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 tabletop just won't cut it. Instead, the
best dish drying racks for small spaces are narrow, lightweight, and can often either sit in your sink to save room, or fold up when you're not using it for easy storage.
As with any purchases that are influenced by space restraints, first measure the kitchen you're working with. The tiniest of dish racks will
measure just over 1 foot in length, so if you have less than a square foot of countertop, you'll likely want to buy a dish rack that sits inside of your sink. For an even more compact version, invest in a flat mat that rolls out over your sink to hold dishes, and back up when your dishes are dry.
Keep in mind, an in-sink dish rack won't allow you to fully utilize your faucet and sink while your plates and glasses are drying. If that's a deal breaker, look for an X-shaped dish rack that takes up more vertical space, but less horizontal space in your kitchen. These X-shaped dish racks can most often be folded up or collapsed so you can free up your countertop when you need the space for meal prep or cooking.
Tiny kitchens be damned: These are the
best dish drying racks for small spaces. Dimensions: 12 by 5.5 by 4 inches (length by width by height) Why it's great: This dish rack is hands down the most versatile: Not only can it easily rest in your sink or on your countertop, it comes with its own microfiber mat that will absorb any water that drips off your dishes. It's also built with 12 slots for dinner plates, and a cutlery tray that can easily be removed for extra space (a unique feature that most space-saving dish racks don't have). With 4.7 stars on Amazon, reviewers love this dish rack for small kitchens and tiny sinks. What fans say: "Perfect for limited counter space. I don’t like having dish drying racks on my counter but I don’t mind this since it’s nice and compact. It’s also came with the drying mat for underneath which was a plus." Dimensions: 13 by 5.25 by 3.5 inches (length by width by height) Why it's great: For the most compact and affordable dish rack, this tiny dish holder can fit up to five dinner plates while still leaving extra room for bowls or mugs. It's also narrow, so you likely will still be able to use some of your sink while your dishes are drying. Built with four rubber feet, this dish rack won't slip, slide, or damage your sink. For the money, it really can't be beat. The tradeoffs: This is the smallest rack on this list, and many reviewers say if you're dealing with more than two people's dishes, you will probably find this too small. What fans say: "Nice dish rack. Fits down in sink, out of sight, so I don't have an ugly stack of dishes drying on my limited counter space. And I love the extra counter space!" Dimensions: 20.5 by 13 by 0.25 inches (length by width by height) Why it's great: With over 1,800 reviews on Amazon and a near-perfect, 4.9-star rating, this dish mat is tried and true. Built with sturdy, food-grade (and BPA-free!) silicone, this durable mat rolls over your sink and you can easily place dishes on top to drip dry into your sink. It also rolls up so you can easily store it in a cabinet or under the sink when you're not using it. Best yet, it is heat resistant (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit) and dishwasher safe. The tradeoffs: Depending on the depth of your sink, you may or may not be able to place plates in the slits of this drainer. That being said, reviewers lie their plates flat and find they dry well enough. What fans say: "I did not want a large dish rack sitting in my small kitchen all day because I don't have many dishes but on occasion. This was the answer. Fits very well anywhere it is needed and can be made smaller on the sides if there is not so many dishes that need drying." Dimensions: 14 by 13 x 10 inches (length by width by height) Why it's great: Made of durable and strong bamboo, this dish drainer can hold the largest amount of dishes of any rack on this list. 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: This is the only model on this list that really can't be used in your sink. It's also the largest on this list when you expand it to its full size. 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." Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.