Sadly, your dirty dishes aren’t going to clean themselves. And not everyone has the luxury of owning a dishwasher. Dish drying racks are probably the least sexy thing you can have in the kitchen, but they’re also one of the most functional and necessary. After all, you don’t want to hand dry everything you cleaned (how clean is that towel anyway?), and you definitely don’t want to put your wet dishes away (oh, you like mold and mildew?).
Dish racks promote optimal airflow to help dry dishes efficiently and quickly because you already did the hard work of cleaning them. Not all dish racks are the same, however, and the right one for you can depend on a few factors like how much space you have to spare, how many dishes you tend to clean at once and more.
From a double-decker dish rack to one that collapses into virtually nothing, here are the seven best dish drying racks to shop right now.
What to Look for in a Dish Rack
Tip #1: Size Matters
Counter space is precious, and a dish rack is very likely to always stay on your counter, forever rendering a portion of your counter occupied. You’ll either opt for a small dish rack or a dish rack that can collapse and be stored away.
You’ll also want to take into consideration how many dishes you do at once. If you’re just cleaning up after yourself, a small dish rack will suffice. But if you live with others, or you tend to host large dinner parties, you’ll want a bigger dish rack — like a two-tier dish rack — to accommodate more dishes.
Tip #2: Know the Different Drying Rack Types
Traditional dish racks: Your run-of-the-mill dish rack will usually comprise a wire frame atop a platform on which water can pool off. The platform will either be completely level to allow water to evaporate naturally or slightly sloped to let water drain into the sink.
Collapsible dish racks: As its name implies, these are dish racks that collapse onto themselves to store away after use. These are good for those with limited counter space or people who don’t think a dish rack on full display is in line with their interior design aesthetics.
Two-tier dish racks: If you can’t build outward, build up. By utilizing vertical space, two-tier dish racks allow for more dishes to dry at once. These are good for homes that tend to go through a lot of dishes at once, but a common pain point of this style of dish racks is that water drips from the top layer onto the first layer, which means the bottom layer of dishes takes longer to dry.
Over-the-counter dish racks: By creating a ventilated platform over your sink, you can let your dishes dry without having to take up counter space. You’ll obviously be limiting how much sink space you have, but this style of dish racks is good for those with fewer dishes.
Tip #3: Consider the Material
Your dish rack is going to get very wet very often, so rust and/or discoloration can happen. Dish racks can be made of anything from plastic to stainless steel to metal, so make sure to get something that can resist rust. Also, if you take care of your dish rack, as in regular cleaning (because even your dish rack should be cleaned), you can stave off rust.