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Published Sep. 16, 2021

Nothing clutters up the kitchen like a disorganized sink. Even if you have a dishwasher, you may have certain kitchenware that needs to be washed by hand, and once it’s clean you need somewhere to put it. If you stack it by the sink, the counter ends up looking just as cluttered as it did before you washed it. 

A nice dish drying rack will give you a designated spot to set the clean dishes while they dry and keep your kitchen looking sleek and intentional. We researched the best dish drying racks, from basic roll up mats that will keep your countertop dry, to higher-end multi-rack pieces that can hold all your dishes and utensils after preparing a big dinner. Here are our top picks for the best dish drying racks.

How We Chose the Best Dish Drying Racks

Methodology

The sink space is generally the wettest and messiest part of the kitchen, so we chose options that best help combat those factors. We looked specifically at a few criteria:

  • Material: By nature, drying racks are wet a lot of the time, so we preferred options that are more resistant to rust and mold. 
  • Organization: Dishes pile up quickly. We loved racks that had different slots and compartments that offered optimal organization rather than piling dishes and utensils on top of each other.
  • Space efficiency: Kitchen space can easily become cluttered, so we liked options that either use space creatively or could easily be folded up and stowed away on top of the fridge or in a cabinet.
  • Price: Finding cost-effective options for your necessities means more money to spend on the fun stuff, so we paid attention to price and chose options that struck the perfect balance of reasonable price and high quality.

The Best Dish Drying Racks: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Sweet Home Collection 3-Piece Dish Drainer Set

Clean Organization

An easy-to-organize setup with a variety of racks and compartments. Sweet Home Collection

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Why It Made The Cut: The Sweet Home Collection 3-Piece Dish Drainer Set is organized, drains easily, and comes in at a reasonable price. 

Specs:

  • Material: Metal rack, plastic draining board 
  • Size: 12 x 19 x 5 inches
  • Mounting Type: Countertop 
ProsCons
  • Easy to drain and spot dry
  • On the smaller side
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Sturdy
  • The Sweet Home Collection 3-Piece Dish Drainer Set gets an A+ in all of the features that are most important to consumers: price, ease of use, and space efficiency. The slim metal rack comes with a plastic utensil caddy and plastic draining mat.  

    The mat is equipped with a lip that makes for an easy drain into the sink, which helps prevent buildup. Some consumers have voiced concern that it doesn’t self-drain, but most racks do not self-drain in practice. This one is easily drained with a slight tip to the sink. 

    Unlike other racks of its kind, Sweet Home offers a variety of fun colors so you can coordinate with your other kitchen decor so it feels like a cohesive part of your countertop. 

    The only downside we found in this rack is that it’s not as big as some other models. While there’s plenty of space for a standard day’s worth of dishes, it will start to fill up quickly for a larger household or after a dinner party. Otherwise, this is a fantastic, clean option for easy organization, even if you have limited space.

    Best Over the Sink: iSpecle 2-Tier Dish Rack Shelf

    Spacious yet Compact

    This two-tiered rack fits over the sink and frees up counter space. iSpecle

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    Why It Made The Cut: We like this multifunctional rack because it has a designated spot for all of your dishes and utensils, and it doesn’t take up any more precious counter space. 

    Specs:

    • Material: Stainless steel
    • Size: 33.5 x 11 x 32.4 inches
    • Mounting Type: Over-the-sink
    ProsCons
  • Extra-large capacity accommodates large households
  • May not fit in some kitchen spaces
  • Excess water drips straight into the sink
  • Not large enough for bigger pots and pans
  • Easy to assemble
  • We love the iSpecle 2-Tier Dish Rack Shelf because of its intentional design. Some dish racks require you to fit all your dishes in like a jigsaw puzzle, but this one has a specific space for each kind of kitchenware, including plates, hanging utensils, and cutting boards. 

    While drainage can be questionable with other rack styles, it’s no problem at all with this over-the-sink style, as the water drips straight into the sink. 

    Be sure to measure your sink area before purchase to ensure that the rack will fit under any cabinets and around your sink (larger farmer-style sinks may be too wide). As long as it fits, this two-tiered rack is an optimal way to truly keep your dishes from taking up counter space.

    Best for Baby Bottles: Boon Lawn Drying Rack

    Simple and Stylish

    This fun drying rack designed to look like a lawn makes bottle washing easy for tired new parents. Boon

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    Why It Made The Cut: The Boon Lawn Drying Rack features a simple yet cute design and doesn’t take up much of a new parent’s limited time—just pop the bottles in the faux grass and let them drip dry.

    Specs:

    • Material: Polypropylene
    • Size: 11.02 x 2.36 x 13.39 inches
    • Mounting Type: Countertop 
    ProsCons
  • Fits all different kinds of bottle and pump parts and accessories
  • Can’t hold other dishes
  • Keeps countertop dry
  • Needs to be manually drained
  • Easy to clean
  • Cute!
  • The most common piece of advice new parents get is “sleep when the baby sleeps,” but every new parent knows there’s too much to get done while the baby is sleeping—like washing bottles. This cute Boon drying rack is one of those baby products that has a cult following among parenting circles, probably because it’s no-fuss and effective. Simply place bottles, rubber nipples, or any breast pump parts on the grassy surface and let them drip dry.

    Boon offers a line of lawn drying accessories, like twigs and flowers you can “plant” in the grass for extra hang drying space. Its overall appearance is decorative and adds a nice pop of color to your kitchen. 

    Some users have brought up concerns about the potential for mold growth in the drip pan, as there’s no way for the rack to self-drain. This rack needs to be manually drained, but luckily it’s easy to remove the grass from the pan and pour the collected water from the pan to the sink. You can quickly towel dry the pan before putting the grass back in.

    Best Bamboo: HBlife Bamboo Dish Rack

    Eco Friendly

    Collapse it for easy storage, or keep the stylish bamboo displayed on your counter. HBlife

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    Why It Made The Cut: Bamboo racks are environmentally friendly and naturally resistant to odors, making this collapsible dish rack a great choice for eco-conscious households. 

    Specs:

    • Material: Bamboo
    • Size:  16 x 9.8 x 9 inches when open
    • Mounting Type: Countertop
    ProsCons
  • Resistant to bacteria and odors
  • Susceptible to mold
  • Rust free
  • Requires some care
  • Sturdy design
  • As a bacteria-resistant material, bamboo is a popular product for kitchen products, from kitchen sets to cutting boards. We love bamboo drying racks for the same reason, and because they add a nice warm aesthetic to the countertop.

    The HBlife drying rack is collapsible, which is fantastic if you need the extra counter space by the sink—simply fold it up and slide it into a cabinet or against the wall. It’s spacious, with room on top to line up plates and a bottom section for bowls and cups, plus a separate compartment for utensils.

    We chose this rack over other similar bamboo racks because it strikes a good balance between price and quality. Other less expensive bamboo racks prove to be less sturdy and sustainable. 

    It’s important to note that while bamboo is resistant to bacteria and odor, it can be prone to mold if not treated. This kind of drying rack requires occasional treatment with bamboo oil.

    Best Value: Simple Houseware Collapsible Drying Rack

    Inexpensive and Easy to Store

    The thin metal dish rack is perfect for minimalists. Simple Houseware

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    Why It Made The Cut: Our pick for best value dish drying rack is a bargain and provides two tiers of drying space for dishes, cups, and utensils.

    Specs:

    • Material: Alloy steel
    • Size: 17 x 10.7 x 7.25 inches
    • Mounting Type: Countertop
    ProsCons
  • Takes up minimal space when stored
  • Spaces too big for some dishware
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Sturdy design locks in place
  • If a dish drying rack isn’t on the top of your list of financial priorities, there are plenty of inexpensive options to choose from. Our favorite is this collapsible rack from Simple Houseware

    It is in fact simple, made of metal wire that won’t take up a ton of space on your counter. If you have a dishwasher, you can toss it in with a load of dishes if you start to notice any of the buildup that metal dish racks can be prone to. 

    This rack locks into place for a sturdy set up, but at the lower price point you should expect to sacrifice some benefits of a pricier model. In this case, the slots of the rack are too wide to hold some smaller plates and you’ll want to be careful when placing them.

    Overall, this inexpensive dish rack is a great value for anyone who wants a cost-effective and space-efficient option for organizing their dishes.

    Things to Consider Before Buying a Dish Drying Rack

    Before choosing the right dish drying rack for your kitchen, you’ll want to take the following factors into account:

    Space

    If you have a small galley kitchen, you may be looking for a different accessory than you would if you had a large gourmet chef’s kitchen. For those with limited counter space, over-the-sink racks are a convenient, practical option. Collapsible or rollup racks allow you more space when you need it as well. Keep in mind that if you’re looking into rollup over-the-sink racks, you’ll need to check those measurements versus your sink measurements to ensure that the rack will span the width of your sink.

    Size of Household

    A family of six will obviously go through more dishes than someone who lives on their own. For a smaller household, a simple collapsible rack might be just fine, but bigger families may need to upgrade to something larger, even a multi-tier rack. You’ll also want to consider whether or not there’s a dishwasher in the home. If the rack is solely for a few pots, pans, or special wares that aren’t dishwasher safe, something smaller may suffice.

    Type of Kitchenware

    Foodies who do a lot of heavy cooking might go through a lot of their pots and pans in a single meal. If that’s the case, avoid the smaller, thin wired racks that likely aren’t strong enough to hold bigger cookware. If you’re simply drying baby bottles and those accessories and using a dishwasher for the rest of your dishes, stay away from racks with wide spaces where smaller pieces can fall through. 

    FAQs

    Q: What is the best over the sink dish drying rack?

    Our pick for the best over the sink dish drying rack is the iSpecle 2-Tier rack, which straddles the sink, offers two tiers of racks plus additional compartments for utensils and cutting boards, and drips excess water directly into your sink. For a smaller over the sink version, check out the Surpah rollup dish rack, which rolls out to span one side of your sink, again for easy draining, and it doesn’t take up any additional counter space.

    Q: What is the best material for a dish rack?

    Dish drying racks are rarely, well, dry, so the best racks are made from a material that is resistant to rust and mold. Stainless steel is resistant to rust, and though some consumers report their stainless steel dish rack has rusted, they’re often mistaking water scale for rust. Water scale is a buildup that can be removed with some light scrubbing. If you prefer the environmentally-friendly option of bamboo for a dish drying rack, be sure to routinely treat the rack with bamboo oil to prevent mold growth. 

    Q: Are dish racks sanitary?

    As long as you’re practicing good kitchen cleanliness, dish racks are totally sanitary. The biggest concern would be dampness, rust, and mold, which you can prevent by routinely draining the rack and spot drying with a clean towel. As with any part of your kitchen, avoid contact with uncooked foods that could contaminate the space. 

    Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Dish Drying Rack

    Anyone who spends a lot of time in their kitchen wants it to feel clean and uncluttered, so when choosing the best dish drying rack we were looking for something that made organization easy. Our favorites all feel like a neat, tidy part of the kitchen, rather than an extra piece that’s taking up space and in the way. Organization and aesthetic were of the utmost importance, especially in more compact kitchens.

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