We have been reviewing clothes dryers since 2010. We’ve spent more than 100 hours doing online research and consulting with professionals to find the best dryers out there. The best dryers have plenty of cycle options that let you dry clothes the way you want. It not only needs to look nice, but it needs a functional design that is easy to use. The best dryers have things like a delay dry cycle, a sensor dry to prevent over-drying and a wrinkle-reduction capability.
Best Overall: LG
The LG DLEX7710VE has a large 9-cubic-foot capacity that allows you to dry loads of laundry at a time, making this dryer a good choice if you have a big family. It also makes the job easier with some nice time- and energy-saving features like sensor dry, which knows the moisture level in the clothes and will turn off automatically when they are dry. This also makes it gentle on your clothes. It has a total of 11 cycles, including wrinkle care and a steam cycle, and five temperature settings and five drying levels.
Best Value: Amana
The Amana NED4655EW is an affordable, compact dryer that still has plenty of room for big loads with a capacity of 6.5 cubic feet. It has nice functionality for a dryer in this price range, including sensor dry, wrinkle reduction and a total of 11 cycles. You can opt for timed dry if you want to set the exact time, and you can adjust the temperature controls for delicates and other types of laundry. This is a nice, economical dryer with plenty of features to dry clothes the way you want.
Best Timesaving Dryer
Best Timesaving Dryer: Kenmore Elite
The Kenmore Elite has a huge 9.2-cubic-foot capacity. It can dry big loads of laundry fast with SmartDry technology that is safe on your clothes and adjusts temperatures appropriately for each cycle. It has a trademarked steam refresh option that minimizes odors and wrinkling. You can get clothing ready to wear in 20 minutes. You can also freshen up a beloved, grimy stuffed animal that isn’t washable. It also has energy saving features that are important when drying a lot of laundry for a big family.
Best Dryer for Big Loads
Best Dryer for Big Loads: Maytag
The Maytag WVWB955FC is big enough to take on large loads of wet laundry. It has a PowerDry cycle that blows hotter air than standard dryers to dry clothes more efficiently. It’s a large-capacity dryer with advanced moisture-sensing capabilities. It will keep track of how moist your laundry is to dry clothes evenly. It has a generous 9.2-cubic-foot capacity that will fit a lot of clothes for a big family.
Best For Overall Efficiency
Best For Overall Efficiency: Whirlpool
The Whirlpool WED8700EC is a smart dryer you can operate from your cell phone. This allows you to put clothes in the dryer in the morning and then start a load from wherever you are when it’s convenient. It has an 8.8-cubic-foot capacity, which can hold a lot of clothes. It has 23 drying cycles all of which you can control from your smartphone. You can even download a specialty cycle that you customize and the app will remember it for future use.
Dryers: What Features to Look For
We researched favorite name-brand dryers on the market today and looked for characteristics that would help you find the best dryer for your needs. The best modern dryers offer much more than the previous generation, adding useful things like brief bursts of steam to reduce wrinkles and eliminate odors. Some of the latest technology also implements a wrinkle-reducing program of intermittent tumbling after a drying cycle is done to keep any wrinkles from setting in.
The best dryers have a generous selection of cycles so you can customize your drying needs. If you are drying a load of towels or routinely dry large loads for a big family, you should be able to easily select the cycle that will facilitate whatever load you throw in. The best dryers include drum lights so you don’t leave any stray socks behind. Your dryer should make it easy to situate the door hinge on either side of the appliance so you can configure your laundry space any way you like. LED displays make it easy to see when your load will be done, and child locks can help protect youngsters.
What Else Is Important in an Electric Dryer?
Design & Appearance
Whether you are looking for an ultra-modern design or something more traditional, a dryer should look nice and complement the room it occupies. It's also helpful if you have a washer-dryer combination that match in appearance so the overall aesthetic isn't ruined.
Many people still do laundry in the basement, but people increasingly have washers and dryers where everyone can see them, and kitchens are a popular spot. In cases like that, you want something that blends in nicely so the room still looks good.
Even more importantly, the design should be practical and straightforward. For instance, a well-designed machine makes adding steam or activating wrinkle reduction easy. With an intuitive electronic control panel, you can set your dryer to a level of precision that homemakers of yesteryear would envy.
In the past, energy efficiency was not a high priority among most dryer manufacturers. But it has become increasingly important in recent years, and companies have begun developing dryers that cut down on the use of electricity, saving you money on utility bills.
Top-quality clothes dryers have advanced sensor systems that monitor the moisture content in clothing and stop the cycle when your clothes are dry. This results in significant energy savings. Some models also offer energy savers like lint filters and duct-clog monitors. Keeping those airways clean makes dryers much greener, which can in turn save you green. In addition, lint clogging anywhere in the system can be a serious fire hazard, even when the machine is not in use, so these particular features are especially worthwhile.
Dryers have come a long way from their clothes-ruining past. Designers have put a lot of thought into making sure the latest machines take great care of your clothing, no matter the fabric, and do much more than that. Look to our lineup of the top clothes dryers to find one that fits with your decor, budget and lifestyle. When you have found a dryer that works for you, be sure to check out our recommendations for top-load washers to find a washer that goes perfectly with your new dryer.
Contributing Reviewer: Noel Case