The Best Drying Racks That Help Take the Chore Out of Dish Duty

drying rack
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Doing the dishes is a chore. Hardly anyone we know enjoys standing at the sink, scrubbing baked-on grease from pots and pans. Beyond plunging your hands into nasty water for the next dirty dish, one of the annoyances of washing the dishes is the leaning tower you have to create on the side of your sink to ensure the dishes dry properly.

Rather than risk a pile of broken dishes on the floor, you should invest in a fit-for-purpose dish drying rack. 

The best dish racks sit in or on the side of your sink and properly hold plates, cups and silverware for air drying with ease. If you’re awkwardly piling things up next to your sink on a towel or a built-in drying area, you’ll definitely want to consider adding one of these made-for-purpose dish racks to your kitchen set up.

Dish Drying Rack vs. Dishwasher

While you may already have, or be considering an electric dishwasher, there are a number of advantages to choosing a dish drying rack over these rather handy kitchen conveniences. Some of the advantages of drying racks include:

Space

While they do take up space in or next to your sink, dish drying racks aren’t nearly as big as installing a cupboard-sized dishwasher in your kitchen. This is especially applicable to households tight for space in the kitchen.

Initial Cost

As you’ll see from our list below, dish racks can cost a fraction of the amount a dishwasher costs. If you don’t have the money to spare or just fancy using it for something more enjoyable, choose this budget-friendly option instead.

Environmental Impact

It’s generally considered that for a dishwasher to be more economical and energy-efficient than a dish drying rack, you’ll need to run it only when it’s full. For this reason, especially in smaller households, a drying rack is the best option as it allows you to dry one or two pieces at a time.

Running Cost

A dish drying rack requires no electrical energy to run. Nor, as mentioned above, is it limited by a ‘best’ number of kitchenware items during use. However, some people will definitely find the energy needed to “run” a dish rack is far less preferable.

Like any essential piece of kitchen equipment, there is a variety of styles and designs for dish drying racks. These include over-the-sink options, folding options and even portable options.

Below, we’ve listed the best dish drying racks available right now. Scroll through and find the right one for your kitchen.

1. Neat-O Deluxe Chrome-Plated Steel Drainer

With space for cutlery, mugs, plates and most other kitchenware items, the Neat-O Deluxe Chrome-Plated Steel Drainer is the ideal choice of drying rack for the average household. The neat chrome finish provides a touch of style, while the plastic-coated base helps to protect your dishes and kitchen surfaces from harm. You can store up to eight individual dishes in the rack and detach the cutlery holder to make cleaning and emptying your drainer especially easy.

Pros: The chrome finish provides an added touch of elegance to your kitchen.

Cons: As the design is fixed, it cannot be folded down for easier storage.

best dish drying rack neat-o Image courtesy of Amazon

2. Camco Durable Mini Dish Drainer Rack

The Camco Durable Mini Dish Drainer Rack is available in three color options, namely black, translucent and white. Size-wise, the drainer has been designed with the “average” sink in mind, meaning it’ll likely fit in most home sinks as well as your RV sink. This makes the Camco Drainer Rack a great choice for both home use and use while camping or vacationing. The smart design incorporates a lid which doubles up as a water catch drain and includes a mild slope to ensure excess water runs away and keeps your countertops dry throughout.

Pros: The Camco Durable Mini Dish Drainer is designed to be used at home and on the go.

Cons: The rack’s compact size might be frustrating for larger households.

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3. OXO Good Grips Compact Dish Rack

By incorporating spikes into the rack’s design, the OXO Good Grips Compact Dish Rack offers versatility many other racks cannot compete with. Rather than traditional slots, spikes allow you to fit kitchen items however and wherever works, letting you dry plates, glasses, mugs and other usually shaped kitchenware without difficulty. The rack also includes an open area on which you can simply lay items, too. You’ll find the base of the rack sports deep walls to collect water until you’re ready to pour it away, while raised ribs ensure the things drying don’t contact the water. Additionally, the non-skid feet keep your rack where you place it, even on slippery surfaces.

Pros: The spiked design lets you dry unusually shaped kitchen items with ease.

Cons: It’s only available in one color.

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4. AmazonBasics Dish Drying Rack

The AmazonBasics Dish Drying Rack is another option that proves drying racks do not need to be complicated. This two-piece rack includes a metal drying rack and an absorbent mat to sit underneath. It’s ideal for dishes or glassware and has open space for other items, too. The cushioned, polyester mat is also quick-drying which helps to prevent any mildew or mold build-ups. On the flip side of the mat, you’ll also find a non-slip surface that keeps it in place when in use. Furthermore, the rack’s compact size and the mat’s flexibility mean it’s easy to store in a drawer or small space around the kitchen.

Pros: The highly absorbent mat helps prevent mold build-ups.

Cons: With only seven spaces for plates, larger houses will struggle with this drying rack’s small size.

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5. HBlife Dish Rack

If you love bamboo as an interior design motif in kitchens, then you may want to consider adding this HBlife Dish Rack to your setup. It’s made from high-quality, eco-friendly bamboo which is easy to clean and looks great at the same time. The X-shaped design also folds down for easier storing when it’s not in use. Furthermore, the built-in slots allow you to dry up to 13 plates, or a combination of plates and other items, at a single time. Plus, this drying rack includes a cutlery holder which can be added or removed as required. It should be noted that the life of this rack can be extended by the occasional treatment with bamboo oil.

Pros: The natural bamboo construction adds a natural touch to any kitchen.

Cons: Wooden products have a shorter lifespan than metal or plastic ones.

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6. Prepworks Collapsible Over-The-Sink Dish Drainer

The Prepworks Collapsible Over-The-Sink Dish Drainer sports a smart design which can be collapsed down on itself for easy storage when it’s not in use. It’s available in two color combinations and also includes built-in, extendable arms to ensure it can fit over your sink. Plus, the design features a space for drying cutlery. In addition to being great for home use, this rack is ideal for RVs and camping trips.

Pros: It’s collapsible for easy storing.

Cons: The silicone construction requires more frequent cleaning than a metal dish drying rack might.

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7. simplehuman Kitchen Steel Dish Rack

The simplehuman Kitchen Steel Dish Rack is available in full or compact sizes to ensure there’s an option to suit the size of your kitchen or your drying needs. The rack’s stainless steel and plastic construction give it an attractive appearance. The steel is also specially coated to resist fingerprints, and the plastic in the collecting tray is also coated to repel water to prevent pooling and residue build-ups. Perhaps the most striking element of this stylish kitchen addition is its innovative drainage system which includes a spout that can be directed towards a drain. There’s also an extendable drip tray that covers the cup holders when they’re in use, further preventing drainage water from falling on your kitchen surfaces.

Pros: The innovative draining system lets you direct the water flow.

best drying racks Amazon

8. KitchenAid Full Size Dish Rack

This KitchenAid Full Size Dish Rack is a great choice for those looking for an equal mix of style and function. The sleek design includes space for pans, plates, pots, cutlery and more. It comes in three different colors and features raised feet for more effective drying. Additionally, the rack is available in two different sizes and includes a number of removable parts to ensure easy cleaning and maintenance.

Pros: The sturdy construction means it will outlast many competing drying racks.

Cons: The fixed construction makes it harder to store when not in use.

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9. iBesi Over Sink Dish Drying Rack

If you’re looking to dry a lot of plates, cups and cutlery at a single time, it’s worth investing in this iBesi Over Sink Dish Drying Rack. This large rack sits happily over your sink with ease and includes rubber feet to ensure your surfaces aren’t damaged. The two-tier rack includes space for hanging utensils, drying cutlery and chopping boards as well as racking plates, pots, bowls and more. Additionally, this dish rack is a great option for busy households with plenty of day-to-day washing to be done.

Pros: The large size gives this dish rack one of the largest drying capacities available.

Cons: Fitting this rack is more time consuming than fitting competing models.

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10. PremiumRacks Professional Dish Rack

If you want it to, this PremiumRacks Professional Dish Rack really can have a place for everything. This highly-customizable dish rack comes with a range of changeable elements, including two different drainboards, a microfiber mat, three cup holder attachments as well as a cutting board attachment. You’ll also find the top shelf can be placed on either side or completely removed for further customization. For durability, the rack is made from high-grade 304 stainless steel along with tough plastic which will last for years.

Pros: The range of changeable elements make this drying rack highly customizable.

Cons: The elements you choose not to use will have to be stored somewhere.

drying rack premium racks Image courtesy of Amazon

11. SEMKO Roll Up Dish Drying Rack

If you’re looking for a drying rack which is easily laid out and removed, the SEMKO Roll Up Dish Drying Rack is the choice for you. This smartly designed device can be rolled out over your sink to provide a handy drying surface for cups, plates and other kitchen items. The rack also comes with a high-quality dish cloth and can be completely rolled up, making it highly portable and easy to store in drawers or small spaces around the kitchen.

Pros: The roll-up style is unbeatable when it comes to convenient storage.

Cons: This drying rack doesn’t offer a variety of drying spaces.

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