A good dish rack isn't exactly the most exciting purchase you can make for your home, but you will certainly appreciate its virtues every single day. Likewise, a bad one purchased with little thought will have you cursing slimy buildup and crowded, disorganized dishes. We rounded up our very favorites below, from the compact to the heavy duty, so you can make the dishwashing chore a little bit easier.
Last year I went with this beautiful metal dish rack with wood handles from Crate & Barrel, and I still think it's great. But this year, I was wooed away by the simple Bamboo dish rack—which I had forgotten from my childhood days (we had one for years in our house growing up). This thing could be in the MoMA's permanent collection it's so perfectly conceived: super affordable, biodegradable, foldable, and able to take on any dish size or object. While it may not be your style or your look, you have to consider it as an amazing solution. I just wish I knew who the smart person was who invented it!
If you're extra short on space, you might want to consider an in-sink dish rack. These contraptions not only free up your counters, but also keep your space dry and puddle-free. This one from the Container Store is small, holding up to four plates and a couple cups and utensils. While not the prettiest option, it does the job and costs under $10—making it the least expensive pick on our list.
Another in-sink pick, the Neat-O drainer (gotta love that cheesy name) has a chrome finish that blends with your sink and room for a couple plates and cups. It lacks a spot for drying forks and spoons, but for $10 you can also purchase a matching utensil basket.
Probably the most convenient of the in-sink options, this dish rack can be rolled up and put away when not in use. When needed, it fits over the sink so no counter space is used. This pick is also super functional and can be used as a vegetable colander or food prepping platform.
LARGE DISH RACKS
If you have a big kitchen and lots of dishes, this family-friendly dish rack is definitely right for you. With two tiers and side storage, there's plenty of room to fit all your dishes, cups, silverware—up to 23 plates or bowls total. It comes in two sizes (16 or 22 inches) and two shapes depending on your needs.
A great option from OXO, this dish rack is customizable for your specific needs. The plate rack can be folded down to make room for larger bowls and cookware, and the legs can be folded out for elevation. There's also a spout that opens to drain directly into the sink. It's a great choice, even if we may be a little biased here—this dish rack is the one we use in the Apartment Therapy office kitchen.
This pick is pricey but fully customizable. It has two different style drain boards, three separate cup holder attachments, and a cutting board attachment that can be used or set aside depending on what you want. Even better—the top shelf can be moved around and the utensil holder's top can be removed to hold sponges (or more utensils!).
Our top pick for an industrial style dish rack, this option from simplehuman comes in two sizes and has a great drainage system that keeps water flowing into the sink. If you're a wine lover you'll appreciate the built-in wine glass holder, which lets you safely hang up to four glasses by the stem in a separate area.
COMPACT DISH RACKS
Made up of three movable parts, this Joseph Joseph dish rack can be configured based on your preferences. You can make it small or wide depending on your counter space, and the widely spaced spikes are flexible and accommodate any type of dishware. Plus this one actually comes with the utensil basket included, a small but noteworthy feature.
Another x-shaped dish rack, this pick from Yamazaki will actually make your counter look good. Designed in Japan, it's fairly compact but holds a lot, and is a great style pick for contemporary, minimalist kitchens. It comes in either black or white, but we're personally partial to the clean look of the white.
This dish rack is a perfect combination of style and functionality, although it's definitely best for solo home dwellers who don't have a lot of dishes to clean. In addition to its stylish copper finish and minimal design, it can be folded and stored elsewhere when not in use—although you may not mind having it floating around on your counters.
More so than any other pick on our list, this one found at Crate & Barrel accomplishes the impossible and makes dish racks look pretty. It's a great size for small spaces—not too big, but large enough that you can fit more than a few items on it at a time. The clean white finish and wood handles make this our top style pick as well.
- Get kiddie dishes under control. Keep a dish rack in your cabinet to easily store those small plates and cups that don't quite seem to fit anywhere else.
- Organize storage container lids. I use this trick in my apartment and it's honestly been a gamechanger. Not only does it keep all those lids organized, but it also makes them much easier to access and put away.
- Weigh down containers in the dishwasher. Alternatively, you can use a dishwasher-safe dish rack to keep your lightweight food containers from moving around during washing.
- Make Hand-Washing Dishes a Breeze with This Bamboo Dish Rack, on Sale Right Now
- The Best Dish-Drying Racks and Mats, According to Kitchn Editors
- The Inexpensive Dish Rack Alternative I Love for My Tiny Kitchen
- The Best Dish Rack — Wirecutter
- The 7 Best Dishracks for 2018 — The Spruce
- The Best Dish Racks of 2018 — Reviewed
Updated from a post originally published in August 2015.