The 6 Best Compact Dish Racks of 2023

Save space with these small dish racks.

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Compact bamboo dish rack

Courtesy of The Container Store

If you don't have a dishwasher, or you have items that require hand-washing, then you probably need a dish rack for drying. Since they might have to accommodate a full load of dishes, dish racks can take up a lot of counter space in your kitchen. While we could all use more counter space, a dish rack can be a particularly large sacrifice for small-apartment dwellers.

When space is at a premium, products that are compact and thoughtfully designed can make a big difference. If your dish rack is too big and too in the way, check out these options that can save you space while still doing the job of getting those dishes dry.

Here are our top picks for the best compact dish racks.

Best Overall

Simplehuman Compact Kitchen Dish Drying Rack With Swivel Spout

 Compact Kitchen Dish Drying Rack With Swivel Spout


The simplehuman Steel Frame Dishrack is only 15.5 inches long x 15 inches wide, but even with this compact footprint it still has enough space for a full set of dish ware for two. Available in a white or gray base, this dish rack stands on rubber feet that keep it stable on the counter, but is elsewhere constructed of rust-proof stainless steel.

Unlike many other dish rack designs, which use an angled surface so water can run off into your sink, the simplehuman Steel Frame Dishrack has a movable spout, so you can direct draining water wherever you need it. This makes placement much more flexible, so you don't have to commit to losing one whole side of your sink to the typical dish rack design.

With an included 10-year warranty, this dish rack is likely to be a mainstay in your kitchen for years.

Price at time of publish: $80

Best Budget

The Container Store Folding Bamboo Dish Rack

The Container Store Folding Bamboo Dish Rack

The Container Store

This rack, which measures 17.5 inches long by 13 inches wide, folds flat when not in use, so you can lean it against the back wall or stash it under the sink. Made from long-lasting, naturally moisture-resistant bamboo, it’s petite and attractive enough to leave out all the time.

This is a great option for most average-sized dishes or items that have to be hand-washed, but be aware that over-sized plates may not fit well on this rack. You can also attach an optional bamboo utensil holder (sold separately) to the side of this rack, to makes drying dishes even more efficient.

Price at time of publish: $27

Best Sink Dish Rack

Food52 Five Two Over-the-Sink Dish Drying Rack

Food52 Five Two Over-the-Sink Dish Drying Rack


If you don't want to give up any counter space, then Five Two over-the-sink drying rack is for you. It can be easily unrolled over your sink to serve as a drip-dry platform, making it especially handy for anyone with a double basin sink. Rather than a permanent installation on your counter, the Two dish rack is more like a temporary drying surface. There's also a clever cutout that holds the included silverware caddy.

Made from steel and silicone, it can also be used as a trivit and has a weight limit of a whopping 50 pounds. It measures 20.5 x 12.25 inches when unrolled, fitting over most skinks (but it's always smart to measure). It's available in three color options.

If you prefer a similar over-the-sink design that doesn't come with a caddy, we also like Surpahs' silicone-wrapped steel drying rack.

Price at time of publish: $36

Best Stainless Steel

Yamazaki Wire Dish Rack

Yamazaki Wire Dish Rack


This minimalist wire dish rack is made from coated steel, and comes with a self-draining tray and utensil caddy made from BPA-free resin. The base has a footprint of 9.13 x 16.5 inches (including the spout), so it's pretty narrow compared to other countertop models. The caddy can be repositioned inside or outside of the rack, giving you more flexibility to configure the rack to whatever you're washing. The rack itself is not dishwasher safe, but can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Price at time of publish: $59

Best Expandable

Joseph Joseph Extend Steel Expandable Dish Drainer

Joseph Joseph Extend Steel Expandable Dish Drainer


Sometimes you have a few dishes, and sometimes you have a whole sink full, so a dish rack that grows when you need it to can be a versatile addition to your countertop. When closed, the Joseph Joseph Extend Steel Expandable Dish Drainer is a little over a foot wide, but its expandable rack can slide out to provide 20.75 inches of dish drying space.

Joseph Joseph's expandable drying rack is made from stainless steel, which is recyclable, and it has non-scratch separators for holding plates and glasses. There’s also a movable section for flatware, a rail for your cutting board, and a special slot for knives. The spout underneath helps direct draining water down the sink. Plus, it comes with a two-year warranty.

Price at time of publish: $50

Best Splurge

Dorai Home Dish Pad

Dorai Home Dish Pad


Rather than draining water into an adjacent sink, the Dorai Dish Pad is made from recycled paper and diatomaceous earth: a powder comprised of silica and fossilized diatoms that's both highly absorbent and quick to dry. Rather than pooling water, the pad absorbs up to 150% of its weight in water, which evaporates quickly, so it's soon ready for another load of dishes.

When the dishes are done drying, you can fold this compact pad away and store it in a cabinet or drawer.

Price at time of publish: $90

Final Verdict

We like Simplehuman’s Steel Frame Dishrack for its small footprint and 10-year warranty. If you want to use even less counter space, consider the Five Two Over-the-Sink Dish Drying Rack, which rolls over a sink basin and acts as a temporary drying platform.

What to Look for in Compact Dish Racks


Measuring in advance is essential for picking a drying rack that takes up an amount of space you're willing to accept. But while the footprint of a dish rack's width and length may be the most important dimensions, don't neglect its height, either. If a dish rack is too short, it may struggle to accommodate large dishes.


Decide in advance whether your situation calls for a permanently in place dish rack or something that can be set up and removed for occasional use. If you have a dishwasher and only need to hand wash occasionally, then a folding, rolling, or collapsible dish rack may be the better option.

Dish Separators

Dishes will dry faster if water can drain and air can circulate around items. Many dish racks have specific compartments for silverware, but also look for separate areas to hold upside-down glassware.


The most common dish rack design simply elevates one side of a mat beneath the rack, allowing water to drain into the sink. This may work fine for most situations, but models with a movable spout can offer you a lot more flexibility.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What’s the best way to clean a dish rack?

    Hot water, regular dish soap, and a scrub brush will do just fine. Make sure you cover all the surfaces and compartments, then let air dry completely. If you have a dishwasher, you may be able to wash it on the top rack, too, for an occasional deep-cleaning. Check with the manufacturer to be sure it’s dishwasher-safe.

  • How often should you clean a dish rack?

    An independent study by NSF showed that many unexpected kitchen surfaces harbor foodborne pathogens when not cleaned regularly. While your dish rack is typically handling only clean dishes and water, is proximity to your cooking surfaces makes bacterial contamination inevitable. Make sure to clean your dish rack regularly as part of your usual kitchen cleaning routine.

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