Ditch the Dryer! The Ultimate Guide to Clothes Airers

Don't Tumble Dry, Line Dry! A Guide to Clothes Airers

While tumble dryers offer the convenience of speedy laundry turnaround, the energy costs and potential wear-and-tear on clothes have many turning to a more traditional and budget-friendly option: the humble clothes airer. But this isn't your grandma's clunky clothes horse! Modern airers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, making them a versatile and sustainable choice for drying laundry in the UK.

A Breath of Fresh Air for Your Laundry:

So, what exactly is a clothes airer? Put simply, it's a rack designed to hold damp clothes, allowing air to circulate and evaporate moisture, drying your laundry naturally. This not only saves energy compared to tumble dryers, but also helps preserve the quality of your clothes, preventing shrinkage and heat damage. Plus, drying outdoors on a sunny day infuses your clothes with that wonderful fresh-air scent!

Choosing the Right Airer:

With so many options available, selecting the perfect airer depends on your space, needs, and budget. Here are some key factors to consider:

Size and capacity:

Consider how much laundry you typically dry and choose an airer with enough drying space. Folding options are great for smaller homes, while larger, wingspan airers offer maximum capacity.


Steel or aluminium airers are lightweight and weatherproof, ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. Wooden airers add a touch of rustic charm and are gentle on delicates, but may require more care.


Some airers offer heated rails, perfect for damp weather or drying heavier items like towels. Others have height-adjustable shelves or extendable wings for flexibility.

Mastering the Art of Air Drying:

To get the most out of your airer, follow these tips:

  • Shake and smooth clothes before hanging to remove wrinkles and maximise airflow.
  • Separate delicates and heavier items, ensuring proper air circulation for all.
  • Position your airer in a well-ventilated space with good airflow, ideally in direct sunlight for faster drying.
  • Flip clothes regularly for even drying, especially thicker items.
  • Bring your airer indoors overnight or during bad weather to prevent mildew and dampness.

The Heated Advantage:

For those in the UK battling unpredictable weather, heated clothes airers offer a welcome boost. These airers come with built-in heating elements that gently warm the rails, speeding up drying times and preventing dampness, even in colder months. While they consume some energy, it's generally less than a tumble dryer, and the benefits of gentler drying often outweigh the cost.

So ditch the tumble dryer and embrace the natural drying power of a clothes airer! Not only will you save money and extend the life of your clothes, but you'll also be doing your part for the environment. With a little planning and the right airer, you can enjoy fresh, naturally dried laundry all year round, rain or shine.