The 6 Best Dish Drying Racks For Pots & Pans In 2021

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Saucepans and skillets are larger and heavier than other dishes, so the best dish drying racks for pots and pans should be big and sturdy enough to accommodate their bulk. Lightweight racks with dish-sized slots can work for standard kitchenware, but if you're drying a pasta pot, they just won't make the cut.

Space & Structure

There are a few different ways for dish racks to offer space for larger items. Dish racks usually come in one- or two-tiered styles. A single-tier rack is often the most sturdy, since it's never top heavy. But a two-tier rack can often hold a greater number of items, which is especially nice if you need a dish drying rack for a small space. If you decide to look for a two-tier rack, make sure there's enough space for your pots and pans on the bottom level — or just be aware that placing heavy items on the top tier could make the rack less stable. Some single-tier racks are also expandable, offering the option to swap between a smaller footprint and having additional space to work with.

The way that a rack's space is structured can also affect how well your pots and pans fit. Traditionally, drying racks often have spots intended to hold specific types of dishes, such as plates. But some racks instead have prongs meant to accommodate just about anything that needs drying. This can be especially helpful for oddly-shaped cookware, like frying pans or pots with handles.


When it comes to stability, materials matter. Stainless steel is a good option because it’s durable and rust-resistant. You’ll also find that plastic is a common option used for small or large parts of various racks because it’s budget-friendly — just be aware that some plastic racks may not be as sturdy and are more prone to mold or discoloration. Bamboo racks are much less common, but are an aesthetic choice for something that might permanently live on your kitchen counter.

Over-The-Sink Racks

Finally, if it's made from sturdy materials, an over-the-sink drying rack can be as good an option. Because these racks sit over the sink, they tend to drain efficiently, but may not be especially large. That said, they're a perfectly reasonable place to rest a pot or two as they dry.

Whether you want an over-the-sink rack or an expandable one made mostly from sturdy plastic, these five dish drying racks that are the best for handling large drying jobs. According to thousands of Amazon reviewers, they’re sturdy, functional, and will hold up over time.


An Editor-Favorite 2-Tier Dish Drying Rack For Pots & Pans

This two-tier stainless steel drying rack from PremiumRacks features plenty of spots to dry your cookware, which is one of the reasons why BDG Associate Commerce Editor Carina Finn likes hers so much. “I have gone through so many dish racks for my tiny kitchen, and this one is by far the best,” she raves. “I love the double-tiered design, and the fact that there's enough space for pots and pans as well as regular dishes. The separate section for drying larger knives is a game-changer, and it's easy to drain and clean, too.”

It’s true that the rack really has a lot to offer, which is vital considering that pots and pans take up a lot of space. The top rack has slots that will securely hold plates and other dishes (or even a pot or pan draped across them), while the bottom rack can hold everything else — including pots and pans. The rack is super customizable, since the second tier can be installed in a number of different ways (or fully removed), and the cutting board holder can be attached wherever you want it. The rack also comes with three separate cup holders, a cutlery basket, and a knife holder, so you can arrange everything just how you’d like. The drying rack even has two drain board options to try out — one flat with a spout, and one grooved without a spout — plus a microfiber mat.

Positive Amazon review: "Ok I absolutely love this dish rack. The fact that it's engineered/design so smartly and efficiently just amazes me and thinks why no one ever though of this before. The way it utilizes various design features to maximize dish drying capacity while minimizing space and keeping to a normal dish rack size, is just simply amazing. Most basic dish racks you can maybe fill with some plates and bowls and you're done. Due to the different design aspects, this one allows for 3 cups, multiple knives, many utensils, a cutting board, several bowls or pots, and many plates and pans. I can fit all dishes used to make a meal and then the dishes used by others too if need be. Truly the best dish rack design I have ever seen, and as I said, a ingenious design."


A Compact Dish Drying Rack For Pots & Pans That’s Editor-Approved

This Joseph Joseph single-tier drying rack is your best bet for getting pots and pans dry. The rack doesn’t have designated spots for specific items, but rather it features steel prongs with non-scratch tips that can accommodate all types of cookware, pots and pans included. The drying rack measures 12.5 by 14.25 inches at its most compact, but you have the option to increase its size as needed. Just ask Amy Biggart, a Commerce Editor at BDG, who uses this rack in her apartment kitchen. “Without a dishwasher, I need a lot of space to dry dishes and this one expands so it can fit everything from a colander, to a soup pot, to all of my bowls and plates,” she explains. The rack can be extended to almost twice its original size, which is convenient for maximizing counter space without sacrificing the size of your dish drying surface. The integrated drain spout can direct the excess water straight into the sink or can be closed for draining later on. Nonslip feet ensure that the rack will be secure and stable. This pick has a cutlery holder with a knife slot, too, but it can be moved around or taken out if needed. It also has a rail to make it easier to dry cutting boards. If you don’t like this stainless steel version, the drying rack also comes without the stainless exterior for about $10 less in your choice of a few different colors — just know that the plastic version also lacks the cutting board rail and knife slot.

Positive Amazon review: "When I first opened this, I was worried that it wouldn't be able to contain my large pots and pans. My cheap plastic dish rack was so much deeper. But i was proved wrong. When extended, This holds so many dishes and pans/pots. I love that it can collapse and be put away if need be. The look is so sleek and modernized my kitchen."


The Best Traditional Dish Drying Rack For Pots & Pans

If you’re seeking a more traditional style of drying rack, this one from Polder fits the bill. The heavy-duty drying rack is made from a rust-resistant brushed stainless steel that will certainly hold up for the long haul. At 20 by 14 inches in size, the rack can easily fit pots and pans, but also has a removable 14.25 by 13.25-inch plastic tray that slides out to almost double the drying space. Other features include an angled drain tray that directs runoff water into the sink and a removable utensil bin with split compartments to keep cutlery upright. Plastic padded feet protect your countertop from any scratches. The drying rack is top-rack dishwasher-safe.

Positive Amazon review: "This dish rack is amazing. It holds a lot. It holds heavy stainless steel All-clad pots and dutch oven along with plates, and utensils. It never gets out of balance no matter how much stuff you pile in it or how heavy."


An Easy-To-Store Dish Drying Rack For Pots & Pans

If storage space in your kitchen is limited, you should definitely scoop up this drying rack from OXO. The sides, legs, and spout on this pick all fold down, making the rack much more compact for easy storage. When fully expanded, though, the 19.4 by 15.5-inch rack is large enough to easily hold pots and pans as they dry. Included utensil holders are removable The rack also has a spot specifically for plates, but if the plate rack gets in the way, it can also fold down.

The drying rack is made of plastic and stainless steel, so it’s rust-resistant and plenty durable. Water drips into a spout that drains it directly into the sink. Many Amazon reviewers mentioned that this rack is a high quality product; it boasts a solid 4.6-star rating on Amazon among 5,000 and growing reviews.

Positive Amazon review: "The design is great. I like that I can put the dish holder up for pans and plates, or down for pots. Considering I mostly hand wash the pots and other cooking dishes and use the dishwasher for plates, this is the ideal configuration. Easy to clean and keep new despite daily use; I cook frequently so it never actually gets folded and put away. Holds a lot of stuff.”


An Over-The-Sink Dish Drying Rack That Rolls Up For Compact Storage

With a nearly unheard-of 4.9-star rating on Amazon, it’s clear that this over-the-sink drying rack from Bellemain is a good one. The drying rack sits across the edges of your sink, allowing water to drain right into it. And the rack is plenty large enough for pots and pans — it’s 20.5 by 13 inches in size and will work on any sink that’s up to 18.5-inches wide. The rack is made of steel — so it’s nice and strong — and features a silicone coating to prevent cookware from sliding around. When not in use, the rack rolls up for easy storage. The manufacturer also suggests it can be used to drain freshly-washed vegetables or rest hot cookware, in addition to draining dishes.

Choose from a handful of colors and two different sizes.

Positive Amazon review: "I wasn't sure it would stay in place and fall into the sink but it's very stable and it's working out ever better than I'd hoped. I use it primarily as a drying rack for pots and pans but I'm finding new uses too. It's easy to pull out to use and then store in a cabinet after use. I expect it to last a long time as it's very well made and is worth the price. Don't hesitate to get it."


An Attractive Bamboo Dish Drying Rack For Pots & Pans

There are plenty of sleek plastic and stainless steel dish racks out there, but if bamboo better fits the aesthetic of your kitchen, it can be an attractive choice for a product you’ll probably look at every single day. This bamboo dish drying rack isn’t just nice to look at, though — it’s also really convenient for drying heavy, bulky pots and pans. Measuring 18.5 inches long and 13.4 inches wide, it’s reasonably spacious for larger items, and reviewers report that the bamboo is super durable. It has an upper rack for larger items, plus a bottom tier for bowls and other items. It also has a cutlery basket to dry your cutlery separately. The whole thing folds up for easy storage when you’re done drying dishes.

Positive Amazon review: “I compared a lot of brands and this is worth the price because of the big size and the utensils holder. I don’t regret buying this because it has the exact look I wanted for my kitchen and can hold my biggest pots and pans. Love that it comes with its own mat too.”

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