Fully functional picks for any size kitchen.
Though admittedly not the sexiest kitchen appliance, a dish drying rack is something the vast majority of kitchens — even ones with a dishwasher! — can benefit from. Sure, there are other options for those who do a lot of hand washing, like drain boards or microfiber mats, but a dish rack helps keep everything separate, allowing for better airflow and drainage, which ultimately speeds drying time, says Carolyn Forte, Director of the Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute.
Letting dishes, utensils, and pots and pans air dry in a dish rack also tends to be a more sanitary option than towel drying, since there's no question as to how clean the towel you're using may be. Because they are hard surfaces and the dishes they hold are clean, drying racks are inherently rather hygienic, says Forte. The key to keeping them that way (plus, free from rust) is to keep them dry. When you're done, simply dry them off. And, for added insurance, some are even dishwasher-safe for occasional deep cleans. (Once every few weeks should be sufficient, says Forte.)
When the GH Cleaning Lab test dish racks, we assess how easy they are to assemble, how many items they hold for the amount of counter space they occupy, how securely they hold various sizes of dinnerware, glassware, flatware and cooking utensils and how completely they drain excess water into the sink. Finally, we evaluate how easy they are to clean and store away and the performance of any bonus features they offer.
If you're considering adding a drying rack to your space, these are the top contenders hand-picked by the product experts in the GH Institute from trustworthy brands we recommend and products that have done well in Lab tests. From expandable tiered versions for avid cooks with tons to dry to fully collapsible over-the-sink alternatives for small spaces, each of these drying racks exists to make a dreaded task just a little bit easier: