Headrest- Is it safe to hang items from your headrests?

Greetings and Salutations!

I just recently got a 2020 Subaru Forester, and unlike my poor Ford Escape, I have made a vow that this is the vehicle that I will keep neat! Unfortunately, a month in, and between the receipts and the tissues and the napkins, my vow is standing on shaky ground. Thus started the search for waste bins for vehicles. What I am seeing is that several of them hang from headrests. Another method that I am seeing are hooks that you connect to your headrests, and then you hang the waste bin off the hooks (or your purse, or your grocery bags…things with weight. SIGNIFICANT weight). All of these have my father’s voice in the back of my brain screaming, “Never hang anything from your headrests! It will damage the safety that they provide!” So, the question then becomes, after seeing all of the products, and trying search of the internet is if my dad is right…or if companies out there trying to make a fast buck have the right idea? If it is both, then which item is the best compromise-the hooks or the bags just hanging from the headrests? Which item is also safest for your seats themselves?

Then the other place I am seeing the waste bins are looped over the stick shift. This is all well and good, but then…how do you stop the cloth from rubbing back and forth, and not damaging the leather along the side? I don’t want to damage my car! That is part of the reason why I want the silly waste bin in the first place!

I know folks are going to say, “Just clean up after every trip.” However when you are driving errands all over the place, and have a drippy nose due to allergies or a cold, or end up doing a fast clean out of your purse, it is nice to just stick those tissues and other items in one place instead of the car floor!

Please help out! I want to keep my headrests and vehicle SAFE, while still looking nice!

Thank you!

Why do you want a waste bin in your car? To haul around waste? U get in/out of car daily? Take the waste with you.

But where do you put those 15 used tissues you used before you get to the next stop ?


I would definitely NOT use this type. I wouldn’t want extra weight pulling on the shifter. Why not get a small wicker or plastic trashcan and use a shopping bag as a liner and leave it on the passenger floor area?


The devices to which you refer are head restraints, NOT headrests.
A headrest is a comfort-related feature for your home, while head restraints are very important safety-related devices in your car.

That being said, about a year ago, I saw a few late-night TV ads for a simple hook device to hang one’s cap from the side of the seat, and I thought that this might be a good idea. However, the ads quickly disappeared, and there no longer seems to be any evidence of this product, so I am assuming that concerns over either head restraint integrity or side airbag deployment led to its demise.

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@cdsky3_172256 Just go the only shopping place left in the Universe ( Amazon ) - Put ( vehicle trash can ) in the search box.

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Something like this seems least likely to cause any damage:

I agree with the comment above not to put any weight on the shifter.

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I use a spent plastic shopping bag. Some cars have a hook on the side of the center console to hold it. Our 2019 Odyssey does.

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I would say it is no big deal as long as no one is sitting there, and it won’t swing around and hit you in an incident. When I was waxing and putting winter mats in the car the wife drives, I noticed she has a bag of face masks hanging from the head “restraint”. It’s on the back of the seat though. Don’t know why though, she hasn’t left the house hardly in 7 months.

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I would be ok with hanging a bag from the head rest or whatever it is called. Thanks for not littering.

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As someone who also has experienced loved one leaving “stuff” a all over God’s creation for 40 years I’d suggest a compromise

The center console seems to be the place, accessible to all, where all the “gifts” ended up and was an easy “suck and vac” clean up,

No trash bags, no litter, and most important no divorce attorney fees.

I have a 2019 forester. My previous was a 2002 forester. Ok your dad is correct. If you have to stop extremely fast any items hanging anywhere in the car become unsafe missiles that can strike you or another passenger/child at a high rate of speed and as you know it doesn’t take much for an object with just a little bit of weight at high speed to cause serious injury or death…,let alone a 20lb purse! You know those recyclable plastic bags you get from the grocery store make excellent trash bags for cars AND you can hook a handle over the shift knob and never have to worry about any damage to the leather of the seat/center console because it will never do any damage to the leather. Plus you can reuse it several times before it becomes damaged enough to replace it. I use those and let the bag sit in the passenger foot well so its pretty much out of the way of anyone and it’s within reach of the driver(me) and anyone who needs. I also took 2 clothes hanger clips and clipped 1 on the back of the passenger seat to the outside of the cargo pocket. This puts them both where needed AND keeps them out of the way of everyone plus low enough that in case of an emergency stop or god forbid the event of a collision they aren’t going to go flying with whatever weight they may have and injure anyone. Just make a schedule in your head every time its time for you to take all the garbage out to be picked up the next day take the few seconds and empty them out into your bin as most people have to roll the bin passed the car to take it out anyway.easy simple solution. Oh and make 1 more rule. Never eat food in the car. You don’t want the smell of old food in the car and you definitely do not want the car to become a rat/mouse/bug house either.I have first hand knowledge that if a rodent smells the food they WILL ATTEMPT to find a way to get to the food!! And you will never ever get the smell of a dead mouse who got stuck in a heating vent out of the car. It literally will forever smell like that so bad you won’t drive that car anymore. As an auto technician I have literally seen insurance companies total out a perfectly good but smelly car just due to the smell. And think like this…that smell carries diseases that can kill you if you are exposed to it long enough. Thats why dead animals and such are considered biohazards. If that critter was carrying any disease that could infect a human you’ll get it because if you are smelling it you are inhaling those diseases as they are evacuating the corpse. Thats how the black death plague that wiped out over half of the entire human population got started. Humans were not clean and were in too close a contact with the rats that got sick with it and died. It mutated from the strain that was killing rats into the strain that killed people. Diseases do that by becoming exposed to a new host and changes to be able to use that host as well.any way enough of my rambling. I hope my solutions to your question has given you an idea or 2 of your own. Good luck and stay safe.

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Do an online search for “car floor trash bin” and you will find quite a few options.

I have a smaller version of a bin like this:

The one I have has lasted almost 50 years use through four cars so far. This style with flaps and nobby textured bottom of the bin and flaps fits nicely over the floor hump in rear wheel drive vehicles and equally well on the flat floor of front wheel drive vehicles and stays nicely in place without sliding around.

If you have a vehicle with a center console, set the bin in the middle of the rear floor such you can reach back between the front bucket seats to deposit used tissues, etc. by feel without having to take your eyes off the road.

It is easy to put small trash items in, is leak proof, and easily washes out. And it’s easy to empty to keep the car clean and tidy.

(Wrath and woe to anyone who throws trash on my car’s seats or floor or stuffs trash in the door bins or console!!!)

Please don’t eat in your car. It’s disgusting.

I am not going to read a wall of text will out breaks and paragraphs .


Since you asked, I carry around a few 3-5 lb. dumbbells so I can get exercise while driving and when waiting at lights. The passengers head restraint is a convenient place to hang them and you can make your own hooks from wire coat hangers… If concerned about safety, just don’t plan on having an accident. Same argument goes for not buying insurance. Need one say more?

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Forgive that I was attempting to give an answer while doing another thing at home but you’ll miss several pertinent points and suggestions that will help you find the best solution for your issue.

I don’t have a problem cdsky does.

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Walmart cars with 400lbs of stuff upset me. People live that way? Avert my eyes.

Where still in use, plastic shopping bags grow like weeds, even the recyclable ones. Keep one or more in your car, fill while on the road, take with when you’re done for the day and toss.