Best outdoor washing lines: Rotary and retractable options reviewed
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Best outdoor washing lines: Rotary and retractable options reviewed

Mar 06, 2023

Just keep an eye on the weather, of course

pring has sprung and with it comes the joy of the great outdoors. Or, more specifically, the joy of hanging your laundry in the great outdoors rather than covering every radiator and available surface in the house. Because nothing says the British summer quite like that unique 'fresh air' smell, does it?

But you'll need an outdoor washing line if you're to bring all of those freshly washed linen dreams to life. And, crucially, you'll need one that fits in your outdoors space, whether that's a large garden, a small balcony or something in between.

You'll find outdoor washing lines in various different shapes, styles and sizes. Choose the right one, and you'll come home to clean sheets merrily waving in the breeze. Choose the wrong one and you'll arrive home to a puddle of damp laundry all over the garden floor.

Before buying an outdoor washing line, take note of the available space in your outdoor area. You'll want a washing line that stretches from one to the other with a little give available for any strong winds. Look for a washing line made from sturdy and weather-resistant materials like stainless steel or durable plastic. It should be able to withstand exposure to the elements without rusting or deteriorating over time, otherwise you'll be right back to square one.

Some models require fixing to a wall or post, while others come with their own stands. Depending on how much floor space you have available, you'll likely lean towards one or the other. And, lastly, take note of the strength: if you're hanging up socks and t-shirts this isn't so important, but if you're washing heavy duty, thick fabrics you'll need a line that's a little sturdier.

We've rounded up all of the best outdoor washing lines.

There's no British fear quite like hanging the washing out and knowing the rain is just about to begin. This Brabantia Wallfix Washing Line helps to alleviate those fears with a handy cover that lets your clothes dry without being exposed to the elements.

When opened, this washing line offers 24 metres of drying space and comes with instructions and all materials needed to wall-mount it. Thanks to its handy grip, this washing line is also easy to unfold with one hand.

Keep things simple with these Argos Home Retractable Clothes Lines. A great space saving solution, it offers 30 metres of drying space, holding up to 15kg of laundry. It's easy to assemble and comes with the necessary fittings. If you’re tight on space or have an awkward shaped outdoors area, these versatile clothes lines provide the solution.

This FCOOL Adjustable Outdoor Clothes Line can be used indoors or outdoors and is strong enough to easily support the weight of plenty of laundry. Made with sturdy plastic and strong PVC black retracting cable, its 15 metres twin line design provides you with more drying space for ultra efficiency. It's sturdy, durable, water-resistant and rust resistant, making it a safe choice on a year-round basis.

Brabantia is one of the most popular names around when it comes to drying clothes and the brand's 50m Lift-O-Matic Washing Line with Ground Spike is a top choice for practicality and design. Its smart Lift-O-Matic system adjusts the dryer height to match your ideal working height while the smoothly rotating arms on this rotary mean there's no need to carry your washing basket around. The non-slip, UV resistant washing line stays taut at any of its three positions and all arms have special holes for hangers. The rotary also has a sturdy hanging loop for easy storage.

You’ll find some outdoors clothes lines just aren't up to the task, particularly if you’re drying heavier items that hold their water weight. This Smith‘s Super Strong clothes line lives up to the task and ensures you’ll never come home to a crumpled heap of laundry on the floor. Each clothes line has a pulling force of 250kg and holds over 120kg, making it stronger than any other brand.

Don't have a garden but still want to breathe in that freshly-aired clothes smell? Utilise this Bries Radiator & Balcony Airer next time the sun's shining. Fitting easily over radiators, the top of doors or balconies, this airer has 6m of drying space with arms that fold down - so it can be stored away when not in use. It has an adjustable folding wing with adjustable support arms, making it a versatile choice no matter how much balcony space you’re working with.

Designed with an easy to operate umbrella system that offers a generous 40 metre of drying space, this three arm iron rotary airer can be folded down when not in use for ideal space saving and is crafted from durable iron. Great for those with smaller gardens who still want to hang washing out to dry, it includes a plastic ground socket that can be fixed to the ground to prevent falling. Strong winds? This outdoor washing line is up to the task.

This multi-functional laundry and ironing care system can be attached and dismantled in seconds, almost anywhere, which makes it one of the most useful washing lines, particularly if you move house often. Ideal for properties with no spacious outer drying area, it's light and compact and able to be attached to glass, glazed tile, plastic and metal without taking up too much space. Its suction cups ensure this washing line always stays firmly in place, too.

One of the most popular washing lines around, Argos’ Retractable Washing line includes 2 x 15 metre lines which are made from tough plastic and ideal for hanging out your clothes to dry in the garden. Once your clothes are ready to pop back into your wardrobe, to keep your garden tidy, simply retract the lines back into the case and store away until the next time you need it. Its wall attachment bracket makes drying your clothes an easy task without having endless lines running through your garden at all times.

Make the most of all available space with this BETTER 35m Heavy Duty Retractable Washing Line. With five lines of seven metres, you’ve got plenty of room across this outdoor washing line to dry your clothes without taking up too much storage space. Use the lines individually if you’re drying something larger or spread out a whole laundry load and make use of all the available room.


Spacious, easy to set up and only requires one hand: there's no better outdoor washing line than the Brabantia Wallfix Washing Line 24M With Cover.

Verdict Brabantia Wallfix Washing Line 24M With Cover.