Not so long ago, if someone mentioned that they had a clothes rail, you would probably imagine a flimsy, temporary-looking piece of kit. Nowadays, though, companies are producing sturdy, open units that are stylish and quality furniture pieces in their own right. Plus, you get to display your well-curated wardrobe, which is sort of like a trendy art piece in itself.
Clothes racks will also leave your room looking airy and light instead of overshadowed by big, boxy wardrobes. But how do you find the perfect one? Our buying guide aims to show you the most important things to look for, from materials to shelves to decorative features. From there, we’ll present our ten favourites to order online from trusted sites such as Amazon, Argos and John Lewis.
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While at first glance a lot of the clothes rails look the same, there are some variations in style and features. Therefore, in this section, we’ll highlight things such as the different styles, as well as touching on some practical features such as weight capacities and dimensions.
The first thing to think about is whether you would prefer a free-standing or wall-mounted clothes rail. They’re quite different, and often used for various purposes, so we’ll take a look at each individually now.
Free-standing clothes rails are the ones that have blown in popularity and have gone from being a practical item to something many people now consider furniture. Their minimalist aesthetic means that they often suit contemporary-styled homes, as well as being easily re-positioned or taken down to be reassembled somewhere else.
Furthermore, with this style of clothes rail, you also have the option of getting some additional storage, such as shelves or drawers. This will make them a little bulkier and harder to move, though.
If you’re looking for something that is going to function as your main wardrobe, then a free-standing rail would be the best way to go, as they also tend to have a greater weight capacity and larger dimensions.
Wall-mounted rails' biggest asset is that they don’t require any floor space. This compact nature makes them ideal for those with smaller rooms who still want to keep a sense of spaciousness by hanging their clothes openly. They’re also great for spare rooms, as many of them are only semi-permanent, meaning that the rail can be set up only when required.
As you’d expect, these tend to be on the smaller side, so they won’t be ideal if you have a lot of clothes to hang. Plus, as the name suggests, they’ll require mounting, which could be a problem for those that live in rented houses or who aren’t keen on the DIY aspect.
One important feature that is often overlooked when buying a clothes rack is its weight capacity. Of course, a few t-shirts don’t weigh all that much. But, if you’d like a rack that would be capable of storing coats, jackets, jeans and other heavier items, then it can quickly begin to add up.
When it comes to free-standing rails, you'll find that they have a capacity of anywhere between 15 and 160 kg. We would recommend one that holds at least 25 kg, as this should give you some room for additional purchases without having to pack away too many of your old clothes initially.
Due to their smaller nature, wall-mounted racks often have a lower weight capacity, starting at around 9 or 10 kg. However, there are products out there that can take up to 60 kg, so they’re more than capable of handling a decent amount of weight. The only issue is, they’re likely too small to ever fit that many garments on them.
Another practical feature to check is the dimensions. Regarding free-standing, a lot of people purchase this style because they’re looking for something open and airy. So, for that reason, you’ll want to be sure that you have plenty of space around the rail. Otherwise, everything will look crammed in and make your room look cluttered – the opposite of what you intended.
Wall-mounted rails are much easier to find room for, as generally, more people have furniture and everyday objects taking up floor space rather than things on the wall.
That said, it’s important to still think about the depth measurement, as no one wants to be ducking and weaving like a middle-weight boxer every time they walk through their bedroom. And we imagine your guests wouldn’t like that either if it was in the spare room!
Something that’s always important with furniture is the finish. After all, this will live in a room that is, or will soon be, decorated. And it’s nice when things look nice, so complementary finishes are important, even if only aesthetically.
Generally speaking, you'll have the choice of modern-looking metals like iron and stainless steel. Look for painted metals if you’re not into the exposed look; popular options are white or black. One thing to be wary of is that the clothes will move a lot, so don’t be surprised if painted rails scratch after a couple of years of use. Thankfully, they’re super easy to touch up.
Other than metals or block colour, you could also consider wood. Wood will work with many different room styles, even ones with other black, white and metal furniture. However, one thing we would try and avoid is having too many different wood stains as they can clash and upset the ambience.
Finally, you’ll want to see whether there are any extra storage areas if you need them. Of course, this is more regularly found with free-standing rails as they’re bigger. The options tend to either be a shelf underneath, which is perfect for shoes, a shelf on top, or a drawer below, much like many traditional wardrobes.
With wall-mounted racks, unfortunately, the chances of finding additional storage are slim to none. Now and then, you may come across a piece that allows you to fit a shelf on the top, but other than that, you’ll be limited to just the hanging rail. There's always the option of attaching cloth hanging drawers, though.
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John Lewis & Partners
Collapsible Clothes Rail
Ultra Versatile All Over the House
Wall Mounted Clothes Rail With Wooden Plank
Industrial-Inspired Design Done Right
Super Heavy Duty Black Clothes Rails
For When Clothes Are Life
Turner Clothes Rail With Drawer Boxes
A Clothes Rail That Encourages You to Shop
Wall Mounted Hanging Rack
Get the Length Without the Frame
Home Double Adjustable Clothes Rail
Double the Rails, Half the Price
Foldable Wall Mounted Clothes Rail
A Wall-Mounted Option That Folds Away
John Lewis & Partners
Clothes Rail With Shelf Unit
Plenty of Additional Storage Space
Stainless Steel Over The Door Rail
Wall-Mounting Without the DIY
John Lewis & Partners
Scandi-Inspired Design Makes It More Than a Rail
This nifty little number from John Lewis & Partners takes our number one spot today for one specific reason: its versatility. You see, this could easily work in the hallway, in your bedroom as an additional rail, or even in the guest room when friends are staying over.
Add that to its classy design, the sturdy, eco-friendly bamboo material and the spacious, clutter-defying drawer box, and you're on to a winner. The whole thing collapses down effortlessly too, meaning that moving it from room to room, or when moving house, is extremely easy.
The reason we said that the Gleenstell wall-mounting shelf at number 5 was second best is that, for us, this one just nips in front. Granted, it's not as big and therefore won't store as much stuff. But, it does have the same weight capacity, meaning it can hold heavy clothing. Plus, it comes with an attractive shelf.
The design uses the company's durable, strong tubes. These aren't only super functional but also provide that industrial-style aesthetic that's in vogue right now, especially when you consider the dark, stained wood shelf that accompanies it too.
We all know that one person who can't pop into the city or town without picking up a new item of clothing, and if you don't know someone, then the chances are it's you. For those people, we present this mammoth, super heavy duty clothes rail on wheels.
This rack has a tremendous 160 kg capacity, so really, you could hang your whole wardrobe up if you fancied – or at least the stuff you wear regularly. The design itself is quite minimal, looking more like something out of a shop than a lifestyle magazine, but if clothes are life, then you're going to need somewhere for them to live.
Habitat always have a brilliant range of products, from the simple and budget-friendly to this sleek and stylish number here. Again, it's got that minimalist, modern aesthetic, but there are a few X-factors, if you will. Firstly, the drawer boxes and shelf provide extra storage in a neat and tidy way.
Our favourite part, though, is that the rail is extendable by an extra 45 cm. If you can't love a wardrobe that encourages you to shop, then really you don't deserve one. Plus, the overall weight capacity is more than respectable, even if you're hanging heavier winter garments.
Greenstell produces some excellent wall-mounted racks, and in our opinion, this is one of their best. One of the reasons that it's so popular, is that, unlike many similar options, it is a decent length, allowing you to store plenty of goods. The weight capacity can handle it all with ease, too.
Moreover, the rail is easily detachable, making it a great option for a guest room, where perhaps you wouldn't need it all the time. Also, the materials are solid and durable, with the company providing industrial standard piping, so you'll have no worries about it breaking any time soon.
This offering from Argos Home has two particular features that we liked. Firstly, it's a bargain, and what's not to like about that? Secondly, it has two rails, each of which is independently adjustable. So, if you'd like to keep long jeans or maxi dresses hung vertically without touching the floor, then that's an option.
On the second rail, you could have easier access to everyday tops and t-shirts too. The dual rails simply make it that little more flexible when it comes to what clothes you'd prefer to hang up. It's not the most stylish in terms of furniture, but if you're working on a budget, it's hard to complain.
Here, we have our first true wall-mounted option. The USP of this rail is that it's foldable, meaning that you don't have to have it taking up space all the time. Granted, though, it doesn't take up much room anyway! It's also capable of being hung indoors or out due to the non-corrosive aluminium used, making it a versatile purchase too.
Not only do you get the frame and rail if you choose this, but the company also provide three hanger hooks, so you can get more garments in without taking up space. Sadly, the rail is known to be a little lightweight, so it's probably best if you stick to hanging t-shirts, shirts or summer dresses.
If like some people, you feel that having all your clothes hung up can be a waste of valuable space, then you might opt for a chest of drawers. However, that will take up room too. Instead, you could opt for this two-in-one design with three side shelves and a lower rack. It's decent value for money too, considering the amount of storage.
The metal rail has a painted black finish which is sure to look at home alongside several different styles of decor. Be wary, though, some have found the assembly quite laborious and a frustrating process, so you'll want to make sure you're up to the task before committing.
Now, we know we called them wall-mounted, and by and large, most of them are. We didn't want to leave the renters out, though, so we've managed to find a wall-mounted style that instead fits on a door. It's not as practical, of course, but if you're really in the need of some additional space for your apparel, it's an option.
The rail comes with a stainless steel finish that is non-offensive and will likely suit most rooms up and down the country. However, it doesn't have a great weight capacity, so you won't want to ask too much from it.
First up in our ranking, we have this sleek rail from John Lewis & Partners. The Scandi-inspired design is perfect for the contemporary home, optimising the use of spacious and sparse features while also being functional due to the ample dimensions and lower shelf.
Furthermore, as with many JL&P products, you can expect a sturdy product, made from top-quality materials. However, that does come at a cost, as this is the most expensive of our recommendations.
Below, we've linked a couple of similar articles we would highly recommend checking out after fitting your clothes rail. You're going to want some stylish hangers, after all, and you might need some extra underbed storage now you've streamlined everything to one rack!
So, if you're interested in this new wave of what could be considered decorative wardrobes, then we hope you've found plenty of information and inspiration in our article. We look forward to seeing your bedroom on Pinterest soon!
Author: Lewis Clark
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