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5 Best Retractable Clotheslines

Line drying clothing is the eco-friendly choice when it comes to drying laundry. It saves energy and natural resources compared to a gas or electric dryer. Line drying is also gentler on fabrics and helps linens last longer. In fact, some garment care labels specify for delicate garments to be air dried or line dried. Plus, it’s hard to beat that crisp, fresh finish only achieved by line drying in a natural breeze!

With that said if you don’t have a yard or if you live in an HOA where visible clotheslines are prohibited, you still have options. Space-saving retractable clotheslines might be the answer! The best retractable clotheslines can be installed indoors, outdoors, on balconies or patios, in garages, in camper vans or RVs, and more. 

Depending on your line drying needs, there exists a retractable clothesline perfect for you. Below I am sharing 5 of the very best retractable clotheslines on the market. 

Best Overall: GorillaLine Retractable Clothesline

Best Multi-Line: Household Essentials Retractable Clothesline

Best Budget-Friendly: Riveda Retractable Clothesline

Best for Indoors: BESy Retractable Clothesline

Best for Travel: Newraturner Portable Clothesline

Best Retractable Clotheslines

Best Overall: GorillaLine Retractable Clothesline

Best retractable clotheslines: GorillaLine
CREDIT: Amazon

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If you live in a small space or if you want to line dry your laundry on a balcony, then this is the retractable clothesline for you. This line reaches up to 13 feet 9 inches and when retracted it all but disappears due to the sleek, minimalist design.

There is a built-in locking system that will help minimize any sagging on the line. With that said if you don’t exceed the 40 pound weight limit then you shouldn’t have to worry about any line sagging anyway.

I have also seen reviewers use this retractable line to hang decorative fabric and create an inexpensive room divider or Zoom meeting background. A pretty clever way to create a work from home “office” during the day that turns back into a “dining room” by evening. One thing to note, the brand advertises the ability to hang clothes from the line on hangers, however some reviewers have complained that the line is too slippery to do this effectively.

If you’re in the market for a space-saving, minimalist, retractable clothesline to hang dry your laundry then this is a great option. Budget friendly too!

Pros:

  • Great for small spaces like apartments or balconies
  • Budget friendly
  • Locking mechanism prevents line sagging
  • Minimalist aesthetic makes it nearly invisible when not in use

Cons:

  • Limited to 13’ 9” line length
  • Slippery line makes it hard to use with hangers

Specs:

  • Total Line Length: 13 feet 9 inches
  • Weight Limit: 40 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 3.9″ × 2.4″ × 5.4″ 

Get the GorillaLine Retractable Clothesline on Amazon, Walmart, or Ebay.

Best Multi-Line: Household Essentials Retractable Clothesline

Best retractable clotheslines: Household Essentials
CREDIT: Amazon

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If you like to line dry a LOT of laundry within a limited amount of space then this might be the best retractable clothesline for you. This clothesline expands up to 34 feet – that’s 170 total feet of hanging space over 5 lines. 

One thing to keep in mind is this retractable clothesline is quite wide and visible even when retracted. It is almost 40” wide, which is necessary to accommodate the width of 5 clotheslines. 

While it isn’t necessarily the most attractive or discrete option on this list, it is certainly the most practical considering the amount of laundry you can dry at one time. A great option for large families!

Pros:

  • Up to 170 feet of total hanging space over 5 lines
  • Great for families that want to hang multiple loads of laundry to dry at one time

Cons:

  • Not the most attractive design – kind of bulky even when retracted (NOTE: as an alternative, this 2-Line Clothesline is a smaller design that spans up to 49 feet)
  • Some customers complain about challenges with getting all 5 lines perfectly taut 

Specs:

  • Total Line Length: 34 feet (170 feet total across 5 lines)
  • Weight Limit: Unknown
  • Unit Dimensions: 7 x 37.75 x 8.5 inches

Get the Household Essentials Retractable Clothesline on Amazon or Walmart.

Best Budget-Friendly: Riveda Retractable Clothesline

Best retractable clothesline for tight budgets: Riveda
CREDIT: Amazon

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This retractable clothesline can expand distances up to 40 feet. It’s a great option for people with wider yards who want to line dry laundry between fence posts or something similar. The installation is relatively simple. Once the retractable line mechanism is mounted, you just have to twist a hook into a fence post, tree, or other support and you’re ready to get started.

There are two main customer complaints about this clothesline. First is that the line can easily become tangled or fall off the track when it’s retracted. When this happens, it’s difficult (impossible?) to fix and requires a full replacement. 

Other customers complain about the line getting slack. There is a fix to this! Wrapping the line around the channel at the base once or twice will tighten it up. 

Pros:

  • Reaches far widths up to 40 feet
  • Budget-friendly
  • Simple design and installation

Cons:

  • Customers complain about the line getting tangled while retracting, rendering the product unusable
  • Customers complain about the line sagging – but wrapping the line around the channel at the base once or twice should help tighten it up.

Specs:

  • Total Line Length: 40 feet
  • Weight Limit: 30 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 7.09 x 6.14 x 2.68 inches

Get this retractable clothesline on Amazon or a similar version on Home Depot

Best for Indoors: BESy Retractable Clothesline

Best retractable clothesline for small spaces: BESy
CREDIT: Amazon

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If you’d like to install a retractable clothesline in a small space like a laundry room or a side yard then this might be the perfect option. It extends up to 9 feet long and has an attractive, minimalist design when retracted.

This retractable clothesline comes in handy for line drying delicates in a laundry room or for air drying bathing suits and towels on a vacation home balcony, boat, or RV. 

It’s sold in a variety of metal finishes and colors so you can find a design that fits your style perfectly. 

Pros:

  • Great for small spaces like laundry rooms
  • Attractive, minimalist design
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • Not good for larger spaces
  • Only wide enough to dry a handful of items at a time

Specs:

  • Total Line Length: 9.2 feet
  • Weight Limit: 22 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: 3.9 x 3.9 x 2.4 inches

Get the BESy Retractable Clothesline on Amazon, Walmart or a similar version on Home Depot.

Best for Travel: Newraturner Portable Clothesline

Best retractable clothesline for travel: Newraturner
CREDIT: Amazon

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If you are an avid camper or traveler who likes to hand wash and line dry laundry while on the go, then this is the clothesline for you. It packs up very small and expands/stretches up to 12 feet wide.

What’s great is you don’t have to worry about packing or organizing clothespins because these have clothespins pre-attached to the line. You can customize clothespin spacing to accommodate any clothing, towels, or linens you’re trying to line dry.

These are perfect for beach vacations when you want to line dry bathing suits and towels for the entire family. You hook each end to a balcony railing, or fasten around two trees with bungee cords when camping.

Pros:

  • Packs up nice and small for use while camping, in hotels, or anywhere else you’d like to line dry laundry
  • Convenient, pre-attached clothespins
  • Easy to hang each end from any sort of hook

Cons:

  • Hooks are less sturdy than traditional clothespins
  • Not for heavy use, best for lightweight items

Specs:

  • Total Line Length: 10-12 feet
  • Weight Limit: 11 pounds
  • Unit Dimensions: NA

Get the Newraturner Clothesline on Amazon.

Product Comparison Chart

GorillaLine - Retractable Clothesline Indoor Outdoor Clothes Line | Heavy Duty Clothes Drying...
Household Essentials 17145-1 Retractable Clothesline 5-Line Dryer | Indoor or Outdoor Use | Hang Wet...
Retractable Clothesline - Portable Heavy Duty Indoor and Outdoor Washing Line - 40 Feet PVC...
BESy Retractable Clothesline SUS304 Stainless Steel Clothes Dryer with Adjustable Stainless Steel...
Newraturner 2 Pack Portable Clothesline with 12 Clothespins, Windproof Travel Clothesline Stretchy...
GorillaLine - Retractable Clothesline Indoor Outdoor Clothes Line | Heavy Duty Clothes Drying...
Household Essentials 17145-1 Retractable Clothesline 5-Line Dryer | Indoor or Outdoor Use | Hang Wet...
Retractable Clothesline - Portable Heavy Duty Indoor and Outdoor Washing Line - 40 Feet PVC...
BESy Retractable Clothesline SUS304 Stainless Steel Clothes Dryer with Adjustable Stainless Steel...
Newraturner 2 Pack Portable Clothesline with 12 Clothespins, Windproof Travel Clothesline Stretchy...
Line length
13 feet 9 inches
34 feet (170 feet total across 5 lines)
40 feet
9.2 feet
10-12 feet
Weight limit
40 pounds
Unknown
30 pounds
22 pounds
11 pounds
Price Range
$$
$$$
$
$
$
GorillaLine - Retractable Clothesline Indoor Outdoor Clothes Line | Heavy Duty Clothes Drying...
GorillaLine - Retractable Clothesline Indoor Outdoor Clothes Line | Heavy Duty Clothes Drying...
Line length
13 feet 9 inches
Weight limit
40 pounds
Price Range
$$
Household Essentials 17145-1 Retractable Clothesline 5-Line Dryer | Indoor or Outdoor Use | Hang Wet...
Household Essentials 17145-1 Retractable Clothesline 5-Line Dryer | Indoor or Outdoor Use | Hang Wet...
Line length
34 feet (170 feet total across 5 lines)
Weight limit
Unknown
Price Range
$$$
Retractable Clothesline - Portable Heavy Duty Indoor and Outdoor Washing Line - 40 Feet PVC...
Retractable Clothesline - Portable Heavy Duty Indoor and Outdoor Washing Line - 40 Feet PVC...
Line length
40 feet
Weight limit
30 pounds
Price Range
$
BESy Retractable Clothesline SUS304 Stainless Steel Clothes Dryer with Adjustable Stainless Steel...
BESy Retractable Clothesline SUS304 Stainless Steel Clothes Dryer with Adjustable Stainless Steel...
Line length
9.2 feet
Weight limit
22 pounds
Price Range
$
Newraturner 2 Pack Portable Clothesline with 12 Clothespins, Windproof Travel Clothesline Stretchy...
Newraturner 2 Pack Portable Clothesline with 12 Clothespins, Windproof Travel Clothesline Stretchy...
Line length
10-12 feet
Weight limit
11 pounds
Price Range
$

Helpful Considerations Before Purchasing

Space Requirements

Live in a smaller space? Then invest in a retractable clothesline that’s made to span the width of your space. Want to extend your retractable clothesline across wider distances? Then consider a wider-reaching clothesline like this one or this 2-Line option.

HOA Limitations

Some HOAs do not allow a clothesline to be in view above fence lines. If you live within one of these HOAs, don’t worry! You can still line dry laundry from a lower height outdoors or inside a garage or other indoor space. 

Volume of Laundry

Do you have a big family? Are you washing multiple loads of laundry at one time? If you like to line dry multiple loads of laundry at once then you might be best off with a multi-line retractable clothesline. This 5-Line Clothesline is great in narrow spaces, or this 2-Line Clothesline will work well across distances up to 49 feet.

Best Practices for Using Retractable Clotheslines

Install each end of your retractable clothesline system completely level with one another. A level line means less chances of clothes sliding into the middle or towards one end.

If possible, choose a location that receives a decent amount of sun and breeze exposure. You don’t want a windy spot where your linens will blow off the line and you might not want a spot with full sun so that your linens become quickly sunbleached. Partial sun and shade with a light breeze are the ideal conditions for line drying laundry.

Lastly, don’t forget to use whatever locking mechanism comes with your retractable clothesline. You will have the best drying results if the line is taut so this is an important detail not to miss.

FAQs

What height should a clothesline be?

This will depend on your height and the size of the clothes or linens you plan on drying. In general, most clotheslines are between 6 feet and 7.5 feet tall. 

Do retractable clotheslines sag?

Most clotheslines have a locking mechanism that helps keep them taut. With that said, over time some lines might sag slightly. Using quality clothespins will help keep your laundry in place on the line.

Do you need a prop with a retractable washing line?

Not necessarily. If you notice your line sagging a lot in the middle then it might be helpful to have a prop keep it up. 

What do you attach a retractable washing line to?

This will depend on the style of retractable washing line you choose to purchase! In general, you’ll want two supports with a clearing between each. Attach each end of the line to the supports at the exact same height to keep the line level. Good options include fence posts, walls, trees, or poles. 

Best Retractable Clotheslines