The Best Editor-Tested Dish Racks You Can Buy Right Now
When it comes to doing the dishes, everyone has their preference between hand-washing and using a machine. But even if one method feels more convenient than the other, when the plates are clean, everyone’s in the same boat. Unless you have the time to hand-dry each glass, bowl, platter, and pan, you need a dish rack. The worst is when the rack isn’t conducive to your space — either too large or too small, or already rusting even though you just bought it a month ago. That’s why finding a good one for your kitchen is so important. It might not be as exciting as shopping for decor, candles, or bedding, but you don’t want to be stuck with an unsightly or overcrowded drying setup.
It’s good news, then, that our staff has been trying out a plethora of diverse dish racks for weeks (or in some cases, for over a year). We’ve rounded up our top eight in a multitude of categories; see below to determine which one is best for you.
The Best Dish Drying Racks
- Best Overall: Dash SmartStore Dish Rack
- Best Budget-Friendly: GSlife Dish Drying Rack
- Best Compact: Umbra Holster Dish Rack
- Best Large: Simplehuman Standard Steel Frame Dish Rack
- Best Collapsible: OXO Good Grips Foldaway Dish Rack
- Best Two-Tier: Yamazaki Two-Tier Dish Rack
- Best Over-the-Sink: Food52 Over-the-Sink-Drying Rack
- Best Stainless Steel: KitchenAid Compact Drying Rack
What to Consider Before Buying a Dish Rack
Once you understand what to look for based on your space and needs, buying a dish rack should be relatively painless. Here’s what to think about:
The most important factor is size, both of your kitchen and of the rack itself. If you live in a tiny apartment with limited counter space, search for something collapsible or, well, small. That’s also true if you live alone and don’t wash a ton of dishes at once, or if you have a dishwasher already but need something for those pieces that need to be hand-washed. On the other hand, if you live in a larger house or with more than two people, you need to look for something more heavy-duty. Consider a two-tiered rack to take advantage of vertical space, or something wide that can accommodate a lot at once. And if you have double sinks, consider an over-the-sink rack to save on counter space.
Aside from the traditional dish rack style, there are a few models to keep an eye out for:
Collapsible: Collapsible or folding racks are great if you have room to store your dish rack when it’s not in use. Collapsible racks are generally larger and can be folded down to be more compact, whereas folding racks are slender enough to be placed in tight spots. Although these racks are great if you have limited counter space, you’ll need cabinet space to store them.
Two-tier: This style is smart if you want to double your drying space without sacrificing more of your countertop. There are a ton of options for this style, from compact models to restaurant-worthy beasts. Just make sure the one you choose has good drainage, as there will be double the space and double the water residue.
Over-the-sink: This style is generally best if you live alone and don’t have a lot of dishes to dry, or if you have absolutely no counter space. On the other hand, it’s a smart thing to own if you have a dishwasher or another traditional dish rack and want something to handle any extra dishware.
Roll-up: If you have absolutely no counter space and are low on storage space as well, this is the perfect dish rack for you. The roll-up is what it sounds like — it’s flexible (usually made out of silicone), so it can be rolled up and put away when it isn’t in use. These roll-up dish racks are meant to be used over the sink and are easy to clean.
What We Look for in a Dish Rack
We tested a wide range of dish racks for our list, judging them on the following criteria:
Functionality: How much does it hold? Is there proper drainage? Is it durable? Is it easy to keep clean?
Size: How big is it? Can it be collapsed to a smaller size? What kind of kitchen is it best suited for?
Construction: What’s it made out of? Will it rust?
Best Overall: Dash SmartStore Dish Rack
The Dash SmartStore dish rack checks all the boxes: functional, easy to assemble, and totally stylish. It lives up to its name, as the rack has room enough for dishes, cups, cutting boards, and more. It even has an off-to-the-side rack for bottles and fragile wine glasses. Best List editor Britt loves hers because it prevents dishes from becoming piled on top of each other. “It’s best for those who have a lot of counter space to work with since it’s so big, but it can store a lot of dishes,” she says. “It looks neat and organized, which is all I want for my kitchen.” You’ll also be happy to find that this family-friendly rack has extra high slots in its utensil holder to keep fingers safe from sharp chef’s knives.
Have you struggled with drainage in the past? This dish rack has a removable drying mat underneath its main surface, as well as a drainage spout that adjusts to three different positions, allowing you to choose which side you want the it to face. The narrow spout ushers all excess water directly into your sink. The tray can also be removed for cleaning. The whole thing isn’t the most lightweight options you’ll find, but it’s certainly one of the sturdiest.
Read our full review of the Dash SmartStore Dish Rack.
- Made of plastic with stainless steel legs
- Removable utensil holder
- 17″ x 28.5″ x 14″
- 9 lbs.
- Available in white or aqua
- 1-year warranty
Who It’s Best For: Those who live with two or more people; those who regularly hand-wash their dishes.
Good to Know: It can safely hold up to 40 lbs. of dishware.
Best Budget-Friendly: GSlife Dish Drying Rack
For under $30, this no-frills dish rack is a fantastic price for what you’re getting and is ideal for small spaces. The majority of its drying surface is flat, which is perfect for your cups, bowls, and other curved items. The rest of the surface is comprised of ridges where you can place plates, cutting boards, and similar flat pieces. Senior commerce editor Alicia has been using this dish rack for two years (though her boyfriend originally purchased it). Even after all this time has passed, the rack has held up better than you’d think. “It does struggle to hold a ton of heavy pots and pans, which is why I think that a small crack in the bottom formed last week, but it doesn’t affect how the dish rack works,” she says.
Still, this find drains exceptionally well; you just have to empty the underlying tray from time to time, but your countertop stays dry. The rack’s metal material also doesn’t rust, which explains why Alicia finds it so easy to take care of. “I don’t have to clean it often, which I think is a massive plus,” she says. “It can go about three months between needing to be wiped down.” All in all, the GSLife dish drying rack is the perfect option for a low-maintenance lifestyle.
- Made of metal
- Removable utensil holder
- 12″ x 16.5″ x 4.3″
- 2.5 lbs.
- Available in six colors
Who It’s Best For: Those on a budget; those with tight kitchen spaces; those who want something plastic-free.
Good to Know: The dish rack can be purchased with or without additional accessories, such as an extra drying tray or a pot lid rack.
Best Compact: Umbra Holster Dish Rack
Given how little counter space the Umbra Holster Dish Rack occupies, you might be surprised to learn that it can hold as many as 15 plates at a time in addition to stemmed glasses and utensils. For those living alone or with one other person, that’s more than enough storage capacity for your day-to-day. What’s more, the rack’s mid-level price proves reasonable when you take into account that its plastic construction and stainless steel frame are easy to clean and pleasant to look at. Assistant news and culture editor Noella describes this as the most luxurious dish rack she’s owned, noting, “The stemware rack is handy for a wine night and removable in case it takes up too much space. I’m also impressed by the rack’s sturdiness and functionality, specifically the slot that drains water.”
Indeed, the rack’s drainage spout can be adjusted to face either side. You also get a removable cup-shaped holder for eating utensils, plus a narrow, flat attachment to place under the wine glass holder for water collection or extra tray space. This modular rack is just the thing for dorms or apartments with tiny kitchens, as it truly makes the most out of the little space it takes up.
- Made of plastic and stainless steel
- Two removable utensil holders
- 13.5″ x 16.6″ x 6″
- 2.4 lbs.
- Available in white or charcoal
Who It’s Best For: Those with limited counter space; those who enjoy a regular glass of wine.
Good to Know: Although this rack doesn’t come with an under-tray drying mat, its foolproof drain prevents you from having to place a towel underneath or regularly wipe down the surrounding area.
Best Large: Simplehuman Standard Steel Frame Dish Rack
If you’re looking for something heavy duty, look no further than Simplehuman’s steel-frame dish rack. As usual, Simplehuman leaves the competition behind with their attention to detail — not only does this dish rack have a sloped drip tray to keep water flowing into the sink, but it also has an anti-residue coating to speed up drying time and prevent buildup. “It essentially works as a basin, collecting all the water drippings and allowing them to flow from the attached spout into the sink next to it,” says AT contributor Stella. “This feature also makes it easy to clean; I just pour hot, soapy water into the dish rack, and it flows right out, leaving a sparkly clean basin.”
Stella also praises the rack’s many attachments, such as a nicely sized utensil holder, side holders for mugs and cups, and a built-in wine glass rack that holds up to four extra-large red wine glasses. (And don’t worry, there’s an extendable drip tray for the cup holders!) Honestly, this thing is a beast and will carry you through all your kitchen messes — but it’s definitely not ideal for smaller spaces with limited counter space.
Read our full review of the Simplehuman Steel Frame Dishrack.
- Made of stainless steel with fingerprint-proof finish
- Built-in utensil holder
- 22.3″ x 20.2″ x 11.5″
- 7 lbs.
- Available in standard or compact sizes and gray, matte black, and white
- 5-year warranty
Who It’s Best For: Those who cook a lot; those with larger kitchens.
Good to Know: It’s also available in a compact size for smaller spaces.
Best Collapsible: OXO Good Grips Foldaway Dish Rack
This dish rack just so happens to be the one we use in the AT office, and it’s exactly what you would expect from the geniuses over at OXO. It’s an ideal size: not too small that it’ll fill up immediately, and not too big that it’ll take all the space (and attention) in your kitchen. Home projects director Megan likes that its unobtrusive design allows the rack to “fade into the background.”
It’s smart, too, with a center plate rack that folds down to accommodate larger cookware pieces and side cup racks to keep glassware safe and secure. Of course, the rack’s defining feature is in its name. “I really like that the plate rack is collapsible, so it’s easy to use this tray to store larger pots and pans to dry,” Megan adds. Additionally, the collapsibility allows you to hide the rack when you’re not using it, freeing up more work space. Either fold it up and place it in a cabinet, or, if you don’t have room, fold it down and leave it out — the compact shape and light gray color make it hardly noticeable on your countertop.
- Made of plastic with stainless steel legs
- Removable utensil holders
- 19.4″ x 15.5″
- 4.7 lbs.
- Lifetime warranty
Who It’s Best For: Those who want something collapsible.
Good to Know: It comes with a lifetime warranty!
Best Two-Tier: Yamazaki Two-Tier Dish Rack
What can we say? Yamazaki knows what they’re doing. This two-tier dish rack is a prime example of the Japanese brand’s ingenious collection of kitchen tools, and it’s a great option for smaller households. Minimalist and compact, this rack is small but packs in a ton of features. Upon receiving hers, Alicia worried that it would be too small to fit all the clean dishes in her two-person household. “But I was pleasantly surprised that it fit a day’s worth of dishes (minus our biggest pots and pans),” she says. “It’s absolutely perfect for my apartment that has so little counter space.” Although this piece is tall, it’s still likely to fit under your low-hanging cabinets, so you don’t have to worry about that.
What’s more, the rack’s bottom tray is removable to easily get rid of excess water, or you can take it out to create more room for cookware (just remember a drying mat). There’s also a water spout for easy draining and extra hooks you can hang on the sides for awkward utensils, as well as a spot to place your dish towel. It’s a very cute option (which is not a word I would use lightly to describe a dish rack), but take note that it is pretty small.
- Dish rack is made of ultra-durable steel; utensil holder and removable tray are made of BPA-free plastic
- Removable utensil holder
- 8.7″ x 16.1″ x 13″
- 5.5 lbs.
- Available in white or black
Who It’s Best For: Those who have limited kitchen space; those who live alone; those who don’t cook often; those who want something stylish.
Good to Know: You can place the bottom tray on a higher tier so that it fits right beneath the top rack to prevent dripping.
Best Over-the-Sink: Food52 Over-the-Sink-Drying Rack
If you have absolutely no, and I mean zero, counter space, an over-the-sink drying rack is the way to go. That, or perhaps you have double sinks and just don’t want to sacrifice the existing space you do have for a bulky basket. Whatever the case may be, this inexpensive find from Food52 is the best one to invest in. Executive home director Danielle considers it a life-saver for her tiny NYC kitchen. “It’s slotted and fully ventilated, with your sink becoming the catchall for drips and moisture as your pieces dry,” she says. “This makes the rack itself much easier to keep clean, since water and other gunk can’t pool in the ridges of the drying mat itself or the plastic dish that often comes with countertop rack models to collect drainage.” When both your dishes and rack are dry, simply roll up the flexible mat and stash it in a drawer until you need it again.
Because this over-the-sink rack is made of stainless steel coated in grippy silicone, it also won’t budge as you stack it with plates or if you accidentally nudge it while washing. It’s durable in every sense of the word; Danielle even uses its ventilated slots as a trivet for hot pots (the silicone is heat-resistant up to 550°F!) and as a colander for produce. It’s the triple-duty dish rack of every small-space dweller’s dreams.
Read our full review of the Five Two Over-the-Sink Dish Drying Rack.
- Made of stainless steel rods coated in BPA- & BPS-free silicone
- 20.5″ x 12.3″
- 2.3 lbs.
- Available in Peppercorn, Smoked Salt, and Slate Blue
Who It’s Best For: Those with zero counter space; those with double sinks; those who want a backup.
Good to Know: It’s dishwasher-safe, so cleaning this dish rack is a breeze.
Best Stainless Steel: KitchenAid Compact Drying Rack
For some people, it’s important that every home good is also able to double as decor. If you find yourself in that camp, KitchenAid’s compact drying rack is for you. This sleek, rust-proof beauty sports a wire frame and brushed stainless steel panels that just look so much nicer than customary plastic. Senior commerce editor Ian says that the “stainless steel and gray accents make my kitchen look a lot fancier than it really is,” but that’s clearly not all he loves about the compact drying rack. “It’s the perfect size for my tiny countertop space next to my sink!” he adds. “I also love the built-in coffee mug and drinking glass holder.” The holder in question consists of metal prongs with silicone tips that hold drinkware in place off to the side so they don’t take up real estate on the general drying surface.
Other features that make this dish rack a standout are its soft, silicone-covered feet that won’t scratch up your countertops, as well as a roomy utensil holder that spans the entire width of the rack. Place the holder on the inside of the frame to save counter space, or hook it onto the outside to have more storage area for your dishes. On top of that, the rack has an angled drainage board that funnels runoff directly into your sink. What’s not to love?
- Made of stainless steel and metal wire with plastic and silicone details
- Removable utensil holder
- 17″ x 13″ x 6.5″
- 5.4 lbs.
- Available in gray and black
Who It’s Best For: Those with limited counter space; those who prefer a sleek aesthetic.