A dish drying rack isn’t something most people stress a lot over, with a lot of people not even bothering to check all the market has to offer and just buying the first thing they see.
This is why you’d be surprised to know that there’s actually more than one type of dish drying rack out there in the market! And as you’d expect, each type has its pros and cons, meaning you do actually have to be careful about which one you buy.
What are the types of dish drying racks on the market? What is each type best for? In this short guide (for a more comprehensive dish drying rack buyer’s guide, click here), we’re going to give you the skinny on each type, so you know just what to buy.
Over the Sink Dish Rack VS Countertop
When discussing the types of dish drying racks on the market, the most popular category you’ll see these products being compared under is whether they’re built for being placed over the sink dish rack or placed on the counter-top next to the sink. Both types come with their pros and cons, so it’s important to understand the key differences between them.
Over the sink dish drying racks were originally designed to save you space on the kitchen counter, taking advantage of the usually empty space above your sink to place your dish drying rack. What’s more is that since the dishes are placed directly above the sink as they’re drying, all the water drips directly down into the sink below, meaning you don’t have to deal with messy, wet countertops or even periodically emptying out a drainage tray.
However, it should be remembered that over the sink dish drying racks generally cost more than their “counter”-parts (shameless pun). They’re also a little trickier to set up, and one size does NOT fit all, meaning you have to be absolutely certain what size would be best for your sink before you order one. And if you have an overhead cabinet built above your sink, you have to be extra careful with those measurements.
Countertop dish drying racks, on the other hand, are a much simpler alternative. Functioning more like a basket, setting up and using these dish drying racks is as uncomplicated as it gets. Because they can take up more space on your kitchen counter, you can find them in, especially large sizes too, besides being cheaper and generally more durable too. The only place where they fall short when compared to over the sink dish drying racks is in the drainage and space department.
But that’s not to say you can’t have the best of both worlds. In fact, there are some dish drying racks that are designed to be placed both on the countertop and over your sink! These hybrids can be hung from the edges of our sink to let the water drip directly into it as the dishes dry and can then be placed back on the counter when you need to use the sink again. Though that does require them to be of a smaller size, or they won’t fit.
Metal vs Plastic
The second biggest question people have when comparing different types of dish drying racks is what material they’re made of, specifically whether metal dish drying racks are better than plastic ones, or vice versa. And the answer to that is a fairly subjective one.
Now we know we don’t speak for everyone, but we believe that the consensus of the majority is that metal dish drying racks are far superior to plastic ones when it comes to their aesthetics and design. There’s just something about the look of stainless-steel and chrome-plated kitchen appliances that their plastic counterparts can never truly hope to replicate. It’s a shame they eventually start rusting, or metal dish drying racks would be the obvious winner among the two.
Plastic dish drying racks do not rust, and will in most circumstances, outlive their metal counterparts in terms of lifetime, making them the best choice for someone who wants their every penny’s worth. However, you’ll find you have to trade almost always beauty and aesthetics for functionality and durability, so choose wisely.
However, while metal and plastic are the go-to materials when it comes to dish drying racks, they’re not the only ones on the market. A material that’s steadily gaining popularity over the years is bamboo, and you’ll actually find quite a lot of good bamboo dish drying racks on the market today. And for those who really don’t have a lot of dishes to wash on a daily basis, a cheap alternative in the form of silicon mats is also worth consideration.
Simple VS Expandable
The last category worth comparing dish drying racks over is whether or not they’re built for being used as is or can be expanded to increase their functionality.
Whether they unfold outwards to provide more space for storing wet dishes, or host several detachable compartments for more flexible storage, expandable dish drying racks serve to provide you with more options on how to use the same product. This logically makes them a better product as compared to simple dish drying racks; why have less when you can have more, am I right?
Though it should be said that not everyone needs this extra space. In which case you’d actually be far better off getting a cheaper, albeit more practical dish drying rack.