By Displaysense's Lucy Eagland
Floor standing clothes rails have gone from being a purely practical item to that of a stylish and beautiful piece of furniture that allows you to show off your clothing in a fun and functional way. Clothes rails have been commonplace in the fashion retail industry for many years as they offer sturdy construction and can be easily re-positioned or taken down and rebuilt in another location, but the previously humble rail has become a style choice in the home for those looking for a minimalist or industrial feel. Coupled with a price point significantly smaller than that of the traditional wardrobe, they are a practical and fashionable choice.
You may be wondering “what will be the best clothes rail for me?” so we will break down the key styles of floor standing rails on the market and what to consider when looking to purchase;
Heavy Duty Clothes Rails
Heavy duty clothes rails are popular in both the commercial and domestic markets. They come with a higher weight capacity so you can really stack the rack but it can vary widely between rails so be sure to look for ones that come with certification for weight capacity.
Two tiered Clothing Rails
Offering more versatility, 2 tier clothes rails make storing large amounts of clothing incredibly simple. They often come with adjustable centre bars to accommodate different lengths of clothing like dresses and shirts. The weight capacity of these rails varies from rail to rail so it always best to look for certification.
Industrial Clothes Rails
With an industrial style, these metal clothes rails are robust and can hold heavier items. They are usually constructed from galvanised steel and each rail comes with unique details from the scaffolding materials. These are hard wearing and the durable steel provides a scratch resistant finish.
Extendable Clothes Rails
Extendable clothes rails come with extension bars that offer you the opportunity to increase the height of the freestanding clothes rail. The extension bars can easily be added or removed to accommodate differing clothing lengths, making them popular with bridal shops for example, where certain dresses can be significantly longer than others.
Fishtail Clothes Rails
With unique fishtail style feet, these clothes storage rails do not come with wheels or castors but they provide additional stability with the extra wide design. Again, the weight capacity varies greatly between fishtail rails so be sure to keep in mind how much you are looking to hang.
Reinforced Clothes Rails
If you are looking to hang a large amount of coats or if your closet is bursting at the seams, a reinforced clothes rail or a super heavy duty clothes rail could be the best storage solution. With a greater weight allowance, they are popular with retail stores for use in stock rooms or in the cloak room at events.
Clothes Rails with Shelves
If you are looking to store additional items and accessories such as shoes, bags or folded items, then a rail with shelves incorporated may be the best clothes rail storage system for you. They are perfect for everywhere from boutiques to the bedroom. These come in a variety of materials, often mixing metal and wood, to create a unique and visually attractive item.
If you are still wondering “but what will be the best clothes rail for me”, here are a few key things you should keep in mind that will help you make the perfect choice;
- Weight-The weight of clothes you are looking to store should play heavily into the clothes rail you purchase. The weight capacity of clothes rails varies widely and not all of the weights you will see advertised have been weight tested to hold that amount. Be sure to look for weight certification as this will give you peace of mind that your rail will stand strong.
- Style-There are a wide variety of styles available from modern to vintage. Ensure that the style of the rail fits with your theming and décor so its blends effortlessly into your store or home.
- Width-Freestanding rails come in a variety of widths from 2ft to 6ft so they can fit into even the smallest of areas. If you would like the rail to fit into an alcove, make sure to carefully measure how wide the space is and check the product details. Rails of differing widths can be used in coordination, for example in a walk-in wardrobe.
- Locking design-When it comes to securing your rail, there are usually two options; nuts and bolts or a click-lock system. The click-lock system, sometimes referred to as a push pin system, makes assembly simple and can be done without tools. It is also not compromised by repeated reassembly which makes it perfect for those who are looking to store the rail away or are looking to transport it regularly. Whilst nuts and bolts are effective, these rails do require tools for assembly and the components become weakened from reassembly.
- Materials-Not all materials are equal when it comes to floor standing rails. Be sure to look for galvanised steel or industrial grade steel to be sure that your rail can stand up to the strain of heavy clothing.
- Wheels-If you are looking to regularly move the rail, for example on a shop floor or at an event, then you will most likely be best to go for a clothes rack with wheels. These will make moving it effortless. The weight hanging on the rail will impact the function of the wheels as they will be compressed underneath so if you are looking to store a large amount on it, look for rails with heavy duty wheels.
- Finish- With clothing and hangers being moved and changed, over time clothing rails do start to show some signs of general wear and tear. To make sure your rail is less likely to scratch, look for clothes hanging rails with an epoxy coating which is much hardier than a gloss or matt paint.
- Rail covers-If you are going to be storing clothing on the rail for a significant amount of time or if you simply want to keep your clothing in pristine condition, then a rail cover will protect from dust, moisture and odours.
I don’t know where to buy clothes rails, what should I look for?
The most important thing to consider is how much you are looking to store on it. Look for certification for the weight capacity as this will give you reassurance that you are investing in a solid product.
The hanging rail shape plays a big part in this too, the flat sided oval shape used in our rails provides extra strength compared to circular rails.
If you are looking for a product that can be stored away easily or used at car boot sales, then a click-lock assembly system will save you time and is more resilient to continuous reassembly.
With regular use, hangers can cause marks and scratched to occur. Rails with epoxy coatings will be harder wearing making them more suitable to everyday wear and tear.
How much weight can a clothes rail hold?
This will depend upon the material and construction of the rail. Our heavy duty rails have been weight tested to hold up to 160kg, the reinforced rails can hold up to 170kg and the super heavy duty can hold up to 200kg. Not all rails have been tested for strength but ours come with certification and adhere to BS EN 16121.
Can you adjust the height of a floor standing clothes rail?
Yes, height extension bars are available in different sizes and colours which allow you to adjust the height. You cannot however make them smaller. If you know you are going to want to alter the height regularly, then the extendable clothes rails range may be more suitable.
Can floor standing clothes rails be disassembled and stored away?
One of the main benefits of clothes rails is that they can be disassembled when they are no longer needed or for easy transportation. Most clothing rails break down into smaller pieces which make storing them away or putting them in a vehicle simple. Be sure to look for clothes rails with a click-lock system if you will be regularly disassembling the item, as it won’t be compromised by this.