Over-the-Sink Dish Drying Rack
Over-the-sink dish drying racks are a versatile, multipurpose kitchen accessory that roll up to fit easily in a drawer or cabinet, so they're perfect for our small kitchen. You can use them to air-dry dishes, rinse vegetables, or as a trivet. They're strong enough to withstand heavy pots and pans, they hold plenty of smaller dishes, and they also extend countertop space for lightweight kitchen prep chores. The roll-up design keeps the kitchen sink area looking neat and clean.
We have a small kitchen and no dishwasher, and with only 18" of countertop space between the sink and the stove, keeping the water at bay when washing dishes has always been a challenge. We've tried an in-sink dish dryer rack from Walmart as well as various microfiber drying mat towels, but nothing has worked very well. We recently bought two over-the-sink roll-up dish drying racks as an impulse buy on Amazon - a TecUnite dryer rack along with a Bellemain dryer rack, and they're both working out well. They were chosen simply because they were the least expensive at the time - $10 for the TecUnite and $5 for the Bellemain. *Note - the TecUnite (green) roll-up dish drying rack was used for the images simply because the bright green showed up better against the silver sink in the photos than the gray Bellemain rack. We actually like the Bellemain drying rack better because of the silicone coating.
Dryer rack and sink dimensions:
The roll-up dish drying racks will work with both rimmed and rimless sinks, but there are different drying rack sizes so you need to make sure the rack will fit your sink. If you're storing the roll-up racks in a cabinet drawer as we are, measure the drawer to make sure they'll fit inside. We have a standard size rimmed single sink and the outer dimensions measure 22" x 25", and the inner dimensions are 16" x 21". The dryer racks we bought were 13" x 18" (Bellemain rack), and 14" x 18.5" (green rack shown). Both fit on top of the sink and in the drawer. The image below shows our sink with the inside dimension, and the drying rack on top of the sink:
Dish drying racks:
The over-the-sink dryer racks are very versatile and can be used to air dry dishes, act as a colander for draining foods like salted eggplant, allows vegetables or chicken to drain after being rinsed, and (within reason) can be used as a trivet for hot pans. They're strong enough for cast iron pots and can extend countertop space for basic food prep such as slicing fruits or chopping vegetables. Slicing messy foods like honeydews or tomatoes right over the sink is handy because the sticky/messy juices flow right into the sink with just a tip of the cutting board. It's also nice to be near the faucet in order to rinse or wash the chopping knife. Both racks claim to be BPA-free and dishwasher safe. The image below shows two bags of flour totalling almost ten pounds on the drying rack so they're strong enough to hold most dutch ovens.
Silicone coating vs. no coating:
One of the dish drying racks has a silicone coating (Bellemain) and the other does not. Both racks work well but we like the silicone coating a bit better. We don't have many fancy wine glasses but for those that do, the silicone coating seems less likely to scratch delicate stemware and dishes are less likely to slide off the rack. When using the drying rack as a countertop extension for simple kitchen prep chores such as slicing vegetables, the silicone coating helps hold the cutting board in place better.
Buying a dish dryer rack:
There are dozens (or even scores) of over-the-sink roll-up dish drying racks on Amazon, so you're going to have to spend some time checking the various sizes and reviews to discover which one works best for your kitchen. The silicone-coated Bellemain rack we bought looks like it was a clearance item and is no longer available which is probably why it was so cheap. If you'd like to see if it's back in stock, here's a link to the Amazon page. The TecUnite (green) rack is currently available on Amazon, and if that particular rack doesn't fit your needs you have plenty of other choices. Another option we'll probably consider in the future is the Prepworks collapsible dish drainer. It doesn't roll up, but it does collapse into a compact rectangular shape - there's a short video on the Amazon page showing how it works if you're interested. It can be used horizontally or vertically and has a place for silverware which is one area where the over-the-sink dish dryers are somewhat lacking.
Dish dryer rack video:
Here's a basic unboxing of the two over-the-sink roll up dish drying racks: