How To Choose A Drying Rack

Wondering if you need a drying rack? Did you know that drying your dishes, clothes, and other items by using dryers and drying cycles on dishwashers can ultimately be bad for your belongings? Dryers are incredibly hard on clothes, for example, leading them to fray and rip earlier than they would have otherwise.

You can extend the life of your belongings and also adopt a more energy-efficient, eco-friendly, sustainable way of life by investing in drying racks! However, it's crucial to pick the right one for the specific project you plan on taking on. Let's go through the different types of drying racks and discuss which needs each is best suited to handle.

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What type of drying rack do you need?

Drying racks come in many differing types! If you have a lot of space, clothesline poles and retractable clotheslines can present optimal airflow for your drying needs. For more compact solutions, turn to wall mounted and umbrella clotheslines.

Freestanding Drying Racks

These types of drying racks do not depend upon a surface to lean against. Frequently, they look like small tables with multiple different levels. They can often be collapsed and stored in closets or under furniture. These are good for clothing, dishes, linens, or anything else which may need to be dried. They work well indoors and outdoors as well!

Are you thinking about taking your drying rack on the road? For camping, travel, and other impermanent situations, drying racks can present a great way to ensure that you have clean, dry clothes at all times. Choosing a freestanding drying rack made of lightweight wood is a good idea; just make sure it easily folds down so you can take it with you anywhere you go!

Wooden Freestanding Folding Drying Rack
Square Freestanding Folding Drying Rack
Simple Freestanding Folding Drying Rack
Long Straight Freestanding Drying Rack
Metal Folding Drying Rack
Metal High Folding Drying Rack

Wall Mounted Drying Racks

These are extendable, retractable racks built into your wall which can be pulled out, used, and put away. They are good for both indoor and outdoor use, depending upon the specific material you are using. The pros is you don't have to take the rack out and then hide it over and over again. The cons - it's right there, sticking out on the wall all the time.

If you're planning to mount the rack in the laundry room, the style and material will not matter much, but if it is going to be in sight all the time, choose a sleek model that blends with the color of the wall or the rest of furniture. There are beautiful traditional wooden racks that come with shelves and hooks, as well as more contemporary models that combine galvanized metal and light-colored wood.

Folding Wall Mounted Drying Rack
White Door Wall Mounted Drying Rack
Leaning Wall-Mounted Drying Rack
White Metal Wall-Mounted Drying Rack
Small Wall Mounted Drying Rack
Over the Door Wall Drying Rack

Clothesline Poles

These are poles, generally meant to be set up outside, which have treated ropes connecting the tops of the poles. Clothing can be attached to them with clothespins. A good choice if you'r planing on drying large items such as bed linen.

Retractable Clotheslines

These clotheslines come in a retractable spool which you can mount onto a corner of your home - indoors or outdoors, though they are more popularly found outside. They can expand and attach to any other point, which offers significant flexibility in terms of how much of a line you wish to have.

Umbrella Clotheslines

These clotheslines are poles stuck into the ground which feature umbrella (or spiderweb) shaped extendable racks. These have the benefit of not taking up too much room, and not requiring a length of space for a more linear clothesline.

Wood Pole Clothesline with Shelf
Laundry Metal Pole Clothesline
Round Metal Retractable Clothesline
Double Strings Retractable Clothesline
Simple Green Umbrella Clothesline
Big Classic Metal Umbrella Clothesline

What are the best types of indoor and outdoor drying racks?

If you're planning on investing in a permanent drying rack, you'll want one that's built to last in the environment in which you plan on using it.

For outdoor drying racks, you'll want to look for treated rope, wood, or coated metal racks. Plastic racks run the risk of being too light and being blown away, which makes the other materials preferable - as long as they're rated for outdoor use.

With indoor racks, any material is fine - but because you likely won't want a permanent rack taking up lots of room in your home, if you plan on keeping your drying rack inside, it's likely a good idea to go with a retractable clothesline or folding drying rack.

A-frame Indoor Freestanding Drying Rack
Simple Classic Indoor Folding Drying Rack
High Indoor Metal Drying Rack
Outdoor Metal Folding Drying Rack
Outdoor Single Drying Rack
Outdoor Umbrella Rotary Drying Rack

Quick tips:

  • When you're thinking about purchasing a drying rack, consider what you'll need to dry. Clothes? Dishes? Other items?

  • Then, look at the space you have. If you have lots of room, linear clotheslines may be more efficient for drying purposes. If not, you may wish to look at more compact solutions like umbrella lines and stand-alone models.

  • Finally, consider good materials for your drying rack. If it's going to be outside much of the time, ensure that it is well-rated for such use!