Drying your laundry outside is not only better for the environment it’s better for your wallet too, as using a tumble drier leads to higher electricity bills. We review 5 of the best rotary washing lines currently on the market in the UK.
One of the most basic human needs is for clothing – and clean, dry clothing while we’re at it. When you first heard the words “rotary washing lines” there are all kinds of things that could pop in to your mind. In fact, there are people who confuse the terms “rotary drier” and “rotary washing line”, which even though they sound very similar are very different things.
Rotary driers are heavy-duty driers used to dry compressed materials and are commonly used in factories, whereas rotary washing lines can be “heavy duty”, but are almost exclusively used to dry a set of clothes in the garden, or generally outdoors.
Back in the day, people used to hang their clothes wherever possible, or better said – wherever it felt more suitable than the other options. That’s just one of the things that motivated people to think of a better solution, hence along came the rotary washing line.
A few things you need to know
Airing your clothes is a pesky chore, and that’s a fact regardless of how you do it. Some people hang their clothes indoors, others do it outdoors, and people who tend to do it outside are often very creative about it. Most people, however, opt for hanging their clothes on washing lines. Since we’re talking about rotary washing lines, you might as well stick around for a bit and you’ll learn how to pick the best rotary washing lines for the buck in no time.
Number of arms
The “arm” of a rotary airer is the diagonal metal piece that’s sticking out from the centre pole. Basically, the rule “the more, the better” works well here, as the more arms your rotary washing line has, the higher its level of stability will be. There are exceptions but we can’t make a rule out of them since this works for the majority of models.
The variations of “arms” are represented by a finite number, though. A 1-arm line is a pole which could only rotate around itself: technically speaking, you could hang your clothes from a hypothetical 1-arm pole, but it would end up with pierced holes, and ultimately, ruination of your clothes. The same goes for 2-arm poles which are also imaginable only in theory.
Now, there are 3-arm rotary airers and 4-arm rotary airers and it’s up to you to figure out which type would benefit your situation more. Basically, 4-arm airers are superior in terms of stability whereas 3-arm airers are easier to assemble and disassemble.
The term “hanging space” represents the length of the wires overall. For instance, Parkland’s outdoor heavy-duty airer features a 50m line, but that’s not “per arm”, rather 50m in total.
Certain bigger and (usually) heavy duty rotary washing line models provide you with 60m or more, but people who have small or medium-size gardens and outdoor spaces should consider the smaller 40m variants.
One of the most important aspects of a rotary airer is its durability. Namely, rotary washing lines are almost exclusively placed outdoors (even though it’s theoretically possible to use them indoors, which we do not recommend). Hence they’re susceptible to weather, especially poor weather conditions.
That means that you’ll need a durable, firm rotary airer if it’s to last. Those models with metal frames are absolutely ideal, so be wary of wooden outdoor airers, plastic ones, and such.
The term “durability” includes the “line strength”, so if a washing line model is advertised as “firm and durable”, you can be confident that the lines are strong as well. For instance, Parkland’s rotary airer features 3mm lines which are exceptionally strong and durable.
The price is usually a positive indicator of quality: high price often means that a product is good, and vice versa. Our reviews show that doesn’t necessarily apply here though, as we have a nearly flawless high-price model and four low/medium priced models that could go toe to toe with the former.
Knowing this, you should pick your rotary washing line model according to your budget. People who have plenty of surplus cash should definitely consider Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic while people with tighter budgets should consider the Elex and Marko Homewares’ models.
The complementary features are, in essence, free features provided by the brand. It’s not a big deal if the model you like the look of comes “bare” (without any extra features), but it’s always a huge plus if you’re getting a pack of essentials for free.
For example, Marko Homewares’ 4-arm rotary airer comes with a free cover and ground spike. What’s more, this model already comes cheap, making it absolutely perfect for people on a low budget. This doesn’t matter too much, though, as some models offer advantages that mean they are still superior to those which offer cheap little bonus items; such as Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic and Parkland’s heavy-duty outdoor airer. Be that as it may, complementary, or bonus features highly affect the overall value, so they’re always great to have and can be the deciding factor when making your choice.
Best rotary washing lines of 2018 reviewed
Let’s start off with Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic Rotary Airer. In a nutshell, this particular model represents one of the best rotary washing lines available on the market, and there’s a plethora of reasons for that.
As with most rotary lines, you’ll want to concrete this one in, but it’s pretty safe to say that you won’t have any trouble doing so. Namely, the ground tube is made of plastic materials and outfitted with a closeable cap, making it suitable for ground insertion even if there are certain obstacles in its way. The tube, however, isn’t exactly durable, but we’ll have more to say about that later.
As opposed to heavy-duty rotary washing lines, the folks at Brabantia state that it features “ultra-light operation”, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not suitable for drying a load of heavy clothes.
Rather, this statement implies that Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic is easy to adjust and tailor to your specific needs and purposes. You’ll be able to adjust the height from the lowest point of 149 cm to the highest point of 197 cm (4.9 feet and 6.5 feet).
What’s more, the Lift-O-Matic is very practical even for more delicate laundry due to the fact that it comes outfitted with a set of special holes which can accommodate all kinds of clothes hangers. Even though you could, perhaps, manage to dry every type of your clothes without them, they simply make the process even easier.
The overall quality of this rotary dryer is exceptional. It boasts a non-slip profile and UV-resistant lines which are as durable as they are easy to replace. Furthermore, each line can be easily replaced separately without impeding upon the rest.
One of the finest features of Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic is the weather-resistant cover which is fairly easy to zip across the length of the lines.
Best of all, you’ll benefit from 50 meters of hanging space. Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic is huge, and it’s safe to say that you’ll be able to dry your usual laundry in one go.
Now, there are certain things people don’t like about it, and it’s only right that you should be aware of them as well. First of all, Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic is one of the more expensive rotary lines out there.
It belongs to the medium bracket of the “high” price point category, but it offers substantial value for money nevertheless.
Apart from that, the included ground stake is made of plastic, which we mentioned earlier. It’s a bit flimsy and it’s bound to wear off after a while making the normal stable construction a bit less so. We recommend that you upgrade to a metal stake when you can.
All things considered, Brabantia’s Lift-o-Matic is one of the best rotary washing lines you could find for the money. Sure, it costs a little bit more than an average rotary dryer, and there are some things that could be upgraded, but the benefits it offers more than compensate for these small flaws.
Our first runner-up pick is Parkland’s Heavy-duty rotary clothes airer. Essentially, this is a rather basic 4-arm washing line that can support quite a lot of weight, but which doesn’t cost as much as Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic. Furthermore, it’s very easy to assemble it, and you won’t need any special tools to concrete it in.
Now, Parkland’s clothes airer bears much resemblance to your average rotary drier, but there are certain things that make it a bit different from the rest. First of all, it features a rectangular-arm design which comes with a plethora of benefits when compared to standard tubular models.
For starters, driers designed in such a way are stronger and can usually hold more clothes without overburdening the construction, thus unbalancing it. With a line length of fifty meters, you’ll be able to dry all your clothes. That said, Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic offers the same advantage, and the reason why the Parkland’s drier is a “runner up” is because it lacks the firmness of the former.
Anyhow, that doesn’t mean that Parkland’s drier is flimsy per se – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. It features a durable frame made of high-quality metal. What’s more, the 40mm pole can withstand strong wind pressure with ease if you’ve set it in the ground properly.
The centre pole is comprised of two pieces which makes both assembly and disassembly a breeze. One of the best things about it is that it isn’t as bulky as most rotary washing lines. If your garden (or any other outdoor space where you wish to concrete it) is mid-size or even small, you can rest assured that Parkland’s rotary drier will fit just fine, maybe even better than an average washing line.
Now, let’s compare Parkland’s rotary washing line to Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic Rotary Airer in terms of price. Most folks don’t feel like spending a fortune on a clothes airer, so they often opt for budget variants. Even though Parkland’s washing line isn’t the most inexpensive model in our review, it’s certainly among the cheaper ones. Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic is several times more expensive. If you want to check back on why is price relevant when determining the overall value of a rotary clothes airer, scroll back a bit and check out our “buying guide” above for more information.
Overall, this model offers a major bang for the cash. Let’s summarize its strongest and weakest points, starting with the former.
Parkland’s 4-arm rotary washing line features fifty meters of line (which is awesome, even though it’s becoming a standard), and a rectangular 4-arm design which provides additional strength and stability to the construction.
The frame is made of firm, durable metal and it can withstand quite some punishment before giving in. Lastly, the washing line is very easy to assemble and disassemble due to 2-piece centre pole, and it doesn’t cost a fortune. Even though there’s no cover included as a gratis feature, this line is well worth the money.
Our second runner-up in these reviews is FunkyBuys Heavy-Duty Rotary Clothes Airer. This brand might not be too famous for their clothes airers, but that’s due to the fact that they sell and manufacture all kinds of things: from rugs and flooring, through furniture pieces, to premium-quality outdoor tools, odds and ends, including the “garden clothes airers”.
We’ve taken a gander at their menu, and we liked what we saw. There are more than a dozen outdoor clothes airers available on Amazon, so picking out the best rotary washing lines didn’t come easy, but this model certainly deserves its place on the list.
In essence, most of their stuff is budget-level, including this particular model. The only problem we encountered as we sifted through their catalogue is the lack of marks, names, or any distinguishable notes below each product – note that Brabantia called their airer the “Lift-O-Matic”.
As we said earlier, FunkyBuy isn’t really a known name when it comes to this market so it’s understandable if you have certain reservations regarding this model. However, if that’s the case we recommend you think again as it offers tremendous value for money.
Let’s begin with the very basic stuff. This rotary washing airer features a 50-meter line, just like our previous picks. As we’ve already mentioned, fifty meters is more than enough room for most people. Should you feel like that’s not the case, this brand also offers a 60m variation at a slightly more expensive rate. That said, the price is not so important here, as 60m of line means a “bulky design”, which could be a problem for people who don’t have so much room in their garden.
Even though the pole is a bit shorter than you’d expect, the overall size of this rotary clothes airer is just about right.
We’ve discussed the “rectangular” design with our previous pick, so let’s note that this model features a tubular-arm design. Don’t feel dissuaded by this, as the tubes are as strong as the Parkland’s “rectangular” pieces. The pole is split into two smaller fragments, making assembling this airer easy and plain.
Now, let’s get to the part which makes this rotary airer a great choice. The metal parts are sturdy alright, but each part is also fully galvanized (coated with zinc for added firmness and durability). That makes this model one of the most durable, as well as earning it the title of the best value-for-money rotary washing line.
Best budget rotary washing lines
As we’re drawing near the end of our review, it’s time to show you our recommendations for the best budget rotary washing lines.
Cheap airers aren’t necessarily inferior in quality when compared to their higher-end counterparts; some models feature a flaw or two which just makes them “less” awesome, but great for the price nevertheless. This is certainly true of the Elex, our favourite budget option.
Let’s start with the highlighted specs and features, shall we?
The Elex Outdoor Rotary Washing Line features a supremely durable heavy-duty construction, as the advertising blurb states, but note that this is only true as per budget-level washing line standards. When compared to Parkland’s or Brabantia’s outdoor airers, the Elex appears a little flimsy. Be that as it may, it’s durable enough to withstand all kinds of weather situations, due to its powder-coat finish that’s “fully weatherproof”.
Some folks point out that the Elex is a bit too large for comfort. It features fifty meters of line, and it stretches out for approximately 265 centimetres (8.7 feet) when unfolded, which might be a problem for people who have small-sized gardens.
Nevertheless, it’s remarkably easy to use it, raise it, and lower it, not to mention the straightforward assembly process. These benefits alone are enough to declare it as the best budget rotary washing line.
Lastly, you might’ve already figured that this particular model is cheap due to being featured in the budget section of our reviews. It’s true: it belongs to the medium bracket of the entry-level price point category, and represents remarkable value for money.
All in all, the Elex Outdoor rotary washing line is cheap, sturdy, and does the job as intended, so if you can overlook the fact that it’s a bit larger than a standard rotary washing line, you’ll be very happy with it.
We’re closing down the curtain on our reviews of the best rotary washing lines with the Marko Homewares 4-arm rotary airer. It’s one of the least expensive models looked at here, but it offers quite a lot of benefits and advantages over similar models, which is one of the main reason why we’ve saved it for the last.
Truth be told, this rotary washing line airer doesn’t come with any special, unique features that would make it irresistible. Rather, it serves the intended function and doesn’t cost a small fortune. It does come supplied with a set of gratis features, however, including the free cover and the ground spike.
When unfolded, this rotary washing line model is 1.75 meters tall (5.8 feet), which is neither too big or too small. You’ll get to benefit from 40 meters of hanging space which is okay but nothing special. Notice that this is 10 meters less than average, if we compare it to what other rotary washing lines in these reviews offer.
If we take all things into consideration, this is a neat outdoor clothes airer that deserves some consideration. It doesn’t stand out in any one area but it doesn’t cost much, has no real drawbacks and it grants all the benefits an outdoor airer could give you at a very approachable price. All-in-all, it’s well worth considering as a budget option.
Now that we’ve reviewed five of the best rotary washing lines on the market in the UK in 2018, it’s time to declare one of these models the overall winner.
A word before we continue, though: all of the aforementioned washing line models excel in some areas of performance while lacking in others. Knowing this, it’s only logical that one model will be the best for this, and the other will be the best for that, i.e. each has their strengths and weaknesses.
However, Brabantia’s Lift-O-Matic Rotary Airer is a bit better than other models, even though it’s a little more expensive.
If the Lift-O-Matic is too expensive for your taste and/or budget, we encourage you to give the Elex a go. It’s definitely one of the best rotary washing lines in the budget section. For those short on both space and funds, the Marko Homewares airer is a good alternative.
We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for and wish you good luck!