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The best rotary washing lines in 2024: Our expert picks

A pair of rotary washing lines

Dry your clothes quickly and easily with our specialist advice on rotary washing lines plus our favourite picks

Easier on your wallet – and the environment – than a tumble dryer, the best rotary washing lines are designed for drying your clothes effectively outdoors. However, some modern varieties can be brought inside, sparing your washing from the rain and offering greater capacity than a clothes airer. Not bad for such a humble bit of kit, eh?

We’ve thoroughly examined the washing line market, taking a deep-dive into each product’s specifications and extensive user reviews to work out which models are best for efficiently drying your piles of wet laundry.

Below, you’ll find our pick of the best rotary washing lines to buy, complete with all the key information you need to know. Prices start from £25, so there’s something for all budgets.

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Best rotary washing line: At a glance

Best all-round rotary washing lineBrabantia Lift-O-Matic (~£72)Check price at Dunelm
Best budget rotary washing lineJVL Compact Clothes Airer (~£25)Check price at Amazon
Best rotary washing line for indoor useMinky Freestanding Airer (~£35)Check price at Amazon

The best rotary washing lines you can buy in 2024

1. Brabantia Lift-O-Matic: Best all-round rotary washing line

Price when reviewed: £72 | Check price at Dunelmbest rotary washing line Brabantia Lift-O-Matic on a white background
The newest innovation from Brabantia isn’t cheap, but it’s packed with so many features that it’s a shoo-in for our title of best all-round rotary washing line. For a start, the Lift-O-Matic’s height can be adjusted from 129cm to 187cm, so it’s easy to use irrespective of how tall you are.

It’s also fully collapsible and its arms – rather than the entire pole – rotate, making it more stable than many of its rivals from our testing. At 50m in length, it can also accommodate a considerable amount of wet washing, making it a good choice for large families.

Another standout feature is the holes engineered into each arm, which provide a reliable method for hanging more delicate items from coat hangers. Meanwhile, it’s both quick and easy to assemble thanks to its lifting mechanism, which Brabantia describes as an “umbrella system” because of its similarity to the way an umbrella canopy opens.

The line comes bundled in with a weatherproof cover, ground spike and pegs, meaning that it’s ready to go straight out of the box with no additional equipment needed.

Key specs – Hanging length: 50m; Number of arms: 4; Height: 78.7cm; Material: Metal; Installation: Grass

Check price at Dunelm

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2. JVL Compact Clothes Airer: Best budget rotary washing line

Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at Amazon

If you’re searching for a high-quality rotary washing line that won’t break the bank, look no further than this compact option from JVL. For a wallet-friendly price, it does the same job as the pricier options on our list, with few drawbacks. With 30m of line for drying and a sturdy design, the only major concession is that it’s not fully made from steel, with some of it made from plastic.

However, its three arms were rugged enough to take a substantial load in our estimation, making them ideal for heavier clothing and bedding items such as duvet covers and sheets. This JVL airer comes with a plastic ground spike ready for use. For the money, it does everything you’ll need from an outdoor rotary washing line.

Key specs – Hanging length: 30m; Number of arms: 3; Height: 183cm; Material: Plastic/metal; Installation: Grass

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3. Minky Freestanding Airer: Best rotary washing line for indoor use

Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at Amazon

When the weather’s cold or wet, an indoor drying solution is every bit as important as its outdoor counterpart. If you don’t get on well with traditional, tiered indoor racks, or you simply want one airer line that can do it all, this affordably priced freestanding rotary model from Minky is a great choice in our opinion.

With a convenient sliding mechanism, it’s easy to assemble and fold away for storing out of plain sight. What’s more, thanks to its sturdy tripod base and pegs, we think it’s perfectly well suited to outdoor use when the bad weather clears up.

It’s far from the largest in terms of height and total hanging length, measuring 15m over three arms, but for small families or those looking for a rotary washing line to take on a camping trip, it’s a great option.

Key specs – Hanging length: 15m; Number of arms: 3; Height: 152cm; Material: Plastic/metal; Installation: Anywhere

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4. Vileda 40m Rotary Outdoor Washing Line: Best adjustable rotary washing line

Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at ArgosThis height-adjustable rotary washing line is a solid choice for those looking for something easy to use at an affordable price. Its twist and lock lifting mechanism works similarly to an umbrella, lifting from the middle to the top of the steel pole, and we found the arms extended out with minimal hassle.

Offering 40m in washing line length, the Vileda holds three full wash loads worth of clothing. It also comes with a ground socket for simple installation into grass or other soft ground.

Key specs – Hanging length: 40m; Number of arms: 3; Height: 182cm; Material: Metal; Installation: Grass

Check price at Argos

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5. Leifheit Linomatic 400 Easy Dryer: Best high-end rotary washing line

Price when reviewed: £155 | Check price at John Lewis

If you have deep pockets in those trousers that need drying, the Leifheit Linomatic 400 offers a truly premium user experience. Featuring automatic retraction, and what Leifheit calls an “easy-lift” system, this rotary airer has enough space for four wash loads at once. It all works via a pull-cord, which makes the Linomatic spring up for use in a couple of seconds. The attachment socket that’s provided with this washing line can be sealed directly into wet concrete, allowing for more stability than if it were simply placed in soft ground or grass, which we think is useful for when you overloaded it with washing weight.

Key specs – Hanging length: 40m; Number of arms: 4; Height: 214cm; Material: Metal; Installation: Concrete/grass

Check price at John Lewis

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How to choose the best rotary washing line for you

The two most important features to look for in a rotary washing line are its total hanging length and how tall it is.

  • Hanging length is the amount of line available for hanging your washing – not to be confused with the length of the arms.

Your preference will depend entirely on the size of the space you intend to use it in and how much washing you do. For larger families, a taller airer with longer lines will be preferable to something more compact.

How many arms should a rotary washing line have?

Three-armed rotary washing lines tend to have longer washing lines than their four-armed counterparts, which makes them ideal for hanging larger items such as duvets and tablecloths without needing to fold them over several times. Four-armed rotary washing lines can still handle heavy loads, though you may need to fold your sheets over once or twice before they will fit.

What features should I look for?

Many rotary dryers come packaged with weather-resistant covers and ground spikes, making installation and maintenance quick and effortless. Some rotary washing lines can be completely folded away to be stored indoors, while others can be retracted like umbrellas and covered until they’re needed. Adjustable height is also something to consider, depending on how tall the person using the rotary line will be.

READ NEXT: Best integrated washer dryer

How much weight can a rotary washing line hold?

The average rotary washing line can hold between 10 and 17kg of washing, depending on how well everything is distributed across the arms of the airer, with each individual line able to withstand around 2kg worth of washing. This is more than the majority of home tumble dryers can accommodate, with most offering a capacity of 6 to 10kg.

How much should I spend?

Rotary airers are a more affordable alternative to using a tumble dryer or washer/dryer combo, though the price tends to vary greatly depending on size and features. A basic rotary airer can cost anywhere from £25 to £40, with the largest and most feature-rich airers running anywhere from £50 to £100.

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