our stores are stylish and built to last. Our picks for the best wheelie bin screens above will do a good job at disguising the bins but our stores hide them completely. All in a great looking unit made right here in the UK that adds kerb appeal to your property.