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Shopping for hangers can be a dismaying task. Each garment has its own hanger requirements — ranging from type to material — and if you store your valuables on the wrong hanger, they can end up stretched out or warped beyond repair. There’s also the matter of space: Depending on the size of your closet, there are hangers and organizers you can invest in to maximize storage space to help you avoid shoving clothes into a drawer and wrinkling them. To help you narrow down the many hanger options out there, we consulted organization experts about the best types of hangers for various articles of clothing, plus rounded up some of the best hangers around based on their guidance.
SKIP AHEAD How to shop for hangers
Rachel Rosenthal, organizing expert and owner of Rachel and Company, said that these hangers from The Container Store are a go-to for her team when they are organizing a client’s closet. “It is a great option that saves space and also looks super sleek,” she said, adding that velvet non-slip in general “works great” for shirts. The hangers, which come in a pack of 10, are available in two styles: one for shirts and one for suits. You can also buy clips to hang pants or skirts off of them.
If you have a larger closet, Rosenthal said these wooden hangers are a sturdy option and noted that they “come in a few different variations great for shirts, blouses and pants.” When it comes to your shirts, just make sure you’re using a wooden hanger with a non-slip pad on the edge.
If you’re looking to organize your closet on a budget, plastic hangers are “low-cost, durable, sturdy and easy to wash if they become dirty or dusty,” according to Carrie Ypma, owner and CEO of Clutter Keeper. For shirts and dresses with thin straps, plastic hangers with notches or hooks can help keep the garments securely in place. However, Rosenthal noted that plastic hangers “can break and be unkind to the shoulders of your shirt,” so try to avoid using them if you’re not utilizing the notches and hooks.
For a more unified look in the closet, Rosenthal said she prefers to use the same hangers throughout. “I like sticking with the same type of hanger for pants that you are using for everything else — just with the bar,” she explained. However, if you are looking for an open-ended bar hanger, this one from ZOBER is a good option: It has a non-slip rubber coating and the design makes it easy to hang and remove your pants.
When hanging garments made of delicate fabrics like chiffon and silk, it’s important to look for a hanger that is padded. Rosenthal recommended these hangers from The Container Store since “the padding helps take care of the clothing that goes on it,” plus “helps keep the structure of the piece.” If you’re worried about your delicates falling to the floor, Ypma also noted that velvet hangers “keep your clothes from sliding off.”
“Something like a beaded dress might need a sturdier wooden hanger,” Rosenthal said. “This is great because it allows clothing that weighs more to be hung.”
The experts we consulted agreed that using a hanger with a bar is the best option for a suit as it saves a lot of space and helps keep suit jackets and pants together. This option from Quality Hangers is made from a durable solid wood and includes shoulder notches if you need to hang anything with thin straps.
If there’s one thing that you keep in mind while you organize and pick out hangers, it should be that wire hangers have no place in your closet. “Wire hangers are free for a reason,” Rosenthal said. “They bend easily and stretch out your clothing if the piece is hung on the hanger for too long. The hangers also do not prevent clothing from slipping off, so clothing always ends up on the floor.”
Generally, though, there is no overall superior material or style of hanger — it comes down to the type of garment and how much space you have in your closet. Below, experts explain how to shop for hangers based on the most common garment types.
The most important aspect of any shirt hanger, according to Rosenthal, is a non-slip feature. “When hanging shirts, a non-slip option like velvet or something like a wooden hanger with a non-slip pad on the edge works great,” she said. Hangers with notches or hooks on them are also useful for garments with thin straps.
Clip hangers are popular for hanging skirts and pants, and Ypma said that they can be a good option if you have ample closet space. (If you do use a clip hanger on your pants, just make sure to hang them upside down by the bottom cuffs of the pants to keep them “wrinkle-free and ready to wear.”) However, Rosenthal cautioned that clips can “damage clothing,” and both experts agreed that draping pants and skirts over a trouser bar is better for saving space and typically provides more structural support.
Experts advised against hanging sweaters on normal hangers. “They are just too easily stretched or damaged when they are hung,” Rosenthal said. However, if you want to keep your sweaters in your closet and have vertical space to space, she suggested using a hanging organizer like this one from The Container Store.
Another option, according to Ypma, is to drape the sweater over a hanger. “To do so, carefully fold the sweater in half vertically so the fold goes down the center and the arms of the sweater are laying on top of one another,” she explained. “Place the hanger on top of the sweater at an upside down angle so the hook is away from the sweater. Fold the arms of the sweater back over the top of the hanger and then fold the body of the sweater over the top of the other side of the hanger.”
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Morgan Greenwald is the SEO editor of Select on NBC News.
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