20 Different Types of Clothes Hangers


Ever walk into your closet only to find your clothes on the floor? Clothes hangers are something you do not think about until you need them. No longer find yourself stuck without the right one. Check out our article to get all the details on various types of clothes hangers.

A row of clothes in wooden clothes hangers on display at a store.

A clothing hanger is a necessity that we cannot seem to live without you. I do not know about you, but I always seem to run out of hangers. I never seem to have enough hangers, but I have no idea where they go. Every time I buy more hangers, I am surprised by how many different kinds of clothes hangers available. If you were ever uncertain which hanger you need for your clothes, keep reading for the ultimate guide on types of clothes hangers.

What Are Hangers?

The most basic definition of a clothes hanger is an object that holds some article of clothing and allows it to hang in our closet. It can hang from many other places, such as a doorknob, a door frame, and even on a shower head in the bathroom. What you might find most surprising is the type of hanger you select makes a huge difference.

You can keep your closet as clean and neat as possible, but it will still not look the way you want without the right hanger. If you have gone through the process of creating a custom closet, you want the best hangers you can find. Stop leaving your clothes on that clothing rack, get some yourself some hangers, and get that closet organized.

Types of Hangers

There are literally countless options when it comes to hangers, and they each have a purpose. Once you find out more about the various hangers, you might want to consider having other options for all of your different types of clothes. You may have a certain hanger style that you like best, but it may not be the right one for your clothes.

Dress Hanger / Shirt Hangers

A rack of blouses supported by wooden dress hangers.

You can pick any type of hanger for a dress or shirt, but you want one that has a divot or notch on the top bar. This prevents your tops, especially those with a silky type of fabric, from sliding right off the hanger. The worst thing is to walk into your closet and to see all of your clothes in a puddle on the floor. You can find hangers that have rubber on the ends to prevent your clothes from falling off. You might want to avoid a thin or plastic hanger for your shirts and dresses because they may bend and stretch the fabric.

Pant Hangers

Multiple pairs of pants supported by wooden pant hangers.

A pant hanger is special because its design keeps your pants neat, uncreased, and on the hanger. You do not always want to fold your pants and put them in a drawer because hanging them is best. A pants hanger has a trouser bar on which your pants can rest and stay in place. The thicker the bar means, the less creased your pants become.

Some pants hangers cover the trouser bar in the felt to protect your pants while keeping them locked in place. The trouser bar may be rounded or flat, and you simply slide your pants over the bar. These hangers are strong to handle the weight of your pants. A few variations of pants hangers are available.

The trouser bar may move and open to allow you to slide your pants in place. Some provide multiple trouser bars in a vertical line to allow you to hang numerous pairs of pants on the same hanger to save space in your closet. Some pants hangers have clips instead of the trouser bar to hold your pants in place. A clip hanger is best for jeans, so they will not get marks on the fabric from the clips.

Sweater Hangers

A variety of sweaters supported by sweater hangers.

Sweaters are challenging to hang because they are often made of delicate fabrics and must be handled properly. For this reason, they have their own hanger for those that do not want to fold them in a drawer. These hangers have a narrow flair at the shoulder portion of the hanger.

Suit Hangers

A rack of various coats supported by suit hangers.

When you have invested in a nice suit, you want to make sure you have the right hanger to protect your investment. A suit hanger is sturdy, will not crease your suit, and has the right shape to hold the jacket’s natural drape. A suit hanger has a trouser bar of felt and shoulder flares as wide as 2 to 2.5 inches.

The hanger itself should be long enough to extend to where the shoulder touches the sleeve on your suit jacket. You do not want it to extend any further than that. The size of the suit hanger is important because you will crush your suit with the wrong size. If your suit has padding around the shoulders, you want the hanger to support the weight without stretching the padding. Wire hangers are not ideal for a suit.

Skirt Hangers

Colorful skirts hanging on wooden skirt hangers.

If you want a skirt hanger that will not damage the fabric of your skirt, you need one with clips coated with rubber. You can find them with clips that are coated in vinyl to protect your skirts. Many of these hangers offer the ability to add on more hooks to hang multiple skirts vertically to have you save room in your closet.

Belt Hangers

A red metal belt hanger supporting multiple belts.

If you love belts, you may become frustrated with your lack of a place to store them. Perhaps you do what many have done for years, hanging them by the buckle on the hook part of the hanger. This makes them difficult to see, and you have to lift up the hanger to put them on and take them off. It is ideal for you to hang your belts by their buckle.

A dedicated belt hanger allows you to hang them by the buckle, keep them organized and easy to see. There are several variations of a belt hanger. One is a rack that is mounted with a small hook for each belt. Some have a hook that can hang on a closet rod. They are made of plastic or metal, and some have velvet or rubber to keep the hangers in place.

Scarf Hangers

A row of scarves on a scarf hanger.

If you have a scarf collection, you want to protect them. Scarves are often made of delicate fabrics like silk or thin materials and need to be hung properly. Good news, there is a hanger for your scarves. They have many loops perfect for each individual scarf you have. They usually have a velvet type material covering the scarf hanger to protect your favorite scarves.

Tie Hangers

Colorful neckties on display supported by tie hangers.

If you wear ties, you are probably proud of your tie collection and want to keep it safe and stored properly. It would be best if you untied them when you are finished wearing them. After that, you can choose to roll them and store them in a drawer, if you have the drawer space.

Or, you can get a tie hanger. If you have a tie rack, this is a similar concept. A tie hanger is most likely your best option if you have a large number of ties. A tie hanger gives you a dedicated hook for your ties so that you can hang many of them on one hanger. They will be in excellent condition and ready for you to wear.

Lingerie Hangers

Various lingerie hanging on lingerie hangers.

Lingerie is tricky because it is usually a silky material that slides easily. They usually have thin straps that also make it difficult to keep them on a hanger. A lingerie hanger has velvet or fabric wrapped around it to protect the delicate material of your undergarments. Having a hanger with fabric on it allows your lingerie to stay put and not fall, all while protecting the fabric from wear.

Shoe Hangers

A close look at a set of shoe hangers for storing shoes.

This may seem like a silly type of hanger until you use one. If you have many shoes and do not have the space to keep them in boxes, a shoe hanger is exactly what you need. This type of hanger comes in many different options. They are usually attempting to save space while keeping all your shoes in one place. They typically attach or hang on the back of your closet door. They may have a pocket in which your shoes fit next to each other. Or, they may have a rounded type of hook that you can slide your shoe on.

Travel Hangers

Hslife 20 Pcs Portable Black Folding Clothes Hangers, Portable Folding Travel Hangers, Foldable Clothes Drying Rack for Travel
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If you find yourself often traveling for business or pleasure, you probably need a travel hanger. Hotels provide hangers, but they may not have enough or may not have the kind you want. If protecting your clothes is important to you, then a travel hanger is for you. These hangers fold so you can store them in your luggage. They provide you with a sturdy option to preserve your clothes and minimize wrinkles.

Materials for Hangers

Just as there are different types of hangers, there are different materials for hangers. Some are best suited for a particular type of clothing. Some are more pleasing to the eye. Some others focus on helping you organize and provide storage solutions.

Wire Hangers

A close look at a set of colorful wire hangers.

The infamous wire hanger has been used in a varied number of ways over the years. They are intended to hang clothing items but really have a countless number of tasks they can perform. If you bend them differently, at one time, they could be used as a television antenna, although there is not of much of a need for that in our technologically advanced world.

They can be used for decorations, crafts, and get to items that are out of reach. This is the hanger you will get when you pick up your clothes from the dry cleaner because they are affordable. Wire hangers tolerate lightweight fabrics well. They really are not meant to be a permanent solution for hanging clothes because they quickly bend out of shape.

This causes your clothes to bend and stretch. A good way to get rid of your wire hangers is to take them back to your dry cleaner. They are pleased to take them off your hands.

Pros:

Inexpensive

Plentiful supply

Variety of uses

Cons:

Incredibly thin

Bend and break easily

Plastic Hangers

This is a close look at a row of plastic hangers on a rack.

Plastic clothes hangers are another fan favorite and maybe even more commonplace than the wire hanger. You can find plastic hangers in an array of colors and sizes. They are inexpensive and easy to find. Plastic hangers come in a large variety. You can find the tubular type hangers that most people have in their homes. There are also large clear or black plastic hangers you see in stores. These hangers usually have a metal hook and are much more durable. They are not exactly pretty, though.

These are ideal children’s hangers because their clothes are smaller and typically less expensive. Plastic hangers work well for tops, lightweight dresses, and children’s clothes. Plastic hangers bend out of shape when heavier clothing is hung on them. When they bend, they put pressure on your clothes in odd places and cause them to stretch. Plastic hangers work well in specific instances. As long as you stick to those, they should work well for you, too.

Pros:

Inexpensive

Plentiful supply

Variety of colors and sizes

Cons:

Bend and break under too much pressure

Wood Hangers

A close look at a row of wooden hangers at a store.

Wood clothes hangers look beautiful and hold up really well even with the heaviest clothing items, such as coats. They will not bend on you. If you select a more expensive wood, it may have other useful qualities. Cedar hangers help fight bad smells and bugs. A wooden hanger will not snag or stretch your clothes.

These types of hangers are more expensive but will last a long time and are a must for heavier items. They are a perfect jacket hanger. You will spend a little more upfront on wooden hangers, but you will save money because you will not have to replace them once they have snapped or broken.

Pros:

Durable

Beautiful

An ideal coat hanger

Cons:

Expensive

Velvet Hangers

A row of velvet hangers on a wooden rack.

A velvet hanger is great for your delicate materials. These types of nonslip hangers are wrapped in velvet or velvet-like material. This gives you a surface where your clothes will not slip. When your clothes do not slip, it reduces the pressure put on them.

You do not want to hang wet or damp clothes on a velvet hanger because the color will transfer to your clothes. Velvet hangers often come with a divot perfect for thin straps. You can find these hangers in many different colors allowing you to add a pop of color to your closet.

Pros:

Perfect for delicates

Many color options

Cons:

Bleeds on clothes when wet

Satin Hangers

HANGERWORLD 4 Ivory 17inch Satin Padded Top Garment Bridal Wedding Clothes Coat Hangers
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Satin hangers are fabric and have contoured padding to protect your clothes from creases or damage. They bring a look of class and sophistication to your closet. You can even find them with bows or other touches to make them more appealing. These are the perfect option for special occasion clothing and dresses. You can find them in many different colors to match your outfit or your closet if you want to make it more visual. This type of hanger is not best for a heavier type of clothing such as coats.

Pros:

Perfect for a special occasion garment

Many color options

Looks nice hanging in your closet

Cons:

Not ideal for heavy material

Fabric Hangers

Padded Hangers Anti Slip - Premium Heavy Duty Thick Satin Soft Fabric No Shoulder Bump Hangers with Gold Hooks for Women's Cloth, Sweaters, Dresses, Clothing, Weddings, Lingerie - Earthtone, Set of 12
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These are a unique type of hanger for a fun look for your closet. They usually have prints on the fabric. They are considered a specialty hanger with fabric wrapped around the hanger and some type of material to provide padding for the clothing. You can special order these hangers, but you can also create them yourself if you are so inclined.

Pros:

It can be used for all types of clothing

Many color options

Looks nice hanging in your closet

Cons:

Expensive

Usually, a custom order

Flocked Hangers

These hangers have a hard frame covered by a softshell. They are a close cousin of the padded hanger but are often more durable. They have softer material on the outside. They protect your clothes while providing stability. This is considered a slim hanger because it is thinner than other fabric materials. They hold their shape and do not usually bend and work well for heavier clothing, such as coats.

Pros:

Thinner than most hangers

Soft material for clothes

Cons:

More expensive

Huggable Hangers

Simplify 10 Super Slim Velvet Huggable Hangers in Black
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A huggable hanger is a great option when you want to organize your closet and save space. They take up half the space of most other hangers, especially the equally loved and hated plastic hanger. They have a velvet-like surface that grips your clothes to prevent them from falling on the floor.

The huggable hanger comes in a wide range of colors. You can color coordinate them or just pick your favorite color and go to town. They are perfectly shaped as not to put any weird bumps in your tops. There are numerous accessories for huggable hangers, such as clips, to make them even more useful.

Pros:

Take up less space

Colorful

Cons:

Not all the colors are pleasing

Petite Hangers

A gray sweater and a lingerie in a petite hanger.

Do you wear petite clothes and find that the average hanger is often too big for your tops? The petite hanger is just for you. These hangers are more narrow and will not put bumps in your clothes in awkward places. A petite hanger is typically about 2 inches shorter than an average hanger.

Pros:

Perfect for smaller sized clothing

Cons:

Cannot be used for clothes that are not petites or juniors

Brief History

Some people like to attribute the modern-day clothes hanger to Thomas Jefferson. The general thought is that O.A. North invented the first hanger in 1860. It was made from wire and twisted in the middle creating ovals and a hook on top.

A close look at a row of vintage metal hangers.

These hangers were marketed to align themselves with the newly formed unions. The next 150 years brought about some slight changes to the hanger. It remained utilitarian, and the shape morphed slightly over those years. The hanger was made from materials the extended beyond metal into plastic, velvet, and wood.

When hangers were first invented, it was intended to hold only one item. Since then, hangers were created to hold multiple items. Some have clips and divots to hold clothes in place. In more recent years, hangers have been used for decorations and projects. Some have been known to be bent in different directions and used to reach items hidden under the bed or in some other hard to reach place.

Where to Buy

Clothing hangers are easy to find, most of the time. It does seem when you need them immediately, you cannot find them. It is helpful to know where to look. Plastic hangers are the easiest to find in a local store, especially a container store. If you want a specialty hanger or wooden hangers, Amazon is always a safe bet. They have numerous styles that are sure to meet your needs.

With a quick search, you can find online retailers selling the most popular version of any clothing hanger you would like. Other merchants, like Wayfair and Hayneedle, offer a wide selection of clothing hangers. Ikea and Bed Bath and Beyond are also an excellent option to find many different hangers, including metal hangers and acrylic hanger options. You can purchase hangers online or visit your local store.

FAQs

What Are the Right Hangers for Your Clothes?

When looking for the right hanger for your clothes, the weight of the item plays a significant role. You want to make sure the hanger you select can hold the weight without bending or breaking. You want to make sure that the hanger is the appropriate size for your item. If it is too small, your piece of clothing will fall off.

Which Type of Clothes Hanger Do You Need Most?

Plastic hangers are the most common. Plastic hangers are inexpensive and easy to find, but they are the most generic. They can be used for a typical clothing item of average weight and size that you are likely to have in your wardrobe.

Is A Wire Clothes Hanger Recyclable?

Depending on where you live, wire hangers may or may not be recyclable. Each city makes those determinations based on the recycling equipment they have. Some of the equipment is not able to accept the metal and shape of wire hangers. There are some other recycling options available to you. You can take them to the dry cleaner in your local area. Usually, they are glad to take them. If both of those reach dead ends for you, you can make some designs and interesting projects with them, if you so desire.

Are Clothes Hangers Allowed on Airplanes?

Yes, most hangers can be brought on to a plane in your carry on bag. You can also carry most hangers in your checked bags. Be prepared for TSA to check your bags if you put a wire hanger in your carry on bag.

Is It Better to Hang Your Clothes or Fold Them?

There are some clothes that should be put on a hanger instead of being folded. These items include dresses, trousers, blouses, suit jackets, and anything that will wrinkle. Sweaters, t-shirts, and jeans are better suited to be folded.

Are Velvet Hangers Worth the Price?

Velvet hangers are ideal for tops that have a wide neck. They will not slip off a velvet hanger like they do many others. They have a slim design and will save space. They are expensive and may bleed off your clothes. Depending on the material, they may leave fuzz on your clothes.

Can I Prevent Hangers From Leaving Marks on my Clothes?

If you use the proper type of hanger for your clothes type, you can minimize the bumps left on your clothes from hangers. Some other tricks you can try include turning your clothes inside out before hanging them on the hanger. When you turn the right way, any bumps will be less noticeable. If your hanger has a trouser bar, you can use that for tops as well as pants. Fold a short-sleeved shirt in half longways and fold it over the bar.

What Are the Best Clothes Hangers?

The best hangers are a slimline hanger that prevents your clothes from falling onto the floor. Velvet nonslip hangers are going to be your best choice. Remember to make sure your clothes are drying before hanging them on a velvet hanger.