7 Best Retractable Washing Lines of 2024

Avatar photo
Written by: - Garden Design Expert

Read Reviews

The Best Retractable Washing Lines

The Best Retractable Washing Lines
  1. Minky Retractable Washing Line

  2. Vileda Cordomatic Retractable Clothes Line

  3. HomRush Retractable Washing Line

  4. DRYZEM Retractable Washing Line

  5. Vinsani Retractable Reel Washing Line

  6. DFP Dual Retractable Reel Washing Line

  7. NETTA Retractable Reel Washing Line

Retractable Washing Line Reviews

Editors Choice
  • Provides 30 m of drying space in a 15 m area
  • Case is easy to attach to the wall using the included fixings
  • Plastic casing can simply be clipped off the bracket if you don't want it on the wall when not in use
  • Line retracts smoothly back into the casing
  • Easy to remove unit from wall for storage without undoing any screws

  • The cleats included with the line may not be big or strong enough to keep the line taut
  • Installing separate cleat hooks may be required to stop the lines from sagging and washing dragging on the ground
  • Casing unit can't be turned through 90° to lie flatter against the wall when not in use
Overall Score 4.8
Ease of Assembly
Value for Money

For drying a lot of clothes without forking out loads of money, the Minky Retractable Washing Line provides 30 m of drying space and is very reasonably priced.

It’s one of the best retractable washing lines if you’re working to a budget because it has a lot of potential, but not the high price or more complicated mechanism of some other retractable washing lines.

The design is simple, with two separate lines that pull out up to 15 metres each, and latch over hooks.

This retractable washing line is best fitted to a wall for stability, but some customers have had success fixing it to strong fence posts, so there is a bit of flexibility on where it can be positioned. When retracted, the unit measures around 18 x 12 x 15 cm which doesn’t take up a lot of space.

The wall unit can’t be rotated, so it can’t be turned through 90° to lie against the wall. However, it is easy to remove from its bracket completely for winter storage or any time when you want it off the wall.

Installing the bracket requires drilling two screws into the chosen surface; if this is a brick wall then it can be a bit more time consuming than drilling into wood, but isn’t difficult to do with the right tools.

The washing line itself retracts easily into the UV-resistant casing when it’s not needed, and is long enough to hold approximately three loads of washing when fully extended. However, it does have a tendency to stretch, which is its biggest downside.

As a result, drying heavier washing such as towels and jeans can cause the washing line to hang low to the ground, and it’s therefore better suited to drying smaller loads of washing.

Customers have had success in encouraging the washing line to stay taut by using the cleat hooks under the line, as well as installing additional hooks.

With these additions, performance seems to be improved, and help make this retractable washing line a good all-round choice. It’s the best retractable washing line overall, offering an inexpensive but functional option that has the added benefit of being easy to remove from the wall for storage.

Did you find this review helpful?
  • Easy to install in 5 - 10 minutes and comes with fixings included
  • Can be taken down in seconds to store away for winter
  • Line is bright red so easy to see - meaning you’ll be less likely to walk into it!
  • Retracts into a compact, neat unit
  • Some line sagging can be avoided by wrapping line around built-in cleat

  • Line does sag slightly under weight of heavier items and will likely require a prop
  • Nylon line is a bit thin and some larger pegs may slip off
  • Line retracts slowly and may sometimes need encouragement
Overall Score 4.6
Ease of Assembly
Value for Money

The Vileda Cordomatic Retractable Clothes Line is a high-quality, 15 m retractable clothes line. It’s the best retractable washing line for small gardens. In smaller spaces, the single line is long enough to be doubled back on itself, creating two rows and more space to hang clothes.

Although this is the shortest length of washing line featured here, it’s still capable of hanging a couple of loads at once – up to 15 kg in total. It consists of one single line that automatically retracts after use. The line itself is relatively thin, with no wire core, but with the use of a couple of clothes props laundry won’t drag on the floor.

When retracted, this washing line looks neat and understated, folding almost flat against the wall. It’s casing is made from plastic, and is relatively sturdy and has good weather resistance. To prevent it weakening due to frost however, it’s best stored inside during the winter months. Fortunately, this is easily done as it can be taken down in seconds.

Assembly is also very straightforward. The retractable washing line can be put up in 5 – 10 minutes and comes with fixings included.

Also, in terms of safety, this washing line is bright red instead of the usual greens and blues. It’s therefore very easy to see in the garden which can help prevent accidents.

Overall, this is the best retractable washing line if you have a small garden. With a 15 m single line, you won’t be paying for more than you need, but you can also double the line back on itself to create more drying space.

Did you find this review helpful?
  • Entire unit can be lifted off the wall and stored inside in the winter
  • Very easy to install with just two screws for the unit and the two hooks for the line to attach to
  • 2 x 13m lines means you can hang a lot of washing at once even in small gardens
  • Retractable washing line folds almost flat against the wall

  • Aluminium bracket which attaches to the wall is made of quite soft metal
  • Line doesn’t stay taut enough for very heavy laundry so a prop will be required
Overall Score 4
Ease of Assembly
Value for Money

The HomRush Retractable Washing Line offers a total of 26 m drying space. When retracted, the lines are kept clean and dry, ready to hang out washing even shortly after a rain shower.

The retractable washing line consists of a double line: two PVC lines that measure 13 m each. They provide space for a couple of loads of washing and can handle up to 25 kg in total, but a pole to prop up the lines will likely still be required.

In terms of installation, this dual retractable washing line is easy to mount on the wall. There are two wall screws provided as well as two wall hooks and four plugs. The manual is clear and easy to follow which helps make the assembly process easier. The only real downside is that the aluminium plate, which attaches the reel to the wall, is made with reasonably soft metal. You may find that the screws eat into the aluminium, so it can help to use washers to stop this.

In bad weather, the washing line unit can simply be lifted off the wall and stored inside.

With an understated white and grey design, this washing line looks good in most gardens. The unit itself is very small, measuring just 19.4 x 16.7 x 10.4 cm so it takes up very little space. It can be folded flat against the wall thanks to the flexible mounting bracket.

Overall, this retractable washing line offers good weather protection and has a quality casing that will keep the line clean and dry. It provides marginally less hanging space than 30 m options, but the casing is well made and offers good quality overall.

Did you find this review helpful?
  • Relatively easy to install with clear instructions and all fixings required
  • Provides 30 m of drying space - enough for multiple loads of washing
  • Both lines extend and retract easily meaning minimal physical strength required

  • Lines may sag under the weight of clothes and it may be best to only hang out light washing
  • Additional strategies may need to be adopted to try to reduce the line sagging under the weight of heavier clothes
Overall Score 4.5
Ease of Assembly
Value for Money

One of the primary benefits of retractable washing lines is that when they store inside a casing, like this DRYZEM Retractable Washing Line, the line itself is kept clean and dry.

Whereas some wall mounted lines get left exposed to the elements, this particular unit houses 30 metres of washing line inside a compact UV-stabilised cover. As a result, there is no need to clean the line before hanging out clothes – it will be kept clean and dirt-free inside the drum.

The reel contains a double line: two PVC lines that measure 15 metres each (much like the Minky Retractable Washing Line also featured on this page).

There are two primary differences between this DRYZEM line and the Minky retractable washing line. This DRYZEM washing line can rotate on its axis, making it easier to connect to different areas of the garden that aren’t directly in front of the unit. However, it is not as easy to remove from the wall as the Minky unit; whereas the Minky unit can be simply unclipped for easy storage, the DRYZEM model requires screws to be removed.

As is often the case with these extendable washing lines, the line of the DRYZEM Retractable Washing Line can get a little slack if heavier items are hung on it. Therefore, this washing line is best suited to hanging out lighter items, although there are tactics that can be employed to help with hanging heavier laundry like towels.

For example, it can help to hang heavier items closer to the reel or hooks than in the middle or the line, and only extend the line to 8 – 10 metres instead of the full 15.

Overall, this is the best retractable washing line for keeping the washing line clean and protected. The UV-stabilised casing will help prevent sun-related deterioration as well. Whilst it may be prone to sagging under heavier loads, it’s useful for lighter washing and can be propped up to deal with weightier laundry.

Did you find this review helpful?
  • Provided it’s wound tight, the line shouldn’t droop under the weight of light washing
  • Easy to remove and store during winter/whenever necessary
  • Locks into place securely and easily
  • 30m of line offers plenty of drying space for larger households
  • Retracts into a compact unit - only 9 cm deep

  • Occasionally gets stuck when retracting and needs to be encouraged
  • When hanging heavier items, props will be needed to support the line
Overall Score 4.3
Ease of Assembly
Value for Money

The Vinsani Retractable Reel Washing Line is a great option for large families, providing 30 m of drying space over a 15 m area thanks to the double line. The line retracts automatically, saving space when not in use.

This retractable washing line is made predominantly from plastic which offers good weather resistance. It can easily be installed both inside and outside the house, and the wall unit is easy to remove and store when necessary. It can be mounted on a range of surfaces, including wooden fences and brick walls.

One of the best things about this retractable washing line is that it’s very compact. It measures 9 cm deep and moves freely from side to side so can be neatly stored against the wall when not in use. This also means that you can attach the line at an angle if necessary, useful if there isn’t a wall directly in front of the unit. The lines are very quick to open thanks to the internal spring; they pull out easily, with no tangles, and retract smoothly.

Unlike some other retractable washing lines,  this option doesn’t sag too easily under the weight of light washing. However, if you’re hanging heavier items such as jeans, bath towels or beddings, you may wish to invest in a prop.

Overall, this is the best retractable washing line for bigger families, offering 30 m total drying space. It retracts into a very compact unit meaning no valuable garden space is lost when it’s packed away.

Did you find this review helpful?
  • Double extendable line offers up to 30 m of drying space
  • Easy to remove from the wall to store during the winter months
  • Line extends smoothly without catching
  • Strong line (although will still need propping up with heavy washing)

  • Sags under the weight of heavier items and will need to be propped up
Overall Score 4.4
Ease of Assembly
Value for Money

Although it’s unusual for washing lines to be labelled as ‘stylish’, this DFP Dual Retractable Reel Washing Line has a sleek black design that looks a little more contemporary and streamlined than the majority of chunky white plastic lines.

The casing is relatively narrow, with a depth of 9 cm; it can be stored and fastened flat against any wall so it’s barely noticeable. The bracket rotates 180° which is how the reel can be pushed parallel to the wall.

It consists of two lines measuring 15 m each, giving 30 m of drying space overall.

The benefit of having two separate lines is that you can achieve more drying space across a small area. This can be particularly useful if only a small amount of the garden gets a lot of sun.

The PVC lines retract into the casing after use meaning this washing line is easy to keep clean. The 30 m of drying space is enough for larger loads of washing – including bedding and bath towels. The only downside is that the lines can sag underneath heavier loads, so you’ll need to use a prop to support them.

The casing can be removed from the wall and stored inside in the winter months.

All in all, this is the best retractable washing lines to go for if you want a contemporary-looking unit. It also benefits from being a dual retractable washing line, with has ample space for hanging washing, and it’s quick and easy to install.

Did you find this review helpful?
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Red line is easy to see in the garden
  • Plastic casing is simple to remove from wall bracket for storage

  • Can become damaged in strong winds so should be brought in if windy weather is forecast
  • Often catches when retracting and requires several attempts
Overall Score 3.8
Ease of Assembly
Value for Money

The NETTA Retractable Reel Washing Line is an inexpensive option offering 30 m of red PVC-coated line.

This retractable washing line comprises of 2 x 15 m lines that pull back into the housing when the tension is released, helping them stay clean when not in use. The casing measures 24 x 18 x 10 cm and has a sleek black design. Whilst the overall look of the line is good, the retraction mechanism can be slightly unpredictable – sometimes several attempts are needed to get the line to roll back onto the reel.

With a stow away swing bracket, this washing line takes up very little space. The housing can be folded flat against the wall, keeping it looking neat and tidy. It attaches to the wall using a metal bracket, but it’s best to remove the casing and store it when the wind picks up.

This washing line is very easy to install, with fixings included. It can be mounted on a variety of materials, including thick fence posts and walls.

Even though it’s fitted with line-locking cleats, this washing line will still sag under the weight of heavy items. It’s best to avoid drying too many large, heavy items at a time, such as blankets and towels.

Overall, this is the best retractable washing line on a budget although it does have some shortcomings. Primarily, the plastic casing can break if it isn’t treated with care, so it’s a good idea to bring the line in when poor weather is forecast, as well as avoid overloading the line.

Did you find this review helpful?
Avatar photo

Clive's Smart Buying Tips

  1. For households of two people or more, look for approximately 30 m of line. This is sufficient to hold up to three loads of washing and is therefore a good choice for families. A 15 m retractable washing line will generally hold one-to-two loads of washing.
  2. For small gardens, opt for the shortest length of line possible. Shorter retractable lines tend to come in a single, not a double, unit. This means the casing will be smaller overall and generally protrude less from the wall.
  3. There are a few additional design features to look out for on the casing of the retractable washing line. Make sure that the casing is UV resistant. This will help make sure the plastic doesn’t become brittle and break.
  4. Also, depending on the layout of your garden, you may require a casing that swivels on its wall bracket. This is useful if your garden is too wide for the retractable line length; you’ll be able to attach the line to a wall or fence that isn’t directly opposite.
  5. The best retractable washing lines will have cleats underneath the casing. Seeing as one of the biggest problems with retractable lines is maintaining tension, wrapping the line around cleats can help better secure the line.

Overall, I’ve chosen the Minky Retractable Washing Line as my top recommendation. It has 30 m of retractable line and can be used with only 15 m of line as well. It offers good value for money, and the casing is very easy to remove from the wall for storage.

How to Choose The Best Retractable Washing Line

A lack of drying space is a common problem in many households, but there are several styles of washing line available that work in smaller areas.

Wall mounted lines save on floor place regardless as to whether they’re retractable or not; but retractable washing lines really ensure not to encroach on the space when they’re not in use.

Below you’ll find information to help you find the best retractable washing line for your garden.

Benefits of a Retractable Washing Line

Retractable washing lines are a great option for those who don’t want a washing line permanently strung across their garden. They can look a lot neater than other lines, and once retracted they often become virtually unnoticeable.

Retractable washing lines are also compact enough to be hung indoors, in laundry rooms or bathrooms, and can therefore be used to dry washing even when the weather is bad outside.

Certain retractable washing lines can be placed above radiators, making it easy to dry washing without the help of a tumble drier in the winter.

On a similar note, using a retractable washing line can also save you money. If you currently rely on the tumble drier because you don’t have enough space for an airer or washing line, having a retractable washing line will give you an alternative method of drying clothes.

Different Types of Retractable Line

The main types of retractable washing line on the market are as follows:

  • Covered units that contain a spool of line. The line is pulled out and secured on hooks, creating a temporary washing line. After use, the line winds back on to the spool.
  • Units that have a similar appearance to standard rotary washing lines but are wall mounted and fold up neatly against the wall when not in use.
  • ‘Concertina’ style lines that have solid bars and pull out from the wall to create a horizontal rack.

Spool Washing Lines

These retractable washing lines offer a large amount of hanging space. Whilst some units only have one spool inside, other models can have two. The length of the line will depend on the model, but it’s possible for each spool to hold approximately 15 metres of line. If there are two spools in one washing line unit (a dual retractable washing line), this will give around 30 metres of hanging space.

This is one of the primary benefits of a spool retractable washing line. The other main benefit is how compact the main unit is, and how little space they take up. Buying a spool line that is housed in casing is a good idea to keep the line clean and dry, even if it does make the wall unit slightly bulkier.

These lines need to be attached to a strong wall because they can be put under a lot of strain. Attaching to strong fence posts will also work, but anything too flimsy may result in the unit pulling out of the wood. Hooks to loop the washing line over are attached to the opposite side of the garden.

The biggest disadvantage of retractable washing lines that use a spool is that they can sag under the weight of heavier items. In the ‘troubleshooting’ section below there are some tips on how to stop this from happening.

READ NEXT: The Best Wall Mounted Washing Lines

Wall Mounted ‘Rotary’ Lines

Whilst these lines aren’t technically rotary lines, because they don’t rotate, they bear an aesthetic resemblance when open.

They often have around 24 – 26 metres of drying space, which is generally suitable for one load of washing.

Some designs are stronger than others, and it all comes down to the quality of their construction. They tend to be made of aluminium because it is light and helps the retractable mechanism work well without weighing down the line. However, aluminium isn’t as strong as steel, and often these lines can struggle to hold lots of heavier items like wet towels.

When open, these lines can be quite large, often with 100 cm + space on each side. Therefore, they tend to be big enough for hanging larger items like sheets, if folded once.

The main disadvantage of these lines is their strength, and the other is that they require quite a lot of wall space. Although they don’t use much room when retracted, they require quite a lot of clearance space along the wall once open.

READ NEXT: The Best Rotary Washing Lines

Concertina-Style Retractable Washing Lines

A lot of concertina-style washing lines can be surprisingly strong; they are often made of a combination of metal and plastic. Of course, it’s often hard to tell how strong a line is without actually using it first-hand, which is why it can be useful to read customer reviews online before purchasing a specific product to see how it performs.

For the most part, concertina lines can extend outwards up to around 60 cm, and often they remain reasonably sturdy even when items are hung on the bars furthest from the wall unit.

Because of their horizontal design, this style of retractable airer works well when positioned over a radiator inside. They’re often made from aluminium and plastic-coated steel, which also makes them suitable for use outside.

One of the main advantages of a concertina-style dryer is that it can be used at any extension length; it doesn’t need to be fully pulled out if you’re only drying a couple of clothes. Therefore, it only takes up the necessary space required.

However, these units do take up the most space when not in use. They require around 1 metre of horizontal wall space and often protrude to around 25 – 30 cm even when fully retracted.

Choosing the Right Size Retractable Washing Line

Check the capacity of the retractable washing line to make sure it can hold as much washing as you need.

Washing lines and airers state their capacity in metres and kilograms so this will give you a good idea if it will meet your requirements.

Those with between 25 – 30 m of drying space can hold one large load or two small loads. Those with 50 m of drying space will be able to hold multiple loads at once.

On a concertina-style line, or a rotary-style line, you should check how much space there is between the arms. If you’re hoping to hang out larger items like sheets, this measurement will give you a good idea of how much room there will be, and how many times you’ll have to fold sheets when hanging them.

READ NEXT: Brabantia WallFix Retractable Washing Line Review

Troubleshooting Your Retractable Washing Line

Occasionally, certain styles of retractable washing line can come up against specific problems. Below are the most common problems that come up for spool lines and wall mounted ‘rotary’ lines, as well as how to combat them.

Troubleshooting Spool Retractable Washing Lines

Spool retractable washing lines can sag which can make them frustrating to use, especially if clothes start to drag on the floor. Here are a few tactics that you can employ to stop your spool washing line from sagging:

  • Don’t position the wall unit and hooks at the maximum distance away from each other. Even if the washing line can stretch to 15 metres, using a shorter length like 8 – 10 metres can prevent how much it sags.
  • Install cleat hooks underneath the wall unit. Wrapping the washing line around these large, metal cleat hooks, after pulling out the amount that you need, will prevent more line from being pulled out unnecessarily.
  • Hang heavier items like wet towels and jeans at either end of the washing line, not in the middle.
  • Use a wooden post to support the washing line in the middle and keep it from hanging too low.

Troubleshooting Wall Mounted ‘Rotary’ Lines

One disadvantage of retractable wall mounted ‘rotary’ lines is their appearance when folded up against the wall. They can be a bit bulky if they don’t come with a cover.

Buying a cover for your wall mounted ‘rotary’ line can give it a much more subtle appearance, and also stop the lines from getting grubby if it’s positioned outside.

If the washing line is sagging or bending, you may need to reconsider what you can hang on it. These lines don’t always cope well if a lot of heavy, wet items are hung on them. You may need to be careful with where you hang things like wet towels, positioning them as close to the wall bracket as possible, and avoid hanging too many.

Retractable Wishing Line FAQs

Presuming that you have a retractable washing line with a spool design, there are a couple of things you can do to help prevent the line from sagging.

  • Use a wooden post to support the washing line in the middle and keep it from hanging too low.
  • Position the wall unit and hooks at a shorter distance from each other, instead of at the maximum length of the line.
  • Attach cleat hooks to the wall underneath the wall unit for the washing line. Once you have pulled out the length of line that you need, wrap some of the line around the cleat hooks to stop more from coming out of the reel.
  • Be careful not to hang heavier items like wet towels and jeans in the middle of the washing line – only hang these nearer the hooks or the wall unit, or avoid hanging them on the retractable line altogether.

The first thing to do is work out where you want your retractable washing line. Regardless of the type of line, it will need to be positioned on a strong wall or fence, nothing weak or flimsy.

Determine the desired height of your retractable washing line, too. You want it so that you can reach it easily, but it is high enough that large items such as sheets are clear of the ground. Ideally, make sure the washing is not in the way of paths as this means the washing will get in your way and also the path could be slippery from wet washing dripping on it.

The retractable washing line will likely come with fixings, otherwise you will need to provide your own, usually Rawl plugs and screws. Mark the position of the fixings then drill a pilot hole. If you don’t have a drill, you may be able to start a hole in wood with a bradawl, but you will definitely need a drill if you are fixing one end of the line to a brick or concrete wall. Once you have drilled the holes, insert the Rawl plugs and then attach the line bracket with screws.

Depending on the type of retractable washing line you have, you may need to also fix hooks for the line to attach to on the other side of the room or garden.

Whilst a wall will be the most stable place to attach a retractable washing line, you can also attach one to a fence. However, it needs to be a strong fence which is well reinforced and won’t break easily. Attaching the retractable washing line to the fence posts is the best idea, as this will be the most structurally sound part of the fence.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!


Before you go, save up to 50% with these incredible gardening deals…

See Today's Best Garden Deals on Amazon No Thanks
Scroll to Top