The Best Dish-Drying Racks, According to Our Test Kitchen
Whether you're making a Raspberry Yogurt Cereal Bowl or Creamy Lemon Pasta with Shrimp, dirty dishes are an inevitable byproduct of cooking. From a single spoon to a sink full of pots and pans, washing up after a meal isn't an enjoyable activity for most people. While you might be able to pass off some of the responsibility to a dishwasher (check out 18 surprising items you can put in your dishwasher), for those without one (or for the items that aren't dishwasher-safe) having a dish-drying rack is essential in the kitchen. To help you find the perfect fit for your kitchen, we've pulled together this list of the best dish racks.
Types of Dish Racks
From aluminum dish racks to folding dish racks, there are many types to choose from. In this guide, we tested a wide range of models, including over-the-sink dish racks, dish racks with features to dry wineglasses, and more. While you may be wondering what the best type of dish-drying rack is, truthfully, that answer will vary kitchen by kitchen. Instead, when you're deciding which type of rack to buy, keep these two things in mind: space and usage.
For example, if you're working with limited counter space, buying an over-the-sink dish rack or a compact dish rack are both good options. If you're not worried about counter space, you'll still want to think about the space a dish rack will take up and make sure you have room by your sink so your dish rack can drain properly.
The second thing to consider is how frequently you plan to use the dish rack. For those with a dishwasher who only need to clean the occasional item, a smaller dish rack may be suitable. On the other hand, if you're without a dishwasher, a larger dish rack may be necessary so you're not stuck hand-drying everything. Keep these factors in mind and you'll easily find a dish rack that fits your kitchen.
Best Dish-Drying Racks
This is our list for the best dish racks. Each dish-drying rack was incorporated into a kitchen's daily routine for two days and was tested with plates, containers, pots, pans, utensils and more.
Read on for what makes these dish racks the best, as well as the ones that deserve an honorable mention.
Best Overall Dish Rack
KitchenAid Full-Size Dish Rack
If you're looking for the best dish- drying rack on Amazon (and the best dish rack overall, according to our Test Kitchen), you need this model from KitchenAid. The dish rack features three main sections: a three-compartment utensil caddy, slots for dishes and prongs for holding mugs, glasses, etc. While this setup is fairly standard for most dish racks, the KitchenAid takes the features to the next level. The caddy features separate slots for utensils, which ensure that everything dries properly (because we've all dealt with spoons sticking together). Aside from utensils, you can also use the caddy to dry other items like spatulas or reusable straws as the caddy's slots are removable, so you can adjust what fits based on your needs. The dish rack is also large enough that plates fit easily into the rack while also having additional room on the sides for other items (which wasn't the case for other dish racks tested). Lastly, the KitchenAid dish rack also features grips on the base of the rack, so it remains stable. Plus, the drain tray can be repositioned for any direction you place the dish rack.
Buy it: Amazon, $65
You might also consider:
Simplehuman Steel Frame Dish Rack
The Simplehuman is a great choice if you're looking for a larger dish rack. While we had no issue fitting items in the rack—it can hold everything from containers to cutting boards—we wished there were more slots for plates, as we had to constantly readjust items as we washed dishes throughout the day. All of the water drains and funnels out of a spout, which you can easily reposition depending on how you have the rack set up. But the best feature of the Simplehuman is the wineglass holder, which can hold up to four wineglasses, so you don't have to worry about fitting the long stems in the top rack of your dishwasher. This handy dish rack comes in two color options and would be perfect for those without a dishwasher.
Buy it: Simplehuman, $90
Best Over-the-Sink Dish Rack
Food52 Five Two Over-the-Sink Drying Rack
For the best over-the-sink dish rack, you can't beat the Food52 drying rack. This dish rack is designed for those with minimal counter space, as the rack sits over the sink. To use, simply roll out the rack and it's ready to hold anything from plates to pots and pans. (Just be sure to measure your sink; Food52 recommends this rack for sinks that are 19 inches wide or smaller.) The rack is made from steel, so it can hold heavy items. It's also coated in silicone, so the rack grips to the counter around the sink without falling down or scratching surfaces. This over-the-sink rack also features a removable utensil caddy, which you can also use as a mini colander. The rack also doubles as a trivet and comes in three gorgeous colors. The best part? Once you're done drying items, the rack rolls up neatly so you can store it until the next time you need it.
Buy it: Food52, $45
Best Dish Rack for Small Kitchens
Joseph Joseph Extend Expandable Dish Rack
If you're looking for the best dish- drying rack for small spaces, the Joseph Joseph dish rack is the answer. The dish rack can be used in two ways: as a square or extended into a rectangle. The square dish rack has plenty of room for bowls, plates and more, and would be perfect for daily use. It also features a cutlery holder, which you can move around the rack depending on what you're drying. Meanwhile, the extendable feature, which slides out from the square, is great if you're drying larger items like a saucepan or blender (which you might not be using on a daily basis). With this optional extension, this dish rack is perfect for any kitchen space and can accommodate all of your dish- drying needs.
Buy it: Amazon, $50
Best Compact Dish Rack
Target Collapsible Dish Rack
If you're looking for the best compact dish rack, this option from Target's Room Essentials line is an obvious winner. This sleek dish rack can be collapsed when not in use, which makes it easy to store in a cabinet, on a shelf or even on the countertop against the wall. When needed, the dish rack pops right back into shape and can hold plenty of kitchen items. While it's limited in length, the rack's high sides made it easy to stack items without anything falling over. Plus, the dish rack comes with a draining tray on the bottom, which funnels water directly into the sink. This affordable dish rack also features a section for utensils, which snaps on and off, so you can use it when needed. This compact dish rack would be perfect for college apartments or people with a dishwasher who need a little extra drying room.
Buy it: Target, $20
Best Budget-Friendly Dish Rack
Rubbermaid Large White Antimicrobial Dish Drainer
For the best budget-friendly dish rack, the Rubbermaid dish rack is the perfect choice. This simple and efficient dish rack includes a removable utensil caddy, multiple prongs for glasses and plenty of space for plates, containers and more. The only downside to this lightweight dish rack is that it doesn't include a tray to catch the water, so you'll need to place something down to avoid a wet countertop (like this drain board from Rubbermaid; buy it: Amazon, $18). Despite this missing component, this dish rack is an affordable and excellent choice for any kitchen (Or, if you have a double sink, this dish rack can sit in one side and drain directly into the sink).
Buy it: Walmart, $35
Best Aluminum Dish Rack
OXO Good Grips Aluminum Dish Rack
If you're wanting the best aluminum dish rack, this model from OXO fits the bill. Made from a sturdy aluminum frame, this dish rack easily holds pans, containers, mixing bowls and more. The dish rack features a removable drain tray, which snaps on the base of the rack and can be adjusted depending on the direction of your sink. Plus, despite its aluminum frame, the dish rack is super lightweight, so you can easily move it to different sides of your sink. The rack also features a removable utensil cup, which is deep enough to hold spatulas and serving spoons without them toppling over due to weight (which was an issue with some of the dish racks we tested).
Buy it: OXO, $52
Best Dish Rack with Drain Tray
Yamazaki Home Dish Rack—Steel + Wood
The Yamazaki Home dish rack is the perfect combination of sleek and functional. Made from a steel frame with wooden handles, this dish rack can hold any drinking glass, plate or microwave cover with ease. All the water from your clean dishes will drip onto the bottom tray, which collects the water (and there's no need to dump the water from the tray as it will naturally evaporate). In addition to the tray, the dish-drying rack also features a caddy with three compartments for forks, straws, chopsticks and more. Plus, the lightweight dish rack comes in two color options, white and gray, and would blend in seamlessly with any kitchen design.
Buy it: Yamazaki Home, $78