Garden & Lawn

Top 6 best retractable washing lines with detailed comparison and Reviews

Last updated on May 5th, 2022

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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 PICK

Washing line in use with bedding
Washing line in use with bedding
Vileda Cordomatic 15 Metre Automatic Retractable Clothes Line
There’s a lot to like in this Vileda washing line as I found; from its good quality ABS plastic to an impressive 15m line and easy installation which I show you how I did it below. The line locks at any length and retracts into its housing without tangling. Designed to be weatherproof, this equipment is suitable for both dry and wet conditions. It’s also perfect for both indoor and outdoor use but we installed it outdoors to give it a real test. The line itself is red in colour for easy visibility and to reduce the risk of injury if someone run to a taut line. As this line is inexpensive, you can buy multiple of them if you have a big family and need more drying space. Its now be installed for over 12 months and still going strong.

RUNNER UP

Minky Twin Line Retractable Reel Washing Line - 30m of drying space
Offering two 15m clothes line, this Minky retractable washing line is suitable for large households. Single or both lines at the same time, the choice is yours; just know you hang up to 25kg of load. The housing unit itself is pretty compact and looks tidy when the lines are not in use. The washing lines are made from strong metal wires with PVC coating to enhance durability. It also ensures no stretching that may cause sagging after long time of use, and the entire equipment has been UV-treated to prevent damage from exposure to the sun. This line works in balconies, small gardens, patios and bathrooms as it can be locked at any length. Installation is easy thanks to the special extension bracket that can be fitted to almost any surface and easily detached afterwards. Automatic retraction also ensures no tangling when winding up the line. Overall, a cost-efficient washing line for flexible use if you need a twin line alturnative.

BEST HEAVY-DUTY PICK

Brabantia WallFix Wall-Mounted Retractable Washing Line
Easy to install, this Brantia is a favourite for many people looking for a heavy-duty washing line. You get 24m of taut clothes line for drying large loads of washing, and the sturdy construction means it is able to withstand a whole lot. The wall-mounting, folding design makes it ideal for patios, balconies, utility rooms, and gardens, literally any solid wall you can fasten it to. Overall a fantastic design and a great alternative to traditional style washing lines.

6 best retractable washing lines to buy are listed below

  1. Vileda Cordomatic 15 Metre Automatic Retractable Clothes Line – MY BEST PICK
  2. Minky 30m Twin Line Retractable Reel Washing Line – RUNNER UP
  3. Brabantia WallFix Wall-Mounted Retractable Washing Line – BEST HEAVY-DUTY PICK
  4. Hills Extenda 4 Retractable Washing Line 
  5. Artmoon Long Retractable Outdoor Washing Clothes Line
  6. 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

BEST PICK

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The Vileda cordomatic washing line i tested over the last 12 months+ - still holding strong
The Vileda cordomatic washing line I tested over the last 12 months+ and it still holding strong

Pros

  • 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.
Everything that was included, 3 simple screws, two for washing line unit and one hook screw for the end of the washing line
Everything that was included, 3 simple screws, two for the washing line unit and one hook screw for the end of the washing line

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!

Are you looking for a good drill bit set? Check out my review of the best drill bit sets here. The top pick has everything I have ever needed for my DIY jobs around the house.

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.

Washing line fixed to wall using two screws, took 5 minutes to do.
The washing line was fixed to the wall using two screws and only took 5 minutes to do.

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.

Line twisted around lug to hold line tight
Line twisted around lug to hold the line tight

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.

Hook which is included which I screwed into a concrete fence pillar after drilling hole and inserting raw plug, also included
Hook (which is included) and I screwed mine into a concrete fence pillar after drilling the hole and inserting the raw plug, also included

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 WallFix Wall-Mounted Retractable Washing Line

BEST HEAVY-DUTY PICK

Buy on Amazon.co.uk

Brabantia - WallFix - 24 Metres of Clothes Line - UV-Resistant & Non-Slip Lining - Foldable Rotary Dryer - Easy to install - with Storage Box - Metallic Grey - 184 x 182 cm

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.

Pros

  • 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.


3. Minky Retractable Reel Washing Line

RUNNER UP

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Minky Retractable Duo Reel Washing Line, Grey

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. 

Pros

  • 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. Hills Extenda 4 Retractable Washing Line

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Hills Retracting Washing Line, High grade steel, Autumn Stone, 610mm x 230mm x 130mm

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 the bedsheet. 

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 expensive, however, the value for money is justifiable with the quality, basically, it’s far superior to any other washing line we have seen. 

Pros

  • 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 many 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.

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.


5. Casa Bella Washing Line

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Casa Bella Outdoor/Indoor Washing Line (Double 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. 

Pros

  • 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. 


6. Artmoon Long Retractable Outdoor Washing Clothes Line 12m

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art moon 699799 Long Washing Line Retractable Clothes Line Outdoor, Heavy Duty, Extending 12m, Rustproof Steel, Plastic

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. 

Pros

  • 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. 

Housing

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. 


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 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. 


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Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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