This content was originally published on OldHouseOnline.com and has been republished here as part of a merger between our two businesses. All copy is presented here as it originally appeared there.

Cooking is one of the most enjoyable household tasks, but cleaning up afterward isn’t exciting at all. Busy households, especially large ones, often find it difficult to find a place to dry and store the heaps of washed plates, bowls, and utensils. This is where a dish drying rack comes in handy.

A dish drying rack gives you a place to dry your utensils, cookware, and cutlery away from dishes that are still dirty. Plus, you’ll no longer have to spend hours drying dripping utensils with rags that accumulate germs and dirt. Just stack them up and let gravity do its work while the drainboard catches the water. With all that said, let’s take a look at our list of the top dish-drying racks of 2023.

Buying Guide: Dish Drying Racks

Dish-drying racks are an incredibly popular kitchen accessory, and it’s not hard to see why. In fact, when I moved into my new apartment, one of the first things I picked up was a dish-drying rack, and I definitely don’t regret it. The combination of cost-effectiveness, convenience, and clutter reduction can make post-meal cleanup a much less painful experience.

Of course, this has led to the explosion of choices available on the market. And, since many of these racks look similar to each other, it’s important to be very careful while selecting one for your home. Thankfully, our in-depth buying guide is here to simplify the process. From the size of the rack to its material, we’ll cover everything you should consider to help you get your hands on the perfect product.

Factors To Consider Before Buying a Dish Drying Rack

Material

The rack’s material is one of the most important things you must consider before making a purchase; after all, it will determine how long your rack will last. As plastic racks will break under a bit of pressure, stainless steel and aluminum are usually better options because they are durable and often rust-resistant. Be sure to check whether the drying rack has an anti-rust coating for better longevity.

Storage capacity

Dish drying racks are found in a variety of size options. If you have a large family, you should consider buying a rack with two tiers so all the dishes can be stored easily. On the other hand, compact drying racks with one tier and multiple hooks and cutlery holders will save a ton of space if you have a small kitchen.

Detachable parts

As the drying rack will stay wet most of the time, it is important to clean it properly from time to time. With detachable parts, you can conveniently clean and dry the racks. Also, you can store them separately when not in use to make sure that they don’t occupy unnecessary space.

Feet

The dish drying rack’s feet must also be taken into consideration. Racks with rubber feet make it safer for use on expensive countertops, as metal feet are likely to scratch the counter. Plus, rubber offers stability to the rack and prevents wobbling. In some products, you’ll even find H-shaped foot frames that can handle a huge amount of weight from multiple dishes.

Drainboard

The board that catches the dripping water from utensils is called the drainboard. Most come with an opening at one side or a channel to drain water and make your work easier because it drains automatically. In the absence of such channels, you have to remove the board and then drain the accumulated water yourself.

How to Prevent Rust on Your Dish Drying Rack

Dish drying racks often have a special coating that resists rust and corrosion. To further add to your rack’s longevity, you can clean it weekly or monthly, depending on how frequently you use it or how quickly water stains build up. Here are the steps to take to clean your dish-drying rack:

  • Fill a bathtub or a container big enough to submerge the rack with hot water.
  • Pour some vinegar into the water.
  • Soak the rack for a while, and then scrub the dirtiest parts.
  • Now rinse the rack and let it air dry.
  • If the rack is made of metal, you should clean it with an absorbent cloth to reduce the chances of rusting.

Most dish drying racks nowadays come with powder coating that will prevent the formation of rust for years. But if you want to slow down the rusting process further, you can apply these tricks to make sure that the rack can last up to a long time.

How To Store Utensils in Dish Drying Racks

In most dish drying racks, the drainboard that comes with it is detachable. This gives you the option to store the dried items in the rack until you make space for new dishes. Additionally, features like detachable cutlery holders with organization compartments and hooks for holding mugs make it easier to store your utensils with ease. That said, make sure that you drain water that has accumulated in the drainboard after the dishes have dried. Otherwise, the pooled water can attract germs and bacteria that will further contaminate your kitchenware.

How Frequently You Should Clean Your Drainboard

The drainboard catches all the dripping water and either trickles it down to the sink or stores it until you empty it. In drainboards with no opening or channels to drain the water, mold, and mildew can grow when they are not cleaned properly. The sides of the board become slimy with a buildup of mold, and it makes the whole dish drying rack unsanitary and unhygienic to use. To prevent this, you have to spot-clean the drainboard at least once every two or three weeks. As most drainboards are made of plastic, it is recommended not to submerge them into scalding hot water as you can with metal racks. Instead, you should use normal water with 1/4 cup of bleach and a bit of detergent to clean the board.

Reviewing the Top Dish Drying Racks of 2023

JOEY’Z Dish Drying Rack

– Best Overall

img

Buy on Amazon

The JOEY’Z Dish Drying Rack is a great way to keep your kitchen organized and clutter-free. Made of heavy-duty hard plastic, this highly durable dish rack can accommodate a variety of plates, small plates or bowls, and cups, making it ideal for family use. Along with providing extra storage space thanks to its perimeter cup holders, its unique system of channeled grooves keeps dishes in place. Plus, the inclined drainboard drains excess water into the sink, keeping your utensils dry and ready to go. Durable, easy to assemble, and easy to clean, this dish drying rack is easily the best choice on our list.

Pros

  • Includes a drainboard and dish drainer
  • Fits well in small sinks
  • Durable, reliable design
  • Securely holds dishes

Cons

  • Smaller than expected

Simple Houseware 2-Tier Dish Drying Rack

– Most Effective

img

Buy on Amazon

Check Price On Walmart

Boasting two tiers, a cutlery bucket, and a translucent, detachable drainboard, the Simple Houseware 2-Tier Dish Drying Rack is great for any kitchen. The top tier can be used to dry plates of all sizes, while the bottom one can dry other items like bowls, tumblers, and so on. Furthermore, the detachable cutlery bucket is divided into two sections to help you separate your spoons from your forks to knives.

What stands out most about this pick is its drainboard, which has been designed so that accumulated water can easily be drained. It opens from one side to let the water gently trickle out, so you should place this rack next to your sink and keep the open side facing the sink. As the cherry on top, this sturdy dish drying rack is made of stainless steel, so you don’t have to worry about it rusting.

Pros

  • Available in four colors
  • Mug holders for optimal use of space
  • Detachable cutlery bucket allows for easy cleaning
  • Efficiently drains water

Cons

  • Side cup holders drip on the counter

ROTTOGOON Aluminum Dish Drying Rack

– Best Construction

img

Buy on Amazon

Made with a strong aluminum frame, this dish drying rack is durable, rust-resistant, and lightweight. One side is specifically designed to hold plates upright, while the other side can store all sorts of bowls and other crockery. Additionally, you can conveniently keep your tumblers, cups, and mugs on the four side holders, which are scratch-resistant.

To avoid water accumulation, this rack’s drainboard has an adjustable drainage channel that can rotate 360 degrees. You can simply adjust the angle according to your sink’s location and drain the water directly into it. And, if that wasn’t enough, this dish drying rack comes with four rubber-covered feet that make it more stable and protect your countertop from scratches. So, if you’re looking for a quality drying rack, this one may be right down your alley.

Pros

  • Robust aluminum frame
  • Removable parts for easy cleaning
  • Occupies minimal counter space
  • Special anti-scratch cup holder

Cons

  • The cutlery holder is quite shallow.

GSlife Dish Drying Rack

– Most Compact

img

Buy on Amazon

If you have limited space in your kitchen, it’s time to pick up the GSlife Dish Drying Rack. It has the capacity to hold nine plates along with other things like medium-sized bowls, mugs, and cutlery. Meanwhile, the two cutlery holders can be detached from the main frame and cleaned separately. It also comes with a drainboard that’ll prevent water accumulation on your countertop.

Along with these features, the dish drying rack’s wire frame is coated with paint so water and other factors cannot corrode the material. The package includes a sink grid as well, allowing you to protect its surface from getting damaged by hot pots and pans. Compact yet effective, this rack is an excellent addition to anyone’s kitchen.

Pros

  • Available in a range of colors
  • Detachable cutlery holders for easy cleaning
  • Non-slip rubber feet protect your countertop
  • Coating of paint prevents rust

Cons

  • Cannot accommodate larger items

iSPECLE 2-Tier Dish Rack

– Largest Capacity

img

Buy on Amazon

With an exceptionally large capacity, the iSPECLE 2-Tier Dish Drying Rack is great for bigger families. Its top tier can hold up to 17 plates and pans, while the bottom tier can hold 18 bowls. It also comes with a side cutlery rack for storing knives and spoons, with the other side letting you store cutting boards easily. Each tier, along with the cutlery rack, has separate drainboards as well to avoid spillage.

Even more, this dish drying rack is made of 304 stainless steel, preventing rust and corrosion from damaging the frame. At the same time, the thickened square feet and H-shaped design let the rack withstand up to 110 pounds. And, if you find the rack is a little wobbly, it also allows you to adjust its height for added stability.

Pros

  • Available in four colors
  • Separate drainboards for each tier
  • Enhanced stability with its H-shaped feet
  • Rust-resistant 304 stainless steel build

Cons

  • No separate hooks to store cups

KitchenAid Full Size Dish Drying Rack

– Most Convenient

img

Buy on Amazon

If you need convenience, look no further than the KitchenAid Full Size Dish Drying Rack. This product is designed to easily drain over your sink because the drainboard has one side open. The rack itself has just one layer, which is intelligently divided to fit an assortment of utensils and cutlery. Along with being able to store up to seven plates (plus some bowls), it has separate hooks to hang cups and mugs. It also comes with a detachable cutlery bucket divided into three sections to help you better organize your cutlery. Plus, since this heavy-duty rack is highly resistant to rust, you’re sure to get a ton of use out of it.

Pros

  • Large holding capacity
  • The cutlery compartment drains into the drainboard
  • Soft feet prevent scratches on the countertop
  • Comes with a removable flatware caddy

Cons

  • Hooks for mugs are placed too closely

People Also Ask

Q: Can I dry dishes in my dishwasher’s drying rack?

A: Yes, you can use the drying rack you already have. But, if you have more utensils than your dishwasher can fit at a time, it may be a good idea to get a small drying rack as well.

Q: Can I dry the dishes using a kitchen towel instead of using a dish drying rack?

A: Drying your dishes with the same towel every day isn’t recommended because it can accumulate germs and bacteria with each swipe. Using a dish drying rack is a much safer and more hygienic alternative.

Q: How can I get limescale out of my dish drying rack’s slats?

A: Sanitize a toothbrush that you no longer use and dip it into white vinegar. Scrub the slats vigorously with it to get rid of water stains and limescale.

Q: How do I drain the water from my dish drying rack’s drainage board?

A: Draining the water may be a bit of a problem if your dish drying rack has no drainage pipe or hole. In these cases, make sure to remove the tray and pour the accumulated water into the sink.

Q: What material should my dish drying rack be made of?

A: Although many racks are made of plastic (which is still a good choice), if you’re looking for durability, we’d recommend going for one made of stainless steel. It’s resistant to rust, looks great, and can easily handle the weight of your dishes without warping or breaking. Some other good options include silicone or aluminum.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Old House Journal

Old House Journal

Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes.

Learn More