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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 also 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 rotary washing line market, taking a deep dive into each product’s specifications and the extensive user reviews to determine which models are best for drying your piles of wet laundry.

Below, you’ll find our pick of the best rotary washing lines available to buy right now – with prices starting from £25, there’s something for all budgets – followed by all the key information you need to know in our buying guide at the bottom of the page.

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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 (~£40)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

  • Great for… family-sized loads of washing
  • Not so great for… those with a small budget

The newest innovation from Brabantia isn’t cheap, but it’s packed with so many features that it’s a shoo-in for our top spot as the best all-round rotary washing line. For a start, the Lift-O-Matic can be adjusted from 129cm to 187cm, so it’s easy to use irrespective of your own height.

It’s also fully collapsible and comes bundled with a weatherproof cover, ground spike and clothes pegs – so it’s ready to go straight out of the box, with no additional equipment required. It’s both quick and easy to assemble and the lightweight structure makes it a doddle to install. Thanks to its lifting mechanism, which Brabantia describes as an “umbrella system” because of its similarity to how an umbrella canopy works, it’s practically effortless to open.

The arms rotate, rather than the entire pole, making it more stable than many of its rivals in our testing. Plus, with 50 metres of line, it can accommodate a considerable amount of wet washing – up to four loads’ worth – and also features holes in each arm to provide a reliable method for hanging your more delicate items from coat hangers, making it a good choice for large families.

Key specs – Hanging length: 50m; Number of arms: 4; Height: 78.7cm; Material: Metal; Installation: Grass; Dimensions: 50m (diameter); Ground spike/cover included? Spike and cover included; Max load: Up to 4 loads of laundry

Check price at Dunelm

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

Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… a lightweight, collapsible option
  • Not so great for… long-term durability

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

Regardless, its three arms were rugged enough to carry a substantial weight – around 25kg of laundry, or about two loads’ worth – making them suitable for hanging out heavier clothing and bedding items including duvets and sheets. This JVL airer comes with a plastic ground spike, ready for use straight out of the packaging. 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; Dimensions: ~198cm diameter; Ground spike/cover included? Plastic ground socket included, cover not included; Max load: Approx 25kg

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

Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at Amazon


  • Great for… portable drying
  • Not so great for… large loads of laundry, as it won’t hold much weight

When the weather’s cold or wet, having 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 that can do it all, this affordably priced freestanding rotary model from Minky is a great choice.

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

It’s far from the largest in terms of height and total hanging length – 15m over three arms – and will only hold a single load of laundry 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; Dimensions: 152 x 132 x 132cm (open), 152 x 9 x 9cm (closed); Ground spike/cover included: No; Max load: 1+ loads of laundry

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

Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at Argos

  • Great for… those who want different height levels
  • Not so great for… those with dexterity issues as it relies on line tension

This 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 with a ratchet system that alters the height, and we found the arms extended out with minimal hassle.

Offering 40 metres of washing line length, this Vileda can hold three full loads of laundry. 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; Dimensions: 215cm wide when fully open; Ground spike/cover included: Plastic ground socket included, cover not included; Max load: 3 loads of laundry

Check price at Argos

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

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

  • Great for… those wanting a luxury washing line
  • Not so great for… the budget-conscious

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 seconds.

The attachment socket provided with this washing line can be sealed directly into wet concrete, allowing for more stability than in soft ground or grass, which will be particularly useful when you inevitably overload it with washing.

Key specs – Hanging length: 40m; Number of arms: 4; Height: 214cm; Material: Metal; Installation: Concrete/grass; Dimensions: 3.03m (diameter when open); Ground spike/cover included: Ground socket for concrete installation included, No cover included; Max load: Up to 4 loads of laundry

Check price at John Lewis

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 total amount of line available for your washing – not to be confused with the length of the arms.

Your preferences will depend on the size of the space you intend to use it in and how much washing you usually need to do. For larger families, a taller airer with longer lines will be preferable than 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, making them better suited for hanging larger items, such as duvets and tablecloths, without needing to fold them over several times.

That said, four-armed rotary washing lines can still handle heavy loads, though you may need to fold your sheets 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 collapsed like umbrellas and covered until needed.

Depending on how tall the person using the rotary line is, a rotary dryer with adjustable height is also something worth considering.

READ NEXT: Best integrated washer dryer

How much weight can a rotary washing line hold?

The average rotary washing line can hold between 10-17kg of washing – depending on how well everything is distributed between the arms of the airer – with each individual line generally able to take around 2kg of washing. This is more than what the majority of home tumble dryers can accommodate, since most can only offer a 6-10kg capacity.

How much should I spend?

Rotary airers are obviously a far more affordable alternative to using a tumble dryer or washer/dryer combo, but the initial outlay can still 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, or more.

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