Value: 19/20
Functionality: 18/20
• Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
• Aesthetics: 20/20
• Versatility: 18/20
TOTAL: 95/100

I’ll admit it: Keeping my sink area neat is not my forte. And I’m even lucky enough to have a dishwasher! Still, it seems there’s always a few lipstick-marked coffee cups and smeared toast plates and (don’t judge!) that cast iron pan still dirty from dinner two nights ago lingering around.

But, on a whim, I invested in a new gadget that instantly altered my kitchen cleanup protocol. The Food52 Five Two Over-the-Sink Drying Rack is a retractable screen that fits over half my sink, so I can quickly wash a few items then place them immediately to my left to rinse and drip-dry, without getting my counters wet. Then, after the dishes are dry, I can put them back where they belong and retract the rack back to the edge of the sink, where it unobtrusively waits for the next round of dishes.

No joke, everyone who sees this little rack remarks on how cool it is. Our housekeeper, who is a veritable eye-rolling skeptic at household gadgetry, has enthused over it. My boyfriend, a snob about anything kitchen-related, approved of its pedigree from Food52, the food site and culinary shopping destination co-founded by an ex-New York Times food editor. And yes, even my teenage son, who by my estimation has averaged washing one dish for every 18 months he’s been on this earth, stopped me to say how cool he thinks the rack is. That’s because it is cool—from the sturdy weight of its stainless-steel construction to the thick silicone coating that slightly “gives” under even the lightest touch (and protects the edges of delicate dishes and glassware from nicks).

The Five Two Drying Rack even includes a slender utensils holder and it easily doubles as a veggie rinsing rack for my salad fixins. (However, it’s not suitable for rinsing everything, as I found out in an unfortunate mishap involving lasagna noodles falling through the slats.) Also, since it’s heat-safe to 550 degrees, you can use the rack on your countertop as a trivet for scalding pots.

TLDR: This sturdy little $45 rack, which comes in grey, slate blue and white (or “smoked salt,” as the uber-aestheticized site terms the hue) and will be my go-to gift for all my mom friends. My final words of wisdom: Buy yours now because Food52 says these babies sell out fast and I think this could be the next housewares craze (coming for you, Nugget couch).

Buy It ($45)

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