How to Pick the Right Hangers for Your Closet

How to pick between the four most popular styles of hangers.

Amanda Thomas
4-minute read
Episode #209

When I help clients organize their closets, one of the questions they ask is, “What hangers do you recommend?” I find that most people like the look of having uniform hangers throughout their closets, but it is a financial commitment to switch them all to the same look. For that reason, most times people end up with a hodgepodge of hangers because they aren’t willing to invest the money in to buying all new ones.

To help you make the decision of which hangers are the best fit for your needs, here are a few pros and cons for the most popular kinds of hangers on the market today.

Plastic Tube Hangers – Pros:

Plastic tube hangers are the least expensive hangers on the market. You can often find a package of 10 hangers for under $2, which makes them a cheap and easy option for stocking an entire closet. When I was living in apartments and moving at the end of each year-long lease, I loved these hangers because they were so light and easy to move. They also come in a variety of colors, so you can help use them for organizing your closet by using different colors for different types of clothing (his and hers, maternity and not maternity). Even if you don’t want to use them to organize your closet, you can find your favorite color and use it as a way to brighten up your closet’s appearance. The other thing that’s great about plastic hangers is how easily items slip on and off this hanger. There is nothing sticky on them, so you can easily hang clothes without extra tugging. Likewise, when you’re in a morning rush, you can grab a shirt one-handed and quickly pull it off the hanger.

Plastic Tube Hangers – Cons:

The biggest downside of plastic tube hangers is that they aren’t super durable. If you hang a heavy item on a plastic tube hanger, over time it is going to change the shape of the hanger. This is especially evident if you try and use a plastic hanger to hang a folded pair of pants. The heavy pants will often stretch the bottom bar of the hanger, warping the entire shape of the hanger. Another negative to the plastic hangers is that they are slippery and clothes can slide off. While that slickness can be an advantage when you’re in a rush to get ready, it might mean that you accidentally take down 2 other shirts when you pull one off a hanger.

Wire Hangers – Pros

There are two types of wire hangers that frequent most people’s closets. The first are the nice, sturdy wire hangers that can be purchased in the closet organizing sections of many home stores. These are nice looking wire hangers, with a very slim profile. They’re fairly durable, and they look great in a modern looking closet. The other type of wire hangers are the ones that typically come from the dry cleaners. They are thinner, so they take up very little space in a closet. Oh, and they’re “free” with your dry cleaning service, so it’s super easy to just keep your clothes on these hangers and stick them right into your closet.

Wire Hangers – Cons

There are two main negatives about wire hangers. The first is that the ones from the dry cleaners are very flimsy. They lose their shape very easily if the items hanging on them have any sort of weight. The other downside is that clothes can become misshapen on these hangers because they are so thin. Any tops with sleeves are prone to developing “wings” in the shoulders when hung on wire hangers. With the exception of button up dress shirts, there aren’t many items I would personally leave hanging on wire hangers.