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Best clothes dryers in 2021

best clothes dryers

The best clothes dryers will sap the moisture from your clothes while also making sure they stay soft, fluffy, and free of wrinkles. There's no need to worry about shrinking, overheating, or the horror of seeing your energy bills fly off into the stratosphere. But the best part? They're not loud or slow either.

Drying your clothes properly can also help protect your clothes from diseases like COVID-19, provided you wash them at the warmest possible setting and completely dry them without shaking in the air. Then there are the dryers with built-in sanitizing or anti-bacterial cycles.

Choosing the best clothes dryer for your needs is dependent on your circumstances, and how much laundry you do. Budget, location, load size, it all counts. And that's before you consider all the hi-tech features you might want to embrace. But whatever your circumstances, these are the best clothes dryers you can buy right now.

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

LG DLEX400W

LG DLEX3700W. Credit: LG (Image credit: LG)

1. LG DLEX4000W

Best Clothes Dryer Overall

Specifications
Type: Front Loader
Size: 39 x 30 x 27 inches
Capacity: 7.4 cu. ft.
No. of Cycles: 12
Dryer Features: TurboSteam
App Control: Yes
Stackable: No
Heating Source: Electric/Gas
Reasons to buy
+Moisture sensor+Steam sterilize mode+Alexa- and Google Assistant-compatible+Quiet
Reasons to avoid
-Long normal cycle

The LG DLEX400W 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. It knows exactly when to end the drying process, thanks to built-in moisture sensors, so it won’t be 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 both sanitize and remove odors. The steam feature doesn't require a permanent water connection either; you fill a pull-out container on the front of the dryer with water as and 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. 

Best clothes dryers: Maytag MEDC465HW

Maytag MEDC465HW. Credit: Maytag (Image credit: Maytag)

2. Maytag MEDC465HW

Best budget electric clothes dryer

Specifications
Type: Front Loader
Size: 29 x 43 x 28
Capacity: 7 cu. ft.
No. of Cycles: 12
Dryer Features: IntelliDry, Wrinkle Control
App Control: No
Stackable: No
Heating Source: Electric/Gas
Reasons to buy
+Inexpensive+Moisture sensor+Wrinkle prevention
Reasons to avoid
-Runs a little warm

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.

Best clothes dryers: Electrolux EFME627UTT

Electrolux EFME627UTT. Credit: Electrolux (Image credit: Electrolux)

3. Electrolux EFME627UTT

Best clothes dryer with steam cleaning

Specifications
Type: Front Loader
Size: 38 x 27 x 31.5 inches
Capacity: 8.0 cu. ft.
No. of Cycles: 9
Dryer Features: Steam, Predictive Dry, LuxeCare, Instant Refresh, Fast Dry, Extended Tumble
App Control: No
Stackable: Yes
Heating Source: Electric
Reasons to buy
+Moisture sensor+Steam to prevent wrinkles and refresh clothes+Wrinkle prevention
Reasons to avoid
-No app or smart-home features-Needs water hookup

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. 

Best clothes dryers: GE GTD65EBSJWS

GE GTD65EBSJWS. Credit: GE (Image credit: GE)

4. GE GTD65EBSJWS

A versatile, low-priced clothes dryer

Specifications
Type: Front Loader
Size: 27 x 46 x 30.5 inches
Capacity: 7.4 cu. ft.
No. of Cycles: 12
Dryer Features: Sensor Dry, Quick Fluff, Speed Dry, Wrinkle Care, Damp Alert, Extended Tumble
App Control: No
Stackable: No
Heating Source: Electric
Reasons to buy
+Low price+Moisture sensors+Wrinkle prevention
Reasons to avoid
-Some clothes come out still slightly damp

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.   

Best clothes dryers: LG DLEX9000V

LG DLEX9000V. Credit: LG (Image credit: LG)

5. LG DLEX9000V

Best clothes dryer for large families

Specifications
Type: Front Loader
Size: 29 x 41 x 33 inches
Capacity: 9.0 cu. ft.
No. of Cycles: 14
Dryer Features: Sensor Dry, TurboSteam, Steam Sanitary, Speed Dry, Wrinkle Care, SmartThin Q Technology
App Control: Yes
Stackable: No
Heating Source: Electric
Reasons to buy
+Huge capacity+Steam cycle+Wrinkle prevention+Alexa- and Google Assistant-compatible
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive-Needs water hookup

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. 

Best clothes dryers: Samsung DVE50R8500V

Samsung DVE50R8500V. Credit: Samsung (Image credit: Samsung)

6. Samsung DVE50R8500V

Best smart clothes dryer

Specifications
Type: Front Loader
Size: 27 x 38.7 x 31.7 inches
Capacity: 7.4 cu. ft.
No. of Cycles: 12
Dryer Features: Sensor Dry, Steam Refresh, Steam Sanitize, Quick Dry, Air Fluff, Lint Filter Indicator, Vent Sensor
App Control: Yes
Stackable: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Moisture sensor+Steam cycles+Good smart features
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Needs water hookup

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.

Venting
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.

When to replace a dryer

The National Association of Home Builders says that a clothes dryer has a lifespan of about 13 years, yet you'll rarely see warranties for more than a year. Extended warranties generally cost more than the repairs they cover, so we recommend skipping the common upsell.

When the cost of a repair is fifty percent or more than the price of a new dryer, you should consider shopping for a replacement. Some of the signs that you may be in for a major repair are thumping or clanging noises, lack of heat, or a malfunctioning control panel. Also look out for a failure to start or a tendency to shut off in the middle of a cycle. A burning smell may or may not indicate the need for an expensive repair, but it could mean there’s a risk of fire so it definitely means you should call for a service visit. 

There are definite advantages to newer models. Any Energy Star certified dryer uses 20% less energy and saves you about $215 during its lifetime, making it frugal as well as environmentally friendly.  

Other energy-saving features include moisture sensors that detect how damp your clothes are and end the cycle when the load is dry. Cycles that use steam to get rid of wrinkles and reduce static, others that sanitize to get rid of germs, and ones tailored to small loads are now common. For safety, some dryers alert you when the lint filter needs to be emptied or even when the duct is blocked. New dryers even prevent unwanted creases by keeping clothes tumbling without heat instead of letting them sit until you remove a finished load.

Increasingly, dryers are equipped with WiFi, allowing you to see the progress of your load on your mobile device and control the cycle from your phone or Alexa or Google Assistant. Connected dryers may even be able to diagnose problems and in some cases, alert the manufacturer's service center so that the repair person can bring the right part on the first visit and eliminate a second one. 

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Katie Mortram

Katie looks after everything homes-related, from kitchen appliances to gardening tools. She also covers smart home products too, so is the best point of contact for any household advice! She has tested and reviewed kitchen appliances for over 6 years, so she knows what to look for when finding the best. Follow her on Twitter at @KatieMortram.