14 Space-Saving Solutions For Drying Laundry Now Outside Isn’t An Option

It’s time to upgrade that clunky clothes horse you’ve had for a decade.
Drying your clothes without having to sacrifice precious floor space? Yes please!
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Drying your clothes without having to sacrifice precious floor space? Yes please!

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With wet and rainy weather back, it’s safe to say that the blissful months of being able to hang our laundry up outside to dry are coming to an end. And with energy prices on the rise, the chances of me turning on my tumble dryer are quite frankly slim!

But as someone who lives in a pretty small flat, hanging out a full wash during winter means spending two days tripping over the airer, and inevitably forgetting to duck under the dresses and shirts I’ve left hanging from all door frames. (And don’t even get me started on when the bedding needs a wash — that requires creating a whole structure out of dining chairs to drape the sheets over!)

So I decided it might be time to look into some more practical solutions — and to be honest, I’m actually embarrassed that I didn’t know how much the design of airers has come on since I bought my classic clunky clothes horse in about 2015.

Here are some of the options I’m considering – you might want to have a look, too.

Use a radiator airer to dry things doubly fast
Got a few little bits that you need to dry quickly? Instead of squeezing them all onto the radiator, drape them over this clever little airer that’s been designed to hook over it. This way, far more items will be able to benefit from the heat!
Find an adjustable clothes horse that can be tailored to each wash
Whether all your towels need to dry, you’ve got damp shirts to hang, or you simply need a little space to drape a smaller wash, this versatile airer can be assembled to suit you. It can be opened entirely or half way, and has racks that can be collapsed if not needed.
Dry small items over the bath with this clever contraption
Blessed with a bath? Then you should definitely be using it as a spot for drying clothes. This small but savvy airer has secure feet that grip around the edge of the tub, and creates the perfect space for flat drying smaller items like tea towels, flannels, and cloths.
Or even pick a clothes horse that’ll fully fit in the tub
Feel like you could make even better use of the bath? Boasting a super slimline design and foldable wings that more than double its drying space, this airer has been designed with narrow spaces like balconies and standard-sized baths in mind.
Create hanging space for shirts and skirts with this wall-mounted rack
I’ve got a real thing about overcrowding the airer, so I aim to dry shirts and dresses on hangers wherever possible. Far more practical than hanging them from the door frame, this wall-mounted rail can be affixed to any wall, and subtly folds flat when not in use.
Invest in a heated airer that’ll slot behind the sofa
In terms of running costs per hour, you’re looking at roughly £1.20 for a tumble dryer, compared to under 15p for this heated airer. It’s far cheaper, has ample room for drying items flat, and – unlike the tumble dryer – it wont shrink your jeans and jumpers.
Save floor space with an over-the-door drying rack
Whether you hang it over your shower screen or door, this drying rack will quickly dry your damp clothes. It’s got three independent drying grids, and reversible hooks to accommodate for any difference in door thickness.
Spread bed sheets and towels out on this adjustable winged airer
I’ve spent an embarrassingly long time scouring the internet for the absolute best airer for drying bed sheets and towels, and am happy to report that this is it. According to its many reviewers, the multi-positional wings will leave you with more than enough surface area!
Install a ceiling airer that has a handy pulley system
A modern take on the traditional ceiling-mounted clothes rail, this clever airer is operated by a simple rope pulley system, and boasts aluminium rails that can expand from 78cm to 140cm. It’s definitely the best solution if floor space is at a premium in your place.
Pick an extendable option that folds up compactly
Ideal for narrow hallways, this slimline clothes horse can be used at its standard 43cm length, or expanded to up to 74cm to cater for bigger loads of washing. Reviewers say that it can hold a surprising amount, and collapses to a compact and stowable size.
Free up hanging space by clipping your undies to this octopus hanger
Individually pegging each sock to the airer is not only time consuming, but also a massive waste of space. Instead, simply hang this clever octopus from your clothes horse, and use it to hang your socks and knickers out to dry.
Lay jumpers and towels flat to dry them quickly on this heated airer
Albeit a smaller heated airer option, this one for those chunkier items that dry best when laid flat – such as towels, jumpers, and cushion covers. It costs the same as a 120W light bulb to run, and folds up small enough to slide under your sofa.
Use these big clips to hang bed sheets and duvets from curtain rails
If there’s one thing that I know for sure about myself, it’s that I’ll avoid draping my bedding over an airer at all costs. It just takes up too much room, and far too long to dry! Instead, I use big clips like these to clip blankets and bed sheets to my curtain or shower rails.
Drape or hang washing from the foldout arms of this collapsible airer
New at Dunelm, this clever airer is perfect for those of us who like to put clothes on coat hangers where possible. The ten arms all rotate 360 degrees, and can be folded up or down in any configuration, so that any available space can always be quickly freed up.