Best retractable washing line for getting your clothes dry

best retractable washing line

by Rosie Floyd |
Updated on

Finding the best retractable washing line will make all the difference when it comes to drying your clothes outside. Due to the unpredictability of the British weather, we’re not able to dry our clothes in the garden all year round but you bet as soon as the sun is shining and there’s an ample breeze in the air, our laundry is going straight outside to dry. If like us, you’re fed up with your clothes smelling after washing and drying them inside and you’re more than ready to use the power of nature to get your clothes dry, a retractable washing line is just what you need.

In a time where we’re all trying to use a little less energy to save money on our electric bills, the best retractable washing lines mean you can switch off your tumble dryer (if you have one!) and let the sunshine and wind play their part in getting the laundry finished. Letting your clothes dry outdoors is quicker than using an indoor laundry airer and often has your clothes smelling fresh and feeling softer too. Having a retractable clothes line installed means you’ll be ready to pop your clothes outside to dry as soon as there are prime conditions for it.

Best retractable washing line at a glance:

Best retractable washing line overall: Minky Retractable Duo Reel Washing Line – Buy now on Amazon UK
Best retractable washing line for easy installation: Vileda Cordomatic Retractable Washing Line – Buy now on Amazon UK
Best rotary retractable washing line: Brabantia WallFix Retractable Washing Line – Buy now on Amazon UK

The best thing about a retractable washing line is it doesn’t need to be out all the time. For those times when you’re just wanting to relax in your garden with family and friends or it’s just simply not the time of year for drying clothes outside, you can retract it and neatly stow it away when it’s not in use so it’s not altering the aesthetics of your garden or acting as a trip hazard. As it’s installed on your wall or another sturdy structure in your garden, you can simply pull it back out again when it’s needed. For this reason, retractable clothes lines are also great for those that have small gardens, making them an ideal space-saving solution for drying laundry outside.

To help you decide which is the best retractable washing line, we’ve searched the web to bring you our top picks. That way, whenever the sun is shining in your garden and there’s a good amount of airflow, you can enjoy the quick drying and freshness that the great outdoors brings to your clothing, bedding and towels. Just make sure you've got your peg bag full of pegs ready and waiting to hang your laundry with.

Best retractable washing line

Best retractable washing line overall

Minky Retractable Duo Reel Washing LineMinky/Amazon
Price: $20.18

With over 40,000 reviews, the Minky Retractable Duo Reel Washing Line comes highly rated by customers on Amazon, which is one of the reasons why it's taken our top spot as the best retractable washing line. You get not just one but two 15m lines, which can hold, on average, three loads of washing. It has UV protective cases and can be clipped off the wall fixings to store inside over winter.

Customer review: "Love this easy retraction washing line that fits on outside wall and can use one or both lines together. Retraction is great. Easy to use and not noticeable when not using. Definitely recommend"


  • Duo line
  • Can be clipped off the wall fixings to store inside if needed


  • Some reviewers felt the locking mechanism could be better

Best retractable washing line for easy installation

Vileda Cordomatic Retractable Washing LineVileda/Amazon
Price: $22.98

Coming complete with galvanised steel fittings, screws and wall plugs, the Vileda Cordomatic Retractable Washing Line can be attached to the wall with minimal effort making it ever-so easy to install. The line is red in colour so while it may not blend into your garden, it's a great safety precaution to ensure it stands out and is highly visible.

Customer review: "Quality retractable clothes line that was easy to fit with two screws. Plenty of line with locking loop moulded into the case to stop additional line running out of unit when loop on end of line attached to hook at relevant distance. Will take a heavy load of washing with no bother the retracts line after use."


  • Easy to install
  • Line is red for greater visibility


  • Maximum load weight could be higher

Best rotary retractable washing line

Brabantia WallFix Retractable Washing Line with Protective Fabric CoverBrabantia/Amazon

Rrp: $224.00

Price: $172.18

The ultimate space saver, the Brabantia WallFix Retractable Washing Line is a rotary-style washing line so it doesn't require you to find somewhere to attach the other end of the line, just pull it out when needed and retract when finished. Despite its space-saving design, this Wallfix dryer has lots of space with a combined line length of 24 metres so it can take on up to two machine loads of laundry.

Customer review: "I love this! I have it mounted on to the garage wall in the garden, and it is so easy to open and close. Takes all my washing. Very good quality, sturdy and strong, worth the money for sure. If I wanted to nit pick, you have to be careful when folding away not to trap the airer wires in the protective covers as you close the cover/doors. Takes a couple of seconds to push them out the way, no biggie. Overall, this has made my life so much easier - so very quick to use and looks very neat and tidy when not in use. Highly recommend this space-saving, easy-to-use product that leaves your garden free of poles, washing lines or large rotary airers blocking your view."


  • Doesn't require somewhere to put the other end of the line
  • Comes with a cover to store it when not in use


  • Due to the rotary design, it might not be as ideal for drying bedding

Best retractable washing line for durability

HomRush Retractable Reel Washing LineHomRush/Amazon

Made with sturdy plastic and a strong PVC retracting white wire, the HomRush Retractable Reel Washing Line is a great heavy-duty option for your drying needs. It has a duo of wires so you've got a total of 30 metres of washing space so you've got enough room to space out your clothes and dry bulkier items like sheets and tablecloths.

Customer review: "Easy to use and install. Had it for over a year and a half and still hanging."


  • Heavy duty
  • Two lines included


  • Some reviewers found the line stretched too easily for their liking

Best budget retractable washing line

Dunelm Retractable Double Clothes LineDunelm

At just under £10, this Retractable Double Clothes Line from Dunelm is a great value option for anyone looking for a retractable washing line on a budget. It's lightweight and simple to fixate on your chosen wall and it features two strong PVC lines comprising of 30 metres so there's plenty of room for jeans, dresses and tops to dry.

Customer review: "Very good, strong extendable clothes line and easy to fix in place."


  • Great value
  • Flexible and easy to fix


  • Probably won't be able to hold more than one load of washing at once

Best retractable washing line for small spaces

Beldray LA026996 Retractable Washing LineBeldray/Amazon
Price: $23.26

Save extra space in your home or garden with the Beldray LA026996 Retractable Washing Line that can be neatly withdrawn whenever it’s not in use. It offers 12 metres of drying space so its compact design is essential for small gardens. It’s wall mountable with a flexible pivoting wall bracket so you can manoeuvre the line to the best fixing point.

Customer review: "Excellent quality product, good value for money. Easy to install and use."


  • Great for small spaces
  • Easily manoeuvrable


  • Line not as long compared to others on our list

Best retractable washing line for space

With 35 metres of wire across five washing lines, the Argos Home 35m 5 Line Retractable Outdoor Clothes Airer provides ample space for drying without taking up too much room in your garden. With that amount of room, you can fill it with bed linens and bath towels. The tension of the lines can easily be adjusted by simply turning the handle.

Customer review: "Bought this line as we needed it for a restricted space perfect you can use 1 or 5 line’s very sturdy and great price highly recommend."


  • Plenty of room without taking up too much space
  • Holds up to four loads of washing


  • You need somewhere to install both ends rather than just one end

Best retractable washing line for balconies

GorillaLine Retractable Clothes LineGorillaLine/Amazon

Rrp: $49.99

Price: $30.99

You don't need to have a garden to use the GorillaLine Retractable Clothes Line, it's a great size for flats and apartments with balconies and you can also use it inside your bathroom if you wish. With one touch, you can easily retract the GorillaLine and lock it in place with a snap. By using the GorillaLine, you can say goodbye to bulky airers and hello to a space-saving clothes line.

Customer review: "This is a wonderful gadget for drying clothes. It’s easy to install and works beautifully. You pull it across and attach it when you need it and then unhook and release it when you don’t. Ingenious."


  • Doesn't take up a lot of space
  • Simple to use


  • At 4.2m, the line isn't very long but ideal for small spaces

Which is the best retractable washing line?

In our opinion, the best retractable washing line is the Minky Retractable Duo Reel Washing Line and thousands of customers on Amazon agree with us. It’s got two strong 15m washing lines so you can hang three loads of your dresses, tops, trousers and more laundry without overloading it. And when it’s time to switch to the heated airer indoors during winter, you can unclip it from your wall and store it inside or in your shed to protect it from the elements until it's outdoor drying weather again.


Do retractable clothes lines sag?

Unfortunately, many retractable clothes lines do sag over time. This can be for a number of reasons including the weight of the laundry being hung, the quality of the retractable mechanism, the material the line is made out of (as some can stretch over time) and whether the line is properly tensioned and supported.

However, the best retractable washing lines are designed to minimise sagging by using durable materials and effective tensioning systems. To help with preventing your clothes line from sagging, you’ll want to avoid overloading it with heavy items and do regular maintenance on it to check and adjust the tension of the line if it’s needed.

Your washing line may also be sagging if it’s not been properly installed so be sure to thoroughly follow the manufacturer's instructions when you’re setting it up.

Where is the best place to put a retractable washing line?

The best place to put a retractable washing line is obviously one where you can easily mount it securely to sturdy structures, like walls and fence posts, but also somewhere that's going to get plenty of sunlight and airflow to ensure your washing dries as quickly as possible. You'll want to choose a location that is away from trees or bushes as these can interfere with the line and can cause the line to snag if a branch or shrub were to get caught on it.

When thinking about the prime location for your retractable clothes line, you'll also need to think about the height of which you are installing it. You'll want to put it at around chest or shoulder height, so you can reach your laundry easily when hanging it out and removing it, but you'll also want to take into consideration how low it could get if the line sags. For this reason, you might want to install it just above head height so you can still reach it with your arms but it's not going to get in the way if it sags.

Rosie Floyd is a Pets, Homes and Garden Product Writer for Yours, specialising in home appliances, décor and furnishings, as well as all things dogs. After completing her Journalism & Media degree from Coventry University back in 2015, she started her career writing about must-visit holiday destinations, moving on to creating content around outdoor living and garden buildings, before joining the team at Bauer.

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