best in class

The 13 Very Best Dish Racks

No more soggy countertops.

Photo: Marcus McDonald
Photo: Marcus McDonald

Washing dishes is a notoriously tedious household task, but a good drying rack can make the chore more manageable. Your countertop won’t be sopping with wet porcelain, once-dirty plates and bowls will have a safe place to perch until they’re ready to go back into their cabinets, and, best of all, the actual drying off is done for you. For me, that last part is probably the most important — I don’t want any extra work. To help you find the right dish rack, I asked professional organizers, recipe developers, and Strategist staffers (I even tested one out myself) about the ones they rely on.

Best overall | Best (less expensive) overall | Best with swivel spout | Best (less expensive) with swivel spout | Best for small kitchens | Best expandableBest (less expensive) expandable |Best two-tier | Best (less expensive) two-tier | Best over-the-sink | Best (less expensive) over-the-sink | Best folding | Best with drying mat

What we’re looking for

Material: To assess the durability of a dish rack, pay close attention to what it’s made out of. “While wood and bamboo look pretty, water is not their friend,” explains Lisa Zaslow, owner of Gotham Organizers. Steel, plastic, and silicone are your best bets instead, with steel coming in as the odds-on favorite. These racks are usually finished with a powder coating to prevent rust. For practicality’s sake, comparatively cheaper plastic and silicone can weather constant splashes from the sink and are easy to clean. Oftentimes, you’ll see the latter featured in foldable racks because it is lightweight, says professional organizer Caroline Solomon.

Design: Dish racks have a reputation of being, let’s say, not the easiest on the eyes. That’s why we searched for a balance between form and function, pointing out features that make dish-drying easier or that make a dish rack stand out aesthetically (or both).

Size: Knowing a dish rack’s dimensions will let you decide whether it’ll fit comfortably on your countertop, which is why we listed the measurements of each recommendation below. Since size is also related to portability — maybe you’d rather not have your dish rack in the open — we mentioned the weight of each, too.

Best overall dish rack

Steel, wood, resin | Handles, utensil holder, drainer tray | 13.19” x 18.5” x 7.87,” 4.08 pounds

No competitor came close to Japanese homeware label Yamazaki in mentions, with this dish rack taking the best-in-class blue ribbon as one of the most popular picks among our panelists. “Just look at it! It’s the best-looking dish rack you’ve ever seen, isn’t it?” says cookbook author and recipe developer Anna Stockwell of the Scandinavian-inspired steel silhouette that’s only ornamented with wood handles. But it’s not all about aesthetics, as Stockwell assures us it has held up well through two years’ worth of cleanups so far and has the capacity to hold many configurations of dishes, glasses, pots, and pans. It also boasts the Strategist-staff seal of approval (which is a big reason why it won the top spot), with kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman saying that “it’s a nice thing that it looks well made. And it really is well made.”

Best (less expensive) overall dish rack

Steel, wood, resin | Handles, utensil holder, drainer tray | 5.5” x 12” x 16.5,” 3.29 pounds

If you like the look of our best overall pick but think it’s too much of a splurge, take a cue from Alexandra Shytsman, recipe developer and founder of The New Baguette. She went on the hunt for a Yamazaki dupe once her old Ikea dish rack rusted out. That search led her to this Tomorotec that’s nearly a third of the price for a similar, minimalist look. One difference is that the Tomorotec dish rack comes with a two-compartment utensil holder instead of the three-compartment holder on Yamazaki’s. As for the rest of the design, Shytsman praises the not-too-tall plate slots — so you can dry off other tableware comfortably (and not on an angle) — and the easy-to-clean detachable tray.

Best dish rack with swivel spout

Steel | Removable swivel spout, utensil holder, anti-slip rubber feet, fingerprint-proof finish | 15” x 15.5” x 12,” 4 pounds

Zaslow describes this Simplehuman as “the Rolls Royce of dish racks” for its practical features, including a utensil holder with two compartments to separate knives from forks and spoons, hooks for drinking glasses, and a rack to hold wine glasses upside down. Its most ingenious detail, though, might be the swivel spout (versus a flat drip tray) that funnels excess water into your sink. This keeps the unit “practically spotless” without that pool of soapy water at the bottom, says Strategist associate editor Louis Cheslaw. In a second Strategist endorsement, writer Lauren Ro loves how its box shape allows the rack to “accommodate a bunch of [dishes], no matter how high you pile everything.” And unlike others on our list, you can choose between a more compact model and the full-size model (which costs $20 more).

Best (less expensive) dish rack with swivel spout

Aluminum | Retractable swivel spout, utensil holder, drain tray | 16.5” x 11.8” x 9.9,” 3.39 pounds

And as an affordable alternative, consider this rack that comes recommended by Hadley Sui, author of Oishisou!! The Ultimate Anime Dessert Cookbook. It’s also from Tomorotec, maker of the more affordable Yamazaki dupe above. This two-tiered rack features a swivel spout that’s similar to the spout on Simplehuman’s, but it’s retractable instead of removable — so you can tuck it in when you don’t need to use it. This design detail is what initially drew Sui to the Tomorotec dish rack: Tired of how her old dish rack produced ponds on the counter, she was awed by the Tomorotec’s telescopic drainage system. Now, even when water manages to escape from the spout, the tray acts as a guard. And Sui likes that the rose gold is a (non-distracting) pop of color.

Best dish rack for small kitchens

Steel, resin | Removable rotating spout, utensil holder | 9.06” x 16.54” x 6.69,” 3.97 pounds

If you can’t spare much countertop space, consider this second Yamazaki option recommended by writer and recipe developer Rebecca Firkser. It’s small but mighty: Firkser has managed to fit a Dutch oven, plates, cups, and a coffee pot all onto the rack, which has a similar rotating spout to Simplehuman’s. Firkser’s advice is to keep the rack propped up at a slight angle on one side (she uses two deli-cup lids to do this) to make sure all the water drains out. At just shy of $60, it’s pricier than her previous dish racks, but she has found it to be a worthy investment. In the two years since she bought it, the unit has held up through regular washes (of the utensil holder, base, spout, and accompanying stopper) and wipes (of the wired rack).

Best expandable dish rack

Metal, polypropylene | Nonslip rubber feet, utensil holder, low-profile | 14.37” x 11.3” x 5.48,” 2.88 pounds

Umbra’s Sinkin racks scored shoutouts from interior and prop stylist Cait Gury and Sharon Lowenheim, owner of the Organizing Goddess. This expandable rack works in, out, or on top of the sink. It doesn’t have a tray or spout; instead, it can sit directly into the sink to avoid puddles and wet dish towels on the counter, Gury says. Lowenheim, on the other hand, uses the non-expandable version. Since she doesn’t have much to hand-wash, she leaves the rack outside the sink (her pro tip: Add a drainer underneath since it doesn’t have one). She likes that the edge of the rack allows her to balance any dishes that are still damp from the dishwasher, including Rubbermaid food-storage containers that are hard to dry off completely in there.

Best (less expensive) expandable dish rack

Steel | Nonslip extendable rubber arms, utensil holder, low-profile | 12” x 15” x 4,” 1.54 pounds

Like the Umbra before it, you can leave this rack on the counter or use it in or over the sink. It’s expandable once you pull on the rubber handles. The low-profile design is decidedly minimalist, with the rack resembling a grocery-store shopping basket. “What makes this stand out is the fact that it doesn’t stand out,” says Heidi Lee, founder of the home-organization service Prune + Pare. She adds that the unobtrusive rack is “functional but not fussy.” It is so simple that it doesn’t come with a drip tray, either. That’s a plus for Lee, as she’s had trays get moldy over the years with other dish racks. You could also upgrade the included plastic utensil holder to this matching steel one and have the rack pull double duty as a colander for produce, Lee suggests.

Best two-tier dish rack

Steel, resin, silicone | Rotating swivel, movable draining board, utensil holder, hooks | 8.66” x 16.14” x 12.99,” 5.51 pounds

This double-decker dish rack counts professional organizer Britnee Tanner and Jessie Sheehan, author of Snackable Bakes, as fans. Though width-wise the rack may be best suited for bigger kitchens, it’s laden with space-saving features that Tanner describes as “thoughtfully designed.” That includes the shape itself, which can fit into a tight space without sacrificing drying ability. The second tier features side hooks designed for odd-shaped utensils or a sponge wand, while the lower level comes with a draining board with the same Yamazaki spout that can be removed to free up counter space. Sheehan originally owned our best overall pick, only to upgrade to this version. “Sturdy, streamlined, simple, and sophisticated, this is the dish rack to end all dish racks,” she says. As for its quality, Sheehan is impressed by how unscathed it looks, particularly as she “basically does dishes for a living.” She adds, “It’s strong and can easily handle a large clean Le Creuset pot dripping away on the bottom — or even top — tier.”

Best (less expensive) two-tier dish rack

Iron | Utensil holder, top tier for plates | 14.55” x 11.4” x 7.67,” 2.6 pounds

Naeemah Ford Goldson, owner of Restore Order Professional Organizing, directed us to this Squared Away set. The top of this rack is removable with slots specifically for plates, meaning you can stack larger dishes on the base, and there’s a two-compartment utensil holder for silverware. Considering its dimensions, it’s probably best for smaller kitchens or for those who, like Goldson, store it away after use. Just remember to wipe it down to keep the rust-resistant iron frame in tip-top shape.

Best over-the-sink dish rack

Steel, silicone | Perforated edges, utensil holder, dishwasher safe | Up to 20.5” x 3” when rolled out, 2.3 pounds

From Food52’s Five Two line, this over-the-sink dish rack is a favorite of Brittany Nims, associate director of e-commerce partnerships and business development at Vox Media, who has been using it since the company gifted it to her years ago. The rack does its dish-drying job admirably, rolling out across the sink, draining leftover dishwater, and featuring a portable, perforated caddy. Nims likes it for quick rinses and washing up after small meals. You can also use it as a trivet (it’s heat-safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit) and a produce-rinsing station — though when Nims is in a pinch, the rack acts as an extra countertop.

Best (less expensive) over-the-sink dish rack

Seropy Roll Up Dish Rack
$10
$10

Steel, silicone | Dishwasher-safe | 17.6” x 1.97” x 1.93,” 10.2 ounces

Hannah Starke, a former member of the Strategist’s social team, has a kitchen so small (22 square feet) that the fridge doesn’t even fit. Her host of creative storage solutions includes this rack, which, when unraveled, “creates a surface that allows the dishwasher to drain or things to dry while still leaving some sink space for me to use,” she says. When Starke needs her entire sink, she can roll it back up.

Best folding dish rack

Metal, silicone | Drip tray, hooks, two utensil holders | 16.54” x 20.08” x 12.99,” 3.5 pounds

Dutch brand Brabantia makes a collapsible dish rack that’s Solomon-approved. In contrast to other foldable options, she explains, this one comes with its own drip tray that doubles as a place to dry glassware and cookware and cleans easily because of its shallow, grill-like grooves. The dual silverware canisters — which you can attach to each end of the top shelf — are cleverly situated outside the drying rack, ensuring that there’s enough ventilation for everything to air dry properly, Solomon says. Once you’re done, you can store its parts separately. “This is the dish rack you wish you bought first before the other dinky versions,” she promises.

Because of her recommendation, I asked Brabantia to send me one to try out. There’s some compromise involved with this dish rack — it does take a fair amount of countertop space, but you’re getting a good deal of storage in return. The top easily holds plates from a four-person feast, and the rack comes with a number of silicone tubes (you can buy them separately if you need more) that you can slide onto the rack for plates (like dessert dishes) that may be too small to fit. I stack glasses on the top level whenever the bottom tray is full — the V shape keeps them from falling into the sink. This version of the rack also comes with hooks for wineglasses (its cheaper counterpart doesn’t include these). These are strong enough to cradle the most delicate stems even when they’re upside down. And it’s just something you won’t mind looking at while cleaning the dirtiest of dishes.

Best dish rack with a drying mat

Polypropylene, microfiber | Removable rack, drying mat | 24” x 18” x 2.5,” 2.25 pounds

Zaslow suggests this Umbra set for those short on counter space. It includes a detachable frame for plates, lids, and utensils along with a foldable drying mat made from three layers of microfiber, foam, and mesh. It’s highly absorbent while drying off quickly, Zaslow says. And though it serves as a miniature dish rack, she points out that the Umbra is sturdy enough to keep platters vertical with raised prongs that make sure “even [the most] delicate glassware doesn’t topple over.”

Some more dish racks we like

Our experts

Louis Cheslaw, Strategist associate editor
Rebecca Firkser, writer and recipe developer
• Naeemah Ford Goldson, owner of Restore Order Professional Organizing
Cait Gury, interior and prop stylist
• Heidi Lee, founder of the home-organization service Prune + Pare
• Sharon Lowenheim, owner of the Organizing Goddess
• Brittany Nims, associate director of e-commerce partnerships and business development at Vox Media
Lauren Ro, Strategist writer
Jessie Sheehan, recipe developer and author of Snackable Bakes
• Alexandra Shytsman, recipe developer and founder of The New Baguette
Caroline Solomon, professional organizer
• Hannah Starke, former member of the Strategist’s social team
Anna Stockwell, cookbook author and recipe developer
Hadley Sui, author of Oishisou!! The Ultimate Anime Dessert Cookbook
Britnee Tanner, professional organizer
Emma Wartzman, Strategist kitchen and dining writer
• Lisa Zaslow, professional organizer and owner of Gotham Organizers

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best dining room decor items, coffee makers, knife sets, Japanese coffee brewer, charcoal water filter, and drinking glasses for water and more. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

The 13 Very Best Dish Racks