Like it or not, your clothes have to be washed and dried on a regular basis. You can make “washing day” easier with a top outdoor clothes dryer. For the best results, look for an airer model that fits your space and is sturdy enough to see you through load after a load of laundry.
With the right outdoor dryer, your damp clothing will dry quickly in the fresh air and be ready for the next wearing.
1. Brabantia Lift-O-Matic: Best Outdoor Rotary Cloths Dryer
An entire family’s worth of clothes can easily overwhelm a small clothesline. If you regularly do three or four loads of laundry in a day, then you need a larger unit, such as the Brabantia Rotary Lift-O-Matic.
The largest version of the Lift-O-Matic offers 60 meters of drying space. There are also hanger attachments on the end of each arm that you can use for drying your more delicate items.
This is an umbrella-style system. The unit has a ground spike that you stick in your yard. With concrete, the spike will be firmly set in place.
You can easily slide the dryer’s post in and out of this spike. There’s a small cover that you can place on the spike when the dryer is put away.
Of course, you don’t have to stick the dryer in the garage every time it’s not in use. The unit easily collapses. Many models come with a handy cover to keep the folded-up airer in top condition.
This is a rotary dryer, which means that you can stand in one spot while hanging clothes. Plus, in a gentle breeze, the clothesline will slowly spin. There’s something nice about the scent of fresh air on your clothes that you just can’t get with tumble drying indoors.
Thanks to adjustable height settings, the Rotary Lift-O-Matic is extremely versatile. Depending on your height and the size of the items you’re drying, you can set it as low as 129 centimetres or as high as 187 centimetres. When the dryer is on its lowest setting, you can easily place large items like cushions across the top to dry in the sun.
Like Brabantia’s Wallfix, this dryer comes with a five-year guarantee.
Related: Best Vented Tumble Dryers of 2023
2. Brabantia Wallfix: Best Wall Mounted Drying Rack
If your outdoor space is at a premium, then the last thing you want to do is take it all up with an outdoor clothesline. With the Brabantia Wallfix, you don’t have to sacrifice space for clothes-drying convenience.
The Wallfix mounts to the side of your house. You can even install this dryer on your balcony. To free up precious garden space, the Wallfix collapses neatly against the wall when not in use.
It takes just one hand to expand this lightweight dryer when it’s time to hang a load of laundry. Tucking the Wallfix away again is just as easy.
Despite the unit’s compact storage, the unfolded airer boasts 24 meters’ worth of clothesline. The longest sections are 120 centimetres long, so you’ll be able to hang some of your larger items, such as towels.
You can order your Wallfix with a protective cover or a storage box. The protective cover is more affordable, but the box is sturdier. Either option, though, will help keep the metal in good shape and the lines clean. These storage systems are also available separately in case you need to replace your cover or want to upgrade to a box.
It’s worth noting that the Wallfix is not a rotary dryer. Since its arms are stationary, you won’t get the benefit of your clothes gently spinning in the breeze.
Brabantia offers a five-year warranty on the Wallfix. That’s a sign that you’ll be receiving a sturdy product, and you can rest assured that the company will make it right if a problem does arise.
3. Albert Austin 5 Arm Heavy Duty Folding Wall Mounted Clothes Airer
Similar to the Brabantia Wallfix dryer, this Albert Austin airer is a space-saving model. It mounts on the wall and collapses compactly when not in use. One-handed operation means that it’s easy to open and close the unit.
I mounted this on a sturdy high fence, which was really easy as there was no drilling or raw plugs needed like you would with mounting in a brick wall. My next-door neighbour has the Brabantia version and compared to this, the Brabantia is more sturdy, better built, has a smoother folding mechanism, and has a much more premium look and feel.
With that said, the Fineway clothes dryer effectively does the same job – it hangs clothes out to dry with the same line space. The only difference is that this version is a little wobbly, but it would be hard to tell them apart from a distance.
This outdoor wall mounted (in my case, fence mounted) washing dryer is a whopping £100 cheaper than the Brabantia. If you’re after the best outdoor clothes airer money can buy, then go for the Brabantia. If you’re looking for a great value outdoor clothes dryer then get this model – it does the same job and will save you money.
This outdoor clothes dryer offers 26 meters of clothesline. The outer lines are each about 1 meter long. Altogether, the unit can hold approximately 10 kilograms of damp clothing at a time.
As I mentioned, a clear perk of the FiNeWaY airer is that it’s suitable for families on a budget. You’ll be able to order one for much cheaper than some other brands of collapsible dryers. Some users do suggest, however, that you upgrade to longer screws for installation. I can for sure agree with that, as I used quality long self tapering outdoor wood screws to secure the airer to a fence post. This ensures the screws were deep and won’t rush in winter, and gives the dryer better stability on windy days.
Unlike the Brabantia Wallfix, the FiNeWaY model does not offer the option to purchase a cover. That means that, if mounted outside, your dryer will regularly be exposed to air pollution and the weather. To keep your clothes clean and your dryer in good shape, you’ll probably need to wipe down the aluminium arms and the PVC-covered lines.
Like other wall-mounted airers, this one does not rotate. Of course, if space-saving convenience is your priority, the lack of rotation may be a small price to pay.
4. Minky Free Standing Portable Rotary Airer
If you don’t want to screw holes in your wall or drive a spike into the ground, what can you do for an outdoor clothes dryer? Minky offers the solution with the Free Standing Rotary Airer.
This rotating tripod unit can sit nearly anywhere, including the garden and the balcony. There are ground pegs that you can drive into soft ground for extra stability. On rainy days, you can move the clothesline into the garage or the house.
This clothes dryer uses an umbrella-style folding system. When you don’t have a load of laundry to dry, you can fold the clothesline up and set it off to the side.
The Minky airer is best for households with light laundry needs. It has 15 meters of drying space, which is enough room to hold about one load of laundry.
If you travel often, the Minky Free-Standing Rotary Airer can be a handy take-along item. You may find it especially useful during camping trips for hanging damp towels and swimwear.
5. Vileda 45m 4 Arm Rotary Cloths Dryer
Take a look at the Vileda 45m 4 Arm Rotary Dryer if you’re in the market for a medium-sized dryer with an array of features. This umbrella-style airer has 45 meters of clothesline, which is enough to hold up to four loads of laundry.
This airer comes with a plastic ground spike to hold it in your garden. Thanks to a split pole, it’s easy to slide the clothesline out of the spike and disassemble it for compact storage.
The Vileda dryer does not come with a ground cap for the spike or a protective cover for the clothesline, though. Fortunately, the airer is fully painted, which may help keep the metal in good shape.
The handgrip on the umbrella-style airer can be locked into three different positions. That allows you to adjust the tension of the lines. Fully extended, the longest sections of the clothesline measure 146.5 centimetres.
The top rotates in the breeze. You’ll find the rotation feature handy when you’re placing clothes on the line as well. For additional convenience, each arm has a hanger attachment where you can place shirts or dresses.
6. Livivo 4 Arm Outdoor Rotary Clothes Airer
Another smart choice for households that need a medium-size dryer is the super stylish Livivo 4 Arm Rotary Clothes Airer. Like the Vileda, this unit offers 45 meters of clothesline space. The lines are fully coated in PVC for durability.
The pole for this clothesline slides into a metal spike that you install in the ground. For added stability, you can choose to cement the spike in place.
There isn’t a ground cap for the spike, but there is a protective cover for the powder-coated steel dryer, so you can leave the unit out in most weather conditions.
This modern umbrella-style dryer offers four different tension positions. You can adjust this feature after you’ve already placed clothing on the lines. If you’re short, you might appreciate that you can load the lines while the dryer is in a low position and then raise it to a higher level.
You’ll also appreciate the convenience of being able to spin the dryer from one side to another while loading it. Plus, the spinning arms will move in the breeze, which ensures that each arm will have its turn in the sun.