Today's machines fall into two main categories depending on how they heat—either with electricity or gas. Both will get the job done effectively, but a gas model will set you back a hundred or so dollars more initially than a comparable electric dryer. Gas styles do offer potential savings in fuel costs, however, so they're worth considering if your home already has a convenient gas hookup.
To get the best bang for your buck, look for a model equipped with a moisture sensor. This feature... detects dampness in clothing and can stop the dryer when your clothes are dry, preventing the appliance from wasting energy. A dryer without one may continue tumbling unnecessarily since it can't sense that clothes are done. Steam and sanitize settings are useful, too, particularly if you have young kids or pets, or you want to make sure your bedding gets especially clean.
As far as prices go, you can expect most dryers to fall somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 to $1,500. From a sleek, stackable German spinner to a made-in-the-USA, starter model and everything in between, here’s a no-spin guide to buying a new dryer.
01 of 07
This front-loading gas dryer from Whirlpool represents our best overall value in a gas dryer that is efficient, reliable and features good looks.
While it isn’t the flashiest front-loading gas dryer on the market, we can’t pick on this Whirpool model for its simple door design and easy-to-use controls. Spin the modernized dial to pick from six dry cycles, then use the digital keypad to make changes to heat temperature, dryness levels and to add Wrinkle Shield or switch to EcoBoost mode.
Users find... the 7.4 cubic foot of drum space to be plenty for drying even bulky blankets, and the quad baffles keep things moving freely throughout the cycle. One drawback is the lack of a light inside the dryer to assist in finding wayward socks or disappearing dishcloths. But if your laundry room has sufficient lighting, this shouldn’t be a large obstacle to enjoying all of the other performance features of this gas dryer. If you’re looking for the best overall gas dryer on the market today, the Whirlpool WGD75HEFW is a great choice for an appliance that will make laundry day more efficient, while saving you money on energy costs thanks to EcoBoost and sensor-driven drying cycles.
02 of 07
The Kenmore 68132 features a fresh take on the styling of a top loading electric dryer. It combines great looks with solid performance — making it our overall top pick for an electric dryer.
This 8.8 cubic foot dryer is sufficiently sized for the average family’s laundry needs, and then some. While there are a few dryers on the market that outrank the Kenmore 68132 in terms of capacity, this machine is plenty capable of drying large loads of sheets, towels, and more. It earns praise for its... ability to efficiently tumble and dry laundry while using sensors to detect moisture levels and end the cycle when a load is dry.
This machine is sure to make an impression in your laundry room — in a good way. With a sleek glass window giving you a live-action view into the dryer’s tumbling show, a quick glance may give the impression that this is a front-loading dryer. In reality, this dryer features a traditional top-loading design with a modern twist. The dryer features ten cycles including a sanitation cycle, but relatively few other specialty cycles common on the most high-end dryers today. But, ask yourself if you honestly will ever use some of the fancy and less common dryer cycles available. If the answer is no, skip the fluff on the machine and stick to the Kenmore 68132, which promises to fluff your towels and look good doing it.
03 of 07
Sometimes simple is better, and flashy features can be overrated, especially if you don't have much use for them. If that sounds like your personal philosophy, then this Amana electric dryer may be just the right fit for your laundry room – and it’s certainly a good fit for most wallets, too. This basic white model has 6.5 cubic feet of space to handle larger loads, but it’s not devoid of bonuses, including a convenient wrinkle prevention setting.
Make no mistake: This sizable powerhouse... still offers a moisture sensor that prevents over-drying and 11 cycles, including a “timed dry” option where you can set and forget about a load for up to an hour. Users report quiet operation and a cavernous drum that can accommodate towels, sleeping bags, and comforters easily. One design flaw is the lack of a buzzer or bell at the conclusion of a cycle. But that's just a slight inconvenience to overcome for the bargain basement price tag. It comes with a one-year warranty.
04 of 07
When you need a clothes dryer that can do it all, the LG DLEX7700VE is a good choice. Available in white and graphite, this electric model boasts a huge 9 cubic foot drum that means even the largest loads will dry in no time. And there are 14 drying cycles, ensuring the right setting no matter what you need – options include all the usual choices plus steam, sanitize, and much more. It also gets top expert marks for performance and convenience.
Even more bells and whistles await on this LG,... though – it has a moisture sensor, options that fight wrinkles and static, five temperature settings and drying levels, a child lock and a door that can both swing open or unlatch hamper-style. Reviewers love this feature, which they say makes it easy to drop additional clothes in without items tumbling out. There are few complaints about noise – this model nails expert tests there, too. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Next up in the race to be the most versatile dryer on our list is the Maytag Bravos XL MEDB855DW. This electric dryer (a gas model is available as well) is slightly smaller in capacity than our top pick for most versatile dryer, with 8.8 cubic feet in comparison to LG’s 9.0 cubic feet.
Even still, the Maytag Bravos offers tremendous capacity paired with an impressive amount of cycles that make it a strong second choice for the most versatile clothes dryer. This dryer has all of the expected... cycles, and a few novel additions such as the Power Dry (offering high heat for heavy loads), Sanitize, Rapid Dry and Denim. The ability to select specific cycles to match your laundry load is an easy way to ensure that your garment care is efficient and results in less wear and tear on your clothes.
The interior drum of the Maytag Bravos features an additional fin to assist in keeping items tumbling freely through the machine and thereby increasing efficiency. To dispose of lint, you’ll need to open the lint trap at the front of the machine, rather than peel the lint off a screen. Many users find it to be less messy when disposing of the lint. Overall, the Maytag Bravos XL is a full-featured dryer that can handle any load you put inside.
06 of 07
Some of the fanciest dryers on the market today feature a full suite of specialty cycles, super large capacities and the technology to keep you in control of your laundry no matter where you are. Our top pick for a high-end dryer offers all of these features and more. The Samsung FlexDry Electric Dryer is an electric dryer with plenty of appealing capabilities to warrant its expensive price tag.
The dryer offers 7.5 cubic feet of drying capacity which is less than some dryers on our list — but... also gives you a second, independent drying rack located on top of the primary front-loading dryer drum. This smaller flex dryer is perfect for more delicate clothing items or drying items that may not hold up to a tumble through the drum, such as well-loved stuffed animals.
The high-end features don’t stop there. As you would expect, the Samsung FlexDry has an abundance of specialty drying cycles to address your laundry needs. Choose from 12 preset cycles, then customize based on heat temperature, anti-static and wrinkle prevention modes, plus more. Maybe the most exciting thing about this high-end dryer is its WiFi capability and app access. Using the app, you can monitor a cycle’s remaining time, start the dryer from anywhere, or receive a reminder when your laundry is dry and ready for folding. With high-end features comes a more expensive price tag, but it’s interesting to note that this luxury dryer isn’t the most expensive on the market. Thanks to its many capabilities, however, it earns our pick for the most high-end dryer.
07 of 07
If you want a dryer that automatically takes over after the washer is done, then consider an all-in-one unit. This LG Front Load Washer and Electric Ventless Dryer is compact and efficient.
After your load has run through the wash cycle, the unit jumps in and begins the drying cycle. The 2.3 cubic feet drum is on the small size, but it more than makes up for it with an abundance of cycles. Choose from seven drying cycles to meet the needs of your clothes, towels, delicates, and more.
This... all-in-one washer and dryer is also equipped with LoDecibel technology to reduce the noise heard during the dryer cycle. Additionally, this is a ventless dryer — meaning you won’t need external ventilation to take advantage of the dryer cycle. One thing to note is that while ventless technology offers flexibility for where to place the unit, it does often mean longer drying cycles. Keep this in mind if you’re looking for a ventless dryer. If you’re tight on space or looking for a unit that will do double-duty and automatically dry your clothes, choose this model from appliance giant LG.
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