Purchasing a clothes drying rack isn’t a huge investment, but you still don’t want to purchase something that doesn’t meet your needs. We determined several testing criteria to evaluate for each rack, with these detailed below.
Stability and Weight Capacity. There are some clothes drying racks that may appear to be sturdy enough to hold an entire load of clothes, but we looked at the weight capacity of every drying rack we tested, as this is a crucial consideration. We also took into consideration that wet jeans are going to weigh more than wet dress slacks, so the rack may not be able to properly hold as many pairs of jeans as it can slacks. We also determined that weight distribution matters and, with most racks, if you put more weight on one side over the other, it may tip over.
Materials. Clothes drying racks are made of several different materials, including various woods, stainless steel, and aluminum with plastic. The material the rack is made of is a crucial factor, as it’s going to impact weight, stability, and durability. Wood racks are a more affordable option, but some woods may rot, mildew, splinter, or warp if they haven’t been property treated. Options that aren’t treated prior to purchase can still be treated, but this is an extra expense the buyer will have to pay for. With plastic racks, the main issue we considered was if the components were strong enough to support a load of wet laundry. Aluminum racks are both durable and lightweight, and they can be treated so that they don’t rust. Stainless steel is typically a bit more expensive, but also more durable and able to handle heavier loads and more clothing.
Size. The clothes drying rack should be big enough to handle everything that needs to be dried, while still being small enough to fit in the desired location. Once fully erect and spread out, drying racks can take up significant real estate in your home. The height is crucial too, as it makes it possible to dry longer items without issue.
Configuration. You can find drying racks in rolling rack systems, wall-mounted designs, pole-style, and accordion style. Some of these offer fixed features, while others have adjustable features, such as wings or shelves that are able to extend or hang down. We determined that each style has its place, but this is typically dependent on what is being dried. For example, accordion style drying racks are ideal for smaller apartments, where the user has a single load to dry at a time. Once the drying is complete, it can be folded up and slipped under the bed or into a closet to save space.