There's lots to choose from when it comes to hangers for closet clothing, but they're not all made the same, nor do they treat your clothing the same in terms of staining, creasing or creating unsightly bumps. A closet may look nice and organized with all the same type of hangers but if you want to take care of your clothing, one-size-fits-all when it comes to hangers - just doesn't work well. I've also included convenient specialty hangers in my list because they make good use of available space.
Though you can often skip the special and use the general type of hangers for most of your family's clothing, hangers that are special purpose do offer more convenience and some help to better organize your closet space.
When you're buying hangers, the key quality of a good hanger is durability. Many plastic hangers have a flimsy construction similar to those on a retail store's display racks. These don't generally last very long and usually end up being a waste of money. So be practical and buy hangers that will last and that are appropriate for what you are going to hang on them.
Wire hangers have been around for decades and you can still buy them from retailers or collect them from dry cleaning service outlets. You can generally hang many things on these, they are practical and affordable. They also take less space in the closet than any other type of hanger. If you can find them, wire hangers with felt no-slip covers are best for some garments with wide necklines.
However, wire hangers tend to rust and can also leave stains on clothing. So do not hang wet or damp clothing on a wire/metal hanger to dry. Wire hangers are generally lightweight, though some are more durable than others. They are not the best for suits or heavy coats as they tend to sag and create wrinkles or pleats. When it comes to dresses, it depends on the weight of the garment as to whether it will hang properly on a wire hanger. And pants folded over a wire hanger tend to acquire knee creases when the pants wander down to the end of the hanger.
Plastic hangers have gained a lot of popularity the last few years. They do not rust, there's no risk of staining clothing, they are highly affordable, widely available and come in a variety of sizes, designs and colors. Some are very thick, heavy and durable which is great, but they fill up your closet quickly. I do like these however for holding folded wet pants to dry, because there's zero risk of sagging, wrinkling or knee creases. Use these heavy hangers for pants, heavier clothing, jackets, tops and shirts.
There are lightweight varieties of plastic hangers too. These you do have to be careful with. Those that have an extra section on the bottom part for hanging belts, are useless for hanging folded pants, since the width crowds the fabric. And the lighter they are, the more tendency to sag fibers, snap or break under the weight. Use the lightweight types for tops, children's clothing, lightweight dresses and shirts.
I prefer the heavier plastic hangers even though they do take at least 1/2" of space, simply because they do a better job and last longer. If you want to organize your wardrobe, colored hangers offer lots of ways to group like clothing. And non-slip hangers are the best for dress clothing and dresses with thin shoulder straps.
Wooden coat hangers have been in use for several decades and are the best for hanging leather jackets, winter coats and heavier clothing. They are sold with a bottom cross bar or without. The cross bar is very handy for holding scarves or ties, or to use the hanger for pants. Though these types of hangers have slowly been replaced with more trendy plastic hangers the last few years, many consumers have gone back to using wooden hangers - they last forever and are best for heavy clothing and leather.
When leather is hung on a regular wire or plastic hanger, the shoulder ends of the hanger tends to poke into and stretch out the leather, creating unsightly humps in the garment. These humps can never be removed once the leather has been stretched. To avoid this, always hang leather jackets or blazers on a padded wide-width wooden hanger.
Since wooden hangers are thick, they do take more room in a closet. Ideally, I use a few wooden hangers for coats, leather and several heavy plastic hangers for most everything else, except for a few specialty hangers.
4. Suit Valet
A suit valet is the ideal accessory for the business person. It's a freestanding rack for one suit and designed to give the best support and provide the most convenience to the wearer. A suit valet is also a great gift idea. The Proman Kingston III Suit Valet featured has some nice features, walnut finish and includes a drawer for small accessories.
Since kids' clothing varies in size, smaller hangers are the best. Most are plastic and there is quite a variety of sizes on the market. Infant's clothing is often best on hangers similar to those used for retail display of baby clothing, because you can often hang both the bottom and top on the same hanger. These however are difficult to find in the market. If you buy a baby outfit for a gift, often the hanger will be included, or you could ask that it be thrown in.
When choosing hangers for the kids, watch the size of the hanger and resist the urge to stock up on a large supply, since they outgrow their clothes quickly. But you will want a few properly sized hangers for children's clothes; regular sizing just doesn't work well. You can often save money by buying a group of hangers, such as the set featured. Hangers with non-slip materials are ideal; weight is not a factor, so lightweight hangers are fine and take less space.
There are multi-tiered hangers with clips for skirts and a bar for pants - these are super convenient but annoying when it comes to removing clothing. There's also tiered hangers that hold several blouses or shirts. I've used these styles of multi racks for years and found that I prefered to keep clothing on these types of racks that I didn't wear too often. That saved some space in the closet and reduced the annoyance of removing clothes from them. Clothing that I wear more often is kept on single hangers.
While the multi-tiered space-saving hangers do allow you to hang several items on one hanger and they seem to work fine, it takes longer to remove the one you want that is burried within the hanger, without partially removing another item This is a small trade-off however and the best choice if you have extremely limited closet space and lots of clothing.
Pants and skirts do better either folded over a pant hanger, a heavier plastic or wooden hanger (with crossbar) or hung from clips on a wooden hanger. Some hangers like the ones featured have a mechanism that presses down and holds items tight on the hanger. But there are other specialty racks that also work fine such as multi-tiered racks or floor racks and stands.
Something to hang and/or organize ties and belts is a must in any closet. The size, design and function is best chosen based on your available closet space, needs and installation required. Any type of tie and belt hanger reduces the frustration of looking for either, saves you time and protects these accessories.
There's a good variety of freestanding pant racks as well as component systems for closet organizers. Rev-A-Shelf makes a slide-out variety that maximizes convenience and makes use of limited space. Pant racks work very well; they make locating, loading and removal a breeze and if you can designate the bottom area of a closet for a freestanding unit or customize and organize your whole closet, you'll find it worth the expense when it comes to convenience, saving time and space.