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The 10 Best Dish Drying Racks For Small Spaces

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When you have a tiny kitchen, every inch of counter space is valuable. That's why a bulky dish rack that takes up the majority of your countertop just won't cut it. Instead, the best dish drying racks for small spaces boast extra-small footprints or have customizable design features that make the most of the room you have. Some can be set up over your sink or inside your sink, and others roll up or fold for compact storage.

As with any purchases that are influenced by space restraints, first get out your measuring tape. The tiniest of dish racks on this list will be just 6 inches square, but others will take up a bit more space, and still others will be elevated, with legs that sit on either side of your sink. For that last option, you’ll want to measure the width of your sink, as well as height clearance. If you want something totally fuss-free, invest in a flat mat that can be suspended across your sink to hold dishes, and rolled back up for storage when your dishes are dry. Keep in mind that options that sit in your sink won't allow you to fully utilize your faucet while your plates and glasses are drying. If that's a deal breaker, you’re better off with a traditional countertop rack.

While you’re shopping, keep an eye out for other helpful features, like lots of capacity, dedicated spots for glasses and utensils, and rust resistance.

Tiny kitchens be damned: These are the best dish drying racks for small spaces.

1

A Dish Rack With An Extra-Small Footprint

Dimensions: 13.5 x 6.6 x 4.4 inches (length by width by height)

Why it's great: This small dish rack is budget-friendly, compact, and comes with its own silicone mat to catch runoff water. It's also built with 12 slots for dinner plates, and a cutlery tray that can easily be removed for extra space. It’s versatile, too — this tiny pick can fit inside your sink if you want to get more room on your counter. The most fun part: It comes in several colors, including matte black, copper, and graphite gray. With a 4.6-star overall rating after 2,500 reviews on Amazon, reviewers love this dish rack for small kitchens and tiny sinks.

The tradeoffs: The setup is a bit too tight to accommodate rounded plates or more than a couple bowls.

What fans say: "Perfect for our small RV kitchen. Exactly what we were looking for. Appears to be sturdy and will hold our handful of dishes we camp with! Perfect dish stand and mat to keep our counter dry!”

2

This Basic Rack At A Budget Price

Dimensions: 12.75 x 14.25 x 5.25 inches (length by width by height)

Why it’s great: This compact dish rack is a basic pick that checks all kinds of boxes: It’s relatively compact, budget-conscious, and has earned a 4.7-star overall rating after more than 19,000 reviews. While it takes up more space than the above pick, it also offers more versatility. It has slots for up to 11 plates, four exterior hooks for glasses, and a detachable cutlery tray. It’s made from chrome-finished steel and is small enough to fit inside your sink if you need more counter space for meal prep.

The tradeoffs: Reviewers have reported the rack may be prone to rusting over time.

What fans say: “Exactly what I needed. Fits in a small space and holds more than a day's dishes. In fact, the cutlery container was big enough to hold almost every piece of silverware I own! I can't fit more than 2 of my big ol' glass tumblers on the side racks, but that's OK with me. The plate holders are even big enough to take my heavy, big, diner-style plates. And all without tipping over.”

3

Editor’s Pick: An Over-The-Sink Rack That Rolls Up

Dimensions: 5 sizes available, ranging from 17.8 x 11.2 inches to 20.5 x 19.2 inches

Why it's great: Bustle Commerce editor Wesley Salazar says, “If you don't have space on your counter or cabinets to store a bulky dish rack, a roll-up one like this can be an unexpectedly elegant solution. It fits neatly over your sink and is perfect for setting dishes, flatware, and even produce out to dry. It's easy to wipe down to clean, but you can also pop it into the dishwasher. And the best part is: It rolls up compactly and you can store it out of the way when needed."

Plus, with over 15,000 reviews on Amazon and an impressive 4.7-star overall rating, this dish mat isn’t just an editor’s choice — it’s reviewer-approved, too. Built with sturdy (and BPA-free!) stainless steel with nonslip grips on the ends, this option lets wet dishes drip directly into the drain. Best yet, it’s available in five sizes, heat-resistant (up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit), and dishwasher-safe.

The tradeoffs: If you don’t have a double sink, you may need to remove dishes before running the faucet.

What fans say: "I hate having a dish rack on the counter because it takes up so much space. [...] I was worried it'd look tacky with the rubber ends (I bought the stainless steel one with black ends), but it actually looks rather sleek with my dark granite countertops. My favorite part is how easily it rolls up (to about the size of a plastic wrap or foil wrap box), stays rolled up, and can be stored in a drawer with my silverware or dish towels. No clutter!!”

4

This Bamboo Rack That Folds For Storage

Dimensions: 14 x 13 x 10 inches (length by width by height)

Why it's great: Durable and strong, this bamboo wood dish drying rack can accommodate a generous amount of dishes. It's built with 14 slots that can each hold a full-sized dinner plate, and has a bottom section perfect for bowls, glasses, and mugs. Some reviewers even claim it's sturdy enough for their heavy pots and pans (although, full disclosure, other reviewers disagree). To top it all off, it folds up and collapses so you can set it out when you want to dry dishes, and put it away when you need counter space.

The tradeoffs: It may be a bit too high to fit under cabinets, and the bottom rack may not accommodate taller water glasses.

What fans say: "I have a small kitchen and this dish rack is great for that. When I'm using it it looks nice and is very functional but when I need extra space It folds down and is easy to store until I need it again, thus freeing up valuable counter space."

5

A 2-Tier Rack That Takes Up Minimal Space

Dimensions: 16.7 x 9.5 x 15.4 inches (length by width by height)

Why it’s great: This two-tier stainless steel dish drying rack truly has a place for everything, but it manages to do it in an impressively space-saving way. Use the top rack to dry up to 18 plates, the bottom rack for cups and pots, the six hooks on the sides for drinking glasses, and the basket for silverware. Made from chrome-plated stainless steel, it’s resistant to rust and doesn’t require any tools or hardware to set up — simply snap the pieces together.

The tradeoffs: It may be too high to fit under cabinets.

What fans say: “Perfect for my small space needs! Surprisingly sturdy without need for any tools! Fits my small space requirement perfectly. Bottom shelf holds a full sized glass. Bottom shelf also has a removable tray for water dripping, which was critical for me. Very happy with the purchase!”

6

The 3-Piece Modular Set That’s Collapsible

Dimensions: mat is 20 x 15.5 inches, holders are roughly 6 x 6 inches (according to a reviewer)

Why it’s great: Perfect for dorms, RVs, and efficiency apartments, this three-piece modular dish-drying set can be snapped together if you have the space for it, but you can also separate each piece for use on its own. One rack has space for up to six plates, while the other accommodates two bowls. The utensil holder can be used alone or snapped onto either of the racks for a secure fit. Perhaps the best part? Everything collapses for storage. The set is made from plastic (which won’t rust) and comes with a microfiber drying mat. The mat is generously sized, so you can dry pots and pans, but if you need more counter space, you can fold it up and just use half.

The tradeoffs: The lightweight plastic may be too flimsy for heavier items.

What fans say: “I'm a single person so I only use a couple of dishes or pieces of cutlery at a time and this works perfectly. The drying mat is super absorbent, goes in the laundry and accomodates anything too large to fit on the drying rack itself. The drying racks come apart easily and go in the dishwasher for cleaning. Couldn't be happier with this purchase!”

7

A Splurge-Worthy KitchenAid Rack

Dimensions: 15 x 13.2 x 5.4 inches (length by width by height)

Why it’s great: When it comes to quality kitchenware, it doesn’t get much better than KitchenAid, and the brand’s compact dish drying rack is no exception. Made from stainless steel, the sturdy build is ideal if you cook with heavy pots and pans, and the drain tray is designed at a pitch so that water goes into the sink and doesn’t pool. It has slots for about 10 plates, along with a detachable four-compartment utensil holder and six cup hooks that are coated in nonslip material to prevent damage.

The tradeoffs: This pick is on the pricey side.

What fans say: “The dish drying rack is very solidly built and it stays put. It doesn't seem very flimsy at all. The dish drying rack has excellent drainage and it helps to dry the dishes easily. I haven't had any issues at all while using this dish drying rack and it seems that it will last a very long time. I would highly recommend this compact dish drying rack from KitchenAid.”

8

The In-Sink Dish Drying Rack That Can Also Be Used On The Counter

Dimensions: 15.8 x 11.8 x 5.1 inches (length by width by height)

Why it’s great: While it’s not the most compact option on the list, this expandable dish rack offers amazing versatility. Not only can you set it up on the counter (the rubber feet keep it firmly in place), but you can also extend the nonslip arms to 22.2 inches wide and place it in your sink — helpful when you need a little extra counter space. It holds up to 10 plates (with room to spare for cups), and the two-compartment utensil cup can be detached for even more room. Made from stainless steel, it’s earned a 4.7-star average rating after feedback from more than 5,000 reviewers.

The tradeoffs: If you don’t have a double sink, you’ll have to place the rack on the counter before running the faucet.

What fans say: “Great space saver! Have a small galley kitchen, counter space is at a premium. Adjustability of this drying rack to go over my sink helped to create extra counter space where I had the previous rack.”

9

The Over-Sink Rack That Takes Up Almost No Counter Space

Dimensions: 12. 1 x 23.7 — 33.5 x 1 — 21.8 inches (length by width by height)

Why it’s great: Although it’s the priciest pick on the list, this modern dish rack also saves the most space while giving you lots of capacity and size customization options. It’s width-adjustable from 23.7 to 33.5 inches — so it fits a wide variety of sink sizes — and height-adjustable from 1 inch to 21.8 inches, so you can adjust the clearance in a way that makes it easy to do the dishes. Made from aluminum alloy with a black powder-coated finish, it has slots for holding up to 13 plates, a tray for cups and bowls, a utensil holder, a knife holder, hooks for cooking utensils, a basket for detergent and sponges, and a holder for cutting boards and pot lids. And while it holds quite a bit, reviewers have reported they’re pleased with how sturdy it is, and that the suction cups on the bottom do a great job of keeping it in place.

Keep in mind that the height of your faucet should be under 21.8 inches, the length of the sink should be less than 33.5 inches, and — if you’re dealing with a cabinet — you’ll need a clearance of at least 24 inches from the countertop.

The tradeoffs: Some reviewers have reported assembly can be a bit tricky, and you’re dealing with an irregular faucet or a cabinet over your sink, you’ll have to verify that the sizing will be compatible.

What fans say: “First, I love this product! It's great for small kitchens with minimal counter space. It's sturdy, well built and there are lots of options for storage with the various additional holders. The adjustability is really helpful since no two sinks are alike.”

10

This Fold-Up Dish Rack That’s Resistant To Rust

Dimensions: 19.4 x 15.5 x 5.2 (length by width by height when open)

Why it’s great: This space-saving dish rack has two great things going for it: 1.) The body is made from BPA-free plastic (with stainless steel legs), so it’s more resistant to rust than many options, and 2.) The sides fold in, bringing the rack down to a width of 12.5 inches and height of just 3.9 inches, so you can stow it away in a cabinet when your dishes are done drying. A pop-up plate rack holds up to six plates, and it can be collapsed flat to make room for bigger items like pots and bowls. Spikes along the sides hold cups and glasses vertically, while two utensil holders detach for easy cleaning. The drain tray under the rack is outfitted with a spout — aim it toward the sink to drain excess water.

The tradeoffs: Reviewers have reported that the incline of the drain tray isn’t very steep, so water still tends to pool under the rack.

What fans say: “I purchased this for my camper where space is a premium. Most of the collapsible dish racks are very small. This one holds quite a bit, it folds easily and neatly for storage in a cupboard, it seems quite sturdy, and I love that you can fold the dish rack down and use the space for other things.”