Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

Making fresh pasta at home seems like a lot of work (and compared to buying dried pasta at the store, it is) but a little bit of extra effort goes a long way in yielding delicious results. For many of us, the hands-on nature of making pasta is the draw. There’s something soothing about stepping away from the keyboard to combine flour and egg; using our hands to turn it from a gooey mess into a shaggy pile and then, through patient, steady kneading, a smooth dough. (Is this also a metaphor for the writing process?)

And while there are loads of pasta makers on the market that can turn your dough into ribbons of chewy sauce vessels, it’s important not to forget about the other component of successful at-home pasta making: the pasta drying rack.

A quality pasta drying rack will serve as your pasta’s greatest support system while it’s new and damp and uncertain (also a writing metaphor…?). The rack will hold each piece in such a way that air can circulate freely, allowing it to dry evenly and—ideally—without sticking, which can lead to later breakage. Drying racks also need to be well-balanced since you’ll be adding pieces of pasta as you go, and because they’re kind of a single-task item, racks should stow away without fuss.

All of this is why we tested 14 pasta drying racks to find the best, sturdiest, and most spacious ones. We ended up with five favorites.

The Winners, at a Glance

This rack is easy to set up and clean, it looks good, and it’s affordably priced. In our tests, the Sänger proved nice and sturdy, holding pasta with ease and releasing it equally well—and without breakage.

This one requires more of an investment, but if you’re looking for a pasta drying rack that can handle a variety of shapes and sizes, this one’s your best bet.

This easy-to-use rack is a great value and takes up very little space. It’s the way to go if you’re an occasional dabbler in pasta-making.

If you’re feeding a crowd (or just stocking up on pasta while you’ve got the ingredients out), this drying rack has a practical capacity and classic good looks.

This one’s a classic. It pairs nicely with the brand’s popular Atlas 150 pasta machine and proved itself sturdy and easy to use during our tests. 

The Tests

Serious Eats / Russell KilgoreDrying Pasta Test: Yep, this one is pretty obvious—we assessed each pasta drying rack on how well it dried fresh pasta. Air circulation is important here, but so is avoiding sticking and breakage.Usability Tests: We considered factors like the rack’s design, ease of setup and use, and how easy it was (or wasn’t) to clean and store. 

What We Learned

Model Materials

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

We tested pasta drying racks made of plastic, acrylic, wood, and bamboo. Each material had its benefits—like how wood is sturdy and looks nice—but plastic and acrylic made it easier to slide pasta off the arms without breakage. Racks made of either wood or plastic materials can be found at similar price points, so ultimately we think this one comes down to personal preference. 

Stability and Balance

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

Most pasta drying racks are either foldable or collapsible—great for storage, but not always so great for stability. We quickly learned the importance of proper weight distribution as we added damp pasta to the racks, lest the whole tower go toppling over. Some racks just weren’t stable enough, either due to a small base or flimsy arms (or both). 

Spiral Superiority 

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

The top-performing pasta drying racks (other than the Eppicotispai) were designed like a spiral, with arms that spanned outward and dispersed weight evenly. They had the added advantage of providing plenty of space between the arms, which made for easy pasta draping and removal. And yes, they look cool.

Room to Roam

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The Eppictispai is for serious pasta makers. With its generous 19- by 15-inch dimensions, this pasta drying rack is about the size of a half-sheet pan, and the netted surface means pasta can be laid flat to dry—all but eliminating the risk of breakage. This also makes it ideal for short pasta of varying shapes, because you’re not going to have much luck hanging something like cavatelli from a spiral-armed rack.

The Criteria: What to Look for in a Pasta Drying Rack

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

The best pasta drying racks are sturdy, offer adequate space to hang (and later remove) pasta, and stow away with ease.

What we liked: The Sänger rack is made of high-quality pieces that provide a sturdy construction. The solid, square base keeps the rack standing level and upright during use, and because it’s so tall, we never ran into problems with noodle length—there was always plenty of space for pasta to hang comfortably. Pasta never stuck to the wooden dowels and the whole contraption wiped clean quite easily with a soft cloth. We think this drying rack is a great choice for nearly any at-home pasta enthusiast.

What we didn’t like: Our only complaint—and we’re really stretching to find one—is that kitchens with limited countertop space may find the Sänger pasta drying rack to be a little too tall and wide.

Price at time of publish: $18.

Key Specs

Type of stand: Standing/hangingMaterial: Natural woodWeight: 2.2 poundsDimensions: 18.9 x 7.48 x 7.18 inches
Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

What we liked: There’s tons of surface area with this drying rack, and the lay-flat design means you can use it for pasta shapes other than those of the long noodle variety. The stacking design makes it easy to work with one level without interrupting the others, and the whole thing is super sturdy. It’s an easy and intuitive rack to use, with almost effortless—and damage-free—pasta removal.

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

What we didn’t like: Aside from the (comparatively) steep price, we needed a mallet to hammer in the pegs that function as legs for each tier in order to ensure a secure fit. We also noticed imprints of the mesh surface were left on pasta pieces when drying higher-hydration doughs—hardly a dealbreaker, but worth mentioning.

Price at time of publish: $88.

Key Specs

Type of stand: Flat/stackableMaterial: Beech wood and plasticWeight: 8 poundsDimensions: 19 x 15.75 x 1 inches per tier
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What we liked: We found Ourokhome’s pasta drying rack to be easy to use, no-frills, and a pleasure to work with. Don’t be put off by the low price and plastic construction, because this rack proved itself to be sturdy, tall enough to accommodate long noodles, and ultra-quick to clean. It also stows away easily and weighs very little, so it’s a good one to buy if you like to occasionally make pasta but aren’t trying to turn your kitchen into a trattoria. 

What we didn’t like: You’ll probably want to step up to a larger drying rack if you’re making a bunch of pasta at once, but otherwise—and for the price—we have no complaints.

Price at time of publish: $13.

Key Specs

Type of stand: Standing/hangingMaterial: PlasticWeight: 9.1 ouncesDimensions: 7.8 x 3.5 inches, foldedSerious Eats/Russell Kilgore

What we liked: We think this is a great model for someone who wants a low-hassle and easy-to-use pasta rack. The CucinaPro is stable and looks good, and we especially appreciated the user-friendly design that allows each dowel to be lifted easily from its position atop the rack. Pasta application and removal couldn’t be simpler. Overall, this drying rack was a pleasure to work with and we were never concerned about the safety of our delicate pasta strands as we added more pieces.

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What we didn’t like: There’s a bit of assembly required—including the use of a Phillips-head screwdriver, so this rack may be a better fit in larger kitchens (unless you’re fine with disassembly or tucking it away somewhere after each use, of course).

Price at time of publish: $23.

Key Specs

Type of stand: Standing/hangingMaterial: Natural woodWeight: 1.41 poundsDimensions: 13.5 x 6.5 x 11.5 inchesSerious Eats / Russell Kilgore

What we liked: We’ll admit there’s a certain coolness factor with this drying rack—particularly if you’re on Team Marcato with your pasta machine—but it works really well, too. The spiral design offers plenty of space for pasta, and it’s easy to clean thanks to the acrylic construction. Just give the top a little twist to unfurl the arms before use and you’re ready to go!

What we didn’t like: The legs don’t lock into place, so each time you pick up the drying rack, the legs just kind of flop inward. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s worth being aware that you can’t just pick this up and set it back down somewhere else without being mindful of the rack’s base.

Price at time of publish: $50.

Key Specs

Type of stand: Standing/hangingMaterial: Plastic and aluminumWeight: 1.5 poundsDimensions: 12 x 4 x 22 inchesSerious Eats / Russell Kilgore

The Competition 

Bellemain Collapsible Pasta Drying Rack: This rack will get the job done, but we weren’t impressed with its particle wood construction.Bisetti Beech Wood Drying Rack: The dowels on this rack had just enough texture to cause some of our pasta to stick—not ideal during removal.Crate & Barrel Acacia Pasta Rack: This one looks nice and is easy to set up, but the dowels only lift off the rack from one side, so we found pasta removal to be tedious.Goziha Pasta Drying Rack: We liked the effortless setup of this rack; we disliked its flimsy construction.Imperia Pasta Drying Rack: An awkward design with short, close-together dowels did not make this drying rack our favorite.Kitchenado Collapsible Drying Rack: We thought this rack looked cool and found it easy to use, but at the end of the day it felt a little too cheaply made to earn our recommendation.Navaris Wooden Pasta Drying Rack: This one is cute in that it looks like a little laundry rack, but testers agreed the performance didn’t stack up to aesthetics. Norpro Pasta Drying Rack: This rack was mostly fine, but proved a little too flimsy to earn a spot on our winners list.Weston Bamboo Drying Rack: Again, this is a mostly fine rack, but its loose dowels made for pesky pasta removal.

FAQs

What is a pasta rack for? 

Pasta racks are for drying fresh pasta. They allow you to hang or lay each piece in such a way that air can circulate and dry the pasta evenly.

How do you dry pasta without a rack? 

In a pinch, you can use a cooling rack to carefully lay out fresh pasta for drying. You can also use a kitchen towel dusted with flour, but this method may take longer as air won’t circulate as effectively. 

Are wood or plastic pasta drying racks better? 

Both are totally fine. Wooden racks tend to be sturdier, while plastic racks make it easier to remove pasta without breakage thanks to the slippery surface. You’ll need to be careful in either case, so choose according to your preferred aesthetics and budget.

How long should you leave pasta on a drying rack? 

This depends on your plans for the pasta. If you’re going to cook it same-day, as little as 20 to 30 minutes will suffice. If you want to store your pasta longer-term, let it dry for 24 hours. 

Why We’re the Experts

For this review, we tested 14 pasta drying racks across a variety of materials and price points. We evaluated how easy they were to set up, how sturdy they were, and, overall, how well they held fresh pasta.Summer Rylander is a freelance writer who regularly contributes gear reviews, gift guides, and equipment explainers to Serious Eats. She’s also written cooking and kitchen content for Food & Wine, Allrecipes, The Kitchn, and more.

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