Damp clothes can become musty and smelly if not dried quickly enough, but if you don't have a tumble dryer, or any outdoor space to dry your laundry, this can be difficult. Heated drying racks will dry your clothes much faster than a standard indoor clothes airer, and they're much cheaper to buy and run than a tumble dryer, meaning you can keep on top of that pile of laundry, even during the winter!
In this article, we'll go over the pros and cons of different heated drying racks, from hot air pods to clothes airers with self-heating bars, to help you choose the right one for your home. Ranking the top 10 best in the UK on Argos and Amazon, read on for fresh and clean laundry all year round!
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The sort of clothes dryer you need will depend on a number of things, such as the size of your household and the space you have to store it. Whatever the amount of washing you're needing to dry, or the budgetary constraints you have, we're here to show you how to find the right dryer for you.
There are two forms of heated drying racks for you to choose from. Although both are powered by electricity and use a concentrated heat source to dry clothes, there are some significant differences between the two.
Drying racks that use heated bars to dry your clothes are similar in style to a normal clothes dryer or airer, only the bars on which you hang your clothes are heated. The advantage of these over a hot-air pod (the other drying method we'll be explaining) is that they don't require a noisy motor to work.
While this added heat does make your clothes dry quicker than they would with a normal airer, the heat is very concentrated and doesn't circulate well around your clothes as a whole. However, some do come with a cover, which helps with the problem of heat circulation.
The other option available is a hot-air drying pod. These are enclosed drying racks that have hot air pumped into them. This raises the temperature inside the pod enough to dry your clothes quickly.
The rack itself doesn't get warm, but the air around it does. This makes this method better for circulating heat around all of your clothes, instead of in a very specific area as is the case with heated bar designs.
Just be aware that the motors used to blast the hot air do make noise, which might turn some people off. However, this method of drying will save you ironing time as it reduce creases.
Not every household will require the same amount of drying space, or have the same amount of laundry to dry at a time. That'\s why it's a good idea to compare the drying space of your rack and the weight it can take to that of your standard batch of laundry to avoid wasting heat and money.
The drying space is measured in different ways depending on the drying rack. Sometimes, the total rack space for drying will be measured in metres, but sometimes you'll get a less specific measurements such as number of bars or how many items can be hung at one time.
Large drying racks can have a drying space that works out to the equivalent of 20 metres or more. This translates to 20 or more bars, or a hook or hanger for more than 30 large items. This size is ideal for a family or large household. It's worth noting that the maximum amount of hanging space might not be available to use if you are hanging longer items which take up more room.
Smaller racks will have much less space to dry your clothes, normally with less than 10 metres of space, fewer than 10 available bars, or only enough hooks for a few items to hang. They will, however, take up less space and fit better in small rooms. If you are only washing for yourself or one other person, a smaller drying rack will save money and space.
Another way to check the suitability of a dryer is to see how much weight it can hold. To get an idea of how much your laundry might weigh, a washing machine with a large capacity has a maximum load of about 10 kg, whereas loads from smaller washing machines and washes that aren't full will be lighter.
The strongest heated drying racks can take up to 15 kg of washing, which is perfect if you're trying to dry multiple loads at the same time. Even those with a smaller amount of drying space can hold up to 10 kg of laundry, but the issue may be having enough space to hang it all.
Once you've had a think about the amount of drying space you need, it's time to check whether you have enough space for it in your home. Racks with more space for drying tend to be very large, well over a metre high in some cases, which won't work for every household.
Look for the measurements of the rack when it's open to ensure that it will fit in the area you have available. Similarly, when you're done with your drying rack, it's useful to be able to fold it down to store it somewhere out of sight. Check the folded measurements too (if the drying rack does fold) to see if you have enough space to put it away.
Not all drying racks will give you an idea of how much it will cost to run per hour, but many do. This is very helpful when it comes to finding the most cost-effective option. Heated drying racks usually cost about 2 to 10p per hour to run, although this varies depending on size, heat output and method of drying.
To give some context, tumble dryers cost around 35p per hour to run. So if you're looking for a way of drying your clothes fast, without increasing your electricity bill, a heated clothes dryer is the way to go!
A cover will make your clothes rack even more efficient as it traps in the heat, forcing it to circulate. This means your clothes will be dried more evenly then they would on a rack that comes without.
That said, covers aren't suitable for all drying racks. Of course, they are essential for making hot air blower dryers work, which is why they are most commonly found on those, but you can also find them included with some drying racks that use heated bars.
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This rack has plenty of features that really make it stand out from the rest. First of all, it has adjustable sides that can be folded up and down to provide enough room for up to a 15kg load, without taking up to much space in your room.
Perhaps more impressively, this large drying rack also folds down to just 8 cm wide, which is small enough to squeeze into a cupboard or under other furniture. If you want to make the drying process even speedier, you can even get a specially designed cover to go with it!
This medium-sized dryer is versatile enough to work in homes both small and large. It's lightweight yet sturdy, and will hold a relatively large amount of washing. What really makes this dryer stand out, is the fact that it comes with a cover. This gives it the heat-retaining power of hot-air pods, but without the noise.
As you'd expect, it's very affordable to run, something only enhanced by the inclusion of the cover. Bringing together the two best elements of both types of drying rack? Sounds like a winning combo to us!
This drying rack is one of the largest on our list, with a huge capacity when is comes to both drying space and the maximum weight it can take. To ensure it won't topple over, the frame has been reinforced, without adding unnecessary bulk.
The wheels on the bottom allow you to move it from room to room, or out of the way when not in use. Considering how large it is, this drying rack is incredibly cheap to run. It even has a timer so you don't need to worry about forgetting to turn it off!
This dry rack's lightweight aluminium frame means it won't be difficult to move from place to place. You'll have lots of space to hang, drape or place all of your laundry thanks to the spacious wings, and once it's dry, the rack will be easy to store away, folding down to just 11.3 cm in depth.
With a weight capacity of 10 kg, it'll be able to hold a full load of laundry easily. Plus, the fact that this drying rack sits at hand height will appeal to those who would prefer not to have to bend down or reach up to different levels to hang clothing.
Whatever you need to dry, you'll be able to find the room for it with this pod dryer. The height makes it great for hanging large and long items, with a second layer for drying smaller, shorter garments like underwear or socks.
Perhaps best of all, it allows you to set a timer for a drying time of up to 4 hours, giving you complete control over when you use it. But before you rush in, just be aware that although it has a maximum load capacity of 15 kg, it works optimally with a load under 8kg.
Socks, t-shirts or dresses, whatever you're drying, this clothes rack has a place for it! As well as 30 bars of space to hang your large items, there are spots where you can put your socks, or perhaps even warm your shoes.
Depending on what your drying, you can adjust the number of tiers, taking it down to 2 if you need some extra space. We love how this design manages to look less bulky that other models, despite still providing plenty of room.
This pod dryer is able to hold more clothes than most round models, while still being relatively compact in size. It can also take more weight than other drying racks that have a similar design, so you can get through your laundry more quickly.
There are no limits to the sorts of clothes you can hang on this rack as, unlike with tumble dryers, the gentle warm air circulation is soft on all fabrics. It does, however, still rely on a motor which will make noise.
This heated clothes horse is best for smaller households. Perfect for one or two people, it's very easy to put up, doesn't take up much space, and costs the same as a 120W lightbulb to run - so not very much!
Having just one layer for drying does mean that you won't have as much drying space as you might like. It's unlikely this drying rack will have room for a full wash, meaning it only really works as an additional drying aid.
This drying pod promises speedy results, and that's exactly what you'll get. Using its secure pod and hot-air blower, heat circulates around the clothing inside, helping to dry it quickly. This method also reduces the time you need to spend ironing as it smooths out creases.
Unfortunately, this product is more expensive to run than other similar pod dryers. Plus, you'll be spending more on drying less clothes as a result of the smaller capacity. It does also make a bit of noise which, although only 52 decibels, will still be noticeable.
This rack is a way of dealing with those extra few items when you've run out of radiator space. The way the bars are dispersed means you get good heat coverage, something which heated bar racks can't always provide.
However, the vertical configuration of the bars does leave less space for laundry, particularly long items of clothing or sheets. That's why we recommend using it only for smaller garments, or a few towels.
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