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While a clothes dryer isn't a total necessity for every home, it can certainly make your laundry routine more efficient and convenient. Instead of hanging your items to dry, this appliance tumbles them in a heated environment, so they're ready to wear in as little as half an hour. Some dryers feature a steam function to eliminate wrinkles that may have developed during the washer's spin cycle, or a door that opens in multiple directions for easy unloading and loading. When you're finding the right machine for you, though, you mainly want to look at a dryer's capacity. This will determine how much you can fit in the machine at one time.
Most full-sized dryers have a capacity around 7.3 cubic feet that can easily handle your weekly load of whites. However, there are larger models on the market for anyone who doesn't want to lug a bulky or heavy comforter to the laundromat, or wants to tackle more at one time. There are also compact units for those who have limited space to tackle this necessary chore, or are installing a new dryer in an RV. No matter what drum size you need, you can find dryers that are powered by gas or electricity. Pick a model that's best suited for the laundry setup you have.
In some cases, your home and budget may decide what's best for you. In others, you might have more flexibility to get a machine that's super spacious or equipped with WiFi. Below, the best clothes dryers for an easier, better laundry day for all.
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
Extra power button
Wrinkle prevent setting
No steam function
Controls are designed on an angle
The very first clothes dryer you should consider is the Maytag MED5630HW. It's our top pick because it combines quiet operation with functional amenities. The drum is 7.3 cubic feet large, which is standard and nothing to necessarily brag about. However, it can thoroughly dry everything from T-shirts to your bulkier blankets, thanks to 10 cycle options and an extra power button. The button adds time, tumbling, and heat to any load you think needs it—whether it be jeans or towels you need as soon as possible.
Now, cycles at your disposal include heavy duty, delicates, and quick dry, which can tackle smaller loads in a matter of minutes opposed to hours. Unfortunately, there's no steam function built into this Maytag model, but the drum is outfitted with advanced moisture sensing that decides how much time each load needs to tumble. This technology ensures that your laundry doesn't use energy it doesn't need, and may save you money on your energy bills over time. In addition, the electricity-powered dryer, that requires a 240V outlet, has a wrinkle prevent setting. After a cycle has completed, the wrinkle prevent option kicks in and tumbles your clothes periodically for up to 150 minutes, to minimize ironing time later on.
The only "downsides" of this machine you may face include the average-sized drum and the quiet alarm that goes off when a cycle is done. In addition, if you purchase the separate stacking kit, and stack your new dryer with its matching washer, you may notice that the controls are hard to navigate. The controls are designed on an angle, which makes them not-so ideal in this situation. The dryer's power cord is also sold separately, so you'll need to add it to your cart. Ultimately, the functionality of this clothes dryer will likely make up for these inconveniences, though.
Best Overall, Runner-Up: 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
Duct clogging indicator
Smart home compatible
Often requires a touch-up cycle
Preset settings aren't very flexible
Following closely behind our best overall pick is the LG DLE7300WE. Also powered by electricity, this eye-catching pick offers easy loading and unloading, a useful selection of cycles, and an average-sized drum at 7.3 cubic feet. It's not stackable and doesn't have a steam function, but does have an interior light that you can control. This comes in handy if you're doing laundry in a dimly lit area or at night, and can't really see into the drum of the machine to remove all of your socks, shirts, and hand towels. Notable cycles you can choose are quick dry, sanitize, and cotton, which will make sure your favorite garments aren't smaller and tighter when you remove them from the machine.
It's important to note that you may need to run touch-up cycles when owning this dryer, since the preset settings aren't very flexible and the drying sensor can be inaccurate. (Especially in the face of thick shirts or bulky blankets, the LG dryer is not the most efficient.) However, if you don't mind penciling out an extra half hour or so, then you're sure to enjoy this dryer's other perks, like it's dual-opening door. The door can be opened hamper-style or to the side, depending on your preference as well as the configuration of your washer. Some people like opening it hamper-style to prevent clothes from falling on the floor, or to use it as a place to quickly fold a small load of clothes.
In addition to this feature, the dryer has a duct clogging indicator that notifies you when lint is built-up in your vent system and impairing dryer performance. Plus, it can be paired to an app on your phone, where you can check in on your cycle remotely. Together, these smart and non-smart features provide an easy, streamlined experience for any user, and make sure your laundry bases are more than covered.
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
Lint trap is on top of machine
Wrinkle care option
No interior light
You may not want to spend a lot of money on a new dryer. Maybe your old dryer unexpectedly died, or you want to save money for another massive purchase. In that case, check out the Amana NED4655EW that's both efficient and easy to use. This machine has all of the basics—from an automatic dry sensor, to a cool down cycle that'll ensure your metal zippers aren't too hot to the touch after tumbling in the drum. While you can only make use of 6.5 cubic feet of interior space, you'll find that you can tackle many small loads in a timely manner, thanks to 11 different cycle options.
Plus, the dryer features a wrinkle care option that'll tumble your dry clothes periodically to avoid the build up of wrinkles. While there's no steam function or interior light, the electricity-powered clothes dryer also features a lint trap on the top of its build, opposed to just inside the drum. This is particularly convenient, as you can remove any lint from the trap right before or after selecting a cycle. (Any lint that travels onto the top of the machine can easily be wiped off with a wet cloth.)
All in all, this machine is very basic, but it gets the job done. It's a practical purchase at a straightforward price, and will likely not disappoint in the performance and efficiency departments.
Best High-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
Energy Star certified
Must have app subscription for smart features
Can collect a lot of lint
If you're constantly filling your washer to the maximum fill line, then you need a spacious dryer that'll turn your wet clothes into wearable ones. Look no further than the Whirlpool WED8120HW that's outfitted with smart technology and an 8.8-cubic-foot drum, which is nearly 1.5 cubic feet over the average. You can fill up the interior with towels, sweatshirts, comforters, and socks, and feel confident that there are very few loads this dryer can’t handle. It has three sensors that recognize the amount of moisture in your load and adjust how long the cycle lasts accordingly.
To turn this model into a smart one, you just need to sign up for a subscription in the Whirlpool app. Once it's set up, you can check in on your laundry from a remote location. Of course, you don't have to opt into these features and can still get your money's worth. The Whirlpool dryer has a steam function that'll help you tackle wrinkles, stains, and bacteria that have set into your clothes. You can also run a sanitize cycle to eliminate a majority of common bacteria. The door is reversible, and there's an interior light so you can remove your clothes with total ease.
This dryer's long list of amenities is wrapped up with an Energy Star certification, which means it's super thoughtful with how much energy it uses per cycle. Since it's an electric dryer, plug it into a 240V outlet, and then tackle your chores. You will want to frequently check the lint trap of this dryer, as it can collect lint very frequently. While this is good practice, it'll also increase the overall performance and lifespan of this particular model.
Best Compact: Whirlpool LDR3822PQ 3.4 cu. ft. 120-Volt White Compact Electric Vented Dryer
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 3.4 cubic feet | Vent Type: Vented | Cycles: 3 | Drying Temperatures: 2 | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: No
Air fluff setting
Requires a 120V outlet
Dryer produces less heat
Can only tackle small loads of laundry
Do you live in a small apartment, condo, or RV? You may be looking for a compact dryer you can pair with a compact washing machine. The Whirlpool LDR3822PQ is a quality option for you. It has 3.4 cubic feet of space and is stackable, so you can easily install it in the closet or corner of your bedroom. Plus, it requires a 120V outlet, so you don't need to have a certain electrical design to have clean clothes in a more timely manner. Instead, you can plug this clothes dryer in, and make sure the adjustable legs are leveled to your liking. You can then choose between one of three dry cycles, including timed dry and air fluff.
The compact Whirlpool dryer certainly doesn't come with many bells and whistles. For example, this unit doesn't have a steam function, smart features, or even specialty settings like sanitize. However, it has all the staples, including sensor technology that will read the moisture levels in your clothes and then make adjustments accordingly. Caster wheels allow you to roll it to another room whenever chore day is done, and the power cord is included in your purchase. (Believe it or not, that's not a guarantee with other full-sized units on the market.)
Of course, your negative review of this machine will be that it can't tackle much laundry at one time. The lint trap can also be difficult to clean, and the dryer itself doesn't produce as much heat as a larger model. Your cycles may take longer to complete, but you will be able to dry your clothes where you couldn't have before. That's the real perk.
"Get creative with your storage! Drying racks can be mounted on the ceiling, shelves can be added above your machines, larger items such as brooms and mops can be wall mounted to maximize space." — Shira Gill, home organizing expert and author of Minimalista
Best Closet-Depth: 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
Wrinkle care option
Can be controlled with voice commands
Comes in gas and electric versions
Can be noisy at times
Often requires a touch-up cycle
The LG DLGX4001W will check off many of your boxes, if you're looking for a closet-depth clothes dryer. It has a stackable design and reversible door, so it can easily be arranged to your liking. Your space doesn't need to be designed for a gas-powered or electric-powered model specifically, because it's made in both versions. When it comes to interior space, the dryer has a 7.4-cubic-foot drum, which is spacious enough for your weekly laundry and maybe a little bit more. There are also 12 cycle options, including sanitize and quick dry.
Most notably, this LG dryer is equipped with smart features. It can be controlled by other smart devices in your home, like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and paired to the ThinQ app for a seamless and easy laundry day. Within the app, you can receive notifications and add time to your cycle, if you think a load of towels may need some extra tumbling. Duct clogging and lint filter indicators will let you know when your machine needs maintenance, and a wrinkle care option will tumble your items for up to three hours after a cycle has ended to keep wrinkles from setting in, too. (If you'd like to use of this helpful feature, select it prior to the cycle starting.)
Just be aware: this machine can be noisy at times. You may want to plan for laundry day, if you are going to install the dryer next to a bedroom or common area. In addition, don't be surprised if you need to run a touch-up cycle on bulky items. This is a fairly common issue among dryers, but one to be aware of before you buy nonetheless.
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
Comes in gas and electric versions
Must purchase separate stacking kit
Can be difficult to connect the app
The stackable Samsung DVE45R6100P doesn't skimp out on features or a flexible design. You can place it next to your current washing machine, or stack it with its matching washer to save space in your home. It can also be situated on a pedestal, if you want the 7.5-cubic-foot drum to be more accessible. Plus, there is a reversible door. It can swing open toward your washer or away from it, depending on the layout of the space and what's a more convenient system for you.
Beyond design, the model has 10 cycles, including ones for sanitizing garments and air fluffing them. You can enjoy a lint indicator that'll let you know when to clean the tray, and a steam function that'll tackle all wrinkles from the get-go. You may need to run an extra cycle here and there, especially if you're drying a hard-to-wash item, such as a pillow or stuffed animal. However, the machine will operate quiet and won't disrupt your TV show, guests, or sleeping child in the next room. Not to mention, it comes in both electric and gas versions, so you can pick which power source is most suitable for your household.
Now, while you can connect your phone to this Samsung dryer and troubleshoot any issues there, it's not totally recommended that you make use of this feature. It can be difficult to connect the app, and issues should ultimately be diagnosed and addressed by a professional. Opt for a solid warranty plan, instead of relying on the technology.
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
Very spacious drum
Can be very noisy
Dryer can have heating or computer issues over time
Your laundry day can be smarter, not harder, when you choose a smart clothes dryer. If you're looking for a smart unit, the GE GFD85ESPNDG should definitely be on your radar. It brings intelligent features and a powerful performance to any household. However, it does come with a slight learning curve, so you must be prepared to sit down with your manual upon its delivery and installation. The unit not only connects to an app, where you can start and stop cycles from a remote location, but also works with Amazon and Google devices. You can receive notifications to your phone when a cycle is complete, all thanks to built-in WiFi.
Smart features aside, the GE dryer also features a 7.8-cubic-foot drum and stackable design that makes it both spacious and space-saving. Along with its matching washer and a stacking kit, you can make use of your laundry room and more advanced features like dryer syncing—which transfers settings from your dryer to your washer for a streamlined routine. There's a total of 12 different cycles, including a quick dry cycle that'll have your clean clothes ready to wear in 23 minutes or less. A steam function will also tackle wrinkles and bacteria in your clothes.
When buying this model, just be sure to opt into the warranty plan. The technology can have issues over time, and you may need to have a professional look at the computer or heating system. In addition, don't install this electric dryer next to a space you'd like to remain quiet, as it can be noisy from the beginning of a cycle to the end.
"In the long run, you’ll save money with a high-efficiency appliance. Especially dryers tend to use up a lot of energy. You really stand to save a lot of money there, if you go for an appliance where it’s using the energy more efficiently." — Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista and author of Get Good with Money
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?
Having tested and researched dozens of laundry machines, we looked at reliability, functionality, and value when recommending the best clothes dryers on the market. We considered the capacity, power source, and cycle options for each model, in addition to door design, efficiency, and usefulness of the smart features. For additional insight, we spoke with: Shira Gill, home organizing expert and author of Minimalista; and Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista and author of Get Good with Money.
Marisa Casciano is the large appliance expert for The Spruce, and has researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, and more in the home space. She has personal experience with a Whirlpool and an Amana dryer. For this piece, she scoured hundreds of verified customer reviews. She also took notes on the information in user manuals for dozens of clothes dryers and thoroughly researched the units that can easily be paired with a matching washer, as well as unpaired and compact ones. Lastly, she read through third-party articles and checked out the recommended clothes dryers in person.