The best dish racks
- A top-quality dish drying rack has a large capacity without taking up too much space, is designed for easy water run-off and efficient drying, and is easy to clean.
- The Premium Racks Professional Dish Rack is our top pick because it is customizable and can hold all of your odds and ends.
- See more: The best kitchen towels
Even if you have a dishwasher, there are some kitchen items you just don't want to trust in it. For instance, you should always wash your best knives by hand. And, you will extend the life of your cookware by cleaning it with old-fashioned elbow grease.
Dish drying racks are an indispensable tool when doing dishes by hand. They keep your dishes in a holding pattern until you are ready to dry them. Or, you can just leave them to air dry.
Aside from bamboo knife blocks and silicone mats, the most popular materials used to make dish racks are stainless steel and hard plastic. Both materials have their pluses and minuses. Though it generally isn't an issue, some cheaper brands use stainless steel that is sometimes susceptible to rusting. Plastic dish racks are more likely to break. For the most part, though, you are unlikely to experience these problems when you choose one of the top-rated racks.
When shopping for a dish drainer, pay special attention to its dimensions if you have a small kitchen. You don't want to end up with a behemoth that dominates your counter space. Yet, if you have the extra room and a large family, one of the bigger models might be preferable.
Drying racks can be used for much more than just drying dishes. Some people like to use them as cooling racks for cookies, cake, bread, and other baked goods. Some people even use old old dish racks to organization mail or files, as a planter, or as a book caddy.
While researching the best dish drying racks, we looked at hundreds of ratings and reviews of countless racks from both experts and buyers. The ones included in our guide are durable, well-designed, and they allow water to run off easily to ward off mold.
Here are the best dish racks:
- Best overall: Premium Racks Professional Dish Rack
- Best roll-up: Surpahs Over the Sink Roll-Up Dish Rack
- Best foldable: OXO Good Grips Convertible Foldaway Dish Rack
- Best for small countertops: Chef'n CleanGenuity Garden Dish Rack
Updated 7/20/2020. We updated links and prices for accuracy and added a selection of relevant buying guides. We also got rid of our previous pick for large households since our best overall option offers most of the same features at a lower price point.
The best overall
The Premium Racks Professional Dish Rack can hold twice as many dishes as other racks and comes with several unique features.
What sets the Premium Racks Professional Dish Rack apart from other racks is its customizability. You can choose where to place the cutting board attachment, three cup holder attachments, microfiber mat, knife holder, wide utensil holder, and the two drainboards. Also, the top shelf is removable and can be positioned front to back or side to side. However, the customization can also make it tricky to put together at first.
The rack is made of 304 stainless steel, which typically resists rust and other corrosive elements. With a 17.5-inch long by 13.9-inch wide by 11-inch tall footprint, the Professional Dish Rack can hold a lot of dishes, but it may not be the best solution for smaller kitchens.
While this dish rack does a solid job keeping water off the counter, some reviewers have noted they would prefer if there were rubber stoppers on the feet to prevent sliding and scratching on countertops.
Another option we like is the Simplehuman Kitchen Steel Frame Dish Rack, a high-quality dish rack that offers ample space. However, its higher price point was hard to justify when our overall pick offers many similar features.
Pros: Holds a lot of dishes, several different configuration options
Cons: Hard to put together
The best roll-up
If space is limited in your kitchen, consider using the Surpahs Over the Sink Roll-Up Dish Rack to turn your sink into a drainer.
The problem with most dish racks is they take up space. This is even true of foldable options. However, the Surpahs Over the Sink Roll-Up Dish Rack features a flexible design that rolls up like a mat to take up minimal room and makes for easy storage next to the sink when it's not in use. This makes it ideal for RVs, tiny houses, boats, and other abodes with small kitchens.
The Surpahs rack is made of steel and coated entirely with silicone. The silicone keeps the unit slip-free and heat-resistant up to 400 degrees. The overall dimensions are 20.5 inches long by 13.1 inches wide by 0.25 inches high. Buyers should make a point of measuring their sink before purchasing this model to ensure it will fit.
The rack is easy to clean and resistant to slippage. As an added bonus, Surpahs backs their roll-up dish drying rack with a lifetime warranty. However, some reviewers have lamented the lack of additional compartments, and others note that the single color option does not work with all kitchen decor.
Pros: Small storage footprint, non-slip silicone design, lifetime warranty
Cons: Small capacity, may not be able to use the sink while dishes are drying
The best foldable
The OXO Good Grips Convertible Foldaway Dish Rack provides a great balance of size and dish-holding capacity.
The feature that sets the OXO Good Grips Convertible Foldaway Dish Rack apart from competitors is that the spout, legs, and side walls fold up for compact storage either vertically or horizontally. Also, the majority of this rack is made out of hard plastic, though there is a stainless steel frame. The overall dimensions are 19.4 by 15.5 by 5.1 inches when open.
The rack has two utensil holders that are divided into three compartments each, which keeps flatware separated for easy organization. There are six slots for standing plates and cutting boards. Finally, there is also an array of tines for cups and glassware. Water drains directly into your sink using the drainage spout.
For people with limited kitchen storage space, this is a great option that offers versatility. Additionally, the many compartments fit a variety of kitchen utensils and makes it easier to put items away once they are dry.
However, some reviewers have said the drain hole location made it hard for all of the water to be diverted out of the spout.
Pros: Folds up for easy storage, holders for several different kitchen items, rust-resistant
Cons: The drain spout could be in a better location
The best for small countertops
With its unique angled design and compact footprint, the Chef'n CleanGenuity Garden Dish Rack is ideal for smaller households.
What makes the Chef'n CleanGenuity Garden Dish Rack unique is its circular design and angled layout. The overall size is 13 inches in diameter and 6.25 inches tall. There are five legs: two front legs that are an inch high, two middle legs that are 1.5 inches, and a back leg that is two inches. This allows water to drain out of the spout.
The prongs are shorter in the back and longer in the front to give the illusion that the whole unit is flat. The rack is made of BPA-free plastic so you don't have to worry about rust or harmful chemicals coming into contact with your dishes.
Some reviewers have noted that there's a bit of an adjustment getting used to the circular design and that water frequently ends up dripping onto the counter. Luckily, the rack is small enough to use in-sink, or you can opt to use it with a drying mat.
Pros: Angled design for easy draining, compact enough to fit in a sink
Cons: Tends to drip on the counter, limited capacity
Other great dishwashing buying guides
The best kitchen towels
Top-quality kitchen towels are durable, absorb the biggest spills, and handle easily. Here are our top picks.
The best dishwashers
High-quality dishwashers leave your dishes sparkling clean and dry while efficiently using water and electricity. Here are the best ones on the market.
The best dish drying mats
Dish drying mats are a great solution for small spaces or if you wash only a few dishes at a time. They tend to be smaller than dish racks, and more easily stored when not in use. These are our favorite options.
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