A drying cupboard, also known as a drying cabinet, is a vertical unit designed to dry clothing without tumbling. It can be used to dry clothing that cannot be safely dried in a conventional clothes dryer. Drying cupboards are more commonly found in Europe, typically in professional clothes cleaning and laundry establishments. Some companies, however, are now producing drying cupboards sized for homes.
While many modern fibers and clothing designs are well suited to drying in a tumble clothes dryer, there are still some types of cloth and textile products that should not be placed in a clothes dryer. In some cases, these items should simply be allowed to dry on their own while hung up on racks, a process that can take several hours, even overnight, to complete. A drying cupboard, however, enables a much more rapid drying of clothing and other textiles, such as curtains or comforters.
Clothing, household textiles, or footwear can be placed or hung in the drying cupboard, and its door is shut. Hot air is then circulated throughout the drying cabinet, drying the articles within. When the drying cycle is completed, the user can simply remove the clothing from the machine.
Advocates of drying cabinets point out that these contraptions use less energy than tumble dryers. As they are simply boxes with hot air circulation, there are fewer mechanisms that can break down, which can save users money on repairs and replacements. Other advantages include the preservation of clothing and other items dried in the cupboard. As the clothing inserted into a drying cupboard does not get whipped around, less stress is applied to the fibers and the seams, which can contribute to a clothing or household item's longevity. Some users also like the fact that clothing emerges from the cupboard with minimal wrinkling, ready to fold or hang as necessary.
The primary drawback to the use of drying cupboards in homes is their size. The mechanism is a vertical unit that can take up a considerable amount of space. As such, they are typically built for commercial use. Some companies now produce home-sized drying cupboards that are narrower in width than commercial models. Advertised as being the size of a small refrigerator, these are often marketed to Americans who live in luxury homes with oversized laundry rooms and basements that can accommodate such a large appliance.