6 of the best retractable washing lines for convenient drying
Lack space to dry your clothes in the garden? Take a look at our pick of the best retractable washing lines for both indoor and outdoor use
If you don't want a big rotary washing line taking up space in your garden, then a retractable washing line is just what you need. They offer a large amount of drying space, yet are not unsightly and can easily be retracted back into their casing when not in use.
Another great thing about retractable washing lines is there's no need to store anything and you can pull the line out to fit almost any outdoor space.
To help you find the best retractable washing line, we asked parents in our Top Testers Club to tell us which ones they use and recommend and focused on drying space, ease of use, weight allowance, weatherability and value.
Best retractable washing lines at a glance
- Best double retractable washing line: Minky Retractable Duo Reel Washing Line, £18.49
- Best retractable washing line for indoor use: Brabantia 385728 Balcony/Indoor Retractable Washing Line, £31.95
- Best retractable rotary washing line: Brabantia WallFix Wall-Mounted Airer, £148
- Best budget retractable washing line: Wilko Retractable Clothes Line 12m, £5.75
- Best bundle retractable washing line: Lakeland Telescopic Laundry Pole and Line Bundle with Peg Bag, £41.96
- Best heavy duty retractable washing line: Esteopt Retractable Washing Line, £16.99
What to consider when choosing a retractable washing line
Drying space – Consider the amount of drying space each retractable washing line offers to ensure it's suitable for your family's needs and will fit all your laundry. Dual line retractable washing lines are great as they offer double the drying space and don't require a massive garden.
Weight allowance – It's important to remember that washing lines are quite thin, therefore can't hold a massive amount of laundry, especially without poles to keep the line hoisted up. If you have a large family, we recommend getting a heavy duty line that can withstand more weight. If you do overload the line, you run the risk of your laundry dragging the line down, touching the floor, or even causing the line to snap.
Fixings – Most retractable washing lines come with the fixing needed to secure the casing to the wall. If you want to use the line straight away, make sure to check this as otherwise you may be left disappointed and need to buy the fixings yourself.
Indoor/outdoor – The kind of retractable washing line you choose depends on where you wish to use it. You can get ones specially designed for indoor use, or you can find some – not many – that are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The majority of them are created for outdoor use and have features to protect them from weathering.
Our pick of the best retractable washing lines
1. Minky Retractable Duo Reel Washing Line, £27.17
– Best double retractable washing line
Drying space: 15m (each line) | Weight allowance: 25kg
If you have a large family or just a lot of washing then a double reel retractable washing line may be just what you need. This Minky one offers 30m drying space, 15m per line and can hold up to 25kg of laundry.
Parent tester Jessica said, "We have the Minky Duo washing line. I like that it has 2 lines and is very long and strong. It has lasted us years and I love that you can clear it away".
Parent tester Sarah also likes this washing line and said, "It's fab for bedsheets, plus we can angle it differently at different times of the day to help the washing dry quicker. We initially bought it so that we could dry our cloth nappies at the same time as a normal load".
It's easy to use, just pull the lines out and attach to a point in your garden. When not in use, the lines will retract back into the case so will be hardly visible.
In the winter when you won't be using the washing line for a long period of time you can detach the whole protective casing.
The line comes with fixings too.
Pros: Double lines for more drying space, works well for smaller gardens, can detach casing, comes with fixing
2. Brabantia 385728 Balcony/Indoor Retractable Washing Line, £31.95
– Best for indoor use
Drying space: 22m (4.4m each line) | Weight allowance: 12.5kg (2.5kg per line)
If you like to dry your laundry on a line but live in a flat and don't have a garden or don't trust the British weather then this indoor retractable washing line may be ideal. It has 5 lines and it pulls out, ensuring the lines are always taut thanks to its auto-locking system.
It allows for discreet indoor drying without taking up storage room, like an airer would.
Overall the retractable washing line offers 22m of drying space and each line can hold up to 2.5kg, fixed between 2 walls a maximum of 4.4m apart.
Pros: Discreet indoor drying, auto-locking for taut lines, 5 lines
Cons: Lower weight allowance than other options
3. Brabantia WallFix Wall-Mounted Airer, £90
– Best for retractable rotary washing line
Drying space: 24m | Weight allowance: 20kg
If you would like a rotary washing line, but don't have the space for one then this is a great compromise.
It offers a good 24m drying space and allows up to 20kg weight limit.
MFM Community Manager, Dani has this washing line and said, "We didn't want a washing line in the middle of the garden, so we bought this retractable one from Brabantia which you fix to an outside wall. We also bought the cover which goes over it, so it keeps it nicely tucked away during the winter. You can pull it open with one hand and I can easily get a full load hung out."
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It's easy to set up, it securely fixes to an outside wall and you can open and close it with just one hand. It also has extra hanger hooks so that you can hook things on.
The line comes with a protective cover, wall bracket, fixings and instructions.
Pros: Good compromise between rotary and regular washing line, good amount of drying space, doesn't take up much room, has extra hanger hooks, one-handed operation, comes with cover and fixings
Cons: Cannot remove from the wall so always partially visible
4. Wilko Retractable Clothes Line 12m, £5.75
– Best budget buy
Drying space: 12m | Weight allowance: 12.5kg
You don't have to spend a massive amount to get a decent retractable washing line. This Wilko retractable washing line is very affordable and offers 12m of drying space. It can easily be folded away against the wall when not in use and the retractable line goes inside the grey casing.
Parent tester Phillippa has this washing line and said, "I love it as I hide it away when we have guests or in the winter. We only have a little garden so space is everything."
The line comes with all the fixings needed to install.
Pros: Affordable, comes with fixings
Cons: Not the largest amount of drying space or weight allowance
Available from: Wilko
5. Telescopic Laundry Pole and Line Bundle with Peg Bag, £41.96
– Best bundle buy
Drying space: 30m (2 x 15m lines) | Weight allowance: 30kg (15kg per line)
This retractable washing line bundle is great as it includes a 2 line retractable washing line, pegs, peg bag and a telescopic pole to keep your laundry line up.
The telescopic pole extends from 123cm to 240cm and is weather-resistant and rustproof.
The peg bag has a cute sheep design and it comes with 20 pastel coloured soft grip clothes pegs.
The bundle comes with a pair of screws and brick wall fixings to help you install the line.
Pros: Line comes with accessories and telescopic pole, dual line, good weight allowance, comes with fittings
Cons: Telescopic pole quite long to store
Available from: Lakeland
6. Esteopt Retractable Washing Line, £16.99
– Best for heavy duty
Drying space: 4m | Weight allowance: 20kg (15kg per line)
Although this retractable washing line is much shorter than the others featured on this list (4m), it's incredibly hard wearing, taking approximately 20kg of laundry. This makes it great for heavier items such as coats and bedding.
The line can be used both inside and outside and has a hard wearing buckle design to ensure it stays put. It also has a lock so that the line doesn't automatically pull back and you can set it to the length you want.
The belt holes along the line allow you to hang clothes from hangers, preventing creases or marks from being pegged to the line.
Even though the casing against the wall is small you can still turn it 180° so it lies flat and is completely out of the way.
Pros: Hard-wearing, good for heavy items, buckle design for hangers, pullback lock, casing turns into wall, good weight capacity
Cons: Much shorter than other options
Available from: Amazon
How did we choose our 6 of the Best?
When testing and selecting the best retractable washing lines, we considered, drying space, ease of use, weight allowance, weatherability and value.
Our Best of lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.
Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don't just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.
Chloe is a Digital Reviews Writer and Coordinator for Immediate Media's Parenting team, specialising in household and trying to help parents save money. She researches and writes articles, recommending the best products, ranging from best cordless vacuums to best playpens. She has a First-Class Honours Psychology degree where she developed a strong interest in child development. During her teenage years she worked as a play worker and Brownie volunteer to support children's play.
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