Some people find doing the dishes by hand meditative and some would rather tackle almost any other chore. Whatever your thoughts on the matter, you’ll need a dish rack to hold your clean dishes and allow them space to dry naturally. The right dish rack will make the task easier, so it doesn’t seem like a game of Tetris trying to fit all your dishes.
We reviewed dozens of dish racks to identify the best of the best. It’s important that your chosen dish rack is large enough to hold everything you need it to, whether you do all your dishes by hand or only those items that aren’t dishwasher safe. Those who don’t have a built-in draining board to the side of their sink will need to buy a dish rack with a drip tray to catch the water that comes off the dishes, and preferably a drainage system to siphon the water into the sink.
After extensive research and careful consideration, the simplehuman Steel Frame Dish Rack stood out as the clear best dish rack overall. It’s highly durable, won’t rust, and has some handy extra features, such as a wine glass holder.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Dish Racks
|Best Dish Rack Overall||simplehuman Steel Frame Dish Rack||4.7|
|Best Over the Sink Dish Rack||Tsmine Over The Sink Dish Drying Rack||4.7|
|Best Budget Dish Rack||Neat-o Deluxe Small Dish Drainer||4.7|
|Best Two-Tier Dish Rack||GSlife Two-Tier Dish Drying Rack||4.3|
|Best Bamboo Dish Rack||NOVAYEAH Bamboo Dish Drying Rack||4.3|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Dish Rack Overall: simplehuman Steel Frame Dish Rack
In our opinion, the simplehuman Steel Frame Dish Rack could hardly be improved upon. If you’re looking for a dish rack to last you a lifetime, this is the one. Made from sturdy stainless steel, it’s a hugely durable option that looks good too. Plus, the stainless steel exterior has a fingerprint-resistant finish to do away with those annoying smears and smudges. We love that the drip tray has an integrated drainage spout so that water automatically runs into the sink.
Inside, there’s plenty of room for a range of dishes, with the main drying area measuring just under 20 by 18 inches. You’ll also find a rack for wine glasses on one side of the drying area and a rack for mugs and cups on the other, freeing up more space for larger dishes in the main drying area. The drip tray extends out underneath these racks when you need it to, so you won’t miss a drop. All these do come at the fairly hefty price of $80, but buyers are satisfied that it offers value for money.
simplehuman Steel Frame Dish Rack Key Features:
- Special coating on the drip tray avoids the build-up of unpleasant residue
- Utensil holder included for drying knives, forks, and spoons
- Large capacity
Best Over the Sink Dish Rack: Tsmine Over the Sink Dish Drying Rack
If you’re short on space in your kitchen, the Tsmine Over the Sink Dish Drying Rack is an ideal choice. Rather than sitting to one side of your sink, the way most dish racks do, this one sits over the sink, so the only extra space it takes up is an inch or so on either side of the sink where the feet sit. What’s more, the dishes drain straight into the sink below, so there’s no need to worry if you don’t have a built-in draining board and there’s no drip tray to empty.
The adjustable design means this dish rack fits any sink between 32.5 and 39.5 inches wide. There’s plenty of room for bowls, plates, and drinking vessels, plus built-in flatware and utensil holders. There are also seven utility hooks to hold larger utensils like ladles and spatulas. It’s extremely stable and can hold up to 60 pounds in weight. At $73, it isn’t the cheapest dish rack out there, but its large size and convenient design make it worth the extra cash.
Tsmine Over the Sink Dish Drying Rack Key Features:
- Suction cups on feet help keep it in place
- Rust-resistant design
- Easy to set up
Best Budget Dish Rack: Neat-o Deluxe Small Dish Drainer
If you live alone or put the majority of your dishes in your dishwasher, you really only need a compact dish rack, such as the Neat-o Deluxe Small Dish Drainer. The perfect choice for light use, the drying area of this model measures roughly 14 by 13 inches, which is large enough to dry a handful of pots and pans that aren’t dishwasher safe or all your dinner dishes from a household of one or two. It has slots to hold up to 8 dishes and a removable utensil holder.
It doesn’t include a drip tray, so you’ll need to place it on a draining board or in a second sink if you have a dual sink setup. It certainly isn’t the fanciest of dish racks, but it’s perfect for those who want a simple model at a low price. It costs just $16, which is by far the lowest price in our top five.
Neat-o Deluxe Small Dish Drainer Key Features:
- Rubberized bottom half for grip and to avoid rusting
- Compact design means it fits entirely in an average sink
- Three external glasses holders
Best Two-Tier Dish Rack: GSlife Two-Tier Dish Drying Rack
If an average dish rack doesn’t give you enough room for all your dishes, try the GSlife Two-Tier Dish Drying Rack. It measures roughly 17 by 10 inches, which is a fairly compact footprint for a dish rack, but it gives you double the drying space due to its two-tier design. The top tier has slots to hold up to 17 plates, while the bottom tier is designed to hold bowls, glasses, and mugs. It has a separate attachment on one end for utensils and on the other end to hold pot lids and chopping boards.
Each tier has its own detachable drip tray to collect water. It’s nice to have both top and bottom trays so the water from the items drying on the top rack doesn’t drip onto the dishes below. It costs $40, which most buyers find reasonable considering how much drying space you get.
GSlife Two-Tier Dish Drying Rack Key Features:
- Rubber anti-slip feet
- Available in silver or black finishes
- Made from stainless steel to resist rust
Best Bamboo Dish Rack: NOVAYEAH Bamboo Dish Drying Rack
If you love the natural appearance of bamboo, the NOVAYEAH Bamboo Dish Drying Rack is an obvious choice for you. Since it’s naturally more water-resistant than wood, it won’t crack or warp when it gets wet, nor will it rust the way that some metal dish racks do. The x-shape design of this dish rack gives plenty of room to hold plates in the top of the x, plus room for glassware, mugs, and bowls on each bottom arm. It also features a caddy for flatware and large utensils.
One drawback for some is that it doesn’t offer a drip tray, so you’ll need to place it on a towel or a separate drip tray if your sink doesn’t have a draining board. Thanks to its collapsible design, this is the perfect option for anyone who doesn’t want to keep their dish rack set up full time. Retailing at roughly $37, it isn’t cheap but you do get plenty of drying space.
NOVAYEAH Bamboo Dish Drying Rack Key Features:
- Has three drying areas providing lots of space
- Folds up for easier storage
- Removable utensil holder
Who Should Buy a Dish Rack
A dish rack is one of those items that almost all households require. If you do all your dishwashing by hand, you’ll need a large dish rack to accommodate all your plates, mugs, pots, pans, and so on. Unless you always have somebody on hand to dry, then a dish rack is essential. Even if you use a dishwasher, there are always some items that aren’t dishwasher safe or you simply don’t trust in the dishwasher, such as your best china or your cast iron skillet.
You can leave your dishes in the dish rack until they dry naturally then put them away, which is generally considered more hygienic than using a dish towel unless you use a fresh one every time, which means extra laundry.
Important Features to Consider
A dish rack should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a dish drying rack:
- Drip tray. Since built-in draining boards aren’t as common in the U.S. as they are in Europe and some other parts of the world, most buyers will need a dish rack with a drip tray to catch the water running off the dishes. Otherwise, you’ll need to use a towel or drying mat below, or simply deal with the watery mess on your countertop. Usually, you’ll need to empty and wipe clean the drip tray after each use of the dish rack, but some high-end models have built-in drainage spouts to direct the water into the sink.
- Size. Check the dimensions of your chosen dish rack. Some can give you a huge drying area of 20 by 20 inches or slightly more, which is big enough to accommodate pots and pans, as well as standard plates and dishes. Others are much more compact at around 10 by 14 inches, which are best for small households or anyone who only hand washes a few items. You’ll also find a range of sizes in between.
- Tiers. Some drying racks have two tiers, which gives you more drying room for the amount of counter space it takes up. Two-tier dish racks are great for people with compact kitchens who do all their dishes by hand.
- Material. The majority of dish racks are made of metal. Stainless steel is the best choice of metal for dish racks since it’s rust-resistant. Bamboo dish racks are also relatively popular, though they can grow mold if you don’t dry them after use. Plastic is also an option in some cheap dish racks, but it isn’t the most durable option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dish racks sanitary?
Yes, dish racks are sanitary, as long as you clean them semi-regularly. In fact, air-drying your dishes is generally considered more sanitary than drying them with a dish towel, since there are no potential issues with how clean the dish towel is.
Can I clean my dish drying rack in the dishwasher?
Although you’re only putting clean dishes in your dish rack, you should still clean it occasionally to kill bacteria and prevent scale from building up. Many dish racks can safely be cleaned in the dishwasher, if you have one, though always check the manufacturer’s directions to make sure, especially if it’s an expensive dish rack that you’d struggle to replace.
How can I keep my metal dish rack from rusting?
In theory, choosing a stainless steel dish drying rack means that it won’t rust. However, some cheap stainless steel options use inexpensive grades of stainless steel with a low chromium content, which are more prone to rusting than more expensive grades of stainless steel. You can prevent rust from building up by drying it after use and not leaving it to sit in water.
Do I need a dish drying mat?
If your dish rack comes without a drip tray and you don’t have a built-in draining board, then you may need to sit your dish rack on a dish drying mat to absorb the water that drains off your clean dishes. It isn’t the ideal option, however, since dish drying mats are prone to mold and mildew.
Other Dish Racks We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other dish drying racks. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best dish racks list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Single-Tier Dish Racks
Simple but well-made and highly rated, this dish rack consists of a metal rack, drip tray, and cutlery holder.
- Measures 15 by 20 inches
- Three color options
Cost: $28 to $55
Measuring 16 by 12 inches, this compact drying rack is great for occasional use or for small households.
- Comes with drip tray and utensil holder
- Coated to resist rust
- Non-slip feet
This high-end dish rack has non-scratch slots of plates and dishes and a ribbed area for drying glasses and bowls so water doesn’t get trapped underneath.
- Extendable design
- Drip tray with self-draining spout
- Removable cutlery drainer
Made by a top brand in the world of kitchenware, this is a dish drainer you can rely on. It’s well-designed to maximize drying space.
- Self-draining drip tray
- Large utensil caddy
- Choice of colors and styles
Cost: $40 to $60
At roughly 14 by 16 inches, you can find larger dish racks, but this one is reasonably spacious and large enough for most households.
- Drainage spout in drip tray
- External loops for glasses and mugs
- Removable flatware drainer
Not only does this dish drying rack give you plenty of room for all kinds of dishes, it folds away for easier storage when not in use.
- Measures approximately 20 by 15 inches
- Utensil caddy
- Drip tray with drainage spout
A simple and affordable dish rack for those who want to go back to basics. You can choose from a wide range of colors to match your kitchen.
- Removable flatware drainer
- Drip tray
- Drying area of 12 by 19 inches
Cost: $20 to $22
If you have a dual sink set up in your kitchen, this compact drying rack can fit directly in your second sink for a convenient drying solution.
- 14 by 11 inches
- Utensil holder
- Wire is coated for rust-resistance
Two-Tier Dish Racks
A nicely laid-out two-tier rack with extra mug hooks to free up space and a removable cutlery drainer.
- Drip tray
- 25 by 12-inch footprint
- Holds up to 50 lbs
You have plenty of options with these two-tier dish racks. Choose between R-shaped and S-shaped models in either 16 or 22-inch sizes.
- Cutlery caddy
- Mug hooks
- Drip tray
Cost: $17 to $23
Not only do you get upper and lower drip trays, but there’s also an extra drip tray to sit below the utensil drainer with this rack.
- Footprint of roughly 16 by 10 inches
- Non-slip feet
- Holds up to 17 plates
This is an inexpensive option considering how much drying space you get, with a footprint of roughly 11 by 13 inches,
- Self-draining drip tray
- Utensil holder
- Mug hooks
This might not be the most stylish of dish racks, but it’s durable, stable, and gets the job done.
- Hold up to 16 plates
- Drip tray on the lower rack
- Cutlery holder and chopping board rack
Over the Sink Dish Racks
This is a spacious choice with two levels plus additional racks and holders for utensils, chopping boards, soap, and more.
- Fits sinks up to 31.5 inches wide
- Non-slip feet
- Comes in silver or black
Cost: $56 to $66
This sturdy over the sink drying rack is adjustable between 29 and 33.8 inches wide to fit a range of sinks.
- Height adjustable to make room for different faucets
- Suction cups on feet
- Hooks for mugs and glassware
Cost: $83 to $106
A well-designed over-the-sink dish rack with plenty of space up top for plates, bowls, and cups, this rack’s width adjustable between 33.5 and 40 inches.
- Cutlery holder
- Hook for large utensils
- Chopping board rack
This is a two-tier over the sink option that gives you even more space for drying dishes and fits sinks up to 32 inches across.
- Cutlery holder with drip tray
- Stable with non-slip feet
- Made from quality stainless steel
Bamboo Dish Racks
This dish rack looks great and has a spacious design with slots for up to 14 plates plus a lower shelf for mugs and other items.
- Folds flat for storage
- 18 inches long
- Doesn’t stain
This gives users lots of room for drying dishes with ample space for plates up top and two lower drying areas.
- Removable utensil drainer
- Natural anti-microbial properties
Not as spacious as some bamboo models, with only one lower draining area, plus the plate rack on top, but this rack is still a good choice for small to medium households.
- 16 inches long
- Comes with utensil holder
- Easy to set up