Garden Structures

The UK’s Best Rotary Washing Lines For Easy Outdoor Clothes Drying

clothes airer in garden with clothes hung up to dry
Written by April Foot

It is a truth (almost) universally acknowledged that the best way to air dry your clothes outside is with a rotary washing line.

Unlike portable washing lines which blow over, or single strings strung across a balcony which fill up quickly, a rotary washing line fixed into the ground is a sturdy and reliable way to dry multiple loads of washing at once.

It also beats having your washing piled up in airing cupboards, blocking all the heat from your radiators, or having to rely on expensive-to-use tumble dryers – on a clear day, there’s no better method to dry your clothes than in the fresh air and sunshine.

Our #1 Top Pick
Brabantia Lift-O-Matic Rotary Airer Washing Line with 45 mm Metal Soil Spear, 50 m - Silver
Value Pick
LIVIVO ® Outdoor Garden 4 Arm 45m folding Rotary Washing Line Clothes Airer Dryer with Free Ground...
Also Consider...
Vileda 45m 4 Arm Rotary Dryer
Line Length
50M
45M
45M
Height
129-187cm
82-194cm
147cm
Dimensions
295cm x 295cm
206cm x 146cm
232cm x 165cm
Product Guarantee
5 Years
None
1 Year
Price
£60.00
£39.95
£35.00
Our #1 Top Pick
Brabantia Lift-O-Matic Rotary Airer Washing Line with 45 mm Metal Soil Spear, 50 m - Silver
Line Length
50M
Height
129-187cm
Dimensions
295cm x 295cm
Product Guarantee
5 Years
Price
£60.00
Value Pick
LIVIVO ® Outdoor Garden 4 Arm 45m folding Rotary Washing Line Clothes Airer Dryer with Free Ground...
Line Length
45M
Height
82-194cm
Dimensions
206cm x 146cm
Product Guarantee
None
Price
£39.95
Also Consider...
Vileda 45m 4 Arm Rotary Dryer
Line Length
45M
Height
147cm
Dimensions
232cm x 165cm
Product Guarantee
1 Year
Price
£35.00

Last update on 2020-07-14 / Affiliate links / Images / Pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re in the market for a new washing line, check out our selection of 5 of the best rotary washing lines on the market, based on their size, sturdiness, durability and value for money. Laundry day just got a whole lot easier.

Best Pick: Brabantia Lift-O-Matic Airer

Our favourite rotary washing line is smart, adjustable and ready-to-use

Coming in at number one on our list of the best rotary washing lines is this Lift-O-Matic Airer from Brabantia.

The Smart ‘Lift-O-Matic’ system (a posh way of saying ‘adjustable height’) enables you to set the height of this line to anything from 129 – 187cm. This makes it suitable not only for a wide range of users, but also for drying many different types of clothes, towels and bedding.

You can hang these items on an impressive 50 metres of washing line, and each arm also has a hole at the end, to hold clothes hangers for more delicate items. The washing line is designed so that the arms rotate easily in the breeze, whilst the ground spike stays stationary.

The included 55mm ground spike can be inserted straight into soil, meaning you can use your washing line immediately, and with no concreting required. It can be protected using the included cover when not in use, and it can also be removed and taken apart easily if required. Also included with this one are pegs and a peg bag – Brabantia really have thought of everything.

The quality of this rotary washing line is unmatched, and there’s a 5-year guarantee should anything go wrong. This, along with the ease of set-up, user-friendly design and included extras, is why this smart rotary washing line has to be our number one pick.

Pros

  • Lift-O-Matic system offers a fully adjustable height.
  • Included ground spike means you can start using it immediately.
  • Comes with peg bag, pegs and protective cover.
  • Dry lots of washing at once – 50m of line, and holes for clothes hangers.
  • Eco-friendly promise – manufacturer will plant a tree for every product sold.
  • 5-year guarantee.

Cons

  • More expensive than some similar designs.
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Value Pick: LIVIVO 4 Arm Rotary Line

Our best value washing line is sturdy, modern and packed with features

For a more affordable option, take a look at this 4 Arm Rotary Line by Livivo. It’s made from durable, powder-coated steel, which is resistant to rust and weathering.

As with the Brabantia design, it comes with a ground spike for installation, which you can easily insert into your lawn. This eliminates the need for concrete, whilst making your washing line sturdy and secure. You can choose from 4 height options, depending on what you need to dry, and what’s easiest for you.

It comes with 45 metres of washing line, which is plenty for a large family and should accommodate several loads of washing. The line is 3mm thick and has a green PVC coating, giving it a modern look. Despite the large drying space, the overall footprint of the washing line is just 2 metres square, so it’s perfect for smaller gardens.

Also included is a cover, to further protect the line from weathering and extend its life. There are no pegs or peg bag with this one, and it doesn’t feel quite as high-quality as the Brabantia – but considering the very reasonable price, we can certainly forgive it.

Pros

  • The powder-coated steel frame is weatherproof and rust-resistant.
  • 45m of line provides plenty of drying space.
  • Includes ground spike and cover.
  • Choice of 4 height positions.
  • Great value.

Cons

  • The line might need loosening before you can put it up.
  • No pegs included.
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Vileda 45M Rotary Dryer

This rotary dryer doesn’t come with a ground spike, so choose it if you want to create a permanent concrete base

Next up on our list of the best rotary washing lines is this Vileda Rotary Dryer. It has 45 metres of washing line, plus holes for clothes hangers, making it suitable for drying up to four loads of washing at a time.

It’s made from durable steel and comes with 3 adjustable height positions. It has a span of 2.32m and a turning circle of 2.64m, so it’s a little larger than the previous model – but the pole still comes apart easily for transportation.

Unfortunately, there is no cover included with this one, which might make your washing line more vulnerable to weathering, unless you bring it inside every time it’s not in use.

The main drawback of this washing line though is that it doesn’t come with a ground spike, so you will need to either purchase one separately or concrete the included plastic socket into the ground. This might make it unsuitable or unappealing for some users.

However, if you’re happy to concrete, or you have an existing ground spike you can use, this high-quality washing line is a solid choice.

Pros

  • Durable – made from painted steel.
  • 45m of washing line, plus holes for clothes hangers.
  • 3 adjustable height positions.
  • Includes plastic socket for installation.
  • Split pole for easy transportation.

Cons

  • Requires installation or purchase of a ground spike – not included.
  • No cover or pegs included.
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Addis Rotating Airer

A cheap and cheerful washing line, ideal for a family of four

This Addis Rotating Airer has the shortest length of washing line so far at 40 metres – although it’s still plenty big enough to accommodate the washing of an average family of four and multiple loads.

It comes with a ground spike so you can easily mount it in your lawn, but that’s about it for extras – there’s no cover or peg bag. There is a Velcro strap to hold it together when it’s folded down, but this isn’t attached to the frame, so is prone to slipping.

The washing line has a turning circle of 2.47 metres, and a maximum height of 1.75 metres. It’s not as high as some similar designs, and this, combined with the fact that the strings are prone to sagging and that it doesn’t feel as durable as others on our list, means we wouldn’t recommend it for drying larger items, such as bath towels and bedsheets.

On the plus side, it’s made from stainless steel with an attractive grey rust-resistant finish, and it does represent excellent value for money. It also has hooks at the ends of the arms, for additional drying options.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for an affordable option for drying clothes and delicates, this rotary line will do the job – but if you can invest a little more, it might be worth it to get a more hardwearing model, capable of supporting heavier items.

Pros

  • Includes ground spike.
  • Big enough (40m line) for a family of four.
  • Easy to put up.
  • Good value for money.

Cons

  • Lines prone to sagging.
  • Not as durable as some.
  • No cover included.
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MultiWare Indoor Rotary Washing Line

This portable, compact washing line is perfect for camping or tiny homes

The final product to make it onto our list is this Indoor Rotary Washing Line from MultiWare. This is a much smaller washing line and is designed specifically to be easy to transport – it’s perfect for taking on camping or caravanning trips.

The 16m line is capable of holding one load of washing and is certainly suitable for home use in a single or double-occupancy household. The fact that it’s so portable and lightweight means you can easily move it around to follow the sun, or quickly relocate it inside if it starts to rain.

It features a freestanding design with no spike required and is very quick to set-up and take down. This also makes it a good option for renters, or those who don’t want to make a permanent change to their garden.

The downside of the design is that it isn’t quite as sturdy as those which are embedded in the ground, and it can be blown over by strong winds. If camping, you could tackle this problem with a few well-placed tent pegs.

Overall, this is a great alternative to a larger or permanent washing line for anyone with limited space, or for those who like to travel and want to do their washing on the road.

Pros

  • Highly portable – ideal for camping.
  • Small size is great for small gardens and indoor use.
  • Freestanding design – no spike or concrete required.
  • Quick and easy to set up.

Cons

  • Only 16m of line – too small for families.
  • Can be blown over by the wind.
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How To Put Up A Rotary Washing Line

The best way to install your rotary washing line will depend on the design you’ve purchased. If your line comes with a ground spike, you can install it by pushing this into your lawn, and then slotting the pole of the washing line into it. We recommend using a mallet and a flat piece of wood to hammer the spike firmly into the ground.

If there’s no spike, or the spike isn’t sturdy enough on its own, you can use concrete to create a permanent base. Do this by digging a hole where you want the base to be, to the depth of the spike. It should be around 20cm square. Fill the hole halfway with concrete and insert the spike or socket – you can use a spirit level to make sure it’s straight.

Continue filling the hole with concrete around the spike, until it is level with the ground. Allow the concrete to fully set for at least 48 hours before you insert your washing line into the socket. To do this, first insert the base pole, then the airer. Slide the handle at the middle of the pole up to raise the arms to your desired height. Your washing line should be secure and sturdy.

When your washing line is not in use, you can lower the arms, and secure it with a strap or protective cover, if one was included. To take your washing line down for storage or transportation, simply remove it in this state from the ground spike.

How To Replace Or Restring A Rotary Line

Over time, the lines on your rotary washing line may start to sag. This is not ideal, as it will result in your washing hanging lower, and possibly dragging on the ground. Initially, you should be able to re-tighten the strings, but eventually, you may have to replace them. This might also be necessary if a string snaps under heavy weight.

Re-stringing your rotary line should not be difficult. The first step is to make sure to invest in a high-quality string so that your new line lasts as long as possible. Then, remove the old, sagging or snapped washing line. You may simply be able to unthread it, or you might need to use scissors to cut it away from the frame.

Beginning at one of the most innermost holes, thread your new line through the hole, and tie it off. Move in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction, threading the string through the holes on each arm on that row. Once you’ve gone all the way around, move up to the holes on the next row. Repeat this until you reach the last outermost hole and tie the string off. Voila! Your rotary line is re-stringed and ready to go.

About the author

April Foot

April is a freelance writer who specialises in travel, home and garden design, and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.

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