The 7 Best Clothes Drying Racks of 2022

Our top pick is the Bamboo Clothes Drying Rack from Lavish Home.

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Clothes drying rack

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When you think of burning fossil fuels, your clothes dryer might not be the first machine that comes to mind. But according to the EPA, the dryer uses more energy than your fridge, dish washer or clothes washer. Many dryers burn methane (although you may know by its "nicer" name—natural gas), which is a greenhouse gas many times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Hanging your close out to dry can prevent an estimated 700 pounds of carbon from going into the atmosphere per year, and save you money on your utility bill at the same time.

Air drying the laundry has other advantages. Because this is a more gentle process than the one clothes experience when being thrown around by a dryer, it can help prolong the life of your garments, and can even improve the smell of workout clothes. Even if you don't air dry every load of wash, the benefits of using a drying rack can really add up.

To help, we’ve compiled this list of the best clothes drying racks for laundry rooms, living rooms, and even for underused spaces such as the bathroom.

Best Overall: Lavish Home Bamboo Clothes Drying Rack

5
Lavish Home drying rack

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 27.5 x 14.25 x 42 inches | Weight: 4.95 pounds | Folds for Storage? Yes

If you don’t have an awful lot of space to dedicate to laundry, invest in one of these versatile and compact and collapsible drying racks. Taking up minimal floor space, this clothes drying rack easily tucks into a corner, can be erected on your balcony, or squirreled away in your bathroom for a more discreet approach. It folds flat so it can be stored out of sight when not in use. 

Made from bamboo, this is one of the most eco-friendly options around, making it our top choice. Not only is this wood highly durable—so you can rely on this drying rack for years to come—but bamboo requires little water and is fast growing. Because of this, it can be harvested every three to five years, compared to 30 years for some species of softwoods, or 150 for hardwoods.

Price at time of publish: $60

Best Outdoor: Brabantia Lift-O-Matic Rotary Dryer

4.6
Brabantia Lift o matic

Bed Bath & Beyond

Dimensions: 78.3 x 4.3 x 4.3 inches | Weight: 11 pounds | Folds for Storage? Yes

If you have access to a yard, garden or flat rooftop, you’ve got it easy when it comes to drying your laundry in the most eco-friendly and sustainable manner possible. The outdoor rotary line dryer from Dutch brand Brabantia is just the ticket if you have an outdoor spot. It offers many feet of drying line—plus the spokes have holes for hangers, which is ideal for drying shirts.

It doesn't come with a stand or instructions, but our testers found it intuitive to use. Stand it up by inserting the spike into the ground (there's no stand otherwise), and it opens and closes like an umbrella. The height can be adjusted from about 6 feet to 4 feet, and comes with a storage bag.

The dryer is made from rust-proof aluminum, steel and high-quality, durable plastic. It’ll become a staple of sunny laundry days in your garden and a great reminder of how easy it is to make more eco-friendly choices in our day-to-day lives and laundry. Brabantia also supports tree-planting efforts.

Price at time of publish: $97

Best Portable: Whitmor Garment & Drying Rack

Whitmor Drying Rack

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 28 x 28 x 64.5 inches | Weight: 4.21 pounds | Folds for Storage? Yes

Another great option for small homes, this drying rack has a tripod design with three arms and is similar in style to a coat stand, meaning that, when erected, it takes up the minimum of space. However, that doesn’t mean it’s small: this tripod drying rack has space for 36 hangers, and comfortably fits an entire load’s worth of washing. Each arm has both holes and ridges along the top to keep hanger evenly spaced.

When your garments are dry, this rack folds down to just two feet in length, so it can be stored away easily in any closet. It weighs less than 5 pounds, so it's easy to carry. Made from sturdy stainless steel that has a rust-proof finish, this dryer should last for years to come.

Price at time of publish: $40

Best Metal: Minky Homecare Multi Dryer Indoor Drying Rack

4.8
Minky Multi Dryer Indoor Drying Rack

 Home Depot

Dimensions: 54.33 x 23.62 x 49.21 inches | Weight: 11.7 pounds | Folds for Storage? Yes

A steel drying rack offers a sturdy and durable place to hang your laundry, and this multi-paneled drying rack from British brand Minky doesn’t disappoint. The real attraction of this drying rack is quite how much space it has: 82 feet over 51 crossbars to be exact. It also has a mesh panel for drying items that need to lay flat, and it folds closed when it's time to put it away.

It does stretch out quite large, so you’ll want to be sure you’ve got the space for it in your home, but it’ll dry a whole load of laundry. It has wheels for an added level of versatility, so it’s easy to move around the house or even outdoors on a sunny day. Our testers found it a pleasure to use, but noted that one small drawback is that the ends of some of the metal bars are quite sharp, so it's good to use extra care to avoid snags.

Price at time of publish: $73

Best Over the Door: Brabantia Radiator Hanging Clothes Dryer

Brabantia Radiator Hanging Clothes Dryer, Gray

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 44 x 68 x 3.5 inches | Weight: 0.88 pounds | Folds for Storage? Yes

This nifty drying rack is designed to hang on doors, railing and even some radiators, making it the ideal choice for small apartments where floor space comes at a premium. Creative users have found it can be used to hang over plenty of other surfaces, including from the wall of a shower stall. Its elevated height means that you can hang longer items than you normally have space for on a free-standing floor dryer, such as maxi dresses and jumpsuits. 

As well as helping you seriously reduce your energy use when it comes to air drying your clothes, the company behind this product is also doing their bit to be environmentally conscious. This rack has a bronze CradleToCradle sustainability certification. Brabantia aims to use 100% renewable energy by 2050, and they use recycled materials in many of their products.

Price at time of publish: $44

Best Wood: Drying Racks Natural Maple Wood Rack

Drying Racks Natural Maple Wood Rack

Courtesy of Etsy

Dimensions: From 20 x 12.5 x 37.5 inches | Weight: 9 pounds | Folds for Storage? Yes

For those who don’t mind a minor do-it-yourself project, the this durable rack is an ideal method for drying clothes indoors without taking up too much space (but can be used outside as well). Or you can buy it pre-assembled. The kit is handmade by Amish craftsman in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and is constructed from natural maple wood with steel screws.

Once assembled, the rack can fold closed with ease (allowing it to tuck away when not in use) and can hold up to 200 pounds. One-hour assembly requires a small hammer, a drill, a drill bit, and a screwdriver. Several size options are available.

Price at time of publish: $90+

Best Wall-Mounted: Polder Products Wall Mount Accordion

4.8
Polder Products Wall Mount Accordion Drying Rack

 Bed Bath & Beyond

Dimensions: 18 x 21 x 18 inches | Weight: 1 pound | Folds for Storage? Yes

A wall-mounted, accordion-style rack can be a great way to dry clothes without using any floor space. This one could be mounted above a doorway or the washer itself. 

Installation does take some time to measure and get the brackets aligned correctly, and we recommend using a drill to help attach them to the wall. But once it’s set up, it holds up to 22 pounds of laundry, and comes with an extra set of brackets. Our tester found it great for hand-wash items and delicates.  

Price at time of publish: $41

“I have had this drying rack mounted in my apartment for over a year, and it’s held up well. Although you can’t fit an entire load of laundry on it, it still has a considerably large capacity and helps us use our dryer more efficiently,” ~ Margaret Badore, Treehugger Associate Managing Director 
Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Lavish Home bamboo clothes drying rack, for both its sustainability and versatility. For a clever over-the-door option, consider the Brabantia Radiator Hanging Clothes Dryer.

What to Consider When Shopping for a Clothes Drying Rack

Do you need a new one?

Before you shop for a new rack, consider what items you already own that could be repurposed. Maybe rig up a clothes line, or put some unused hangers to work. The shower curtain rod or a clean railing in a sunny spot might do just the trick.

Your Space

A drying rack doesn’t need a huge amount of area to operate. Whether you have a large garden that can add that delicate sunny-day aroma to your laundry, or you live in an apartment and need the most compact dryer available, there are options to suit your needs. Most racks store flat or can retract to save space when they’re not in use. Before you commit, we strongly recommend taking measurements of the room or space where you plan to use the rack. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can I layer clothes on a drying rack?

    No—not if you want your clothes to dry quickly and avoid a mildewy smell! For the best results when using a drying rack, dry clothes individually and leave space between them and other items. It typically takes around 24 hours for clothes to dry indoors, but this can be sped up by keeping your drying rack close to a radiator, open window, or even a dehumidifier, the latter of which will absorb the excess moisture in the air.

  • What is the best way to arrange clothing on a drying rack?

    Drying racks are built to leave space between items, with each rod of the rack designed to hold one item (or several in a row if it’s a particularly wide dryer). Always leave clothes at least an inch apart to allow air to flow between them and consider turning clothes after a few hours to speed up the drying process. For shirts and other items that need ironing, use clothes hangers hooked on the rack; this not only frees up space for more items to dry at once but can help reduce creasing and ultimately cut down on your ironing.

  • How do I prevent fabric from being stiff when using a drying rack?

    Stiffness in freshly laundered clothes that have been dried on a rack is typically caused by a build-up of detergent in the fabric. To avoid this, reduce the amount of washing detergent you use per load or consider adding half a cup of white vinegar to your washing machine during the rinse cycle. Vinegar acts as a natural fabric softener and can leave your clothes feeling fluffy and soft. Don’t worry: the smell is rinsed away during the process, so you can expect the same fresh laundry smell, just without the stiffness.

Why Trust Treehugger?

We know that cutting down your household energy isn’t just a savvy way of reducing your bills but a green choice that can help each of us do more to protect the planet.

To make this list, we conducted extensive research to find clothes drying racks made from durable materials, preferring options that use less new plastic. We trawled through dozens of customer reviews, used tested top products, and considered which designs would best suit those living in small accommodations without space for a large dryer, as well as bigger family homes with a need for a sizable laundry solution.