The 7 Best Clothes Drying Racks of 2021

Save money and energy with these clothes drying racks

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The Rundown
"Made from bamboo, this drying rack is one of the most eco-friendly options around."
"This large drying rack will become a staple of sunny laundry days in your garden."
"Holding up to 36 hangers and folding down to two feet, this is the perfect portable drying rack."
"A metal design like this one from Minky holds a whole load of laundry sturdily."
"Saving you time, money, and your clothes, this electric dryer is a no brainer."
"This compact design should fit any room in your house, even inside your bathtub."
"Whether you want to maximize space or hang long items, this rack can be mounted almost anywhere."

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.

Before you shop for a new rack, consider what items you already own that could be repurposed. Maybe you 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.

However, sometimes only a durable new clothes rack will get the job done, particularly in tricky spaces. 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 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 for space-saving 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. 

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

Lavish Home drying rack

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 just 14.25 inches x 27.5 inches of floor space, this clothes drying rack should easily tuck 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. 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.

Best Outdoor: Leifheit Linomatic 500 Deluxe Umbrella Clothesline

Leifheit 82001 Rotary Dryer Linomatic 500 Deluxe

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 German brand Leifheit is just the ticket if you have an outdoor spot. Designed in an umbrella shape, it offers 164-ft of drying space—which you’ll struggle to fill unless it’s a particularly busy laundry day!

The dryer is made from rust-proof aluminum (considered one of the most environmentally-friendly metals because it can be recycled infinitely) and high-quality, durable plastic—of which between five and 15 per cent is formed from recycled materials. 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.

Best Portable: Whitmor Garment & Drying Rack

Whitmor Drying Rack

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 just 4.21 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.

Best Metal: Minky Multi Dryer Indoor Drying Rack

Minky Multi Dryer Indoor Drying Rack

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.

Best Electric: Panda Foldable Drying Machine with Heater

Panda Drying Rack

Need to dry your clothing faster than the natural way? A small electric laundry drying rack is an energy-efficient alternative to a full clothes dryer. The Panda portable dryer is an interesting option, particularly if you live in a home that already has clean electricity.

Combining a tripod-shaped rack with a warm air motor, this dryer is quick and easy to use: just hang your laundry up, enclose it with the nylon bag, and plug it in to activate the fan. Your clothing will come out warm and dry within a few hours and it’ll only cost a couple of cents per hour to use this product—a significant saving on running your own dryer or visiting the laundromat. 

What’s more, this electric air dryer is more gentle on your clothes than your normal dryer, it’ll add years to the lifespan of your clothes, saving you even more money in the long run.

Best Folding: Leifheit Pegasus 120 Compact Solid Dryer

Leifheit Pegasus 120 Compact Solid Dryer Rack

Another sturdy drying rack that folds flat, Pegasus 120 Compact Solid Dryer is designed to fit in any standard bathtub—a clever way of optimizing a space that's perfect for dripping-wet hand-washed items. The protective feet are designed to prevent scratching or slipping.

A durable, eco-friendly steel frame with wings grants 39.2 feet of drying space, enough for more or less a laundry load. The wings and legs fold up easily, and it can be stored under a bed or in a narrow closet space.

Best Over the Door: Brabantia Radiator Hanging Clothes Dryer

Brabantia Radiator Hanging Clothes Dryer, Gray

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 percent renewable energy by 2050, and they use recycled materials in many of their products.

Read Next: The Best Sustainable Bamboo Sheets

Final Verdict

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

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