The Best Dish Drainers for Every Kitchen

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stainless steel wire dish drainer on countertop
Photo: Courtesy of Hay

Whether your kitchen is compact or spacious, you do a lot or a few dishes by hand, you'll find a practical and stylish dish drainer just right for your needs in this collection.

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horseshoe-shaped dish mat and brass drying rack beside sink

If you've washed an entire meal's worth of dishes by hand and realized you only had kitchen towels to place them on to dry, a dish drying rack might be a revelation (okay, maybe an exaggeration—but it'll make your life a lot easier). Dedicated dish drainers and racks have many benefits you may not necessarily think of: they hold dishes and utensils vertically so water drips right off; many of them have trays to catch water (or even funnel it straight into the sink) so your countertop doesn't get wet; and they can generally hold far more items per square inch than a simple towel would. Some even look good, like the rose pink silicone Dish Tray ($45, and Brass Dish Drainer ($35, combination that are pictured here.

If you're in the market, size is probably going to be your first consideration. For cooks with tiny kitchens, we found some terrific compact and foldable options; there are also some excellent over-the-sink models that don't take up any counter space at all. An added perk to those styles? You can place a cutting board right on top of them and voila: instant additional workspace. If you have a bigger kitchen (and an equally sizable household) a full-size rack will probably be in order. There are lots to choose from in the slides ahead, from stainless steel, basket-style caddies to ones without sides that allow items to hang over the edge. And if you have a dishwasher, don't stop reading! Hand-washed items, such as fragile wine glasses and nonstick or cast-iron pans, will still need a place to dry.

From simple mats to two-tiered drying rack condominiums, there's something here for every need.

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Over-the-Sink Drying Rack

over-the-sink-dish drainer
Courtesy of Food52/Rocky Lutens

This versatile and cool-looking rack (which features a built-in utensil caddy) fits over your sink and is made from silicone-coated stainless steel, so it's strong enough to support a meal's worth of dishes (including pots).

Shop Now: Five Two Over-the-Sink Drying Rack, $45,

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Bamboo Dish Rack

totally bamboo folding dish rack

A folding rack made from bamboo is not only functional, but it'll look good on your countertop, too. Just remember that this one doesn't come with a utensil holder, but you can purchase one separately.

Shop Now: Totally Bamboo Bamboo Dish Rack, $20,

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Metal Dish Drainer Rack with Silverware Drainer

compact metal dish drainer full of dishes
Courtesy of Amazon

If you're looking for a compact rack for a small space and a one- or two-person household, this options fits the bill impressively well, with 12 slots and a removable cutlery compartment.

Shop Now: iDesign Classico Metal Dish Drainer Rack with Silverware Drainer, $19.40,

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Simple Dish Rack

white dish drainer on countertop with plates, glasses and a whisk in it
Courtesy of Oxo

It doesn't get simpler than this no-frills rack, which can hold a surprising range and quantity of items. There are no side rails, so cups and mugs can hang over the edge.

Shop Now: OXO Dish Rack, $19.99,

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Stainless Steel Wire Dish Rack

stainless steel wire dish drainer on countertop
Courtesy of Hay

Elegant and functional, this dish rack has an undulating stainless steel wire frame and includes a removable tray to catch and remove excess water.

Shop Now: Leon Ransmeier for Hay "Shortwave" Dish Rack, $75,

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Dish Drying Rack with Wood Handles

white dish drainer with wood handles filled with dishes
Courtesy Food52/James Ransom

Another top pick, this lightweight dish drainer boasts a coated-steel frame, wood handles, and a utensil holder that hangs on the edge, so you can place it wherever works for your space.

Shop Now: Yamazaki Home Dish Drying Rack, $78,

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Steel Frame Dish Rack

steel dish drainer with dishes

This dish rack (which comes in two sizes) has it all: loads of room, a wine glass rack, and even a swivel spout that drains water into the sink no matter how you position the rack.

Shop Now: Simplehuman Steel Frame Dish Rack, $79.95,

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Flip-Up Draining Board

folding dish rack with dishes drying
Courtesy of JosephJoseph

Smart features make this a good pick for those with limited space—its clever design means it folds flat when not in use. It holds up to six dinner plates and has a handy draining spout that deposits excess water right into the sink.

Shop Now: Joseph Joseph Flip-Up Draining Board, $20,

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Compact Dish Drying Rack

hand loading glass onto compact dish drainer with tray
Courtesy of West Elm

Durable and space-conscious, this rack has a minimalist vibe but holds a surprising amount. And it drains water directly into the sink.

Shop Now: Brabantia Kitchen Compact Dish Drying Rack, $47.95,

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Two-Tier Drying Rack

two-tier dish drainer with dishes
Courtesy of Amazon

High capacity yet compact, this is the bunk bed of dish drainers. It's sturdy, with two levels to hold loads of dishes, cups, mugs, and utensils, plus a pot or two.

Shop Now: iSpecle Dish Drying Rack, $39.99,

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Wool Dish Drying Mat

wool drying mat with colorful dishes drying
Courtesy of Sonoma Wool Company

For those who prefer a mat over a dish drying rack, this eco-friendly choice is a winner. It comes with a linen sleeve that's machine washable.

Shop Now: Sonoma Wool Company Wool Dish Drying Mat with Linen Sleeve, $39.95,

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Dish Rack and Tray

dish drainer with silverware caddy and drip tray
Courtesy of Amazon

It might not be the flashiest rack on our list, but it does the job and does it well. This dish drainer rack can hold a good number of dishes and even has a pull-out try to accommodate overflow.

Shop Now: Polder Four-Piece Dish Rack and Tray, $56,

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Drying Rack with Handles

black wire dish drainer with handles
Courtesy of MDesign

Another stylish pick for a small space, this rack can sit on the counter or directly in the sink, and resembles a basket. You'll want to place a kitchen towel under it to catch water if it's on the counter; the handles make it easy to lift and slip the towel underneath.

Shop Now: M Design Sink Dish Drying Rack with Handles, $34.99,

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Full Size Dish Rack

dish drainer with stainless steel panels

In addition to its large capacity, this luxury dish drainer features a removable flatware caddy, brushed stainless steel panels, and soft feet to prevent scratching countertops.

Shop Now: KitchenAid Full Size Dish Rack, $59.99,

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