Last updated on September 16th, 2020
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Retractable washing lines have been around for a while but with models starting at a little over £10, to an eye-watering £100+, can there really be a difference, let’s find out
A retractable washing line, as the name suggests, is a type of clothes line that is pulled out from a compact casing to hang laundry and retract into it after use. These come in handy for those without posts in their gardens to attach a traditional hanging line to, attaching easily to other surfaces such as walls and brickwork to provide a clothes line anywhere in your garden.
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 with clothes on the ground after doing all the hard work. 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 awkward shaped spaces.
Along those lines, we have compiled herein the best washing lines that you can consider for your home.
Our best pick overall is the Minky Retractable Reel Washing Line, which offers 30m 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 elements for years of service. Catch this and other products in the product reviews section just further down.
Be sure to grasp all the information you need to select your perfect washing line from the buyer’s guide below.
6 best retractable washing lines to buy are listed below
- Minky 30m Twin Line Retractable Reel Washing Line – Our BEST PICK – Our favourite washing line, very affordable, very well made, 2 independent lines give 30 meters of drying space which can support a very impressive 25kg of clothing.
- Vileda Cordomatic 15 Metre Automatic Retractable Clothes Line – Runner-up
- Brabantia WallFix Wall-Mounted Retractable Washing Line – Good innovative design, perfect for those who don’t want a traditional line going across the garden or yard.
- Hills Extenda 4 Retractable Washing Line – Absolutely outstanding, even comes with a 10-year guarantee, however, it’s very expensive.
- Artmoon Long Retractable Outdoor Washing Clothes Line
- Casa Bella Washing which is available as a single Line Single or Double Line
Retractable Washing Line Buyers 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 hanging 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 as these can break over time under too much weight of the washing line.
Indoor washing lines, on the other hand, suit students and people who live in small apartments as they are only ideal for hanging laundry in a small area.
The washing line housing should be rust resistant and the best will include strong metal brackets and mounting fixings. Being rust proof is a major requirement not only 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 a durable, weatherproof plastic.
Best heavy duty retractable washing line
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 on 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 which come out of it or even a single line if it will suffice.
Now, that’s pretty much what you need to consider in a retractable washing line. These tools are really simple and choosing one doesn’t have to be rocket science. Find out the options that you have below:
Best Rectractable Washing Lines Reviews
1. Minky Retractable Reel Washing Line – 30m of drying space
- 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.
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 wash loads. 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, which 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 smaller dimensions of the device.
Installing this model is also a doddle. It includes wall fixings plus a unique quick-release clip-off bracket that secures to virtually any surface and it can be removed completely for storage when not in use in winter. This is particularly useful for those living in flats with limited spaces for drying laundry.
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 near 3,000 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 which 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.
2. Vileda Cordomatic 15 Metre Automatic Retractable Clothes Line
- Robust build quality with a UV-resistant box.
- Automatic retraction and the line does not tangle during the process.
- Line can be locked at any length.
- 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 Retractable Clothes Line is an extremely durable washing line that is also affordable for anyone on a budget. The 15m line is suitable for use in apartments with limited space or those with awkward spaces where the regular washing line cannot fit. This product includes a holding box that’s made from UV-resistant, ABS plastic that does not fade or weaken from exposure to the sun.
Inside the box is a single retractable clothes line that is made of strong material and won’t stretch under heavy loads of laundry. The laundry line can even be locked at any length for when you need a fraction to hang a few clothes. In addition, there is a tensioning stud on the box where the line can be twined when pulled taut to prevent sagging. Another thing is, the line retracts smoothly into its housing without tangling.
To improve visibility, Vileda Laundry painted the line red, and this can prevent injury from one running into a taut clothes line. The box is easy to mount and looks neat when not in use. We really like this clothes line and it can be mounted both indoors and outside.
3. Hills Extenda 4 Retractable Washing Line – 26m Drying Space (4 Lines)
- 26m of drying space spread across 4 – 6.5m lines perfect for getting the most out of smaller spaces.
- Rust-resistant powder-coated casing, which is sure to last outside for years.
- Arrives ready for wall to wall mounting.
- Two-line tension settings for precise control of length.
- Wide spacing between the lines allows for easy pegging and airflow.
- Backed by a 10-year warranty against defects.
The Hills Extenda 4 Retractable Washing Line is a heavy-duty model in every sense. It offers four 6.5m washing lines totalling 26m and each can be independently tensioned as needed. That means you can decide to use just one or two for lighter loads or all four lines for larger loads. The maximum line extension is 6.5m while the minimum is 4m, making it ideal for drying any size of sheet.
There is a line spacing of 14cm between the lines, allowing for easy pegging and maximum airflow for quick drying. When you are done, the four lines retract into an attractive, rust-resistant, powder-coated cabinet for neat storage. An automatic locking system ensures that the lines stay taught so that your clothes don’t sag to the ground.
The Hills Extenda is intended for a wall to wall mounting outdoors, especially in gardens that aren’t that wide. Installation requires two wall anchors, not included though, and an optional Extenda Post kit for wall to post-installation. Hills guarantees this retractable washing line for 10 years, so be assured of an extremely durable model that will dry your washing for several years to come. It may be quite an expensive but the value for money is justifiable with the quality, basically, it’s far superior to any other washing line we have seen.
In the end, it probably comes down to price, we really like this model but many will find it just too expensive for a washing line, however, that’s a personal choice and it will outlast any other models you’re likely to find.
4. Casa Bella Washing Line – Single or Double Line Available
- Supplied as a single or double 15m line with each line featuring individual locking mechanisms.
- The compact casing which moves freely side to side for flexible fastening.
- The casing is weatherproof so it can be left out in any weather.
- The automatic retractable mechanism allow for quick rewind into the housing.
- Comes with full fixing kit plus instructions to make easy work of set-up.
The Casa Bella Washing which is available as a single Line Single or 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 clothes lines 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 full retractable line 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 to where you can hook it and also allowing it to be nicely stored against any surface. This design can save up some valuable storage space, unlike some other bulky washing lines casings.
Lastly, this washing line does everything it says, though a few customers report that the lines curve in the middle under heavy load – similar to most clothes lines. That aside, this a compact, affordable, and durable model that can be left outside all year round.
5. Artmoon Long Retractable Outdoor Washing Clothes Line 12m
- 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 chosen length.
- Supplied with all fixings needed to use the line.
- Strong washing line that’s made to withstand heavy loads.
- Durable, UV stable casing.
|As the title suggests it’s specifically intended for outdoor drying, but the Artmoon Long Retractable Outdoor Washing Clothes Line can also be used for small indoor spaces. This offers a decent 12m long line, which is enough for moderate loads. 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, 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 for versatile installation particularly for awkward-shaped gardens where it’s challenging to fit a traditional clothes line.
The retracting mechanism 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 signs of wear and tear. Easy to install and with automatic mechanisms, this 12m washing line can take a lot more than might think.
6. Brabantia WallFix Wall-Mounted Retractable Washing Line
- Wall-mounted, fold-away design that’s perfect for gardens, patios, and balconies.
- Easy one-handed operation – Folds out to give 24 meters of washing line for you to use.
- The strong retractable line which can take a full machine washing including large laundry.
- Stores away inside a stainless steel casing with one-touch button opening/closure.
- Comes with a 10-year guarantee for total peace of mind.
Brabantia is a leading brand of household products and the Brabantia WallFix Wall-Mounted Retractable Washing Line lives up to their 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 compact.
Easy to install, you can place it somewhere indoors or outside, 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. This ensures the washing line can withstand heavy downpours and frosty weather. This retractable washing line is a lot more expensive than most other models but is also reliable and very sturdy with a 10-year guarantee indicating that it will last for years. 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.
Our Final Conclusion
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 electric drying machine for 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 fitting 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.
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