Once you’ve owned one of the best clothes dryers, you won’t know how your laundry room survived without it. What separates a good clothes dryer is that it dries to the right degree. That means laundry won’t come out with damp spots or looking as though it’s taken some damage, including shrinking or feeling ‘crisp’. This should all be done in a single cycle as well — we all hate having to reload the machine when we discover things aren’t completely dry. On top of performance, there’s the design to think about. You want a clothes dryer that’s simple and convenient to use. Plus, you want to keep the energy consumption low where possible too.
Join forces with one of the best washing machines and you will have the ultimate laundry room. In fact, both of these appliances can be used to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Simply wash your load on the highest temperature recommended by the care label, then dry thoroughly in your clothes dryer, being sure not to shake it out.
Of course, there’s no right clothes dryer for everyone. The best one for you will depend on your specific needs and budget. Perhaps you need a larger capacity to cater for regular loads, or maybe you want the latest tech so you can control and monitor the machine from your phone? Whatever your circumstance, we’ve found the best clothes dryer to suit every laundry room.
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 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.
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.
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.
The LG DLEX8100V is the dryer to get if you’re dealing with a lot of laundry. It comes with a huge 9.0 cu.ft. capacity and a wide selection of cycles including steam and speed dry settings. There are five temperature settings to choose from and useful options for wrinkled clothing and reducing static. It’s a beautiful machine to look at as well, with a square door and graphite-steel finish, and comes with almost all of the bells and whistles you would expect.
The only thing it’s really missing is smart connectivity, which other LG models do offer. It makes up for this in price a little, but it’s by no means a cheap purchase. If you don’t mind that, there’s little else to ask for from this dryer — it’s a premium design with versatile functionality. Anyone who never sees the bottom of the laundry hamper could really take advantage.
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?
You will typically decide this based on whether you have a gas line available in your laundry room or not. Nowadays, most clothes dryers use an electrical power source, although they can’t be powered by any standard socket. These require a two-phase 220-volt socket which can source more power than a standard wall socket. For this guide, we’ve primarily focused on electric models, however most manufacturers offer gas alternative designs.
Clothes dryers will also need access to an air vent to exhaust the hot air. This limits where you can put the dryer because you need the connection between the two to be as short as possible. The vent also shouldn’t be curved or bent as this can leave a space for lint to gather, which could be a fire hazard.
Will it fit?
It sounds like common sense, but make sure you measure where you want to put the dryer, especially if it’s under a counter. Each design can vary slightly in dimensions, so this should always be checked. If you’re fitting it under a counter, you naturally can’t have a design where the controls are on top.
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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