Last updated on November 28th, 2023
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When it comes to buying the best retractable washing line, probably the most important requirement is strength. The last thing you want is to find your washing line that is full of clothes lying on the ground and know everything needs rewashing! You also need to think about capacity, which is determined by the length of the line. Some models are even designed to adjust to a certain extent, making them perfect for awkwardly shaped spaces.
My best pick overall is the Vileda Cordomatic Automatic Retractable Clothes Line, which offers 15m of drying space. Probably the most popular washing line, it offers more than enough space for drying large loads of laundry. Impressively, the PVC coated lines and the UV stable casing can withstand the elements to provide you with years of service. Check out my review further down where I purchased it, fixed it to a brick wall and got to really see how good the quality is over the summer. Spoiler, I think it’s great and that I should have gotten this model sooner.
BEST HEAVY-DUTY PICK
8 best retractable washing lines to buy are listed below
- Vileda Cordomatic 15 Metre Automatic Retractable Clothes Line – MY BEST PICK
- Brabantia Retractable Indoor Washing
- Minky 30m Twin Line Retractable Reel Washing Line – RUNNER UP
- Brabantia WallFix Wall-Mounted Retractable Washing Line – BEST HEAVY-DUTY PICK
- Vileda Sun-Rise Compact Outdoor Rotary Clothes Dryer
- LIVIVO Sleek Retractable Dual Reel Washing Line
- Artmoon Long Retractable Outdoor Washing Clothes Line
- Casa Bella Washing which is available as a single Line Single or Double Line
Best Rectractable Washing Lines Reviews
1. Vileda Cordomatic 15 Metre Automatic Retractable Clothes Line
- Robust build quality with a UV-resistant box.
- Easy to install, two screws and one hook to fix to a wall or fence.
- Automatic retraction and the line does not tangle in the process.
- Folds flat against the wall and stores away neatly after use.
- Red clothes line for enhanced visibility.
- Includes a tensioning stud to prevent the line from sagging.
- Comes at a decent price.
The Vileda Cordomatic 15 Metre Automatic Clothes Line is an extremely durable washing line that is also affordable for anyone on a budget and after testing three models, the Vileda washing line was the one I decided to use myself and keep, which is why it won the best pick spot. It’s been installed for over 12 months now, so read more about it in my review below.
Check out the video below, not much to show, but you can see how it works
I installed it in my garden (which is around 13 metres long) and the 15-metre line was plenty. All I needed to do was place the unit against the wall and mark the holes with a pen, drill two holes in the wall where I had marked it, and then insert the two raw plugs that were included and screw the washing line unit to the wall. In around 5-6 minutes it was in place and that time also included getting my drill out!
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The unit itself is made from UV-resistant, ABS plastic that does not fade or weaken from exposure to the sun and after 12 months I can confirm it’s still going strong and it does get the sun on it all day because I have a south-facing garden.
So, inside the box is a single retractable clothesline that is made of strong material, a couple of screws to fix the unit to the wall, a hook screw and three raw plugs. During testing, I found it didn’t stretch under the weight of heavy loads of laundry, which is a plus because, as a family of four, washing is a never ending feat. In addition, there is a tensioning stud on the bottom where the line can be twined around and pulled taut to prevent sagging, that’s the little lug underneath the unit and you can see this in position in the picture below.
On some of the cheaper models, these do tend to break quite quickly, however, on this model, it’s very sturdy so I have had no issues with this and although it was a worry at first, I actually needn’t have worried.
Another great feature of this Vileda model is that the line retracts smoothly into its housing without tangling. This has never caused any issues but maybe it could do with being a little stronger, however, it does the job okay. Sometimes I find I need to lift the line a little to make sure it retracts properly but this is also the case with other models too.
As you can see above, to improve visibility, the line on the Vileda model is red, and this can prevent injury from someone running into a taut clothesline. I found this important because I also have children running around in the garden whilst the washing is out.
The clothesline unit itself is easy to mount, as previously explained, and it looks neat and tidy when not in use. You can also swivel it against the wall when you aren’t using as well, which is another handy feature I like.
Finally, this model also includes a hook screw, and I decided to screw it into a concrete fence post. This was easy to do, I simply drilled a hole and used the included raw plug, it will be an even easier task if you screwed it into the side of a shed or sturdy wooden fence as an alternative to where I placed mine.
As you can see, clothes lines are not really that exciting, but if you are looking for a good quality, long-lasting retractable washing line, then I would highly recommend the Vileda Cordomatic 15 Metre Automatic Retractable Clothes Line. It has served me well for over 12 months and for the price, I think it’s a bargain and would buy it again without a second thought.
2. Brabantia Retractable Indoor Washing
The Brabantia 385766 Retractable Indoor Washing is designed to fit into your bathroom. If you don’t have a dryer or an outside space to dry your clothes, this dryer fits nicely above your bath tub.
This retractable washing line is quite unobtrusive as all the five lines fit into a stainless steel canister that you attach to your wall. There’s a tension knob on one side to use to help ensure equal tension across all the five lines. You do have to pull out all five lines together, even if you just want to use one or two.
You have a maximum of 4.4m drying length per line, for a total of 22m of drying space. But you don’t have to pull them out that far if you’re putting them along the length of your bath tub. The automatic locking system keeps the lines taut whatever length you pull them to.
However, some online reviewers state that sometimes it’s a bit difficult to get the lines to come out all evenly and that sometimes they sag. That’s where the tensioning knob comes in as you turn it as you retract the lines and everything should even itself up.
Each line holds up to 2,5kg of wet laundry. That’s quite a bit of washing, even if you only do your laundry every few weeks or so.
- Stainless steel retractable washing line
- For indoor use and made from corrosion-resistant materials.
- Five parallel washing lines pull out from a rectangular canister.
- Automatic locking system to keep lines taut.
- Space saving.
- Each line holds up to 2.5kg.
- Dimensions: 48.3cm (width); 7.6cm (depth); and 4.4m (maximum length of line).
- Some lines don’t come out evenly and some sag.
The Brabantia 385766 Retractable Indoor Washing is a space-saving approach to drying your washing indoors, most probably in your bathroom. The stainless steel canister fits quite unobtrusively against your bathroom wall, and the washing lines hide in there when you’re not doing laundry. The 30m of drying space is generous if you do your laundry fairly regularly.
3. Minky Retractable Reel Washing Line
The Minky Retractable Reel Washing Line has a double line design that creates up to 30 metres of hanging space, enough for three average-sized loads of washing. This can actually be used as a single line or double line depending on your requirements. It’s very compact and that makes it useful for small gardens, balconies, patios and indoor drying areas.
The retractable line features PVC coating and this makes it durable whilst ensuring that there’s no sagging, even after prolonged use. The PVC is also easy to wipe to clean and the casing itself is UV stabilised to avoid long-term damage from sun rays. You can expect it to last for years without any signs of wear. This line can hold up to 25kg of laundry, which is quite an amount considering the small dimensions of this device.
Installing this model is also a doddle. It includes wall fixings plus a unique quick-release clip-off bracket that secures virtually to any surface and it can be removed completely for storage when not in use during the winter. This is particularly useful for those living in flats with limited spaces for drying laundry.
- Comes with two 15m lines that can be used independently.
- Holds up to 25kg of washing.
- Includes clip off brackets and wall fixings for easy installation and removal for storage.
- UV protective housing for durability.
- PVC coated lines that won’t sag, even after months of use.
Overall, this Minky retractable washing line comes at a fantastic price that you can’t argue with, yet offers adequate capacity for drying clothes. You might want to check out a few of the 23,000 reviews on Amazon, but it’s an easy choice for anyone to make.
The only issue some people seem to have had is with the plastic lugs on the bottom of the unit where you wrap the washing line around to secure it, they have been known to break. This has been reported more than once but with thousands of reviews, there are very few issues reported. If this does happen we recommend you buy a marine quality cleat hook and mount this just below the washing line.
4. Brabantia WallFix Wall-Mounted Retractable Washing Line
BEST HEAVY-DUTY PICK
Brabantia is a leading brand of household products and the Brabantia WallFix Wall-Mounted Retractable Washing Line lives up to its reputation of supplying high-quality goods. This is a sleek, wall-mounted line that works great anywhere. The first thing you notice is how easy it is to open and fold away for storage. Simply extend it with its handy grip and hang your laundry. Once you are done, push the grip and it will retract compactly.
Easy to install, you can place it somewhere indoors or outdoors, though the latter is better in order to utilise the full 24 metres. The fitting instructions are straightforward and it includes a template for positioning the fixings which will prove very handy. This wall-mounted retractable line has a load capacity of 20kg and the strong construction means that it is a durable washing line.
The casing itself is made from stainless steel, a material that’s known for its high resistance to rust and this ensures the washing line can withstand heavy downpours and frosty weather. This retractable washing line is a lot more expensive than most of the other models but is also reliable and very sturdy with a 10-year guarantee, indicating that it will last for years.
- Wall-mounted, fold-away design that’s perfect for gardens, patios and balconies.
- Easy single-handed operation – Folds out to give 24 meters of washing line for you to use.
- The strong retractable line can take a full machine washing load, including large laundry.
- Stores away inside a stainless steel casing with one-touch button opening and closure.
- Comes with a 10-year guarantee for total peace of mind.
If you are looking for a heavy-duty retractable washing line that offers great capacity and folds away, look no further than this Brabantia washing line. We simply love the innovative design.
5. Vileda Sun-Rise Compact Outdoor Rotary Clothes Dryer
The Vileda Sun-Rise Compact Outdoor Rotary Clothes Dryer provides 50m of drying length in a small space. The washing lines are suspended evenly between four arms of this aluminium rotary dryer. After use, the lines retract into the arms as you fold down the dryer. This keeps the lines dry and clean so they don’t transfer dirt and grime to your clean clothes when you use the dryer again.
Vileda, the manufacturer, has the Perfect Line System, a patented tension system that clamps the lines to keep even tension. The lines shouldn’t sag and should all remain taut. However, some online reviewers report that this isn’t always the case. But this is where you give a couple of pulls to the tensioning system to get all the lines back into even tension.
Another useful feature is that this rotary dryer has an adjustable height. This is good news if you’re on the short side and don’t want to keep reaching up when you peg up your laundry. But it’s also useful to put the dryer to the tallest height if you’re drying long items such as trousers or sheets to keep them off the ground.
This dryer comes with a ground screw so you can embed it firmly in softer ground such as your lawn or a patch of earth. Just screw the fitting into the ground and put the pole of the dryer into it. Alternatively, if you have a permanent place for the rotary dryer, you can embed it into concrete.
And one more useful feature. The ends of each of the four arms have hooks where you can hang a clothes hanger. Perhaps you can get away without ironing shirts if you hang them up and then dry them.
- Aluminium four-arm rotary dryer for outside the home.
- Patented clamping system to tension the drying lines.
- Lines are retractable into the arms of the dryer after use.
- Open and close the dryer easily via a lever.
- Adjustable height between 1.67m and 1.82.
- End of arms have hooks for hangers.
- Total of 50m of line for drying.
- Includes a ground dowel to screw the drying into the ground (lawn).
- Folds down compactly (like a garden umbrella).
- Difficult to get uniform tension in the lines.
If you have limited outdoor space in which to dry your laundry, check out the Vileda Sun-Rise Compact Outdoor Rotary Clothes Dryer. This gives you 50m of drying length in a small space. Added to that, it folds up compactly like a garden umbrella when not in use to protect the cleanliness of the washing line. If you don’t cement it into the ground, you can move it out of the way until the next time you need to use it.
6. LIVIVO Retractable Dual Reel Washing Line
The LIVIVO Retractable Dual Reel Washing Line is an outdoor washing line that doubles your drying space by having a dual line. Each washing line is 15m, for a total length of drying space of 30m. This should stretch quite a way across your garden.
The two lines both fit into a black steel and ABS reel that you attach to your house wall or a fence or something similar. The other end of the lines could be on a fence post or a pole out in the garden at a maximum distance of 15m away. All the fittings you need come with your purchase. However, on-line reviewers state that the fittings are of poor quality and it’s best to supply your own.
The reel enclosure is built for tough outdoor use. The ABS plastic is protected from harmful UV rays, and is water-proof, mould and mildew resistant. It won’t be harmed by leaving it out there year round.
The reel mechanism is spring loaded so it’s quick and smooth to pull out the lines and then retract them after use. The locking cleat mechanism keeps the lines securely in place. And don’t worry about kids and other people running into the line when there are no clothes on it. The line is bright turquoise so it’s instantly visible when extended.
- Steel and ABS retractable turquoise double washing line.
- Retracts into a spring-loaded black reel.
- Provides two by 15m of drying space.
- Reel enclosure if UV-protected ABS casing that’s water, weather, mould and mildew resistant.
- Use indoors or outdoors.
- Swivel brackets allow you to mount the line at the right angle for your situation.
- Comes with two screws, four rawl plugs and two steel hooks for putting up on the wall.
- Dimensions: 11cm (width); 26cm (depth); 16.5cm (height) and 15m (maximum length of line).
- Fittings are poor quality.
If a regular washing line in your garden just isn’t long enough but you don’t have any more space, then the LIVIVO Retractable Dual Reel Washing Line is worth a look. It has a double line each 15m for a total of 30m length for you to dry your clothes. The reel in which the line is housed when it’s not in use is designed to stand up to harsh weather and protect the washing line. Your purchase comes with all the fittings though you may want to purchase your own of a higher quality.
7. Casa Bella Washing Line
The Casa Bella Washing, which is available as a single line or a double line, is another great washing line that doesn’t break the bank. As mentioned, you can choose between a single or double line with each line offering 15m of drying space. For the double line, both clotheslines have independent locking mechanisms allowing you to use one or both at the same time.
The washing line unit is wall-mountable and comes with sturdy fixing hooks so you can have peace of mind whilst your clothes dry. It’s a fully retractable line that stores away neatly inside a well-designed waterproof casing. Note that the retraction mechanism is automatic and whilst that means quick rewinding into the casing, you will need to be careful with the process. Be sure to keep hold of the line down to the wire. The line also has an end cap that seals perfectly into the housing.
A cool feature of the casing is that it moves freely from side to side, allowing you the flexibility of where you can hook it and also allowing it to be nicely stored against any surface. This design can save on valuable storage space, unlike some of the other bulkier washing lines casings.
- Supplied as a single or double 15m line with each line featuring individual locking mechanisms.
- The compact casing moves freely from side to side for flexible fastening.
- The casing is weatherproof so it can be left out in any weather.
- The automatic retractable mechanism allows a quick rewind into the housing.
- Comes with full fixing kit plus instructions to make easy work of set up.
Lastly, this washing line does everything it says, though a few customers report that the lines curve in the middle under a heavy load – similar to most clotheslines. That aside, this is a compact, affordable and durable model that can be left outside all year round.
8. Artmoon Long Retractable Outdoor Washing Clothes Line 12m
As the title suggests, it’s specifically intended for outdoor drying, however, the Artmoon Long Retractable Outdoor Washing Clothes Line can also be used for small indoor spaces. This offers a decent 12m long line and this is enough for moderate loads of washing, but definitely not an option for a big family with frequent washing.
It couldn’t be easier to set up thanks to the supplied screws, dowels and fixture hook. Simply fix the housing onto brickwork (or any sturdy structure really) then retract the line and hook it up to another solid structure on the opposite end. An amazing feature of this model is that once the main housing is mounted, it can flex to various angles up to 180 degrees, providing a versatile installation, particularly for awkward-shaped gardens where it is often challenging to fit a traditional clothesline.
- Single washing line offering 12 metres of drying space.
- Adjustable housing unit that rotates up to 180 degrees for flexible use.
- Automatic retraction mechanism with a fixation on your chosen length.
- Supplied with all fixings needed to install the line.
- Strong washing line that’s made to withstand heavy loads.
- Durable, UV stable casing.
The retracting mechanism is automatic so you will need to be careful with it when unfixing the line. Just don’t drop the line as the retraction is super fast and might damage the unit or get tangled up. The housing is UV protected so expect this unit to last longer outdoors without showing any signs of wear and tear. Easy to install and with automatic mechanisms, this 12m washing line can take a lot more than people might think.
Retractable Washing Line Buyer’s Guide
Outdoor vs Indoor use
There are both outdoor and indoor retractable washing lines.
Outdoor lines are usually longer and ideal for people who don’t want a permanent washing line taking up the space in the garden. For an outdoor line, consider the durability of the line and the casing because they will be exposed to the elements. You also want a strong material that isn’t going to sag or break under the weight of damp clothes, which can weigh an awful lot altogether.
The toughest lines are made of a metal core coated in PVC. These are strong enough to avoid sagging whilst the material is highly resistant to rust. The nature of these lines makes them taught when extended. You will want to avoid cheap nylon or rope because these can break over time from being put under too much weight on the washing line.
Indoor washing lines, on the other hand, suit students and people who live in small apartments because they are ideal for hanging laundry in a small area.
The washing line housing should be rust-resistant and the best models will include strong metal brackets and mounting fixings. Being rust-proof is a major requirement not just for outdoor use but also indoors, like inside a bathroom where the steam can slowly cause the components to deteriorate. While metal fixings will be good for keeping the line firmly secured, we found the housing is often better off with durable, weatherproof plastic.
Single, double or multi-line?
The choice here comes down to personal needs. A family of five with children in the mix obviously needs a longer line to fit all their clothes out on a wash day. It also depends on how much space you have in your garden or balcony. If you have a 30m wide area to hang from, then go for an equivalent washing line. But if you only have a 10m wide hanging area, you can get a retractable line with multiple cords that come out of it or even a single line if it will suffice.
Retractable washing lines have become the go-to option for drying laundry, owing to their convenient operation and user-friendly designs. Most importantly, they don’t cost a penny to run and can save you a lot if you replace your dryer with one of these models.
Hopefully, our buying guide and product reviews have helped you in finding the best retractable washing line for your needs. We selected products from household brands that you know of and fit all budgets to ensure that price shouldn’t be a limiting factor.
So have you found a solution to keeping your clothes dry? Which model appeals most to you? Leave us a comment below.
Last update on 2023-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API