Which dish drying racks are best?
Dirty dishes may be an inevitable part of life, but just because you have to wash them by hand doesn’t mean you have to be stuck manually drying them. Instead, you can equip your home with a dish drying rack where you can leave them to drip dry on their own. Some of the most popular are countertop models like the Simplehuman Steel Frame Kitchen Dish Drying Rack since they can easily be placed anywhere you have space and don’t require any kind of complicated installation.
What to know before you buy a dish drying rack
Types of dish racks
All dish drying racks are designed to do the same thing, but they come in several styles, with each best suited for certain applications.
- Countertop dish racks come in full-size and compact options, both of which feature a drip pan on the bottom. The former consume more counter space but feature flatware holders and often dedicated spaces for cups and sometimes even wineglasses. Compact countertop dish drying racks can usually only accommodate dinnerware for two people but are ideal for those with small kitchens where there isn’t a lot of countertop space to spare.
- In-sink dish drying racks are also compact since they need to be small enough to fit inside standard double sinks. Unlike countertop models, these don’t feature dripping pans because the water dripping off the dishes just falls right into the sink.
- Over-the-sink dish racks are less common but are one of the most convenient options because they don’t use up any of your counter or sink space. The majority of these have tall legs that are designed to straddle your sink and raise the rack high enough over it that it won’t be in the way when washing your dishes. Another type of over-the-sink dish drying rack has rolling wires that you can unroll and place over your sink when you want to dry dishes. These roll-up dish drying racks often aren’t the best choice for most people because they don’t offer the same benefits as the tall over-the-sink dish racks and have less space than in-sink or countertop dish racks. That said, if you don’t have the space to waste on a drying rack when it’s not in use, roll-up racks can be the ideal option.
- Wall-mounted models come in a range of sizes, but all require drilling into your walls and using study anchors to keep them securely in place.
The majority of dish drying racks come in one of four materials: stainless steel, wood, plastic or rubber.
- Stainless steel dish drying racks are one of the most durable options and most people find they offer a more high-end look than plastic or rubber. They can accommodate a lot of weight without cracking or bending and aren’t prone to degrading from exposure to moisture. That said, some low-quality models can begin to rust over time.
- Wooden dish drying racks are often made of bamboo, which is a sustainable material and tends to be very attractive. However, they can get moldy or degrade over time from constant exposure to moisture. This makes them best for those who only wash dishes periodically so the wood has a chance to fully dry out between uses.
- Rubber and plastic dish drying racks have similar properties. Both tend to be affordable, not prone to mold or degradation and reasonably durable. That said, they can potentially crack or bend out of shape if loaded up with heavy dishes.
Features to look for in a quality dish drying rack
No matter what kind of dish drying rack you want to buy, it is important to pay attention to the overall dimensions. This is doubly true if it needs to fit within certain space constraints, such as an in-sink model or one that is going to be used on a very small countertop. If buying a collapsible model that you can store out of the way when not in use, check both the expanded and folded-up dimensions to ensure it fits your needs.
Along with the size dimensions, you’ll want to pay attention to the dish capacity as well. Ideally, any drying rack you buy should be capable of holding enough dishes for the entire family. So, if there are only two people in the household, you can get away with a drying rack that only accommodates dinnerware settings and glassware for two. Conversely, if there are four or five people in the home, you’ll be best served by a large dish drying rack.
Most countertop drying racks have a spout to direct the flow of water into the sink. On some models, this may be a small spout built directly into the drip pan. On others, this may be a large spout that you can rotate as needed.
Some dish drying racks are collapsible so you can store them out of the way when not in use. This can be convenient for those with limited kitchen space. However, it can also be a cause for failure or instability due to the incorporation of moving parts.
Dish, cup and utensil holders
Not all dish drying racks have the same holders for various types of dishware. For example, on some models, the cups need to be placed in the same area as the plates, which makes it more likely one may break. Other models have dedicated spaces for cups and sometimes even wine racks. Also, most have at least one spot for silverware and cooking utensils but some also feature holders for sharp steak or prep knives.
How much can you expect to spend on a dish drying rack
You can find dish drying racks made from any kind of material for as little as $20, and sometimes even less. On the higher end, you can spend upward of $75 or more for larger models or more decorative ones.
Dish drying rack FAQ
How do I clean my dish drying rack?
A. To clean your dish rack, submerge it in a solution of white vinegar and hot water. You can do this in a tub or another large basin. Leave the entire rack submerged for a few minutes and then scrub it thoroughly with a sponge. Afterward, rinse it off and leave it out to fully dry. If it is a wooden dish drying rack, it is best to leave it in the sun to dry.
Can I put pots and pans in a dish drying rack?
A. As long as your dish drying rack is large enough, there is no reason you can’t place pots and pans in it to dry.
What is the best dish drying rack to buy?
Top dish drying rack
What you need to know: Combining durability and functionality and style, it’s hard to go wrong with this dish drying rack.
What you’ll love: It fits in well in modern kitchens and has smart features like a swiveling spout and dedicated wineglass rack.
What you should consider: Though rare, some people have complained of it rusting over time.
Top dish drying rack for the money
What you need to know: This model is affordably priced yet well made and capable of accommodating a lot of dishes thanks to its two-tier design.
What you’ll love: The utensil bin is removable and can be mounted on either side, and there are areas to hang mugs or other handled cups so they don’t take up space in the main dish drying area.
What you should consider: The lower level doesn’t have enough space to accommodate tall travel mugs and similar glassware.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This highly customizable dish rack has dedicated spaces for almost every kind of dishware and is made from a high-quality stainless steel so it can stand up to plenty of use.
What you’ll love: It has room for a cutting board and sharp steak knives, something you won’t find in most others, and it even comes with two different kinds of dripping pans.
What you should consider: Some may find assembling it to be difficult.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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