The best clothes dryers will get your wet laundry completely dry while leaving it soft, fluffy, and free of wrinkles. You can depend upon them not to shrink up your designer jeans or overheat your luxury sheets. They won’t take hours to dry a load and will conserve energy, so they won’t hike up your gas or electric bill. In addition, a good dryer won’t make such a racket that if your laundry room is on the main or bedroom floor, it will interfere with conversation or keep the kids from falling asleep.
Getting your clothes dry can contribute to the health of your family. While viruses such as Covid-19 are more likely to spread via the air, the CDC recommends washing clothes at the warmest possible setting, and not to shake clothes in the air. Clothes should also be dried completely. Many dryers have a sanitizing or antibacterial cycle that will remove almost all germs.
Just as when you look for the best washing machines, choosing the best clothes dryer depends on your budget and various factors, such as the location and size of your laundry room, how many people are in your family and the types of laundry in your hamper. While every dryer will get the job done, when you step up in price you get extras like electronic controls, steam sanitizing, and wrinkle prevention.
What is the best clothes dryer?
The best clothes dryer for most people is the LG DLEX3570W. It offers superior drying performance, has truly useful features like a sanitizing mode and wrinkle prevention, and doesn’t make a racket when it’s operating. And although it uses steam, it doesn’t require a connection to a water pipe.
If you’re on a budget, the best choice is the Maytag MEDC465HW. It only comes in white and doesn’t have fancy features like steam and a Wi-Fi connection but it will get your clothes dry and even has a sensor to monitor moisture and temperature to prevent your favorite tees from overheating and shrinking up.
We know that for many of you how big a load you can dry at once is a big concern, so several of our top picks have huge drums that can handle a team’s worth of towels. For those of you who can afford top dollar and are looking to design an upscale laundry room, we have recommendations for top-of-the-line dryers, with lots of bells and whistles, and that can coordinate with a sophisticated front-loading washer.
One thing to note: We aren’t recommending any combination washer/dryer models, which wash and dry in a single device. That's because, while they save space, these units tend to be much less reliable as well as a lot less efficient than single purpose machines. Reliability is critical for laundry appliances: Not only do you depend on them every day, but a failure can mean a flood or other home disaster.
The best clothes dryers you can buy today
The LG DLEX3700W is the best clothes dryer overall. With its large capacity and a dozen drying cycles, it can handle everything from lacy camisoles to a comforter the size of New Hampshire. Thanks to moisture sensors, it knows exactly when to end the drying process to prevent overheating your clothes. If you choose Wrinkle Care, it will periodically tumble your clothes without heat until you remove them from the dryer, preventing creases from setting in.
On the LG you’ll find one steam mode to remove wrinkles and another to sanitize and remove odors. The steam feature doesn't require a permanent water connection; you fill a pull-out container on the front of the dryer with water when you need it. You can also monitor and control this dryer remotely using the LG ThinQ app, as well as Alexa and Google Assistant. Available in white or graphite, it can be mounted on a pedestal to match a front-loading washer.
The Maytag MEDC465HW is the best clothes dryer for those on a budget. If you shop around, you can pick up this no-frills model for about half the price of some of our other picks.
Only available in white with dial controls and without a window in the door, this basic dryer offers good performance but won’t dress up your laundry room. However, it does have a sensor to monitor moisture and air temperatures and a Wrinkle Control option to keep clothes tumbling after they’ve dried so that crinkles don’t become permanent. But at this price there’s no steam, no sanitize, no apps, and no little tunes to let you know when things are done. Reviewers did find that it ran a little hot, which could be an issue with delicate fabrics.
The EFME627UTT is the best clothes dryer for those looking for an effective steam cycle to prevent wrinkles as it dries or do a quick fresh up to remove wrinkles and odors. It’s the companion dryer to the Electrolux EFLS627UTT, our top pick for a washing machine. Reviewers praised this dryer's performance, saying that it efficiently dried even large loads. While a few found that it took longer to dry than similarly-priced models, it also dries at a lower and therefore gentler temperature. At this price, it is surprising that it lacks smart-home features.
When you’re in a hurry to get your Little Leaguer’s uniform dried, there is a 15-minute quick-dry cycle designed for small loads. Reviewers also liked the efficient double-sided lint filter. You can opt to stack this model on top of a washer or install it on a pedestal to pair with a front-loading washer. It comes in white or titanium.
With a massive capacity of 8.8 cu. ft, the Kenmore 69133 is one of the best clothes dryers for anyone who does a lot of laundry. It easily holds even king-size comforters. For quickly removing wrinkles and odors and for sanitizing, it uses steam. And since it’s NSF certified, you can trust that it really will get rid of the germs lurking in your sick toddler’s Elmo doll.
There are a few gotchas here, though. The controls are at the back of the machine, so you can't stack it above a washing machine. It’s also a space hog: at 43 inches high and just over 32 inches deep, it might not fit into a small laundry room. And it doesn't have smart-home features: There’s no app to monitor the load and beep you when it is done. It comes in your choice of white or a metallic gray finish.
The GE GTD65EBSJWS is one of the best clothes dryers you can buy if you’re looking to economize. Just don’t expect this basic white model to add any pizazz to your laundry room. While it doesn’t have steam, it does have moisture sensors and a feature to prevent wrinkling.
One thing that reviewers note is that this GE tends to leave clothes very slightly damp. This seems to be a deliberate decision, with the designers preferring that it under-dry rather heat them for too long and risk damaging or shrinking them. If you’re one of those people who likes to iron everything right out of the dryer, you’ll love the alert that that lets you know when your clothes are still damp so you won’t have to spritz them as you iron.
A cavernous 9 cu. ft. drum makes the LG DLEX9000V the best clothes dryer for large families. It’s the companion piece to the LG WM9000HVA, our pick for the best washer with an enormous capacity. This dryer’s large size combined with 14 cycles makes it an incredibly flexible machine that that can handle small or humongous loads with equally impressive performance. Among its most useful features are its two steam cycles, a 10-minute wrinkle remover, and a sanitizing mode that’s great for drying bedding after everyone in the house has been sick.
This is also one of the few dryers with smart-home features: Download the LG SmartThinQ app and monitor and control it from your smartphone. You can also give it orders via Alexa or Google Assistant. Available in a graphite finish and able to sit on a pedestal to match a front-loading washer, this machine is definitely a major upgrade for your laundry room.
Looking for a clothes dryer that is smarter than average? The Samsung DVE50R8500V/A3 is our top pick for a clothes dryer with smart home controls. Like most of Samsung's appliances, it’s as easy to control with Samsung's SmartThings as with its on-board controls. Samsung's app lets you monitor the drying process, so you can see how long the cycle has to run, and then pings you when the load is dry. Unfortunately, there isn't an app to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer for you: perhaps the next generation.
On this machine you’ll find a vent sensor to alert you when you have to clean the exhaust vent as well as a lint filter indicator that lights up when the lint basket needs to be emptied. You can get this luxury dryer in white or black stainless steel and either stack it or mount it on a riser to coordinate with a washer that loads from the front.
How to choose the best clothes dryer for you
Gas or Electric?
This choice will usually be made for you by which connection is available in your basement or laundry room. Most dryers use electricity as a power source, but you can't just plug them into a standard socket. Instead, they need a specially wired, two-phase 220-volt socket that can handle more power than your standard wall socket. We've focused on electric models for this guide, but the manufacturers usually offer a similar gas option: check their site for details.
In addition to a power source, dryers will also require an air vent for the hot air they push out. Again, this will often limit where you can put the dryer, as you need to keep the connection to this vent as short as possible. This vent also should not be curved or bent, as corners provide a place for lint to gather, which can pose a fire risk.
Will it fit?
If you are planning on putting your washer and dryer into a small space or under a counter, make sure that you measure the space to make sure it will fit. Most dryers are front-loaders, but many also put the controls on the top, so they won't work under a standard worktop.