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Vileda Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer review: our verdict on lightweight clothes drying solution

The sun is shining and it's the perfect time to invest in a rotary washing line. We tested this mid-range airer from Vileda to see how it performed drying clothing, bedding and towels.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Jun 27, 2023

Vileda Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer

Price on writing: £75 | Buy now from Argos

What we like

  • Easy-to-use rachet system to alter height

  • Clip-on hooks to accommodate clothes hangers

  • Comes with a good-quality cover

What we don’t like

  • Square pole may not fit all existing rotary airer holes

  • Difficult to get ground socket into the grass

Our verdict

A lightweight, but sturdy, rotary washing line that comes with some helpful features, including a rachet system to alter the height and ensure the lines stay taut, and four clip-on hooks to accommodate coat hangers, offering more drying options during those sunny summer days. But beware if you hope to replace an old rotary airer with the Vileda Sun-Lift - the square base may not fit any existing round holes.

Key Specs

Brand: Vileda | Dimensions open: 2.18m turning circle | Material: Aluminium and plastic | Ground socket included: Yes | Cover included: Yes | Maximum Load: Three washing loads | Guarantee: Three years

What’s in the box?

  • Drying umbrella

  • Aluminium pole

  • Plastic ground socket

  • Four plastic clip-on hooks

  • Weather cover

What’s the Vileda Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer like to assemble?

Vileda Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer

The Vileda Sun-Lift was reasonably easy to assemble - at first. Just one screw was required to fix the lightweight aluminium pole to the drying umbrella. The problem came when we tried to put the Sun-Lift pole into the hole on our patio that had been vacated by our own rotary airer. The hole is round and the Sun-Lift is flat sided at the bottom. We were literally trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

The manufacturer recommends the Sun-Lift is concreted in, with the ground socket going in a hole measuring around 18 inches deep and 12 inches square (8 inches of concrete and 4 inches of soil), then seed if you're setting it in a lawn.

Unwilling to start digging random holes in the garden and pouring concrete, my husband and I managed to set the airer up by using a length of wood, feeding it from the existing hole in the patio, up through the tube of the airer. Granted it was a bit of a bodge job and left the airer looking rather wonky, but otherwise we would have struggled to test the Sun-Lift at all.

The rotary airer can be adjusted to between 1.55 m and 1.72 m in height and the ratchet system, although slightly stiff, is excellent for ensuring the lines stay tight.

Can the Vileda Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer be used on grass?

Yes the Vileda Sun-Lift Compact Rotary Airer can be used on grass, preferably concreted in.

When I tested the Sun-Lift, the lawn was pretty sunbaked, and with no ground spike, getting the ground socket in would have been a challenge, to say the least.

Is the Vileda Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer easy to use?


Despite the faffing around setting it up, the Sun-Lift is easy to use and is actually a pretty good little airer. It glides up and down smoothly before the ratchet system (pictured) holds everything in place with the required tension.

The airier boasts 40 metres of drying space, the equivalent of three loads of washing. At the end of each of the four drying arms there is a helpful hook which can accommodate hangers, to help avoid problematic clothes peg marks on shirts or your best dress. The Sun-Lift also comes with four additional clip-on hooks which can be placed wherever you see fit.

How do you store the Vileda Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer?

The Vileda Sun-Lift comes with an all-weather cover, which has a drawstring around the bottom to keep it secure. The cover is made of thick, good quality material, so there is little chance of rips or tears forming.

If you wanted to take your rotary airer down to store it in the shed, simply fold the arms down and lift the airer out of the concreted ground socket. The ground socket comes with a handy lid which can be closed when not in use to prevent the rain from getting in.

Does the Vileda Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer offer value for money?


Priced at £75 at the time of writing (June 22nd, 2023), the Vildea Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer is nearly half the price of Mumsnet favourite the Brabantia Lift-O-Matic Rotary Washing Line (RRP £149), although it does offer less drying space.

If you like the idea of a Vileda rotary airer, but are looking to save even more pennies, then you may want to consider the Vileda 4 Arm Rotary Washing Line, which costs around £50, instead. This rotary airer has 45 metres of drying space, but doesn’t come with the rachet line tightening feature. It also comes without a cover, so if this feature is important to you then you will need to splash out. The good news is that you can pick up a brand new cover for five or six pounds.

One final reminder: If you are considering buying the Vileda Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer to replace your old airer, don’t forget that the Vileda has a flat edge at the bottom. This means it is unlikely to fit into any existing rotary airer holes that you have on your patio, so you may need to reconsider where to put it. Don't get caught out.

To find out more about how the Vileda Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer compares to others on the market, check out our guide to the best rotary washing lines, full of tried and tested recommendations from Mumsnet users. We also have handy guides to the best clothes pegs, best laundry detergents and best fabric softeners to help keep your clothes clean and smelling as fresh as a daisy.

How we tested

The Vileda Sun-Lift 40m Compact Rotary Airer was put through its paces at our reviewer Laura's home on the patio in her south-facing garden. The weather was sunny, with a moderate breeze.

We used the airer to dry bedding, towels, children’s and adults clothing.

If you liked this review, you might want to check out what our reviewer thought about the Beldray 60 Metre Rotary Airer.