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Best Overall: CRESNEL Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Clothes Drying Rack
For a clothes drying rack that is generously-sized, collapses for storage, and won’t tip over easily, the Cresnel Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Clothes Drying Rack is the best choice overall.
The Cresnel Heavy Duty rack can hold a considerable amount of laundry in comparison to the design of many other clothes racks. When fully extended, the rack measures 58" long, by 24" wide and has 17 racks on top and 7 racks on the second level. Four additional racks have shoe supports to dry tennis shoes, slippers, etc. Many users comment on how large the rack is and that it’s capable of drying an entire load of laundry. This is a real timesaver if you use a drying rack to dry all of your laundry, since smaller racks may make it impossible to dry a larger load at once. Despite its large capacity, the Cresnel rack is lightweight and easy to lift and set-up.
The rack itself is made of stainless steel, and while it is supposed to be rust-proof, a few users in hot, humid climates that have used the rack outside have noticed rust spots. For dry climates or indoor use, rust isn’t likely to be an issue. When not in use, the rack folds to a slim size that can be stored in a closet or out of sight. The Cresnel Heavy Duty Clothes Drying Rack is a solid choice with large capacity, earning it our spot as the best overall drying rack.
Best Wood Rack: Pennsylvania Woodworks Clothes Drying Rack
If you are looking for a traditional solid wood drying rack, then the Pennsylvania Woodworks clothes drying rack is the best option.
This clothes drying rack is made up of 100% Maple hardwood, and users love its beautiful natural look. It has even been described as ‘furniture-grade,’ thanks to the solid wood and high-quality construction. Note that the wood is natural and untreated, to avoid the potential for staining wet laundry. As a result, the unprotected wood is not well-suited for extended outdoor use where it will be exposed to the elements. It also is recommended to let the rack dry for several hours between laundry loads.
For a wood clothes drying rack, the Pennslyvania Woodworks rack excels. People consistently praise the rack for its sturdy nature in comparison to other cheaper wood racks that wobble and fall. Available in multiple sizes, the large version has 37' of drying space — which is plenty for shirts, pants, towels, etc. The quality materials and construction don’t come cheap, so this clothes drying rack costs considerably more than many other models. However, the sturdiness and longevity of the unit make it a worthwhile investment for a laundry drying rack.
Best Compact Foldable: AmazonBasics Foldable Drying Rack
For a folding clothes drying rack that is compact yet can hold plenty of wet laundry, the Amazon Basics Foldable Drying Rack is our top pick.
This stainless steel drying rack is coated with a waterproof epoxy so that clothes won’t be snagged and the rack can withstand the elements. The rack has 11 rods for drying clothes, including a flat top with 4 rods. Overall, the Amazon Basics Foldable Drying Rack can hold 32 pounds of weight, which is about average for a foldable clothes rack of this size.
Users find this clothes drying rack to be sturdy, and many comment on the convenience of its slim size when collapsed. A rack like this is perfect for storing in a linen closet or next to a washer and dryer. The only common complaint is that if you’re moving the rack while it’s fully loaded with laundry, be sure to hold the hooks at the top that secure the rack in the expanded position. Otherwise, the rack may collapse as it’s being moved. Overall, for a foldable and sturdy clothes drying rack, this version from Amazon Basics is a favorite.
Best Wall Mounted: Polder Products Wall Mount Accordion
The Polder Products Wall Mount Accordion Drying Rack is a top choice for a wall-mounted clothes drying rack, thanks to its simple functionality and substantial weight capacity.
This wall-mounted accordion drying rack features six rods for drying laundry. It has a weight capacity of 22 pounds, which is more than some other similar wall-mounted drying racks. The unit is two feet wide, and the rack extends 18" from the wall. This makes it a great option for drying laundry in a bathroom or laundry room where floor space is limited.
Many users comment on the excellent capacity of this drying rack and have used it for shirts, jeans, tops, and other items. It is known to be sturdy and to hold up over extended periods of use. If you’re tight on space, but need an expandable wall-mounted clothes drying rack, this model from Polder Products is the way to go.
Best Clothes Line: Honey Can Do Retractable Clothes Line
The Honey Can Do Clothes Line is a top choice for a retractable version, largely due to its solid construction and simple functionality.
There are many versions of a retractable clothesline available to buy, but many feature plastic components that break under tension or due to the elements. This retractable clothesline from Honey Can Do is made from stainless steel and iron so it’s not likely to crack or break easily.
The clothesline is eight feet long and has a locking mechanism to tighten in place. Hanging the unit on the wall was a little tricky for some users, but once it is installed, users appreciate how easy it is to use and that it can hold even several pairs of wet jeans simultaneously. For a quality, metal retractable clothesline, pick this one from Honey Can Do.
Best Budget: X-Frame Metal Folding Drying Rack
For a simple clothes rack that is easy on the wallet but still sturdy enough to hold your laundry, the Honey Can Do X-Frame Metal Folding Drying Rack is our top choice.
This metal clothes drying rack has 10 wire rods across the top to dry wet laundry. There are no tiers to this rack, so you won’t be able to stagger items like you would be able to with an accordion-style foldable drying rack. And some users were a little disappointed in the amount of laundry they were able to hang on the rack. However, the X-Frame Drying Rack features 30 linear feet of drying space, and it still folds for storage.
The folding mechanism is similar to an ironing board, so it’s not as slim as other folding drying racks — but it doesn’t have to stay in the upright position either. Users don’t commonly complain about rust with this drying rack, and it seems to be sturdy and durable. For a budget drying rack, the Honey Can Do X-Frame Metal Folding Drying Rack is affordable and sufficient for basic clothes-drying needs.
Best with Wheels: Minky Multi Dryer Indoor Drying Rack
If you’re looking for a clothes drying rack on wheels, the Minky Multi Dryer Indoor Drying Rack is a top pick.
This wheeled clothes drying rack is perfect if you want to load your wet laundry in front of the washer, then move the rack somewhere else with better ventilation for drying. Instead of trying to lift and carry the rack without dropping anything, simply wheel it to a new location.
The rack is made of tubular steel, with a white finish. It offers 78 square feet of drying space, which is the most of any clothes drying rack to make our list. Users love how easy it is to set up and put away this lightweight rack, and it folds when not in use. One unique feature of this clothes drying rack with wheels is the addition of a mesh drying rack for flat drying delicate garments that may lose their shape. The convenience of the Minky Multi Dryer Indoor Drying Rack makes this large capacity wheeled clothes drying rack a great choice.
What to Look for in a Clothes Drying Rack
Indoor vs. outdoor
Are you looking for a drying rack to put on your patio or one to use inside your home? Indoor drying racks may be made of materials that won’t stand up to the elements, like untreated wood or polished metal. Outdoor drying racks, on the other hand, are often made of more durable materials like stainless steel. There are also retractable clotheslines that save space when not in use.
Drying racks range from small, wall-mounted options to larger, free-standing versions with multiple tiers. The amount of space you have available—plus the size of your average laundry load—will determine whether a more compact unit is right for you or if you’d be better off with a larger, tiered model.
An average load of laundry can weigh anywhere from 8-15 pounds when dry—and even more when wet from the washing machine—so pay attention to the weight capacity of any drying rack you’re considering. No matter whether you’re choosing a small, medium, or large clothes drying rack, a higher weight capacity will likely mean a more stable rack that is less likely to buckle or fall over.