Wool dryer balls are not only a sustainable alternative to dryer sheets, but they also reduce wrinkles on clothing and help you dry your clothes more quickly. “From a practical perspective: [wool dryer balls] create pockets of air in the dryer, which reduces the amount of time it takes to dry a load. Between the energy and time savings, that’s a major win!” says Elise Hay, founder of Organized Sanctuaries. And don't worry—if you're concerned that you'll miss the pleasant scent of dryer sheets, wool dryer balls can handle that, too. You can add your favorite essential oil of choice to wool dryer balls, leaving clothes smelling fresh.
We researched the best wool dryer balls, evaluating their effectiveness, noise levels during a cycle, scents, and durability.
Here are the best wool dryer balls for your laundry routine.
Blueland Dryer Ball Starter Set
Don't make a lot of noise
No size or color options
No storage bag
Our top pick, the Blueland Dryer Ball Set, has all the qualities you love about dryer sheets, plus environmental benefits. Simply add the three Blueland wool dryer balls to your load of clothes to use them. As the clothes spin in the dry cycle, dryer balls circulate air pockets, which reduces dry time, lessens wrinkles, and prevents static. Blueland’s dryer balls are made from 100 percent New Zealand wool that’s sourced from suppliers who do not engage in harmful wool-harvesting practices. Their dryer balls are also designed to replace up to 1,000 single-use dryer sheets. And, when you're finally done with them, they're compostable, too.
Unlike other dryer balls that thump around loudly in the drum of your dryer, this pick does not make a lot of noise when in use, and the larger size of the balls means they can be used with a wide variety of garments and fabrics. Although these dryer balls are only available in one size and do not come in a storage bag, they top our list for their sustainable design and quietness when in use. If you're new to Blueland, the brand as a whole is committed to sustainability and has an expansive line of products for cleaning and home.
Price at time of publish: $18
Material: Wool | Quantity: 3 | Colors: Blue | Diameter: Not listed
Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls
Should last for 1,000 loads
Ethical sourcing and shipping practices
No included storage bag
Each of these Smart Sheep dryer balls should hold up through 1,000 loads of laundry. In other words, if you do laundry twice a week, that's roughly a decade of usage. Smart Sheep also offers coordinating products, like essential oils and static sprays, as well as adorable animal-printed dryer balls. Snag this set and get six dryer balls for what other brands charge for two or three. You can use all six with a large load of wash, or stick with a few, depending on your needs.
These eco-friendly dryer balls are crafted in Nepal, entirely from New Zealand wool, and with ethical practices at the forefront of the Smart Sheep's manufacturing and shipping procedures. Not only can you feel good about the environmental impact of switching to dryer balls, but you can also appreciate the fair trade efforts the brand supports.
Price at time of publish: $30
Material: Wool | Quantity: 6 | Colors: White | Diameter: 3 inches
Best Budget, Runner Up
Public Goods Wool Dryer Balls
Cruelty-free and biodegradable
Comes with a cotton storage bag
Cuts down drying times well
Can leave behind some lint
No color or size options
Membership required to buy from retailer after trial period
You'll get a lot of bang for your buck with Public Goods's wool dryer ball set. The set includes four dryer balls made of 100 percent New Zealand wool, as well as a cotton carrying bag. All of the dryer balls are actually effective at cutting down drying times, and they don't produce lots of noise in the process of making your clothes soft and wrinkle-free. While you may find a bit of lingering lint, you'll likely feel good about the cruelty-free and biodegradable nature of the product.
There are no color and size options for these wool dryer balls, unfortunately. However, they'll get the job done and not leave you hanging much. At an extremely low price, you can't really ask for more than that. But one thing to keep in mind is that if you're not a member of Public Goods, you can try a two-week trial at no cost, but to purchase beyond that will require a subscription.
Price at time of publish: $10
Material: Wool | Quantity: 4 | Colors: White | Diameter: Not listed
Five Two Wool Dryer Balls
Larger than some options
Available in assorted colors
Can tumble loudly in the dryer
Need to be cautious of dyes when you start using them
It can be tough to find a set of wool dryer balls that are worth the splurge. After all, how different can two sets of wool dryer balls be? However, Food52’s Five Two Wool Dryer Balls set is amenity-filled and worth investing in. The dryer balls themselves are crafted entirely from New Zealand wool and can be used as many as 1,000 times. They boast an extra-large 3.5-inch diameter and are also available in two assorted color palettes—you can choose from a collection of vibrant colors or an array of mixed, neutral grays.
No matter which palette you choose, you’ll find yourself with a versatile set. The only potential downsides to this set are that they can make a lot of noise when tumbling in the dryer, partly due to their larger design, and the colorful versions are possible because the brand uses dyes. Food52 recommends that you use the blue shades on darker loads to avoid color transfer when you first start using them.
Price at time of publish: $30
Material: New Zealand wool | Quantity: 6 | Colors: Assorted gray, multicolor | Diameter: 3.5 inches
Woolzies Wool Dryer Balls Organic
Crafted from organic wool
Comes with the essential oil of your choosing
Great at reducing wrinkles
Not effective against static cling
Might not reduce drying times
Many scented dryer balls lose their fragrance over time. That can be a bummer—after all, you invested in a set of scented dryer balls, not a set of unscented ones. Thankfully, Woolzies found a clever way around this common problem. The brand’s Organic Wool Dryer Balls set ships with three wool dryer balls and an essential oil bottle, which you can use to perfume your dryer balls to your heart’s content.
The durable dryer balls are crafted from organic wool and promise to withstand 1,000 loads of laundry. Since personal preference can vary a lot when it comes to scent, Woolzies gives you the option of three different essential oil bottles: fresh lemon, soft lavender, or tangy orange. The best part of this amenity is that you are in charge of how fragrant your dryer balls are. You can add as much, or as little, scent as you want to. However, just note that they're not the best option for static cling.
Price at time of publish: $20
Material: Wool | Quantity: 3 | Colors: White | Diameter: Not listed
The Company Store Wool Dryer Balls
Crafted from organic wool
Come with a storage bag
Good for drying comforters
May have an odor when they arrive
Searching for a set of larger, organic dryer balls? The Company Store’s Wool Dryer Balls set is a stellar choice. They come with three dryer balls that boast a 4-inch diameter and are crafted entirely from organic New Zealand wool. While the balls are sure to make a great addition to any load of laundry, the brand recommends pairing them with your machine-washable down and down-alternative comforters for some of the best results (which a number of reviewers wholeheartedly agree with).
At 4 inches in diameter, the dryer balls are certainly larger than others. That means your dryer may be a little noisy. However, it also means that you can probably get away with using fewer dryer balls per cycle and drying bulkier items, such as towels or sheets, with total ease. You should know the dryer balls may smell a bit bad when they first arrive. Air them out in a dry place upon arrival, and the smell shouldn't become a lingering issue.
Price at time of publish: $24
Material: New Zealand wool | Quantity: 3 | Colors: Ivory | Diameter: 4 inches
LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls
Available in multiple quantities
Available as a matching or randomly assorted set
Good for small and medium loads
Don't hold scent well
You can find wool dryer balls in an array of vibrant colors and versatile neutrals, but LooHoo gives you more color options than most. The brand's sets are available in a whopping seven different colorways, giving you the choice between six matching sets and one randomly assorted one. No matter which colorway you choose, you’ll end up with three wool dryer balls—unless you opt for the brand's larger classic or optimum packs.
The balls should be suitable for small to medium loads of laundry, according to LooHoo. They might not hold a scent well, and you might need to treat them with essential oils after a while. The set is certainly on the expensive side, but worth it if you'd love to add a pop of your favorite color to your laundry room.
Price at time of publish: $30
Material: Wool | Quantity: 3 | Colors: Cream, light gray, green, blue, aqua, purple, assorted multicolor | Diameter: Not listed
Grove Collaborative Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent + Laundry Detergent Dispenser + Wool Dryer Balls
Multiple scents and colors to choose from
Should last for 1,000 loads
Dispenser for measuring detergent
Might not help with static cling
On the pricey side
If you want to outfit your laundry room in one swoop, Grove will help you do it. The brand offers an all-in-one laundry set, which includes three wool dryer balls, 24 ounces of ultra-concentrated detergent that accommodates up to 33 loads, plus a sleek dispenser that measures the perfect amount of detergent each time. You also get to choose among three laundry scents and two dispenser designs.
Like others, Grove’s dryer balls promise to cut down on wrinkles, static, and dry time. (Your mileage may vary when it comes to static cling, based on shopper feedback.) They're crafted entirely from New Zealand wool, and the brand says that a set should last for 1,000 loads of laundry. While you’ll have to replace your laundry detergent more frequently, the dispenser is a smart addition, since it helps you pour the precise amount you need, which limits waste. This is a pricier set than purchasing just the trio of dryer balls, but you do get a better price than if you were to purchase each item separately. Grove Collaborative's model encourages (but doesn't require) monthly subscriptions, so you can customize regular shipments if you so choose.
Price at time of publish: $48
Material: Dryer Balls: Wool; Dispenser: Glass, Plastic, Silicone | Quantity: 3 | Colors: Dryer Balls: White, Dispenser: White or White + Navy | Diameter: Not listed
Best Starter Set
Everspring 100% New Zealand Wool Dryer Balls
Brand also makes essential oils
Shouldn't be machine washed
With so many similarities among wool dryer ball brands, it's not easy to identify which option will serve you best. From Everspring, a tried and true Target brand that prioritizes sustainability, this set might be available to order for pick-up at your local store, so you can click "Add to Cart" and have it in your hands just a few hours later. We also like that Target carries a coordinating line of essential oils (just a few drops can perfume your entire load of laundry), but any favorite oil should work just fine.
With most dryer balls—and these in particular—you don't want to send them through your washing machine, since the regular cycles can damage the wool. As long as you avoid making that mistake, they should last you for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $10
Material: Wool | Quantity: 3 | Colors: White | Diameter: 3 inches
Whitmor Dryer Balls
Spiked design meant to fluff fabric
Only available in blue
On the smaller side
If you or someone in your home prefers to avoid wool, then we have some good news: There are other dryer ball styles! From Whitmor, these small and spiked balls give you similar outcomes, but they're made from lightweight plastic instead of wool. With a 2.6-inch diameter, they're slightly smaller than the wool options on this list. However, they feature rounded spikes to effectively fluff fabric.
They come in one color, a solid blue, so they're easy to spot when you lift your dry clothes out of the dryer. Note that they're unscented, so if you were hoping to add essential oils, these won't be the best fit for you. For everyone else (and especially for fans of the color blue), we think they're a great option.
Price at time of publish: $10
Material: Plastic | Quantity: 4 | Colors: Blue | Diameter: 2.6 inches
When it comes to wool dryer balls, our top pick is Blueland's Dryer Ball Starter Set. They're effective, sustainably sourced, and compostable. They also don't produce a lot of noise when they're in the dryer. For a more budget-friendly choice, check out the Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls, which offer many of the same benefits and come in a cost-efficient package of six.
What to Look for in a Wool Dryer Ball
Most wool dryer balls are made entirely of—you guessed it!—wool. However, some are made of textile blends instead. Since wool is the feature that makes dryer balls moisture-wicking and compostable, you may want to avoid dryer balls made from other materials. Unless you have specific reasons for avoiding wool, you should "double-check to be sure the balls are constructed with 100 percent wool," suggests Katie Brown, owner of Rytina Fine Cleaners in Sacramento, California. Brown says, "The wool is doing the work. So if you buy a blend, that will likely negatively impact the quick absorbency rate."
Wool dryer balls commonly measure somewhere between 3 and 4 inches in diameter. According to Brown, it may be worth it to stock up on a few different sizes so you can treat your items well. "If you can find a variety of sizes, that’s a plus," she says. "Small ball sizes are great for delicates, while the larger sizes are great for blankets and bath towels."
Many people want their laundry to emerge from the dryer smelling fresh and fragrant. There are two ways to accomplish that with wool dryer balls. First, you can stock up on a scented set. Second, you can snag an unscented set and add fragrance by applying a few drops of your favorite essential oil (or oils). Elise Hay, founder of Organized Sanctuaries, recommends doing the latter. If you opt to pair unscented dryer balls with essential oils, you can always swap out your scents over time, too.
Wool dryer balls come in an array of different colors, ranging from crisp whites and ivories to vibrant blues and purples. Unless recommended by the brand, there's no substantial evidence saying you must pair light-colored dryer balls with the load of lighter clothing you have, or that darker-hued balls should be put with darker clothing. Ultimately, color comes down to personal preference and your chosen aesthetic.
How long do wool dryer balls last?
According to Brown, wool dryer balls can last for several years. “As they age, the balls will become hard and stiff.” When that happens, it might be time to replace your go-to dryer balls. Scott Thomas, Director of Systems at Dryer Vent Wizard, notes that your dryer balls may also unravel over time. If that happens, you should stop using them and replace them immediately.
Your dryer balls may pill over time, but it's not a cause for concern. “This does not mean they are no longer effective,” says Hay. In fact, you can pull the pills off. Thomas suggests using a sweater shaver to get the job done.
Do wool dryer balls remove pet hair?
Yes, many wool dryer balls are designed to remove lint and pet hair from your dryer loads. Therefore, they can be a particularly good addition to a household with a pet or two. Just note: There may still be some straggling hairs, but there will likely be a lot less than if you didn't use a dryer ball.
How do you care for wool dryer balls?
If you want to keep your wool dryer balls in tip-top shape, be sure to keep them dry in between uses. Brown recommends storing them in an open container, such as a wicker basket, noting, “Air should circulate around them so that the moisture they collect can naturally dry."
How many wool dryer balls should you use at a time?
Wool dryer balls tend to come in sets of three, four, or six, and sometimes more. When shopping, you’ll want to pay attention to how many balls you're getting for a given price, to make sure you're getting your money's worth. You’ll also want to ensure that you get enough balls to support your laundry needs.
Brown recommends using three balls for small loads, four balls for medium loads, and five to six balls for larger loads. “These balls separate the garments, allowing for air to circulate," says Brown.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Lindsey Lanquist is a Nashville-based writer and editor who covers home and lifestyle products for a range of publications. She's written for The Spruce since 2019. For this article, she prioritized wool dryer balls that were reasonably priced and genuinely well-reviewed by those who tried them. To help you find a set of wool dryer balls that meet your needs and preferences, she also vetted picks in a range of colors and sizes. For more insight, Lanquist spoke with Katie Brown, owner of Rytina Fine Cleaners; Scott Thomas, Director of Systems at Dryer Vent Wizard; and Elise Hay, founder of Organized Sanctuaries.
Dena Ogden, a commerce writer for The Spruce, also contributed to this roundup by updating it with the latest picks we researched and recommended.