• PremiumRacks Professional Dish Rack

  • Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible Dish Rack with Drain Board

  • Joseph Joseph Extend Dish Drying Rack

  • How We Tested

  • What To Consider When Buying a Dish Rack

  • Other Dish Racks We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Dish Racks of 2020

  1. Best Overall

    PremiumRacks Professional Dish Rack - 304 Stainless Steel

    Pros

    • Double-decker design

    • Lots of additional features

    Cons

    • Takes some time to assemble

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best Collapsible Rack

    Prepworks by Progressive CDD-100 Collapsible Dish Rack

    Pros

    • No assembly required

    • Lightweight

    • Collapsible

    Cons

    • Large

    • Utensil slots too big

    • May need to be cleaned often

    Skip to the full review below
Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar
Best Overall
PremiumRacks Professional Dish Rack

Before unboxing this bad boy, we never knew dish racks could have so many bells and whistles. Its countertop footprint isn’t as big as you’d expect for something that can hold as many dishes as the PremiumRacks—but that’s only because it happens to be a smartly designed double-decker.

The bottom portion is your standard featureless rack, fine for balancing bowls or perhaps a colander, but the top portion holds plates more securely than most racks. A cutlery basket hooks onto the side, as does a second basket that can be topped with a lid specifically designed for sharp knives. The cup holder clips don’t work as well as they should, but you have plenty of space to dry your cups on the rack itself—especially if you dry your cutting boards in the special cutting board attachment.

The rack also comes with two drain board options—one meant to let water pool, and the other designed to tip any water into the sink—plus a microfiber cloth to set underneath.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the features, don’t be. The most stressful part of the rack is simply assembling it, which could take 10 minutes and a good look at some Ikea-style visual instructions, but once it’s assembled, everything is fairly straightforward. All of the extras are optional, including the top rack, but if your cabinets are high enough to accommodate a double-decker rack, then we highly recommend this rack. It’s sturdy, shiny, and uses space pretty efficiently—what could be so bad?

Pros

  • Double-decker design

  • Lots of additional features

Cons

  • Takes some time to assemble

Prepworks By Progressive
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar
Best Collapsible Rack
Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible Dish Rack with Drain Board

Putting things together can be just as much of a pain as washing dishes, so when we discovered the Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible Dish Rack is already ready to go out of the box— all you need to do is push the bottom to expand as deeply or as shallowly as you need—we fell in love.

It has a drain board if you want to keep it on the counter, but for those of us with limited space and double sinks who prefer the dish rack to nest in one side, this is the ticket.

Prepworks is plastic and has holes in the bottom to drain water so sitting over the sink means never having to deal with puddles on the counter, though the drip tray has a lip that allows the water to run off into the sink. Those holes also mean your dishes aren’t sitting in water and can dry pretty efficiently.

The rack has lots of grooves so plates and bowls can stack and stand easily, and one side has a slotted section for utensils. If you choose to expand the rack as deeply as possible, the slots become too large and you may have to work harder to get your silverware to stand up so that they can dry.

This large but lightweight rack is just two pieces so it’s best for those of us who want to keep it simple. Because it’s collapsible you can slide it underneath the counter and out of the way if you want to use the sink or just keep it out in view.

Pros

  • No assembly required

  • Lightweight

  • Collapsible

Cons

  • Large

  • Utensil slots too big

  • May need to be cleaned often

Related content

Best for Small Kitchens
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar
Best for Small Kitchens
Joseph Joseph Extend Dish Drying Rack

The Joseph Joseph’s Extend Rack offers a quieter kind of presence that we're totally in love with. It's a great rack for a small space. At a glance, it’s just a small plastic rack with metal prongs and a utensil holder—fine, but nothing special. But take a closer look, because this rack is seriously great.

The prongs offer a lot of flexibility for holding everything from standard dishes to oddly-shaped objects, and they seem to hold a lot of items without too much wobbling.

The only limit here is its small size, which can easily meet the needs of one or two people with a cramped kitchen. But if you’re hosting a dinner party and want more space, the Extend Rack—surprise!—extends to almost twice its size. The process is smooth and easy to do even when you have dishes on the rack, and it gives you a lot more space to work with.

We won’t pretend the grooved plastic of the extension is the most successful drying surface ever, but if you’re someone who wants a small rack for every day with the option of something larger when the need strikes, the feature is a godsend.

Also awesome is the drain spout, which can be opened to tip excess water into the sink or plugged if you’d rather deal with any puddles later. It’s worth noting that during testing, we never actually witnessed water moving through the spout—it seems that a smaller amount of water will pool in the base, but larger amounts should be able to drain out.

Pros

  • Can extend to hold additional dish-ware

  • Space saver

Cons

  • Plastic tines are a bit wobbly

How We Tested

Testing dish racks
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Testers

I’m Tanya Ballard Brown, a seasoned editor and project manager, and 2019 fellow with the Nieman Foundation for Journalism. After Kori Perten, a former Reviewed editor, first tested dish racks two years ago, I was tasked with updating this guide and reviewing new products.

I have a small kitchen and even with a remodel I wasn’t able to squeeze in a dishwasher—oh how I tried!— so washing dishes now falls to me and my hands. With limited counter space and a general need for my counters to be clear of clutter and kitchen appliances at all times, I really value a dish rack that is compact or that can rest in the sink.

My kitchen is also open to the rest of the house so being able to put it away when guests are visiting helps soothe the neat freak in me.

Kori is a cooking enthusiast, who spends a lot of time preparing food, which means a lot of time is spent washing dishes, too. After trying to stack heavy-duty cookware in a small, flimsy wire rectangle, and shattering her roommate's beloved bowl when it toppled from a particularly precarious rack, she was eager to find better options. Thankfully, after the first round of testing, she did.

The Tests

Since we first sought to find the best dish drying racks in April 2018, we’ve tested nearly a dozen top-performing products. Each one was evaluated over the course of several weeks, noting how securely they held all kinds of kitchen tools, from plates to colanders to glasses and coffee mugs. We observed whether dishes actually dried on each rack and checked to see if water pooled on the counter or in the bottom of the rack. We also scored based on the efficient use of space, special features, and customizability.

During testing, we used each rack to dry two place settings, then again to dry the dishes needed for a four-person dinner party. We also dried a bunch of oddly-shaped objects on each rack, such as a water bottle, a small cookie sheet, a dutch oven, and baking dishes. After two hours, we noted whether objects were dry.

These tests helped compare and contrast the different dish racks and rate them on similar criteria: Do the dishes fit? How many dishes will fit in the rack? Is it easy to put together? Are all the dishes dry after a reasonable amount of time?

After several weeks and many, many wet dishes, we are able to make confident recommendations based on data and personal observation.

Polder dish rack
Credit: Reviewed.com / Kori Perten

What To Consider When Buying a Dish Rack

The primary goal of these products at a bare minimum, is to dry dishes, so it should perform that function. But there are other things to consider when shopping. These products don't tend to be cost-prohibitive but don't assume that the more expensive it is, the better the item, as it may not function in the way you need it to.

Maybe you need a rack that can accommodate wine glasses or that can sit inside or across the sink rather than beside it on the counter. You want to think about the dimensions—a smaller dish rack may take up less space but that also could mean it may not be large enough for your volume of dishes.

Look hard at any accessories that come with the rack. Are they things you would use? You don’t want to pay for extras you don’t need.

Do you want something that is ready to use out of the box or are you willing to spend a little time assembling?

Also, material matters. You want something that's easy to clean. Rubber or plastic may stain or require occasional washing, a flimsy rack may break, or steel could rust (unless it's rust-resistant).

If you have small children or pets, you don’t want lots of pieces that might fall off and end up in their mouths, and even if you don’t have small children or pets, you don’t want pieces falling off.

Does it drain via a spout or is it able to tilt or be raised so that water isn’t pooling in the drain board? Do you want something that can be hidden away when not used? Do you want a specific color or style to match your kitchen decor?

Ideally working through these questions will help you find the best fit for you and your plates.


Other Dish Racks We Tested

OXO Good Grips Foldaway Dish Rack

This is a good dish rack for a small kitchen, because it doesn’t take up a lot of counter real estate and folds up so it can be put away when not in use. Assembly is simple because it’s self-contained.

There are pegs for glasses and two containers for utensils and you can fold things up and down to suit your needs. There are plenty of drain holes and a spout you can open or close to drain the rack. As for draining, the rack's legs can be extended to make it tilt to facilitate water flow into the sink.

The OXO has a modern look and the dishes dried pretty efficiently, but it is small, so if you have a lot of dishes this may not work for you. Also if you want it to sit over the sink your sink will need to be pretty small. Someone who doesn’t have a large volume of dishes might be happy with this cute little one-stop-shop dish rack.

Pros

  • No real assembly needed

  • Lightweight

  • Collapsible

  • Legs extend to tilt the toward drain or sink

Cons

  • Small

  • May need to be cleaned often

Shanik Expandable Draining Dish Rack

This dish rack fits in or over the sink, and there is no drip tray or drain board. The arms extend so the size of the sink doesn’t matter. But extending it doesn’t create more space for dishes in the rack. It's very compact.

If you want something to dry a few dishes—and we stress a few—that you can then toss under the sink and out of sight, this is the dish rack you want. Draining nor drying was an issue and it had enough slots to hold plates and cups securely.

A little assembly is needed to snap the utensil holders in place but there are no other accessories.

This is the rack for someone who occasionally needs to wash a plate and a glass, not a family.

Pros

  • Easy assembly

  • Lightweight

  • Easy to move out of the way

Cons

  • Small

  • No drain tray

Simplehuman Kitchen Steel Frame Dish Rack

This full-size dish rack stands out. Its legs lift it high off the counter, and smooth, shiny stainless steel encases its very large body. A clever wine glass holder with a fold-out tray for catching any drips extends high off the side, as do cup holders and a large cutlery basket. Beneath the rack, you’ll find a removable drip tray that can be pulled out to catch water from the cup holders and a spout to guide water into the sink.

Of all the racks we tested, this was the only one that successfully had most of its water drained through its swivel spout. It's also easy to clean, thanks to the anti-residue coating on its tray. This rack also felt the sturdiest, and while it doesn't have a lifetime warranty, the brand guarantees its products for 10 years, which isn't bad for something you'll probably use every singe day.

Despite this, however, we actually hated using this pricey tool. The structured part of the rack causes dishes to lean back in a way that’s both precarious and an inefficient use of space. The rack is extremely large, but much of its space is not structured at all, meaning you can’t fit as much as you’d think. Cups were unsteady on the cup holders.

The thing sits very tall over the counter, whether or not you add height with its optional feet, so it becomes a focal point of your kitchen.

Pros

  • Sturdy stainless steel finish

  • Wine glass holders

Cons

  • Inefficient use of space

  • Pricey

KitchenAid KNS896BXGRA

This dish rack is nice to look at and if you wash a lot of pots and pans, this may be what you need, but we had difficulty standing up our plates, so drying took longer.

It was also too big to fit in the sink but came with a drip tray which tilts slightly so that water runs into the sink. It came ready to go out of the box.

Pros

  • No assembly needed

  • Modern looking

Cons

  • Plates wobbled

  • Dishes took a while to dry

Polder 4-Piece Advantage Dish Rack

The medium-sized Polder has plenty of space, but it uses it poorly. We couldn’t balance so much as a shot glass on its cup holders without the glass toppling down. When we placed dishes in the rack, they wobbled and fell on one another in a way that made it feel like breakage was inevitable. Like the Simplehuman, there's also a lot of unstructured space that seemed like it could be put to better use.

There’s a big divided utensil holder that hangs off the side, a drip tray that collected but did not drain water during testing, and a removable drying tray that doesn't seem particularly useful. You’ll want to pass on this one.

Pros

  • 4-piece set with removable items

Cons

  • Poor use of space

  • Dishes and glasses topple over

Neat-O Deluxe Chrome-plated Steel Small Dish Drainer

There comes a time in many people’s lives when they just want to spend less than $20 on a very small dish rack and suffer the consequences. That’s fine.

The Neat-O is exactly what it seems—lightweight, flimsy, and devoid of any extras unless you count a few dicey cup holders on the side. It doesn’t even come with a tray to catch water, so you’ll want to rest it on a dish towel or buy a drip tray of your own to go underneath.

The Neat-O doesn’t have much space to work with and offers very little structure. You just kind of pile your dishes in there and hope for the best.

Pros

  • Cheap

Cons

  • No drain tray

  • Flimsy

Rubbermaid Antimicrobial Sink Dish Rack Drainer Set

Like the Neat-O, the Rubbermaid is a cheap, flimsy, unstructured dish rack. It does come with a drip tray, but in this case, the tray doesn’t feel like much of a boon.

The tray slants down, which causes water to spill from the side instead of pooling at the bottom. In theory, it’s a good idea, but in reality, it dumps as much water on the counter as it dumps in the sink, and the slant means that any glasses you place on its surface (which you have to do because there aren’t any glass clips) slide down to the bottom of the slope.

Included in the packaging are a sponge caddy and scrub brush, which are likely more useful than the rack itself.

Pros

  • Comes with a sponge caddy and scrub brush

Cons

  • Drain tray spills from the sides

  • Flimsy

Meet the testers

Kori Perten

Kori Perten

Former Editor, Home & Outdoors

@Reviewedhome

Kori began her journalism career as a teenage fashion blogger and has enjoyed covering a wide variety of topics ever since. In her spare time, she’s an amateur poet, avid reader, and gluten-free cake baker extraordinaire.

See all of Kori Perten's reviews
Tanya Ballard Brown

Tanya Ballard Brown

Contributor

@TdoubleB

Tanya Ballard Brown is a seasoned journalist and project manager as well as a neophyte comedian who likes to try things. She has reviewed books, movies and television shows, and now Ballard Brown is reviewing all (ok, maybe some) of the things. She does this work so you don't have to.

See all of Tanya Ballard Brown's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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