The 10 Best Drying Racks

Updated November 14, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you don't have a dryer in your home, prefer the smell of laundry dried in the fresh air, or simply want to save on energy costs, try one of these drying racks. They can protect your delicate clothes from the rough and tumble of a machine and are available in space-saving designs that can still hang entire loads of laundry. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best drying rack on Amazon.

10. Badoogi BDP-V12

Equipped with six fully adjustable stainless steel shelves, 72 clips to hang socks, and two side wings, the Badoogi BDP-V12 provides ample space for all your clothing. It's light enough to move easily, but its wheels tend to fall off.
  • double base bars for shoes
  • assembly requires no tools
  • plastic components are cheap
Brand Badoogi
Model BDP-V12
Weight 10.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Polder 36101C

The space-saving Polder 36101C features a smart accordion design that mounts on any wall. It has a 24-inch-wide frame that expands to 18 inches long for either hanging or laying items, and it easily retracts out of the way when not in use.
  • seven steel rods
  • two sets of mounting brackets
  • too weak to hold heavy garments
Brand Polder
Model 36101C
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Home Essentials Sweater Mesh

Dry your sensitive garments efficiently with the Home Essentials Sweater Mesh. It features six extra-large, stackable surfaces that protect the shape and size of your clothes, and it's a good choice for large families who need a little more space.
  • rust-resistant abs plastic frame
  • open-mesh netting
  • takes time to set up from scratch
Brand Household Essentials
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Leifheit Varioline L Deluxe

The Leifheit Varioline L Deluxe is equipped with rods that individually adjust to give you more usable space after every load of laundry. The wing design also gives additional height for longer garments, so they won't touch the floor.
  • includes 2 holders for smaller items
  • fits through standard doorways
  • arms won't open into a flat position
Brand Leifheit
Model 81592
Weight 7.5 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Gideon Indoor Retractable 4-Line

The Gideon Indoor Retractable 4-Line stretches a set of four clotheslines across whatever space in which you decide to install the unit. Its anchor clips firmly to any properly prepared surface, and it provides a taught 40 feet of drying area.
  • tangle-free spooling
  • comes fully assembled
  • hooks struggle under heavy weight
Brand Gideon
Model GD-WSH-LN-01
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Household Essentials Bamboo X-Frame

The elegant and sustainable Household Essentials Bamboo X-Frame is able to dry a full load of laundry on its 11 well-spaced rods. It stays open and secure thanks to a simple top notch, while angled supports keep it from tipping over.
  • upper rack is ideal for sweaters
  • 25 feet of total area
  • no assembly required
Brand Household Essentials
Model 6524
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Minky 3-Tier Trio Concertina

The Minky 3-Tier Trio Concertina doesn't rely on a gravity-based top notch for closure the way similarly shaped models do, which means you can pick it up and move it without worrying about it collapsing in your hands and sending wet clothes all over the floor.
  • tubular steel construction
  • four extra corner hangers
  • auto-locking feature
Brand Minky
Model IH86400102V
Weight 9.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Household Essentials P1900

Allow clothes to dry naturally with the umbrella-shaped Household Essentials P1900, which features a 2-piece aluminum center post with a snap lock and tripod support. This option opens and closes in a single action for use indoors or outside.
  • great for camping
  • very sturdy construction
  • base extends to 52 inches
Brand Household Essentials
Model P1900
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

2. Honey-Can-Do DRY-01610

The energy-efficient Honey-Can-Do DRY-01610 is designed for multipurpose drying with 46 linear feet of total space. Equipped with four sections and six-position wings, your clothes, shoes and heavy sweaters will be ready to wear in no time.
  • 2 pairs of footwear holders
  • folds down flat for storage
  • measures 64 inches wide
Brand Honey-Can-Do
Model DRY-01610
Weight 9.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

1. Brabantia 311048

Hang your clothes and let the wind do the rest, with the rotary Brabantia 311048, which effortlessly adjusts to your ideal working height. Constructed of robust, coated steel arms, this weather-resistant unit is built to last.
  • smooth turning bars
  • 5-year warranty
  • includes a protective cover
Brand Brabantia
Model 311048
Weight 14.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

A Timeless Classic: The Drying Rack

A drying rack saves money. It doesn't run on electricity or natural gas, and is, in fact, the only way to properly dry sensitive garments made of wool or silk. Therefore, you can think of a drying rack not necessarily as an alternative to a traditional dryer, but as a part of your larger laundry regimen. Or, you can choose to eschew dryers altogether in favor of a time-tested method people have used to dry their clothing and linens for tens of thousands of years: air, time, and, in the case of outdoor racks, sunshine.

And, as many of the racks on our list are reasonably priced, they are an investment you can easily afford. Even top-of-the-line outdoor drying racks still tend to cost less than $100, and the amount of money they can save you in appliance operating costs makes the investment well worth it.

When choosing a drying rack, first and foremost you must know where the unit will be placed. If you need a drying rack that is intended for indoor use, the most convenient option is often one that simply perches on the ground. These units require minimal setup and can be moved or tucked away for storage whenever needed. They may take up some floor space when in use, but they can always be put away when not holding your damp clothes. Some freestanding drying racks also feature several larger shelves that are perfect for clothing that must be laid flat to dry.

If your home would be better served by a wall mounted drying rack, consider whether you prefer a unit that is always deployed and ready or one that can be folded flat against the wall when not being used. These accordion-style units can't support as much weight as permanent shelving, but they can be easily tucked out of the way.

For the laundry drying rack that will be placed outside, you need a unit that can stand firm, even in the breeze. While some freestanding units can be used perched on patios or decks, the ideal outdoor drying rack is one that can be mounted firmly in the ground. Such drying racks are usually large enough to accommodate whole loads of laundry at the same time and allow for great airflow and exposure to sunshine that helps clothing to dry quickly.

Why Drying Racks Are A Smart Idea

If you should choose to ditch the dryer altogether and put all your drying in the hands of a drying rack, you won't be displeased with the results, so long as you pick the right drying rack to serve your needs. And your bank account won't be displeased with the savings you reap by not running cycle after cycle of wash through that power-hungry appliance.

According to the Consumer Energy Center, a division of the California Energy Commission, drying a standard load of laundry costs between 32 and 41 cents in an electric dryer, or between 15 and 33 cents in a gas dryer (which are usually more expensive, initially). If your household does just three loads of laundry a week, those operating costs will reach about fifty dollars per year. Most families do much more laundry than that, with the cost of operating a dryer alone (without the purchase price included, that is to say) totaling more than the price tag of even the most expensive drying rack.

Drying racks are also one of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. By using a drying rack instead of a dryer, your property will consume markedly less electricity each year, meaning less environmental impact.

And while clothes dried on a rack instead of in a machine may take longer to be fully dried each time, they will last much longer thanks to the gentle process of natural drying compared to the heat and tumbling of an automatic dryer.

How To Help Your Laundry Out

The best thing you can do to ensure that your laundry is properly cleaned and dried is to simply read and follow the included instructions. If a given shirt states it is to be laundered cold and then laid flat to dry, by all means do just that. If a shirt or other garment states that it can be tumbled dry on a low setting, then consider laying it flat anyway to extend its life. And, of course, use the proper wash cycle settings and temperatures, as well. Avoiding fabric softeners can also preserve the quality of your clothing, as these substances can lead to a yellowing of white fabrics over time and reduce the absorbance of all cloth.

Many people balance their use of drying racks and traditional clothes dryers. If you are going to dry clothing in a regular dryer, consider ditching those dryer sheets. While most dryer sheets are relatively safe, being free from a panoply of toxins that many health and wellness bloggers decry, some brands do contain chemicals best avoided, such as traces of formaldehyde. And the cost of dryer sheets adds up quickly in the home where laundry is plentiful. Instead, opt for wool dryer balls that can help reduce wrinkles and static naturally. They are eco-friendly and pay for themselves rapidly in terms of money saved on dryer sheets.

If you use an outdoor drying rack, make sure you are heedful of the damage sunshine can do to colored fabrics. Sunlight -- specifically ultraviolet sunlight -- can fade and bleach dyed clothing, causing permanent damage to your garments. A bit of warm sunshine helps dry clothes quickly, and is fine thing; too much sunlight will cause a photodegradation reaction that will ruin them. Place your drying rack where it will experience only partial sun, such that it can be turned to rotate items out of direct sunlight, or simply make sure not to hang anything in the sunshine for too long.

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Last updated on November 14, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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