Dish drying rack
July 19, 2015 9:34 PM   Subscribe

Basically, I am looking for the best dish drying rack ever.

I've previously never put much thought into my dish drying rack, but I really, really hate the one I have now. I probably just bought it at Target a couple years ago because I happened to be at Target, and then kept it out of inertia. It doesn't actually, as far as I can tell, drain into the sink, and gets grimy and coated frequently. I scrub it out at least once a week. It has lots of nooks and crannies, and is annoying to clean. It's not the most efficient shape, and takes up a large amount of counter space without holding that many dishes. Upon retrospect, I've never really liked any dish drying rack I've ever had.

Now here I am, actually doing research into my next dish drying rack! I am open to any and all recommendations--please share any you can vouch for, or that have good reviews. Preferably ones that are actually available to purchase. I am open to any style or model. I would prefer to keep it ~$50 or under, but if you have a link to a really amazing Scandinavian one that's $100 plus shipping, I'll check it out.

I've seen the many Apartment Therapy, Kitchn, and other blog posts on this topic, but they are old and the links are mostly dead. I am not looking for advice on how to hand-dry my dishes right away--I really do just want a drying rack!

Thanks in advance!
posted by Ideal Impulse to Home & Garden (24 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
The top of the line Simple Human one - this one - is the best dishrack. It does take up a good amount of space, but it holds so, so, so much, it drains well, it is reasonably easy to clean.

It comes in a "compact" size that is also very good if you need less space, but it's not as good as the big one.
posted by brainmouse at 9:38 PM on July 19, 2015 [7 favorites]

I bought a skinny wire dishrack, it was perfect, but I changed sinks, now instead of being over the sink, it is on the counter. If I were shopping for one, I would measure the sink and find one that fits the second bay, or makes a modest presence in a larger single sink. Skinny open stainless steel wire, good, no suspicious goo. Find a drain rack with at least a 1.5-2° angle so it actually drains back into the sink, no questionable puddles.
posted by Oyéah at 9:49 PM on July 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Sweet Home has done the research for you.
posted by bluloo at 9:49 PM on July 19, 2015 [8 favorites]

I like my Kitchen Aid drying rack. It's easy to clean, roomy, and feels very sturdy. I got mine at Costco for a great price.
posted by quince at 9:50 PM on July 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I found a drying rack at a thrift store that was really simple - no nooks or crannies - and then just forced it to be what I wanted. I used a glue gun to make extra-tall feet for my drying rack on one side, to force it to drain correctly. I used wire to add supports for tall stuff. It is almost everything I wanted in a drying rack, except for "pretty" - it's ugly as heck.
posted by BrunoLatourFanclub at 10:02 PM on July 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've used one of these bamboo dish racks for over 10 years now. I put a couple dish towels under it on the counter, and I bought a separate wooden box from Ikea that I dry my silverware in. It works just great for 2 people. I've never had sliminess on the dishrack. (The Ikea box that the silverware goes in has a plastic bottom that needs to be washed out monthly or so.)

Whatever doesn't fit on the rack can fit on the towel under the rack. (I don't live in a very humid climate - not sure if the towels under the rack would dry well in a humid area.). I pull the towels out and wash them maybe every 2-3 weeks. They really don't get too gross at all.

It's not huge, but it really fits a fair amount of stuff on it. There's some balancing that takes place sometimes, but you'll have that on the larger slimy plastic racks as well.

The only maintenance i've had to do on the bamboo is to re-hammer in the nails, or add a little superglue when it's started to come apart. I'll probably keep it for another 10 years.
posted by hydra77 at 10:41 PM on July 19, 2015 [9 favorites]

Seconding the Kitchen Aid one recommended by quince. We bought ours at Costco in red and it's been a champ.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:43 PM on July 19, 2015

Seconding the bamboo rack.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:53 PM on July 19, 2015

Seconding the recommendation for The Sweet Home reviews. They are detailed enough in their reasoning that even if you disagree with their final choice or it doesn't fit your situation, reading their explanation will help you find what's best for you.
posted by harriet vane at 11:41 PM on July 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Seconding Brainmousr on that Simplehuman rack: It is miraculous. I call mine "The Queen Mary."
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:35 AM on July 20, 2015

Thirding the recommendations from The Sweethome; the simple bamboo rack seem pretty good as well.
posted by pos at 1:58 AM on July 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have a bamboo rack with a bamboo silverware holder. It's not a good one. The nails aren't very secure in several places and I'll probably replace it at some point. But the charming thing, for me, is that it folds and will GO AWAY when I'm done with it, and it does everything I need a dishrack to do. The important part of the process for me is the drying mat. I own four, just so that if I end up with a load where I have a bunch of pots and pans or something, I don't just have the rack... I have every flat surface in my kitchen. But when I don't need all that? They sit on a shelf entirely out of the way. When necessary, I soak them in Oxi-clean and then put them through the wash. They're way more absorbent than dish towels. The bamboo rack is mostly just there to prop up stuff that dries faster that way and doesn't need to be very big.
posted by Sequence at 2:08 AM on July 20, 2015

I have a similar bamboo rack and use it with a drying mat, but it's only OK because I can't securely set plates to dry in the slots provided. It does hold smaller elements well, and I can slip wooden spoons in the slots to dry vertically and save space, but I would recommend that anyone considering a model like this check to see how it handles plates if you expect to be using it for plates.
posted by maudlin at 6:01 AM on July 20, 2015

This is a Delfinware two-tier dish drainer that I love unreasonably (I've had it for 3 years). It's made in the UK and I haven't yet found a US source, but it looks like this will ship to the US. There is also a three-tier version. Also available in other places like here, but not sure if they'll ship to the US.

They have a small footprint, can be hung from the wall to save more space, and drain into a slide-out tray that has no nooks or crannies and contains all the water (so you either wait for it to evaporate or you slide the tray out and dump the water out). Both versions seem to be around £25-30 right now before adding shipping and whatever import tax you might get hit with - not too far out of your price range depending on how nuts the shipping cost comes out to be.

I've had issues with wood dishracks getting icky/moldy, and I'm not a huge fan of plain plastic or uncoated metal (this one is plastic-coated metal), and before this one I'd had a hard time finding a dish drainer I liked.
posted by you must supply a verb at 7:29 AM on July 20, 2015

Decker stainless steel dish drainer Habitat UK
posted by Lanark at 12:08 PM on July 20, 2015

If you have cabinets in both sides of your sink, I recommend hanging a wire closet shelf between them. Like a DIY Finnish drying cabinet. The water drains into the sink not into a tray or a towel. I had this at my old house and I am sad there's not a good way to do this on my new place.
posted by vespabelle at 1:21 PM on July 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have been doing dishes by hand for several years. I have both the fancy Simple Human dish dry rack brainmouse recommended and the slim version. I have also used the bamboo one foldable one that has two tiers.

Currently, I use the large Simple Human one, which is great for normal day to day use. The bamboo one split/broke on me without that much usage, although it was better for plates (e.g., dinner parties) but not as good for a mix of pots/pans/plates/cups/mugs.

Here are the things I would pay attention to:

How does it catch water? Most of the recommend ones have a tray underneath to catch water. Some of them divert it into the sink. I find that using one without a tray will get my countertop wet, even with a mat underneath, and I suspect they're meant to be used with sinks that have a special drying space. I prefer the ones that allow the water to drain into the sink as there is usually quite a bit of water.

What's the depth? The "large" and "compact" Simple Human drain racks are actually the same width, but different depths. I use the large one because it fits on my regular counter, and gives me more space for drying things. So it's actually more efficient use of the same amount of counterspace I have to give up.

How easily to do you want to clean it? So even with the water draining, my Simple Human dish dry rack gets a bit scuzzy (in the drain plate area). I wash it out, and don't worry about it because I'm not putting dishes there anyway. But if it bugs you, you should get a super simple one so you can wash/rinse all of it regularly.
posted by ethidda at 2:11 PM on July 20, 2015

Have you considered a dish drying mat instead of a rack? I don't know if you are washing dishes just for you or for a family, or if you have a dish washer... but if you don't have a lot of dishes to wash it could be a game changer! We (2 people with a dishwasher) have one and it is so nice to use a mat instead of a rack because when we don't have a lot of dishes drying, then there is no bulky drying rack in the kitchen. However you do have to be OK with having dishes laying on the drying mat willy nilly instead of lined up neatly like they would be on a rack. And you can't fit more than a couple of plates, glasses and spatulas on there. And you can't use it as your plate storage like you can with a rack. But I love my drying mat. I wash it with our kitchen and bathroom towels once in a while, plus it can be flipped over to the clean side before you have to wash it!
posted by at 4:30 PM on July 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

We've had the Zojila Rohan Dish Rack for about 5 years. Heavy stainless steel wire, drains fast, dries fast. Wipe it clean once a week.
Looks good no need to hide it.
No rust, no ugly plastic turning weird colors.
Cons: Expensive for a dish rack, but...
And if you have tons of dishes it's small.
posted by artdrectr at 10:44 AM on July 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nthing SimpleHuman.
posted by freezer cake at 12:43 PM on July 21, 2015

We have the bamboo rack that hydra77 recommends. I'd also recommend it, but I want to add one thing:

Take it apart and flatten it out. You just have a flat grated platform that's much larger.

You don't know how much more practical it is until you try it. Plates still stand up. Stacking bowls stack together upright in the slits. Silverware doesn't fall through. There's about 6 times as much space for glassware. Pots fit.

We cook breakfast and dinner every night, and there just isn't anything else that works with the volume that we churn out.
posted by cotterpin at 5:55 AM on July 24, 2015

Can anyone with the simplehuman one give its dimensions?
posted by Quilford at 7:17 AM on July 24, 2015

Can anyone with the simplehuman one give its dimensions?

They're on the SimpleHuman page I linked to before - scroll down, there are diagrams with measurements between "features" and "reviews".
posted by brainmouse at 9:56 AM on July 24, 2015

I have one similar to this hanging over my sink. Mine doesn't have a basket and the water just drips in to sink. It folds to the wall when not in use.

I would actually much prefer the standard dish drying closet most kitchens here in Finland have but the Ikea drying rack is an ok substitute.
posted by severiina at 2:37 PM on July 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

« Older Help me fill all these random drawers!   |   Photo Storage, long term formats and other... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.