If you have a laundry room, you know the challenge of properly designing the space. Laundry rooms tend to be small and to have a lot of things going on at once, so getting the right equipment in there is key.
This is how I found myself on a quest for the perfect wall-mounted drying rack.
What Is A Wall-Mounted Drying Rack?
Just to confirm we are all on the same page, the drying rack I had in mind was a fold-out, wall-mounted one that is designed to dry clothes that can’t go in the dryer. This design offers maximum storage in the minimum amount of space possible, plus it looks nice in an old-fashioned sort of way.
A proper drying rack is a much better solution to a hanging line running across the room thanks to the ability to store more clothes and to keep away from walkways.
The downside of wall-based drying racks are the they aren’t cheap (they range from about $50 to $300), they require an installation, and they are of limited width so you might need two or even three for a family.
For me, the challenges of any drying rack are…
- Being strong enough to support wet linen sheets (at least 10 pounds)
- Looking nice and neat when not in use
- Having enough space for a family
- Built to last
Drying Rack Alternatives
Before spending the money on a proper drying rack I investigated a few options.
While I was an apartment dweller I had always used folding, portable wooden drying racks, which cost me about $30. These were useful for small spaces but lack drying space and they are flimsy, having collapsed on me with a full load a few times. I found these to be too small and flimsy to be a permanent solution.
Gull-wing drying racks are a bit better, but they cost at least $50, and they still aren’t a permanent solution. Plus they come with their own storage problem, as my laundry room has no space to accomodate this except for hanging it on the wall. On the plus side these offer lots of hanging room (in terms of linear feet).
I briefly entertained the idea of a retractable, hotel-style clothes line, but having these criss-cross the narrow walkway of a laundry room didn’t seem like a good idea. Additionally, these would not be able to support drying linen, which is key for me.
Attempt One: Failure
My first attempt at an affordable fold-out rack was the Leifheit Telefix 100, a fold-out clothes drying rack that cost me $45. This seemed like a smart move: affordable, space-efficient, clean designs, and well-reviewed.
I mounted this to the wall, with one end in a stud and another in a 75-pound wall anchor. This provided the installation with sufficient strength, even with the leverage that would be applied with the pull-out rack hanging about 2 feet from the wall.
While good for lightweight clothing this rack isn’t strong enough for sheets and opening and closing action is really awkward because the horizontal lines — which are actually stiff pieces of plastic — don’t go in an out easily.
Ultimately the Leifheit was neither strong enough nor functional enough to suit my needs.
Top Wall-Mounted Laundry Drying Racks
Many nice drying racks exist in 2021. It’s a popular item and, thanks to the events of 2020, laundry rooms certainly had a moment of focus and redesigning.
Here are some top options…
- Pottery Barn Galvanized Laundry Drying Rack – $129
- Pottery Barn Trenton Rack – $199
- Pottery Barn Aubry – $199
- Honey-Can-Do Drying Rack – $40 (small)
- Honey-Can-Do Drying Rack – $60 (large)
- Whitmor Drying Rack – $85 (small)
- Red Barrel (via Wayfair) – $75
- Andover Mills (via Wayfair) – $50
- Ballard Design Beadboard Rack – $250
There are a lot of options and, I was concerned when I saw many racks that looks almost identical yet had different price points. For example the Ballard Design, Wayfair, and Honey-Can-Do racks seem to be nearly identical (based on their images online). This turned me off from the Ballard, despite it seeming like a top pick as well as the top choice across Instagram.
Wayfair Drying Rack
Ultimately I ended up purchasing two wall-mounted racks from WayFair These cost me about $50 each (Wayfair has frequent sales) plus some tax. The company I got mine from was called “Dotted Line” but it appears to be no different from the Andover Mills or Red Barrel options.
The main thing you’ll want to consider when buying from Wayfair is making sure you double-check the dimensions as buying from Wayfair can be confusing — it’s a very large store and many brands on the site sell similar products.
Each of the folding drying racks are about 23 inches wide and 42 inches tall, with seven 20-inch bars on each. I have them arranged in a pair next to one another, making them look like a much more expensive double-rack design. I have 280 inches (about 23 linear feet) of drying space, which is enough for a family.
The wall-mounted racks area strong enough to hold onto my heavy linen sheets, wet towels, and anything else I’ve thrown at them. My own note would be that they only included mounting hardware for the top, but that let them rattle a bit on the bottom, so I added anchors on the bottom for an extra secure installation.