- A great set of hangers are a worthwhile investment and will last for years.
- We spoke with three clothing experts and tested several models to find the best options.
- The ORG Slimline Velvet Suit Hangers can hold a variety of clothing and fit well in small closets.
Many of us are guilty of buying the cheapest hangers we come across and hanging our expensive clothing with them. However, poor-quality hangers can cause serious damage to your favorite clothes, including tears, snags, and stretching that may require you to replace pieces entirely.
We tested eight models and put them through multiple fit, hanging, and durability tests to determine our top picks. After an extensive testing period, we selected five products that are high quality and durable and can hold multiple types of clothing, from heavy, bulky items to silky, lightweight pieces. You can learn more about our testing process here.
We also consulted with three clothing experts to learn more about hanging clothes: Shea Daspin, a fashion and wardrobe stylist; Cynthia Kienzle, founder of The Clutter Whisperer of NYC; and Liz Power, owner of Awoke Vintage.
Our experts shared some best practices for properly storing clothing, which can be found in the FAQ section at the end of this guide.
Here are the best clothes hangers in 2021
- Best hangers overall: ORG Slimline Velvet Suit Hangers
- Best budget hangers: Ikea Bumerang
- Best pants hangers: The Container Store Chrome Metal Pant Hangers
- Best hangers for formal clothing: The Container Store Grey Wooden Shirt Hangers
- Best plastic hangers: The Container Store Classic Tubular Hangers
The ORG Slimline Velvet Suit Hangers are space saving, prevent clothing from slipping, and can hang both heavy and lightweight items.
Pros: Affordable, thin to maximize storage space, have a bar that can hold scarves and belts
Cons: Velvet may attract lint and dust over time
Velvet hangers were highly recommended by our three experts, especially for hanging delicate clothing, due to their ability to keep clothing in shape and prevent slipping. Like other velvet options, the ORG Slimline Velvet Suit Hangers protect your clothing from damage and keep items from slipping into the depths of your closet. However, what differentiates these hangers is that they are very thin, allowing you to fit more clothing in your closet.
Throughout testing, the hangers performed well, with no clothing falling or slipping. They’re our top choice for those looking to hang a wide variety of clothing in small or large closets.
Although the slim hangers were able to hold up heavy sweaters and blazers, we don’t recommend using them with heavy outerwear, as they may snap under too much weight. (In general, experts recommend storing these items folded in a dresser.)
They can also hold scarves and belts that can be difficult to store neatly in drawers.
The best budget hangers
At around 60 cents each, the Ikea Bumerang hangers are the perfect combination of high quality and low price.
Pros: Affordable, can hold heavy clothing, made of sustainable wood
Cons: Doesn’t hold up shirts and sweaters with wider necklines well, takes up more closet space
The Bumerang wooden hangers from Ikea are highly recommended by several members of the Reviews team, as well as Awoke Vintage owner Liz Power, who called them a “great, affordable wood option.”
They’re constructed with solid wood and coated with a protective lacquer that prevents them from splintering and damaging your clothing. They also feature small indents that helped hold lightweight clothing in place during our hanging tests.
While they performed well overall, the hangers did struggle to hold up a cardigan with a wide neckline, which kept slipping off. However, it was able to hold up a heavy blazer just fine, making it a solid option for hanging heavy-weight clothing.
Due to their wood construction, the hangers are a bit thicker than standard velvet and plastic options and take up more closet space. However, if you have a larger closet or are looking to hang just a few pieces of heavier clothing, these can handle the job. They also make great coat hangers.
The best pants hangers
Clips can cause damage to clothing over time, but The Container Store Chrome Metal Pant Hangers are designed to store pants securely and allow you quick access.
Pros: Non-slip, efficient open-end design, can be used to hang various bottoms and accessories
Cons: Only available in a three-pack, can become expensive if you need a large quantity, hook does not swivel
If you want to hang pants, it’s best to do so with dedicated pants or skirt hangers, which are designed to hold more weight on the trouser bar. The Chrome Metal Pant Hangers were created with efficiency in mind, from their open-end design to the non-slip coating found on each bar that kept bottoms firmly in place during testing.
“Putting pants on/off this type hanger is a breeze,” said Kienzle, who recommends them over those with clips, which often leave behind imprints. Compared to the Zober High-Grade Wooden Pants Hangers with Metal Clips that we tested, The Container Store products left all bottoms I hung with no damage or indentations. They’re also very thin, making it easy to fit many in your closet.
The best hangers for formal clothing
Hang heavy outerwear, pants, and even sweaters with the Grey Wooden Shirt Hangers from The Container Store.
Pros: Ribbed bar, can handle heavier clothing, available in four finishes
Cons: Doesn’t have small notches to hold up thin straps, may not be the best option for holding up lightweight items
The Container Store’s Grey Wooden Shirt Hangers are another strong, heavy-duty contender that can handle a variety of clothing weights. They have a ribbed bar that helps hold up pants and skirts.
The hangers performed well at hanging most items, including a heavy cardigan and a cashmere sweater, but couldn’t keep a strappy slip dress in place (which fell every day throughout testing). They lack small indentations or hooks that would help them hold up clothing with thin straps.
Overall their durable wood construction makes them a great option for holding up heavy, more formal clothing or coats and are also a good option if you’re looking for wooden suit hangers.
The best plastic hangers
Plastic hangers can be an inexpensive option for those of us with large wardrobes. The Container Store Heavy-Duty Tubular Hangers have a thick construction that is sturdy and durable.
Pros: Fit well in smaller closets, great price, available in multiple colors
Cons: No swivel hooks, no hooks or strap notches
Upon receiving the Tubular Hangers, I was immediately surprised at their thickness, which is custom designed by The Container Store to hold heavy-weight clothing.
Throughout testing, they performed well at holding up jeans, blazers, and sweaters but struggled to hold more lightweight clothing, which constantly slipped off. The hangers don’t have small hooks or indentations that can help hold these items in place.
We recommend using them with heavier items such as blazers, sweaters, cardigans, most pants, and even lighter coats and avoiding hanging lightweight clothing with thin straps with them.
What else we tested
What else we recommend and why
HuaQi Clothing Hangers: This stackable option performed extremely well with the five pieces of bulky, heavy clothing I hung on it. However, the design is a bit cumbersome, with some of the hooks falling off of the main hanging mechanism while I was putting the unit together. When clothing was on the hooks this did not happen. They held up well during testing, making them a great option for those with small closets.
What we don’t recommend and why
Zober High-Grade Wooden Pants Hangers with Metal Clips: These hangers performed well at holding up various bottoms such as skirts, silky pants, and jeans. Unfortunately, they left clear indents on most of the bottoms. Over time I could see them doing serious damage to clothing left hanging for long periods of time.
Billkaq Magic Pants Hangers: Although this product performed well during testing, it had a frustrating assembly and instructions that featured unclear, dark images. There are other space-saving hangers that are less of a hassle.
Our testing methodology
We put all eight products through the same four tests:
Closet fit: We hung each product in a closet and noted if any fit awkwardly or were cramped.
Hanging: We used each product to hang five different types of clothing, all made of different materials, including a heavy cardigan or blazer, a silky dress or shirt, a skirt, a turtleneck sweater, and a pair of heavy jeans or pants. When testing products for holding up pants, we hung five different types of bottoms on each, including a pair of jeans, a pair of trousers, a skirt, and a pair of silky pants. After a week we checked the clothing for any imprints or damage.
Everyday use: We shuffled through the hangers every day to make sure they were securely holding up clothing and noted if any items fell off.
Durability: At the end of the testing period, we checked each product for signs of wear and tear from regular use.
What we look forward to testing
The Container Store Chrome Metal Add-On Skirt/Pant Hangers: While all models with metal clips we tested left deep imprints on pants, we’re eager to test this option, which has a rubber coating between each clip to protect clothing.
Bed Bath & Beyond 15-Inch Wood Hangers with Removable Satin Covers: The most delicate clothing requires something special, like this wood option with removable satin covers. We want to test these on our delicate blouses and sweaters.
Salt Attachable Hangers: These plastic hangers can be attached to each other for increased closet storage and have notches to hold up clothing with thin straps, which our current plastic pick does not have.
What type of hanger should I buy?
You’ll want to choose hangers based on your closet size and the weight of the clothing you’re looking to hang. Plastic and velvet options are versatile and work best in smaller closets, as they don’t take up much room. If you do have room, wooden models are a great option that can hold up heavy items such as blazers and coats. All our experts strongly recommend avoiding wire hangers that are commonly acquired at the dry cleaners.
“Using wire hangers is a big no-no, but a lot of people still have them in their closet. It’s easy to get into that habit because they are cheap and often come straight from the dry cleaner and are convenient to hold onto,” said stylist Shea Daspin, who dislikes them because they are not able to hold much weight and can sometimes cause damage to clothing. The Clutter Whisperer founder Cynthia Kienzle echoes this and recommends returning wire hangers to the dry cleaners instead of using them in your closet.
That said, you may want multiple types of hangers in your closet to accommodate your needs. Based on our experts’ advice, we created a chart to make it easier to properly hang clothing in your closet.
|Clothing Item||Should you hang this item?||Type of hanger to use|
|Satin or silk blouses or dresses||Yes||Velvet|
|Heavy knit sweaters||No||N/A|
|Blazers or cardigans||Yes||Wood|
|Jeans||If tight on space, no||Plastic or wood|
|Trousers||Yes||Wood pants hanger|
|Skirts||Yes||Velvet pants hanger|
What’s the best way to hang lightweight, silky clothing?
Keeping lightweight clothing in place can be a challenge, especially when using hangers that don’t have the small notches that help keep thin straps and silky clothing in place.
Another option are these Garment Grips from The Container Store that can be used with plastic, wood, and metal and come in shades that will match most hanger colors.
What are some mistakes to avoid when hanging clothing? Which types of clothing should never be hung?
Kienzle emphasized picking one or two types of hangers and sticking with them throughout your closet to cover your hanging needs. She finds that the average closet is filled with too many options, leading to a mismatched mess of hangers.
Kienzle also recommends organizing your closet by clothing type and keeping enough space to flip through and clearly keep track of your clothing. Many of us keep our closets so stuffed that we no longer know what items are actually in them. If you have a smaller closet, you’ll want to make efficient choices about which types of clothing you hang. You should avoid hanging items that are heavy, like jeans, or those that will stretch out and lose shape over time, like sweaters. According to Daspin, you should also avoid hanging cashmere, heavy sweaters, or heavy vintage items.
Daspin said you can extend the life of your clothing by hanging items properly. “A lot of people also make the mistake of hanging clothing by entering a shirt through the neck hole and stretching it out in the process. It’s always best to go up through the bottom to avoid stretching,” said Daspin.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that you take the time to preserve your clothing through buttoning and zipping up sweaters and pants. “Something we are all guilty of is not doing the buttons up on items — natural fibers like linen, cotton, and silk fare best when they are stored with all buttons done up. This is so they don’t lose shape, especially around the collar area,” said Power.
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