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Pairing your washing machine with an effective dryer is an absolute must. Your clean clothes aren't ready to wear without this large appliance—or at least not in a timely manner. Luckily, there's a variety of clothes dryers that can gently tackle everything from your delicates, to your bath towels, and sneakers.
Thanks to modern technology, most of these machines can also dry your clothes in a way that minimizes wrinkles, saves energy, and keeps lint at bay. They come in both gas and electric models. Most full-sized dryers have a capacity around 7.0 cubic feet that can hold your weekly load of whites, unless you opt for a larger capacity model.
Below, the best clothes dryers for an easier and better laundry day.
Best Overall: Maytag MED5630HW 7.3 cu. ft. 240-Volt White Stackable Electric Vented Dryer
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 7.3 cubic feet | Vent Type: Vented | Cycles: 10 | Drying Temperatures: 4 | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: Yes
Advanced moisture sensing
No steam function
No reversible door
The roomy and practical Maytag MED5630HW is a top option for a dryer. This model gives you 7.3 cubic feet of space, and is up to the challenge of thoroughly drying loads large and small, and doing so without creating a ton of extra noise. It’s equipped with advanced moisture sensing to ensure that each load is dry without wasting excess energy on a cycle. In addition, a wrinkle prevent setting can continue to tumble the load for up to 150 minutes after it's completed, to minimize ironing time on items like shirts or pants.
Now, this model might not have a steam function or reversible door, but it does have an extra power button and quick dry setting that you'll likely appreciate. Both of these options boost the power of the machine and ensure that laundry day doesn't drag on. You can also opt to purchase a pedestal or stacking kit separately, to give your laundry room some extra storage and floor space. All in all, at a decent price, this Maytag dryer covers the basics and then some, making it our best overall pick.
Best Budget: Amana NED4655EW 6.5 cu. ft. Top Load Electric Dryer with Wrinkle Prevent Option
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 6.5 cubic feet | Vent Type: Vented | Cycles: 11 | Drying Temperatures: 3 | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: No
Can prevent wrinkles
11 different cycles
No steam function
The Amana NED4655EW marries a good price point with valuable features. This budget clothes dryer isn’t the fanciest model on the market, but includes settings that make it easy and efficient to dry your laundry.
The 6.5-cubic-foot drum isn’t the largest capacity dryer on the market, but offers plenty of room for average-sized loads. In addition, an auto-dry sensor ensures each cycle only lasts as long as necessary to get your clothes dry. Plus, there's an optional wrinkle prevention setting, which will save you time with your ironing board, and make sure your shirts and pants are ready-to-wear upon coming out of the dryer.
Best Electric: LG Electronics DLE7300WE 7.3 cu. ft. Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Electric Dryer
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 7.3 cubic feet | Vent Type: Vented | Cycles: 8 | Drying Temperatures: 5 | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes
Requires a 220/240V outlet
If you’re in the market for an electric dryer, remember that you’ll need a 220/240V outlet to plug your machine in to. Electric dryers require extra voltage to generate heat, along with power the controls and turn the drum. Many spaces and laundry rooms are already equipped for an electric dryer, so you may have no issues with installing this eye-catching model that offers easy loading, a range of cycles, and quiet operation.
Most notably, the LG DLE7300WE has a dual-opening door that can be opened hamper-style or to the side, depending on your preference or the configuration of your washing machine. Some people like opening it hamper style to prevent any clothes from falling on the floor, or to use it as a place to quickly fold a small load of clothes. In addition, the eight drying cycles and options are easy to use, and a FlowSense Duct Clogging indicator helps to ensure that lint doesn’t linger in your vent system and impair dryer performance.
Best Gas: LG Electronics DLGX4001W 7.4 cu. ft. White Ultra Large Capacity Gas Dryer
Fuel Type: Gas | Capacity: 7.4 cubic feet | Vent Type: Vented | Cycles: 12 | Drying Temperatures: 5 | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes
Can be controlled with voice commands
Learning curve with smart technology
Requires a touch-up cycle at times
The LG Electronics DLGX4001W will check off many of your boxes, if you're not only looking for a gas dryer, but also one that's very functional. This appliance is stackable, equipped with a steam function, and can be controlled by other smart devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Not to mention, its drum has a total of 7.4 cubic feet of space, meaning it can handle a ton of clothes, sheets, or towels at once.
Of course, there's always a learning curve with laundry, as you may ask yourself regularly what setting your load should go on. This machine eliminates all of that guesswork, by using AI technology to select the appropriate settings. On its own, it'll select the best drying motions and temperature for the type of fabric in a load, assuming you pick the "sensor dry" setting. The model also features settings for bedding, delicates, and sanitizing. When a cycle is done, remove everything with ease, as it has a reversible door with a tempered glass window that won't easily get scratched.
Best Energy-Efficient: Electrolux EFME627UTT 8.0 cu. ft. Front Load Perfect Steam Electric Dryer
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 8.0 cubic feet | Vent Type: Vented | Cycles: 9 | Drying Temperatures: 5 | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: Yes
Energy Star certified
Fast dry setting
No smart features
By design, dryers require a fair bit of energy to operate. Between generating hot air, and tumbling a drum to take your clothes from drippy to dry, consuming a lot of energy is inevitable. But, you can offset some of the energy costs by choosing an energy-efficient dryer like the Electrolux EFME627UTT. This traditional vented clothes dryer will fit the needs of most households, despite using a heat pump—which sometimes gets a bad rap for not thoroughly drying clothes.
This dryer is part of a very energy-efficient washer and dryer duo and is Energy Star certified. This unit uses about 600 kWh, according to the Energy Star rating. Some of the features that will make a difference in your everyday routine include a 15-minute fast dry setting, that lets you dry smaller loads of clothes quickly and thoroughly without extended cycle times. In addition, an eco mode minimizes the energy consumption without sacrificing the dryer’s performance.
Best for Small Spaces: LG Electronics WKEX200HBA 27 in. Black Steel WashTower Laundry Center
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 7.4 cubic feet | Vent Type: Vented | Cycles: 9 | Drying Temperatures: 5 | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes
Central control panel
Can be used with LG ThinQ app
Re-tumbles clothes that are done
Bulky items can be damp
If you’re tight on space, the LG WKEX200HBA is a great solution. It combines a washer and dryer into a single unit, and allows you to control both via a central control panel. Unlike other laundry centers, you'll notice the doors are both front-loading, which makes it easy to operate. In addition, the unit can be used alongside the LG ThinQ app, which helps you select cycles or save your very own presets.
When it comes to the dryer, you're certainly not limited on space. The stainless steel drum has 7.4 cubic feet of space, which is plenty for tumbling king-sized sheets or even a comforter. Now, if you do want to tumble a bulkier item, be prepared to run a quick touch-up cycle to tackle any damp spots. If you leave a freshly-dried load in the dryer for a bit, also be prepared to find your machine running again, as the dryer will occasionally re-tumble the clothes for up to three hours after the cycle has completed. This is how the machine prevents wrinkles from forming, while still offering a compact build that's great for small laundry rooms or closets.
Best Stackable: Samsung DVE45R6100P 7.5 cu. ft. Stackable Electric Dryer with Steam
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 7.5 cubic feet | Vent Type: Vented | Cycles: 10 | Drying Temperatures: 5 | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: No
Can't be controlled with voice commands
The stackable Samsung DVE45R6100P doesn’t skimp on features, functionality, or style. While you can position it next to your existing washing machine, it's also able to stack on top of its matching washer—the Samsung WF45R6100AP. It has the option to be put on a matching pedestal, for easy access to the 7.5-cubic-foot drum. You can make use of its reversible door too, which can swing open toward your washer or away from it, depending on the layout of your home and what's a more convenient system for you.
This model has many thoughtful amenities like that, that take it to the next level. For example, there's a steam function that'll rid your clothes of any wrinkles, as well as a lint indicator so you know when to clean the tray. It's able to dry a load of clothes to completion the first time around, meaning you won't need to run a touch-up cycle even when dealing with hard-to-wash items, such as pillows and stuffed animals. The very quiet operation of this appliance may make you forget it's running at times. However, quirky music will play when it's done and ready to be unloaded.
Best Large Capacity: Whirlpool WED8120HW 8.8 cu. ft. 240-Volt Smart White Electric Dryer with Steam
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 8.8 cubic feet | Vent Type: Vented | Cycles: 35 | Drying Temperatures: 5 | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes
Must have app subscription for smart features
For a supersized dryer, look no further than the Whirlpool WED8120HW. With one look inside the drum, you will instantly feel confident that there are very few loads this dryer can’t handle. This model has a total of 8.8 cubic feet of space for towels, blankets, clothes, and comforters. But, notably, it also has three sensors that ensure your clothes are dried properly. They recognize the amount of moisture in your load, and adjust how long the cycle lasts accordingly.
In addition, this model is able to turn into a smart model with a connected app subscription. You can run the sanitize cycle to eliminate a majority of common bacteria from your clean clothes, and steam cycle to tackle wrinkles right from the get-go. Finally, this model features a reversible door and interior light so you can get to your clothes with total ease.
Best Smart: GE GFD85ESPNDG 7.8 cu. ft. Smart Diamond Gray Stackable Electric Vented Dryer
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 7.8 cubic feet | Vent Type: Vented | Cycles: 12 | Drying Temperatures: 5 | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes
Can be controlled with voice commands
Can be noisy
Must purchase stacking kit separately
Get a helping hand with your laundry when you choose a smart clothes dryer. The GE GFD85ESPNDG is part of a smart duo, but brings its intelligent features to any laundry set-up. It works with Amazon Alexa as well as Google Assistant, and a smartphone app that allows you to monitor cycles wherever you are.
Although this model can be noisy at times, it also has a reversible door, 7.8-cubic-foot drum, and stackable design to make your laundry experience as streamlined as possible. Along with a stacking kit, you can pair it with its matching washer. You can also make use of its steam function and sanitize setting to tackle both wrinkles and bacteria in your clothes. Are you typically in a rush? Run a quick dry cycle to have your clean clothes in under 23 minutes. It's that easy.
Best Portable: GE DSKP333ECWW 3.6 cu. ft. Stackable Electric Vented Portable Compact Dryer
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 3.6 cubic feet | Vent Type: Vented | Cycles: 3 | Drying Temperatures: 3 | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: No
Good for small living
Requires a standard 120V outlet
Can only handle smaller loads
No steam function
For a portable dryer that delivers plenty of heat no matter where you are, the GE DSKP333ECWW is the best option. This model is designed with saving space in mind. The 3.6-cubic-foot dryer is mounted on caster wheels, which makes it easy to roll in and out of closets, or from one room to another.
While it’s only able to dry about half of a regular-sized load, it does so thoroughly and conveniently. It channels the hot air through the rear of the drum and out the exhaust pipe in the front, ensuring that the air passes through the clothes inside. This makes a big difference in the efficiency of this portable dryer—especially if you compare it to others on the market. Whether you're installing it in a RV or an apartment, you'll likely think that it's a gem. Just be sure to plug it into a standard 120V outlet. The model is very quiet, so you don’t need to worry about finding an out-of-the-way place to hide the machine.
Those who are looking to make laundry day easier and more efficient can't go wrong with our overall pick, the Maytag MED5630HW (view at Home Depot). It's easy to use, and features advanced moisture sensing and an extra power button. If you're hoping to spend less, the Amana NED4655EW (view at Walmart) is a quality pick, too. It doesn't have the bells and whistles of other models, including a large capacity drum, but will certainly get the job done.
What to Look for in a Clothes Dryer
Clothes dryers are either powered by electricity or gas. The best option for your household depends on your budget, and where you're installing the appliance. Depending on the brand, a gas dryer can cost a bit more than an electric one, especially since it requires a professional installation. However, the perk of spending more upfront is that your machine will be more gentle on your clothes, and be more cost-efficient to run, making it a great option for large households. In comparison, an electric dryer is easier to install and costs a bit less upfront, but does require a 240-volt outlet.
The capacity of a clothes dryer is measured in cubic feet, and determines how much laundry you're able to dry at one time. Capacity can range anywhere from 3.0 cubic feet in portable units, to nearly 9.0 cubic feet in high-capacity ones. The average capacity of a clothes dryer is 7.3 cubic feet, which can comfortably hold a king-sized comforter, in addition to some sheets. When thinking about what capacity works best for you, consider the size of your washer. A full load in a 5.2-cubic-foot washer can easily fit into a 7.3-cubic-foot dryer, and won't come out damp.
Like washers, clothes dryers can have a steam function that helps to reduce wrinkles and sanitize your clothes. In models with this function, steam is released into the drum during the cycle, adding moisture into the fabrics. Although this function adds moisture, it doesn't delay the drying process, and ultimately leaves your clothes feeling fresher. A steam function is usually found in more pricey models, but can be helpful if you want to quickly freshen clothes without running an entire cycle.
A dual-opening door gives you the option to access your dryer two different ways: opening the door hamper-style, or swinging the door to the side. This feature is particularly handy if you don’t have a matching washer and dryer set, or have an unconventional laundry room and need your machine to be flexible. Now, this type of door shouldn’t be confused with a reversible one, which can be installed to be either left or right opening.
Tempered glass door
Tempered glass keeps the door of your front-loading washer or dryer from getting scratches or dents. Therefore, this high-end material is great for homes with children, or laundry machines located in a mudroom or closet. Although you’ll still want to be careful to not chip the paint of your machine, bumping a laundry basket into one of these doors won’t create noticeable wear and tear.
How does a clothes dryer work?
On the most basic level, a clothes dryer uses a combination of drum motions and air flow to dry your clothes and prepare them to be worn. Now, how air is circulated depends on if your model is ventless or vented. If your model is vented, then it continuously sources air from outside the machine, pulls it in, and uses either electric coils or gas to heat it. In contrast, if your model is ventless, then it'll pull in the air, heat it, and bring that same air through a heat exchanger to be used again. For more, you can check out our full guide on how a clothes dryer works.
How hot does a clothes dryer get?
How hot a clothes dryer can get depends on its power source. Typically, an electric clothes dryer will not get as hot as a gas clothes dryer. This type of appliance will take longer to heat up, too, because the electricity has to heat coils that'll heat the air. In addition, the setting you select affects how hot your dryer can get. On high heat, a dryer can reach around 135 degrees Fahrenheit, and on low heat, this number decreases to around 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
How do you clean a clothes dryer?
To clean a clothes dryer, you'll need rubber gloves, a glass jar, 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach, and water. To start, pull out the lint screen and throw away any lint that's attached. This should be done regularly, so your machine isn't at risk for starting a fire. Then, mix the bleach with one quart of water in the jar. Use a small towel to spread the mixture around the drum and interior of the door. To finish, run the clothes dryer on high heat, making sure to place a couple old towels inside so it's not empty. For more, see our full guide on how to sanitize and disinfect a washer and dryer, as well as how to clean vent ducts.
How long does a clothes dryer last?
Like a washer, a clothes dryer should last at least 10 years. You can extend your appliance's lifespan by properly maintaining and cleaning it. Before running a load, remove any lint from the lint screen so the appliance can circulate air easily. Every few months, take time to clean the vent ducts and sanitize the drum, too. In addition, make sure to perform any needed repairs right away, especially if your dryer has gone through flooding. For more, see our guide on how often you should clean your home appliances.
How many watts does a clothes dryer use?
The amount of watts, or energy, your clothes dryer uses can range from 2,000 to 6,000 watts. If you purchase an Energy Star rated model, your dryer will use an average of 3,500 watts. Many factors go into this measurement, including the power source your dryer requires, the capacity of your machine, and whether it's vented or ventless. To find how many watts your clothes dryer uses, check your user manual. Then, check out our guide on how to calculate the cost of running your dryer to see how that number translates in your bills.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was edited and updated by Marisa Casciano, who is the large appliance expert for The Spruce. Throughout her career, she's researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, cooktops, and more in the home and lifestyle space. As someone who's always on-the-go, she knows the hassle of a weak and unreliable clothes dryer that always requires a touch-up cycle.