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Best Clotheslines for Air Drying Clothes of 2023

Updated
10 clotheslines that make air drying laundry easier.

Many people opt to hang their clothes on clotheslines, especially during the warmer months. It’s an excellent way to save energy and money. But with hundreds of options on the market — how do you choose the best one?

We researched high and low, spending hours looking at each product’s purpose, ability, and special features. With a list of the 10 best clotheslines, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Whether you’re in the market for a travel option, something ceiling-mounted, or foldable — we have plenty of options to peruse.

Get ready to find a clothesline that will make air-drying your clothes easier than ever before!

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the HAWATOUR Portable Travel Elastic Clothesline Adjustable Clothesline with 12pcs Clothespins for Outdoor and Indoor Use (Blue)
Best Travel Clothesline
Hawatour Portable Elastic Clothesline
  • Lightweight & easy to carry
  • Can be installed anywhere
  • Travel must-have
Product Image of the SONGMICS Clothes Drying Rack, Foldable 2-Level Laundry Drying Rack, Free-Standing Large Drying Rack, with Height-Adjustable Wings, 33 Drying Rails, Sock Clips, for Clothes, Sheets, Blue ULLR53BU
Best Indoor Clothesline
Songmics Foldable Drying Rack
  • Durable stainless steel
  • 27 sock clips
  • Adjustable wings for large garments or sheets
Product Image of the Foxydry Mini, Ceiling Mounted Clothes Drying Rack, Pulley Clothesline, Vertical Folding Laundry Drying Rack
Best Ceiling Mounted Clothesline
Foxydry Ceiling Mounted Drying Rack
  • Space-saving
  • Easy to pull down & up
  • Sturdy aluminum and steel material
Product Image of the Home Solution Foldable Garment & Clothes Drying Rack, 2-Tier Adjustable Height, 60 Garments, Stainless Steel, Sturdy 4 Legs, Wheels
Best Two-Tiered Clothesline
Home Solution 2-Tier Drying Rack
  • Comes with wheels
  • Can be used indoors/outdoors
  • Good airflow for quicker drying
Product Image of the AERO W Racks Stainless Steel Wall Mounted Collapsible Laundry Clothes Drying Rack 60 Pound Capacity 22.5 Linear Ft
Best Wall-Mounted Clothesline
Aero W Wall Mounted Laundry Rack
  • Reduces wrinkles on clothes
  • Holds 60 pounds of laundry
  • Weather-resistant
Product Image of the Nylon Rope, Paracord 550 Works Well for Camping Hiking Utility, Good for Clothesline, Tie, Pull, Swing and More - 1/4 Inch by 80 Ft. White
Best Clothesline Rope
Ram-Pro 80 ft. All-Purpose Rope
  • All-purpose
  • Weather-resistant
  • Mold and rot-resistant
Product Image of the Household Essentials 17130-1 Rotary Outdoor Umbrella Drying Rack | Aluminum | 30-Lines with 210 ft. Clothesline
Best Umbrella Clothesline
Household Essentials Drying Rack
  • Weather-resistant and rust-proof
  • 210 feet of space
  • Rotates so you can easily hang clothes
Product Image of the Retractable Clothesline - Portable Heavy Duty Indoor and Outdoor Washing Line - 40 Feet PVC Retracting Clothes Line with Wall Mount Hang The Wet Dry Clothing Laundry - Easy Installation (Grey)
Best Retractable Clothesline
Riveda Retractable Clothesline
  • Easy to install anywhere
  • Retractable and compact
  • Adjustable length up to 40 feet
Product Image of the Household Essentials Outdoor Clothesline, 86 inches high, 46 inches Wide, and 3 inches deep 3-inch Diameter Post, White
Best T-Post Clothesline
Household Essentials Clothesline
  • Classy traditional appearance
  • Sturdy, even on windy days
  • Rust-resistant
Product Image of the Home-it Bamboo Wooden clothes rack - heavy duty cloth drying stand
Best Foldable Clothesline
Home-it Bamboo Clothes Drying Rack
  • Versatile and spacious design
  • Easy to transport
  • Resistant to warping & splintering


Product Reviews

We’ve spent hours researching real customer reviews, expert advice, as well as applying our own insight. We have been using clotheslines for years, so we can confidently recommend these top 10 best clotheslines on the market!

1. Hawatour Portable Travel Elastic Clothesline

Best Travel Clothesline

When you’re traveling, camping, or sharing a communal garden — you’ll want to try the Hawatour portable travel clothesline. You can easily put this up and take it down as and when you need to use it.

This is a must-have for people who love traveling, camping, swimming, fishing, boating, canoeing, and other outdoor activities. You can hang it between trees to dry your clothes, socks, and swimwear.

What makes this travel clothesline so great is that it comes with movable stoppers and clothespins. You can position each clothespin so that it stays put. Your clothes won’t all fall into the middle. They stay nice and fresh, so they dry quickly and don’t get musty and smelly!

You can hang the clothesline anywhere! It comes with bungee stainless steel hooks. Just wrap it around a sturdy object, secure the hook and hang up the line.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Clothes don’t fall into the middle.
  • You can install it anywhere.
  • Must-have for travelers.
  • Stainless steel hooks and clothespins are durable and rust-resistant.
  • Available in four color options.

Cons

  • Only stretches 10 feet.
  • Only has 12 clothespins, so you might need to buy a few.

Product Specs

Material Elastic and stainless steel
Length Up to 10 feet
Sturdiness Yes
Water Resistant Yes
Versatility Indoors and outdoors

2. Songmics Foldable Clothes Drying Rack

Best Indoor Clothesline

If you don’t have a tumble dryer or just want to save energy but live in a rainy or humid place — you need to get an indoor clothesline. For this, we recommend the Songmics foldable clothes drying rack.

It folds up compactly, but when it’s open, it’s perfectly spacious! It has 33 rails over two tiers so that you can hang up all your clothes without anything overlapping.

Made from stainless steel, this durable clothesline can hold up to 77 pounds of clothes. It won’t get rusty, moldy, or mildewy — and it will last years.

Another feature: sock clips! There are 27 added sock clips on the ends of the clothesline wings so you can hang up your socks without them blowing away or falling off.

Lastly, the wings are adjustable. So if you have long towels or bed sheets, you can angle the wings, so the fabric doesn’t trail on the ground.

Pros

  • Easy to open, close, and store.
  • Durable stainless steel material is rust and mold-resistant.
  • 27 included sock clips.
  • Adjustable wings to air dry large garments or sheets.
  • 33 rails over two tiers for quicker drying.
  • Can hold up to 77 pounds of clothes.

Cons

  • Takes up space when opened.
  • Might be over budget.
  • Many customers said the product arrived dented.

Product Specs

Material Stainless steel
Length 72 feet in total
Sturdiness Yes
Water-Resistant Yes
Versatility Indoors or outdoors

3. Foxydry Extendable Ceiling Mounted Drying Rack

Best Ceiling Mounted Clothesline

Want to save space, have a statement clothesline and make drying clothes a little bit fun? Then you should check out the Foxydry extendable ceiling-mounted drying rack.

This is a great way to use every inch of space in your home. Simply use the pulley system to pull down the clothesline.

Hang your clothes on it before pulling it back up out of the way. Make use of vertical space and get the clothes out of the way of your everyday activities.

The rack is definitely a space saver. It comprises eight drying rails that accommodate almost 12 meters of drying area. So you can widen it for larger items like sheets or towels.

It’s made from aluminum and steel, so it’s sturdy. But if you exceed the 22-pound weight limit, you might have issues. This can be a hazard since it could fall from the pulley system.

Pros

  • Saves space since it descends from the ceiling.
  • Easy to pull down and up.
  • Reliable and sturdy aluminum and steel material.
  • Works in any room.
  • Up to 39 feet of drying space.
  • It can hold up to 22 pounds of laundry.

Cons

  • Safety hazard if it falls.
  • A challenge to install.
  • Very expensive.

Product Specs

Material Aluminum and steel wood
Length 39 feet in total
Sturdiness Yes
Water-Resistant Yes
Versatility Indoors

4. Home Solution 2-Tier Clothes Drying Rack

Best Two-Tiered Clothesline

The Home Solution 2-Tier clothes drying rack is handy if you want two levels. It also saves more space than a multi-tier drying rack. Plus, it provides better airflow.

The way this works is you hang your clothes on hangers, then attach the hangers to the arms. Then your clothes dry in their natural position without folds or bumps ingrained into them. This method reduces wrinkles, too!

You can also use this clothesline for ironing. When you’ve ironed a shirt, keep this clothesline nearby, hang it up, and let it completely cool wrinkle-free!

It’s also a great wardrobe replacement if you’re waiting on a new wardrobe. You can also take this with you in your camper or RV to store your clothes.

Pros

  • On wheels for portability.
  • It can be used indoors or outdoors.
  • It can hold up to 65 pounds of laundry.
  • Provides good airflow for quicker drying.
  • Included clips for socks and underwear.
  • Can hold up to 60 garments plus 60 small items.

Cons

  • Might topple over if weight isn’t distributed evenly.
  • Lightweight and flimsy construction.

Product Specs

Material Stainless steel and plastic
Length 60 hooks
Sturdiness No
Water-Resistant Yes
Versatility Indoors or outdoors

5. Aero W Wall Mounted Laundry Rack

Best Wall-Mounted Clothesline

Low on space? Opt for the Aero W wall-mounted laundry rack. You can easily install this drying rack indoors or outdoors to save space but still dry your clothes the eco-friendly way.

This clothesline will lower your energy bill and reduce wrinkles on clothes since they’re not tossed around in a dryer.

Although this is a very compact product, it still provides a total of 22 feet of space. And it can hold up to 60 pounds of laundry.

It’s stainless steel, so it’s super durable and weather resistant. Whether you’re hanging up wet jeans or just socks — this laundry rack can handle the job.

It’s also great for organization. You can use it for hanging towels or outfits for the next day. It keeps the home a little tidier.

Pros

  • Reduces wrinkles and energy bills.
  • 22 feet of space.
  • Holds 60 pounds of laundry.
  • Weather-resistant, so you can use it indoors or out.
  • Helps you organize your clothes better.

Cons

  • Poor mounting materials included.
  • It doesn’t expand very far, so clothes don’t have much airflow.
  • High price point.

Product Specs

Material Stainless steel
Length 22 feet in total
Sturdiness Yes
Water-Resistant Yes
Versatility Indoors or outdoors

6. Ram-Pro 80 ft. All-Purpose Rope

Best Clothesline Rope

Many people opt for a rope clothesline because it’s strong, durable, and can be used for many purposes. The Ram-Pro all-purpose rope is no exception! You can use it as a clothesline but also for climbing, crafts, a jump rope, pool safety, and other purposes.

As a clothesline, though, it’s a great rope. It withstands weather damage and most chemical exposures, such as petrol, rot, and mildew.

It’s a very durable option. It doesn’t lose strength when it gets wet and isn’t likely to sag, depending on how tight you tie it.

The rope is 80 feet long, which is probably too long for most gardens and homes. But it’s easily cut up into smaller pieces. You could even install a clothesline inside and outside the home!

Pros

  • All-purpose — use it for laundry, climbing, a jump rope, and more.
  • Weather-resistant, so you can hang it outside.
  • Mold- and rot-resistant.
  • Unlikely to sag.
  • Generous 80 feet of space.
  • It can hold up to 220 pounds.

Cons

  • Chemically treated so that it might be harmful.
  • Some customers reported that it frayed.

Product Specs

Material Polypropylene rope
Length 80 feet
Sturdiness Yes
Water-Resistant Yes
Versatility Indoors and outdoors, all-purpose

7. Household Essentials Umbrella Drying Rack

Best Umbrella Clothesline

Umbrella clotheslines are more popular in the UK. Most gardens have one (including us!) — and for a good reason. They’re super practical, don’t take up much space, and are weather-resistant.

If you’re in the market for one of these, we recommend the Household Essentials Umbrella drying rack.

It has 30 vinyl lines for your laundry, totaling 210 feet of space! You can easily hang your clothes since the umbrella rotates. So you don’t need to keep moving around with your heavy basket of wet clothes to hang up the laundry.

You can close it up again when you’re not using it, so it takes up minimal space in your yard.

Just keep in mind that it needs to be installed in concrete. This protects your garden and the drying rack. You also need to use a ground sleeve so you can remove the drying rack during bad weather.

Pros

  • Weather-resistant and rust-proof.
  • 210 feet of space and 30 lines.
  • Rotates so you can easily hang your laundry.
  • Sturdy aluminum and steel construction.
  • Opens and closes in one action.

Cons

  • Lines need to be redistributed often.
  • Ground sleeve not included.
  • Must be installed into concrete.

Product Specs

Material Aluminum, steel, and plastic
Length 210 feet
Sturdiness Yes
Water-Resistant Yes
Versatility Outdoors on concrete only

8. Riveda Retractable Clothesline

Best Retractable Clothesline

Secure the Riveda retractable clothesline to a wall, indoors or outdoors, and hang up your clothes! When it’s not in use, it retracts into the body of the product, so it doesn’t take up much space at all.

It can handle loads up to 30 pounds in weight; the line is 40 feet long! It’s super easy to use. When you’ve reached the desired length, you can lock the clothesline into place, pull it tight, and hang up your laundry.

The line and case are made from heat and crack-resistant plastic. It’s sturdy, durable, and won’t rust.

It only takes a couple of minutes to install. You can do so in your kitchen, on the balcony, in the garden, or on your commercial property! One more thing: it comes with 12 clothespins!

Pros

  • Easy to install anywhere.
  • Retractable, so it doesn’t take up much space.
  • Adjustable length up to 40 feet.
  • Affordable price point.
  • It can handle up to 30 pounds of clothing.

Cons

  • The line sags if laundry is too heavy.
  • Low-quality materials used.

Product Specs

Material Plastic
Length Up to 40 feet
Sturdiness Somewhat
Water-Resistant Yes
Versatility Indoors and outdoors

9. Household Essentials Outdoor Clothesline

Best T-Post Clothesline

If you buy a rope line or elastic line, you need somewhere to hang it. The Household Essential outdoor clothesline is a traditional t-post where you can hang up your line and then your laundry.

Keep in mind it only comes with one post — so you might need to order an extra one. Plus, it doesn’t come with a line to hang clothes. You’ll need to buy that separately.

This nice white t-post will look traditional and classy in your yard. It’s rust-resistant so you can use this in all weather for a long time. Once installed in concrete, it’s sturdy and won’t blow over on windy days.

Our top tip is to buy this and the Ram-Pro 80 ft. All-Purpose Rope — that makes a great combination!

Pros

  • Classy traditional appearance.
  • Sturdy and secure, even on windy days.
  • Rust-resistant, so it’s suitable for all weather.
  • Quick and easy to install.
  • 1-year warranty included.
  • Hooks for five different lines.

Cons

  • Hard to get the t-post even.
  • Only one post included, and no line.

Product Specs

Material Galvanized steel
Length 86” tall, enough for five clotheslines
Sturdiness Yes
Water-Resistant Yes
Versatility Outdoors

10. Home-it Bamboo Clothes Drying Rack

Best Foldable Clothesline

We recommend a foldable clothesline if you live in a small space, dorms, or an apartment. The Home-it bamboo clothes drying rack is the perfect solution. It’s not too big, but when it’s not in use, fold it up and slot it away in a cupboard.

It’s portable, easy to use, and can be installed anywhere. We recommend keeping it in a bright warm room with good circulation and dry air.

This rack has a versatile design. The top tier is flat with four bars, so you can fold clothes over the bars or lay them flat. There are more tiers below to keep your clothes separate and well-ventilated for quicker drying results.

Lastly, the wood is bamboo. It’s resistant to warping and splintering, but if you don’t keep it clean and dry, it might start to mold.

Pros

  • Foldable design makes for practical storage.
  • Easy to transport.
  • Versatile and spacious design.
  • Resistant to warping and splintering.
  • Versatile design for folding clothes over bars or laying flat.

Cons

  • Will mold if not kept clean and dry.
  • The finish wears off quickly and might stain clothes.

Product Specs

Material Bamboo
Length 27 feet in total
Sturdiness Yes
Water Resistant No
Versatility Indoors or outdoors (but not in rain)

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Material Length Sturdiness Water-Resistant Versatility
Hawatour Portable Elastic Clothesline Travel Clothesline Elastic & stainless steel 10 feet Yes Yes Indoors/ outdoors
Songmics Foldable Drying Rack Indoor Clothesline Stainless steel 72 feet Yes Yes Indoors/ outdoors
Foxydry Ceiling Mounted Drying Rack Ceiling Mounted Clothesline Aluminum & steel 39 feet Yes Yes Indoors
Home Solution 2-Tier Clothes Drying Rack Two-Tiered Clothesline Stainless steel & plastic 60 hooks No Yes Indoors/ outdoors
Aero W Wall Mounted Laundry Rack Wall-Mounted Clothesline Stainless steel 22 feet Yes Yes Indoors/ outdoors
Ram-Pro 80 ft. All-Purpose Rope Clothesline Rope Polypropylene rope 80 feet Yes Yes Indoors/ outdoors
Household Essentials Drying Rack Umbrella Clothesline Aluminum, steel & plastic 210 feet Yes Yes Outdoors
Riveda Retractable Clothesline Retractable Clothesline Plastic 40 feet Yes Yes Indoors/ outdoors
Household Essentials Clothesline T-Post Clothesline Galvanized steel 86 inch Yes Yes Outdoors
Home-it Bamboo Clothes Drying Rack Foldable Clothesline Bamboo 27 feet Yes No Indoors/ outdoors

Is It Better To Dry Clothes Inside or Outside?

If you want to dry your clothes quicker, we recommend hanging them outside on a warm sunny day. Even if it’s a cold day, as long as the sun is shining, they’ll likely dry much faster than inside. When clothes dry promptly, they’re less likely to smell musty and damp.

However, if it’s humid or rainy outside, it’s better to dry the clothes inside, where they will dry more quickly, even if the room is dry and cold (1).

Beware

Hanging your clothes in direct sunlight can fade the colors (2). This shouldn’t be a problem if the clothes are only outside for a couple of hours, but always remember to take the clothes back inside as soon as they’re dry.

Does Hanging Clothes Outside Kill Germs?

Yes — the ultraviolet rays can help to kill germs on your clothes. The rays can act as a disinfectant, but note that they won’t kill all germs and viruses (3).

Keep in mind that air drying your clothes outdoors could worsen your allergies or asthma if you live in an area with high air pollution or pollen count.

Things to Consider (Buying Guide)

Consider these important details when shopping to discover which clothesline suits you best.

Material

There are many different materials when it comes to clotheslines. For example, there is plastic, nylon, cotton, rope, wood, and galvanized steel.

Wood is a good choice for an indoor clothesline. While it’s aesthetically pleasing, make sure the wood is treated to be waterproof so that it doesn’t rot over time.

Plastic is a common choice because it’s waterproof and easy to clean. It also doesn’t stretch with heavy clothes. Plus, it’s cheap!

Nylon is similar to plastic in that it’s waterproof, easy to clean, and resistant to mildew. But it’s very slippery, so hanging up clothes and getting them to stay can be frustrating.

Cotton is an excellent material because it’s strong and easy to hang clothes on without the pegs moving.

Length

Always look at the length of a clothesline to ensure it will stretch across your chosen space. Clotheslines come in many lengths, so you’ll find something to suit your home or garden.

Sturdiness

The most sturdy clotheslines are ones you can tie up yourself or umbrella clotheslines. Retractable clotheslines are fairly good, but if installed poorly, they can fall.

Standing clotheslines — or clothes drying racks — are not very sturdy, especially if put outside. One gust of wind can blow them over, but they are perfectly fine indoors.

Portability

Some people buy a clothesline for one specific place. If that’s your idea, you don’t need to worry about portability.

However, if you’re going to bring your clothesline camping or move it around the garden to follow the sun, you’ll want to consider something portable. That might be a lightweight unit or something you can untie and tie again, like a piece of rope.

Water Resistance

If you live in a rainy or humid place, water resistance is important. Nylon and plastic are waterproof materials. You can easily wipe these clean if there’s ever a build-up of water or lint.

Cotton and rope lines can be put in a mesh bag and washed in the machine.

However, it’s a bit trickier with something like a wooden clothes drying rack. If it’s not treated correctly, it’s going to be difficult to keep clean.

Versatility

Finally, think about versatility. If you live somewhere where the weather changes all day long, you might want something you can bring outdoors and indoors.

For example, a clothes drying rack is good for this. On the other hand, you could get a piece of rope and just untie it to place it somewhere else.

For that purpose, we wouldn’t recommend a retractable or umbrella clothesline since they must be installed in one spot.

In our experience, we have one clothesline for outside and another for inside. Since these are pretty affordable, it isn’t a total nightmare to buy a few different options.


FAQs

Is It Bad To Leave Clothes Hanging Outside Overnight?

It depends on where you live. If you live in a humid climate, leaving your clothes overnight increases the chances of the clothes remaining damp. They can host mold and mildew if they stay damp, leading to foul odors (4).

It might also rain overnight, bringing your dry clothes back to square one.

You might also have issues with birds and insects which live outside. They can contaminate and ruin your clothing.

In general, we recommend taking your clothes back inside as soon as they are dry and not leaving them out overnight.

What Are Clotheslines Made Of?

Clotheslines come in a range of materials. When shopping for a new clothesline, you’ll find some made of rope, cotton, plastic, nylon, galvanized steel, and even wood. It depends on your personal preference and budget which one is best for you.

Is It Illegal To Hang Washing Out in America?

Currently, only 20 US states have a “right to dry” law in which you are entitled to hang your washing out to dry (5). While it’s not illegal across the entirety of other states, the remaining states’ Homeowner’s Association may have a clothesline ban.

Most of this is due to privacy and aesthetic concerns. Essentially, neighbors don’t enjoy seeing your laundry on the line.

Outside of the US, drying your clothes outside is the norm. But it is frowned upon in many communities within the US.

But it does seem to be becoming more accepted as we learn more about climate change and fossil fuels. Check within your state or Homeowner’s Association if it’s legal to hang washing in your backyard before doing so.

Does It Matter if Washing Gets Rained On?

If it starts raining, we recommend running out and bringing in your laundry! You probably won’t need to rewash it, but definitely hang it up somewhere warm to dry or put it in the tumble dryer.

However, if you’ve left it out in the rain for a long time, it might start to smell damp and musty. In this case, you’ll need to rewash the clothes.

How Do I Keep My Clothesline Tight?

Over time, your clothesline might get a bit loose from the weight of your clothes. Each clothesline requires a different method for getting tight again. But in general, you should be able to untie it from the source, pull it taut and retie it.

However, if you have an umbrella clothesline, for example, you’ll need to pull each line to evenly distribute the line length. Each line should have an even amount of slack before you push the clothesline higher. Repeat this process until the lines are evenly tight.

How Do You Brace a Clothesline Pole?

The best way to brace a clothesline pole is to dig a hole and backfill it with stones and rocks. Pour in quick-drying concrete and ensure the post is upright with a spirit level. Wait 24 hours for the post to dry before hanging your washing.


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Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!