How To Choose The Best Dish Drainer In The UK?

A dish drainer provides a place to dry dishes before you put them away.

A good dish drainer, or drying rack, should provide plenty of space for different cutlery and easy drainage to prevent a mess on your counter.

In this buying guide, we review the best dish drainers you can buy online and provide some tips on how to choose the best dish drainer for your kitchen needs.

What To Consider When Choosing A Dish Drainer

A. Material

Most of the dish drainers you’ll come across will be aluminium, though some parts may be made from plastic.

Aluminium is the best material for a dish rack since it does not rust and is strong without being too heavy.

A good alternative to aluminium is plastic. It doesn’t rust and if you get a good quality plastic dish rack, it can last as long as an aluminium one.

Wood dish drainers are also great if you are looking for a more rustic style. Most wood drying racks are made from bamboo, a rot-resistant material.

One disadvantage of wood dish drainers is that they do not offer the versatility of aluminium drainers. Most have the same design consisting of two foldable racks with slats across them.

B. Size

If you live alone or with your partner, you likely have fewer dishes to wash. In that case, a smaller dish drainer will do.

For a family however, get a large rack that can comfortably fit several plates, cups and cutlery. Some racks also offer a drying space for pots and pans.

But keep counter space in mind when choosing the best size. A large dish drainer may give you more drying space but gobble up counter space.

If you have limited counter space but would like a large dish rack, look for one with two tiers.

C. Organisation

Check what kind of organisation the dish drainer offers. There should be storage spaces for different types of dishes.

A well-designed dish drainer should include:

  • Plate holders. Check that they are wide enough to fit your largest plates.
  • Cup holders. Most dish racks use plastic tines to prevent scratches on glasses and mugs.
  • Cutlery holder with different sections for knives, spoons and forks.

A well-organised dish drainer allows you to fit more dishes on the rack and ensures everything looks neat. It also provides plenty of space for dishes to dry.

D. Drain System

If you have grooves next to your sink, you probably don’t need a drain system. You can just place the dish drainer next to the sink and let water drip onto the grooves and flow into the sink.

If you have a smooth counter space on either side of the sink, get a drying rack with a drainage system. This prevents a watery mess on your counter, which can damage the countertop.

Different dish drainers have different drainage systems. Some have a board underneath the rack that slopes on one side to direct water into the sink.

Others have a spout that you can open to let water out.

E. Versatility

A versatile dish drainer adapts well to different situations.

Some are expandable, providing more space when you have more dishes to dry. Others have a plate rack that folds down to accommodate pans.

Others allow you to remove different components of the rack such as the cutlery holder or cup holder depending on your needs.

Read also: What Is The Best Oven Cleaner On The UK Market?

F. Foldable

For many families, you’ll probably use the dish drainer round the clock since there are always new dishes to wash and dry.

However, if you have fewer dishes or if you wash dishes less frequently, there are times the drainer will be sitting there empty, taking up precious space.

If you need this space to prep food or do something else, get a foldable dish drainer. Once you’ve stored away the dishes, you can fold it and lean it against the wall or store it in a drawer.

Best Dish Drainers: Reviews

1. Kingrack Dish Drying Rack Review


This is our favourite dish drying rack. It is a bit more expensive than our other picks, but it’s worth it. It’s larger, has better organisation and is more versatile than other racks.

To start with, Kingrack is a two-tier rack. It’s perfect for large families that need to dry a lot of dishes.

The main frame has space for plates as well as pans. You can also use it to store plates and cups.

On one side are glass holders with plastic tines to prevent scratches. On the other side is a cutlery box with three sections. One of the sections comes with a bamboo cover with slots for holding knives.

The top rack is narrower but can hold around there large mugs. By the way, the top rack is removable.

Underneath the rack is a drain board that slopes on one side. Make sure the lower side is next to the sink so that all the water dripping from the dishes goes into the sink.

The overall measurements of the Kingrack dish drainer are 61cm by 35cm. The top rack is 27.5cm long and 13cm wide. With the top rack on, there’s a 20cm clearance underneath, plenty enough for a pan.

The rack has a rustproof aluminium frame and plastic feet to keep it secure on the counter.

What we like about it:

  • Large capacity – ideal for big families.
  • Great organisation.
  • Good drainage system.
  • Excellent build quality.

2. OXO Good Grips Foldaway Dish Rack Review


If you want a foldable space-saving dish rack, we recommend this one from OXO. When not in use, you can fold it into a compact size for easy storage.

The rack is very practical and adapts easily to different needs. The main platform has a rack for plates. The plate rack can be folded down to provide a flat space where you can place large pans and pots.

Next to the plate rack, you can store additional dishes like mugs or pans.

Both sides of the dishrack feature a cutlery box and a row of plastic tines to hold glasses. The cutlery boxes are sectioned so you can separate your spoons, forks and knives.

For draining, there’s a spout on the side that you open to let the water out. You’ll need to fold out the back legs to elevate one side of the rack.

The OXO dish rack is mostly plastic with a few metal parts. But it’s good quality plastic that doesn’t break or discolour.

If you need to clean the OXO dish rack, it is dishwasher safe.

What we like about it:

  • Good organisation.
  • Foldable design is handy for small counters.
  • Versatile.
  • Good build quality.

3. Joseph Joseph Extend Expandable Dish Rack Review


The Joseph Joseph dish rack is another good choice for kitchens with limited counter space. Instead of folding, this one retracts or expands depending on how much drying space you need.

Expanding it nearly doubles its size.

The design is fairly simple. When expanded, you have a ribbed platform on one side for pans or cups. The other side consists of versatile prongs that can hold cups, glasses or plates.

The rack also comes with a two-section cutlery box that attaches to the cup/plate holders.

At the bottom of the rack is a spout that you can open to drain water into the sink.

Because of the limited organisation, we recommend the Joseph Joseph mostly for those with few dishes.

The rack is made from high quality plastic, so you don’t have to worry about rusting. It measures 32 × 36.4 × 16.1cm when retracted and 52.7 × 36.4 × 16.1cm when fully open.

What we like about it:

  • Space-saving extendable design.
  • Non-scratch prongs.
  • Convenient drain spout.

4. woodluv Bamboo Dish Drying Rack Review


If you prefer the look and environmental-friendliness of a bamboo drying rack, we recommend this one from Woodluv.

It is a simple 2-tier design with plenty of space for plates and cups. Each tier is 48cm long and 33cm deep.

A two-section cutlery holder is fixed to the side of the rack. It measures 18cm long, 6.5cm wide and 13cm high.

Like most bamboo dish racks, the woodluv rack easily folds down into a flat shape for easy storage.

Something you should note about the woodluv dish rack is that it’s big. Several customers had to return it because it couldn’t fit next to their sink.

Make sure you have the space for it before you order.

What we like about it:

  • Eco-friendly bamboo construction.
  • Beautiful design.
  • Large capacity.
  • Foldable.

5. KitchenCraft Deluxe Dish Drainer Review


Looking for a budget dish drainer? This one by KitchenCraft is the most affordable of our picks. It is a bit small but it’ll do for a small family or a couple.

The overall dimensions are 42 cm x 30.5 cm x 15.5 cm, so it should feat neatly next to the sink.

Despite the smaller size, it has all the usual sections for storing different dishes: a rack for plates, another next to it for cups, prongs to hold glasses and a two-section removable cutlery holder.

Note that the plate rack may not hold extra-large dinner plates.

The rack comes with a drain board underneath that has a drainage spout. So no messes on the counter.

The KitchenCraft rack is made from stainless steel. It’s heavier than aluminium but it’s just as good at rust protection.

What we like about it:

  • Durable stainless steel construction.
  • Compact size – perfect for smaller kitchens.
  • Has a drain board and spout.