The humble washing line. Admittedly, trying to dry clothes outside in the UK can be a bit of a gamble. One minute, it’s bright sunshine and pleasant breezes that’ll dry your clothes almost as quickly as you’ve hung things out; next minute, you’re noticing ominous dark clouds rolling in out of nowhere as you scramble to get everything in. Nonetheless, line-dried clothes are often the easiest option, not to mention cheapest – certainly more so than the tumble dryer, anyway.
That said, having a retractable washing line that can be taken out and put away at will can be a real convenience for smaller gardens, where it’s just not feasible (or possible) to have a washing line out all the time. With that in mind, here’s our roundup of the best retractable washing lines.
|Retractable Washing Line||Space (M)|
|Minky Retractable Reel||24|
|Casa Bella Outdoor/Indoor||30|
Product Quick Links
- 1. Minky Retractable Reel Washing Line
- 2. CoiTek Retractable Washing Line
- 3. Vileda Cordomatic Retractable Clothes Line
- 4. Brabantia WallFix Retractable Washing Line
- 5. Casa Bella Outdoor/Indoor Washing Line
- 6. Dryzem Washing Line
- Which Retractable Washing Line to Go for?
- Retractable Washing Line Buying Guide
If it’s outright washing line space you’re after, look no further. The Retractable Reel from Minky offers 30m of line with two 15m cables. The cables also come with a weight limit of 25kg, which is more than enough for some serious laundry loads – you’ll probably run out of clothes before you fill it.
It’s easy to clip either line anywhere and both stow neatly away in the simple, smart grey plastic housing, which like the lines is durable and easy to clean. The case itself is also removable and can be unclipped from the mounting bracket for winter storage. The bracket is attached to your wall of choice by way of two quickly drilled holes. A fantastic budget-conscious choice.
CoiTek’s foray into retractable washing lines comes in the form of this double line unit, offering 26m of laundry line. These lines can handle up to 25kg of laundry, which should be more than enough for most households, and clip neatly wherever you need them to.
It ships with all the wall fixings needed, and the main unit can be unclipped from the wall mount for storage when it’s not needed. It also pivots around the wall mounting for a little extra versatility. The casing is made from tough plastic, and also features cleats at the bottom to secure the lines when extended.
With a name that wouldn’t sound too out-of-place in a kid’s sci-fi show, the Cordomatic by Vileda is an uncomplicated, well-designed single retractable clothes line. Its 15m length can be locked at any point via a cleat on the casing and is made from a durable material. The housing itself is also durably built, with the black plastic housing keeping a low profile. It also pivots on its mountings for convenience.
Vileda also recommend the Cordomatic for both indoor and outdoor use, so it’s a sure thing if outdoor space is a real premium in your home. A great wallet and space-friendly choice.
The WallFix from Brabantia combines the convenience of a retractable line-style unit with the efficient shape of a rotary airer. A single unit that, once attached to the wall, doesn’t then need to be attached anywhere else does offer a fair amount of convenience. Designed to be operated with one hand, the Brabantia instantly offers up to 24m of line to hang clothes on. The design of it also allows for heavier items with no worries – the steel/aluminium construction is plenty strong to boot.
Brabantia offer the WallFix with a cover, ideal for weatherproofing when not in use. Although not too cheap, if you’re prepared to make the investment this shouldn’t let you (or your clothes) down
A beautiful home indeed. Granted, white plastic may not necessarily be beautiful, but this is nonetheless a very smart and well-built offering. Two different versions are available, with the single-line model offering 15m of line and the double-line twice that at 30m. They feature heavy-duty plastic hooks at the end to attach and can be extended and fixed to any length.
The wall mounting allows the unit to pivot when attached for convenient storage and can also be removed should you need to take it down for the winter. Suitable for fixing indoors or outdoors, it’s a reasonable product at a reasonable price.
The dual retractable clothes line from Dryzem offers two 15m lines for a total of 30m laundry space, perfect for even the biggest households. Each line can be independently retracted as well, whether indoors or outdoors, and pivots freely on the wall mountings for ease of storage and flexibility to fasten anywhere.
It also features an automatic mechanism to quickly retract lines, and each line can be locked via a cleat mechanism on the tough plastic housing. A manufacturer’s warranty of two years should also offer a little extra peace of mind.
Which Retractable Washing Line to Go for?
Best quality & features – Go for the Brabantia WallFix for overall quality. It’s unmatched in terms of build quality among the lines on test, thanks to its steel/aluminium construction. Easy to install as well, the 24m of line should provide ample space for all but the largest amounts of laundry – the rotary-style shape means that the line will stay taut no matter what.
On a budget – The Vileda Cordomatic represents the best value washing line in our list. It has plenty of line space and should be enough for most but comes with a very small initial investment.
The best for big households – Minky’s Retractable Reel offers the most out-and-out line space, with 30m spread across two cables and a maximum weight limit of 25kg. This equates to 3 large loads of laundry, so if you’re washing for lots of people, then look no further.
Retractable Washing Line Buying Guide
The main selling point for retractable lines is just that; they’re retractable. They’re very useful for people without something in their garden to attach a permanent washing line to and disappear inside a discrete housing when you’re done. They can also affix to basically any surface, so effectively, you can have a washing line anywhere!
They also tend to be more durable than permanent lines, as the cable itself is stored inside of a casing when not in use. Therefore, it’s less likely to sag or snap over time. In our buying guide, we’ve simplified the key features you need to keep an eye out for when shopping.
The housing/casing is where the line lives, so it’s vital to choose one that is both user-friendly and tough. Something that’s weather-proof, for instance, is key for outdoors-based lines – you don’t want the thing to rust! This also extends to the mounting fixtures, which need to be just as sturdy as the housing so that you can stay safe in the knowledge that your washing line is secure.
How many lines?
A second question, by extension, is how much line do you need? This often depends entirely on you and your household. If there are a lot of you, or if you have more clothes than you know what to do with, then a 2 or even 3-line unit might be what you need. It may be the case that 2 shorter lines are more useful than 1 long line, to maximise usable space.
The strongest clothes lines are made from metal cables (usually steel) coated in PVC. These typically last the longest, but other options are out there – plastic cables are relatively strong but are prone to cracking and breaking down over time, especially when exposed to harsher weather. Rope and/or nylon lines do exist, but generally speaking, these have a very short life and minimal tensile strength and are not ideal for washing lines unless you have no other option.
Retractable washing lines have, in recent years, become a go-to for drying laundry thanks to convenience and user-friendly design. Their benefit extends to financial as well, as unlike tumble dryers, they cost absolutely nothing to run!
With all of that in mind, all the information you should need is here to help you in finding the best retractable washing line to match your needs, no matter the budget.
To Your Inbox