If you don’t have a garden in which to put up a clothesline – or the space inside the home for a tumble dryer – you’ll need the best clothes airer you can find to dry your washing.
There are four types of clothes airers: tiered, winged, folding or tower.
Tiered designs pull up in a concertina shape and are usually three tiers high; they’re the best option if you have limited space to dry your clothes.
Winged types have a criss-cross base section and ‘winged’ sections that project out to the side.
They’re larger than tiered ones so require a bit more room, but there’s usually more space for air to circulate around the clothes so they’ll dry quicker.
Folding styles – usually with three or four sections – are often the cheapest and the easiest to store when not in use as they’re less bulky.
They can be positioned in any shape but aren’t the sturdiest design.
Finally, tower airers have a combination of vertical and horizontal bars on which to hang clothes, and often an area to hook on clothes hangers – a great addition if you wash a lot of shirts.
These, like tiered types, take up less room than other designs.
Obviously, the more bars on an airer, the more clothes you can hang up, but be careful not to overload them with heavy items, such as jeans and bulky jumpers, as they can collapse under the weight.
There are also narrow designs, usually winged designs, created for use on balconies where space is tight.
Finally, if you need to give your washing a helping hand to dry, there are heated airers available to speed up the process. Here’s our pick of the best designs to suit all spaces and budgets.
1. Best Wooden Clothes Horse
- Misto Natural Beech Wooden Clothes Airer, £30, Habitat – buy here
Think clothes airers can’t look nice? Think again.
This simple and unfussy natural-wood design has four tiers to provide ample drying room and takes up very little space in a room.
2. Best Indoor and Outdoor Folding Clothes Airer
- Home Vida Indoor Folding Clothes Airer in White, £9.24, Amazon – buy here
This three-section folding design is made from plastic so it’s super lightweight, and can be placed in any shape, depending on the space you have available.
The large bars make it particularly good for drying bigger items such as towels, or lots of smaller garments, including socks.
At under a tenner, you can’t really go wrong.
3. Best Tower Clothes Horse
- Minky Tower 40m Indoor Clothes Airer, £30, Argos – buy here
If you have a family to wash for and seem to find yourself with endless piles of washing, a tower airer is your best bet as they can dry the most clothes in one sitting.
On this one there’s also a useful space for clothes hangers and both vertical and horizontal drying bars.
4. Best Winged Clothes Drying Rack
- Frost Drying Rack in White, £10, Ikea – buy here
This winged design has more bars than you can shake a stick at, making it perfect for large loads of washing.
It does, however, need quite a lot of room, so is best for those who have plenty of space in a spare bedroom, for example.
Despite that, you definitely can’t fault the price.
5. Best 3-tier Clothes Rack
- Addis Deluxe 3 Tier Airer, £30, Dunelm – buy here
We like this tiered clothes airer because the makers have taken a classic design and made it better with the addition of sock pegs and a net section on the top for silky items, like lingerie and satin camisoles, that are likely to slip off the drying bars.
Because it’s tiered, it doesn’t take up much room either.
6. Best Heated Clothes Airer
- 3-Tier Heated Indoor Clothes Airer, £100, John Lewis – buy here
Made from aluminium alloy, just plug this lightweight heated airer into the mains and you’re good to go.
It heats up to a maximum of 50ºC, has three spacious tiers that can hold up to 5kg each of clothing, and four hooks at the bottom for drying socks or heating up slippers.
It also comes with a two-year guarantee.
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