The best rotary washing lines, outdoor dryers & accessories

Getting your laundry dried inside isn’t always ideal – trying not to knock your socks off as you precariously edge past your bulky airer; clothes strewn over every available hanging space in your house; musty smells as your clothes take days to dry; or extortionate electricity bills from using your tumble dryer. With the weather warming up, it’s time to let Mother Nature dry your clothes – she’s very good at it. Outdoor clothes drying is much cheaper than turning on your tumble dryer (free, in fact) and quicker than waiting for them to dry indoors. And with a rotary airer, when the wind’s blowing, the spinning action of the arms will get your laundry dry even quicker than a standard washing line.

Our handy guide will help you find the perfect outdoor airer for your garden, as well as some of our favourite accessories to give you a helping hand on laundry day, so you can enjoy that lovely line-dried freshness in no time. Because let’s face it, hanging your laundry out is far more enjoyable in the sunshine.

How much space do you need for a rotary washing line?

The good news is, not too much. If you have a small garden, a portable airer is probably the one for you, as once your laundry is dry, you can fold it away and pop it inside, allowing you to use your garden for other things.

When working out whether you have enough space for a particular airer, you want to look at the turning circle or diameter – if this is bigger than your garden space, or the space you’d planned to put the airer, it won’t fit. Height shouldn’t be an issue, this is more of a consideration for the person using it – you want to be able to reach the top. If height might be an issue, an airer with adjustable heights is a good choice.

The best rotary washing lines and outdoor drying ideas

We’ve put together a handy guide, with some of our favourite airers, to help you compare and find the best airer for you.

The one for large families 50m Lakeland Telescopic Rotary Airer

50m Lakeland Telescopic Rotary Airer
Reasons to buyAdjustable height. Can hold multiple loads of washing. Protective cover and ground spike included.
Specifications50m drying space (2.65m turning circle).

With an impressive 50m of drying space, our Lakeland Telescopic Rotary Airer is just the thing for large families, holding up to 30kg of laundry – so drying a couple of washing loads at once is a doddle. And because it’s height adjustable, it couldn’t be easier to load.

It’s often the little details that make the difference – like the loops on the end of each arm for clothes hangers, perfect for drying a jacket or shirt. And it comes with a sturdy plastic ground spike and a metal rod to help you screw it securely into position on your lawn.

Once your washing is dry, fold the arms in and the locking system will hold them in place – then pop the included cover on to keep your airer protected and looking tidy. The frame is made from lightweight aluminium, so if you need to move the airer to the garage, it’s easy to lift from the ground spike and carry.

The premium one 40m Brabantia Lift-O-Matic Rotary Airer

40m Brabantia Lift-O-Matic Rotary Airer
Reasons to buyAdjust height at the touch of a button. Ground spear included – no need for concrete. Accessories available to buy separately.
Specifications40m drying space (2.71m turning circle).

Thanks to its patented Lift-O-Matic system, it couldn’t be easier to adjust Brabantia’s 3-arm rotary airer to the perfect working height to suit you – or whatever large or small items you need to dry – at the touch of a button. It only needs the slightest breeze to get it spinning, drying your clothes in a jiffy, and all the arms have handy holes for hanging clothes hangers from them, for items that you don’t want to risk getting misshapen or distorted by hanging with clothes pegs. It also comes with a metal ground spike to let you position the airer anywhere without the need to concrete in a stand, and a sturdy hanging loop for easy storage.

There’s also a 50m version of the Lift-O-Matic for larger loads, and you’ll find some handy Brabantia accessories on our website.

The portable one Lakeland Freestanding Rotary Airer

Lakeland Freestanding Rotary Airer
Reasons to buyFreestanding – move it to where the sun is. Can store inside after use. Can go on a patio or on your lawn – no ground hole needed.
Specifications19m drying space.

If you’re not keen on the idea of having a rotary airer permanently fixed in your garden, our Free Standing Rotary Airer is just the thing. Once your laundry is dry, simply fold the airer away and pop it in your house, or, better still, in the shed or garage, leaving you to enjoy the whole of your garden.

Made of lightweight aluminium, this compact rotary washing line is really easy to carry out into your garden and position wherever you want it. Once you’ve chosen the best flat spot – sunny, windy, out of sight (maybe) – it’s quick and easy to set up, and you can even move it as the sun changes position throughout the day. The legs lock into place for stability, and it also comes with ground pegs for extra stability when using it on your lawn. If you have patio doors leading to your garden, you can even bring the whole airer inside, clothes and all, if there’s a rain shower.

Once the airer has done its clothes-drying job, it goes down easily (just like an umbrella) and fits snugly in the included storage bag, making it ideal for motorhomes, camping and glamping too.

The one for tighter budgets Metaltex Double Retractable Clothes Line

Metaltex Double Retractable Clothes Line
Reasons to buyTakes up very little space when not in use. Cheaper than a rotary airer. Generous drying space.
Specifications30m drying space.

As you may have noticed, this one isn’t a rotary airer, but it is a fab alternative if you want a washing line that disappears (almost) when it’s not in use, leaving you free to enjoy the whole of your garden.

The robust, weather-resistant plastic casing houses two 15-metre-long lines, each with a loop on the end to attach to a fence post, or garden wall, or to somewhere else in your house if you fix it indoors. You can use one or both lines at a time, and both retract neatly and safely back into the main unit when you’re done. And the lines can go in different directions too, so your washing will have room to blow about freely, without being too close to the clothes on the other line.

It’s easy to install, and comes with a pair of screws and standard brick wall fixings included, along with full instructions.

The space-saver 16 Soft Grip Pegs Smalls Dryer

16 Soft Grip Pegs Smalls Dryer
Reasons to buySaves valuable washing line space. Gets lots of smalls dry at once. Soft grip pegs won’t mark your clothes.
Specifications16 pegs. 33.5 x 25.5cm.

When hanging out all your socks and pants on the washing line, you can very quickly run out of space, making it very difficult to get a whole load of washing out at once. Thankfully, this nifty Smalls Dryer hooks onto your washing line and allows you to hang out up to 16 items in hardly any space at all. And as it uses our soft grip pegs, they won’t leave any unsightly marks on your delicates. Not just for outside, you can hang the smalls dryer indoors too on rainy days.

3 must-have outdoor drying accessories

It’s all in the accessories, and these must-haves will making pegging out your laundry a breeze.

Quality pegs

This one really is an essential. And our customer-favourite 20 Soft Grip Pegs will keep a firm hold on your laundry without leaving any unsightly marks thanks to their cushioned grips. They also have non-slip ridges to make gripping them easier when pegging your laundry, and their strong rust-proof springs will make them last for many laundry days to come.

Price: £5.99

A peg bag

Our Dotty Sheep Oilcloth Peg Bag makes pegging out a doddle thanks to its messenger-style strap that keeps your pegs ever ready, and your hands free while you hang your washing out. It also means you can store them neatly together, hanging the bag on a hook in your house, ready for your next laundry day.

Price: £9.99

Laundry basket

A good washing basket is your best friend on laundry day, and our Lakeland Collapsible Laundry Basket is packed with clever features to make transporting your laundry so much easier. It holds a generous 25 litres of wet washing, and has large comfort-grip handles for easy carrying between your washing machine and the line or the ironing board. The best part? It collapses down to just 7cm deep to make it easier to store when not in use.

Price: £19.99

How do you get a rotary washing line spike in the ground?

Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think. The way you install a rotary airer can vary depending on the airer – some require concrete to set them in place. We don’t like to make things complicated, so we only sell rotary airers that come with a ground spike, making them easy to install and, more importantly, requiring no concrete.

  1. The first step very much depends on the soil in your garden. If it’s soft, start by marking the soil where you’d like to install your airer, making a cross with a spade.
  2. Place your ground spike over the cross, pop a wooden block over the top of your spike to protect it, and then gently (or more firmly if required) tap the spike in with a hammer or mallet. It’s very important to insert the spike perfectly straight and not at an angle, otherwise your airer will be at an angle too.

And that’s it! If your soil is quite hard and rocky, follow these steps instead:

  1. Choose the spot where you’d like your rotary airer and mark with a spade.
  2. Dig a hole to the depth of the length of your ground spike, and slightly wider, removing any stones as you go.
  3. Place your ground spike in the hole, and pack the soil in tightly around it.

And you’re done. A small amount of work and you’re ready to attach your airer and enjoy line-dried freshness.

Please note: these steps are a guide only. Installation will vary depending on the airer you choose, so it’s very important you read the instructions that come with your airer carefully.