If you don't have the layout for a traditional laundry room in your home, or you're tired of lugging your dirty clothes to the laundromat each week, then you need to invest in a portable dryer. When paired with a portable washing machine, a portable dryer makes it easy to do laundry in even the tiniest of living spaces. There are even some non-electric portable dryers that can be used on camping trips. We researched the best portable dryers and evaluated their capacity, cycle and temperature options, stackability, and effectiveness.
Our top pick, the Euhomy Compact Laundry Dryer, has a 9-pound capacity and utilizes reverse tumble action to keep your clothing fluffy and wrinkle-free.
Below are the best portable dryers for an easy laundry day.
Best Overall: Euhomy 2.6 cu. ft. Compact Electric Dryer
Reverse tumble action
Wall mounting kit included
Four drying modes
May take longer to dry thicker items
Euhomy’s powerful but compact electric dryer is a marvel of a machine. At 2.6 cubic feet, the stainless steel dryer can hold an impressive 9 pounds of laundry, though some customers recommend keeping loads smaller than that to ensure clothes are thoroughly dry. Speaking of drying, this tiny machine boasts four drying modes: Strong (which uses high temperatures to dry larger items quickly), Intelligent (which automatically adjusts drying time based on humidity levels), Eco, and Normal. Euhomy’s mighty machine also utilizes reverse tumble action to keep your clothing fluffy and wrinkle-free, eliminating the need to iron afterward.
This dryer is meant to simplify things. The LCD display makes it easy to operate, the sturdy handle makes it a breeze to move, and the wide-angle door opening makes loading and unloading clothes a simple process. And in addition to saving you time and sanity, this portable dryer saves space. This front load dryer comes with a wall mounting kit so you can hang the machine and free up coveted floor space.
If you like what the Euhomy drying machine has to offer but need it to handle larger loads, there is a 3.5-cubic foot model that holds 13 pounds of laundry.
Best Budget: Panda 110V Electric Portable Compact Laundry Clothes Dryer
Temperature and timing selection ensure proper fabric care
Four drying modes
Small load size
Takes longer to dry items
Panda’s portable dryer is a great option for those who have limited space and a smaller budget. The 1.5-cubic-foot machine comes with four dryer temperature selections—Cold, Warm, Hot, and Air Dry—and adjustable heating times to ensure proper fabric care with each use. The machine’s rust-resistant, stainless steel dum ensures that it will last well beyond a few cycles.
The manufacturers note that the machine has a lower energy input than standard dryers, which means it’ll take longer to dry your laundry. This, however, is typical for compact dryers and results in lower electricity bills, furthering the Panda’s budget-friendly aspect.
Many customers were shocked by the amount of laundry the dryer can handle: Panda says its machine can tackle up to 6.6 pounds of clothing, though some users suggest limiting your load to 5.5 pounds to get the driest clothes each time.
Best Splurge: Whirlpool LDR3822PQ 3.4 cu. ft. Stackable Electric Dryer
AccuDry sensor technology
Automatic temperature adjustment
Larger than most portable dryers
Must purchase wall mounting kit or wheels separately
With Whirpool’s portable electric dryer, you never have to stress about your clothes shrinking or fading due to over-drying. The machine’s AccuDry sensor technology adjusts drying settings and stops cycles accordingly by monitoring moisture levels in the drum. Additionally, the auto dry control manages temperature levels to prevent clothing damage as well.
Measuring 3.4 cubic feet, this machine may be larger than other models on the list, but there are plenty of space-saving options to store it. You can purchase machine-specific wall and floor mounts to hang your dryer out of the way or add casters so you can roll the dryer in and out of a closet when it’s not in use. In addition to making the machine work with your space, you can make it work for your height by adjusting the feet.
Best High-Capacity: Homelabs Compact Laundry Dryer
Dries thicker items with ease
Can dry 13.2 pounds of clothing
Lint filter is not easy to clean
Cannot adjust temperature
You’d be surprised how much laundry the Homelabs mini dryer can handle. Despite being relatively small at 3.2 cubic feet, the front-loading dryer can handle a whopping 13.2 pounds of clothes—and not just those made of thin materials. One Amazon reviewer wrote that the machine successfully dried a twin-sized comforter, seven towels, and four sets of twin-sized sheets in three different loads. This is due, in part, to the machine’s advanced three-layer filter, which helps prevent lint buildup for quicker and better drying. However, you have to clean the filter regularly to maintain quality results. Some customers noted that it can be tricky and recommended using a vacuum or brush to help.
The flexible placement options—freestanding, stacked, rack-mounted, or wall-mounted—make it easy for the machine to work within your space. And if you prefer to have it out only when in use, the built-in handle makes it easy to move the dryer to and from a closet.
Best Non-Electric: WAWLIVING Compact Spin Dryer
Compact enough for traveling
Does not completely dry clothes
Not every laundry scenario requires a large—or even electric—dryer. Measuring 16.5 x 13 x 15.5 inches and weighing 8 pounds, WAWLIVING’s compact dryer is powered by your own two hands. To operate, simply place your laundry in the basket, close the lid, and crank the handles. Now, this machine alone won’t completely dry your clothes: It lacks the speed and heat. Rather, the spinning motion squeezes out the water to make laundry damp, not wet, which reduces the time it needs to line dry.
When using the machine, former customers say it’s best to crank slowly at the start of a load. This helps you build a consistent rhythm and keeps the machine steady. Once you’ve drained enough water, you’ll have the energy and speed to go faster. Because of the dryer’s size and manual operation, it works best on small loads of lighter fabrics. Most customers report that each load holds three shirts and shorts, two sweaters, or one to two pairs of jeans.
Best for Apartments: Magic Chef Compact Electric Dryer
Limited load capacity
May take longer to dry certain items
Perfect for those with limited space and light loads, Magic Chef’s electric dryer can handle 5.5 pounds of laundry. The sleek control panel makes it easy for you to select the right drying cycle and temperature each time, resulting in optimal fabric care. Magic Chef’s machine also has an anti-wrinkle option to select at the end of a drying cycle to keep your laundry smooth and ready to wear.
The Magic Chef can handle larger, thicker items, like blankets and sweaters. But, as some customers note, it will take longer and require a higher temperature.
Best for RVs: Nekithia Portable Clothes Dryer
Easy to transport
Folds to much smaller size
Drying time may be longer than other machines
Only one dry cycle option
You may not want to waste your limited RV space on a clothes dryer, but the Nekithia portable dryer actually folds, so you can put it away when not in use.
Though the Nekithia dryer measures 43.5 x 20.8 inches, it is packed into an 11 x 6-inch bag that can be thrown into a closet, drawer, or even stowed beneath a seat. Made of stainless steel tubes and stents, the machine uses heat and rotation to dry up to 13 pounds of laundry in one load. Just be sure not to overload the machine, as that will result in a much longer drying time.
The Nekithia only offers one cycle and temperature, so you will have to adjust the time of each load depending on the material and size. And if you’re not around when the time is up, the machine will automatically shut off.
Best for Quiet Operation: Nekithia Portable Clothes Dryer
Five cycle options
Three temperature options
Two-way rotation system
Lint filter must be cleaned often
Many may doubt that COSTWAY’s portable clothes dryer is quiet, especially given its ability to dry a load of 13 towels, seven pairs of jeans, or three bed sheets with ease. But the machine’s inner drum runs rapidly to form the warm airflow and keep the machine stable, thus reducing the noise.
But a quiet operation isn’t the machine’s only pro. The easy-to-use control panel offers five cycles and three drying temperatures to ensure the proper care for your clothes. The stainless steel drum also maintains clothing quality and reduces wrinkles thanks to its two-way rotation system. Meanwhile, the multi-filtration system removes lint, dog hair, and more from clothes without releasing excess pollution into the air. The filters, however, must be cleaned often to maintain effectiveness. Several customers noted that they required overnight cleaning for best results.
The Euhomy 2.6 cu. ft. Compact Laundry Dryer packs a ton of power in a small machine, and that's why it's our top pick. This stainless steel dryer offers four different drying modes for any 9-pound load of laundry and uses a reverse tumble action to keep your clothing fluffy and wrinkle-free. It can be stacked, mounted, or stored away to maximize space. The Panda 1.5 cu. ft. Electric Compact Portable Laundry Dryer provides similar quality and wrinkle-free results at a lower cost. However, it has a much lower load capacity of 6 pounds.
What to Look for in a Portable Dryer
Full-sized dryers typically have around 7.3 cubic feet of interior space, while portable dryers have a capacity between 1.5 and 3.5 cubic feet. In terms of laundry, this equates to 5 to 13 pounds of clothes. Because portable dryers are significantly smaller, they are best for one- or two-person households. A two-person household should look for a model that has a capacity of at least 2.6 cubic feet, which equates to about 9 pounds of laundry.
Your portable dryer will either be vented or ventless. A vented model draws in air, heats it to effectively dry clothes, then releases it through an exterior vent (usually in the rear). These models tend to cost less and dry items faster. However, they require a proper ventilation system, which may not be accessible in some apartments or condos. A ventless dryer also draws air in from the outside, but instead of releasing the air, it stores and repurposes the air for future use. Ventless models use less energy which means longer drying times, but also lower electric bills.
A cycle is a pre-set heat level and time, often based on the size and fabric of your laundry load. Full-sized dryers have anywhere from 9 to 14 cycles, but portable dryers offer significantly less. Those that operate like a traditional dryer will have 3 to 4 cycles, while spin or tumble models won’t offer any cycles since they don’t use heat. Instead, they use centrifugal force to remove excess water from the laundry. Because of this, you will likely have to line dry your clothes afterward to get them completely dry.
Delay Start Function
Delay start functions allow you to start a pre-selected cycle without standing in front of the machine. They often work by pressing the Delay Dry / Start button to set the time in one-hour increments. This is helpful if you don’t want the machine to run while a partner or child naps. But there is another, lesser-known benefit of this function: According to Sears, energy rates may be lower in your area during certain times of the day. So by using Delay Dry/Start to run your dryer during these hours, you might pay less to use the same amount of energy.
As the name suggests, a stackable dryer can be placed atop or below a washer. Stackable washer and dryer sets are ideal for households with limited space, like dormitories, apartments, and RVs. Although the washer and dryer do not need to be the same brand in order to be stacked, they have to be compatible size-wise. Additionally, both or one machine must be front-loading in order to be stacked.
How long does a portable dryer last?
If maintained properly, a portable dryer can last 10 to 15 years, which is similar to a full-sized dryer. Of course, this timeframe may vary depending on care and use.
How do you hook up a portable dryer?
Before hooking up your portable dryer, you need to make space for it. Ideally, you want that space to be next to an electrical outlet. If that is not possible, you’ll want to purchase an extension cord. If you have a vented portable dryer, you also want the space to be window-adjacent. Once that space has been cleared, you simply plug the electric cord into the outlet.
If you have a vented dryer, you will need to connect the exhaust hose to the exhaust base on the machine. When in use, you’ll want to run the hose through the window. Doing this will prevent the room from becoming humid when the machine is in use.
That said, every model is different, so it's important to follow your machine's manual.
How long does a portable dryer take to dry clothes?
On average, it takes about two hours for a portable dryer to dry a full load of laundry. This time may vary depending on a few factors, such as load material, bulkiness, and size, as well as the machine itself. Additionally, the cycle and temperature selection will impact drying time. By selecting the correct dryer cycle and keeping the load size manageable, you will be able to dry clothes effectively and efficiently.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Leah Rocketto, a writer who has spent years covering home care for various publications, including The Spruce, Insider, and Bustle. To better understand how portable dryers operate, Leah spoke with Stephanie Dickson, an online merchant for Home Depot. Using this expert knowledge, she looked into the capacity, cycle options, and controls of the market’s most popular portable dryers. Leah prioritized affordable options that could handle larger laundry loads without leaving clothes moist or wrinkled.